This is undoubtedly the BIGGEST story in all of sports right now, right? I mean, all of those guys on skates… and the pucks and sticks and whatnot. I just can’t even believe it’s TRUE, you know? It feels like a terrible nightmare, you guys, and I don’t like it AT ALL. I think I’ll miss the ice the most, or maybe the Russians or the high sticking or the Canadians. I don’t know. This is awful.
Anyway, the real NFL refs are back. People were so happy that during their first game on Thursday, they received a standing ovation. Weird.
@ReillyRick (ESPN writer, 11 time winner of the something blah-blah Sports Writer something)
“Will tonight be the first time in NFL history that refs get cheered when introduced? #DontGetUsedToIt”
Yes, yes it will, and no, I don’t plan on it. But it was kind of funny to see. They tipped their caps, too. Oh, those silly refs! In short, people were flat out excited about their return. To wit:
@rainnwilson (Dwight Schrute on The Office)
“Real refs on the field!”
@MagicJohnson (LA Dodgers partial owner, Quicken Loans spokesperson)
“Welcome back @NFL refs!”
@ESPNNFL (NFL on ESPN)
“Welcome back NFL refs. Oh how we missed you.“
@THEGaryBusey (actor, celebrated crazy-person)
“Everyone at the carnival doesn’t know they are a part of it.”
All right, so Busey’s Tweet might NOT have been about the NFL refs per se, but goddamn, isn’t he some sort of poetic nut-bag? He’s literally one more motorcycle wreck away from standing on the corner screaming about Jesus and pantomiming sex-acts with a Hot Pocket. God bless you, Gary Busey.
Look, I’m glad these guys are back to work and football games will be good for more than comic fodder, but I swear to God, if I hear one more thing about how these guys have to “work in the offseason to buy leg braces for their toddler,” I’ll shit my pants in anger.
@mental_floss (Mental Floss Magazine)
“Under their new deal, NFL refs will average $149,000 a year in 2012, $173,000 in 2013, and $205,000 in 2019.”
Cry me a river, zebras.
While getting the authentic referees back was awesome, it wasn’t the only football news in town.
@adamteicher (KC Star)
“Priest Holmes, Will Shields and Morten Anderson among former Chiefs on list of preliminary nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame… Others: Nick Lowery, Albert Lewis, Ron Jaworski, Marty Schottenheimer, Dick Vermeil.”
No, probably, no, no, no, no, no, and no. I suppose a statistical warthog could make a case for the inclusion of Nick the Kick, but I mean, come on… he was a kicker, you know? Now the Pornstache Hall of Fame, certainly—first ballot, in fact.
Though Romeo Crennel is only three full games into his official tenure as head coach of your Kansas City Chiefs, local sports-talk radio dingle Bob Fescoe is already planning a future without him.
“Keep hearing reid is on the hot seat..if he gets canned should the #chiefs hire him?”
Swap out the big, round, mustachioed black guy for a big (though rapidly thinning!), round, mustachioed white guy? Absolutely. Though Andy Reid hasn’t proven that he can win the Big One, he has certainly shown that he can field a perennially competitive contender. And while his current reign with the Eagles may have Shades of Schottenheimer, it’s better than what Chiefs fans have been dealing with for the past 15 years. Should the opportunity arise, I think you lure Reid to KC with as many pounds of delicious burnt ends as possible. I think you build an Oklahoma Joe’s on his property and put a big sign out in front that says, “ALL FOR ANDY, OK?!” and you feed him Z-Man after Z-Man until he’s too sluggish to leave and too large to fit in a conventional means of transportation. COACH FOR LIFE.
But as much as I love the fall, and football, there’s still baseball to be played. You know, the kind of baseball that makes the rest of the season’s 450,000 games tolerable: PLAYOFF BASEBALL. Well, unless you’re the Royals, of course. They’re still playing, sure, but not for anything important. Oh, they’re setting records all right, but the wrong KIND of records. Lookit:
@MLB (um, duh)
“In 112 seasons of American League baseball, no one ever did what Doug Fister did today.”
And what did the precariously named Detroit Tigers pitcher do on Thursday against the Royals? Struck out nine consecutive batters, that’s what. While it’s too bad that the Boys in Blew always seem to be on the wrong side of history, at least they aren’t as susceptible to hilarious typos. From NBC Sports web writer Craig Calcaterra’s headline:
“Dog Fister strikes out nine straight batters, sets a new American League record.”
Though it was quickly caught and eradicated from this earthly realm, things live forever in this golden age of digital media. Sorry, Craig.
In other beisbol news, October not only spells postseason majesty, but end-of-the-year award chatter, too. And while some of this talk concerns the uber-difficult AL MVP decision (Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera could still win the Triple Crown, becoming the first player to do so since Carl Yastrsemski in ’67, BUT Angels’ phenom Mike Trout is having one of the greatest seasons of the past 20 years by advanced statistical metrics), deciding the Cy Young in either league is no simpler.
@Buster_ESPN (Buster Olney)
“If the voting were held today, my theoretical AL Cy Young ballot would begin: 1. David Price. 2. Justin Verlander. One more start for each. “
“There are no absolute Cy Young picks in either league. You can make cases for R.A., Gio, Kimbrel, Kershaw, Price, Verlander, Rodney, etc.”
@jimmykimmel (funny guy, my fake celebrity BFF’s real BFF)
“congratulations to the truly Amazin’ @RADickey43 on 20th win #CyYoung”
@jazayerli (Royals blogger, Grantland.com writer, dermatologist)
“Kimbrel needs 3 shutout innings to become the first pitcher in MLB history to throw 60+ innings while allowing fewer than 1 run per 9.”
While Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has had an undeniably amazing, stat-boner season—40 saves in 43 opportunities, a 1.04 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 60 innings, a 0.66 WHIP!—when you’ve got starters whose case for acclaim is just as high, eet’s not so easy, senor.
NY Met R.A. Dickey doesn’t have an ulnar collateral ligament, he reinvented himself late in life as an unhittable knuckleballer and he just seems like a really likeable guy. He’s been masterful in 2012, compiling a 20-6 record with a 2.69 ERA and 222 strikeouts in 227 innings. Pretty nuts.
Gio Gonzalez, though, he ain’t nobody’s chump, ya hurrrd? He’s got 21 wins—but less strikeouts, a higher ERA and a higher WHIP. Plus, I don’t like him because by no virtue of his own accord, he wasn’t traded to the Royals this past offseason as I hoped he’d be. Dick. And then he signed a 5-year, $42 million extension with the Nationals, making him one of the most reasonably priced, highest-ceiling pitchers in baseball. Trading for Gonzalez was one of the worst moves this team never made.
I don’t even want to try and figure out the AL Cy Young. Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay’s David Price are about as close in comparison as two pitchers can get; my sympathies go out to the voters.
Let’s ask Gary Busey, just for laughs:
“You can’t xerox a performance in art”
Meanwhile, THIS JUST IN: Philadelphians are still raging doucebagels!
@jcrasnick (Jerry Crasnick, ESPN baseball writer)
“On another front, can someone explain this hate thing #phillies fans have for Jayson Werth now? I’m honestly puzzled… The guy played his butt off in Philly, helped bring a winner to city, and got $126M from #nationals. Why so much animosity?”
For serious, bro? It’s Philadelphia. I’d expect nothing less. Aren’t these the fans who famously raped , murdered and dismembered Santa Claus? While homeless orphans looked on in convulsive fits of tears? And then they murdered the orphans TO DEATH as well? ON CHRISTMAS, NO LESS???
Finally, we’ll close it out with a couple of quick thoughts from my favorite local-media Tweeter, KMBC 9’s Karen Kornacki. It’s a shame she doesn’t Tweet more often, because I simply ADORE precious sentiments like this:
“A HORSE THAT TWEETS? KENTUCKY DERBY AND PREAKNESS WINNER “I’LL HAVE ANOTHER” HAS A TWITTER ACCOUNT”
Really, Karen? All caps? This needed to be shouted from the mountain top?
But when she’s not screaming leads for the 10’o’clock segment about the Tweeting horse (that was what she was doing, right? Trying to get me to tune in later?) she’s doing that hilarious old-person thing where an old-person Tweets something at someone that would have been better served as a direct message.
“@Swift_Reece M-Trying to do a skype interview with u plez tweet back. tried your parents phone couldn’t reach-karen ch9.”
Oh, Karen. As Cleveland Brown would say, “you are the height of just-too-muchery.”
Until next time, be well, friends.