It's 888 Miles to Chicago...

So many things to talk about this weekend...where to start...

I think I'll start and end with the following 3 topics...

Kenny Rogers

Here's my take on this whole did he or didn't he...

Do I think something fishy is going on?  Yeah, there always is something strange going on in the world.

Do I think he cheated?  Not sure, seems to be a lot of evidence that he did...but nothing totally concrete.

Do I think Rogers is dumb enough to think he could get away with it?  There I'm not sold yet.

If it is pine tar, what the hell was he thinking?  In the days of 24-7 sports media and HDTV...did he really think no one would notice?  I mean come on.  It's a big brown smug on your hand.  Anyone that has half a brain knows that's not dirt.  Seriously, is the Gambler that dumb?  Or worse, does he think we're all that dumb?

See and that's where you get into a murky subject on cheating.  To succeed you need to visualize the worst.  When my dad was teaching me how to use a table saw, a very dangerous tool for the untrained, he told me "visualize your thumb lying next to the blade before you start a cut, and you'll make sure it won't happen."  I've been using the table saw for 15 years now, never came close to injuring myself.  But when you start to believe that you can't cut yourself, or that you can't get caught....that's when you stop visualizing the thumb...and then problems happen.  So the question is...

Did Rogers stop visualizing the thumb?

"All signs point to yes" says my magic 8-ball.  I have this feeling that Rogers entered the post season pitching terribly.  He's 41, in his mind he's thinking "this is my last shot"...and then he tries something.  And it works.  And he does it again, not only does it work, no one suspects anything...then he gets a little careless...and now we have "Dirtgate"...for the record, I'm really frickin' sick of the whole "-gate" thing for scandals.  Watergate was the name of a hotel...the first time it happened, it's that we're on 9257 times, it's just stupid.

I think the proof will be in the pudding.  If this game goes to 6, and the Gambler has to pitch again, I have a feeling he'll be plowed like a Chicago driveway in the dead of winter.

Shawn Merriman

A cheater of a different kind...

What amazes me here, is this is a guy who is at the top of his game.  He's exploded onto the scene and is being called one of the best LBs in the NFL in only his 2nd season.  He made it through last year without testing positive, so I'm assuming he just started using...which in truth is a terrible assumption, but I'm giving the NFL testing program the benefit of the doubt...and he starts using now?  Makes no sense...

But here's the bigger issue as I see we really believe that all pro athletes are totally clean?  These guys are complete freaks of nature.  They run faster, jump higher, fight longer, hit farther, throw harder than anyone that has come before them...and we truly believe that they are just born that way?  I think if everyone of us looked inside ourselves we'd find 2 answers to this query...

Performance enhancing drugs are in wider use than we care to admit...

...and, I don't care.

By the way, that's the royal "I"...

The reason we don't care, is that we watch sports as we watch just about everything else on TV, to be entertained.  At least that is the reality of the games today.  And so what if the guys on TV are 6'4" 265 pounds and can run faster than Carl Lewis...he's fun to watch.  And that's why we'll never have true testing in sports, cause in the end the fans love to see the amazing, and we've come to expect the super amazing now...and strong testing will remove that from the equation.

Sad isn't it?

NFL weekend

What a weekend for upsets.

So who had week 7 in the Denny Green dead pool?  Anyone?  Man, the Cards hearts are ripped from their chest by the Bears...and then the Raiders stop by to mash a pound of kosher salt in the wound.  What polar opposites in terms of coaching in that game have Denny who's screaming and ranting about everything...and then there's Art Shell who everyone would believe is dead except that he blinks from time to time.  Can we agree that Denny Green doesn't get another job after this?  Or do I have to write a piece about terrible coaching in the NFL?

The Seahawks had their Super Bowl hopes further dashed when Matt Hasselbeck went out with a sprained knee...and then they got man-handled by the Vikings.  Between Alexander, Hasselbeck and Engram, the Hawks are in trouble.  That's a big chunk of the offense that's out with injury.  And now their inability to go out and sign a vet #2 is really going to come into play.  I like Seneca Wallace, I really do...he's one of the guys I get to be my 3rd string QB in Madden...but he's in a bad spot right now.  I have a feeling the Hawks are going to limp to a 9-7 record.

So after the Chiefs and Bucs won games on last second 50+ yard FGs...2 questions come to mind...

Were these guys tested for steroids?

And, does Neil Rackers feel like an even bigger idiot now?

There's more, but I've said enough...I've got to go visualize my thumb.


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