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Tuesday, April 18, 2006 

SEL's Hodgepodge Stew

- So the Noob Sports fantasy baseball league is underway, and things are going well. Good participation, some good trades, good smack talk... exactly what we expected. We're running the league through Yahoo!, and on Sunday our free "stattracker" demo ended.

For those of you who don't know, "stattracker" is a java based program that gives you live statistics on your fantasy players on all one page, and keeps up with league points live as they happen. I told myself that I wasn't going to waste money on stattracker this season ($9.99), and that I would go to mlb.com everyday and look at the games individual box scores, and see how my players are doing. I figured I could make it all season...

I couldn't even make it 24 hours. I tried going old school and checking box scores yesterday, but it was impossible. I just don't have the patience to go through every single box score and see how players are doing. In this day of fast food, fast cars, and fast women (especially), I need my fantasy stats fast. So yes, I caved, and now launch stattracker every time I'm on the internet to see how my team is doing. Thanks Yahoo!, you rat bastards.

- More proof that Denver sucks as a sports city: I've been to two Rockies games already. The first one, my buddy got us 4 seats, 5th row right behind home plate. It was the second home game of the year. They were playing the Diamondbacks on a Thursday night... and there had to be less than 3,000 people there. I've seen bigger crowds at a Division III soccer game than there were at this Rockies game... and it was the SECOND home game of the year. The good news however, is that because there was nobody there, you could hear everything... especially since we were so close to the field.

As is normally the case, I was pretty vocal during the game, as was this group of guys behind us. My buddy Gruberville, who I was watching the game with, caught the replay of the game the next day, and said you could hear EVERYTHING we were saying. He said that he could blatantly pick out my voice screaming "Damien Easley, you suck!, hope you're having fun in the desert because we don't want you in Detroit" and "Tony the Tiger? More like Tony the dog". When the Rockies mascot "Dinger" (That looks like the illegimate love child of Barney the dinosaur and a crack-whore Tricerotops, for the record) came down near us, and started talking to some cute girls, the guys behind us started the chant "take her home, take her home, take her home!", which, according to Gruberville, could be clearly heard throughout the telecast. Now that, my friends, is good entertainment.

We caught our second Rockies game on Saturday evening. It was tax day, and my buddy Volk Face and his Fiancee (Mrs. Volk Face) dressed up as Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty, respectively. Most people didn't get it, but it was hilarious. The stadium was more packed on this occasion, but still pretty quiet. Again, as is the norm, I found myself getting vocal.

When career .222 hitter Sal Fasano stepped to the plate, we got the unexpected pleasure of seeing his picture on the jumbotron. He had a masterful fu-manchu, and was working what appeared to be a professional mullet. I don't know if he did it as a joke, but it was hilarious.

Anyway, when I see it, I start laughing, and making jokes. One of them, I yell out loud "Sal Fasano... business in the front, party in the back!" It gets a few laughs around me, but here's the best part: This kid, who was sitting right in front of us, who looked and talked strikingly similar to the kids on "Big Daddy", heard me say "party in the back!" and his eyes lit up like it was Christmas... and he just kept repeating "Pawty in the back! Pawty in the back! Pawty in the back!". It was hysterical. Not only that, but his mother also thought it was funny, because she turned around and said "he'll be saying that all night. You need to come up with some new ideas so he can take some new words with him." Uhh, probably not the best idea to have a little kid emulating what I say at a sporting event.

Along the same lines, everytime Aaron Rowand stepped up to the plate and the announcer said "now batting, number whatever, Aaron Rowand" I would repeat "Now batting, probable steroid user, Aaron Rowand!" Apparently steroids seems to be an issue in this country, because a handful of people turned around and scowled at me. I thought it was funny.

- If you're not into the UEFA Champions League yet, now is the time to be converted. For those of you who don't know (which is probably most of you), the Champions League takes the top 4 or 5 teams from about 12 of the top European soccer countries, and they play a World Cup-ish style league to determine who the Champions of Europe are.

Imagine there were 11 countries in the World that had leagues as good as the NBA. At the end of every season, the top 4 NBA teams would enter into groups of 4 teams... with the top 4 teams from these other leagues that are as good as the NBA. In the group stage, all 4 teams play one another twice, home and away. After that is done, the top 2 teams from those groups advance to a March Madness style bracket. At this point, it's not single elimination, rather both teams play one another twice (home and away), and which ever team does better advance.

This is what the Euros do with soccer, and it's widely regarded as the most prestigious tournament in the world that isn't the World Cup.

We've now entered the semi-finals, and today and tomorrow start the first leg. Today we have AC Milan (Italy) taking on Barcelona (Spain), two of the most storied and powerful soccer clubs in the world. This would be like the Pistons taking on the Spurs (if the Spurs were a Mexican team), only the fans are 50X more excited than at an NBA playoff game. Tomorrow we have Arsenal (England) taking on Villareal (Spain) in the other side of the semi-final. Arsenal are another powerhouse (the mavericks maybe), while Villareal are a dark horse that people are rallying behind (think the Toronto Raptors, only if they played in a shitty Canadian league all year round). David vs. Goliath, should be awesome. Both games start at 2:45 EST and can be seen on ESPN2. If you're not a total Noob and are around a television, watch these.

- For your viewing pleasure:

Pulp Fiction meets Hockey. Hilarity ensues.

I don't know when this aired, but it's absolutely comedic genius. Robert DeNiro is holding a press conference and reads off a list of terrorist suspects. I have no idea how he keeps a straight face during this.

I thought that you said that me and Volk were pussies because we wanted to get stattracker? Look who caved first. Noob. I guess I might as well get it to see my guys go 0-15 again led by Preston Wilson's 0-5 with 5 k's outing. And watch my team plummet in the standings.


I said that you and Volk are pussies because you kept whining that "the league" should get stattracker. I know not everybody wants it. That's why it's an indidvual decision. You and Volk were whining to me that you wanted it, and I said get it yourselves, and you kept whining.

Stop being a little bitch and pay Yahoo! the 9.99 to see your team ERA stay above 6.00, you Noob.

Yeah I caved. Just in time to see Verlander throw 2.2 innings tonight with 8 ER and a whip around 6. I also need it to "watch" Tigers games since they are only on TV once a week.

I'm always afraid yahoo is going to figure out they can probably charge a hell of a lot more than 10 bucks for stattracker. I hold out til the free trial is over, and immediately plunk it down. Some years, I don't wait...what if too many people try one day and crash the server? I'm supposed to go without stattracker for a day? To hell with that. I've tried to figure out where the price point that I'd say no is, and it's not comforting.

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