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The Pundit vs. T.O.

So, T.O. said something and included Donovan McNabb in the words he used. Which, of course, means that the media needs to write about it, sound byte it, and giggle in private places about having something to discuss. (Editor’s note: T.O.’s quotes are sooooo dreamy). That being said, I couldn’t resist taking a look at some of his recent comments, and he didn’t disappoint. I decided to take the Fire Joe Morgan route on Mr. Owens and his quotes. To the roasting! (Editor’s note: All quotes are from The Dallas Morning News).

T.O. acknowledges that he should have done some things differently in Philadelphia, but he pinned the blame for his bitter divorce from McNabb on the QB’s fragile ego.

“We obviously could have done some great things together,” T.O. said after the TV cameras had left his locker, “but it wasn’t me letting my pride get in the way.”

Um, actually it was all about you. Were you an amazing player for the Eagles? Yeah, no doubt about that. But hadn’t the Eagles just restructured your deal and done battle with the Baltimore Ravens to get you here, which was what you wanted? Yup. So, you couldn’t have played ball for one more year, put up big numbers and then bitched if they didn’t show you the money? Nope, you had to make personal attacks against McNabb and sabotage the season to get what you wanted. I hope it was you letting your pride get in the way, because otherwise, you’re just an anarchist lunatic. (Editor’s note: Lucy, The Pundit needs Xanax, pronto! Just start dumping the bottle down his throat!)

T.O. didn’t have to be probed much to give his opinion on why his relationship with McNabb went sour. He was asked whether Tony Romo was the first quarterback to really get him.

“Well, I was really thinking that was the case in Philly before I think the fans and just the excitement of me coming there and being there, it became too overwhelming for Donovan,” T.O. replied. “Other than that, I think at one point in time I will say that we had a good relationship. I think I got too big for Philly, too big for him. But here, Tony and I have a great relationship.”

Yeah, McNabb couldn’t handle having another popular kid in class. He just can’t deal with adversity, that guy. Don’t you remember how he cried like a little bitch when he got booed on draft day? Oh, right, that didn’t happen. Forgot about that. But, he’s been super jealous of all of the success Brian Westbrook has had, that’s been super obvious, you know? Oh, wait, haven’t really noticed that happening, either. And the idea that T.O. got too big for Philly? What does that mean? Did his ego get too big for Philly, because then I would agree with him. And when did he get too big for McNabb? I’d love to go back in time and ask people who they thought the most indispensable player on that team was, because I’d venture that their response would be McNabb. Remember, the Eagles made their playoff run without T.O. in the lineup.

But he sensed the relationship changing during the 2004 season, which ended with T.O. making a miraculous return from injury to put up big numbers in a Super Bowl loss to the Patriots – and later pointing out that McNabb was vomiting during the Eagles’ final drive.

“I think everybody knows without harping on it too much,” T.O. said. “It is what it is. I can only do so much. Everywhere that I’ve gone, the cameras follow me. I’m going to get a great deal of fan support and a fan base.

“As I mentioned in the conference call [with Philadelphia media] earlier, I can remember being in that stadium and hearing them chanting my name. That couldn’t bode well for Donovan to hear that. It was an every-week thing.”

Back to the popularity contest, eh? But let’s think like T.O. for a second. Imagine you are T.O., and somebody else’s name is being “chanted in the stadium.” That would really piss you off. You wouldn’t know how to handle the attention being given to someone else. It would drive you absolutely crazy inside. Hey, hey you guys, look at me guys, I’m really special too, please pay attention to ME!  LOVE ME, DAMNIT! ME ME ME! So, isn’t it logical that everybody would think this way? This must be the response that Donovan would have, right? RIGHT? (Editor’s note: Lucy, forget about The Pundit for a second, I’ve got a wicked headache from all of this silliness. Could you grab me a bottle of Tylenol or something – yeah, I’ll just swallow the whole bottle, thanks).

“I honestly can say that Donovan made me a better receiver in Philly,” T.O. said, “but I think it would be hard for him to admit that I made him a better quarterback.”

Yes, Donovan had his best statistical season ever with T.O. around. He had career highs in completion percentage (64%), yards (3875), TD’s (31) and passer rating (104.7). But, this is actually a bit more philosophical than the numbers. T.O. certainly made Donovan’s job easier. Hell, he made the other receiver’s jobs easier, attracting double teams. But McNabb still had to make his reads, distribute the ball, and run when necessary. He didn’t make Donovan a better quarterback so much as he made it so Donovan didn’t have to be “the man” all of the time. They were a good pair, and I don’t think the Donovan would deny he played some of his best football with T.O.

Listen, all of this is just silly. I know what T.O. is doing here – he’s hyping a primetime, nationally televised game. This is standard boxing-promotion, Don King jibberish. T.O. is just stirring the pot to peak the intrigue of this game. I get that. And, quite frankly, I felt a bit silly responding his quotations; I’m just falling into his lap that way. (Editor’s note: Um…ah, never mind). But, the thing is, this game doesn’t need any hype! The ratings for this game will be huge no matter what T.O. says. And don’t you think it’s just a bit odd that T.O. would go after McNabb in the media again after DNabb had as big of a game as he just did? Like somehow his little jabs might get in Donovan’s head? It’s just so childish. Keep Donovan’s name outta your mouth, T.O. – there’s no need for this. You may be an entertainer, and some of your stunts are pretty good (Editor’s note: I thought the Usain Bolt bit last weekend was pretty funny myself), but that doesn’t give you a license to do or say anything you damn please. Here in Philly, we may be hard on Donovan, but that’s a family thing. You don’t get to talk shit about family, Mr. Owens, especially when we invited you to dinner and you were totally gracious during the feasting, until you had a few too many drinks and trashed the house. We don’t really want to hear your opinion about our house anymore. You can try to chip away at Donovan’s good guy reputation all you want, but your track record speaks for itself – if it looks like an ego-maniac, and it smells like an ego-maniac, its probably an ego-maniac.

Donovan, keep quiet, stay focused, and tear the Cowboys up. Do what you normally do – let your play speak for itself. And T.O, if you feel the need to play the villain in order to hype up the game, then so be it – I respect the fact that you apparently do not care in the least what people think of you. Reminds me of the scene in Scarface, where Pacino gives the genius speech about everyday people needing to define the “bad guys” (Editor’s note: You need people like me!). But then again, Tony Montana really was a pretty unsavory guy – are you, Mr. Owens?

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The Week in Review

After my Saturday hiatus, I have returned to wrap up the week. Let’s get to it, kids.

The No-Show of the week goes to Jimmy Rollins. In all sincerity, this is not an effort to pile on after the “frontrunning” debacle. Fact is, Jimmy batted 3-24 last week with no extra-base hits, no walks (he was hit by one pitch) and no RBI’s. He did score 3 runs, which is extremely frustrating in its own right, because when he gets on base, the Phils tend to knock him in – he sets the proverbial table. (Editor’s note: I can never remember where you put the damn fork). That, and a lead-off hitter should get on base more than 4 times in a week, plain and simple.

The Stud of the Week is a split between Usain Bolt and Cole Hamels. Bolt set three world records (100m, 200m, 4x100m relay), and did so with relative ease. He’s not only the fastest man in the world, he is, at least for now, the fastest man ever. That’s friggin’ impressive. Still, not only do I like to reserve this award for local guys, but also for, um, citizens of this country (Editor’s note: Patriotic…or prejudiced? Judge for yourselves, people). Thus, Hamels takes the second half of this award. In two starts this week, Hamels threw 15 innings, surrendering 12 hits but allowing only three runs with no walks and eight K’s. The Phillies won each of his starts.

The All-Encompassing Thought of the Week goes back out to the Olympics. With the games coming to a close, The Pundit can’t help but get a little bit weepy (Editor’s note: Is it really neccesary to admit that?). Sure, the US underachieved a bit in track and field, but hey, Bryan Clay won the decathlon, the event in which the winner is dubbed “The Greatest Athlete in the World.” That’s pretty cool. And the Redeem Team (Editor’s note: Everytime I hear that name, I envision a large line of elderly women at a grocery store, fumbling for their coupon books) straight-up handled their business, knocking off Spain 118-107 in a game that was exciting and often a bit too close for comfort. US basketball may never dominate the world the way that the Dream Team once did, but something certainly felt restored and in its rightful place as the Redeem Team had their Olympic Golds placed around their neck. China not only put on a great show, but showed up as well, dominating the Gold medal count. That being said, the US performed admirably and finished with the highest overall medal count. Hold your heads high, American Olympians – we are all proud of your performances and the manner in which you carried yourselves. You represented us well. We were treated to breathtaking performances, enthralling finishes and fascinating storylines (Editor’s note: God, this whole segment sounds soooooooooooooo corny and cliche…but I think its true), and I for one will miss them.  Wait, what’s that you say? You say its just about time for football season? Welp, see you in London, Olympics (Editor’s note: Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do).

The Painfully Specific Thought of the Week is an NFL ditty. (Editor’s note: A ditty? What the hell is a ditty?) Let’s take a quick look at the statistics put up by the Eagles opening day receiving corps in 2007, and compare them to Mr. Boldin.

Reggie Brown: 61 receptions for 780 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Hank Baskett: 16 receptions for 161 yards and 1 touchdown.

DeSean Jackson: Rookie

Jason Avant: 23 receptions for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns

Greg Lewis: 13 receptions for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns

Total: 113 receptions for 1473 yards and 10 touchdowns

Anquan Boldin: 71 receptions for 853 yards and 9 touchdowns. Oh, and he missed 4 games, so if he had stayed healthy, he would have likely finished with about 95 catches for 1150 yards and 13 touchdowns. They have a word for something like this…oh, right, upgrade. Yup, it was upgrade. (Editor’s note: I don’t think he’s going to let this one go).

The Moment of the Week goes to the kick return of Quintin Demps and the punt return of DeSean Jackson. It was really exciting to see the Eagles do something positive on special teams, and the return by Demps was just awesome. I wasn’t able to see it happen live, but Merrill Reese, as he always does, made it extremely exciting to listen to. Before the Demps return, he said something to the tune of “I would really like to see a kick return here.” A few seconds later, and Mr. Reese had his wish. Then, before the punt return, he again said “Hey, you know what? I’d like to see a punt return, too.” Mike Quick chided him, telling him to save some of his luck for the regular season, but it was too late – DeSean Jackson was already weaving his way to the endzone. This prompted Reese to jokingly exclaim, “I’d like to be six foot four!” The man always had golden pipes; who knew they were so damn lucky?

I won’t be doing links in the morning, as I have to get up earlier then usual for work, but they’ll be back on Tuesday. Make sure to check in tomorrow night for my Fantasy Football preview. I know its a bit late to bust this out, but I didn’t want to give away any of my Golden Nuggets of Genius (Editor’s note: cough) before I had my own draft. Since I know many of you probably already had your draft, I’ll bust out my top 25 and focus on sleepers I think you should pay attention to. Also, a full NFL preview is in the works – should be exciting. (Editor’s note: Why, I’m practically lactating with enthusiasm!)

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Filed under Eagles, MLB, NFL, Olympics, Phillies, The Week in Review

Olympic Liveblogging part deux

So, my initial goal for the Olympics was to do at least 8 liveblogs, setting the word record for each. Sadly, I fear I will be falling painfully short of my goal (Editor’s note: Surely the masses will mourn). Anyway, enough of my Preramble (Editor’s note: Oh, he’s so punny) and on to the liveblogging.

8:13 PM: So we’re starting out the evening with hurdles, which are kind of like car racing: you’re into the race, but secretly you’re hoping for an epic crash. (Editor’s note: My last epic crash involved Atlantic City, approxiametly 7 Red Bull and vodka’s, and a nightcap with a woman named Trixie).

8:19 PM: Early candidate for name of the night: Lolo “Rolo” Jones, US Women’s 110M hurdler. Okay, so I gave her the nickname, but she’s smooth and milk chocolatey, so I think it fits. (Editor’s note: Whiteboy’s got jokes).

8:21 PM: “Rolo” Jones kicks butt in the first semifinal heat. She just made a new fan.

8:25 PM: A crash on the first hurdle in the second semifinal for Susanna Kallur of Sweden. Luckily, she seems alright. So, the hurdles were excellent: one great name, all three Americans moved to the finals, and one crash (albeit not epic, but also without serious injury). What else could you ask for from hurdles?

8:31 PM: The “experts” are weighing in on Mr. Bolt’s celebration at the end his 100M victory. You know, when he hit his chest once and put out his arms. Was it unsportsmanlike? Was he mocking his opponents? Or did he have some mucous in his lungs he was trying to loosen? Who gives a crap?

8:33 PM: My God, Bolt is fast. He looked like he could have won his 200M semifinal by a few seconds had he kept his throttle up. Dude can jet. Oh, and Usain Bolt is definitely in the running for name of the night. (Editor’s note: A sprinter with the last name of Bolt – he automatically gets the award).

8:38 PM: The announcer just said, “Dix has got something inside of him.” Heh heh. (Editor’s note: Sad. And it doesn’t even really make sense if you think about it).

8:39 PM: Dix qualified for the final. I guess you could say he rose for the occasion. (Editor’s note: Oh, I bet he totally just came up with that).

8:43 PM: Good grief, an Irish dude just won a 200M semifinal. And in other news, a basketball player from Great Britain is favored in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest.

8:49 PM: Pole vaulting is so cool. Sure, they look a bit silly while running with the pole, but you would look ridiculous hoisting around a huge pole too (Editor’s note: Speak for yourself, buddy).

9:00 PM: It’s beach volleyball! With Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh! I’m excited! Don’t you want to murder the person who invented exclamation points?!

9:04 PM: Kerri Walsh doesn’t have her kinesiology tape on. I can’t believe the broadcasters haven’t educated us with an elaborate conversation as to why she’s gone away from the tape. Is her shoulder better? Did she think it became uncool after all of the other players started posing off of her style? (Editor’s note: We need answers, people!).

9:09 PM: LeBron and Kobe are taking in the action. What’s with the two of them showing up everywhere together? They were watching Phelps together. They interviewed together. Now, it’s beach volleyball together. I mean, I understand team cohesion and all, but at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them taking in a steeplechase race, holding hands and smiling at each other’s corny jokes. (Editor’s note: Alright, let’s not get carried away).

9:16 PM: May/Walsh are up 18-7. In an Olympic semifinal against a highly touted Brazilian team. They’re ridiculous.

9:20 PM: May/Walsh win their first set 21-12. A bit disappointing has been the lack of terrible nicknames involved in the match, such as “thin beast.” That’s right, Dalhausser, I didn’t forget about your maniacal moniker (Editor’s note: I would have gone with “asinine alias”).

9:24 PM: A kinesiology tape reference! I knew the coverage couldn’t last without mentioning it at least once.

9:30 PM: I don’t understand why anyone would try to spike on Walsh. She blocks just about every spike attempt, but seems susceptible to finesse shots lifted above her or to her side. (Editor’s note: This scouting report brought to you by The Pattison Pundit, pretending to be an expert in beach volleyball since 10 minutes ago).

9:41 PM: May and Walsh win again. Same old, same old.

9:46 PM: Okay, so apparentely there is a Woman’s Trampoline final (Editor’s note: Does anyone know what time the slip-and-slide race is being broadcast?).

9:47: Right, so this whole trampoline thing is actually pretty sick. The woman who just went, Karen Cockburn (Editor’s note: it’s prounounced Coh-burn, assholes) had a ridiculous routine. Much cooler than I anticipated.

9:58 PM: He Wenna takes home the Gold for China with a nasty display of flippant bravado (Editor’s note: Groan). China brought their game face to these games, at least in the acrobatic events.

10:10 PM: We’ve moved on to Men’s Rings. I think I see Vince Vaughn lighting a cigarette during his warm-up. He’s got to be the favorite here (Editor’s note: This super funny movie reference brought to you by The Pattison Pundit, an expert in making entertaining movie quips since never).

10:24 PM: Not too much to report on Men’s Rings. These guys are ridiculously jacked, I feel excessively lazy watching them perform their feats of strength, and the moves don’t have funny names. Except for the Victorian, an unbelievably difficult and rarely seen move in which the gymnast positions his body parallel to the ground with his chest up, as opposed to the more traditional back up parallel hold (Editor’s note: I know there’s a Victorian joke in there I’m missing).

10:37 PM: On to the semifinals of the Woman’s 400M Hurdles. Queen Harrison is my girl; she doesn’t take anyone’s flak, you can see it on her face. Represent, girl.

10:40 PM: Oh crap. Queen Harrison didn’t qualify for the final. I jinxed her. Queen – I’m sorry (Editor’s note: What a jerk).

10:44 PM: It’s a vault-off! It’s our own Jenn Stuczynski vs. Russian World Record holder Yelena Isinbayeva in the Women’s Pole Vault Final.

10:47 PM: So, after hyping the pole vaulting showdown, NBC goes to commercial break and returns with…the Men’s 400M Hurdles final. Um, okay.

10:50 PM: US sweeps the Hurdles! Booyah. Angleo Taylor wins Gold, Kerron Clement takes Silver, and Bershawn Jackson, nicknamed Batman (Editor’s note: The Dark Flight?), takes Bronze. Good work, fellas.

10:55 PM: And now to the Women’s Uneven Bars Final, where Nastia Liukin looks to continue her already stellar games with Gold.

10:59 PM: He Kexin of China, age 7 (Editor’s note: I mean, she’s listed at 16, but let’s be serious…) is first to go. Or at least be broadcast. Of course I already accidentally stumbled upon the results on the Internet this morning, which really pissed me off, but its still absurd watching these girls flip and fly all over the place.

11:07 PM: Kexin’s routine was absurd. Liukin’s routine was absurd. Why, I don’t even know how you could differentiate between the two of them…

11:09 PM: Wait a second – they’re tied at 16.725. How can this be? And how did Liukin end up in second? Well, I’m sure NBC and their crack staff of commentators will eventually explain how this could happen, other then the obvious “home-mat advantage.”

11:13 PM: So far, the only explanation has been that the IOC has a computer program that, in the event of a tie, automatically identifies the criteria to be used as the tiebreaker. Thankfully, that extremely vague explanation does absolutely nothing for anyone.

11:17 PM: China’s Yang Yilin, age 8 1/2, up next on the bars.

11:19 PM: She only gets a 16.65, and we’re still “tied” for Gold. Still no idea what the specific criteria for the tiebreaker is.

11:24 PM: Apparentely, Australia’s judge docked Liukin more points than she docked Kexin, which cost her the Gold. So, I guess a gymnast’s highest and lowest score is taken away. If it is still tied after that, they take away the next lowest. After that, Kexin had two 9.1’s and a 9.0, while Liukin had two 9.0’s and a 9.1. It’s something like that. Yeah, not a big fan of both the Olympic Gymnastics’ tiebreaking procedure and the Australian judge. (Editor’s note: Kexin and Liukin each earned a Gold, so do what’s right, and give them each what they deserve).

11:42: Ahhhhh, finally back to the Women’s Pole Vault Final, where Stuczynski can’t hold off Isinbayeva, who sets another world record. We get to see all of three vaults. Pretty anticlimactic coverage. And on another anticlimactic note, I think I’m just about liveblogged out. It’s been fun.

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