Monday, October 31, 2011

Already Over?

What was your favorite Kardashian/Humphries moment?

a) Their honeymoon trip around the world, with stops in Mexico, Monaco, Miami, and Bora Bora?

b) Kim making a heart out of her hands while attending a Nets' game? (The man behind her clearly finds it touching...)

c) The party to celebrate Kourtney's B-day that produced this gem?

d) Humphries' teammates calling him "Kate Middleton" after the wedding?

e) The actual wedding, which displayed Kris Jenner's delightful "bow dress"?

f) The fact that these things lasted longer than the happy couple's marriage?
     Texas Tornado's reign as WWF Intercontinental Champion in the early 90's
     Titanic as #1 movie in America
     OJ's murder trial
     Tim Pawlenty's campaign for president
     Their own engagement
     A bad case of mono
     Summer break

Can't say we saw this one coming...thought it was meant to last.

Sorry Kris.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pondering a Legend?

The date was September 17, 1961.  An upstart franchise called the Minnesota Vikings led by a rookie QB surprised everyone and knocked off one of the NFL's elite teams, the Chicago Bears.  Fast forward 50 years and the same Minnesota Vikings, their season already lost at 1-5, turn to a rookie QB to make his first start against the undefeated, defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.  Two days away from the official start of the Christian Ponder era, can these present day Vikings take a lesson from the band of cast offs and rookies that pulled that monumental upset in the Purple's inaugural game?

That day Fran Tarkenton, taken in the 3rd round from the University of Georgia, replaced starter George Shaw and proceeded to throw for 270 YDS, 4 TDs and no interceptions against the famed Monsters of the Midway.  Bears coach and NFL Hall of Famer George Halas called it the greatest debut by a rookie QB he had ever seen.  And while this opening day win was followed by seven losses it marked the beginning of a brilliant career for Tarkenton that ended with every major NFL passing record and an induction in the Hall of Fame.

In the midst of season marred with offensive ineptitude, stadium debates and threats of Los Angeles, the Minnesota Viking faithful place their hope in a rookie from Florida State whose drafting with the 12th overall pick just 6 months prior was greeted with boos and head scratching in NFL Draft parties across the Land of 10,000 lakes.  The perfect world scenario of easing into the role of starting QB has instead turned into a baptism by fire against the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews.  And while Viking fans will on the outside be hoping that Ponder doesn't implode in front of a national audience and add insult to what already feels like a long season, inside we'll be hoping and watching for subtle signs of Sir Francis and his brilliance those 50 years ago.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

QB Autobiographies

So, a couple weeks ago I'm walking through a store closing sale at Border's and stumble across a book written by Cleveland Browns QB and former star at the University of Texas, Colt McCoy.  Its called "Growing Up Colt" and I think its actually co-written by his Dad.  Now, this contributor to STS just happens to be a member of the Gator Nation and Tim Tebow apologist so not long ago I had his autobiography, "Through My Eyes."  (The book was so-so.)  This got me thinking, is there some weird pre-requisite that all newly drafted QBs need to pen their memoirs before their 26th birthday?  Or were they simply trying to cash in on their newly minted NFL status?

And then it struck me, if this can work for Tim and Colt why not the many other young NFL QBs looking to establish themselves?  Who better than me to tell their stories?  Well, probably a lot people would be better but that's not important.  I came up with the following list to send to Random House and if they know what's good for them you'll a couple in print in the years to come.

"Take the Money and Run: The Cam Newton Story" by Cam Newton and Gene Chizik.  Foreword by Cecil Newton

"A Thinking Man's Quaterback" by Christian Ponder

"A Ginger's Journey" by Andy Dalton

"I am Legend" by Ryan Mallett

"St Louis has a football team and other things I learned as a rookie in the NFL" by Sam Bradford

"Who the heck is Tony Pike?  Let me tell you" by Tony Pike

"I CAN start in the NFL and other Tall Tales" by Jimmy Clausen, introduction by John Fox

"My Rise to Mediocrity" a memoir by Adam Weber

"You can have your cake and eat it too, along with lots of other food" by JeMarcus Russell

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Failed as a Chicago Bears Wide Receiver?

With the recent de-activation of Bernard Berrian in Week 5 vs. the Arizona Cardinals, we can only speculate of the impending end of B-Twice’s reign of drop passes. Berrian is so unreliable that in the 2009 Championship game, Brett Favre threw back across the field to a covered TE Vincente Shiancoe, ending in a interception, than throw to a wide open Berrian on the sideline. Just kidding. But that is my theory anyways.

We celebrate other former Bear’s wide outs who have suited up for the Purple in chronological order:

D’Wayne Bates (2001 – 2003) – A restricted Free Agent, the Vikings signed D’Wayne to a contract offer. The Bears matched and than later released him during training camp. Instead of taking that as a sign that he was very good, the Vikings claimed him off waivers. Traded Tampa Bay before the 2004 season.

Dwayne Bates

Bobby Wade (2007 – 2008) – Signed in 2007 and had the best season of his career. In 2009, Wade agreed to a 50% pay cut to stay on the team. The Vikings thanked him for his generosity by releasing him 3 days later.

Bobby Wade

Marcus Robinson (2004 – 2006) – Led the Vikings in receiving during his 3 seasons in Minnesota. Brad Childress decided that was good enough and released him on Christmas Eve. Stay classy Brad Childress.

Marcus Robinson

Bernard Berrian (2008 – Hopefully done soon) – Bamboozled the Vikings into a 6 year, $42 million contract with $16 million guaranteed. Berrian has yet to live up to the contract, and continues to tell everyone that he is open all the time and that the QB’s aren’t finding him. Was a healthy de-activation in week 5 of the current season for missing 2 team meetings.

Bernard Berrian

Devin Aromashodu (2011 – Present) – Signed to a 1 year contract. His current claim to fame is that he is better than Bernard Berrian. He gets to look forward to the Vikings releasing him in a way that takes his dignity and respect.

Devin Aromashodu

Roy Williams, Johnny Knox, and Earl Bennett we look forward to seeing you in Purple.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Top 10 Annoying Sports Announcers / Analysts

10) Matt Millen - Here's a good idea. Let's take probably the worst GM in the HISTORY of the NFL and make him an expert for the fans to listen to. Who can forget Drew Stanton, Shaun Cody, Joey Harrington, and Charles Rogers? Oh wait, you probably already had...

9) Tedy Bruschi - A former great on the field who has no business in the studio. Yes we know you played for the Pats. That doesn't give you permission to pick them every week. My friend in Boston could probably make those same picks.

8) Mark Schlereth - Brings excellent insight to the table, such as "the Vikings will win this week and I'll tell you why: Adrian Peterson". Wasn't he one of the dirtier O-Linemen when he played for the Broncos?

7) Todd McShay - A younger Mel Kiper? Yeah, right...

6) Hawk Harrelson - Perhaps the biggest homer in history of homer announcers. I understand that you are on WGN and are broadcasting to a very large city, but I still think I'll choose to turn down the sound so I don't have to hear "grab some bench", and "put it on the board" again anytime soon.

5) Ron Jaworski - Jaws is a guy who clearly knows his X's and O's, but his personality is just off-putting. Doesn't take long into the ESPN broadcast to figure out that he thinks he's smarter than you. John Gruden is worlds better.

4) Stuart Scott - Hard to say anything negative about a guy undergoing cancer treatment. Get healthy, dawg.

3) Michael Cole - Throwing in a wrestling announcer. Yes, his current act is just a gimmick...but it's incredibly stupid. One of many reasons why it's just not as good as it used to be.

2) Steve Young - By this point I'm sounding like a grumpy old man. Steve Young makes his statements in a smug, arrogant way - and he never picks the Vikes (even when they were good).

1) Joe Buck - The most annoying by a long shot. Usually when I watch a game, I expect the play-by-play guy to call what he sees objectively and let the analyst do the actual "analysis". Instead, Buck tries to inundate us with his "expertise" by saying things like "that was just a terrible play". When Randy Moss pretended to moon Packer fans, Buck referred to it as "a disgusting act". Also has said that he "doesn't really watch sports" other than the games he calls.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Top 10 Odd Stints with the Minnesota Timbwolves

These are the guys that when you look over the Minnesota Timberwolves All-Time Roster, you say, “What, they played for the Timberwolves?” All were once stars, intriguing prospects, or cult heroes from the other teams.

Either they were reluctantly traded here, signed here as they were aging and hanging on to their career, or were actually brought on to be a actual contributor. Here are the top 10 according to Shoot That S!:

10. Mark Madsen/Cherokee Parks/Bill Curley

9. Laphonso Ellis (2000) – Signed as a Free Agent in 2000. Played in all 82 games and started 5.

8. Kendall Gill (2002) – Signed as a Free Agent in 2002. Played in all 82 games and started 34.

7. Rod Strickland (2002) – Signed as a Free Agent in 2002 for depth after Terrell Brandon and Felipe Lopez went down with injury. Strickland was 36 years old and on the downside of his career. Played in 46 games and started 8.

6. Michael Williams (1992 – 1999) – Aquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers along with Chuck Person for Sam Mitchell and Pooh Richardson. Williams had two solid seasons, before foot ailments only allowed him to play in 34 games over the last 4 seasons. Traded to the Toronto in 1999.

5. Oliver Miller (2003) – In 2003, Wolves starting center Michael Olowokandi had a knee injury that going to keep him out for 6 to 8 weeks. Miller was signed after spending 3 years out of the NBA (2 in the CBA). Miller average 10 minutes a game the rest of the way off the bench.

4. Dennis Scott (1999) – Sign to a 10 day contracts with the Wolves in 1999. Played in 9 games.

3. Antoine Walker (2007) – Sent to the Wolves in a 5 player deal in a salary dump by the Miami Heat. Heat coach Pat Riley was sick of Walkers lack of conditioning and even threw in a 1st round pick for the Wolves to take him. Walker spent one season mostly on the Wolves bench and than traded the following season to the Memphis Grizzles on a draft night trade. Average 8 points per game and 3.7 rebounds per game.

2. Spud Webb (1995) – Traded along side Center Andrew Lang from the Atlanta Hawks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Christian Laettner and Sean Rooks. The Wolves wanted to move two disgruntled players and build around their young players. Rooks had asked for a trade and Laettner was feuding with Wolves Rookie, Kevin Garnett. Lang, a 7-footer was the key piece for the Wolves, and Webb was a throw in to match up contracts. Average 9.4 points per game and 5.9 assist per game in his only season with the Wolves.

1. Chuck Person (1992 – 1994) – Traded to the Timerwolves along with Michael Williams from the Indiana Pacers for Pooh Richardson and Sam Mitchell. Person was named team Captain upon his arrival and said he planned to take 3rd pick in the draft Christian Laettner under his wing. But the two never got along after Person accused Laettner of selfish play. The Wolves bought out his contract after the 1994 season to open up a starting spot for rookie Donyell Marshall. Average 14.2 points per game, 3.4 assist per game, and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Top 10 International Minnesota Timberwolves Players

In honor of Ricky Rubio’s arrival this year (If the NBA Lockout doesn’t cancel the season), we celebrate the Minnesota Timberwolves long history of drafting and signing great international talent by ranking the top 10.

Good work Timberwolves International Scouting Department, you deserve a raise.

10.  Nikola Pekovic – Center (2010 – Present) Montenegro – Has a really sweet tattoo.

9. Andres Guibert – Center (1994 – 1995) Cuba – The Timberwolves left him unprotected during the expansion draft, and he was selected by the Toronto Raptors.

8 . Gundars Vetra – Guard (1992 – 1993) Latvia – This was his only season in the NBA. He was “6”6”, the same height as Michael Jordan. The comparisons stop there. The Timberwolves signed him before it became cool to draft international players. You can say the Wolves are trendsetters.

7. Igor Rakovevic – Guard (2002 – 2003) Serbia – NBA players don’t like playing in Minnesota because its to cold during the winters, so the Wolves starting signing players from Serbia (Milicic and Jaric).

6. Darko Milicic – Center (2010 – Present) Serbia - Current GM, David Kahn referred to Darko as “Manna from Heaven” .

5. Luc Longley – Center (1991 – 1994) Austrailia – Was seven feet tall.

4. Marko Jaric – Guard (2005 – 2008) Serbia – Was dating Victoria Secret model Adriana Lima during his time with the Wolves, and could be found at local night clubs within minutes of the final buzzer.

3. Shane Heal – Guard (1996 – 1997) Austrailia – Only got playing time when the Timberwolves were being blown out. Heal would team with James Hollywood Robinson to chuck up three pointers. If they succeeded in bringing the Wolves back, the starters would be put back in.

2. Stojko Vrankovic – Center (1996 – 1997) Croatia –Known for smoking an entire pack of cigarettes before games. He also had a problem with endurance.

1. Rasho Nesterovic – Center (1999 – 2003) Slovenia – Got yelled at a lot by Kevin Garnett for being to soft during games. Had low confidence.

Honorable Mention: Nathan Jawai (Austrailia), Kosta Koufas (Greece), Sasha Pavlovic (Serbia), Oleksiy Pecherov (Montenegro), Nikoloz Tskitishvili (Georgia), Wally Szczerbiak (not foreign, but his name sounds like it)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

White Hot Heat!

Mike Freddie mixes the beats.  Grandmaster Speedstick controls the funk.  And together they are White Hot Heat.  Back in the lab working on the follow up to their debut album "Sorry to Disappoint You," and we at STS have the exclusive.  And to wet your appetite we've included a few of their hottest tracks including their ode to Tom Hanks, and their tribute to the movie Jurassic Park.  Be sure to keep it locked on STS for the latest on White Hot Heat's new album.     

White Hot Heat - Give Thanks to Hanks

White Hot Heat - Welcome to Jurassic Park

White Hot Heat - Introduction to Destruction

White Hot Heat - Girl Troubles

Top 5 Aging/Re-tread Minnesota Vikings QBs

Unable to develop their own quarterbacks, the Minnesota Vikings have resorted to signing aging quarterbacks from other teams. We rank them:

t.-5. Jeff George/Archie Manning

Jeff George

Archie Manning

4. Jim McMahon

a. 1 playoff appearance

b. 8 - 4 regular season record, 0 – 1 playoff record

c. Stats: 1,968 yds, 9 tds, 8 ints

Jim McMahon

3. Warren Moon (1994 – 1996)

a. 1 playoff appearance

b. 21 – 18 regular season record, 0 – 1 playoff record

c. Stats: 10,102 yds, 58 tds, 42 ints

Warren Moon

2. Brett Favre (2009 – 2010):

a. NFC Championship Game

b. 17 – 12 regular season record, 1 – 1 playoff record

c. Stats: 6711 yds, 44 tds, 26 ints.

Brett Favre

1. Randall Cunningham (1997 – 1999)

a. NFC Championship Game, 2 playoff appearances

b. 16 – 7 regular season record, 2 – 2 playoff record

c. Stats: 5680 yds, 48 tds., 23 ints.


Randall Cunningham

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tales from the Workplace

Last Wednesday, I arrived in the office and immediately headed for the break room to get my first cup of coffee. As I was headed back to my desk, a man in a suit was following me through the entrance to my area of the building. He looked disheveled already, somewhat odd for 7:15am. His suit was unbuttoned, his hair unkempt, and was walking with a bagel in his hand. No paper towel; no small plastic plate; no knife; no peanut butter; just a bagel. Being the gentleman that I am, I opened the door for him to enter first. The guy proceeds to just blow past thank you, no eye contact, no head nod,  and heads off for his office. He wasn't in a particular hurry either. As I'm shaking my head in a bit of disbelief, I look as the guy slides the entire bagel into his pocket before entering his office. Huh??? Honestly, can't make this stuff up.

No bagel, no bagel, no bagel.