Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Top 10 Befuddling Baseball Bits

Spending lots of downtime at Tropicana Field this week watching the NY Yanks take on the Tampa Bay Rays, I found myself bemused by lots of befuddling baseball bits.

Here's a list of my top ten:

#10 Why do we refer to poles being foul when they're clearly located in fair territory.

#9 Why the stolen bases out there never get sold, pawned or even brought home as a trophy.

#8 Why I hardly ever see a readying on-deck batter actually standing in the on-deck circle.

#7 Why fans continue to tolerate hecklers who think behaving like a bufoon is really a good thing.

#6 Why rotund baseball managers still insist on wearing too-tight outfits that look more like spray-on Halloween costumes than true team uniforms.

#5 Why players adjust their fellas and poke their packages when every fan in the stadium is watching . . . and fans at home are cringing as they watch up-close on their HDTV.

#4 Who's the marketing genius that created microscopic sized dessert particles known as Dippin' Dots . . . and why do hoards of fans pay around 75 cents a dot for each of them.

#3 Stupid Statistics. Do I care how many times lefty batters whiff during rain delayed night games in August?

#2 Clueless baseball fans singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!" when they've been already sitting there for over six innings.

#1 Who was the rumdum who called the catcher's protector a cup when no sane person on the planet would ever consider drinking from it?

Straight Talk. No Static.

MIKE - Thee American Made Voice on Sports!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Minnesota Vikings' Peterson Receives Twitter's Inaugural NFL Award

(Satire) Last night Twitter, the world's pre-eminent micro-blogging social media site, presented its inaugural NFL Twit Head of the Year Award for reckless remarks to Minnesota Vikings' All Pro RB Adrian Peterson.

Twitter initially planned to award the gleaming NFL Crystal Ball Twit Head Trophy to a worthy NFL personality at the start of its next season. NFL Twit Head Award finalists included megolomaniac Cincinnati Bengal WR Chad Ochocinco, oft-retired sexting QB Brett Farve, and AFC Title Game Runner-up NY Jets coach, the bombastic Rex Ryan.

However, due to failed NFL labor negotiations, coupled with Adrian Peterson's recent comments likening his professional football employment to slavery, Twitter management considered the timing more than ripe to present this inaugural and inglorious distinction.

Peterson appeared nervous on television receiving his Twitter award as well as during his acceptance speech. Though admittedly earning a whopping $10.72 million this year, the Viking star RB stressed that his regrettable racially incendiary "slave wages" remarks were taken out of context, even though he expressed them twice.

Prone to putting the pigskin on the turf during big NFL games, Peterson proceeded to provide a near perfect repeat performance during this inaugural Twitter event. In a major ooops! move, Peterson inexplicably fumbled the gleaming glass trophy while being escorted off stage. The fall created a sea of glass shards sparkling across the floor.

When questioned about Peterson's unexpected coughing up of the now shattered NFL Twit Head of the Year Award, Twitter executives downplayed AP's mishandling of the ball. "Not a problem. Adrian's slavery remarks were so reckless, Twitter is willing to re-present him with replacement shatterproof trophies. We're designing twin Twit Heads, one for each time he uttered his careless comments."

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE - thee ultimate talking head on sports!

Spring's Maddening Sickness of NCAA College Basketball

With swift and unapologetic fury, the same sickness attacks me every March.

Rendering me nearly powerless, this early Spring malaise - far worse than any cold, virus or flu -devours my energy, cripples my logical thinking and negates any thought of normality in my life for nearly 30 days.

This month the same invisible power has wielded its ugly head and smitten me once again. In the past family, friends and colleagues pleaded with me to seek a cure for the insanity this unseen force wreaks in my life during March.
Reluctantly, I followed their beckoning calls and sought professional care. Eager to help, these experts offered little hope for recovery while others lamented that I simply didn't want to be cured.

Neurologists from John Hopkins Medical Center diagnosed severe, but not terminal, brain abnormalities. Psychiatrists and sociologists from the University of California at Berkeley detected extreme shifts in emotion coupled with rabid anti-social behavior. Even celebrated theologians from the Vatican speculated about some overpowering spirit requiring an exorcism.

However, two budding Bracketologists out of Bloomington, Indiana diagnosed my condition immediately. These pimply faced, 15-year-olds instantly recognized my symptoms and pinpointed my acute abnormality. Why? Because they, too, experience the same condition every Spring. Their revelation mystified medical experts and stupefied both theologians and behavioral scientists alike, yet their simple findings brought me a major sigh of relief. Peace descended upon me instantaneously, soothing my soul to its core.

I know now what slays me every Spring and I relish - embrace - this sickness.

This Maddening Spring Sickness is also known as March Madness, and boy, did I catch another baaaaad case! But instead of prescribing drugs, recommending group therapy or offering up endless prayers, these kids from Indiana told me to enjoy the disease, allow the sickness to fully run its course and be grateful I was chosen to endure the illness. More than that, these high schoolers recommended that I, by no means, attempt to hasten my recovery. They confidently assured me that this extreme malady would miraculously disappear by midnight EST the first Monday in April . . . as it faithfully does every year.

As further proof of their diagnosis, the same pubescent basketball junkies claim that my condition is no different than that of thousands of other cases. These boys shared similar stories of other Bracketologists beset by a strikingly similar springtime condition. As empirical proof, they cited cases popping up in Durham, NC; Lexington, KY; Spokane, WA; Lawrence, KS; and northeastern cities like Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Philly.

Again this year, major hot spots for the disease were coming from every conceivable socially-economically-geographically-racially-educationally unbiased demographics across the country. Growing in intensity, this Maddening Spring Sickness is not only striking across the USA but also around the globe where fans are equipped with the proper satellite and Internet access. Roundball experts have cited the sickness as a worldwide epidemic, challenging the likes of the CDC and even the International Red Cross.

Yup! March Madness has once again gripped me, pulsating uncontrollably through my veins. Symptoms like sleep deprivation, strong bouts of euphoria, irrational guttural screams and obsessive-compulsive behavior have overtaken me. I'll soon be uttering an endless array of scores, stats, pregame analysis and RPI ratings. I'll even debate conference strength of schedules and prognosticate regional brackets.

Like a zombie, I'll hypnotically trudge through mid-March and into early April never parting with my remote. I'll divide my time between the big LCD screen on my TV, the smaller LCD screen on my WiFi notebook and the even smaller LCD screen on my iPhone. Forget about regular, normal relationships.
Like some co-dependent alien, I'll only be able to communicate coherently with others who share the same physical and psychological condition. Sweating profusely and biting my nails incessantly, I'll be texting and mumbling phrases like Sweet Sixteen; Another Cinderella Advances; Buzzer Beater; Raining 3's; Diaper Dandy; Box Out; Shooting Out the Lights; and my personal favorite - Double Overtime Barn Burner!

Wow, what a sickness! I say, bring it on every March. Give me a double dose and don't ever try to cure me.

Please don't stop this March Madness. Don't ever stop this Madness.

Thank you, young men from Bloomington, IN for diagnosing my condition.
I just love this disease.

Straight Talk. No Static.

MIKE - thee American Made Voice On Sports!

Monday, December 6, 2010

FIFA Awards 2022 World Cup to Qatar (Satire)

(Satire) On December 2, 2010, FIFA officially announced Qatar as host country of the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA's surprising selection of this little known, oft-mispronounced Persian Gulf Emirate is cited as a "courageous step into new territory." Yea, kinda like intentionally marching right off the nearest cliff!

Despite Qatar's location in a politically unstable region with no football (soccer) playing history and scorching desert heat that could melt an Adidas soccer ball, FIFA President Seth Blatter boldly proclaimed, "The World Cup will now go to new lands!"

The President's confident comment prompted immediate worldwide reaction from incredulous soccer enthusiasts - many sarcastically suggesting that FIFA could also have chosen Mars - whose lunar landscape, extreme weather conditions and non-existent population base closely mirror that of the newly appointed 2022 host nation.

Nevertheless, FIFA's daring decision to challenge conventional thinking by voting Qatar as the 2022 World Cup host immediately galvanized other audacious moves in the sports world; namely:

In Lausanne, Switzerland - International Olympic Committee President Jacques Bogge quickly named Honolulu, Hawaii over Annecy, France; Munich, Germany; and Pyeongchang, South Korea as host city of the 2018 Winter Olympic games. Bogge noted that Waikiki's beautiful weather couldn't be any warmer than what skiiers, bob sledders and skaters experienced at the 2010 Winter Games held in Vancouver, BC.

In New York City - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell awarded Dhaka, Bangladesh as site of Super Bowl 53. Defending this newest venue, Goodell noted that despite knowing nothing about this uniquely American sport, this Third World country holds manufacturing rights to most of the NFL licensed apparel and certainly deserves a run as host city to the event.

In Charlotte, North Carolina - NASCAR officials announced a new Interstate 95 Race as part of its Spring Cup series. NASCAR President Mike Helton boasted that the Interstate's well established infrastructure up and down the eastern seaboard would allow increased visibility for the sport while showcasing the excellence of NASCAR drivers as they deftly navigate rush hour traffic on both the NJ Turnpike and Washington, DC's famed Beltway.

Finally, back in the celebrating city of Doha, Qatar, fashion designers unveiled (no pun intended) a dazzling black burqa as official female apparel for World Cup 2022. Now, not only the women of Qatar but every female fan expecting to attend the event can don this chic new cover-up while they brave the Arab Emirate's blazing sun and daily temperatures of 118 degrees.

Straight Talk. No Static.

MIKE - Thee American Made Voice on Sports

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Auburn QB Cam Newton Cleared by NCAA for SEC Championship Game

(Satire) This week the NCAA declared Auburn University star QB Cam Newton eligible to play in Saturday's SEC championship game versus Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks.

Emboldened and energized by the NCAA's decision, Newton's embattled father Cecil escalated his future demands regarding his Heisman hopeful son.

The elder Newton mandated these Mariah Carey-type diva demands, requiring that:

The Heisman Trophy would need to be plated in 18 carat gold, so that is Cam is ultimately selected, Cecil could melt down the metal to help cover his burgeoning legal expenses.

Frito Lay would need to name a new chip after the younger Newton if the stellar QB advances past South Caroline to the Tostitos BCS championship game in Glendale, Arizona on January 10, 2011.

Dell Computers would need to funish Cam with a lifetime supply of laptops, so that the pilfering QB prodigy wouldn't be tempted to steal another on in the future, further risking his NFL eligibility and marketability.

Cecil Newton could not be reached for comment. He was purportedly behind closed doors, shamelessly offering would be sports agent Kenny Rogers a second chance of bringing in bigger bucks, while Cam is still eiligible.

Straight Talk. No Static.

MIKE - Thee American Made Voice on Sports

Friday, October 1, 2010

Facebook's New Sports Feature (satire)

Coinciding perfectly with today's release of The Social Network movie, Facebook has introduced a new feature of its own - certain to become every sports fan's favorite.

Filling an urgent need on the web's most celebrated social site, Facebook's new Dis-Like button combats the shameless self-promotion of the sports world's biggest unbridled egos by affording frustrated fans the opportunity to stem the internet's newest STD (socially transmitted disease, that is) of tasteless sports celebrity hype.

Certain to become the web's latest viral sensation, Facebook's limited edition Dis-Like button is patterned after Homeland Security's color coded threat advisory system and reserved only for the most overblown egos in the sports world.

Facebook's new sports specific, multi-tiered feature allows users to display their personal distaste for self-absorbed jocks using this brilliantly simple annoyance alert system.

Wanna K.O. T.O.'s mindless chatter? Press the new yellow Dis-Like button for elevated annoyance and choose a complimentary Bag of Hot Air emoticon to appear next to the Bengal receiver's name and picture.

Wanna Deep 6 Ocho Cinco and drive Chad a little poco loco? Press the new orange Dis-Like button for high annoyance which will automatically attach a Thumbs Down icon next to Chad's photo, so your Facebook Friends can share their same Dis-Like with all of their Facebook Friends....up to 85 times apiece.

Wanna Short Circuit Shaq? Press the new red Dis-Like button for severe annoyance which automatically shuts down this shameless self-promoter on your Wall and instantly reports Big Diesel's boorish behavior to Facebook's on-line police.

Social network experts predict that Facebook's new sports feature will quickly emerge as the perfect antidote for overblown egos of overconfident athletes whose excessive self-promotion is crying out for curtailment.

Liking Facebook's new Dis-Like button - soon to be every sports fan's favorite.

This is MIKE - thee American made voice on sports!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

ESPN Announces Dancing with the Stars Spin-off (Satire)

Dancing with the Stars kicks off Monday on ABC.

In a surprise twist, Dancing with the Stars' (DWTS) unparalleled success has now spawned a spin-off sports show slotted for next spring on affiliate network ESPN. Aptly named Dancing with Parole Model Sports Stars, the series is hustling to assemble its ESPN All-Star line-up as famous felons, foolish philanderers and other celebrated sports figures boasting run-ins with the law are competing for the show's Mirrorball Trophy.

While most elements remain under wraps, TMZ has leaked details of the spring 2011 season of Dancing with Parole Model Sports Stars series.

Viewers will witness legendary jocks in the show's familiar holding tank as they ready to appear before a live audience with studio judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman. However, while recent DWTS stars typically found standing before judges intimidating, executive producers at ESPN believe their crop of culpable contestants will be fully confident, especially considering their previous courtroom appearances and prior criminal records.

Exactly which professional dancers will be assigned to the Dancing with Parole Model Sports Stars inaugural line-up is yet to be cast in concrete. However, ESPN producers have locked up early commitments from several parole model sports stars and have already selected a few opening night numbers for these five philanderers and currently unfettered offenders.

Top golfer Tiger Woods, who routinely demonstrated superior skill in stepping out during his former marriage, will perform the Quick Step to Carrie Underwood's "Maybe Next Time He'll Think Before He Cheats".

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who was recently indicted on multiple charges to include domestic battery, is currently slated to perform the Paso Dobles to Pat Benitar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot".

Legendary pitcher Roger Clemens, who has been needled unmercifully by the Press concerning his future incarcerated state, has been unintentionally - yet ironically - booked for Boogieing to Elvis' "Jailhouse Rock".

Suspended NFL QB and former Super Bowl MVP Ben Roethlisberger, who continued his carnal craving for curvaceous coeds, will be choreographed slithering across the dance floor to Charlie Daniels' "The Devil Went Down to Millidgeville, Georgia".

NY Yankee 3B Alex Rodriguez, whose self-centered reputation prompted producers to part with the DWTS tradition of two-party routines, was selected to be its first contestant ever to dance alone in the competition, Free Styling to Carly Simon's "You're So Vain".

While scores of current and former athletes have lined up to break in to ESPN's Dancing with Parole Model Sports Stars' inaugural season, a few defendants, ah, contestants, fell through. DWTS host Tom Bergeron reported on athletes who purportedly took issue with ESPN's selection of songs for their first night's routines. They included:

Las Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, who refused to perform the Polks to John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High Colorado".

Former NFL RB great OJ Simpson, who declined to dance the Fox Trot to "I Fought the Law and the Law Won".

And, finally, NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, who refused to dance the new Horizontal Mambo to the tune of the classic 1959 hit, "Teen Angel".

Straight Talk. No Static.

MIKE - Thee American Made Voice on Sports