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.