Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Maddening March

So, it was the perfect storm.

St. Patrick's Day followed by the craziest four days in all of sports (the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament).

And, despite picking Cornell in the opening round - per the "Cheek loves the Ivy League" Rule - my bracket has never taken a worse beating in the first weekend. The funny, and what I really mean is "sad," thing is that I have actually documented this. I looked at my picks over the last five years and I have never been so utterly and completely clueless. Not even a pint of green beer could cheer me up at this point (not that I could actually find one a week after St. Patty's Day).

Well, in order to cheer me up and further my celebration of the patron saint of Ireland, I offer you a little music from a band that I have been listening to quite a bit lately. They're from, as David Letterman, my boy, puts it, "From Ireland, ladies and gentleman. From Ireland!"

Bell X1 and a nice rendition of their little ditty "The Great Defector" from the album Blue Lights On the Runway. It's fun, it's up-beat, it's a little poppy...what's not to like?!

Enjoy! And I'll catch you guys later!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fictional Sports

So, as we come off the Golden Globes and inch ever closer to Oscar-Time, I find myself thinking of, not sports movies, but, sports IN movies…which brings me to my thoughts on the top five fictional sporting events that I wish I could have attended.

***Note: It was tough putting these in any kind of order and I’m not 100% sure that I am settling on this as my final answer. But it’s a good place to start.***

Starting with the guys that didn’t make it...

Just missing the cut: The game -- The Sandlot; Roy McAvoy playing in the U.S. Open -- Tin Cup; Rockford Peaches vs. Racine Belles in the AAGPBL World Series -- A League of Their Own; plus, I would have loved to see Henry Rowengartner pitch – Rookie of the Year.

I think that a very special honorable mention needs to go to any time Coach Norman Dale took his basketball team from Hickory High onto the court. He also gives some of the best pre-game speeches ever.

Onward! To the finalists!

5. New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians (aka, the one-game playoff for the American League’s Eastern Division Championship) -- Major League.
Thanks to stellar defense, “the crafty veteran” Eddie Harris tosses eight and two-thirds innings of two-run ball before giving way to the bullpen. I bet the ol’ Municipal Stadium was absolutely electric when Cerrano hit that two-run bomb in the bottom half of the seventh! But it wouldn’t be an Indians victory without an appearance of The Wild Child himself…cue Ricky Vaughn and X’s version of Wild Thing!

4. Ducks vs. Hawks (aka, the finals of the Minnesota State Pee Wee Championships) -- The Mighty Ducks.
Banks taking on his old team, Bombay going up against the coach that may have ultimately ruined his life – you can cut the tension in the room with a knife! Plus, growing up in the south I never had an understanding of hockey so this was very new and exciting to me. I mean, this is youth hockey and they have radio announcers?!

3. The All-Valley Karate Championships -- The Karate Kid. I cannot begin to tell you what it would have been like to be at this event.

2. Beavers vs. Cadets (aka the game where Scott Howard first turns into a werewolf in public) -- Teen Wolf. The crowd is temporarily shocked -- which is a little odd -- but then rejoices as the wolf completes what seems like a quadruple-double to win the game and the admiration of the whole school.

1. Rocky Balboa vs. Ivan Drago -- Rocky IV. Still one of my all-time favorite movie moments. When flipping through the channels, if you stumble upon this flick you simply have to stop. The film contains some of the best/most ridiculous quotes ever. I want Duke yelling at me while I run or work out. "No pain! No pain!!!" I can’t confirm this but I’m also pretty sure that this movie single-handed ended the cold war.

That’s it. That’s the list.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quick Thoughts: What I Learned On Break

So, while I recovered from work and school during late December and the first half of January, I learned three important things...

1) College football’s bowl system is completely out of whack.
2) Tyler Hansbrough is a jerk.
3) Tennessee’s football program is in trouble.

I should have realized the first one a long time ago but I was too busy shaking the pom-poms for the sport. But I’m not here to bash the BCS. On the contrary, I think that the BCS got it right…AGAIN! It’s what took place before the BCS, and frankly – before January 1st, that bothered me.

There were approximately ZERO intriguing bowl games before New Years Day. As bad as that statistic is, what is even worse was that there were twenty – that’s right, 20!!! – bowl games BEFORE New Years Day. That is absolutely ridiculous! I mean, come on, Southern Methodist and Nevada played on Christmas Eve in Hawaii. Was this even televised? I can neither confirm nor deny that a game was actually played. I like to think that the two opposing coaches and all the players were sitting on the beach in lounge chairs, sipping daiquiris while some S.I.D. sat behind them asking things like: “Guys, what do you want me to say happened in the third quarter?”

Moving on, I know that you all have seen this commercial:

What a freakin’ jerk! I know what you’re thinking? No, Cheek. Hansbrough found that little girl’s dog and delivered it safe and sound back to her home. He’s a saint! Well, in the immortal words of that drunk, Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!” Hansbrough didn’t do anything! The shaggy-haired, frat boy – complete with his backwards hat, flip flops and I-found-these-clothes-on-the-floor-and-they-didn’t-smell-TOO-disgusting wardrobe – notices the sweet girl putting fliers and immediately sends a text to his friends (which includes Hansbrough). Hansbrough then forwards it on to his HUGE arsenal of groupies. Three extremely average looking girls find the dog and send a message back to Hansbrough letting him know (and hoping that they can hang out with him and thereby be noticed by someone for once).

The commercial then shows Hansbrough handing the dog off to an overjoyed little girl. All that guy did was show up, grab the dog, return it and take the glory. Seriously, what a jerk!

As for Tennessee and the whole Lane Kiffin/David Cutcliffe/Why can’t we find a head coach?!-saga:
About 14 months ago, you (the University of Tennessee) bought yourself a sweet little 2009 Porsche (Kiffin). It was HOT! It was new, good looking, made others turn their head when you entered the room. Sure, it made some crazy noises every once and a while but that was part of the fun – you know, freaking other people out. Then about a week ago the thing completely clunks on you. It’s out.

Now you’re thinking, “Okay, I’m not going to be burned like that again. I need something safe and reliable this time.” Enter the 2004 Honda Accord of college football – David Cutcliffe. The only problem is that some weird guy in North Carolina just bought the last one. You could have bought it but you were determined that you didn’t want one in periwinkle blue. You weren’t in a position to be picky and you got burned again!

What the heck are you going to do now?!

Note: As I post this, ESPN is breaking the story that Derek Dooley, the head coach at Louisiana Tech, is the leading candidate for the head coaching position at Tennessee.

Well, apparently there’s a guy in Louisiana who is selling a mo-ped, on the cheap, that he’s just been using on his five mile commute. Good luck with that, Tennessee.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Couple Quick Thoughts

So, as I sit her thinking about how many Thanksgiving calories I can burn by simply thinking about burning Thanksgiving calories my mind finds itself deviating to a couple other things...

First, and I'll keep this one brief, I realized for the first time in my life what Thanksgiving really is. It's a tailgate party for women. When someone told me this, I calmly chuckled and said, "Ha ha. Good one. That's funny." Then I started to think about it. That's when I decided to take a hard look at the women in my family during Thanksgiving and found that there is actually some validity to this whole thing.

Just like men at a tailgate party the women showed up each carrying a different dish - something to share with the group. Then they set up camp for the day. They went on to joke around with one another and shared stories of year's gone by. Most importantly though, this all took place right before the "biggest game of the year"...BLACK FRIDAY! The Super Bowl of Shopping Day's for women. I swear I heard my cousin Ellen and Lady Cheek harkening back to the glory days of Black Fridays of the past.

"Oh, that will never top the great sale of '94!"

"You girls don't know the half of it! Back in '74 we won the Macy's National Championship! Those were the good ol' days."

Second, Jack Swarbrick. You don't know who he is, do you? Well, he is - of course - the illustrious Athletic Director of the University of College Football in America...better known as "Notre Dame."

Ol' Jack had an interesting quote today as he was signing Charlie Weis's $18-million dollar walking papers.

"I am excited to embark full bore on the process of finding the right next successor to the legacy of Rockne and Leahy and Parseghian and Holtz."


Listen, everyone who really loves Notre Dame...and I mean, REALLY loves Notre Dame...is like 60 years old. They walk around calling people "whipper snapper" and complaining about kids' long hair and loud music. Bottom line is getting those 17 and 18-year old blue-chip athletes on your campus is what wins games, not tradition. Those players don't care about Knute Rockne, they don't care about the "Four Horsemen" and they sure as heck don't care about this so-called legacy and tradition. Those things are for fans.

Athletes of that age and potential care about four things when considering college: sunshine, hot chicks, academic standards that aren't too rigid and getting to the NFL. Look at the biggest powerhouse football programs out there right now - Southern California, Florida, LSU, Texas, etc. Notre Dame isn't offering the same thing as them.

Seriously. Come on, Jack. I don't even know if Knute Rockne ever really existed. I don't know anything about this "Lee High" fellow and the only reason I know Ari Parseghian is because of the movie "Rudy." And don't get me started on Lou Holtz - he's not a legend. He was a decent coach who strung together a couple good years and now spends his days spitting at the cameras on the set of ESPN shows.

Get over yourself, Notre Dame. You're not what you think you are.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Mr. Jimmy Fallon...as Mr. Neil Young.

Nothing screams delicious pop culture quite like a washed up Not Ready for Prime-Time Player, dressed up and imitating a washed up rocker, singing the theme song to a washed up family sitcom from the early 90's.

Until next time, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Look

So, in an effort to jazz this place up...

I've come up with a little graphic for the top of the blog. It was fun to make and I think it turned out well. I'm continually trying to make this blog look a little sharper and thus enhance, frankly, my entertainment in using it.

It's not as dramatic a change as the first time that we saw Andre Agassi show up without those gorgeous locks of his but it's still a change.

So, you're probably asking yourelf, "Self, what is this fancy picture that Cheek has come up?" Well, it's my imaginary room - full of a bunch of crap that I simply must have to live my life. It's pretty simply living mind you but that's just sort how it goes for me. It's "imaginary" for two reasons: A) my room doesn't really look anything like this and 2) Lady Cheek would never let me leave all of my pop culture relics lying around the place.

Lady Cheek also thinks that the picture is kind of like an old issue of Highlights...you know, that classic magazine that we used to read as kids while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist (I never saw that magazine anywhere else). You basically look through the picture and find all the random references to my life. I've included references to favorite movies, books, TV shows, music and sports.

One of the nice things about this picture is that I can constantly change it. I can add things and delete things. It rather fun to do so.

Take a gander and tell me what you see. Let me know your thoughts and if you see something that I need to add, subtract...or mulitply and divide.

See you next time!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rush Party!

So, as I sit here contemplating my future as the owner of an NFL Franchise...

I wonder why Rush Limbaugh was blackballed by the NFL's Office of the Commissioner. I understand that Rush is a politically driven, ultra right-wing radio commentator but should that really keep him from being a part of an ownership group looking to buy an NFL team?

I say, "No." I know why people dislike Rush. He makes some stupid, and sometimes border-line racist, comments during his time on the airwaves but the man has the money to buy a team (at least, he is a part of an ownership group that has that money), right? So why shouldn't he be able to spend his money on what he wants?

When asked about Limbaugh's comments concerning Donovan McNabb in 2003, NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell said that the comments were "polarizing" and that they don't "reflect accurately on the NFL or our players." Goodell went on to say, "I obviously do not believe those comments are positive and they are divisive. That's a negative thing for us, obviously."

Of course the comments were polarizing! That's what Rush does. Do you think that the guy became the most listened to man in America because he toes the company line and gives otherwise bland commentrary on the world? Don't be naive. Rush knew exactly what he was doing when he said that. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even mean it. By saying something like that, he could ensure ratings. That's what's important. Not image. Not beliefs. Ratings.

There's a different problem that I have here with Goodell though. I ask, don't we have to give Rush Limbaugh's ownership group the opportunity to purchase an NFL team? Regardless of sex, creed, religion, political views, capacity of idiocy?

I don't believe that the NFL is taking the right approach on this. A league that prides itself on "second chances" and being an equal opportunist should at least let this group go through the motions. That being said, I also don't believe that the NFL will be harmed in the slightest by this move. "The Shield" is probably one of the most powerful organizations in the world and is almost above the law.

My other issue: There are multiple players in the NFL who are convicted felons. Let me say that again...CONVICTED FELONS!!! Where are the people that have been defending their right to play in the NFL? Those "activists" aren't exactly knocking down the door on Limbaugh's behalf.

And as for the players who said that they wouldn't play in the NFL if Rush was allowed to own a team...liars. Filthy, dirty, unbelievable LIARS! I don't care what an owner said - if they were handing out $10-million dollar checks the players would be lining up. I think that Stephen A. Smith (who, for the record, I am NOT a fan of) said it best:

Now, for a little gamblin', g-g-g-gamblin':
Last Week (4-2)...but it didn't count...boo!!!; Season (6-12-1)

-What are the odds that I blow this week after having a decent record that didn't count last week because I didn't "post it"? Probable.

#8 Cincinatti (-2.5) at #21 South Florida
-90% of the time, college football that is played on a day other than Saturday is pointless. This Big East game is NOT an exception. Still, I'll take the boys from Tampa.

#20 Oklahoma vs. #3 Texas (-3.5) -- in Dallas, Texas
-Ah, the ol' Red River Shootout...one of the best names for a game in college football. I really feel like Texas gets things going early and wins by a touchdown. Colt McCoy will always remember his last Shootout.

#6 Southern Cal (-10) at #25 Notre Dame
-This is a really tough one for me. I pretty much hate both teams. I dislike pretty much everything that has ever been produced by the Clausen Family. But, I'm going to throw, my boy, O.C. a bone here and take the points and the Irish.

#4 Virginia Tech (-3) at #19 Georgia Tech
-Is there anything that anyone has seen that would tell you that Virginia Tech is going to lose this game? Is there anything that could tell you that this isn't going ot be a blow out? Is there anything that could tell you that Georgia Tech isn't full of a bunch of nerds who do nothing but lie and cheat? No, no, and no.

#22 South Carolina @ #2 Alabama (-17)
-This game is just full of evil. And that's a lot of points to lay. But the Tide...they're just too good. They are going to run, pass, jump and whatever else you can do OVER South Carolina...over South Carolina.