Final TMS Link Bulimia

8:55 AM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

This is the final Link Bulimia for TMS so I've tried to go out with a little class. Actually, that's a lie; I have no class. I admit that I laugh at the dwarf who rides his tiny bike past my office every day. Look at his little legs go! But I'd like to think that he's laughing with me at the same time. Anyway, as always if you find anything particularly depraved please pass it right along to linkbulimia@gmail.com. Enjoy and make sure to wash your hands afterward.

Good luck thinking about this song again without this popping into your head. (Break)

I have to admit, after reading this I really and truly think this could be how I die. If it is I'd like someone to carve "Big Stomach King" on my headstone or at least near my mass grave. (Yahoo News)

The Soviets successfully launched a pig in a rocket at some point before colorized film. Is it any wonder that they're still the most technologically advanced country today? (Craigblonde)

"And four years later I made Vertical Limit. 'Tang everywhere! Argh!" (It's Chris!)

The Onion had this strategy down 15 years ago. (The Jed Report)

This was rather unexpected. (Fox Sports)

Best. Costume. Ever. (Gizmodo)

This is every laugh I've gotten during a cooking show condensed down to 3 minutes. (YouTube)

For your consideration: Mr. John Tesh presents Roundball Rock! (Break)

I know this story broke a few days ago but I'd just like to go on record saying that I hope Samurai Mike remains a head coach for a long long time. (Yahoo Sports)

I KNEW this was what he was doing. For his next touchdown he needs to do the Masturbating Bear dance. (Shutdown Corner)

For Halloween, the ol' spider prank. Kudos to the guy wearing the "Jimmy" workout shoes. Protect this house! (Afrojacks)

Our very own Chaim Witz has crossed the line. (Craigslist)

Celebrity NFL Picks with Sir Charles Barkley O.B.E.

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

We're storming through the NFL season like a tornado through a trailer park (thank you Dan Rather) and our celebs seem to be getting better. This was to be expected. Sometimes the NFL doesn't work out the way you think it will. Who would have thought Tennessee would be the best team in the league? President Bush came in at 9-5 last week bringing our celebrities to 69-47 on the year. Next week, to wrap up TMS' picks before we move over to Pomp Culture, we've arranged a very special guest, but for now, I'd like to hand things over to Sir Charles:

I really didn't want to do this, but the Governor offered me a bribe. I can be bought. If they paid me enough, I'd work for the Klan.

Arizona at St. Louis
Kurt Warner is in the business of kicking butt and business is very, very good.

Pick: Cardinals 44 Rams 28

NY Jets at Buffalo
Brett Favre is old. I could beat him in a race though. I know I'm a fat, old has-been, but there's no way an old man of 67 can outrun me. It's impossible!

Pick: Jets 27 Bills 24

Jacksonville at Cincinnati
Marvin Lewis must have pictures of his boss's wife having sex with a monkey.

Pick: Jags 35 Bengals 14

Baltimore at Cleveland
I heard Derek Anderson is calling himself the Charles Barkley of football. I was going to sue him for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character.

Pick: Ravens 20 Browns 6

Houston at Minnesota
Ernie Johnson once asked me if they recognized me in Minnesota. Yes, they did. It was easy because I was the only black person there. When they see me walking down the street they say 'There he goes again'. And when I come back the next year they say 'He's back dontcha know!

Pick: Texans 22 Vikings 17

Detroit at Chicago
They say Kyle Orton works hard. If you go out with a girl and they say she has a great personality, she's ugly. If they tell you a guy works hard, he can't play a lick. Same thing.

Pick: Bears 29 Lions 3

Tampa Bay at Kansas City
Today is Jimmy Hatter's birthday -- he's the gay guy we got workin' behind the scenes, y'all. We hire them all at TNT. We do not discriminate. We hired the pimp last year, Craig Sager, and now we got Jimmy Hatter. We got all the ethnic groups covered. What does this have to do with the Bucs game? I'll give you one guess.

Pick: Bucs 14 Chiefs 0

Green Bay at Tennessee
How is Tennessee this good? Its called defense, I mean I wouldn't know anything about it personally but I've heard about it through the grapevine.

Pick: Titans 24 Packers 10

Miami at Denver
Jay Cutler believes in himself. You got to believe in yourself. Hell, I believe I'm the best-looking guy in the world and I might be right.

Pick: Broncos 38 Dolphins 35

Dallas at NY Giants
Brad Johnson didn't look good last week. He's got to bring something stronger than that. That's like bringing milk to a bar, it's not strong enough.

Pick: Giants 28 Cowboys 10

Philadelphia at Seattle
I miss Philadelphia. I miss the crime and murder. There hasn't been a brutal stabbing or anything here the last 24 hours. I've missed it.

Pick: Eagles 31 Seahawks 21

Atlanta at Oakland
This game is going to be uglier than my colonoscopy.

Pick: Falcons 16 Raiders 13

New England at Indianapolis
Peyton Manning is a douche.

Pick: Colts 21 Pats 13

Pittsburgh at Washington
Ben Roethlisberger is a good guy, but he's not going to wind up on the cover of GQ anytime soon.

Pick: Steelers 9 Redskins 7

Chaiming In: Swan Song Edition

6:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

- By now you've all heard that the end of the Saloon is nigh. A lot of people have written to me asking, "But Chaim, why change? This site is like a comforting blanket of mediocrity and you're so handsome. I don't understand." Listen Mom, I appreciate the sentiment, but it's time for change. We must have a hope for a better tomorrow. That hope is Pomp Culture.

Look back at some of the posts on TMS over the past year and ask yourself, "Is this site better off than it was 8 months ago?"

I think we all know the answer to that question.

So don't fear change my friends. Thunder Matt's Saloon is the old, stubborn white guy who has been around forever and served the Intenet well, but whose recycled ideas and inconsistency prevent it from moving forward. Sure, we energized the base for a while by adding some new writers, but that move was calculated and gimmicky from the very start. Pomp Culture is the upstart black guy with new ideas, a bold vision and a promise of a better tomorrow. Sure it's new and inexperienced, but it also promises to be exciting, passionate and intelligent, exercising good judgement and diplomacy to navigate the troubling waters of the Internet.

So my friends, on November 11th, I ask you to cast your vote for Pomp Culture. You don't even need to leave the comfort of your own home to do so. Like a comforting, slightly less mediocre blanket, we'll be there.

-Speaking of voting...seriously, vote. Beat the lines and vote early. Actually, depending on where you live, the lines might be quite horrifying already, but none-the-less, vote. Bring a magazine to pass the time. If you were fellow bartender Governor Gray Davis that magazine might be Playgirl. If you were The Hundley, maybe Guns and Ammo. Chip Wesley? Cooks Illustrated. Careful with that Russian Playgirl Brant Brown. Daft Funk? Probably an anime comic book. Tiger Beat for Dave Thomas. Jordi likes the color photos in WWE Magazine. Loser Poet rocks one of those hairstyle magazines they have in salons. Surely E-Claire subscribes to some sort of pamphlet with articles penned by Maya Angelo and Sarah McLachlan. And LB...well he's English, so he just stays home with a stack of British lad mags and a plate of Scotch Eggs, conjuring up lewd thoughts of Campbell Brown.

No matter what your magazine of choice, vote. I don't care if you 'don't like politics'. Do you also not like your life or the welfare of the country? Listen, I won't tell you who to vote for. I'll be casting my vote for the good Senator from Illinois but far be it from me not to tell not to vote for Bob Barr of the Green Party. I will say though, if you're on the fence and you're a Cubs fan, do you really want to tempt fate and quite possibly suffer through another soul-crushing defeat by putting your eggs in the McCain basket? Think about it.

-Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies, 2008 World Series Champs, much to the chagrin of fellow bartender, Afro rocker and Rays fan, Sir Jordi of Florida. I can't say that I paid as much attention to the Series as I probably should have, but the Phillies aren't wholly unlikable. Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jason Werth, Chase Utley...they seem like a decent enough group of chaps. But for the love of Frank Caliendo, is it too much to ask for an exciting World Series? Good Lord. The Series hasn't gone past Game 5 since 2003 and the last real tense series was probably the Year of the Rally Monkey back in 2002. I mean, c'mon. You just know the Cubs would have went seven games. Win or lose, there is no way that they would have made this easy on their fans.

-Recent movies that I've seen, loved and will review at a later date: the new Danny Boyle film Slumdog Millionaire (opening November 12th in select theatres), Mickey Rourke's comeback vehicle and soon-to-be Oscar darling, The Wrestler (in theatres December 19) and smart drama disguised as a possible chick flick, Rachel Getting Married (in theatres now). The new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, was also very good, though not quite on par with Casino Royale.

How bad does that new Jim Carrey movie, Yes Man look? A comedy about a guy who says 'no' to everything and then wakes up one day to find that he now mysteriously says 'yes' to everything. Ripping off the concept to one of your less-than-a-decade-old movies (Liar Liar) might be a new low.

Rants: Kings of Leon - Only By the Night, iTunes, Thunder Matt's Saloon, Sean Hannity, Greg Oden, Dallas Cowboy drama, wine headaches, the economy, turtlenecks.

Raves: TV On the Radio - Dear Science, Amazon MP3 Store, Pomp Culture, Barack Obama, Derrick Rose, Kurt Warner's under the radar season, the new Rolling Stone format.

Enough baseball already.

1:30 PM | Comments (0) | by Unknown

Seriously folks, can we just call Philadelphia the winners and move on?

I'm rather tired of the World Series. Of course, you would expect a lot of that to be due to the Cubs not playing in it, but the weather is now much worse, the temperatures lower than Tara Reid's tits. It's miserable out there, and I'm miserable in front of my television watching this rubbish.

Seriously! Look how low those things are!

The rain delay farce didn't exactly help matters, but really, you need to re-evaluate your scheduling if you're forced to take a 48-hour rain delay just to finish a single game. Bring everyone back to the stadium for just over 90 minutes of baseball. Shit, you should just go watch MLS at that point.

I can sustain interest in soccer for almost the entire year (that month off in July is clutch), but for baseball, it's different. The nuances play out over 162 games, and then potentially another 19 if you make it all the way to lifting the trophy (and it took you a full series in each round to do it), and it's hard to keep the intrigue going. Honestly, are we not sick yet of Cole Hamels talk, or LOLing at Evan Longoria and how his name is one letter shy from being the name of Tony Parker's pint-sized spouse?

Seriously, enough folks. Selig, lop 10 games off the regular season or something. For example, I think Tampa Bay players would appreciate only going to Baltimore for 4days instead of a full week. And now you have waning interest anyway because the NFL is in full swing, NBA is just around the corner, and apparently, something called "hockey" just started again as well! At this point, you're the relative who hangs around too long at Thanksgiving dinner when everyone else has gone home. You had all fucking summer to razzle-dazzle us; how about letting someone else have a go?

At this point, the list of things I'd rather be doing is expanding rapidly:

Give me a marathon of this instead. Just no more balls and strikes, PLEASE

List of Things I'd Rather Be Doing
-----
1. Read an entire issue of The Economist
2. Watch Vh1
3. Chase stray animals down the street, scaring them shitless
4. Watch Frank TV
5. Punch myself in the dick
6. Read Finegan's Wake by James Joyce
7. Overdose on Lunesta
8. Send boxes of my feces to David Beckham
9. Internet porn (making it, not watching it)
10. Talk to my mother on the phone
11. Talk to anyone on the phone (I hate being on the phone)
12. Campaign in New York City on behalf of John McCain
13. Get a Brazilian wax job
14. Amputate my own leg
15. Watch hockey
16. See how progressively unfunny this list gets, the further down I go
17. Listen to Coldplay

You get the idea. I'm sick of baseball at this point. If I were a king in medieval times and baseball was a person, I'd have them executed. Then I'd eat a turkey with my bare hands and request fellatio from a comely peasant lady. Yeah, I'd enjoy that.

It's almost November. Soon someone will win this fucking thing and we can all move on. Thankfully it could be tonight, because another 3-4 days of this shit will probably kill me.

The Death of Childhood

7:30 AM | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

Life was so simple when I was a kid. You did what your parents told you. You went to school every day and did what the teachers told you. You watched the same programs on TV every week and you and your friends saw and worshipped the same movies. (If you were like me, you wanted to be Mr. T when you grew up, even though you were white and scrawny.) Simple times populated by simple heroes who had only to kick ass and look cool doing it. It used to be that I could look back on my childhood and take comfort from those times. That was until the entertainment industry decided to cash in on my childhood memories, completely fucking everything up in the process. Thanks assholes, thanks a lot.

Dead Hero #1: The Duke Boys.

Man, when I was a kid, one of the coolest shows on the planet was The Dukes of Hazzard. Bo and Luke were two arrow-shooting, hunting knife toting sons of bitches with the sweetest ride in the South. And no, I'm not talking about cousin Daisy, although we'll get to that. I refer of course to the General Lee, the coolest car ever to grace the small screen. Every week, my little brother and I would eagerly tune in for the latest adventure. Oh sure, most of the plots were the same lame storyline about criminals robbing the bank or a kidnapping plot or some foolishness. Who gives a shit though, when you've got bad-ass driving, car crashes galore, explosive arrow shooting, and Catherine Bach in the shortest shorts God himself ever crafted from denim.



Cut to 2005. All of a sudden the guy from Jackass is Luke Duke? What the fuck, man? I watched this for free and I still feel like I should have gotten some sort of monetary compensation back. My childhood heroes were reduced to sleazy redneck stereotypes before my eyes and the plot of this movie was even more ludicrous than many of the craziest episodes, even the shitty ones with Coy and Vance. Now granted, the TV show Dukes were hicks, but they were cool hicks. Robin Hood-esque hicks. And I may be insulting the current generation when I say that Jessica Simpson is not nor ever will be Daisy Duke. Catherine Bach is a girl next door goddess. Jessica Simpson is a vapid Jon Mayer/Tony Romo/Nick Lachay fucking dimwit with nice legs. And watching Willie Nelson leer at her while portraying her uncle gave me the willies. Now I think of the mighty General and cringe. Thanks for that assbags.

Dead Hero #2: Indiana Jones

When I was a kid, Indiana Jones was The Man, especially for a little bookworm goober like myself. He was the smart kid grown up into a rough and tumble stubbly adventurer. He used his brain to solve ancient mysteries and his brawn and bullwhip to keep those mysteries from evil hands. In many ways, Indy was the ultimate role model. When he wasn't battling Nazis or the Thuggee for control of forgotten relics, he was being swooned over by lusty college coeds taking his history class. The Indiana Jones movies made history fun.

Cut to 2008. Indiana Jones is back. A little grayer to be sure, but he looked pretty good. Decent beginning to the movie. Then all fucking hell broke loose. Indy gets blown up in a nuclear explosion, which he survives by hiding in a refrigerator. Now okay, the previous movies required some suspension of disbelief as well. The Holy Grail, the Lost Ark, etc. But these are at least Biblical and some say historical artifacts. I'm with you there. Even the crystal skulls are real mysterious objects. But sweet Holy Jebus, Shia LaBeouf is Indy's kid? Fuck you Mr. Lucas and fuck you Mr. Speilberg. Did you pick that part of the story out of a writer's guide to lame plot points? I'll even deal with the alien bullshit, but come on.

Dead Heroes #3: Star Wars

Okay, I'll admit it. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a big nerd. I loved Star Wars. Star Wars was the biggest thing when I was a kid. everybody had the toys, the bed sheets, the T-shirts, the plastic lightsabers, you name it. And every geek since then was obsessed with learning how the story began. How did the Empire come to power? How did Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader? Blah blah blah. But I was one of them, man.

When Episode I came out, my dick was as hard as carbonite. Then I saw the movie. Letdown isn't the word. Oh sure, the movie had moments. Darth Maul was pretty fucking cool. Ewan MacGregor channels Alec Guiness in the role of Obi Wan. And Natalie Portman is a complete babe. But that's about it. And that's all that you get for the next two movies as well. Turns out that Anakin is a bigger whiny pussy than his son and he doesn't have badass Han Solo to balance things out. Not to mention all the plot inconsistencies between the prequels and the original trilogy that could have been avoided if, oh shit, I don't know, someone had actually bothered to watch the films or read the scripts before making the new movies. How fucking hard is that? They'd only been around twenty fucking years or so. And Jar-Jar? Oh, George Lucas, what kind of crack were you on when you conceived that abortion of a character? Because I want some. You owe me motherfucker. You owe all of us who bought into this shit as kids, only to see it turn into this political talking nightmare with the worst fucking love story ever. And the end of Episode III is the worst Frankenstein parody I've ever seen, when Darth Vader learns Padme is dead. You took the scariest, evilest, most mysterious villain in film and turned him into a pantywaist. Thanks for that.

There's more evil afoot as well. Currently, NBC has rehashed Knight Rider yet again. I won't even go into Transformers because one mention of Shia LaBeouf is painful enough, thank you. Other franchises from my childhood and yours will be sure to follow as Hollywood continues to run the recycle machine, determined to tarnish all my playground dreams. What's next though? How about an updated A-Team where BA is a misunderstood lesbian? I pity the fools who have to suffer through that.

Don't Fuck With Mr. T's Legacy, Fool!

Chicago Bulls: Let's Hope for .500!

10:30 AM | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

"I quit watching the NBA when Jordan retired."

A common statement from a casual sports fan. After they say the previous statement, they'll tell you how the NBA is just a one-on-one, me-first game that they don't have time for. Nevermind the fact that the league (somewhat) became that way via Jordan and the triangle offense, but that's a whole different story.

Our NBA coverage here at the now lame duck Saloon has been sketchy at best. "NBA Analysts" have bellied up to the bar, telling us how they'd be our new NBA guy, how they'd convert at least half of our readership (12 / 2 = 6) to basketball fans, and everyone would get free handjobs. Obviously none of that came to fruition. But I, The Hundley, vow to you two people reading this right now that I'll cover the Chicago Bulls all the way until the impending demise of TMS. I am pumped and ready to go. I've never given a handjob, but I'll try anything once. Chaim Witz has promised me a courtside Bulls game this season followed up with drinks, steaks, and Twister. Buckle up, bitches.

If you remember last year, people were tripping over themselves in rushing to predict the Bulls for post season glory. It didn't matter that they never really made any off season moves to try and do something with an already meek and weak frontcourt. It didn't matter that there was an ominous hangover in the air regarding Ben Gordon and Luol Deng's selfishness in turning down huge contract offers. It didn't matter that there was a big karate chop to the Bull's fan's throats when we didn't seriously pursue Kobe. No, we were on the rise, coming off a season of dramatic overachieving, scrapping and clawing our way to victories, always playing harder and with more intensity on defense than the opponents. Then people got lazy, suddenly couldn't shoot, and Coach Skiles lost control of the team. Season over. A small ray of light came when we cashed in our 2% odds of landing the first pick, and pick Derrick Rose...yet another guard. The Bulls fired Skiles on Christmas Eve, and wallowed with an interim (Boylan) during a painful 2nd half. After failing to land ex-Suns coach, Mike D'Antoni and then having Doug Collins back out, we went with Vinnie Del Negro. A guy who has no coaching experience and had a penchant for wearing tight shorts during his NBA tenure with the Spurs. Ladies and Gentleman, your...

2008-2009 Chicago Bulls

The Starters (Subject to change)

G: Derrick Rose - Lot's of promise here, and one of the few reasons to be excited about the Bulls this year. Historically, guards, especially point guards, don't have a huge impact right away. But there's hope with Rose, he's not Sebastian Telfair, fresh out of high school. Rose lead his Memphis team to the NCAA finals last year, and that has to count for something. Not that the preseason is an accurate barometer, but Rose certainly turned some heads. Expect the typical rookie adjustment, but with him being thrown into the fire of the new (hopefully) run-and-gun Bulls, expect some big plays, too.

G: Kirk Hinrich - A few years ago, Captain Kirk was on the receiving end of a fat new contract, and it seemed to be money well spent. Okay, so where did he go? A once lock-down defender looked lost at times on D last year, and his ever-streaky jumpshot erred towards the "bad" end of the spectrum. With a team with so many guards, someone is going to be the odd man out, though with said fat contract, the fan favorite Hinrich appears to be safe.

G: Luol Deng - Is the guy a fraud, or is he really a star in the making? Deng is easily the most frustrating of the Bulls. He never looks comfortable with the ball, he can't create his own shot, and he's often fighting nagging injuries. Then lo and behold, you look on the stat sheet and he's given you 18 and 8 with a few dimes and some steals. I do think Deng could be a big player, but it'd have to be alongside a bona fide scorer. In short, he'd have to be a Pippen.

F: Drew Gooden - Gooden is one of the few effective low post guys on the Bulls roster, and one of the few capable of getting you consistent double doubles. Problem is on this team, he's often out of place, playing center or having to guard the opposing team's center. It'd be nice to see some back-to-the-basket scoring, which he's said he has the skills for, yet has been forced to play different roles (like just passing to LeBron and grabbing a few boards like he did during his Cleveland tenure). Well, Drew, now you have the chance.

C: Aaron Gray - Wow, really? The same Aaron Gray that you spent a Second Round pick on that had everybody groaning about? Gray has lost 25-30 pounds this offseason, prepping himself to play in the new run-and-gun Bulls offense. You can almost see (new) Bull's coach, Vinny Del Negro reenacting a scene from Meet The Parents to Gary - "Look Aaron, nobody's expecting a lot out of you. Do you think when we miss some long range jumpers that you could maybe pull down a few boards?"

The Reserves

G: Thabo Sefalosha - Simply put, if the Bulls want to reach .500 this year, this guy HAS to step up. He has all the tools of the classic big guard, but has yet to break out. For some reason, it seemed that Skiles hated him, so hopefully he sees some meaningful minutes. With Sefalosha on the court guarding the opponents top scorer, it could free up some energy for Hinrich to score. In theory.

G: Ben Gordon - Ugh. Mr. Malcontent can certainly shoot it, but it stops there. On his best day, he's an average defender and can do Yeoman's work handling the ball. During the offseason, he said he was done with the Bulls, yet no one else really wanted him, so the Bulls (inexplicably) signed him to a one year deal. Now he's pissed that he's back, and he's mysteriously hurt and sick all the time. Note to John Paxon: If you can get fifty cents on the dollar for him, please do.

F: Joakim Noah - I'm not sure how he was a Top 10 pick in the draft, but Noah is growing on me. When he finally got some consistent minutes during the 2nd half of last year's season, he put up some solid numbers - for a backup. He's great on the defensive end, he can rebound very well, but his offensive game is weak. The optimist would say that his shot can only get better.

F: Tyrus Thomas - Not sure how this guy was a Top 3 pick. All the athleticism in the world, and all the will to pick up 2 or 3 fouls in the first five minutes of a game. It's great watching all of his highlight reel alley-oops...you know, while he's actually in the game. His first few years with the Bulls have been disappointing. He skipped workouts, sulked, couldn't shoot, was immature. Supposedly, he's worked on his attitude and his game. So...an NBA rebirth at 22 years of age? Um...

F: Andres Nocioni - Classic hustle guy who can give you some big minutes off the bench. Nocioni seems like the guy you'd love to have on your team, or love to punch in the face if he's your opponent. Noc is a fan favorite, and one of the few guys who really seems to always play hard. If he stays healthy, he's a huge asset to have coming off of the bench.

G: Larry Hughes - Just had a shoulder injury that will keep him out of the action for the first 2 or 3 weeks. Another big guard who can play D, but Christ, how may guards can you have on a team? And how much can you pay them? I haven't checked the stats, but the Bulls have to have the highest team salary for non-starting guards. I challenge you to prove me wrong.

F/C: Mike Ruffin - Bulky, long arms, solid defender, horrible offense. A black Will Perdue.

F: Cedric Simmons - Uh, he went to NC State?

F: Demetris Nichols - With that name, I would have said "hockey"

Season Prediction: 40-42. You never know, that could get you an eight seed in the Eastern Division!

War Criminal: DirecTV

2:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

I thought I was done with these dumbass DirecTV ads a few years ago. I guess I was wrong.

You know which commercials I'm talking about. They're the ones where they show a clip from a movie and then splice in a shot of one of the characters turning to the audience and hawking this new HD service in the commercial equivalent of an HJ (That's Hand Job for the slow folks out there, not to be mistaken with BJ or VJ. If you don't know what a VJ is, you can't afford one...).

At first, it started with Jessica Simpson and a clip from The Dukes Of Hazzard. I was fine with that. It's not like they were ruining a classic American movie here. It was like throwing a piece of crap into a bucket that was already full of crap...no one seemed to mind. Hell, most people probably don't know that the original movie have that ad in it since only 7 people saw the damn thing anyway.

Then DirecTV went too far. They soiled Major League, one of my all-time favorite movies. Charlie Sheen, out on the mound, ready to pitch the Indians into the World Series, and he turns to me and asks if I want better HD service? What the hell? How could he sink so low? Is nothing sacred anymore? How can I raise children in a world where the sanctity of Major League is no longer safe???

After that, the commercials just sort of disappeared. Like usual, I forced my rage down deep inside of myself and smothered it with Funyuns and hard liquor.

And now they're back. Just the other day, I thought I was watching the pool scene from National Lampoon's Vacation. All of the sudden, Christie Brinkley turns to me and calls Clark Griswold an idiot for not hooking his HDTV up to DirecTV! First of all, HDTV's didn't even exist back then. Second of all...just stop it.

You know what, DirecTV? If you're really going to be that tasteless, I've got a few classic movie scenes for you to take a frozen dump on, since you seem so motivated to destroy everything movies are about:



1. Schindler's List

(Nazi soldier turns to camera)
"Man, genocide is really hard work. I used to feel bad for the races of people I am trying to obliterate, but then I thought that if they had just subscribed to DirecTV HD, they would have seen the German invasion coming in spectacular 1080i. I don't know what that is, but it makes me want to goose step all the way to the living room!"



2. Good Will Hunting

"Yeah, I know I'm good at math, but it bores the shit out of me. That's why I wish I could afford DirecTV HD. I could spend all of my time watching the Red Sox in crystal clear 1080i instead of wasting my time jerking off with Ben Affleck and doing math with my hairy therapist. Maybe I could even get a better looking girlfriend than Minnie Driver. Her face looks like the ass end of a dolphin. You do NOT want to look at her in HD. Trust me."



3. Pulp Fiction

"Look, motherfucker! Get your motherfuckin' ass out yo' mutherfuckin' chair and order your ass up some motherfuckin' DirecTV. Now, bitch! You think I like yellin' at you?!? This shit comes in so clear, you'll be able to tell that my partner here actually wears a wig! No shit! Hell, you may be able to read his motherfuckin' thetin levels from your living room!"

The only thing that these commercials have going for them is that DirecTV has the sense enough to use actors and actresses that look exactly the same now as they did in 1989. That said, expect the next round of DirecTV commercials to star the following people:


Michael J. Fox


Matthew Broderick

Or, if DirecTV wanted to impress me, they could make one of those commercials star someone that's dead. That would be impressive...

Last Call: The End of the Saloon and the Beginning of Pomp Culture

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

The Monday Afternoon Hangover has been canceled this week in order to bring you an important announcement.

All good things must come to an end at some point, right? On Friday, November 7, Thunder Matt's Saloon will officially close it's doors for good. On Tuesday, November 11, we will be launching our new blog, Pomp Culture. The writers will still be the same, as will much of the content. But our new digs and our new identity will allow us to shed the one thing that helped make us who we are, yet was handcuffing us at the same time.

We will no longer be labeled a "Cubs Blog".

In all honesty our claim to be a Cubs blog was tenuous at best. While we did cover the team, we also covered plenty of other absurdities as well. Shedding this label will finally give us the freedom to truly write about whatever we want. We're all very excited for what the future of this new blog will bring.

...and now to answer some questions.

This seems rather drastic. Was being a "Cubs Blog" really hampering you guys that much?
Our sketchy coverage made for us being a rather lousy blog when it came to actually covering the Cubs. There were times where we'd go so long without a Cubs-related post, that an article would be hurriedly written just to have something up. The result was our scant Cubs coverage being rather forced and half-assed. Paul Sullivan would not be pleased.

Also being deemed a Cubs blog meant that our traffic has been rather seasonal. Despite having new material posted year round, we have seen sharp decreases in readership during the baseball offseason. It'd be nice to have the same amount of people reading our stuff in December as there is in July.

Does this mean you're not covering the Cubs any more?
Not at all. The vast majority of us here are Cubs fans, so to think we would never talk about them is absurd. What you probably won't see any more are "The Gists" and any other quick and dirty throwaway posts about them.

So what can we expect in the final weeks of TMS?
We plan to go out in style. In the final days you can expect some of our old classic features to make one last hurrah before jumping to the new place. Realm of Red, War Criminal, Overrated/Underrated, appearances from Ronald McDonald, Tommy Buzanis, and more. We may even get some closure on the TMS Bat Project. Rest assured, the Saloon will go out with a bang, not a whimper. Thunder Matt would want it that way.

E-Claire's Kollege Kegger

8:00 AM | Comments (0) | by ,

Crack open a beer...Because college football season is officially underway! So each week, I will (attempt) to recap the best - and the worst - games for you in quick and easy fashion...Much like your girlfriend at a frat party...Zing!

Premium games on tap...

No. 1 Texas def. No. 7 Oklahoma State 28-24: Texas is currently working through the tough part of their schedule...And so far, they're hanging in there. The Longhorns were up 28-14 in the 3rd quarter, but OSU scored a touchdown to make it 28-21. Then, Colt McCoy threw an interception, and the Cowboys kicked a field goal to make it 28-24...And another gaffe by Mr. McCoy - this time, a fumble - gave OSU the ball back. But the Longhorns' defense made a stop to preserve the win and Texas' number one ranking. You know what they say...Defense wins championships.

Louisville def. No. 14 South Florida 24-20: Trailing 20-17 in the 4th quarter, Louisville scored a touchdown with about 7 minutes left to complete the upset. However, South Florida didn't really do themselves any favors - their quarterback was picked off twice and they committed 14 penalties. You know what they say...Not committing large amounts of penalties wins championships.

Virginia def. No. 21 Georgia Tech 24-17: Although Virginia lost 3 of its first 4 games, things seems to be turning around for the team. Cedric Peerman scored the winning touchdown with 3-and-a-half minutes left in the game to give the Cavaliers the upset and their fourth straight win. You know what they say...Having the same name as a reliable American-made car wins championships.


Honorable Mention:
No. 6 USC def. Arizona 17-10 (on a night when USC's offense wasn't so hot, the defense came through. You know what they say...Pete Carroll wins championships - just not in the NFL. Zing!); UNC def. No. 23 Boston College 45-24 (Hakeem Nicks scored 28 of UNC's 45 points); No 18 BYU def UNLV 42-35 (Trailing 35-34 with under 2 minutes left in the game, BYU scored a touchdown - and was successful on their 2-point conversion - to avoid losing 2 in a row); Rutgers def. No. 17 Pittsburgh 54-34 (Before this win, Rutgers hadn't defeated a ranked team on the road since the late 80's.).


Games that resembled the foam at the end of a keg of Natty Light:

No. 8 Texas Tech def. No. 19 Kansas 63-21: I thought this game was going to be a little closer than it was. But instead, Todd Reesing threw 3 interceptions and had his worst game since high school. Texas Tech, on the other hand, had no interceptions. You know what they say...Not throwing multiple interceptions wins championships.

Duke def. Vanderbilt 10-7:
Wow! This game was a serious offensive battle...NOT.

In Other News, Michigan Continues to Lose:

Michigan State def. Michigan 35-21: So how does Michigan celebrate their 2-6 record? By giving Rich Rodriguez a 6-year extension. Um...Cool?




TMS Alma Mater roundup
(schools attended by TMS bartenders highlighted in green):

No. 3 Penn State def. No. 10 Ohio State 13-6: Penn State remains undefeated after scoring 10 points in the 4th quarter to get the come-from-behind win.

No. 25 Minnesota def. Purdue 17-6: Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter hurt his throwing shoulder in this game, but is expected to play next week.

Northern Iowa def. Youngstown State 21-20: UNI's Darrell Lloyd blocked the potential game-tying extra point to preserve the win.

Cal def. UCLA 41-20: Instead of playing terribly for the entire game - like they did in their 59-0 loss to BYU a few weeks ago - UCLA decided to mix it up and only play terribly in the 4th quarter this time. Awesome.

MacMurray def. Euerka College 47-34: This was Eureka's homecoming game. Apparently, it was a sad one.

Colorado State def. San Diego State 38-34: I went to a concert at SDSU a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty good.

Illinois Wesleyan University def. Elmhurst 35-24: Junior Kraig Ladd had 4 second half touchdown passes.

No. 24 Florida State def. Virginia Tech 30-20: Florida State gets its 4th straight win.

Iowa - DNP this week

Link Bulimia

9:06 AM | 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 afterward.

It looks like ol' Rudy thinks the bottom has officially fallen out of the McCain campaign. (JoinRudy2012)

If you thought Over the Top was hardcore (His name is Hawk; He's Fighting for his Son) xArm has taken things to a new level of insanity/stupidity. Could these guys wear any more Under Armour? (Cameltap)

Palin considers herself an intellectual. She also has always wanted a son named Zamboni. You do the math. (AP)

Tired of the run-of-the-mill suckers? Is gum or a Tootsie Roll not a good enough prize at the end of the tunnel? Well you're in luck. Everyone knows I have an unhealthy addiction to bacon so it gives me great pride to introduce the maple and bacon lollipops! (Lollyphile)

Some people build model train sets as a hobby. I play golf as a means to slowly break down whatever shards of confidence I have left in myself. This guy spent the last 17 years building the Lamborghini Countach from Cannonball Run in his basement. (Jalopnik)

If I weren't already voting for him, this would certainly help. Doesn't listen to anything Rick Reilly says? Check (ESPN)

I've had a few people send me this link over the past few days. Australia has great weather, incredible scenery, and I would murder the President if a girl with one of those accents told me to but Jesus they have the biggest, most poisonous EVERYthing there. (NineMSN)

Fantastic shirt. That's all I need to say. (Print Liberation)

Finally, there are few people on Earth more entertaining than Gary Busey. Sure he's been in a few movies but that doesn't compare to just giving him a machete, some peyote, and a Silver Bullet and seeing what unfolds. I beg of you to watch these. (Screen Junkies)

Celebrity NFL Picks with George W. Bush

12:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Governor X

We're creeping up on the halfway mark in the NFL season and the TMS celebrity NFL picks march on. Surprisingly, we're getting some well known celebrities. I must say, I didn't anticipate that. Don Francisco had a nice week coming in at 9-5. Our celebs are now 60-42 on the year. This week we call on Still President Bush to make the picks.

Howdy! When the Governor first called and asked me to do the picks, I was like, damn it, I'm the President I have more important things to do! Then I took a stiff shot of Jack and remembered no one really listens to me anymore. Everytime I poke my head out of the White House like a cuckoo clock, the stock market drops 500 points. I may as well do this instead.

Oakland at Baltimore
I don't know who is winning this game. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not my priority.

Pick: Ravens 15 Raiders 9

Arizona at Carolina
People say, how can I help the Cardinals? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you.

Pick: Panthers 34 Cardinals 28

Tampa Bay at Dallas
"America's team" a real disaster right now and I, unfortunately, have been to too many disasters as president. In other words, I'm not going to this game.

Pick: Bucs 27 Cowboys 17

Washington at Detroit
Are you having burritos for lunch?

Pick: Redskins 18 Lions 3

Buffalo at Miami
The Bills are going to win this one, now watch this drive...*swings golf club wildly indoors*

Pick: Bills 24 Dolphins 17

St. Louis at New England
New England is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.

Pick: Patriots 31 Rams 23

San Diego at New Orleans
Picking this game, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard.

Pick: Chargers 25 Saints 20

Kansas City at NY Jets
Too many good Chiefs QBs are getting out of the business. Too many QBs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country. Tyler Thigpen is the exception. Man-whore.

Pick: Jets 56 Chiefs 10

Atlanta at Philadelphia
I'm gonna pick Philly. I don't know why. I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things.

Pick: Eagles 24 Falcons 21

Cincinnati at Houston
I thought the Bengals would be decent this year. There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

Pick: Texans 45 Bengals 0

Cleveland at Jacksonville
I hear there’s rumors on the Internets that Cleveland will have a good draft pick.

Pick: Jags 20 Browns 7

NY Giants at Pittsburgh
Man, I tell ya, I really misunderestimated the Giants this year.

Pick: Giants 37 Steelers 14

Seattle at San Francisco
The Niners fired Mike Nolan. Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our 49ers learning? I think they may be.

Pick: Niners 10 Seahawks 6

Indianapolis at Tennessee
Peyton Manning is a douche.

Pick: Titans 24 Colts 21

I have issued an executive order. This here turkey is now in charge of the Detroit Lions. Godspeed mighty bird!

Chaiming In

8:30 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

-Facebook, you son of a bitch. I'm really torn. My wife has it, as do a few of my friends. But in my experience there are two unwavering qualifications for being a child molester. The first being that you still use a Hotmail account as your primary email address. The second being that you're 30 years or older and have a Facebook/MySpace page.

So therein lies the quandary. The other day I decided to dabble. Logged on to Facebook.com. Stared at the screen for a while. Felt dirty and did a lap around the apartment. Stood in the doorway, breathing heavily while Facebook mocked me. Looking around to make sure no one was watching, I sat back down and signed up for an account. That was easy. Just an email address (not Hotmail) and a password. No pictures required. I have nudes if necessary.

I enter my high school and college info and complete my registration. Up pop a bunch of former classmates. The proverbial blasts from the past from high school that I haven't seen in 12 years. Good God, this is great! I'm looking at former classmates, mocking them. This is funny. But wait, I can't accesses their pages. No! I need more. I can't stop here. Their small profile pictures did nothing but wet my appetite. But they have to add me as a 'friend' for me to see their actual page.

This poses a problem.

The whole point of this is so that I can gain accesses for former classmates and acquaintances and revel in their mundane details of their lives. I want to see who got fat, who is gay, who still lives with their mothers, the percentage of male classmates that have goatees...I need to know this shit. It will make me feel so much better about my life. You see, I was a bit of an outcast in high school. I grew a mullet. I wore a pre-reunion KISS jacket. I was painfully shy. I wasn't a nerd, I wasn't a jock, I wasn't a brain. I just sort of existed. Quietly.

Now all of these old insecurities come flooding back. They have to 'add' me as a friend? But what if they don't want to be my friend? They don't know the suave, cosmopolitan and devilishly handsome Chaim Witz. They know the quiet weirdo. Fuck.

Do I really need the acceptance of people that I hated 12 years ago? Maybe. I do know that I want to read their Facebook pages though. I want to see if they're still assholes. Maybe some of them are cool now. And college buddies....I was much cooler in college. Maybe I can reconnect with some of those dudes. Will they remember who I am though? Facebook, you motherfucker. I can't quit you, but I don't know where to start.

-Poor Man's War Criminal: Undecided voters less than 2 weeks out. Really? I mean, really? These past two years haven't given you enough information to make a decision? You do realize that the debates are over, so your chances of securing one of those coveted 'focus group' spots and the snazzy dials that go along with it are kaput right? Ok, so maybe you don't follow politics as much as Joe Blow, nay Joe the Plumber, but come on! The candidates could not be more different. It's time to shit or get off the pot.

Perhaps these are voters that want to vote for Obama, but still aren't totally comfortable going against the status quo and voting for a candidate who doesn't fit the 'old, white, safe' mold. Perhaps these voters don't like either candidate and are trying to decide between the perceived 'lesser of two evils'. Perhaps they are decided, but just want to help sway the polls for their candidate of choice. Whatever the case, it's time for the Undecideds to sack up and stick their flag in ground.

I turn the floor over to humorist David Sedaris, who said this in his piece about the Undecideds in the New Yorker (elitist!):


I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

I Love You, Mega Man 2

7:53 AM | Comments (0) | by Unknown



Growing up in England, we didn't have much for entertainment. We had sticks and hoops, whittling, cricket, and marbles to keep us away from a life of crime. With such awful, antiquated fun, we force-fed off the scraps of popular culture from other, bigger, richer countries, and goddamn it, we loved it. (This isn't entirely true; we are the kings of music, but that's for another post)

However, technology-wise, we were light years behind. I think I got my NES when I was 15, and the N64 was already wreaking havoc across the world. I didn't give a shit. Nintendo can shove that overpriced black rectangle up their puckered arseholes for all I care, because gaming obsession begins and ends in 8-bit.

The game that single-handedly wrecked my adolescence was Mega Man 2. For me, it didn't get any better, or more frustrating. I realize that back then, video game developers had the capability of cranking out maybe 1 or 2 games a year thanks to the awful technology. Those NES cartridges looked like grey placemats with a graham cracker sticking out of it. So many lost hours blowing dust off that damn cracker to make the game work properly... but I digress.

For difficulty and gameplay, you look no further than Mega Man 2. Normally sequels are awkward and stiff, but MM2 was a flawless upgrade over the original, with much better Robot Masters, more interesting level design, and far better weapons.

To illustrate... Ice Man from MM1:



Notes:
- wtf? Every enemy he shoots, he gets power-ups!
- The pointless use of the disappearing blocks half-way through. If you miss one, you just fall to the floor and begin again. That second phase is completely pointless! Throw the damn game away already.
- You NEVER get that many power-ups right before fighting a boss. In MM2, you're practically dead right when you go through the gate.
- An eskimo? That's the Robot Master? I think he's even wearing Ugg boots.

Now, we show Heat Man from MM2:



MUCH harder. Of course, they had a neat "Item 2" to get past the disappearing blocks section, meaning that instead of spending hours ruining your state of mind by dying on that section, you can simply jump on that rocket sled and cruise on underneath.

Even so, this guy makes it look a lot easier than it was for me at age 15. It might have been the acne or the inherent awkwardness of being a teen, but either way, Heat Man was the tip of the iceberg in terms of difficulty.

Once you got to super boss Dr. Wily's castle, a frustrating 5-part journey through hell and back requiring every weapon in the arsenal and necessitating that you fight every boss again, you're about ready to murder someone.

This is just Stage 1 of 5:



What a little shit he is. The dragon was rather cool though. Look at the colours! All the Mega Man games had that Rock-Paper-Scissors approach, meaning that if you understood the weaponry available, you could dispatch your mini-bosses with ease. If you didn't understand it, you were in for endless despair.

The fondest memories I have of this game revolve around the music. I'll be damned if it isn't some of the best sound design and composition in video game history. AND it was done on the most basic of sound boards! Ridiculous! The Dr. Wily stage above is supreme; speed metal worthy of any fight movie. Close your eyes and imagine you're watching a movie where the hero is trying to get his girl back. He's suiting up. He's training. You can see it, right?

The music is fucking king (scroll down for MM2).



Childhood memories are so strong at the moment, particularly when the future looks so fucking bleak. Mega Man 2 gives you a reason to believe again. Suit up, grab your Mega Blaster and take on the world, one Robot Master at a time.

TMS Beer Project: Bard's Tale Dragon's Gold

12:00 PM | 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 assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We also like to plagiarize each other. In the same vein as the Wrigleyville Bar Project, we are proud to bring you another installment of the TMS Beer Project. The premise is simple: we review beers. Each rating will feature a variety of scores from 1-10 and comments from the bartender. This is a public service damn it. We don't want you to be the sucker who pays $15 for a six pack of some overrated Belgian cat piss. Now, we all drink massive amounts of beer so we know what we speak of. Each of us seem to have a favorite style of beer though. Will we be reviewing macrobrews like Bud and Coors? Oh you bet your Aunt Susie's ass we will. For purposes of this science experiment, and it is in the name of science, those will be the "control" group. Use them as a base line for when we review lesser known imports and microbrews. Without further ado, I bring you our next beer:

Bard's Tale Dragon's Gold

Brewery: Bard's Tale Brewery, brewed on contract by Gordon Biersch

Type: Specialty Grain Lager

Receptacle: 12 ounce bottle

Drinkability (1 being Jim Jones' kool-aid, 10 being the nectar of the gods): 1, This beer is a good example of "Read the fine print". Dragon's Gold is a beer designed for people who are allergic to gluten, a substance found in barley, wheat, and rye - all substances found in "normal" beers. Dragon's Gold replaces those essential beer ingredients with sorghum. Yes, it's as bad as it sounds. I had no idea. I fully confess that I bought it on appearance and the fact that I used to play The Bard's Tale on PC as a kid.

Heartiness (1 being fresh mountain spring water, 10 being a pureed British steak infected with mad cow disease): 3, I guess there's a scant smattering of hops in it, but that is overwhelmed by the horrible taste. It pours an orange-ish brown, and in the two bottles I've seen poured (I duped a buddy into trying one), there was very little head.

Intoxication (1 being your friend's weird pentecostal grandmother high on Jesus, 10 being Boris Yeltsin on a week long bender in the Crimea): 3, Weighs in at 4.7% ABV, which isn't an imperial stout by any means, but packs a bit more of a punch than the macrobrew at your local gas station. Again, the taste gets in the way, and there's no way I could get drunk on these, being I couldn't even finish the one that I opened.

Celebrities You May See Drinking This Brew: The members of Phish, Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, and Leftover Salmon, Brad Pitt (Legends of the Fall Era), Turk Wendell, Bill Walton.

Affordability ($ being chicklets in Tijuana, $$$$ being diamond encrusted braised lamb shank from a trendy cafe on the Champs d'Elysee): $, Eight bones for a six pack. A little on the high side, but for a specialty/craft brew it's about par for the course.

Overall: 1, The best thing about it was the bottle design. I'd have to say this was one bad beer. It had a born-on date, which I had to keep checking just to make sure it wasn't spoiled. You know how wine snobs always talk about how something finishes? Well, this was the first time I've noticed a finishing for a beer..."sour apple" rings a bell. Watery, bad taste, sorta fruity...bad taste, need I say more? After perusing their website, it says that the brewmasters there are Celiacs, people who are allergic to gluten, so it makes sense. But Jeez, it's bad enough that you're messed up in that you have that condition, but then you have to drink this weasel piss? I guess life isn't fair.

Mad(dux) About You

12:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

Depending on what blogs you read, what websites you check and what radio stations you listen to, the Cubs are in on every available player this winter, from Jake Peavy to Adam Dunn. Hell, at least one douchebag columnist thinks the Cubs have a chance at Manny Ramirez. Y'know...as long as they can find someone to take Alfonso Soriano's albatross of a contract.

Good luck with that.

I have opinions about all the Cubs options this winter. I don't think they should bring back Ryan Dempster if he gets too pricey. I think if the Cubs have a legitimate shot at Jake Peavy, they should make a move, even if it takes a package comparable to Sean Marshall, Felix Pie and Jeff Samardzija to get the job done. And if Hendry even accepts a call from Adam Dunn's agent, he should be fired immediately.

But as good or bad as any of those moves may be, I'm looking at one specific savior to come over to the North Side and help deliver World Series glory. To find this potential messiah, one only has to look to the West Coast, to the team that so quickly vanquished the Cubs in the NLDS.

Derek Lowe? I'm all for it, especially if he comes as a cheaper alternative to Ryan Dempster. Rafael Furcal? As much as I like Ryan Theriot, I love the thought of an actual leadoff hitter and general pain-in-the-ass-for-pitchers at the top of the order.

But those guys aren't who I'm thinking if.

I want Greg Maddux.

I don't need Greg Maddux to come to the Cubs as a pitcher. I mean, if he wants to pitch still and be some kind of player/coach, then he should be able to do whatever he wants. But I don't think that's what he wants to do. Rumor has it that if Maddux retires from playing that he may take some time away from baseball before considering coming back in any kind of coaching position, but I don't think he can do it. Greg would pull a (less annoying version of) Brett Favre and find himself itching to be around the game again as spring training crept up. Just take a look at this blurb from a recent ESPN interview with Maddux:

Last year, during a series at Dodger Stadium, Maddux and Heath Bell had a conversation while shagging balls during batting practice. Bell said something casually to Maddux about the hours he'd spent over 22 years in the big leagues doing that very thing—shagging balls and tossing them back to the bucket man behind second base. "You know," Maddux said, "I really should retire."

Bell, unsure if he was entering into a conversation of historical importance, stayed quiet. What was he supposed to say, really? But then, after a pause, Maddux picked up another ball and said, "Nah. Then I'd go home and do what?"

Whether he thinks he can stay away from the game or not, we all know that Maddux is going to be coaching somewhere, so the Cubs might as well nab him while he's available. The Cubs need Maddux, because he's gonna be great. And it doesn't mater what position the Cubs want to give him. As long as he's around the team, they'll be better.

The "Maddux Effect" can be seen on the Dodgers this past season. Most people will point to the Manny Ramirez trade as the event that turned around the Dodgers' season. The Manny trade was huge, but don't overlook the effect that Maddux seemed to have on the starting pitchers in LA.

before Madux was traded to LA, Derek Lowe was 9-10 with an ERA of 3.99. Good, but not great. In his 8 starts after Maddux arrived in Hollywood, Lowe was 5-1 with an ERA of 0.88. Hiroki Kuroda's pre-Maddux ERA was 3.97. After Maddux came to town, it was 2.84. Hell, look at the Dodgers' starters ERA by month:

April: 3.85
May: 4.96
June: 3.74
July: 3.57
August: 3.96
September: 3.03

Coincidence? Possibly, but I don't think so. Maddux is one of the greatest pitching minds of all time, and having him hanging around the clubhouse and talking to pitchers is going to have a very positive effect. I don't know about you, but the thought of teaming Maddux up as a mentor for Ted Lilly, Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall and Rich Harden makes me tingle in the pants.

But it's not just Maddux's effect on a pitching staff that makes him so valuable. The attitude that he would bring to the Cubs would be perfect come playoff time. Maddux has been to the playoffs many times and knows when it's time to get down to business. But he's also known as one of the better practical jokers in all of baseball doing everything from old classics like the hot foot and shaving cream in the face to peeing on rookies in the shower. One of the problems the Cubs had in the playoffs this year was their intensity. I think that Lou and the players tried so hard to downplay the Curse factor and the pressure of 100 World Series-less years that they actually got into their own heads. Now I'm not saying that the Cubs should go on record as saying they are cursed or admit in every interview all the pressure they feel, but I think that Maddux can bring the right mix of focus and calm that would do well for the team com playoff time, something Lou may not be able to do.

Add to all of this the fact that whether he wins a World Series or not, Lou's only going to be around for 1-2 more years, and suddenly having Maddux around to step in and possibly be able to manage the ballclub when he's gone sounds better and better.

In 2003 when the Cubs got knocked out of the playoffs by the Marlins, they went after one of the players responsible for their exit when they traded Hee Seop Choi for Derrek Lee. Let's hope that if Jim Hendry and the Cubs front office decide to do something similar this winter, they go after the Dodger that will be the most valuable to the Cubs in 2009 and beyond.

Monday Afternoon Hangover: Week 7

2:30 PM | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Back for the 2008 NFL season, it's the Monday Afternoon Hangover. We'll be recapping all the action from this weekend in the NFL, so pop a couple Excedrin and fight off those beer shits as we get things underway.

Special thanks to Daft Funk for taking over the Hangover duties for me that past few weeks. It was refreshing to have someone new in there that actually watches these games. But alas, you're now subjected to my horribly vague and pointless recaps once more.

Buffalo 23
San Diego 14
Philip Rivers turns the ball over 3 times and helps the Chargers drop back below .500. Did I pick these a-holes to win the Super Bowl? Jesus, my predictions are about as detrimental to a team's chances as the Madden Cover Curse.

Carolina 30
New Orleans 7
The Saints can't buy a break when it comes to staying healthy. They've already been without Marques Colston for a while, Jeremy Shockey came back from a sports hernia only to have possibly injured something again, and now Reggie Bush is out 3-4 weeks with knee problems. At 3-4, New Orleans finds themselves in the bottom of the NFC South, struggling to keep this ship afloat (and healthy).

Chicago 48
Minnesota 41
I don't know what to think of this game. 48 points is the most any Bears team has scored since the Ditka days, but giving up 41 to Gus Frerotte and company doesn't sit well, especially when Gus was atrocious and threw 4 picks. Kyle Orton once again looked decent enough for us to forget about the Rex Grossman era for the time being.

Pittsburgh 38
Cincinnati 10
Willie Parker Rashard Mendenhall Mewelde Moore (remember him?) shined for the Steelers as he ran for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns. Is there a bigger trainwreck of a team right now than the Bengals? Now they have Cedric Benson running for them. Insert Bengals/criminal record joke here.

Tennessee 34
Kansas City 10
The Titans are 6-0 now. How did this happen? The Chiefs apparently didn't think tackling the opposing running backs was necessary. Chris Johnson had 168 yards rushing to go along with LenDale White's 149. With a bruising run game, and solid defense, Kerry Collins just has to worry about not making any huge mistakes. That and staying sober.

Baltimore 27
Miami 13
Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis tormented the Miami offense all day as the Ravens harpooned the Dolphins. Willis McGahee had his first 100 yard rushing game of the season. I'd go on but you've already jumped to the next game out of sheer disinterest.

N.Y. Giants 29
San Francisco 17
Turnovers and sacks were the name of the game as the Giants D dominated the Niners for four quarters. Eli Manning once again did a good job of doing nothing spectacular, further cementing his place as the most overrated quarterback in football.

St. Louis 34
Dallas 14
Methusaleh Johnson filled in for Tony Romo and Tony Romo's broken pinky and the Rams D had a field day against him, sacking him 3 times and picking him off 3 times as well. Steven Jackson had his best game of the season, rushing for 165 yards with 3 touchdowns. With their second straight win the Rams move to 2-4 and take sole possession of second place in the NFC West. Look out Arizona, St. Louis is slowly limping after you!

Houston 28
Detroit 21
This game really wasn't as close as it seemed. Detroit managed to put up 11 fourth quarter points to pull within a touchdown before losing. The Texans offense controlled the tempo, holding on to the ball for over 40 minutes of the game. My cat's breath smells like cat food.

Green Bay 34
Indianapolis 14
Looking at the receiving stats in the box score, one would be hard-pressed to notice Brett Favre's absence from the Packers. Aaron Rodgers, like his predecessor, seems to have a knack for spreading the ball around as he completed passes with 8 different players this week. Also Peyton Manning is a douche.

Oakland 16
N.Y. Jets 13
This overtime thriller ended with a 57 yard field goal from Jeff Jaeger. Blair Thomas had 159 yards rushing for the Jets but Brad Baxter scored their only touchdown. The Raiders scored their lone touchdown on a Jay Schroeder pass to Mervyn Fernandez. I was really surprised that Bo Jackson was held under 100 yards.

What? Oh, um who really cares what happened in this game?

Washington 14
Cleveland 11
Clinton Portis has been a beast this season. He racked up 175 yards against Cleveland, giving him 4 straight 100 yard games. He's currently on pace to rush for over 1800 yards. Derek Anderson had yet another miserable game. The Brady Quinn Era draws nigh.

Tampa Bay 20
Seattle 10
I don't know exactly when my hatred of the Seahawks began. Perhaps it's when they continued to cry about being wronged by the refs in the Super Bowl. Maybe it's that I've never liked Mike Holmgren. Either way, watching them struggle mightily has been a real treat for me this season. Between them, the Rams and Niners, it's as if they're just handing the division title to the Cardinals. Arizona really has to F things up to lose it at this point.

The Golden Nutcup Team
Wear it with pride fellas!

QB - Kyle Orton, CHI (283 yards, 2 TD)
RB - Steven Jackson, STL (160 yards rushing, 3 TD)
WR - Calvin Johnson, DET (2 catches, 154 rec yards, 96 yard TD)
WR - Andre Johnson, HOU (11 catches, 141 rec yards)
TE - Owen Daniels, HOU (6 catches, 66 rec yards, 2 TD)
DEF - N.Y. Giants (6 sacks, 1 safety, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery)


The Flaming Bag Team
Cuz poop is funny!

QB - Brett Favre, GB (197 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT)
RB - Ronnie Brown, MIA (27 yards rushing)
WR - Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ (1 catch, 0 rec yards)
WR - Marvin Harrison, IND (2 catches, 11 rec yards)
TE - Vernon Davis, SF (1 catch, 5 rec yards)
DEF - Cincinnati (38 points allowed, no sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, nothing)

Monday Night Prediction:
I know the Patriots have struggled and Denver typically owns them, but I just have this feeling that New England pulls this one out at home tonight. New England (-3) over Denver.