Monday, February 26, 2007

Wanted: Human Punching Bag

Are you ready to not just read FTT, but to feel personally humiliated by it?

Then act now and join the Official Fantasy League of FTT!

Here's what you'll get for just $20, payable at the end of the year:

> Highly personalized insults
> The possibility of vic... no, sorry, have to tell the truth here
> A chance to tell your kids about this later
> FTT's autograph (on the back of your check, after the bank returns it to you)
> The ability to join the Whipped By DMtShooter Club (hundreds strong and growing; it's kind of like AA)

Spots are filling up fast and are very limited, so post in the comments why you deserve a shot. To quote www.askaninja.com, I look forward to killing you soon!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sportradamus

FTT doesn't know about you (well, OK, you seem nice enough, but that guy over there really needs to put on a shirt), but this whole Tim Hardaway / John Amaechi thing just made us shake our head in a dismissive fashion for, well, long enough that the other people on the train thought we had Eisenreich's Disease. (Hey, how come Lou Gehrig gets all the fun?)

Maybe we've lived in Blue State America for too long, or just stopped feeling insecure about our sexuality since we stopped charging for hand jobs, but good grief, people... the existence of gay athletes. Really such a big deal? Call us back when a lover's spat makes someone throw a game, or causes a team to self-destruct. You know, when it actually matters to a team winning or losing.

Rather than give you the standard sportswriterly spin on how Hardaway is a Neanderthal, Amaechi is selling books, children are confused and gosh, there's an agenda / bigotry going on here... FTT wants to press the fast forward button on the old Sports DVR, and see what the world looks like in 20 years, when our kids are old enough to still not give a damn about sports.

Luckily enough for you, we also happen to be, um, like, mystic and shit.So without further useless pre-amble to the following list of dubious predictions, FTT Presents... The Sports Future!

  • Several women will play minor league baseball, and one will make it to the major league level, as a marginal late inning situational / fluke delivery reliever for a downtrodden franchise. (Think Chad Bradford with tits. Now, for the love of all that is holy, stop.)

She will do well from an endorsement/celebrity standpoint, but no flood will follow her example, because there just aren't going to be enough women who can hit 90 on the gun, and the second one who throws 85 will get no real coverage. There will be no similar player in the NBA or NFL.

  • Boxing will make a serious comeback in the guise of Ultimate Fighting, with quasi-mainstream acceptance following the money of growing pay-per-view revenue.

A crossover talent will reclaim some of the luster of past heavyweight champions. Traditional boxing will be further marginalized as talent moves to UFC, and more importantly, the Big 3 sports that don't carry an extraordinary risk of permanent brain damage.

  • The NBA will expand to Europe, South America and Asia, adding six to eight teams in total, but will continue to languish behind the NFL and MLB in television ratings.

At the heart of the problem is the fact that 82 regular season games are just too numerous to have football's scarcity, and too expensive to attend to have baseball's routine attachment and rhythm.

  • The NFL will suffer some mild erosion in ratings, as saturation of the market and a broad combination of small missteps (the NFL Network, ESPN's MNF coverage, a looming steroid and HGH problem, dilution of the product over multiple days of the week, broadcast media ad buys taking a hit from the Web, etc., etc.) combine to make the product less interesting to fringe markets.

It will still be #1, but it won't be bulletproof any more, and attendance will fluctuate as weak teams look for greener pastures.

  • Several openly gay athletes will become publicly known in major and friendly media markets, but only at the major league level -- not the minors.

The media will care more about us than the players and fans, since the cost of a ticket, vigilant stadium security and fantasy sports are slowly but surely taking the piss and vinegar out of most crowds (hell, that's a bonus prediction), and the story will eventually only be covered if there if the sexuality of a player is linked to a change in the level of performance.

  • Two widely loved and hated sports dynasties -- the Yankees and the WWE -- will not survive the deaths / retirements of their patriarchs.

The Yanks will become just another team after the new Mets stadium brings them closer to economic parity, and MLB will take another chunk out of the mystique by upping the ante on revenue sharing / luxury taxes, to try to get the two outliers (Yanks, Red Sox) in line.

The WWE will fracture into small regional plays, as new generations get their low-culture kicks from interactive entertainment, rather than passive. (Who wants to watch a face hit a heel over the head with a steel chair when you can *be* either role in Second Life, without the damage? Well, me neither, but then again, we're old.)

  • The same democratizing forces of online punditry that changed Old Media in the political arena (good bye, wanker magazines and > wingbag television shows, hello, wanker blogs and windbag Webcasts) will have their day in sports coverage.

ESPN, Yahoo, CBS Sportsline and the other top traffic plays in the market will be unable to keep market share with sites that are fresher, have less of a corporate safety edge, and have a dramatically better "viral" distribution, especially since these sites will be able to tap into a fully wired readership base that provides additional content and makes its own traffic. (Prove this by sending this post to 20 friends. You know you want to.)

Regrettably, FTT will not cash in on this trend, because while we're good at spotting crap like this, we're pathetic at making money from it. Buy stock in Deadspin/Gawker Media.

Top 10 Signs You're Taking Fantasy Baseball Too Seriously

10) You buy more than one annual magazine

9) You pay for premium "tips" content from some site where the writers do not use their real names

8) You make trade proposals before the draft (in a non-keeper league)

7) You consult your rankings from past years

6) You look for "sleeper picks" on sites like this one (psst -- BK Kim is looking very, very sharp in long tosses)

5) You're wondering how the Daylight Savings clock change will affect your draft

4) You've clicked on a Stat Tracker-ish program, just to see what happens

3) You've formed an exploratory committee to determine whether or not you should keep your first team name

2) After telling yourself that you weren't going to ruin your life by joining more than one league, you sign up for more than one league

and the number one sign...

1) You started your draft prep weeks ago.

Enjoy your upcoming half dozen mock drafts... NERD!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Extremely Wrong Fantasy Baseball Team Names

(Note: All fit in the Yahoo 20 character limit, and clearly, we need therapy.)

Pitching Pederasts

Don't Tell Your Mom

Painful Urination

100% Sausage Fest

Miami Clap Machine

Chicks With Bats

Berman's Leathermen

I Brought Porn

Georgie's Roidies

Pee Wee's Dugout

12 and Under

Congressional Pages

That's Not Cuban

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Son of Bad Fantasy Baseball Team Names

The Solipsist Nine


Baltimore Orioles

Lawful Good Clerics

Fightin' Philatelists

Portnoy's Picks

Enron Field Forever

Buck O'Neill Haters

Hot Pants Patrol

Bullpen Car Drivers

How Soon Til Football

Porn Stache Parade

Friday, February 16, 2007

This Week's Advertiser

(Left, a signed rainbow flag... from one Hardaway, Tim. FTT suspects you don't need us to connect the dots any further than that. And that you need to get your eBay bid on now...

http://cgi.ebay.com/TIM-HARDAWAY-SIGNED-FLOOR-MIAMI-HEAT-PROOF-RAINBOW-FLAG_W0QQitemZ230092780362QQihZ013QQcategoryZ95054QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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Bad Fantasy Baseball Team Names

Confident Bedwetters

Dumb Money

Last Place

Guys My Wife Likes

The NAMBLA Nine

Astronaughties

SuperCool NinjaTeam

YANKEES ROOOL!

Joe Morgan's Wisdom

Serious Softballer

The Scooter Libbys

(More later. Feel free to add in comments.)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Someone Stop This Man

FTT has to announce a death tonight. That big payday we were counting on from betting against the Chargers in their playoff game next year? Gone.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-chargers-schottenheimerfired&prov=ap&type=lgns

Some may blame the termination of MartyBall in San Diego on his inability to keep his assistants (really, Wade Phillips is worth someone's job?), or his staggering 5-13 playoff record, or his incredible tendency to coach big games with both hands around his throat and his leg down his mouth. (Marty's spry for an old guy.)

But we at FTT choose to lay the blame where it belongs -- on Bill "Thug Hoodie" Belichick. Let's go to the rap sheet:

1) Homewrecker - http://thetrack.bostonherald.com/moreTrack/view.bg?articleid=149076

Can you see Bill as Neighbor Carl in the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie? Neither can we. But just by mentioning that, we've pocketed $10K from Turner, an apology, and caused people in Boston to soil themselves. (Boo!)

2) Bully - http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/01/09/candid_camera/

We remember that limp shove, Hoodie. Won't someone please think of the children?

3) Bad Boss - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16936419/

Dammit, only TV's "House" is allowed to play God with people's health! (And after they die, Quincy. But only if there's a table to punch.)

4) Baby Killer

OK, the baby was, well, the Eagles' Super Bowl dream, along with the Chargers' Super Bowl dream. But revenge is a dish best served two years later, on a blog, to a guy who'll never read it. Choke on them apples!

P.S. Solomon Wilcots is still crying over that post-Colts interview, and right now, Bill Simmons is sticking his fingers in his ears and screaming, "I can't read you!" FTT asks only won't someone, anyone, please think of the children.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Step Into My World

More random moments that convince us that (a) this is no longer Our Country, and (b) athletes should be seen and never, ever, ever heard...


1) AJ Pyrzinski, David Ecksetein, and Johnny Damon (guess he needs the money?) are involved in some bush league pro wrassling outfit. Here's your requisite YouTube link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pWEI1m0VRM

For the record, who doesn't want to hit AJ with a steel chair? It's just a shame that Damon hits like he throws.

2) Stephen Hunter, no longer on our fantasy NBA team, on John Amaechi admitting that he's gay...

"For real? He's gay for real? Nowadays it's proven that people can live double lives. I watch a lot of TV, so I see a lot of sick perverted stuff about married men running around with gay guys and all types of foolishness."

Yup, all types of foolishness.

3) Tony Romo, on being given the job of holding for kicks at the Pro Bowl...

"It's always good to get that taste out of your mouth. You've got to move on. Eventually you've got to get on and get ready for the next season, and that's what I'm doing."

Tony, your next thing is being the temporary starting QB for Wade Philips, who sabotaged his over .500 run in Buffalo by jerking around Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie. Your owner thinks that bringing in guys like TO is conducive to winning. And when the smoke clears after next year' 5-11 Cowgirl Cry, it's going to be Cowher Powher, and some new QB with a star on his helmet that doesn't answer to the name Joe Pisarcik Jr.

But enjoy the Pro Bowl.

4) But just on the off chance that we paint all athletes as morons in front of a mic, let us sample the wit and wisdom of someone who gets paid to do that job.

It's just -- they're focusing on this guy like they don't focus on anybody! And I tell you, I know what it is. The media, the sports media, has got social concerns that they are first and foremost interested in, and they're dumping on this guy -- Rex Grossman -- for one reason, folks, and that's because he is a white quarterback.

-- Rush Limbaugh

Now, you can say Rush is a flaming moron, someone who wasn't paying any attention to the season-long wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Bear Nation, or just a guy in need of a white hood and some flammable crosses.

FTT will be charitable, and say he's looking forward to putting money against the Bears next year, too. After all, Sexy Rexy was the Colts true MVP...

Thursday, February 8, 2007

These Quasi-Sports Related Points Make Us Feel Sad

1) Testy, feed your dog!

The best part about this is that people in a gated community with $1.5 million houses have Ron Artest as a neighbor.

FTT will now pause for a moment of not so silent contemplation, which will manifest itself as a bellyfull of deep, dark, laughter at the misfortunes of the rich.

Not since Spree's Fellow Yachtsmen have property values taken such a hit...

http://nmsn.foxsports.com/nba/story/6452756?MSNHPHCP&GT1=9131

2) Peyton Manning is the SB MVP?

Um... well, he *was* the best QB in the game, that's for sure. After all, he did throw for all those touchdowns. Wait, um, none? Wow. And a bad pick at the start of the game, too. Well, it's not like a RB dominated the game (Rhodes: 113 yards rushing and a TD, Addai: 77 rushing, 66 recieving). Or that the O-Line could actually get a little love for once: Jeff Saturday was huge. Or go for Bob Sanders, who made a back-breaking interception and made a historically bad run defense good by coming back...

Anyway, no, good for the Meat Cutter. As True Prophet Stephen Colbert has said, maybe he can now get some endorsements.

3) Prince's Devil Dick

It astounds FTT that this is actually a story. Here's a small historical note: Jimi Hendrix played his guitar like it was his dick. FORTY FREAKING YEARS AGO. Then he'd light it on fire. Prince even played a little Hendrix during his set with "All Along The Watchtower."

We get, on some pathetic level, the uproar over NippleGate (what will we tell the children?). But when 40-year-old rock schtick is a story... holy moley. We're about six months from going all Unabomber about the media.

4) John Amaechi: Because Being An Active Gay Athlete is Impossible

FTT has a long-standing grudge towards Penn State, and is resisting many, many jokes. Or, well, maybe not. Happy Valley! (It's OK, John. Maybe you can go hang out with Ted Haggard.)

5) This is ouurrrr... failed presidential run

Only slightly related to sports, but Sen. John Edwards, according to the only true news show on television (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), is using John Mellencamp's "This Is Our Country" for his campaign theme.

FTT tries to avoid mixing politics with sports -- you got your douchebag in my peanut butter! hey, you got your peanut butter in my douchebag! -- and we may or may not agree with Senator Edwards on many things.

But he can just go to hell right now, on general principles.

6) Pro Bowl Fever -- Catch It!

Will Tony Romo lead the NFC to victory? Can Tom Brady become the new Peyton Manning and roll up big numbers? Can someone get the career-ending injury that guts keeper fantasy league owners, leading to the eventual cancellation of the game? And why can't the winning conference get the home game for the SB next year, so that this time, the Pro Bowl counts?

(Oh, because that would be unspeakably stupid? Right. Sorry we mentioned it.)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The SB That Made Us Want Diabetes

(Image is from the Heart Association's ad that shows your heart is a sad old wimp who gets his ass kicked on the street by leather-clad Risk Factors. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKALBN8AsUs.)

Ten points from a wet ugly mess of a game...

1) Once again, if you bet with Mean Old Grandpa Carl, you'd be in the money. It's all about the experience.

2) Was anyone else worried when Prince came out and the lightning strike hit? He'd have left a little purple spot on the stage. But damn, he's still the shit. Nice Devil Dick silhouette action, and the man did the impossible of making a marching band cool. Golf clap.

3) The NFL Network produced the halftime show... and yet, Prince was seen by more than 10% of the audience, it didn't suck, and he didn't get laryngitis halfway through the set. A monumental success for the network!

4) There were six first-half turnovers, including four on back to back plays, with only seven points resulting from them. The last FTT saw this much slop, our ex-wife was involved.

5) Most inexplicable strategy of the night: when the Bears blitzed Manning, they generally got off the field, and never got burned by it. So they limited their blitzes to about 5 to 10% of plays, and spent the night giving up critical third downs.

FTT gets that you don't want to get into a big-play shootout with the Colts. But when you don't adjust to the game that's happening, you deserve to lose.

6) This year's Walter Payton award winners for the NFL's best people... Tomlinson and Brees. So, you have to be a raging asshole to get to the SB? (Hmm...)

7) What part of the night defined Sexy Rexy for you... falling on his ass for two straight sacks in the third quarter, or the two back-breaking bad throws into coverage for picks in the fourth? David Woodley's place in NFL history (Worst Starting QB who was excused for his "inexperience") is no longer secure. Bears fans, you had a great year, and you're going to win your division again next year... but you'll never win a SB with him.

8) Best Pussy Move of the Night: Indy avoiding Hester on kickoffs. FTT kept waiting for Vinateri to just kick the ball out of bounds intentionally and save everyone the running.

9) Some seamhead has shown that teams that score on kickoff returns actually lose more games than they win. FTT isn't really buying it, but after watching it happen in both the Pro Bowl and the BCS Championship, maybe there's something to it.

10) Frankly, we're amazed that the Bears didn't score a meaningless touchdown to blow the cover in the last minute. It would have made the night complete.

Now, who's ready for some Pro Bowl action? Anyone? Anyone?

FTT's First Advertiser

Ed. Note: Throughout FTT's long and storied history as The Sports Blog That Loves You Back, we've avoided advertising, for fear that it would cheapen the user experience.

But as bandwidth and payroll costs have continued to spiral, we feel we have no choice but to open our doors to commerce. Please now consider this week's advertiser, just in time for SB Sunday.

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The Sports Priest

(Ed. Note: FTT apologizes for not being able to find the image of the priest in "Caddyshack" getting struck by lightning. By way of apology, enjoy the Judge in mid-meltdown. Boy, no one did meltdown better than Ted Knight.)

Is your devotion as a sports fan bothering you? Many fans find themselves lost in a world of moral relativism, fantasy allegiances and declining devotion. If your soul is thirsting for redemption, talk to FTT's resident Sports Priest.

Dear SP,

I'm a lifelong Peyton Manning hater who wound up stuck with him in my fantasy draft. Now he's led me to a championship and gotten to the Super Bowl. I don't want to root for this overexposed oaf, but after putting money in my pocket, I just can't get as annoyed by the stupid pre-snap nonsense and constant ads. Help me find my hate!

Malaised in Maryland

Dear Malaised,

My child, you have allowed your Sacred Hate to be bought off with 30 pieces of silver, and sold that which was most dear to you -- your ire -- for a pittance. Congratulations. Most of us never can move that merchandise, no matter how many times we mark it down.

Look into your heart and determine why, exactly, you hate the Meat Cutter. Are the reasons pure -- did he beat your team, fail to beat the team you hate the most, or make you hate him through some other, meaningful reason? Or is your hate just the result of reading some writer or media figure, or a backlash against some other writer?

If your hate is pure, it will come back to you, and you will be richer for it. If it is not, you are better for losing it.

Dear SFC,

As a credentialed media member, I'm supposed to be covering the Super Bowl. Instead, I find myself whoring myself out to radio shows, following NBA players like a groupie, raving about Miami like a frat boy on Spring Break, and writing thousands of words about getting wood from a washed-up tennis skank. Scores of bloggers have pointed this out, but I just can't stop, and I'm worried that I'm becoming a parody of myself. How do I stop?

Bilious in South Beach

Der Bilious,

Any writer that forgets their audience, or becomes contemptuous of them, is someone who has entered into a spiral of destruction. Blame should also go to your editor and publisher, who have enabled this behavior. Consider a sabbatical.

Dear SFC,

As a Bears fan, I'm sickened by the media's coverage of my team, and our underdog status. And yet, I find myself strangely thankful for it as well, since it will mean a greater emotional payoff for me when the Bears win. Is this dishonest?

Illinois Truth

Dear Truth,

You're drinking from the cup of artificial antagonism -- the idea that just because someone has a different opinion than yours, they must be wrong, stupid, and punished. If you are right about the Bears, they will feel all of this without you pointing it out.

Of course, pointing it out is entirely the point of Sports Fandom, so indulge with a clear conscience.

Dear SFC,

I'm a political progressive who likes the Colts in the SB, but doesn't want to due to the following three factors. (1) Condi Rice has predicted a Colts win, and being on the same side as her in any issue makes me very nervous. (2) Tony Dungy has plans to speak to an anti-gay group, which makes him about as likable to me as Rush Limbaugh. (3) Indiana is a red state, while Chicago and Illinois is as blue as you can get in the Midwest. Is my Colts fandom morally justifiable?

Wavering in Washington

Dear Wavering,

Mixing politics with sports is strictly non-kosher in the Sports Confessional. The game is played between the lines, and unless these factors can be found to have an impact there, they are nothing but noise. (Although, a nice consolation should the Bears pull off the upset.)

Peace be with you!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Top 10 Unsold Free-Lance Story Pitches for SB XLI

1) True advertising effectiveness of past Super Bowl ads, with actual market share numbers

2) Trivia contest of past SB halftime entertainers


3) South Beach Pub Crawl with Jim Harbaugh and Jim Miller

4) History of the Bears-Colts rivalry

5) The Sportswriter's Expense Account: Where It All Goes

6) Baltimore: Still Harboring Revenge Fantasies Against Colts?

7) Is Tony Romo prank calling Hunter Smith and Brad Maynard?

8) Bears vs. Colts Cheerleaders - Stats-Only Tale of the Tape

9) Conference Won-Loss Record in Coin Flips

10) Pro Bowl predictions

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