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Guy with Eyeblack

Five sport-type things you may want to know

puppetsI’m back! Not that it was a hard decision.

Coming from a background in writing in which my readers’ most constructive comments were often disguised as death threats (I knew they were just teasing – few, if any of them, made any actual attempts), the warm reception I received last week was a welcome change.

So here I am, ready to foist more nuggets of sports wisdom upon you all. Don’t you feel lucky? Here are the five sport-type things you may want to know this week.

1. Kobe Bryant’s puppet is lonely – Thanks to Cleveland’s utter choke job in the Eastern Conference Finals, fans, television executives and even NBA power-brokers everywhere are being denied the dream matchup they all craved so desperately. Not Los Angeles vs. Cleveland, mind you. Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James.

I could continue to pile onto Cleveland, but that would be ridiculously easy. Likewise, I could make a big deal about this, but James has mostly been a stand-up guy throughout his career, so I won’t begrudge him a “Terrell Owens” moment too much … at least not this time.

No, my ire at present is reserved for the marketing geniuses who decided to create an absurd vortex of hype for a potential LeBron-Kobe pairing, including the abomination that shall henceforth be known as the puppet debacle … before the matchup could even materialize.



I’ll let the above video speak for itself (except to say that it makes even less sense than the Lil’ Penny ads ever did, and that is a remarkable achievement). But beyond the sheer ridiculousness of the ads themselves is the concept that the ads should even exist in the first place. You know, before the matchup had been determined?

I swear, the clowns who came up with this idea must be the same ad wizards who gave us the Geico cavemen.

But anyway, now that LeBron isn’t in the Finals, what I really want to know is whether they’re going to keep airing these ads with Puppet Kobe sitting there by himself? What’s he supposed to do then, play Solitaire and surf the net? I almost feel bad for Puppet Kobe.


2. Lee Corso is still alive – This may actually be a surprise for some of you who haven’t watched “College Gameday” in awhile. “That old fart is still going strong?”

Yep. Well, sort of. Truth is, he recently suffered a minor stroke, so there had been some question about whether he’d be back on television anytime soon (or at all).

Thankfully for those of us who enjoy a little comic relief (and insanity) in our college football Saturdays, Corso is expected back in his normal seat this fall, putting random college mascot heads on and making some of the most ridiculous predictions imaginable in the process.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

3. Joe Pa gets it – You can tell it’s the NFL’s slow period when college football starts making offseason headlines. But really, I can’t complain about this when every media outlet on the planet has been over-saturating my brain with NFL content for the past 10 months anyway. The focus on college is a nice switch.

Of course this also provides the fringe benefit of giving me space to make fun of the Big Ten, which is always nice.

This week, the big news centers on that young whippersnapper, Joe Paterno (“Joe Pa”), the seemingly immortal head coach at Penn State, coming out in support of Big Ten expansion … but not where Notre Dame is concerned. Seems he’d rather have the likes of Rutgers or Pittsburgh to push around instead.

Despite his resemblance to Estelle Getty, the man makes a good point. Why add another 300-pound gorilla when you can get the added benefits of mad cash AND extra wins for basically nothing?

Beats me. Yet none of his fellow coaches are in his corner on this one.

Seriously, how fracked up does the Big Ten have to be to have an 82-year-old be the voice of progression and sanity in his conference?

On second thought, don’t answer that.

4. Manny Ramirez: Banned, shamed and honored? – Isn’t America great? One minute you’re suspended 50 games for doing steroids, the next you’re in the All-Star Game.

At least this is what some fans are seeking for disgraced Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez, and while I have to question the “statement” they are trying to make by doing this, I cannot complain about the ensuing chaos and fretting amongst the powers-that-be that would result.

Can you imagine a world in which a person is rewarded for cheating with one of the greatest honors his sport can bestow upon him? If not, you better get on that, because Ramirez at last count was fourth in the voting (and the top three get in).

The media meltdown could be epic, folks. Epic.

5. Somebody is watching the NHL – Despite suffering the indignity of its championship playing second fiddle to NBC’s reality TV series “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!”, the sport still managed better-than-expected ratings for its first two games.

This is somewhat surprising to me, as I was only vaguely aware the Stanley Cup Finals were even being played (or that they were even still called that).

I kid. Sort of.

But seriously, kudos to the NHL, which even though it does not have its dignity, still has its viewers. And isn’t that what’s most important?


June 4, 2009 - Posted by | Guy with Eyeblack | , , , , , ,


  1. I’m watching the Stanley Cup Finals, but I’m a Red Wings fan.

    Comment by oilybohunk7 | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. What, no mention of the 25 inning UT-BC baseball game or the 37-6 FSU-Ohio State baseball game this past weekend?

    Comment by Cait | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  3. Red Wings are a solid bunch — always good. I’d go ahead and pick them to win the championship, but with them up 2-1, that isn’t exactly sticking my neck out there.

    Comment by NFL Guy | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  4. Cait — I didn’t want to blow my college baseball wad two weeks in a row. 🙂

    Comment by NFL Guy | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  5. I certainly hope they win this year. I will weep for Marian Hossa if they don’t.

    Comment by oilybohunk7 | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  6. The only things I know about sports:

    1. “Montana to Rice”
    2. Last weekend my mother casually mentioned a guy she referred to as the only boy who was friendly to everyone in her high school. “Except of course Joe Namath.”
    3. Referees are corruptible.
    4. Quarterbacks get all the glory because they work their asses off.
    5. Your feet can’t be over the line when you throw the basketball in. Also, if you make a basket from half court, you don’t automatically win the whole game.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  7. I see how it is, NFL Guy…::shakes fist::

    Comment by Cait | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  8. Baby fish mouth,

    Not a bad starting point. Also, remember that certain folks (like refs, offensive linemen and special teams players) are usually doing their best work when not being noticed.

    Comment by NFL Guy | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  9. I will add it to my mental list. 🙂

    Comment by baby fish mouth | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  10. I usually route for teams based on colors. I was born amoungst the Redskins but moved to the land of Cowboys. I really fancied the Cowboys shiny uniforms compared to the drab Maroonish Redskin uniforms.

    I’m not sure how scientific my method is but I do pretty well. And I still wanna run over little Penny. He was so glib. Like Matt Lauer kind of glib.

    Comment by cookiebees | June 4, 2009 | Reply

  11. I’ll let that dig at the Big 10 slide, considering you’re probably just upset because the Big 10 is a far more superior conference than the Big 12.

    And I hope people are watching the Stanley Cup finals now! 3-3 tie! Wings WILL win on Friday! I will be in Pitts this weekend for the Tigers/Pirates. I will also be in at least three (3) fights there with Pens fans. If I don’t return on Monday, someone send bail money.

    Comment by Mae | June 10, 2009 | Reply

  12. big 12. whatevs.

    big 10, yo!

    it’s all wolverines nowadays. well not NOWadays. but backinthedays. and somedays soon. hopingly.

    Comment by DonnaMartin | June 10, 2009 | Reply

  13. ok, that commercial had my brain exploding up until the last line “you ain’t got no defense!”


    stereotypes are fun.

    Comment by DonnaMartin | June 10, 2009 | Reply

  14. I do not claim Big 12 superiority, but I will offer the following facts:

    National championships in football, last 10 years:
    Big 12 – 2 (Texas ’05, Oklahoma ’00)
    Big 10 – 1 (Ohio State ’02)

    National championships in basketball, last 10 years:
    Big 12 – 1 (Kansas ’08)
    Big 10 – 1 (Michigan State ’00)

    Looks pretty even to me.

    Comment by NFL Guy | June 10, 2009 | Reply

  15. when was it that u of m had to share with friggin’ nebraska? i guess that doesn’t help b/c nebraska is in the big twelve, right?

    whatever, nfl guy.

    kansas isn’t even a real place.

    ::turns around runs away::


    Comment by DonnaMartin | June 10, 2009 | Reply

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