by user DNL

more "on the DL" opinions
Ah, the Sweet Sixteen. It's a lovely place—unless you are a fan of one of the 49 teams (yes, even Hampton) who were eliminated last week. Here you are, busted bracket in one hand, tissue box in another, and probably mad drunk from the Saint Patrick's Day/March Madness/"Hey, it's Monday Morning" binge.

There's no more basketball, at least not for you. Baseball is at least a week away. What, pray tell, should you do with your time?

Relax, because it's to the rescue, with our Ten Things To Do Now That Your Bracket is Busted.

10: Drink Even More -- Enough to Make College Baseball Tolerable


Ok Otto, time to get blotto.

College baseball is awful. Maybe it is because for every good player, there are two guys who couldn't make the Netherlands' WBC team. Maybe it has something to do with that horrific ping noise the ball makes off the bat. Or maybe it is because there are no good east coast teams, and everything west of the Appalachians tends to blur together for me.

But this year, there's hope. The Long Beach State 49ers have a guy on their team named Evan Longoria. Yep, you read that right.

Now... that's kind of interesting. Certainly, there is already a lot of confusion as to who he really is. A Google search on him even asks if you meant to look for Eva. So, I say go with it. Drink enough Milwaukee's Best or whatever your poison of choice is so that when you watch a Long Beach State game, Evan starts to look like one of these many, many, excellent photos from which I could hardly choose one. (Well, I did pick one. I tried to go "family friendly." And I'm a bit afraid of Tony Parker.)

Just don't go killing any kitties over this.

9: Prepare an Homage to Mel Kiper's Hair

The NFL Draft is only weeks away. You want to have the best Draft party on the block? Forget the beer and forget the chips. Instead, break out the Play*Doh—it's Mel Kiper Hair Homage time!

Your job: Between now and the NFL Draft, go to your local Play*Doh store and start buying the Play*Doh. Make a statutette of Mel Kiper, with emphasis on the 'do. Take a picture of your masterpiece.

Then, write an opinion on Upload the pic. We really want to see what you can do!

Good luck, and may the (super-stick) force (of hair gel) be with you.

8: Draft Vince Young's Post-Draft Speech

Every year, the fine young gentlemen lucky enough to be drafted early in the NFL lottery (and those unlucky souls who are invited and slip) go through the post-selection interview ritual. The NBA does it too. Occasionally, we'll see a gem like Gheorghe Muresan's interview, in which the 7'7" prospect said every single English word he knew—all nine of them.

Last year, Cedric Benson -- a Texas grad much like the Talented Mister Young—got up on the stage and proceeded to make a fool of himself. One columnist summed it up nicely (scroll down about a quarter of the way):



Watched Cedric Benson interviewed on TV shortly after the Bears made him their No. 1 pick in the NFL draft Saturday and had one thought: What in the world are you thinking? Shortly after being made a millionaire by the Bears, Benson is talking about how hard the draft process was for him, how he didn't appreciate the way he was treated.

He didn't sound much better

Let's see, in return for answering some questions about you kicking down an apartment door, you get paid millions of dollars to play football. What's hard about that?

Hello, Cedric, anybody home? You are the No. 4 pick in the draft, coming to a team that has a long history of great running backs and a fan base that wants to think you're the next coming. And you go on TV and make all of them start to wonder whether Jerry Angelo understands this draft thing.

Any fan wants to believe, but this is not a good start, not a good start at all.


Well, if an at least marginally intelligent product of Mack Brown's program has such a bad on-stage experience, we can we expect from a guy who is potentially illterate to be, uh, well, interesting, to say the least. Therefore, your mission, if you choose to accept it, it so draft Mr. Young's speech.

Some pointers:

  • Use small words.
  • Spell stuff phonetically.
  • Limit the use of math and math-related terms, such as "nickle package" and "46 defense."

In fact, we'll get you started:


I am veree ecks-I-ted to be a (insert team here). I want to thank mak and teck-sas for ul-ow-ing me 2 play and show the EN EFF ELL sk-outs that I kan be a val-you-A-bill part of the leeg. The roo-mirs of me be-ing stoo-pid are not troo. I had da floo when I tuk the ecks-am. I am veh-ree suh-mart and wil B an eck-sell-ent kuh-water-bak. Thane Q.


7: Follow the Women's Tournament


Instead, how about watching the World Ice Golf Championship? It's a two day tournament featuring former champs like Annika—no, not Sorrenstam—Ostberg, with an umlat over the o.

The festivities start Thursday—just about when your team would have been playing basketball, had the not already been eliminated. You can read the full itinerary (warning: it's a .pdf) if you'd like, but here are some non-ice golf highlights:

  • March 23, 8 PM—Welcome introduction to the Town of Uummannaq. Practical info by veteran tournament director Mr. Henrik Bergqvist.
  • March 24, 4 PM—Optional dog sled tour on the fiord ice.
  • March 26, 5 PM—The World Ice Golf Champion 2006 is celebrated on the ice (and world press photos 2006 shot).
  • March 27, all day—Resting day, shopping, excursions, dogsledgetours, icefishing etc.
  • March 28, about 6 AM—05:50–07:30 Transfer by helicopter GL 665 or by cars to Qaarsut Airport. (emphasis mine)

Sounds like fun. The cost for the Championship is Euro 2,000, or about $2,500 US. That includes green fees and a five night stay in Uummannaq, which we promise, is not a suburb of Baghdad or Tehran. Airfare is not included, and may be a bit difficult to obtain (Expedia was of no help!), which is probably why they have us flying via Copenhagen.

6: Study the Tax Code

No, not because April 15 is less than a month away. Study it because:

  • You probably lost some coin on Super Bowl XL
  • You probably lost some more on your Madness bracket

You may be able to write off these losses, but probably not. We'd suggest creativity in filing, except that we don't want to suggest you do anything illegal like "forget" to report income. Especially not if you're a compulsive gambler with a persecution complex.

5: Learn to Curl

Curling—a mix of chess, janitorial prowess, slip-and-slide, bocci, and sub-zero temperatures—was all the rage while the torch burned in Torino. With the Games now past, you have four years to become the Next Great American Curler, just like that, uh, group of guys who won Bronze. You know who I'm talking about. Ed and Steve or something like that.


Your ticket to Vancouver.

Yes, that's right! You can be the next Ed, or Steve, or even John! Just go learn to curl.

It is not all that difficult to get started. The U.S. Curling Association (really) lists 135 different curling clubs in the States. (Our Canadian readers simply have to go outside—rumor has it that on every street corner in Canada, there's a moose, a keg of Molson, a Daementogo, a Chesterfield, and twelve sheets of curling ice.)

And they are all over the place. Turns out there is one about five miles from my childhood home (under construction), and even one in Nebraska. The one in Nebraska? It "rents ice." I have no idea how they do that, but Gordon Gunderson and Sigrid Festersen are the President and Secretary of the Nebraska Curling Association—and no, I'm really, really not making that up. With names like that, anything is possible.

4: Play Knick Fantasy Basketball

The rules:

  • Draft a team of 12 current NBA players. Choose the most recognizable names possible. For every player you draft that is also drafted by another team, you get point point for every other team that drafts him.
  • Designate a coach. Yell at him. You get ten points every time he goes to the press to complain about you.
  • Designate a "franchise player." Have franchise player yell at coach. You get ten points for the first day the story is on ESPN, twenty for the next, then thirty for the third, and so on.
  • Trade for a second "franchise player." Make sure he is the same type of shoot-first ball-hog as your other "franchise player." If he is, award yourself 100 points. If they play the same position, award yourself 1,000 points.
  • Count the number of Manhattan residents that now consider themselves Net fans. Award yourself one point per.

When you reach 10,000,000 points, you can go to sleep. Your day is done.

3: Bite Into a Mountain Lion's Still-Beating Heart

Okay, I exaggerate—but only slightly. The heart doesn't have to still be beating—just uncooked.

On Friday, while you were too busy celebrating St. Patty's Day and/or cursing at the television as your teams lost game after game, the most shocking baseball news ever hit the wire:

Turk Wendell, former MLB relief pitcher, thinks Sammy Sosa did steroids.

Let's pause a second, such that the shock and awe can sink in.

Hasn't hit you yet? Neither me. Did Turk have any inside info? Nope. Did he see Sosa shoot up? Apparently not. Did his fifth cousin thrice removed sell Sosa a Whizzinator? Nope. Wendell's reasons for believing in Sosa's dope-hood:

  • "Here's a guy who goes from 30 homers to 60 homers every year, and just as fast he's out of baseball. Can't get a job. How's that work?"
  • "How's a guy gain 30 pounds of solid muscle in three months? It's physically impossible without the juice."
  • "Everybody in Chicago knew what was going on, . . . [t]he coaches knew. So did the managers and owners. How could they not know?"

Okay then. If the wire services wish to interview, say, me, here's my take, also having no first-person evidence:

Sosa probably used roids. He went from 30 homers to 60, basically overnight, and then just as quickly, can't hit a lick. Put on tons of muscle in a blink of an eye. Everyone knows he was doing something, how could they not?

So, what makes Turk Wendell an authority on foreign substances?

Turns out, Wendell is an avid mountain lion hunter, which, unless your hunting buddy is a certain Vice President of the United States, is no big deal. But, Wendell has his own quirky hunting ritual: "If [his prey] is a new species . . . Turk takes a bite from the raw heart in communion with the creature’s spirit." (emphasis mine)

Good enough for me.

2: Save CCSU!


Proof positive that the Keebler Elf and Smurfette got jiggy with it.


Fear the Daementogon!

About two weeks ago, I highlighted some of the worst NCAA school logos. One of the more ridiculous ones belong to Central Connecticut State University, home of the other Blue Devils.

It is abundantly clear that Central Connecticut needs a new logo. Anything will do. A quick Google Image Search on "kid art" gave me this thing over here on the right. That's a clear improvement. He's sticking his tongue out, has a buzzsaw attached to his tail, and even has the hyper-intelligent "ae" combination in the "Daementogon" name. Sweet!

In fact, here's a proposal. I'll give Central Connecticut State University five dollars -- American, not Canadian, even if the kid art over there is from Canada—if they adopt that Daementogon as their logo. It has to be the Daementogon as drawn, though.

I urge you to pledge your Abraham Lincolns (the paper variety, not the metal) as well. Maybe someone should even start a petition? I would, but I already put my five bucks into the pot. So, get on it!

1: Rant and Rave on Your Very Own Sports Blog

We've been through nine things to do, and you are still pissed. Your school's season is over. Your bracket is busted. That annoying co-worker who thinks that Gerry McNamara is the name of the guy on the Lucky Charms box is a clear favorite to win your office pool—again. And we won't even mention Barry Bonds, Terrell Owens, the New York Knicks, le affaire Gretzky, the Super Bowl officiating, Bode Miller, etc. etc. (Well, we won't mention them again.)

You need to re-establish your reputation a sports fan—as an expert. You need to vent. You want to ramble. Whatever—as some shoe company no one has ever heard of once said:

Just do it.

And do it here. It's free and easy:

  1. Create an account. Whenever you write an opinion, be sure you're signed in.
  2. Write your opinion.
  3. On your user page, put {{Clubhouse}}, squiggles and all. (Your user page can be accessed by clicking "My page" over at the left anytime you are logged in.)

You get:

  1. Your 15 newest opinions displayed, replete with an RSS feed!
  2. Your 15 top vote-getters displayed on your page.
  3. A link to your archives.
  4. The ability to put player statistics on in your articles.
  5. Plus, if they get enough votes, your articles will appear on player, team, league, or the front pages.

It's pretty freakin cool. It costs a lot less than that $20 office pool you've already lost. And you don't have to bite into the raw heart of a mountain lion.


Sun 03/19/06, 7:31 pm EST

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