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Article:Phoenix is Stirring; Hiding the Fact that it is a Crappy Sports Town Very Well

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Here I am, sitting in the center of the sports journalism world, watching TV.

I might as well just turn the TV off and look outside for myself! (warning: this post contains 56% new sports content!)

Manny Stiles’ indelible yet super random sports thoughts

Just flipping through the channels today.

I’m thinking of giving up this blah-blah thread filling since nobody cares to read comments let alone recognize the genius in crafting them and actually taking that same Jenga-like word-assembling abilities and assembling/writing a book - say prayers for my eventual editor – maybe ArmchairGM should start a publishing unit for us budding Kenricks. So forgive the all-over-the-place nature of this post – My A.D.D. is in serious control today and my mental editor just said something about going somewhere to fack myself! We'll just jump around since I'm too lazy to thread it all together right now - that's why surgeons don't close and closers don't perform surgery.

Anyhoo, here’s 10 Books off the top of my head I think I could write fairly easily…

The Reverend That Exorcised the Devil – The journey of a bewildered, yet beguiling writer/ordained minister during Tampa’s last season as the “Devil” Rays.

Perspective: New England Patriots - How to go from 1-15 to 18-1 in just 17 short years

Chicken Soup for the Trolls - "no explanation neccessary" is more eloquent than "No comment", plus saying "no comment" IS A COMMENT@!!!!

The 20 Sweatiest Women in Sports – Eh, somebody has to do it. Why send a Man to do the job when you can send a Manny?!?

Fack – An Oral History in Print

All QB’s Should Wear Black Hightops (alternate title- Why It’s Good To Be Ranked Too Low Using Davis21wylie’s Rating Systems) - Johnny U was no Johnny Me.

Why Go Out There And Try To Bang Smoking Hot Babes When You Could Be simul-Simulating This Whole (Past) 2007 Season on No, seriously.

Maria Sharapova – Better than Hot Uhhh… She’s way more talented, personable and fascinating than she is “hot”. Meaning – sure, she can make partially blind men see better, but who cares what she looks like? This chick can PLAY! If her first name was Ivana or Mary and not “Maria” she wouldn’t get quite the attention and we'd see how good she really is! Blame Kournikova – she was hotter than she was good.

Fishing – The Sport where any score WINS! I plan on saving $1000 this year from my normal food spending by eating my state approved limits! But I will still practicing plenty of catch and release with the sportier (read: less tasty) species.

Curlnoodling – The fateful day two separate worlds collided. Too true to be fiction.

The Valley of the Sun is abuzz…

E over Phoenix

Manny Stiles atop South Mountain, overlooking Phoenix, Arizona (photo by Manny Stiles for AGM)








Let's see what's on TV

Local News (pick any channel):

"The Super Bowl is..." *click*

ESPN (live from down the street):

"We're here in Arizona for the Super Bowl..." *click*


"Senator John McCain of Arizona..."

Ok, that wasn't Super Bowl related!

"...will be at the Super Bowl on Sunday."


Enough already!!! *click*

Food Channel:

"... in the soup. Or bowl..." *click*

Nature Channel:

"A cardinal is a bird that..." *click*

Science Channel:

"Color is percieved on many levels. To say an orange is an orange because of the color is to say a cardinal is a cardinal because of it's color not it's feathers!"

And that's my point, folks. The Cardinals BLEW this opportunity to shove it down everyone's throat that THEY are the hosts! Why are the Super Bowl XLII's colors so NOT the Cardinals colors?

  • And yes, I will say it again - Yes there are cardinals in Arizona - the Cardinals were so named after the color of socks they originally wore, not after a bird of ANY sort.

Well done, Bidwells. Go through all the trouble to build a stadium that looks more expensive than it's worth, go through all the trouble to get to host the "Big Game" (or was it leverage to get the citizens to pony up the bill?) then you don't even capitalize on the biggest stage of them all and GET YOUR TEAM OUT THERE!!!

The Cards just finished .500 or above for the THIRD time since moving to Arizona in 1988, you have a good young core of talent and are an up and coming team with hope, and there ISN'T a bird's head all over everything touting the awesomeness of your illustrious and historical fraenchise?????

Ten years from now when someone wonders "what were they thinking?" and they stumble across this internetially archived mass of wordiarrhea, here's your answer - "They Weren't". *click*

FBR Open

Golf Channel

Just about every year the event formerly known as the "Phoenix Open", is held in prestigious North Scottsdale; the FBR Open traditionally ends just as the Super Bowl game is starting up. The FBR Open is known as the "party stop" of the PGA tour. Being that I never have given a crap about golf or partying with a bunch of U of A and ASU grads pretending to be in the frat house again, I have never attended the annual event. Plus it's a Phil Mickelson love-in.

But why won’t Tiger come?

Probably for the same reason my wife won’t let me go there without her! Partying, Booze and Boobs. Oh yeah, and an occasional golf occurance. The “Phoenix Open” is the Sports Party of the Year in Arizona. I used to live in North Scottsdale about a mile and a half from the course and it was loud enough!

If you've seen Best Damned Sports Show this week than you've seen the Owl's Nest at the FBR Open. Given the atmosphere and the booze; if you divided the crowd in a tenth it's size, added water, boats and a little more nudity you'd have Lake Havasu during Spring Break!

I won't go into more detail, but it's Arizona's favorite party (16th hole being the favorite hot spot) and with the Super Bowl being here this year, it just seems extra special. *click*

Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction

Speed Channel

The Annual Barrett Jackson Auto Auction brings out the stars as well. Famous cars are sold and famous people buy cars at the most illustrious annual auto auction.

I went a couple years ago. It was cool… *click*

Super Bowl

(What channel is it on this year?) ...*Click* here for my Super Bowl analysis...


FSN Arizona

Records, Schmecords. The Suns are the best team in basketball, but I feel they’re gonna make a move soon for a serviceable big man. Shawn Marion may or may not be dealt – I guarantee it!

One thing I know for sure (kinda) - We'll be saying “Catch ya later” to Marcus Banks and undetermined sum/cap space/picks. Regardless, they are on a roll after smacking down Larry Hughes and the LeBrons as well as the Chicago Bullcraps and our old loser-friend JJ and the Hawks.

Now Phoenix is Football-drunk and here come the Suns returning home to a stretch of 10 of their next 11 games at the Purple Palace, Planet Orange, Home of the Gorilla including Thursday’s game hosting the dastardly San Antone Spurs!!!

Next up on FSN Arizona - something NOT hosted by the hardest working man in Phoenix Sports Journalism, Brad Steinke...*click*

And that's not all! Order now and get a second FREE!

Local Cable Channel

The Arizona State Women's basketball team is creating a minor buzz in the sports community as well. Or at least I think they are... *click*

The Intro to “Valley of the Sun Day”


Bowl Season just ended, New Year’s hangovers were clearing out and the memories of a ridiculous yet dramatically rich - if not downright lucky - Diamondbacks season were long gone.

For the Snowbirds were returning from their wintry holidays at Good Ole’ Home, wherever that may be – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, the Dakotas even the hallowed Great Northeast Corridor – Cubs fans, Vikings fans, Packers fans and a fashionably unacceptable crapload of Patriots/Red Sox fans. Returning from their native lands bound in Old Man Winter’s throes to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Here it was a much more golf-friendly way to suffer through the darkest season. But alas! Old Man Winter had a trick up his breezy sleeve; he lambasted the city of Phoenix and the entire Salt River Basin with C-O-L-D!!!

It was “that” time of year. The touristy hotbed of yuletide afterglow, Santa’s Village was closing down for the season. They have 8 more months to practice and prepare for next year.

The days were shorter.

Ungodly was the temperature! Damn ye Celcius!

The days were in the 50’s and the nights in the 30’s. Damn Ye, Fahrenheit; I mean!!! There was even FROST on the grass!!! Ye gads!

Nevertheless, nary a hotel room remains unoccupied. The highways are stuffed full of multi-colored/mutli-geographical automobile license plates. The Valley of the Sun is abuzz! *click*

The Conspiracy


The NFL allowed NFL Network to show the final game of the season between the Giants and the Patriots on two networks. Coincidence? New York team, New York Media, New York League Headquarters taking down the dynastic Boston team.

Speaking of New York and Boston living out their extranet flame wars.

Too bad the Yankees and Red Sox won’t face each other in the playoffs next year. There can’t be three playoff teams from the same division in baseball. *click*

  • Ed.note - You know you can’t call it “Super Bowl”? It’s trademarked, copywritten and can also cure some types of cervical cancer! You need permission from the NFL to use it – well at least if you’re gonna make a profit off the idea. Yeah, yeah.. free use, etc. Anyway, let the NFL be pricks, see if I care! I won’t call it Super Bowl (even though they didn’t for a while either!)

And I won’t call it the NFC-AFC Championship out of spite. Well…. Maybe…

Nah, I’ll just call it something else each time!!! You’ll catch on!

That mountain you keep seeing in the background...

Nat'l Geographic Channel

Camelback mountain seen in the background of most media reports from Scottsdale is just as far from my house. In fact, Camelback can be seen from my house (even from my bedroom window). I am south of Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale is East.

What ESPN hasn't told you is that "SouthBridge" was just completed in construction a couple weeks ago and the "bridge" merely goes over a dirty irrigation canal. They literally jammed that construction in specifically with the Super Bowl in mind and it's not completed in it's entirety.

Regardless, I do love Scottsdale and have scaled Camelback Mountain many times. *click*

Magnificent Bowl analysis you can find nowhere else

Turned the TV off!

OK, I looked it up on a map program.

Apparently, it’s 22.31 miles from my house to University of Phoenix Stadium. That’s actually further than I thought it was! Most of the drive is 70 mph highway driving, so it only takes 15-20 minutes to get there…by car. It’s about a year and a half to 2 years travel, fashion-wise between the Streets and the Aves. Hey, I lived in North Scottsdale for 3 years before moving to the East Side of Phoenix (or as I dub it… West Scottsdale Ho! – Papagos in the House!! Arcadia in the House!)

In comparison, that’s still closer than it was to my old job which was 25.7 miles from home…took me 20 minutes to get to work. I could drive home for lunch!!!

Oddly enough, when I lived in Pennsylvania at one point, I lived exactly 26.1 miles from home (no, I haven’t run a marathon….yet) and I used to joke that I could RUN home faster! It took me an HOUR to get home due to traffic and typical PA road construction detours and during one snow event, it actually took me over 4 hours to make it home – maybe I could run a 4 hour marathon? Oh well, I’m thinking of saving my marathon virginity for my 70th Birthday…

I’ll admit it. Being a HUGE baseball fan in the 90’s living in and around Philly and dealing with the annual suffering of Eagles fans really turned me off to football for a while. Moving to Arizona and dealing with Cardinals fans was downright a rusty jackhammer to the groin for my football fanship.

Have you seen some of the games the Cardinals have played over the last 20 years? “Brutal” and “appalling” are two of the sunnier compliments you would use.

  • If you’re under the age of 17 or don’t have your parent’s permission, stop reading here - or just skip ahead a few paragraphs.

The Cardinals were downright hideous and atrocious.

You know they were 8-8 this year? They achieved .500 for the third time since 1985!!! Hurray! You know they beat the Cowboys in the playoffs in 1998 right? It’s their only playoff victory since 1947! You remember Edgerrin James? He’s cool, he's the active career rushing yards leader even though Indy got their rings without him, right?

Ok, that’s the entire HIGHLIGHTS section of Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals History.

Now for the Advanced Fans among us, let’s skip ahead to Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals History 330 - University of Phoenix Stadium History – The Horror Continues?

After all, this article really is about the Sponsors Bowl and the Sponsors Bowl being played 22.31 miles from my PC.

UPS (Ugly Piece of Shit… I mean; University of Phoenix Stadium) as we will call it from here through the part where I pimp my archives at the end really was ugly when they were building it. Now, it helps if you understand Arizona’s agricultural landscape – Arizona has “The 5 C’s” – Copper, Concrete, Cattle, Citrus and Cotton. And UPS was built right amidst a big old stretch of cotton fields. Flat and dull, with most of the geographical features too afar to matter, UPS is a “technological wonder” due to it’s rollout field, modern design and faux euro-asiatic post pre-modern styling.

If you ask me, it looks like the afore mentioned “ugly piece of shit”. No seriously, it looks like it was stolen from Legoland and reassembled in a rock field.

I’m not saying it’s not cool – it’s certainly a viable NFL stadium. And considering the Cardinals last digs – Sun Devil Stadium (One of the coolest placements of a stadium ever) – which is horribly outdated with it’s who’s-the-genius-who-put-heat-retaining-metal-bench-seating-in-a-stadium-in-hot-assed-Arizona – FINE for a party college like ASU but let’s face it; the Cardinals were never going to fill that stadium with fans and NO NFL TEAM should ever play in a college stadium anyway!

Back the UPS, home of the Ugliest Color-schemed El Gigante Bowl to date… Are these the new Cardinals team colors? My God, what kind of medical condition was the person who thought that was a good idea suffering of? Were they trying to give us nightmares? Are you working for Al Qaida? Why not kick some not-yet-weaned puppies, stomp on meadows of pansies or peel onions in a baby’s eye?

They actually have “Official Super Bowl XLII Stores” at the local malls. You can buy everything you can imagine in the official colors of Monstrosity Bowl 42, eyegouge maroon and retinaburn blue. The same people run the stores every year - like a 21st century Sports Carny - and several of the store employees agreed with me that this year's colors are the worst ever.

Personally, I rank this year's Super Bowl schematics up there with the NBA All-Star game in San Antonio in the mid 90's.

{Insert picture with caption – How can Tom Brady be the best All-Time QB when he isn’t even his own franchise’s all time leader in passing yards?}

Some Things Most People Won't Consider - No Particular Order

  1. Eventually, there will be TWO undefeated teams meeting in the Duper Bowl.
  2. NFLTV is up to something here...
  3. Spygate, Bootgate... how about STFUgate?
  4. I wonder if Tom Brady's ankle injury weren't a hoax; would he get lidocaine in his belly button like Roger Clemens did?
  5. The Giants have never lost a Stupendous Bowl to an original AFL franchise.
  6. The Pats have never beaten a team that had a mascot that wasn't an animal in the Immense Bowl.
  7. Has a bigger underdog ever been so confident before? I mean, the Pats are undefeated and the Giants are 12 point underdogs as just the third 10 win team EVER to make it to the Fantastic Bowl.
  8. Where was all this media for Arizona Fall League?
  9. Someone needs to say it - this game will boil down to one thing - Giants DL vs. Pats OL
  10. Or special teams (Wouldn't Domenik Hixon be a perfect candidate to cap off an odd year by becoming a hero?)
  11. The things people are saying about this year's past sounds eerily familiar to what similar pundits said about the "Juggernaut" 2001 Rams.
  12. Did you think I would be able to make a 4,000 word post about the Awesome Bowl and never mention the coaches? Well, I did!
  13. "New York vs. Boston"..... A-G-A-I-N. But it's happening in Arizona so the buzz has shifted. Please note: heavy favorites have not fared well in Arizona recently.
  14. An AFC team has never won a Large Bowl in the Mountain Time Zone.
  15. I was in attendance at the last NFL game at UPS before the Tremendous Bowl.

Shot out to Sol

An ode to game day. (Suns - Spurs tonight - let the bitching about Tony Parker being hurt begin!)

See the rise, the dawn
Anticipation bows to awe and glory
Mist upon the dew
Vapors dancing, flitting about the condensation
A new day springs upon us
The calendar weeps at the tearing off of the previous day
Sweeping away a blustery night
Winter’s cold grip cannot contain the warmth in your heart
Light shadowing above the horizon
Etching across the higher clouds, then the lower
Peaking, beckoning the call to a new day
Alas, everything on this muddy rock gazes agape
Movement up and across the bubble of perception
Crawling walking
The dome above our perilous journey
Marking a rise of the day
The burning of the Sonoran sky
Like an echo into a microwave canyon
Pushing through your skin, into your inner being
Beaming into your inner existence
Transcending your essence
Penetrating your soul
Through heat, through light to neutrinos flowing through you
Pushing onward and forcing a tomorrow
Limping, falling
Yea, upon the fall into night
Your mind comes to reckoning
You need to find your ticket
The moment is upon you
It is time to leave your home
It is time to leave your belongings behind
It is time to let your inner Gorilla shine!''

And the journey begins

The adventure on Jefferson St.,
…this ride to Planet Orange.

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