Smile Politely

Football variety for a new decade

Welcome back all. I hope you had a fine holiday break. With the playoffs starting and plenty of news elsewhere in the sports realm let’s get started. Now I didn’t have a chance to do this in my last article so I thought I’d start with a “best of.”



10. Tiger Woods: Tiger comes in at the ten spot with the massive play on his wife. He also gets the award for biggest idiot of the decade.

9. Team manager scores 20 in four minutes: Jason McElwain served as team manager of his high school basketball team all season and as a reward his coach, Jim Johnson, put him in with four minutes to go in the final home game of the season as a sort of reward. In those four minutes Jason went on to score 6 three pointers and an inside bucket. The catch here is that the kid is Autistic. Now the other team didn’t pressure him as much as they could have but come on, that’s a sweet story.

8. LeBron James: This man makes the list for many reasons; first being that I was watching his high school games on ESPN; everyone hailed him as the second coming (of Jordan); and even today everywhere basketball is talked about his name is still brought up. No one else this decade has mustered that much talk, especially coming out of high school (sorry Sidney Crosby) as King James did. For that he gets the ocho spot.

7. Kevin Dyson’s stretch: As long as I’ve watched football I’ve been a Titans fan, so this one hits home for me. In Superbowl 34 down by seven and only a few second left on the clock, Steve McNair unloads a pass to Dyson about 8 yards from the goal line as he’s being tackled by the Rams Mike Jones (not the rapper……I think). Dyson goes down with his arm stretched out as far as it will go……which is about 2 feet short as the clock hits zero.

Crap, I just realized the Boise State/TCU game is on in 15 minutes so I’m going to jump ahead and wrap this up.

2. Illinois/Arizona for a spot in the 2005 Final Four. Down by 15 with just 4 minutes to go, the Illini went on a 20-5 run to force overtime, where the stingy D continued and the Illini won by one. This Is most likely a biased choice since I live here in Illinois but it’s one of those things where if you saw the game, you remember everything about where you were when it happened. I was at the Canopy Club watching the game on a tiny TV above the bar with the band I was supposed to be seeing because they refused to play until they saw the end of the game. It’s still one of the greatest sports moments I’ve ever witnessed.

1. Boise State/Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. All season the Broncos wore the glass slipper and they decided to take it off and grow a pair at exactly the right time. With 62 seconds left in regulation Boise State found themselves with a fourth and 18 at about midfield. What proceeded was a hook and lateral that led to a tie game. In OT, the Broncos scored on a fourth and 2 but instead of going for the extra point and a second overtime, they decided to go for broke right there. So did they pull some sort of trick play out of their hat or maybe go for the QB sneak? No! They called what is basically a Statue of Liberty play (you know, the one you used to always call when you were little playing in the backyard and it never worked) and it worked. Using the playbook of a pee-wee football team, Boise State went on to complete one of the biggest Cinderella stories in college football history.

So the Fiesta Pregame is on and apparently LaDanian Tomlinson went to TCU; I did not know that.



My, has the picture changed since I last left you. The Colts are pulling out and ticking off their fans, the Saints are choking and the Chargers are now the best team in football. Let’s take a look at the playoff picture.


Colts: Of their last eight wins, seven have been by 10 points or fewer. That doesn’t sound that bad, but it’s only a turnover away from a loss. That and the Colts just suck when they rest their starters late in the season. I’ve pointed out before that the only season the won a championship was when they did not sit their players at the end of the regular season.

Chargers: I have been high on this team (among other things) lately. They’re not anything overly special on either side of the ball. What is impressive though is they have knocked off 11 straight and have the first five-man receiving unit in NFL history. All of those things fall by the wayside to this fact: in two of the last three years, the Chargers were the team to knock the Colts out of the playoffs. I love it.

New England: With the injury to Welker, the receiving corps is decimated and if they are going to win, then it will have to be in the hands of their running backs. Smart money says to count this team out, but I still wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull something off. I mean, it is the Patriots.

Jets: They have one of the best run games around; that being said, I am still surprised they made the playoffs.

Baltimore: I would count this team out immediately except they face the Patriots in the first round and lost a narrow one to them in week four. I’ll admit I do not know, these two teams are the dark horses here.

Cincinnati: They face the Jets in the first round and as long as they can stop the number one run offense then they shouldn’t have a problem, but coming off last week’s goose egg I’m not overly confident.

It appears that to be a dancer for TCU you must have to be a blonde. Redheads get no respect.


Dallas: The Cowboys are a hot team right now. They are clicking properly on all sides of the ball and are coming off of a impressive shutout of the Eagles. Once again the odds say they should be a hard out, but we all know how much Romo blows in the playoffs, so I’m gonna say maybe a third-round loss.

Minnesota: This team is good, but I’m not sure of how good. Favre’s been sputtering a little bit lately, and the defense hasn’t been as dominant as they can be since early November. The Vikings are the real X factor here.

Saints: I’ve been boasting about this team all season and I will not give up now. Their first game will be Philly, Green Bay, or Arizona. Of these I would say maybe Green Bay stands a chance, but it’s a small one.

Green Bay: They might make it out of Arizona and if they do then they might stand a shot at New Orleans.

Arizona: I just do not think they can beat the Pack, let alone the Saints.

Philadelphia: Unless they were playing coy with Dallas last week, they won’t make it out of Dallas this week.

Super Bowl?

Since I refuse to acknowledge Dallas, I see either the Saints or ….i dunno…….the Packers coming out of the NFC.

And out of the AFC ill take the Chargers or the Colts.

My pick though is the Chargers and Saints going at it for the prize with….. …….uhh….the Chargers taking it. I reserve the right to change that pick in the coming weeks.


  • “Dear fans who are against sitting starters at the end of the season, Shut Up. Sincerely, Wes Welker. “
  • Apparently Mike Shanahan is rumored to be the next ‘Skins coach. I know, I didn’t care either.



  • We’re going to start with a Big Ten Rumor. Every year around this time the rumor goes around that the Big Ten wants to add another team to its list; this would be helpful for football where the conference could be divided and have a championship game (like every other conference) and not be irrelevant the last two weeks of the football season. Well, believe it or not I have heard from a reliable source out of the Missouri athletic department that the Big Ten is trying to lure Mizzou to the conference. It’s gone as far that the Big 12 has had rumblings about using TCU to fill the empty spot Missouri would leave. Take it with a grain of salt, but I think it’s a great idea
  • I love college football. That being said, I really hate how the season ends with all these bowl games. The only thing I care about this postseason is the championship game and the TCU/Boise State game. Everyone knows I am for some sort of playoff and this just proves it. Everyone gets to root for their favorite team in a game that doesn’t matter, unless you’re a Alabama fan or a Texas fan. Sure I will watch it, but that’s because it’s on Thursday night and nothing else is on. It really reminds me of the first season of Heroes (back when it was good); the whole season was amazing and led to one climactic moment……that sucked.
  • With Texas Tech’s firing of Mike Leach he can now join up with Mark Mangino and form a new WWE tag team.
  • On another note, the Big Ten went 4-3 (2-0 BCS). Kudos.



Now, I do not consider cheerleading a sport (here comes the hate mail). It’s a competition, a sport consists of a defense. But since some people do and I think this story is funny, I’m putting it here. Also I have been informed this is a few months old but I still wanna talk about it so I’m classifying it as a “best of,” so there.

Carlie Christine was the cheerleader coach at Orangevale Casa Robles High School in California, but was fired after school officials were informed that Christine had posed for Playboy and appeared on their site as Cyber Girl of the Week. What happened was that some girls didn’t make the squad as a result of some unexcused absences from school. The parents made copies of the pictures and presented them to the principal. The parents asked to not be identified.

Where to start, where to start…….. The fact that the parents want accountability yet won’t let themselves be known is some sort of irony. Cheerleading historically leads to nothing. This coach has given these girls something to aspire to besides coke binges and unwanted pregnancies. Now you may argue that there are national competitions (see, a competition) that even appear on ESPN. The only people at those competitions are families and unregistered sex offenders. Its not like I can show up and get all excited about it. Now for the ESPN crowd. I must admit I have watched it too and pretended they were 18 along with the rest of you . What do you expect? You put a bunch of scantily-clad and fit high school girls on a predominantly male-viewed channel, you really think they tune in to watch the amazing choreography? NO! They tune in to have impure thoughts and hope that someone falls.

Do you know what was on after the cheerleading? Competitive Jump Rope, ping pong, and badminton….BADMINTON!!! So, I think your ESPN argument just became invalid. Back to Carlie, this girl took an egg and made an omelet. That’s a valuable lesson.

Since we are on the subject, here are other things that are not sports:

  • Gymnastics
  • Polo
  • Horse Racing
  • Human Racing
  • Dance
  • Golf
  • Track and Field


There are others and I will put them in future articles as I think of them.



So I’m flipping channels during the commercial break and I come across TNA. For those of you who don’t know what TNA its basically all the has-beens of the WWE. At this very moment Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Eric Bischoff, and Kevin Nash are all in the ring. Sting is in the rafters watching and they just showed the Nasty Boys trying to enter the arena. Out of all of those, Waltman is the only one under 50. They wonder why they’re not able to compete against WWE? Maybe because their average viewer cannot relate to people the age of their Grandpa. Let’s take a look at what their competing against………flips channel…… we go. Well now, I stand corrected. Bret Hart is currently in the ring talking to Sean Michaels. Both of these men average out to 50 years of age. For ten minutes I flip back and forth between these two channels and all that is done is talking. Well maybe that’s why Pro Wrestling is a dying form of entertainment; I get more action out of a virgin.

UFC 108 was this past weekend and it saw Rashad Evans, Dos Santos, and Jim Miller win. I didn’t actually watch this one so I am kind of lacking in the detail department and I am way too enthralled by this TNA wrestling to look them up.

Also announced this week was the main event for March 27th UFC 111. It will see Frank Mir (13-4 MMA, 11-4 UFC) take on Shane Carwin (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) for the interim heavyweight title. This is a result of the health condition of champion Brock Lesnar. What is expected this coming week is an announcement of how long Lesnar will be out, assuming he will be able to come back. I personally think that if he is going to be out longer than 8-10 months, Dana will strip him of the title and Mir and Carwin will fight for the title. That or Couture and Noguira will fight for an interim with the winner facing Mir or Carwin for the official title and Lesnar will get a shot when/if he comes back.



Baseball has been in the news lately for one reason or another and this once again brings a personal problem to the forefront. I want to like it, I really do. I’ve tried on so many occasions to be a full-fledged fan but I always lose interest about three weeks in and don’t pick it back up till the All-Star break and then again in the playoffs. My problem is that it’s hard to care about a sport when the season is 80 weeks long and there is somewhere around 300 games. A team can lose three in a row and no one’s worried, and there’s something wrong with that. Now I am not here to complain, I have a plan for baseball.

First we lessen the amount of games played. We do this by only having three games per week, per team. National League gets Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday while the American League gets Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Each week is a different team, three games, majority wins. This guarantees that more people are likely to tune in since the games actually carry some weight, and the weekend (where you get the most viewers and ticket buyers) will always be the time where the teams are fighting for a sweep or the tie breaking game. It guarantees excitement on the weekend; you can jack up ticket prices and commercial prices.

Second, shorten the season. May to September is long enough.

Lastly, none of this best of seven stuff. Every matchup is a best of three. The playoffs are too long and drawn out, they feel like a Nicholas Sparks film.



13-3 MMA

14-12-2 NCAA

22-25-1 Pro

I cannot lie, those are horrible numbers. It figures the year people actually listen to me I do badly. I am going to start the new year off right, and that’s a promise.

Alabama over Texas: Both of these offenses rely heavily on one guy. Heisman winner Ingram for the Tide and McCoy for Texas. Bama’s workhorse is better than Texas’s. Keep in mind, Texas wouldn’t even be here if it were not for that one second that got added to the clock in their last game. The oddsmakers have the spread at five points; I say Bama wins by an even TD. Roll Tide.

BENGALS over Jets: The last two games the Jets have looked really good…..against teams that were resting some of their players. This is going to come down to which Bengals team decides to show up. I see the Bengals taking it, but not by much.

COWBOYS over Eagles: This one is against my better judgment. The Cowboys have not won a playoff game since the mid 90’s and Romo just looks horrible every year in the playoffs. The Eagles on the other hand showed nothing last week when they played the Cowboys and are just going to get picked apart for a third time this season.

Packers over CARDINALS: The Pack have won seven of their last eight, and three of those wins are against playoff teams. Rodgers is every bit as dangerous as Favre or Warner right now.

PATRIOTS over Ravens: Welker’s spot will be filled by a very competent Julian Edelman, and they have an amazing running corps with Morris, Faulk, and Taylor. Expect them to run the ball down your throat and run out the clock in the process. The Patriots have the experience when it comes to the playoffs and you just cannot bet against that.

Unicorn over DRAGON: this is a little question that’s been discussed over Holiday and I have finally chosen my side. The Unicorn’s got the speed and its small stature actually helps it here. Any thoughts?

More Articles