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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More Time for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

When ESPN booted Sterling Sharpe from their Sunday NFL Countdown show, I was skeptical. When they inserted Michael Irvin in his place, I continued to be skeptical. Over the course of his first year, he gradually won me over as a likable goofball surrounded by stuffed shirts (NFL commentators, especially ex-players, take themselves far too seriously. Steve Young behaves like he's the head of a children's ICU or something). Michael Irvin never had much to say, and basically sat around and poked fun at everyone on the set.

Then, T.O. needed a friend in the media, and Michael Irvin became that friend. Ever since Terrell Owens started causing trouble in Eagles training camp last year, Michael Irvin has become a one-trick pony. Who's the best team in the NFL? The Cowboys. Why? Because T.O. is someday going to come out and be the great receiver he is, and lift the team to new heights. Never mind that Terry Glenn has been doing that for them already -- it has to be T.O. Also never mind that the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers all have a stronger claim on the title ( Note: The Author is strongly biased toward the Monsters of the Midway. It doesn't invalidate The Author's point (Note: I shall henceforth be known as The Author. Update your bookmarks accordingly)).

What do the Bears, Eagles, Patriots, Broncos and Chargers all have in common? None of them have a standout wide receiver. Somehow, Michael Irvin has it in his head that championship teams require superstar wide receivers. Well, duh. He was a wide receiver, and ever since someone came up with the catchy sobriquet of "The Triplets" to describe he, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin believes that any championship team requires a top quarterback, running back and wide receiver. That point could be made, I guess, but Michael Irvin is not the one to make it. Now that he actually believes in something, and tries to make points, he has become an embarrassment to ESPN. Imagine that--a company that employs Chris Berman and Stuart Scott managed to find someone even more annoying and incomprehensible to add into the mix. ESPN never had a great Sunday morning show, but it managed to get through the morning without the frat house idiocy of Fox's show, or the faux-gravitas of Boomer Esiason on CBS. Now, I suppose I'll have to abandon the shows entirely, because segments made up of Mike Ditka and Michael Irvin shouting over the top of each other do not make for good television.

Why hasn't the NFL Network launched a Sunday morning show? I have a feeling that Rich Eisen would do an outstanding job.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Wow. There are a lot of angry people out there. I have to nominate BG as my hero of the day, though. If you can get worked into a frenzy over an online gaming ban, after sleepwalking through a host of other outrages committed by the American government, then you may need to take a deep breath and try to consider if maybe you do have a gambling problem. The Republican Party is really testing the limits of what a culture focused on American Idol and Grey's Anatomy will accept before waking up and questioning authority. People can only be gullible about security for a limited time, right? Right?

You can't be the wind beneath my wings for just one good post, though. After reading BG's poker blog commentary, I decided to clean up the blog a little bit. Most of the people linked to the right drift away from poker content much of the time, and that's what keeps me reading. A couple of blogs had to be dropped from the list, simply because they tended toward hand history/game recap posts. There's nothing wrong with those, but I don't have a whole lot of interest in them any more. I considered moving my blog to something without "poker" in the time, but, ah, fuck it. Anyone that actually reads this blog can't be that finicky about what they're reading, or if it stays on topic.

So, let's see. Online horse racing is still legal. Youbet is probably the most mature and best service, unless you use a mac and want streaming video. Still, since I can get TVG on Directv, I guess streaming video isn't that big a deal.

I'm headed back out to Vegas in December. That will be my 4th trip in a year, which is definitely a new record for me. I toyed with the idea of staying somewhere cheap, but I couldn't do it. Mrs. Jackmama and I will be enjoying 3 nights at the Bellagio. I think it'll be at the tail-end of the Five Diamond Poker Classic, so maybe we'll see some lively poker action.

Government actions to legislate morality are bad. Make no mistake. I see a silver lining in this online gaming ban, though. I've drifted away from online poker and poker discussion sites in the last several months because it got to where I saw many people playing a different game. Multi-tabling and poker-tracker and all the other technology-dependent strategies toward winning in online poker just seem like work to me. I've always had a soft spot for the game of poker where 9 or 10 people sit down and play the game. So, for me, the loss on online poker is not a loss at all, since I had drifted away from that culture already.

You know what is a loss to me? Online sports betting. Fuck you, Frist and all your nanny-government cohorts.