The Airplane Rant…

…which happened to mention Luke Skywalker…

Read it, don’ t read it, I don’t care…just needed to get some things off my chest.

In no particular order of chronology or importance…

Not on the clock.  Cross country flight, lots to say, and all the time in the world.  Let’s turn and burn.

EMAIL: mark_filler@hotmail.com

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1)       This will be interesting with Joe Girardi and his future.  Chicago needs a manager, he is much more Chicago than New York in his background, and he is presently managing a group of guys who are either overpaid, more than over the counter, or over their prime.  He can stay and know they will continually load him up with new players, and the fans will expect nothing less than a championship.  He can GO to a starving fan base with a new GM and actually build something.  I think he should go (but will probably be paid enough to stay).

2)      Deron Williams says that the energy is better in Nets practice these days.  It better be.  Williams had a prime that was the length of Terrell Davis and has enough ammo this year to definitely take some blame if they don’t make some noise in the postseason.

3)      There is a UFC fighter named Rafael Natal?  I did a double take and thought someone was doing crazy stuff in between the tennis seasons.

4)      Hockey season is upon us.  I get to watch the Flyers frustrate me, the Sharks underachieve, the Kings overachieve, the Penguins fight injury problems, and the Blackhawks play steady, efficient hockey throughout everything.

5)      Always a class act, Rant Squad member JR Smith continues to find creative ways to make the news.  Evidently, he waited until AFTER signing a new contract until getting knee surgery.  He definitely was advised by others on this, because there is no way he is that clever in his classlessness.

6)      Bernie Kosar recently got a DUI.  The cop recently told the story.  Kosar continues to live the life of almost achieving and possibly blaming others on the way.  Probably a little loopy during the sobriety test, the cop reported he was actually blaming his offensive line.

7)      The WNBA doesn’t need any more haters.  It has enough.  Well, add an ice crew and a couple of straggling fans to that list.  The Finals at Philips Arena ended up cancelling Disney on Ice.  Poor kids and weird people who go to ice skating shows.

8)      Google “deadspin nate Burleson pizza looked like after wreck.”

9)      I am slacking.  I have NO idea why I haven’t read the book Inferno yet.  I LOVED Da Vinci Code.  LOVED Angels and Demons.  I am behind.  Note to self.

10)    I am so bad at Facebook that Lindsey had to tell me that when I “post” my blog I was merely posting it on my wall to myself.  Whoops.  That is fixed.  I was wondering why not one person made a good or bad comment.  Twitter is less confusing in action items for me.  No idea of all the tricks, but at least I know I am saying something to a multitude of people.

11)   Managers know their players better than we know them obviously.  So, they know how they will handle pressure and stadium noise.  That being said, I watched the beginning of that Pirates-Reds game.  The masses chanting his name loudly, the two solo HR’s given up, and him dropping the ball coincidently DURING the chanting would have made me tell my pitching coach to go tell him a deep breath.  That is me though.

12)   It just dawned on me while driving on the highway at 5am this morning that I am going to Cleveland.  I knew I was going to Cleveland, but then I remembered it was CLEVELAND.  DAMN shame it is a work trip with an early demo.  The sudden death American League Wildcard Game would be tonight IN Cleveland.  The city will be electric.  Might be worth an evening stroll at least.

13)   The Tigers will be going with Max Scherzer for their Game 1 starter in the playoffs.  I like the move.  Sure, Verlander is your stud over the years.  This is THIS year though, and whatever Verlander’s odd velocity and control problem is mandates that you start your THIS year’s stud.  Scherzer doesn’t have the flash, but efficiency won him 21 games against the best no matter how you look at it.

14)   It is October, so it is also time for the now yearly debate of Trout or Cabrera for AL MVP.   SUCH a tough call and you can seriously argue either successfully.  Cabrera has the flashy stats.  Trout has the WAR, defense, steals, and all the low key stats.  One made the playoffs.  One did not.  Normally, I would absolutely lean towards the guy who made the playoffs.  In this case, here is what I am going to do.  Being that this year there was no Triple Crown, and being that it is just you two guys once again, and being that we gave it to Cabrera LAST year, I say we go Trout this year…just because.  They can SHARE their dominance.  Next year the tie goes to YOU, Miguel.

15)   MVP votes in any sport are tough.  Think of it this way.  Shaq barely got any MVP’s, but we all know he changed the game in his prime.  He probably could have had about 6 MVP’s in a row.

16)   Dibs to Bode Miller for coming out against Russia’s anti-gay law.  I think we all would listen to Bode a lot more if he hadn’t partied his way to mediocre finishes at the Olympics.  Dude had the world, but needed to get laid and drink a little more during his prime.

17)   The National League really lacks good players for the MVP.  Well, OBVIOUS players.  Pittsburgh overachieved, they made the playoffs, and the best player on Pittsburgh is Andrew McClutchen.  This year’s lack of position players brings into play pitchers of course.  Put me FIRMLY on the side of the wall where the pitcher can’t get an MVP Award.  They pitch every five games.  If a pitcher goes 35-0, then I will rethink this logic.  Aside from that, stick to your own awards.

18)   Google “deadspin jaguars mascot 40 paintballs to chest.”

19)   Google “deadspin Peyton Manning papa’s johns’s.”

20)   OKC is one team that when healthy has a solid chance in matching up against the Heat.  I love the OKC team.  It just came out that Russell Westbrook will miss the first 4-6 weeks of the season.  Initiailly, I thought this would be a huge blow for them.  Then, I thought about it.  It is not like Durant can’t keep them in the mix for a while.  AND, instead of throwing someone in the PG spot for the PLAYOFFS, you put someone in there in a less pressurized situation.  They will lack talent, but the experience and chemistry building will be good.  I hope Westbrook gets fully back soon though.  Their window is large relatively, but Dan Marino thought HIS window was large after going to the Super Bowl in his second year too.

21)   Josh Freeman is really hogging the headlines these days.  Whether it is him being demoted, him wanting his release, or this shady “leak” that he is in Phase 1 of the substance abuse program, he is all over the place.  Here is the deal, Josh.  It sucks, bro.  But, this is very similar to what happened to Alex Smith.  HE kept quiet.  HE cheered his team.  Now, HE is the starting QB for a 4-0 team.  Wait it out, Josh.  You won’t get paid $8 million next year by any means, but you will get paid SOMEWHERE.

22)   The Royals gave Ned Yost a two year extension this week.  Good decision.  He is a respected, classy guy in a laid back city who took a low payroll team to a winning record.  They are the poorer man’s Oakland.

23)   Here we go.  Michael Jordan says that in his prime he could have taken LeBron James at one on one.  He was promoting the new NBA video game.  Here is my vote.  He could.  LeBron’s physique would be tough obviously as he is HUGE, but there is NO argument that the NBA was a lot more physical in the 80’s and 90’s.  NO argument.  Case in point, the Pistons couldn’t have won in this quick whistle era.  Anyway, LeBron has yet to show me that he is masterful in the post.  This would be the way that he could actually take MJ.  I think Michael had the tools in his prime and the smarts to barely take out LeBron.

24)   Michael also cleverly added that Kobe COULD probably take him.  Way to show humbleness and have a good joke, MJ.  He said Kobe stole all of his moves.  I concur with all of this.

25)   Before all you younger people start talking trash about the above, let’s remember one thing.  Michael won six championships.  He got bored and went and played baseball.  If you can find ONE person from that era who will go on the record that MJ WOULD’T have won those two rings in the middle of his threepeats had he stayed in the NBA, I will buy you a drink.  Many drinks.  You won’t find anyone.  So, technically, MJ has 8 rings…and we all know it.  Probably 9 if he didn’t retire the first time.

26)   Ha.  You have to love Ravens Terrell Suggs, who has come out saying that he believes that Roger Goodell had something to do with the Super Bowl blackout.  Funny guy, but something tells me he should have skipped this interview to have been studying Buffalo Bills film.  Bad loss.

27)   Thanks to my colleague, Bob, who told me about some beauty school downtown in Denver that allows students to cut your hair…for FOUR bucks.  I wish I had known about this ten years ago.  My haircut is not complicated.  I will let a newbie have a shot at it.  Hell, yes.

28)   Weird that the academies also have to shut down during a government shutdown.  I mean it makes sense and all for the travel, but it kind of sucks for those athletes.,

29)   I will tell you who else it sucks for (besides the employees, and me, who sells to government).  There are literally thousands of events on the National Mall each year.  Every one of those events is now cancelled because there would be no one to clean it up.  So, the other day some veterans from Mississippi had to bail on a great celebration for them.  Sucks.

30)   I am surprised how few NEW television stations there are over the years.  I am also surprised no one has made a serious attempt at ESPN’s dominance.  Minor attempts have been made, but no one just for that.  I mean…I just read in the USA Today how the most used bat by major leaguers is NOT a Louisville Slugger.  It was some brand that came about in 2002.  You have to TRY, right?

31)   No matter how shaky they have looked in a few games, know the class of the NFC, when it is all said and done, will be the Seahawks and the Niners.

32)   The Falcons lost this past weekend to the Pats…at home.  Just like they do in the postseason, the Falcons had a statement game, swung, and missed.  We will take them seriously when they decide to win a game that catches our attention.  Going for it on 4th and 2 with the score 7-3 indicates a little impatience and early desperation, don’t you think?

33)   I wonder what Lane Kiffin is doing right now…

34)   Because this blog primarily concentrates on NASCAR, I wanted to inform you that Jimmy Johnson held off Dale Earnhardt, Jr. this past weekend…in some race.

35)   Joe Flacco didn’t play last week like he just wanted a paycheck, did he?  Nah.  What did he have?  FIVE picks?

36)   I think I will take a little walk early this evening.  I know my way around Cleveland from last year’s wandering, and I am betting this is one of the best baseball cities out there since they made a freaking movie about it.  I love being in cities where you can literally FEEL the sports passion.  I hate the Eastern Time Zone late starting time, so I guess I will go for the first 2-3 innings.

37)   Notre Dame is out of the top 25 this week, but Domers shouldn’t panic yet.  They can look at their schedule and USC’s demise and see themselves winning most of the remaining games.  Maybe they can locate the real Tommy Rees while the government is shut down and the academies can’t play them.

38)   Cards-Tigers, people.  WS.  Tigers in 7.

39)   Is anyone else really sure how the Titans are any good?  They will miss Locker while he is out obviously, but there are a lot of other moving parts playing above their level to have the start they have had.

40)   Google “deadspin pam oliver reporting.”  You will get 2-3 stories, but they are all funny.

41)   Google “deadspin saddest banner.”

42)   I am excited for Captain Phillips and The Counselor to come out.  They both look like solid movies.

43)   I will be knocking out Runner Runner this weekend hopefully.

44)   The pats are 4-0, but losing Vince Wilfork is no bueno at all.  Talk about an anchor.  There are stats floating out there about their record without him.  Look them up.  He was important.

45)   I was surprised to see that the 52 points the Broncos scored this past weekend was the most ever by the franchise.  This can’t be.  I am not going on the record on this.  I don’t have internet right now though.  Maybe it was most ever against Philly, or most at home against the NFC, or most against an NFC East team, or most ever in the month of September.  Whatever.  It was the most ever of something.  I sound like Bill Walton.  Moving on…

46)   I think the Broncos should be confident that Elway knows what he is doing by saying Brock Osweiler might be his QB of the future.  Kid is 6’8”, has a decent resume, and looked comfortable in his appearance the other afternoon.  He is like Luke Skywalker…learning under Yoda.  Luke turned out OK, right.  Watch that arm, Brock.  Not sure they can put that robot hand on you as easily in our day.

47)   Lindsey loves the actual games, but is not into pre-game, halftime, or post game.  I am happy to say these are some of the larger obstacles our relationship produces.  I will work on it.

48)   I am mad that I was in my house, with background TV on, and actually turned the station from Book of Manning.  Everyone keeps talking about it, and I have nothing.  Damn.

49)   Neat stat.  Tell your friends.  The Giants are the 3rd team ever in the NFL to allow 30 plus points in each of their first four games.

50)   In Bama, people are wondering if the Director of Player Personnel was stealing signals from Ole Miss the other day (he used to be an assistant at Ole Miss).  Maybe he was.  Maybe he wasn’t.  Everyone needs to reach every direction to figure out if Bama is cheating.  It WAS odd that Bama held an offensive juggernaut to ZERO points, but I think that takes too much real time coordination that Saban wouldn’t think he would really need anyway.  I think he was just a really active Director of Player personnel watching the game.

51)   Rex Ryan said there is NO thought of benching Geno Smith after his horrible game this past week.  That might just be the most intelligent Rex Ryan has said to the media in about 2-3 years.  Good job, Rex.  There is hope.  The kid is learning, and you have chosen you path for now.

52)   I think Tampa will win tonight against the Indians, but I will be rooting for the Indians.

53)   I think that Dusty Baker getting his team to the playoffs again is great, but the fact that they are done already is sad.  Broken record these days.

54)   I think that although these one game wildcard games are cool and exciting that they are not the best solution for the playoffs.

55)   I think US Airways just went up in my rankings because they give out full cans of Coke Zero’s.

56)   I think I could sit next to this nice couple every flight from here out.  They talk quietly, and the woman doesn’t take the armrest at all.

57)   I think that because we had a bad #1 computer and that we were delayed for 40 minutes, that I might miss my connecting flight.

58)   I think that Mike Tyson should NOT be a promoter in boxing.  He just signed the U.S.’s best hope of a medal at the Olympics.

59)   I think people are dumb when talking about a college football team beating a pro team, although a Bama-Jacksonville showdown WOULD draw some interest.

60)   I think that people in my aisle are always appreciative that I never go to the restroom on a U.S. flight.

61)   Dammit.  I just realized that I accidentally went off a la Peter King.  Sorry, Peter.  Not intentional.  You have the rights on “I think that…”  It was just in the flow.  My bad.  Props to your football columns.  You are the man.

62)   Anyway, that is it.  I could of course go on, but I have tomorrow’s return flight also to rant.  Hope you enjoyed.  Will I blog tomorrow?  That is a CLOWN question, bro.  Peace.

 

62a)  I DID miss my flight.  This would be posted in between.

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