Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Call Outs: Clement-Style

I’m calling out more than a few people. Why? Partially because the sporting landscape is finally starting to heat up (especially since the post NBA Draft hangover).

Some of it won’t be nice, some it may be too nice…but the point is: it’s time to take a stand. In fact, it’s time to take a definitive one. In fact, it’s time to throw out some opinions, some love, some hate, and some SAT-laden words.

Who’s up first?

LaDainian Tomlinson. You’re a fantasy monster. You’re the top running back in the NFL. You are becoming, more and more, a juggernaut with endorsements. You’re the guy who everyone wants to play with in Madden, hand the ball to in the redzone, and are currently on a talented, young team with plenty of firepower. Yet, you’re 0-2 in the playoffs. True, you lost to New England last year. Then again, it was at home. You also had a bye week that was supposed to aid you. It’s all true that your first loss was to an underappreciated Jets team a few years back. Then again, you were at home then too. Now it’s true your numbers were pretty solid both games, but you were far from dominant. Now while there is a lot more to winning playoff games, especially against Bill Bellichick, than a great running back…it also reminds me that LT isn’t unstoppable. He isn’t immortal. With Norv Turner in tow now, many are wondering if the Chargers are a legit Super Bowl contending team. Sure, we all think they can win 12 to 13 games. Then again, why should anyone think it a lock that LT can lead the Chargers to a playoff victory, whether home or away? In fact, might Phillip Rivers and their defense, who folded like a card table in the 4th quarter against the Pats, be more important to a victory? Call me an LT-hater, but I’m more than speculative as of now of LT and the Chargers being a Super Bowl team. Plenty of backs never really had playoff success (Barry Sanders comes to mind first) for countless reasons. Yet, I’m still waiting for LT, the sure shot pre-season MVP, to prove something to me…especially when it matters the most.

Rory Sabitini’s harasser. In case you didn’t know, Sabatini called out Tiger Woods several months ago as being “as beatable as ever”. The media went nuts, Tiger could’ve cared less, and Rory achieved mini-stardom (even if only for fifteen minutes here or there). Enter this weekend at Bridgestone, one of Tiger’s favorite stomping grounds, and Tiger blew up on Sunday (for the better) as Sabatini did (for the worst). The better story is this: Sabatini, on the 9th hole and now countless shots behind a white-hot Tiger, was heckled from a fan who supposedly said to him: “How beatable does Tiger seem now, Rory?” Now while there isn’t a clear-cut confirmation if that’s all was said, Sabatini decided in response to have the man removed. Way to handle the hecklers Rory. Further proof why trash talk in golf is useless. And why Sabatini is nothing more than pond scum in Tiger’s world.

ESPN’s Skip Bayliss. You’re the worst media personality who was ever graced any sport’s programming. You became rich, and I suppose well known, by trashing on the trashy Cowboys of the 1990s. Fortunately for most, your TV time is typically early in the morning – during ESPN’s waste of space known as Cold Pizza. It’s a shame this guy is ever on the television, in print, or even on the radio. A shame.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame. I don’t need to plug in numbers or compare him with the other greats. Michael Irvin was a deserved Hall of Famer. Yet, what the Hall of Fame did so brilliantly – even without planning it – was further humble Irvin. His speech was downright heartbreaking at times and always moving. In fact, you should do yourself a favor, a fan or Irvin or not, and check out his speech on replays from the NFL Network or online. It gave me goosebumps; especially, even as a Jet fan, I was enthralled by Irvin’s physicality and his somewhat bizarre on and off the field antics. A man stood up at the podium, accepting and admitting to all of his flaws, for better or worse. Kudos to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, for enshrining him in the nature you did. Whether you planned it or not.

ESPN Radio Executives. With Dan Patrick exiting, there have been countless guest hosts and plenty of silent auditions. Some advice for you all. Avoid Stephen A. Smith at all costs. Ditto with Scott Van Pelt and Mike Tirico. Doug Gotlieb, believe it or not, is a viable risk. Don’t move the Herd into a spot it can’t hope to maintain any sort of ratings in. You want an oddball selection? Patrick McEnroe. I’m sure most will doubt you. In fact, everyone will. That is until they listen to him for more than 20 minutes at a time. He’d be my selection, without losing a wink of sleep to fill the shoes of another Patrick on the radio.

Bud Selig. You’re a joke. A complete joke. You’ve looked worse than Barry Bonds during the past few weeks of the home run chase. Do us a favor. A) Applaud Bonds and remind everyone he hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet. B) Don’t show your face and say you think he cheated. If you can’t do either of those, there’s one more option. C) Quit immediately.

Steve Spurrier. I understand you’ve never been under probation, are following the letter of the law of the NCAA academic minimums, and were promised by South Carolina to be supported in recruiting. Yet, there’s a better way to call out your admissions office. Not to mention, it’s clear you’re not trying to get your kids an education; instead, you want them to play football. Instead, you want to win football games in the SEC. While that is his job, academics have to matter for something in school. Even in South Carolina and the SEC.

Mike Golic. The Yankees are dead, huh? Even if they don’t make the playoffs, you can’t be the only idiot on the four letter network who thinks he has cahonies to call the Yankees done. You just can’t be that guy.

The Seattle Moose. If he injured Coco Crisp, I wouldn’t have minded if Big Papi pulled a Vitamin Water (check out the commercial) on him. Sadly, if I was Crisp, he would’ve gotten a punch to the face and I would’ve gotten a suspension. Fire the Moose! Ban the Moose! He can remain a VP candidate with Griffey though. (Who remembers that reference? Anyone?)

Tom Glavine. You won’t be the last 300-game winner. That’s a ridiculous statement. However, it might be quite some time until anyone joins you in that rather exclusive club. Even if the Big Unit gets healthy, I doubt he has 16 wins in him. Congratulations on an amazing achievement Tommy.

The Chicago Curse. Leave us alone for just one season, please! Soriano’s quad will, of course, be a worst-case quad-injury scenario. I only worry about the Big Z, as I am dreaming of him in Yankee pinstripes next season.

JaMarcus Russell. Sign your contract. Get over the extra $2 or $3-million guaranteed you want and all of the ridiculous incentives. Take your gigantic pile of money, get into camp, and learn everything you can, as soon as you can. Your mobility isn’t as masterful as many claim it is. All you will be, without preparation, is one gigantic target practice QB. Sign the contract.

I could say more. I could whine more. I could praise more.

But then you’d start calling me out.

If you aren’t already.

Until next time…


Paymon said...

I think I have a response for a bunch of these.

First, LT wishes he could play kicker and defense in their two playoff losses. Neither loss was his fault. Both were losses due to freak occurrences, neither of which LT was the perpetrator. Against the Jets it was Kaeding missing the gimmie FG. Pick any three plays late on which led to the Bolts demise in the Patriots game last season.

Second, Rory should be called out for not putting his money where his mouth is. If you're going to call out the world's best and get beaten up on the greens, then you can't go crying to mommy because someone threw it back in your face. Accountability.

Bayliss is a moron. Few will disagree with you there. The show is called First Take. Same difference. Side note: Bayliss is the only guy on ESPN who's not afraid to suggest that **possibly** Lance Armstrong is/was a doper.

Third, that should've ART MONK giving the HOF speech, not Irvin. Irvin didn't have Monk's stats and teams passed more during Irvin's prime. Irvin could've given a similar speech next year. And this is coming from a non-Redskins fan.

Fourth, I agree on your point about Cowherd and Gottlieb. The latter can be a loose cannon and Cowherd is hit-or-miss depending on topic and his manner. I have no clue on who should be the next guy, but I'm not in love with Patrick McEnroe.

Fifth, I completely disagree on Bud Selig. He has NO obligation to cheer for Bonds. There is nothing in the commissioner's mandate for him 1) clap for someone who just tied his friend's record and 2) applaud someone who **allegedly** cheated en route to the home run record books, both single season and all-time. No matter what Selig does, he'll be criticized because he sat back and watched for the first decade while being the commissioner.

Sixth, SEC football is not about getting an education.

Seventh, what you saw from Golic was a taped episode of Letterman from more than 2 weeks ago.

Eighth, if Big Z wears pinstripes next year, it's going downhill. He'll never be able to fulfill the amount of money the Yanks will throw at him should A-Rod go elsewhere.

All of these call-outs and no mention of Strahan.

Chris Clement said...

That's why Pay and I are friends. Because we can call each other out.

Thanks for surpassing my effort.

But I'm still primed for more smack-talk.


PS: I knew about the taping and timing of the Golic comment. He's been saying it well before Letterman. I'll also argue Irvin over Monk, but don't get me wrong...Art should be in.

summy said...

As a fan of the sport of football, I have to chime in on the Irvin thing. I have NO PROBLEM whatsoever with Crackhead being in the HoF, and I'm a Redskins fan. The man was an integral part of the best set of "triplets" to play the game, and without him the Cowboys would not have been nearly as great in the 90's.

But, I do have a problem with the fact that he got in BEFORE Art Monk. First person to 900 receptions? Art Monk. First person to have over 100 receptions in a season? Art Monk. WR whom you could rely upon to go upfield or across the middle and almost always come down with the ball? Art Monk.

I find it sickening that asshats like Dr. Z feel that b/c Monk's yards per catch aren't high, and that b/c Monk wasn't "flashy" he doesn't belong in the Hall. But when you look at what Monk brought to his team (there's no way speedy WRs like Gary Clark or Ricky Sanders would've been open for deep bombs in the late 80's and early 90's without Monk's consistency all over the field), and what Monk brought to the game (a class act who didn't need to trash talk to the media to prove he could play football), there's no excuse for him not being in yet. Aside from Dr. Z being a moron ... but that'll never change.

Armin said...

I only have one thing to say, and Gibbs (call it a lie or not) will reiterate it: If Art Monk wasn't all about the team, he could have told Gibbs to throw him the ball more, and Gibbs would have done it. Monk's records would be even more impressive.

Irvin deserves the Hall too...and that's not a hard decision. However, Monk should be in there first.

Chris Clement said...

I can't agree with you all more about Monk; except, while I respect the HELL out of what Monk did...I still rank Irvin as a more dominant and productive receiver.

I'm not just repeating rhetoric from his induction ceremony - and I realize his physicality brought on rule changes - but the Dallas system was never built (not that Washington's always was either, mind you) to have highly productive wideouts.

I firmly believe Irvin was the second-best wideout in the NFL, light years behind Mr. Rice, for a span of at least six or seven years. I might find some debate ranking him ahead of Cris Carter, but I'm willing to put numbers aside and look at performance and ability.

What I'd love to see, is how many times Irvin was targeted when compared to Herman Moore, Cris Carter, Sterling Sharpe, and a few other top wideouts (I won't even compare them to Rice, who is out of this Earth).

Monk will get in, hopefully very shortly.

And I will easily concede this statement: his class and grace alone make him a much better man than Irvin ever could be.