You Make the Call

3:56 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Mike Holmgren........or Mike Holmgren?

Link Bulimia

2:27 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Welcome to Link Bulimia, where purging never felt so good. This is your one stop shop for all the stupid, violent, and horrifying links that I stumble across during my weekly laps around the internets. If you happen to find something particularly jarring to where you'll never be able to "un-see" it, please pass it right along to linkbulimia@gmail.com. Enjoy and make sure to wash your hands afterwards.

Call it what you want, but Norm McDonald is one of my favorite comedians and what he did at Bob Sagat's roast was nothing less than pure genius. (CC Insider)

Helicopters opening beer bottles. Yes please. (Mick Landers)

Extreme Ironing: The latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt. (Boing Boing)

Drainage Fail. (FAIL Blog)

The 10th Anniversary Edition of The Big Lebowski: In Stores Now! (Amazon)

American Hot Linxx Hulahan reclaims the World Air Guitar championship. USA! USA! (YouTube)

The Worst E-Card Ever (Best Week Ever)

The Pashtoon Midget: Is this little guy even supposed to be there? (Break)

That plane is coming in a little low. (YouTube)

Idiots, the UFC, and armpit tattoos. (Fightlinker)

Airline decides to lighten planes and save fuel by removing life vests. (CNN)

TMS NFL Predictions and Picks 2008 Part 2

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Yesterday we covered everyone's picks for each division as well as the Super Bowl. Today we sit down and offer up our preseason awards, in prime TMS fashion.


OVERRATED

Daft Funk - Adrian Peterson: This guy's got some talent, but let's not crown him the next 2,000 yard rusher just yet. Yes, he had an absolute monster of a game against San Diego last season, rushing for a record 296 yards. And he had another 224 against Chicago in Week 6. Don't get me wrong, both were amazing performances, but if you look at the other 12 games AP played in, you get 821 yards, or 68 yards a game. And what did he do in crunch time last year? In the final weeks of the season, which is the playoffs/championship for most fantasy leagues, Peterson had consecutive rushing weeks of 3 yards, 78 yards, 27 yards and 36 yards with only 2 scores. And with Tavaris Jackson being...well, Tavaris Jackson, what's to stop opposing defensive coordinators from sticking 8 guys in the box every time? Remember when Larry Johnson burst onto the scene and failed in his second year because he had nothing resembling a quarterback? Granted, LJ didn't have much of an offensive line either, but still...Adrian Peterson is overrated. He's good, and he'll have a good year, but let's not start clearing off a spot in Canton for him just yet.

The Hundley - Dallas offense: That shit will be figured out by the league this time around. No fucking way Romo and Terrell Owens have another year like that. I'd also lay odds that Kyle Orton will be banging away on Jessica Simpson by Thanksgiving. Running a close 2nd in being overrated is the NFL itself.

Governor Gray Davis - The Jets: Every year the NY media picks the Jets to do something and they promptly shit the bed. This year the Jets hype is worse than ever since they have HRH Favre now. The Jets will fall and fall hard. The only thing keeping them out of the basement will be Miami's total lack of talent.

E-Claire - Brett Favre: Don't get me wrong - he had a good year last year. But let's not forget that he had 2 crappy years before last year. In 2005, he threw more picks than touchdowns, and 2006 wasn't much better. And in both of those years, he ranked near the bottom of the league in quarterback rating. People were calling for him to retire this time last year, and now many are saying Green Bay made a "terrible mistake." Favre is learning a brand new offense with guys he's never played with before. Plus, there's that whole "he's 38" thing. He's never been that mobile of a quarterback, and the Jets' offensive line wasn't exactly "good" last year. Ask Chad Pennington. So I don't know how great "the gunslinger's" gonna be this year. Plus, I have 2 words for you: Madden curse.

Jordi - Tony Romo: The Derek Jeter of the NFL - without the winning to back it up. But I'll gladly take Carrie Underwood off his hands.

Dave Thomas - Instant Replay: I understand the significance of determining if the ball crossed the plane or if a guy was able to get both feet down in bounds with a catch but the networks have gone way too far with this. Coaches are able to challenge absolutely everything and that means I have to sit there and listen to John Madden talk about if the running back's knee/elbow/testicle hit the ground before he "lost control of the football" for 15 minutes before the official comes out to tell me the play stands as called.

Lingering Bursitis - Brett Favre, NY Jets: Gunslinging has an expiration date, and his is coming very soon. Being in a massive media market will only exacerbate the fact that he's clearly clinging to a dream that's slowly passed him by. You don't retire and then come back and expect magic; look what happened to Montana in Kansas City. As if he didn't command enough of the media in a tiny burg like Green Bay.... Mike Vaccaro is going to crawl inside Favre's asshole and rip him apart if he loses more than 5 games with the Jets this season.



UNDERRATED

Daft Funk - LaDanian Tomlinson: Speaking of a place in Canton...and I know what you're asking. "Daft, how can LaDanian Tomlinson be underrated? Isn't he one of the biggest stars in the league?" That's true. But as highly as we all think of Tomlinson, I still don't think most football fans realize how good he is. First of all, to be a running back in the NFL for 7 years and never have any major injuries is a miracle in itself. Let's take a look at LaDanian's average season, shall we?

337 carries, 1,521 yards rushing, 16 TD, 65 receptions, 482 yards receiving, 2 TD. He also averages 1 touchdown pass per season over his career.

Look at that line above. That's an MVP line right there. And LaDanian has averaged that EVERY YEAR HE'S BEEN IN THE LEAGUE! The guy averages over 18 total touchdowns per season!

The scariest thing? It looks like he could keep doing this for another 3-4 years.

The Hundley - College football.

Governor Gray Davis - The Chargers. San Diego should win that horrific division by week 10 or so. Mark it dude, Norv Turner is taking the Bolts to the Superbowl.

E-Claire - Special Teamers: Yeah, you know Devin Hester. But do you know the 10 guys blocking for him that allow him to score? Field position is pretty important, and these guys are a big part of that. Plus, a lot of them are pulling double duty - as they also serve as backup running backs, corners, offensive linemen, etc. I'm sure learning one position in the NFL is hard enough, and a lot of these guys learn to play two. So big ups to Kassim Osgood and the rest of the special teamers.

Jordi - Eli Manning: Ummm ... he did just win a Super Bowl, right? Unlike some other NY quarterback.

Dave Thomas - Halftime Clip Montages: Imagine for a moment that you're an intern and you've been given the assignment of piecing together 30 seconds of hard-hitting action and dramatic play calling from the first half of a game between the Texans and the Dolphins. Impossible, right? More often than not I come back to my seat after warming up my nacho dip and see one of these flashy montages set to the musical stylings of AC/DC light up the screen. This makes me feel like I've seen a pretty good game despite the fact that it's 3-0 and there have been more commercials for pick up trucks and dick medicine than actual game footage.

Lingering Bursitis - Julius Jones, Seattle: Random pick, but who the fuck cares? You're not my mother. Shaun Alexander's departure from the Rainy shores of Washington can only be a good thing for Holmgren and co, considering he was getting a little old and was a couple of seasons removed from his touchdown-scoring madness. His contract was bigger than Bill Gates' mansion, and he was rather underwhelming of late thanks to injuries and hatred of Starbucks.

Meanwhile, down in Dallas, the tiny Texan overlord decided to kick a perfectly good running back out of town because he had a guy with III in his name, which, if we're honest, is perfect for a town of entitlement and dynasties. Shit, Marion Barber III is the 3rd Marion Barber in the Barber family? As good as he is, Jones still has some gas in the tank, and he'll do well for Hasselbeck, taking some of the pressure off the West Coast passing game and benefiting from his rather obdurate offensive line. Seattle's gonna be in a dogfight to make the playoffs, but Jones will put up lovely numbers.


ROOKIE TO WATCH

Daft Funk - Matt Ryan, Falcons: And by "watch" I mean "Watch him be terrible."

The Hundley - Chris Williams, OL, Chicago Bears: I fully expect him to carry the offense on his back. And you can print that, brah!

Governor Gray Davis - I don't give a shit about college football, so I can't name any. Watch whomever the Titans picked for shits and giggles.

E-Claire - Bruce Davis, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers: In his last 2 years in college, he had over 12 sacks per year. Ok, fine. He went to UCLA and I like to follow the Bruin alumni.

Jordi - Giving you the local feed: Geno Hayes: Tampa Bay: Geno was not without controversy in Tallahassee. And now he is back in FL, in Tampa, no less, where more athletes get arrested than any other city (just guessing). Either Hayes turns into the next Derrick Brooks, or he gets arrested in his first year. Let the watch begin.

Dave Thomas - Chris Long: He has all the genetics in place to become a dominant defensive end right out of the gates. St. Louis is going to need it too. The over/under on the number of RadioShack commercials he appears in this year stands at three.

Lingering Bursitis - Jonathan Stewart, Carolina: The guy was a beast for Oregon, and now that oft-injured slug DeShaun Foster is in San Francisco, Stewart's speed should give him the best shot at snaring the bulk of the RB carries from another oft-injured tap-dancer, Deangelo Williams. It's his job to lose, and Delhomme has such a beastly arsenal of receivers to overthrow to that Stewart will have plenty of running lanes. Easily 1200 yards for this captain of industry, and he'll help the Panthers bounce back into NFC relevancy.


WAR CRIMINAL

Daft Funk - First Round Quarterbacks. What have you done to impress me lately, Alex Smith? What about you, Brady Quinn? Don't think you're getting off easy, Rex Grossman and Philip Rivers. I see you both hiding in the closet.

The Hundley - Rex Grossman: Yes, I know I'm piling on now that he has been relegated to second string. Still, I hate him and all that he stands for. It's funny hearing him whine about the QB competition this year. Gee, Rex, I wonder how Kyle Orton and Brian Griese felt last year? He can whine about how he's so great in practice, which consists of 7 on 7 drills. We'll all remember how you shit the bed when you get in a real game. Oh, and all those boos he hears? Sure 90% of it is for Rex, but I can't help but think the other 10% is people sick of how the Bears mgmt handles situations like these.

Governor Gray Davis - Brett Favre. Fuck you.

E-Claire - Matt Leinart. He got hurt last year, but he was sucking before that. The only thing worse than his passer rating of 61 last year? His passer rating of 2.8 during his latest pre-season game. Good thing he was out working hard over the summer. And by "working hard," I mean drinking out of a beer bong with college girls and that dude from 98 Degrees. Kurt Warner, please.

Jordi - Too easy, Brett Favre: for hijacking ESPN coverage, for being "bigger" than the NFL, and for being generally overrated.

Dave Thomas - Brett Favre. Brett. Favre. Brett Lorenzo Favre. Bre. tt Favre. Favre, Brett.

Lingering Bursitis - Tony Romo, Dallas: Fuck this guy. He bangs Jessica Simpson (aka John Mayer's emo semen receptacle), Carrie Underwood, and he's got an embarrassment of riches at his disposal. His job is easy: placate the manic midget Jerry Jones, dodge TO's mood swings, and throw 2 TDs a game to a ridiculous receiving corps. Oh, and hand the ball off to MB3. This guy's a double cunt with a Hollywood smile. HATE


WAR HERO

Daft Funk - Offensive Linemen: These guys are the tough guys, the guys that show up to play every day, ignoring shin splints, busted fingers, twinkies, etc. I'll bet they bring their lunch to the stadium in an actual metal pail.

The Hundley - Brett Favre (ducking rotted heads of lettuce): Is he a douche for playing the Retirement-Go-Round more than Sugar Ray Leonard? Yes. Is he grossly over publicized? Yes. Does he play all of this up? Yes. Is there anyone more exciting/volatile on the field? No. I don't even like the Packers (nor the Jets for that matter), but I always loved watching Favre play.

Governor Gray Davis - Kurt Warner. Is there anyone who takes getting fucked over in stride like Touchdown Jesus? He sets Cardinals franchise records for passing last year in part time duty and has to suffer the indignity of fighting a chubby frat boy with a noodle arm for the job this year. In spite of this, he wants an extension to stay in Arizona.

E-Claire - Aaron Rodgers: This isn't so much about his football skills as it is the way he handled the whole Brett Favre saga this offseason. He kept his head down, didn't mouth off to the media, and just did his work. He even let Justin Timberlake hug him at the ESPYs. You go, girl.

Jordi - PacMan Jones and Chris Henry: Despite The Man trying to hold them down, these warriors of the gridiron have returned to bless us with their supreme athletic skills and stellar community efforts.

Dave Thomas - In this post 9/11 world of administrative assistants and "specially abled" students, it's nice to turn on the TV and see the Washington Redskins playing. Set in our nation's capital they proudly take the field in defiance of all things politically correct. Don't let the man keep you down.

Lingering Bursitis - Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia: This guy puts up with a lot of shit. Stingy owners who won't pay him top money for his position (which he really fucking deserves), an enigmatic, perplexing QB who is either injured or promoting awful soup products, wide receivers who couldn't catch malaria if they slept in the Nile for a night, and the advances of just about anyone on the opponent's defense due to him being the only player worth a toss on the Eagles offense.

I feel so bad for him, and yet he still puts up insane numbers, fights off Lisfranc sprains (whatever the fuck those are) and turf toes to STILL score lots of rushing and receiving touchdowns even with 8 men stacked in the box to stop him from doing so.

Even though I wish the Eagles would relocate to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I still have ridiculous amounts of respect, props and kudos for a guy who keeps his mouth shut and still does his job well. Which is more than can be said for Andy Reid or his sons.

Thunder Matt's Book Review: Nerd Edition

9:52 AM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk


I'm not going to pretend. If you couldn't tell already, I am a nerd. A geek. A dork. I grew up watching the original 3 Star Wars movies over and over again. I read science fiction books on a regular basis. I've been in debates over who would win in a fight, Boba Fett or Harrison Ford from Blade Runner. You name the nerdy activity, and I'm probably guilty of it (although I never really had any interest in Star Trek...and I've never been to the San Diego Comic Con, although I was on math team in high school, so that may bring me back to even).

Knowing this, it's pretty much a given that I would be a comic book fan as well. It started while I was young with a few issues of G.I. Joe and grew from there. Over the years, I've read little bits of just about everything there is, from the really good (Preacher, Sandman) to the downright awful (Green Hornet? Lame.).

When The Dark Knight came out last month and had the trailer for Watchmen attached to it, the buzz started building immediately. What is this movie? Where can I learn more about it? For those of you who don't know, Watchmen is a graphic novel that's been out since the 80's that is considered to be one of the top comics of all time (more on that later).

Now what is a "graphic novel"? How is it different from a regular old comic book? Glad you asked. There are 2 things that a graphic novel can be:

1. One single story that's too big to fit into a 30 page comic, so it comes out in a book form.
2. A bunch of issues of a comic series that form one story and are collected in one place so you don't have to hunt all of them down to read the whole thing.

Watchmen falls into the second category. The original series was made up of 12 comics that came out once a month. Once the popularity spiked soon after, all 12 issues were re-released into one single book.

Graphic novels are the easiest way to read long (and usually way out of print and hard to find) comic stories without having to shell out much money. And honestly, despite the sometimes negative stereotypes that go along with both comic books and comic fans, they can be interesting to read and enjoyable for people of any age. And guess what? Did you see Iron Man this summer? How about The Dark Knight? Well then you are already one foot in the door, good sir. So strap yourself in as I give you a little taste of where you should go if you have the urge to jump into this wonderful world:

Watchmen
Watchmen is the Citizen Kane of graphic novels. It's a highly acclaimed piece of work both within the comic industry and outside of it. It's the only graphic novel to be named to Time Magazine's Top 100 Novels since 1923. The story is set in an alternate future in the 1980's, where President Nixon is campaigning for his 5th term in office. The Doomsday Clock, measuring the tension between the US and Russia, is permanently set at 5 minutes to midnight. Masked superheroes exist, but were outlawed in the 70's. Now, someone is going around and killing the ex-superheroes as part of a larger agenda. This story is less about big fights and superpowers (only one person in the whole story can actually do anything "super") and more about the constant nuclear threat and fear that people had to live under during the Cold War. This story starts out a bit slow, but the last three chapters will knock you on your ass.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Anyone who enjoyed The Dark Knight this summer will most likely love this story. Also set in the future, Frank Miller's reinvention of Batman is considered the moment when Batman lost a lot of the campy fun he was known for in the early days of his comics, and became darker and grittier (just like the change from Joel Schumacher's Batman to Christopher Nolan's). After the death of Robin, Batman retires and starts hitting the bottle pretty hard. Only after trouble brews up again in Gotham City (why the hell would anyone continue to live there?), a 50 year old Batman has to come out of retirement to deal with Two Face and The Joker (Sound familiar?). The art is fantastic and the writing is top notch. And there's a Superman cameo. I highly recommend this book.


Superman: Red Son
We all know the story of Superman, right? Alien crash lands on Earth in Kansas and is raised to become the embodiment of America and defend the country against all kinds of bad guys. What would have happened if Superman's ship had crashed 12 hours later and ended up in Russia instead of America? That's what Superman: Red Son takes a look at. How would the Cold War have turned out if Russia had a super powered dude on their side that was more powerful than any missile or atomic bomb? What if Lex Luthor was the President of the United States and was hell-bent on destroying Superman while his wife, Lois Lane (naturally), grew more and more distant as the years went by. This one is a short read and you don't need to know anything about Superman or any of his allies to enjoy it.


Astonishing X-Men
If you know who Joss Whedon is, you probably dont't need any convincing from me because you've most likely devoured this series already. Joss Whedon is the mind between the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series and the cult hits Firefly and Serenity. Even if you've never read the X-Men before, you'll have no problem jumping in on his run. He did issues 1-24 and one giant sized final issue. The thing I liked most about this run was the subtle humor in every issue that you don't find a lot of in other comic books.

You Make The Call

7:42 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Hillary..........or..........Hillary?

Shawne Merriman: Total Genius!

2:55 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk



Ever since coming to San Diego, I've developed an unnatural hatred of the Chargers. Part of it is because everyone in this city is so in love with the Chargers that it makes me want to puke in tier mouths. Extreme? Yes, but it's how I feel.

The easiest Charger to hate is obviously Shawne Merriman. What, with his steroid use and stupid dances and ugly face and multiple weapons and sexual assault charges. Ok, I made that last part up, but the rest? 1000% true.

So on his name plate, next to "Juicer" and "Girly-Man" we can finally add "Complete Fucking Idiot".

Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman will forgo knee surgery and play this season for the San Diego Chargers despite the fact he has two torn ligaments in his left knee.

"I'm going to play," Merriman texted the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I'll deal with it when it's time to get surgery."

Merriman said Saturday that he has been told by doctors that he could suffer a possible career-ending injury if he attempts to play without having surgery.

Let's say you're a professional beer drinker. Let's say you make millions of dollars doing it. You are presented with two choices: either you stop drinking beer for a year and then continue your job after that still making millions of dollars, or in an attempt to impress your buddies, you continue to drink beer and possibly damage yourself so severely that you'll never be able to work again (beer drinking is all you know!) and have damaging effects on your health for the rest of your life. What do you do?

I know when I go my doctor to have him get a look at my practically-exploded joints, I always get at least 7 opinions. Of course, that's probably a good idea for me considering all of my doctors are either under investigation/drunk/working out of a back alley.

TMS NFL Predictions and Picks 2008 Part 1

11:13 AM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Toothpaste For Dinner

It's that time of year again. As the NFL season nears, we here at TMS bring you our official picks and predictions for 2008. The Saloon brings you the staff picks for the season in a long drawn-out, misguided, convoluted fashion that only TMS can bring.

SEASON STANDINGS, STAFF PICKS (* denotes playoff contenders)

AFC EAST
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The HundLB
1.
NE*
NE*
NE*
NE*
NE*
NE*
NE*
NE*
2.
NYJ*
NYJ*
NYJ
BUF
BUF
NYJ NYJ
NYJ
3.
BUF
BUF
MIA
NYJ
NYJ
BUF
BUF
BUF
4.
MIA
MIA
BUF
MIA
MIA
MIA
MIA
MIA
New England's dominance continues as Brett Favre's arrival improves the Jets, but not enough.

AFC NORTH
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The HundLB
1.
CLE*
PIT*
CIN*
PIT*
PIT*
PIT*
PIT*
PIT*
2.
PIT*
BAL PIT CLE*
CLE*
CLE
CLE*
CLE*
3.
BAL
CIN
BAL
BAL
CIN
CIN
CIN
CIN
4.
CIN
CLE
CLE
CIN
BAL
BAL
BAL
BAL
The Steelers are the favorite in the North but should get some competition from the Browns. Brant eagerly endorses the Bengals as Carson Palmer is his fantasy QB.

AFC SOUTH
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The HundLB
1.
IND*
IND*
IND*
IND*
IND*
IND*
IND*
IND*
2.
HOU
JAC*
JAC
JAC*
JAC*
JAC*
JAC*
JAC*
3.
JAC
HOU
HOU
TEN
TEN
TEN
TEN
HOU
4.
TEN
TEN
TEN
HOU
HOU
HOU
HOU
TEN
Everyone seems to like the Jags to make the playoffs, but not enough to give them the division. I'm the only asshole to not have them second.

AFC WEST
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The HundLB
1.
SD*
SD*
SD*
SD*
SD*
SD*
DEN*
DEN*
2.
DEN
KC
OAK
DEN OAK
DEN*
SD SD
3.
KC
DEN
DEN
KC
DEN
OAK
OAK
OAK
4.
OAK
OAK
KC
OAK
KC
KC
KC
KC
The Chargers will have another go at the playoffs with Norv Turner at the helm. Yeah, we'll see.

NFC EAST
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The Hund
LB
1.
DAL*
DAL*
DAL*
DAL*
DAL*
DAL*
WAS*
DAL*
2.
PHI
NYG*
WAS
WAS*
WAS*
NYG*
DAL*
NYG*
3.
NYG
PHI
NYG
NYG
PHI
PHI
NYG
PHI
4.
WAS
WAS
PHI
PHI
NYG
WAS
PHI
WAS
In an ultimate "Fuck you!" to logic and reason, The Hundley picks Washington to win the East. The Super Bowl champs get very little respect at the Saloon as only 3 of us pick them to make the playoffs.

NFC NORTH
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The Hund
LB
1.
GB*
CHI*
DET*
MIN*
MIN*
MIN*
GB*
GB*
2.
MIN
MIN
MIN
DET
GB
GB*
MIN
DET*
3.
CHI
GB
GB
GB
DET
CHI
DET
MIN
4.
DET
DET
CHI
CHI
CHI
DET
CHI
CHI
I'll give Jordi a pass since he's in Florida and may not actually be aware of hot horribly shitty the Bears are this season. A top defense and Adrian Peterson has made the Vikings a favorite in the North. We're split on whether the Lions will be any good or not. Maybe they will be decent, or maybe they'll continue their long, proud tradition of futility.

NFC SOUTH
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The Hund
LB
1.
TB*
NO*
NO*
TB*
CAR*
NO*
NO*
CAR*
2.
CAR*
TB*
CAR
CAR*
TB*
CAR
CAR
NO
3.
NO
CAR
TB
NO
NO
ATL
TB
TB
4.
ATL
ATL
ATL
ATL
ATL
TB
ATL
ATL
Aside from pretty much all agreeing the Falcons will completely suck balls, this is one of the most volatile divisions. Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Carolina are all picked to win the divison, and honestly I won't be the least bit surprised with any of them on top.

NFC WEST
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The Hund
LB
1.
STL*
SEA*
STL*
ARI*
STL*
SEA*
SEA*
SEA*
2.
ARI*
ARI
ARI
STL
ARI
STL ARI*
ARI
3.
SF
SF
SEA
SEA
SEA
ARI
SF
SF
4.
SEA
STL
SF
SF
SF
SF
STL
STL
This god damn division can go to hell.

SUPER BOWL XLIII
Chip
Jordi
Brant
The Gov
FunkDave
The Hund
LB
SD
over
DAL
NE
over
DAL
IND
over
NO
ARI
over
SD
JAC
over
DAL
DAL
over
NE
IND
over
SEA
DAL
over
IND
I am able to see past my blinding hatred of Norv Turner and the Chargers enough to pick them as the Super Bowl winners. Of course I picked the Broncos to win it all so what the hell do I know? The Governor is very enthusiastic that the Cardinals can win their first league championship since the Truman Administration. Dallas appears to be the closest to a consensus pick to make the Super Bowl but only two of us have them winning it. Daft Funk picked Jacksonville to win, making him the only one to choose a Wild Card team selection.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 where we give out our preseason awards.

Meet a Bartender: New Staff Edition

7:46 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

We've added two more people to our staff this week. The more the merrier has always been our philosophy at the Saloon. The first person is E-Claire. She has been writing for the failed experiment known as Steve Finley Was Here, serving as our chief Oakland A's correspondent. E-Claire will be continuing her coverage of the A's here at the Saloon as well as writing about anything else that pops up. The second new person is Jordi. Jordi writes his own blog called The Serious Tip and has also been featured before at Epic Carnival. Jordi has been a long-time customer at the Saloon and along with E-Claire should be a great new addition to our staff.

Today's introductions will also kick off a new series called "Meet a Bartender". This is to serve as a sort of update for the old "Meet the Staff" post, as well as let any of you newer readers get to know some of our writers a bit more.

So without further ado, let's meet the bartenders.


E-CLAIRE

Real Name: Claire

Where are you now?
San Diego, CA

Favorite Sports Teams:
Oakland Athletics, UCLA Bruins, Golden State Warriors, and I was a Houston Oilers fan before they became the Titans.

Favorite Current Player(s):
Nick Swisher, Chase Utley, Manny Ramirez, Mark Ellis, Bobby Crosby, Josh Hamilton.

Favorite All-Time Player(s):
Nolan Ryan, Dennis Eckersley, Cal Ripken Jr.

Memorable encounters with MLB players:
I haven't had any...So I'm going to use this opportunity to share a dream I recently had involving MLB players: Josh Beckett and I were sight-seeing in Chicago, and we ended up in some bar. All of a sudden, Nick Swisher walks in. I really wanted to go talk to him, but I was nervous. So Josh Beckett gave me a big pep talk about how I need to stop being a puss and go talk to Nick Swisher. So I did, and Swisher gave me a hug. Then, Beckett told me we were about to miss our bus and I woke up...What do you suppose it all means?

Player(s) you'd sit and have a beer with:
Nick Swisher, Josh Beckett (I'd buy, to thank him for encouraging "dream E-Claire" to talk to Swish), Bobby Crosby, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez.

Player(s) you absolutely despise:
A-Rod, K-Rod, Frank Thomas, J.D. Drew, Jeff Kent

Best baseball video game of all-time:
The last video game I played consistently was Paper Boy 2. So I don't really think I'm qualified to answer this question.

So whatcha drinkin? This being a saloon and all:
I'm super classy, so it's Bud Light for me. Or a firecracker (it's Goldschlager and Tabasco sauce. Mmm!)

What about Beecake?
What about your mom?

Favorite sports card(s) you own:
2 Nolan Ryan cards - one when he was on the Angels and one when he was on the Astros.

Ketchup on a hot dog. Yay or nay?
I'm a vegetarian. But it's a free country, so squirt whatever you want on your wiener.

Who do you consider your nemesis?
Rich Harden. Every year, that kid would come out and pitch a couple of gems to start the season, and I'd finally think he was going to overcome whatever injury issues he had. But then, he'd end up on the DL. Then he'd pitch another gem, and go back on the DL. And this year, that bastard is finally good and (pretty) healthy, and he gets traded. Sigh.

If you could be any movie character, who would it be?
Rocky Balboa in all Rocky movies except Rocky V

Favorite thing you've written for TMS?

My tribute to Estelle Getty. RIP, Sophia...

Thing you've written you're most ashamed of?
This questionnaire (you'll understand when you read the question below)...

Would you touch Carney Lansford's weiner if it meant an A's World Series title?
Hell yes I would! I'd touch it for beer money!

What's your dream baseball lineup?
C - Crash Davis
1B - Mo Vaughn
2B - Ryne Sandberg
SS - Cal Ripken Jr.
3B - Mike Schmidt
LF - Nick Swisher
CF - Willie Mays Hayes
RF - Roy Hobbs
P - Nolan Ryan

On the DL: Bobby Crosby

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

JORDI

Real Name: Jordi?

Where are you now?
Tampa, FL

Favorite Sports Teams:
New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, Brevard County Manatees, Florida State Seminoles

Favorite Current Player(s):
Kerry Wood (token Cub), Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey, Prince Fielder (calm down, he went to my HS), Tim Lincecum, all LOOGYs.

Favorite All-Time Player(s):
Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish, Rusty Kuntz, Howard Johnson, Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez.

Memorable encounters with MLB players:
When I was 10 I went to a spring training game, got myself a hot dog, lathered it up in mustard appropriately, when ex-Met Roger McDowell came up alongside me and said "Excuse me." Well, of course, I moved out of the way.

Then like twenty years later I crashed the 2006 General Managers meeting in a Disney hotel. I met or saw Tommy Lasorda, Ozzie Guillen, Cal Ripken, Jim Leyland, Darryl Hamilton, Bryan Harvey, and Scott Boras. I hate Scott Boras.

Player(s) you'd sit and have a beer with:
Joel Zumaya, Nolan Ryan, Ralph Kiner, Billy Brewer, Roy Hobbs, Rube Waddell (do they have to be living?), Hack Wilson, Ty Cobb, and J.O. Sampson.

Player(s) you absolutely despise:
Bobby Bonilla, Chipper Jones, Kenny Rogers, Vince Coleman

Best baseball video game of all-time:
I am going to go with Little League Baseball for the NES. Just slightly over Basewars. Yeah, I haven't played much video games since the reign of George the Elder.

So whatcha drinkin? This being a saloon and all:
La Fin Du Monde. It's French for The End of The World. Before you get your panties in a bunch that you let in someone who speak a wee bit of Francais, rest easy. La Fin is brewed in the mean streets of Canada. Probably in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

What about Beecake?
Never much of a fan. Until he did the Barbershop and Shawn Michaels kicked Marty Jenetty through the glass window. Or like when he got in that motorcycle accident and smashed his face into a million pieces. Wait, B-e-e-c-a-k-e? I don't know no Beecake, I thought you were talking about Brutus "The Barber".

Favorite sports card(s) you own:
Sorry. I was fortunate enough to sell my cards and have them pay for my college education. Oh, you didn't do that? What, no one wants your eighteen 1993 Mike Piazza Topps regular edition rookie card? Sucks to be you.

Ketchup on a hot dog. Yay or nay?
You don't put ketchup on a hot dog. That's like putting the Spicy Brown on a steak.

Who do you consider your nemesis?
The Man. Somma bich constantly holding me down. One day I'm gonna stick it to The Man and give The Man some whatfor. Oh, and Bryan Maddox.

If you could be any movie character, who would it be?
Elliot Richards in Bedazzled. Or Joe Dirt.

Favorite thing you've written for TMS?

Well, due to process of elimination, it would have to be this. Either that or a comment. I do like to bring the humor in the comments. Yeah, remember that one comment? Yeah, that was cool.

Thing you've written you're most ashamed of?
Dear Thunder Matt Crew,

I am just starting my own blog. I found yours and thought it was really funny. Can you give me any pointers?

Wow! I must have been on crack that day.

*This is referring to an email Jordi sent us nearly two years ago asking for advice. Because we being a 6 month old blog obviously had all the answers. I still have that email saved but I'll spare him the embarrassment of posting it here.

Would you touch Kyle Farnsworth's weiner if it meant a Cubs World Series title?
No. Because I don't want to be responsible for the end of the world if the Cubs win the World Series. I would rather stock up on can goods, bottles of water, and beer.

What's your dream baseball lineup?
Stacy Keibler - CF
Alessandra Ambrosio - LF
Jenn Sterger - 2B
Jennie Finch - P
Tina Clayton - C
Lacey Alexandra - RF
Carmella Decesare - 3B
Kayden Kross - SS
Nafisa Teague - 1B

With Finch on the mound, this team is unbeatable. And hot.

Wrigley Roundtable

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Once again it's time for our weekly segment in which we debate a selected matter of interest. The topics could range from the Cubs to baseball or other sports, to movies and music. Our panel of bartenders will weigh in, and we invite any of our readers to offer their two cents as well. So grab a beer and a handful of stale popcorn and tell us what you think.

Today's Topic: Singing the stretch, is it time for a change?


Looking back I have fond memories of watching the Cubs games on WGN. So many day games, watching Ryno, Dawson, Dunston and the rest, and of course listening to Harry Caray sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at the stretch. Harry would lean out the broadcast window and bellow "Lemme hear ya!" as the crowd cheered on. No matter what, win or lose, you could count on Harry to sing with such light-hearted enthusiasm that you couldn't help being lost in the moment.

Of course Harry passed away in 1998, and as a nice tribute to him, they began having various guest conductors sing the stretch. The first few years it was kind of cool to see all these different personalities in the booth. Fast forward 10 years later however and it has really turned into a stale, tired routine.

You have celebrities that not only don't follow the Cubs, but sometimes don't even know the words to the damn song. And heaven forbid we need to get ourselves fired up for a rally in the bottom of the 7th. Sorry but the vocal stylings of Phil Donahue isn't going to get this crowd pumped up. And even then, the regular celebrities that are Cubs fans don't really do much for me. Oh look, Jeff Garland is singing......again.

Plus it's been long enough that you now have a generation of kids that don't really know why we have guest conductors all the time in the first place. Sure they've heard about Harry Caray, but to them the guest conductors are the tradition at Wrigley not the legend who started it.

So here's my thought. Why not do away with the guest conductors. It's a tired schtick and more often than not it involves people that don't really belong there belting out uninspired renditions. Limit it to just the guys in the broadcast booth. Let Pat and Ron take turns and let Len have a chance to belt out a few voice cracking notes now and then*. But when we really need that extra boost, like when the game is tied or we need to get a comeback rally going, that's when you bust out an old recording of Harry Caray singing. Seriously, how pumped up would you be at the stadium if you suddenly heard the old familiar hollering of Harry? I can't see how the crowd could get more fired up than that, and it would be a much, much greater tribute to Harry than, oh say, this, this, or this.

*note that I didn't mention Bob Brenly. I can't imagine Bob singing it. You would have to change it to the "seventh inning buzzkill" if he did. No offense Bob but you're just not all that exciting.

Cubs vs. Nationals, 8/23

7:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Post Thunderfist, Game 1. Mrs. Witz and I hop aboard the 22 Chicago Bus heading south to the stadium. Another one of those ridiculous 12:05 early starts. This leaves me no time to drink a pre-game Bloody Mary or smell an old man's armpit at Bernie's. As usual, the bus is painfully slow and involves a 'shift change', meaning we sit at one stop for 10 minutes. Son of a bitch. I'd like to speak to a manager please.

We arrive with 20 minutes to spare. Enough time to fill thy horn with 'not quite Chicago Style dogs' (grilled onions, neon green relish, mustard, tomatoes) and an order of ballpark nachos with jalapenos. Section 205, Row 9 beckoned us closer. Pretty good seats. The poor couple next to us? Smack dab behind a pole. And I'm not talking about the one in my pants when I saw Eddie Vedder throwing out the first pitch. Eddie proceeded to do a somersault after his pitch. You drunk grunge rocker, I salute your courage!

Odalis Perez vs Ryan Dempster. Oh the drama. The Cubs get a poop load of runners on in the first 3 innings, including loading the bases twice, but come away with nothing. Frustrating at best. Get me another Old Style, post haste. Come the fourth inning though, Fortuna's Wheel begins to spin our way.

D-Lee RBI single! A-Ram 3 run dong! Mark DeRosa's 5 o'clock shadow even got into the act with a jack of it's own. I start to drunkenly text Brant Brown, who writes back "DeRosa is (his wife's) weekend lover." Being DeRosa's weekday lover, I thought something was fishy.

Fred Willard sings the 7th inning stretch. Where is Vedder? One can presume 'too drunk to sing'. It briefly begins pouring rain in the 8th inning, but luckily we are under the awning. No rain will touch us, though one is never immune from falling concrete there. Aramis hits another line drive homer. I dance a jig in my seat. Beers are flowing like communion wine.

The Cubs end up winning 9-3 and we sing 'Go Cubs Go'. I then find the bathroom and 'Go Pee Go'. Off to Gingerman. We saddle up to the bar and order some of those space age bottles of Old Style. I watch the same tattooed, slightly pudgy female bartenders dole out Bloody Mary's to some old timers at the corner of the bar. One of them asks the bartender the story behind her arm tats. She responds coldly, "I don't want to talk it." He's flailing. "I only ask because I have one..." "I don't want to talk about it." She walks away. Awwwwkward.

I'm hungry and tired so we only stay for a few more beers. We decide to head north to avoid douchebags. We stop at a watering hole near our place, Konak's pizza. Weird vibe, punctuated by a hippy with a pony tail and a tye dyed shirt arguing politics with a stringy haired white woman. I introduce myself to them as Joe Biden and then leave. Off to Edgewater Lounge, an oasis of dive bar perfection. I order the ribs and whatever beer was on special for $3. It contains the word 'Golden' but not 'shower'. Maybe dog? Who can be sure? The beer is tasty and so are the ribs.

Chaim needs a nap. Stumbling home, the sun still barely visible in the sky, I crash onto the couch and flip on the Olympics. Go Cubs. Go America. Go ribs.

Cue 'Yellow Ledbetter'.


Field of Dreams Part II: If You Build It, They Will Cum (sp)


Ryan, Ryan, will you sign my copy of Thunder Matt's Saloon: The Magazine?


The Tofu Burger at Edgewater Lounge. I kid because I care.

The Gist: Game #131

9:10 PM | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Cubs Win, Cubs Win 12-3

My God, it has to suck to be a Pirates fan. I have to confess (please don't tell anyone), I'm a bit of a closet Pirate fan. Odd because I absolutely despised those Pirate teams in the 80's that featured skinny Bonds, Bonilla, Van Slyke, and Doug Drabek. Sure, I had a soft spot for Spanky LaValliere, who looked creepily similar to our own Hector Villanueva, but who didn't? The Pirates version 2008 are clearly no Leyland-led team of the 80's. It surely begs the question: Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?

Seriously though, how bad would it be to have the Pirates as your favorite team? You have an extremely storied club, one of the best and most picturesque ballparks in the MLB, you have classic and ├╝ber cool jerseys, and you had arguably one of the 5 most important ballplayers ever in Roberto Clemente (fabulous biography too), yet you painfully struggle through each year with a bad team, an inept front offense, and an empty stadium. It doesn't make sense. With all of their recent futility, I'd love to say, "Hang in there, Pirate Fan. Sure this year's lean, but look at how teams like the Cubs and Devil Rays have gone from laughable to legitimate." Only for Pirate Fan, it must be like a sick Groundhog Day Dream. The same bad team over and over and over...

Oh, yeah...the game. You gotta love a box score with so many crooked numbers. A dominating game in every way for the Cubs. Ted Lilly went seven strong innings, really only making one mistake to Adam LaRoche, and even adding an RBI at the plate. Wow, Ted Lilly has quietly put together a solid year once again and has been an unsung rock in the rotation from June on. The offense fired on all cylinders with Lee, Fukudome (career high 4 RBI), Soriano, and Edmonds all banging out 3 hits a piece. Obviously a horrible day for the Bucs pitching staff, with starter Jeff Karstens allowing 5 ER and reliever Jason Davis getting pounded for 5 ER as well, all the while flashing his Are-You-Seriously-Not-Taking-Me-Out? face to the dugout. Even poor umpire, Jeff Nelson was in pain, and not from calling such a long, lopsided game. He took a nasty A-Ram foul ball off his neck meat.

Holy Schnikeys, we're friggin' 31 games over .500. And we have a good chance to put some more distance on the NL Central with us facing Ian Snell and Zach Duke in the next two games. They're a combined 9-22 this year.