The Roscoe! Report

Ball don't lie.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Andrea Bargnani's Divina Commedia

Canto I

Halfway through our time in life
I found myself eligible for draft,
My upside being certainly rife.

Because I hadn't honed my craft,
The loudest doubted my skill.
But knowing them to be daft,

I was called first to the hill
By a man more stern than most
Ahead of EA's crying shill,

Young men in the post,
and the pisser with the DUI,
But I do not mean to boast.

Now, I am not naturally shy,
but during my interview
with the man with the lazy eye

The words I found were few,
'Cause though I have side of up,
The Americans, they chose to boo

As if I were some poor schlup.
But I had the answer for Mr. Scott:
"I from Europe."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Soccer, We Need to Talk

We had fun, didn't we? But we both knew this wouldn't last. We're just not right for each other. I know, I know. I'll always cherish the memories.

I'll never forget you either, soccer. But we're from different worlds. Those other countries are better for you. It would never work out with us. You know that, I know that.

Of course we can still be friends.

No, no, don't say that. You're a very fun sport. You're very television-friendly. It's not that

It's not you, it's me. I'm not ready for a soccer commitment. Maybe in the future, in four years or something. Just right now I'm not in a relationship place.

You deserve better than me. Remember, you're the beautiful game.

I know England has always been into you. You should give him another chance.

We'll definitely keep in touch.

(Hug)

Ok, well, see you around. Bye, soccer.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Greatest Thing About Soccer, Ever

Scarves!

In the history of sports fandom, apparel and accessories generally fall into two categories: imitation and idiocy.

Imitation apparel is mostly jerseys. (Authentic, Replica, T-shirt) But it also extends to most shirts, as they are styled to mirror the teams logo/jersey scheme. Imitation apparel is universally accepted. (There are some regulations for the wearing of jersey's emblazoned with the names of players who are not current, but they can be fairly fluid.)


Then there's idiocy. Idiocy is mostly the things beyond what a fan wears. (It's very hard to fault someone for their t-shirt.) Idiocy accessories include such:

Giant foam fingers: The fingers themselves aren't as bad as their spin-offs, giant foam animal hands. Grrrrr.

Thunderstix: The physical manifestation of pumped-in crowd noise. Loathesome.



Cheeseheads: Like giant foam fingers, the cheesehead novelty was at one point an original idea that has since spiralled out of control into poor spinoffs and overabundance.

Rubberband bracelets: Livestrong was nice, now everyone just looks silly.

Accessories are where poor fan fashion lives and breeds. But then something wonderful happened: the soccer scarf. How did this wonderful match come about. What does soccer have to do with keeping one's neck warm? Grown men will normally not be seen in colorful scarves. For good reason, they look ridiculous. Scarves are typically reserved for women, stylish men, and young wizards. Beer-swilling seat-fillers such as you or I? Our necks go cold. Or they did, until soccer fandom freed them. I am now free to attend Michigan soccer games wearing this without fear of ridicule from the truly enlightened fan. Because, I am now a soccer fan, I now have a scarf. I do not know the historical significance of the soccer scarf. I do not care. How the scarf came into existence is of no imporance. It exists, that is enough for me. They are, simply, awesome.

The scarf is useful, games get cold, your neck stays warm. The scarf is stylish, even the most garish scarf somehow looks sublimly cool. The scarf is versatile, it can even be used as a sign.

All hail the scarf, the king of sports accessories.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The World Cup Heritage Problem

As a red-blooded American, I am required to root for the Red, White and Blue in international sporting events. I hear Michael Phelps is a douche bag, but I'm still glad that douche won all those medals. I do not find this requirement to be a burden. In fact, I take great pleasure chanting U-S-A! U-S-A!, which is invariably the greatest chant in the history of time.

Here comes the Stephen A:


HOWEVA!,

The World Cup is an unique oppurtunity for exception. Soccer is an old world game. The old country, whichever country that is, not only cares more about their football, but also is likely better at it. This brings me to my current conundrum: this afternoon's match.

Italy vs. America

I should probably root for America because...
-I'm American
-I love that the team USA has a player called Gooch
-I'm American (which is normally enough)

I could, though, root for Italy because...
-I'm Italian-American
-Italy will probably win this match and could win the whole thing
-I don't care enough about soccer to consider this high treason
-America's team appears lazy enough that I could root against them regardless of opponent

In a way, the fact that this is even a debate indicates that soccer truly hasn't arrived in America. In another more accurate way, I just like rooting for a winner. I'm going to cop out on this one. Luckily, soccer provides another unique oppurtunity.

Moneyball and the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Softball Team


In one of the greatest sports-centric episodes in the history of television, C. Montogomery Burns organized a lineup of ringers to win the city softball championship (and a million dollar bet with his Shelbyvillian rival.) His team was originally planned to consist of such stars as Mordecai "3-Finger" Brown and Honus Wagner.

After Smithers informs Mr. Burns that these players are all retired and deceased, Smithers scours the professional ranks for the best players to join the nuclear plant's team. Smithers, fields quite the ball club. Burns chooses to manage the team of ringers and we, the viewers, are privy to his batting lineup.

(Slightly obscured, Ozzie Smith is hitting 8th and playing short. Totally obscured, Roger Clemens is batting ninth and pitching. No DHing in Springfield.)

Showing the lineup on air is neither funny, nor necessary. It serves one purpose: it allows obsessive fans like myself to waste my time analyzing the lineup of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. First, let's check the current lineup. I've added the player's OBP and Slugging Percentage. I've denoted the players who bat from the left side and added stolen bases numbers when appropriate. The episode originally aired in 1992, (on my sixth birthday, incidentally) so all these stats are from 1991. Thanks to Baseball Reference for these statistics.

1-Steve Sax (L) - .345 .414 - SB 31
2-Wade Boggs (L) - .421 .460
3-Darryl Strawberry (L) - .361 .491
4-Jose Canseco - .359 .556 - SB 26
5- Don Mattingly (L)- .339 .394
6-Ken Griffey Jr. (L)- .399 .527
7-Mike Scioscia (L) - .353 .391
8-Ozzie Smith (S)- .380 .367 - SB 35
9-Roger Clemens

With this lineup, order is essentially irrelevant because of the talent, but I believe that Burns would be getting the most from his players. My first qualm is with the leadoff position. Steve Sax has the second lowest On Base Percentage on the team. While it's nice to have some speed at the top of the lineup, Sax is not the only speedy option. The 8th hitter, Ozzie Smith had the third highest OBP of the team, plus 4 more stolen bases than Sax. Plus, Smith is a switch hitter. Boggs is a great second hitter. He's a great moneyball player with an OBP of .421. Straw isn't a bad hitter for the third spot, but Canseco has a similiar OBP and a much higher Slugging Percentage. Plus he has some speed, which would be nice at that spot. Hitting cleanup is Junior Griffey. He and Canseco easily have the highest slugging percentage of the group.

One of Burn's team's weakness is the ridiculous amount of lefty batters (7!). The new lineup has a switch hitter leading off, a lefty, then a righty, then a lefty. It's all lefties from here on out, and from now on, the batting order is essentially moot. All things considered, here's the final lineup:

  1. Ozzie Smith
  2. Wade Boggs
  3. Jose Canseco
  4. Ken Griffey Jr.
  5. Darryl Strawberry
  6. Don Mattingly
  7. Steve Sax
  8. Mike Scioscia
  9. Roger Clemens

Plus the pinch-hitter extraordinaire, Homer Simpson.

"Homer at the Bat" deserves many, many more posts. (And will likely receive them.) Stay tuned.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Great Lawn Adventure: Update

Our lawn mower exploded. Seriously. The adventure is off.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Roscoe! Report's Great Lawn Adventure


My sister's graduation party is this Sunday in lovely Southeastern Michigan. I, therefore, have spent most of the week preparing my family's yard for the event. Having spread all the mulch, some time remains for experimenting with mowing. I have 4 days (the rest of today, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning) to make my mom's lawn appear professionally manicured by a stadium groundskeeper. Why you may ask? Why not? I might even get a tan as a result.

(Note, there is a book on this subject, available only in hard cover. I will not buy it, I'm doing this myself.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Who has the rights to "Big Ben"?

The Worldwide Leader have used Big Ben as the nickname for both Ben Roethlisberger and Ben Wallace. Even Wikipedia isn't sure. This can't be.

According to the Roscoe! Report's biased nature, Ben Wallace is without a doubt the rightful holder of the Big Ben moniker. But that is only my opinion. One thing is sure, there needs to be a consensus. A nickname loses any usefulness once it is held by multiple persons. (That is why no one could ever bring themselves to call Andy Roddick, "A-Rod.") But it appears that both Ben Wallace and Ben Roethlisberger are currently being called Big Ben. There can only be one.

But who is the true Big Ben?

According to Google, the true (or atleast the most relevant) Big Ben is Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger's website is on the first page of the web results and a picture shows up on page 2 of the image search. Ben Wallace doesn't appear until page 15 of the image search, after 3 different pictures of GI Joe. Even Ben Roethlisberger's website, while officially located at www.br-7.com, is called bigben7.com.

The internet does not, however, hold the final word on nickname rights. (I understand the irony of a blog which is trying to determine the rightful ownership of a nickname stating that the internet is not the location of the final word of nickname rights.) Ben Wallace has precedence. He is 8 years older, which means he, in all liklihood, has been called Big Ben 8 years longer than Ben Roethlisberger.

Big Ben is an apt nickname for both men. Roethlisberger is listed at 6'5" and 241 lbs. He is certainly not a small man. Ben Wallace is 6'9" and 240. Of course, these are official statistics, so they cannot be trusted. Ben Wallace can alternately look enormous and miniscule. Roethlisberger is a large quarterback, but he is consistently surrounded by 300 pound men. On the football field, he is relatively un-big.

Both have been using the nickname. But how have both have been using the nickname? When Wallace is introduced or does something requisitely exciting in the palace, the palace sound people ring the Ben Wallace "Gong." (Available for download at the Detroit Pistons website.) And while the name makes little sense. (There is no gong in Big Ben the tower; there is a bell. And the sound clip itself is from the AC/DC song "Hell's Bells." Why it is called the Big Ben "Gong" is beyond me.) Ben Roethlisberger appears to only use it for his official website. In fact, the latter part of his name has a better q-rating, with the $7 Roethlis-burger.

And this is what leads to the Roscoe! Report's conclusion. Ben Roethlisberger's nickname should have something to do with a burger. Big Ben is already taken. And despite the amount of Steeler fans who will disagree with me, (And believe me, I certainly fear the retribution of Steeler fans.) Big Ben belongs to one Ben Wallace. So when Roethlisberger is out looking for a helmet (idiot), maybe he could have it personalized with some sort of meat patty image. A burger helmet, if you will.

The Roscoe! Report presents to you, the true Big Ben. Ben Wallace.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Game 6 preview: Doppelganger edition

Where have I seen you before, Udonis Haslem?

The hair...linear. The head...oddly wide. The eyes...pure evil. Good lord, it's the most overrated character in television history!

Primetime Spelling

The grand experiment of watching kids spell words I've never heard of has been a rousing success. And as always, some intriguing characters emerged. Better than you'll see on most reality television. I was completely attached to these kids over the course of the day. Honestly, I would watch this over American Idol. These are the most compelling people on TV.



There was Rajiv Tarigopula, the silent assassin. Rajiv was all business, refusing to fraternize at the outdoor barbecue/picnic gathering and staying at a different hotel than all the other contestants. Whenever the camera found him, he gave it a death stare. He was like the Kobe Bryant of the Bee. And I oddly found myself rooting for him. Of course, he didn't win.

There was also Charley Allegar. You will see him on Sportscenter. Because he's a meathead. He led the hilarious "1-2-3 Spell" chant. While every other contestant threw their arms up, Charley pounded his fist down. He probably should have competed in Under Armour. When the camera came to him, he pulled up his sleeve and flexed for the camera. Glorious. In his bio, we find that he's a three sport athlete. Figures. He didn't win.

You of course have heard about Saryn Hooks. She's the girl who was eliminated, only to return when the judges overruled their previous decision. The more I think about this, the more I hope this was some secret conspiracy to create an interesting story. But I'm just cynical and paranoid. One thing I'm pretty sure of is that Saryn is the type of girl I would have a crush on in middle school. She finished third.

The lovable Canuck champ was the runner-up to the winner, who, you could say, was born in the USA. Kerry Close, sponsored by the Asbury Park Press won.

I apologize for the lame Bruce joke. (Paranthetical note concerning the Boss. Michael Wilbon has not only never watched Seinfeld, he's never heard of "Thunder Road." I don't get him sometimes.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Roscoe! Report Sports Illustrated World Cup Preview Review

This weeks Sports Illustrated has, quite possibly, the most ridiculous preview in the history of print media.

First, four members of USA soccer appear on the cover. (Including some guy named Gooch! [In the yellow box above. It's more visible here.]) Landon Donovan points as threateningly as he can while the SI headline gets all in our grill. "As they take on the world, the young American stars believe they can win. Are you with them?" Apparently, Sports Illustrated is not, because in their predictions section the US team fails to make it out of the first round.

The insanity doesn't end there. From the quarterfinals on, Grant Wahl makes very specific, yet amazingly vague predictions. For instance, England will eliminate the Ivory Coast on "a goal by Michael Owen." No predicted final score. Brazil will eliminate Spain almost certainly "on a shot from Ronaldo;" however, the final tally is such a mystery that no prediction is warranted. The "prediction" for the France-Germany semi gives a general statement on Frances momentum from round one. There is only one predicted score in the entire article, a bold 2-1 final for the Brazil- England semi. Never before have I seen such a scattershot magazine article.

Plus, they actually printed Gooch on the cover.
I get it's the nickname for Oguchi Onyewu and all, but it is also a fairly lewd term.
Either way, the Roscoe! Report got two things out of the SI Preview, the official soccer player of the Roscoe! Report: Gooch! Plus, they gave us the link to the kick ass Trinidad and Tobago World Cup theme.


Gooch!

What "Your Tiger" says about you?

The Tigers local promotional campaign includes Detroit celebrities asking you, the viewer, who's your Tiger? But what does your answer say about you, the Detroit Tigers fan.

If catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez is your Tiger,

Then...
You're a loyal person who does your best for friends and teammates no matter the situation. You appreciate the little things in life and baseball. You are prone to yo-yo dieting. Your old nickname is no longer appropriate and confuses people who are new to you.






If your Tiger is first baseman Chris Shelton,

Then...
You probably really liked the Goonies.






If second baseman Placido Polanco is your Tiger,

Then...
You enjoy aliteration because its aurally pleasing. Your hat size is likely larger than 7 3/4. You like opera.







If your Tiger is Carlos Guillen, the shortstop,

Then...
You are reliable if unremarkable in the workplace. You may know a voalitile person with whom you are commonly confused and who often overshadows you, despite often being inferior.




If Brandon Inge, third baseman, is your Tiger,

Then...
You're quite good at multi-tasking. You may have changed majors more than twice in college.





If leftfielder Craig Monroe is your Tiger,

Then...
Baseball probably isn't your favorite sport.












If your Tiger is centerfielder Curtis Granderson,

Then...
You don't steal as much as people think you would. Or should. Your significant other has had two ex's who are strikingly similiar to you.






If rightfielder Magglio Ordonez is your Tiger,

Then...
People may have given up on you. You've survived a major illness. Racist loudmouths hate you.







If DH Dmitri Young is your Tiger,

Then...
You probably actually live in Detroit. You're that hard. A family member of yours has an anger control problem.




If SP Kenny Rogers is your Tiger,

Then...
You don't trust mass media. You enjoy fried chicken. You may have a gambling problem.









If your Tiger is SP Jeremy Bonderman,

Then...
You had great expectations that have been fufilled, but not necessarily in a fufilling way. You don't say much.







If your Tiger is Mike Maroth,

Then...
You're a southpaw.








If SP Nate Robertson is your Tiger,

Then...
You have astigmatism. Get that checked out. You also have cavities from all that gum.







If your Tiger is Justin Verlander,

Then...
You play fantasy baseball.











If your Tiger is reliever Joel Zumaya,

Then...
You look like you could use a beer.







If your Tiger is Fernando Rodney,

Then...
You're trying too hard.







If your Tiger is closer Todd Jones,

Then...
You likely drive a truck. You are the walrus. Koo Koo Ka-choo.








If your Tiger is Manager Jim Leyland,

Then...
Smoke if you got 'em.













If your Tiger is mascot "Paws,"

Then...
What are you, five?