Sergio Whines About Augusta

April 13, 2009

Here at Blue Duck Sports, we try to give credit where credit is due. Earlier this week, in his preview of the Masters, Carebear had some bold predictions for the outcome of the tournament, and some choice words for Sergio Garcia. And while most of his predictions were not correct, his estimation of the Spaniard was dead on.

Here is what Carebear said earlier this week:

We all know Sergio is a little bitch, but he also is a bad putter.  He strikes the ball great, but has no confidence on the greens.  That is not a good thing at Augusta.  177th on tour in putts per round doesn’t translate well here.  He is also a mental midget (pc? mental little person), and has tendencies to carry bad shots through rounds.

These words were telling, as Sergio responded by shooting -4 in the first two rounds of the tournament and followed it up by hitting +3 and +2 on his final 2 days in tournament. So that would go to prove that Carebear was correct in saying the “has tendencies to carry bad shots through rounds”.

But, most importantly, Carebear’s estimation that Garcia “is a little bitch” was proven correct by the Spaniard after the final round. In honor of my esteemed colleague, I bring to you Sergio Garcia’s complaints about the recently completed Masters:

  • “I don’t like it”
  • “I don’t think it’s fair”
  • “It’s too tricky”
  • “Even when it’s dry, you still get mud balls in the fairway”
  • “It’s too much of a guessing game”

When asked what he thinks Augusta National should do to fix the course, he replied:

  • “I don’t care. They can do whatever they want to. It’s not my problem. I just come here and play and then go home.”

Here’s the video showing his tantrum about one of the most heralded golf courses in the world:

So to Carebear, congratulations. You were dead-on in your assessment of Sergio Garcia’s game and his character. He indeed is a “little bitch” and doesn’t have the mental toughness to hang with the big boys.

And to Sergio, I offer you this advice: If you are going to complain about a world-renowned golf course, please offer a single suggestion as to how to improve it for your highness. How can you piss and moan about Augusta National and then have no response when asked how you would improve it? Man up!

Special thanks to our man, Paddy Harrington, for following up the cry-baby’s comments by praising how fantastic the course was. And then, Harrington added the icing on the cake by saying, “I like it when it’s difficult, but obviously it wasn’t difficult this week. It was as easy as it’s ever going to be.”

So to Mr. “I-just-come-here-and-play-and-then-go-home”, Sergio please, take your binky and go home. This is the big time, if you can’t hang, get out now!

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Harry Kalas: 1936-2009

April 13, 2009

Harry Kalas, the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies and arguably the best baseball broadcaster of the generation, died today.  Kalas was one of the greatest “homers” in broadcasting history and will be irreplaceable in Philadelphia and baseball.  Harry never lost faith in the Phightins who so often broke fans hearts over his time on the mic.  Its only fitting that Kalas goes just days after the Phils raised the 2008 championship banner at Citizan’s Bank park.  Two words to describe the legend: high hopes.


El Pato Azul Congratulates El Pato

April 12, 2009
The sweet swingin big Argentinian earned a big green jacket

The BlueDuck congratulates the big Argentinian duck on his Masters victory in an absolute chokefest today.  Angel, light one up, you deserve it.


Lance Armstrong Facing Punishment

April 10, 2009

It was reported today that American cyclist Lance Armstrong is facing possible punishment from the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD). The controversy revolves around the events leading to the French speaking out against the former champion. The French are claiming Lance delayed a testing official for 20 minutes before submitting to a test. Under French law, an appointed Anti-Doping official can show up announced, anytime, and the rider must submit to a test immediately. Not only must the athlete give the blood, hair, and urine sample, he must stay in the sight of official until the samples are taken. This is to prevent the rider from trying to beat the test.

Armstrong, the seven-time former Tour de France champion (99-05), reports that upon arriving home after a training a session, a testing official arrived. Armstrong says that he asked the official if he could take a shower while his representatives verified the tester’s credentials. The official obliged, allowing Armstrong to clean himself up. He flat out denies the claims that he delayed the testing, saying “I did not try to evade or delay the testing process that day.”

Now, the AFLD is considering punishing Armstrong for breaking the rules of testing. The rules are in place after previous athletes have tried numerous methods to mask or skew tests. These methods include injecting clean urine into one’s bladder, using a masking agent to skew the results (such as laundry detergent), or equipping oneself with a fake bladder. While this is understandable, one must consider that a urine test is not the only test being taken at the time. The AFLD official also procures a hair and blood sample from the athlete. These are nearly impossible to mask.

While most news organizations are reporting that Armstrong faces punishment for the miscommunication between himself and the testing official, most are barely stating the fact that the French admit that Lance Armstrong did in fact pass the tests. There was no evidence of foul play or foreign substances in any of the samples tested. He was clean, yet he still faces a possible Tour ban due to the apparent inability of the testing official to enforce the rules.

This smells fishy. After over a decade in the sport, Armstrong must know the rules, but so should the tester. Why Lance was allowed to shower and then to report him to the AFLD is unknown. If Lance faces punishment from the Anti-Doping organization, so should the testing official. Also, this is not the first time the French have tried to smear Armstrong’s name in doping scandals. In 1999, Tour de France officials accused Armstrong of using cortisone as a masking agent. They later recanted after they learned that it was used to treat a skin ailment (cortisone is a very common product used for skin issues). In 2005, it was reported by a French newspaper that samples he had given in 1999 contained EPO, a doping agent. No sanctions were ever filed. Are the French on a witch hunt, attacking the most visible rider in the Tour? It appears so.

For a sport mired in scandals, they need to be strict about cheating. But they also need to be thorough, avoiding character accusations before results are known. This sport has not been the same since Lance Armstrong retired in 2005, and for them to launch a personal attack on the legend during his comeback is risky. He is single-handedly making the sport relevant, along with the Tour de France in particular. This is not to say that they should turn a blind eye to the most popular figure in the sport. But they should be more careful when making accusations, as they need Armstrong more than Armstrong needs them. If Lance decides he is not willing to participate in the French tour, he does not lose anything besides a possible title. The Tour de France, on the other hand, has everything in the world to lose, including sponsorships and ratings. While we may never know the true story here, we should know that he did not test positive for banned substances or masking agents and he should not be ostracized by speculation from the French.


Carebear’s Masters Preview

April 9, 2009

I realize that half the field has already teed off, but I woke up late so, without knowing who is doing well to this point, here are some predictions.

My Four Horsemen:

Tiger Woods:

Not a stretch here.  I really do not think Tiger has the precision in his game back enough to win this tournament.  Sure he won at Bay hill, but he won ugly.  Plus he made Sean O’Hair shit his pants on sunday and took Arnie’s tournament right out of his hands.  Tiger hasn’t been doing much right off the tee, which is not far from the norm, but he also hasn’t been sticking it as close as usual after those errant tee shots since his return.  Augusta is a course that requires great approach shots. I include Tiger, though because he finds a way to win.  He is the best putter on tour, the best clutch player, and the scariest player to compete against.  His putting may make up for weak approaches at Bobby Jones’ course.

Ryuji Imada:

I really just have a feeling about this guy this week.  So he probably won’t make the cut.  Imada has been playing well this year.  He has the complete game to compete at Augusta.  It is Ryuji’s first Masters, but he hits fairways, greens, and putts well.  Look for him to stick around in this tourney.

Geoff Ogilvy:

Its hard to feel pressure when you're high as a kite all the time

Its hard to feel pressure when you're high as a kite all the time

Another no brainer.  Ogilvy leads the tour statistically in putting this year when he hits the green.  He is fifth in putts per round.  He is also way about tour average in driving accuracy, distance, and GIR.  These are not surprising numbers, but the keys at Augusta are keeping the ball in the fairway, and hitting putts on some of the most slippery greens in the world.  Ogilvy has the ability to do this.  Also, he has the psychological stability of a man playing golf on loads of painkillers.  He is unflappable.  It would be cool to see if he folded against Tiger, but I really think his Aussie “no worries” attitude is above nervousness.  He also wears argyle puma sweaters.  solid.

Zach Johnson:

You always have to favor past champs at this event.  Zach is another tough competitor who is hard to rattle.  He held off Tiger in a Masters win a couple of years back.  So he hits the ball like Michelle Wie at 12 years old, lays up on every par 5, and looks like the guy that makes your sandwich at Subway.  This guy can straight up play golf.  He is 7th in scoring average this year coming in under 70, hitting 70% of fairways (13th) and 70% of greens (10th).  The dude is extremely consistent.

5th Horse (Honorable Mention):

Trevor Immelman:

Trying to defend crown.  He will compete in this tourney.  Not playing great this year, but will put up a fight.

Don’t be surprised if:

Bernhard Langer and Greg Norman put on a clinic. These guys are old as dirt, but both are in good shape.  Langer looks like he’s thirty.  He also looks like one of the guys trying to take over Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard, but he’s so consistent.  Norman has been playing well of late, and is fresh off his wedding to Chrissy Evert.  Maybe she taught him how not to choke in the last round at Augusta.

Sergio doesn’t make the cut:

Its never your fault Sergio

Its never your fault Sergio

We all know Sergio is a little bitch, but he also is a bad putter.  He strikes the ball great, but has no confidence on the greens.  That is not a good thing at Augusta.  177th on tour in putts per round doesn’t translate well here.  He is also a mental midget (pc? mental little person), and has tendencies to carry bad shots through rounds.

Phil doesn’t make cut: I don’t root against Phil like I do Sergio, but he is just so damn inconsistent.  He wins a tourney then doesn’t make the cut the next week.  Ever since the US open last year and his driverless bag debacle Phil has been a mess.  His short game has never looked better, but don’t count on his putter in big situations.  Phil is 179th in driving accuracy this year barely hitting half the fairways.  If Butch and him had a breakthrough he may stick around, but he may be a trainwreck from the start.

Webb Simpson does something: Webb has 2 top 10 finishes this year, and is poised to make a splash here.  He is a good putter and basically at the tour average for most of his stats.  This kid is going to make a name for himself at some point.  Maybe this week is the week.

Best potential storyline:

Even better than Tiger winning or Paddy continuing his slam run would be Greg Norman staring down the demons and Tiger to finally grab a green jacket.  Norman seems to be playing carefree golf now, and claims he is, but that is easy to say when you’re not really competing.  He got close at the British Open, but this would be a great story.  Him and Tiger tied at the start Sunday and the shark matching Tiger shot for shot.  Lets hope his yips and block don’t come back to haunt him.  Luckily he won’t be playing against Faldo, unfortunately, we have to listen to Faldo.

The Masters is one of the more fun tournaments of the year to watch, and hopefully this one will provide some memorable shots and a good sunday finish.

My final prediction: Ogilvy beats Zach Johnson in a playoff.  Tiger finishes third after a strong sunday.  Watch now.  All three won’t make the cut.


Terrell Owens, you have a friend in me

April 8, 2009

A true star

A true star

 

Last month the infamous T.O. was unceremoniously released from the Dallas Cowboys after 3 seasons. He wasn’t released due to lack of production. T.O. produced 38 touchdowns. He had 235 receptions. He also played in 47 out of a possible 48 regular season games. In his final year in Dallas he had 69 receptions for 1052 yards. He didn’t suffer any career threatening injury, and yet he was released. Did the Cowboys mistakingly send the notice to Terrell when it was meant for Patrick Crayton? Unfortunately, no.

T.O. is still a big time receiver with years left to play at a high level. He has been cut by 2 teams in the last 5 years. He has not been arrested during his time in the league. There are no off the field legal issues. In fact, T.O. is a big mommas boy, and very family oriented. Yet he is called a cancer in the locker room.

That label of being a “cancer” has been unfairly thrust upon him. This man has brought teams to levels they would not have reached without him, and he is named the problem? Something isn’t right. While everyone else will have you believe that T.O. is the devil reincarnate I’m going to bring you the truth.

In order to find that truth, you don’t need to look very far. The problem has not been T.O. He wants the ball, that much is known, but why is that a problem? He gives his team the best chance to win with the ball in his hands because he is not afraid of making the big play. He is not afraid to carry the weight of a team on his shoulders. The problem has been the quarterbacks he plays with, who are afraid of carrying that weight. Both Donovan Mcnabb and Tony Romo have fragile egos which have been documented in one way or another.

For Mcnabb, look no further than the Superbowl vs. the New England Patriots. The same Superbowl that Terrell Owens fought back from a broken leg, against doctors recommendations, to play in and help his team. But I digress, the part of that game that I am talking about is when Mcnabb was in the huddle calling plays, and vomited on the field. A professional football player puking on the field is generally sad in it’s own right. However, a professional football player, who happens to be the qb of a team enthralled in the biggest game of their careers, that is downright pathetic. He couldn’t handle the pressure, and he folded.

Always a brides maid and never the bride
Always a brides maid and never the bride

Mcnabb enjoyed the best season of his career with a wide receiver that is a “cancer” in the locker room. During the 2004 season, which was Terrell’s only full season with the Eagles, Mcnabb completed 5.1 percent more of his passes than his career average. Relative to his pass attempts he held a 2.1% better td to pass ratio than his career average. He also threw 6 more touchdowns that season than his next best season. Oh, did I mention they reached the Superbowl? Quite the cancerous effect T.O. had on his stats.

Let’s move on to Romo. Tony Romo has to be somewhere at the top of my “most over-rated QB’s” list. Above even the ridiculously average Eli Manning. Tony Romo has had the distinct pleasure of playing alongside Mr. Owens for the duration of his career as a starter. I do look forward to seeing him struggle mightily without T.O. to bail him out on his poor throws, or having T.O. wide open due to his crisp route running and ability to get off the line.

With the Cowboys down 21-20 to the Seahawks with 1:19 left in the ’07 playoffs, the Cowboys had driven themselves into easy field goal range. The snap came and the rest is history. Romo took a perfect snap and couldn’t hold onto it. Sealing the Cowboys fate that year. To be fair, Romo admitted responsibilty for the loss but he still blew it. He couldn’t handle the pressure and he folded.

Who would have guessed Tony Romo isn't good with balls?  Not me.
Who would have guessed Tony Romo isn’t good with balls? Not me.

Romo has since continued to wilt under big game pressure. I can’t imagine there is a single Cowboys fan that doesn’t cringe everytime their team needs a big play to save a game, and they wait for a snap to Romo. Rarely do those opportunities result in anything other than a strip fumble, an interception, or a fumbled snap.

Mcnabb has done nothing since the days of Terrell Owens to dispel his critics who question his toughness and ability. His stats have suffered since the days of T.O. He has even been benched this past season due to his struggles, and there was speculation he was going to be traded at the end of the year.

These quarterbacks needed T.O. They needed him to be a scapegoat for their own lack of mental toughness. They needed someone to blame when things didn’t go right. There was no one better to blame for their own problems, then the loudmouthed yet ultra talented Terrell Owens. Now both have been and will be exposed as creampuffs who ultimately struggle with their duties of leading their teams to playoff success.

Here’s hoping Trent Edwards lets T.O. be T.O. and lead his quarterbacking career to unbelievable levels. Or he’ll just become another QB who played the blame game, and pushed away perhaps the best wide receiver to ever play the game, and sank his own career

 


Carebear’s Top Five Sports Movies

April 8, 2009

#5 The Big Lebowski


Walter Sobchak: I told those fucks down at the league office a thousand times that I don’t roll on Shabbos!
Donny: What’s Shabbos?
Walter Sobchak: Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don’t work, I don’t get in a car, I don’t fucking ride in a car, I don’t pick up the phone, I don’t turn on the oven, and I sure as shit
[shouts]
Walter Sobchak: don’t fucking roll! Shomer shabbos!

You may not call this a sports movie, but this film revolves around bowling.  The Big L is a cult classic.  The people that own it have seen it literally, thousands of times.  It is one of those films that always seemed to be on in my college dorm room.  John Torturro plays one of the greatest bit roles in any movie as the Jesus, the pedophile, flamboyant dancing bowler, who’s partner Liam and him will fuck you in the ass on wednesday instead.  John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jeff Bridges are all perfectly cast.  I don’t even know if Tara Reid (pre boob job) knows she was acting in this film.  Anyways, great film.  The grown up Sandlot of bowling.

#4 Rocky 4


[Addressing the Soviet Union]
Rocky: I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

Some will argue that this movie is awful and not even the best Rocky film.  I agree completely, but its entertaining as hell, and so stupidly inspiring that I had to include it.   The workout montage in the foot deep snow of Siberia is maybe the most motivating scene in movie history.  The fact that a boxing match pretty much ends the Cold War made it an irresistible choice.  You disagree, but change the channel next time it comes on FX at 3 am.  You can’t do it.

#3 A League of their Own


[Jimmy has just signed a baseball for a little boy]
Little Boy: [reading] Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan.
Jimmy Dugan: Hey, that’s good advice!

People argue with me about this one all the time.  Tom Hanks, as Jimmy Duggan (Foxx) makes this film.  He plays a drunken retired ballplayer who is forced to manage a women’s team.  Despite the fact that its a comedy, this movie got baseball right, and without looking like they were trying too hard.  The ending still pisses me off a little, but its one of few sports movies with kind of an unhappy ending.  Geena Davis drops the ball, on purpose? we don’t know, and then quits baseball.  Its like the Empire Strikes Back of comedy sports films except without Darth Vader cutting Davis’ hand off.  This film also marks the last time Rosie O’Donnel and Madonna were tolerable, and the last time Geena Davis was remotely attractive.

#2 Happy Gilmore


Chubbs: They wouldn’t let me play on the Pro Tour anymore.
Happy Gilmore: Ah, I’m sorry. Because you’re black?
Chubbs: Hell no! Damned alligator BIT my hand off!

Happy Gilmore did not try to get golf right.  There are no cut lines, the tourneys are one day long, and Happy’s gotta approach Subway for sponsorship money.  Despite the fact that its a horribly reviewed, far from factual film, I know every line from beginning to end.  I could watch it four times today and still giggle when Virginia Vennet yells, “Happy. look ooout!,” and he gets hit by a Volkswagen on the fairway.  Shooter McGavin is the ultimate sports movie villain.  He buys Happy’s grandma’s house to get back at him.  Its all so stupid, but so great.   Also, Bob Barker (vampire) beats the shit out of happy in a pro-am.  Spectacular film.

#1 The Sandlot


Ham Porter: Is that your sister out there in left field, naked? She’s naked?
Phillips: [swings and misses again] SHUT UP PORTER!
Ham Porter: Hey, hey, hey, I’m just trying to start a friendly conversation, come on.
Ham Porter: [two seconds later] Think she’ll go out with me?

The Sandlot is more about growing up than baseball.  There is no championship.  They actually only play one real game, but everybody can relate to this kids playing with their friends pretending they’re Babe Ruth. Its really a coming of age story.  Every scene is classic: the tobacco at the carnival, the hunt for the lost ball, and the public swimming pool.   This is another film that gets baseball right.  For most people, baseball is about growing up and this movie captures that better than any other.  Agree or disagree, Sandlot is #1.

Honorable Mention: Caddyshack, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Miracle, Mystery Alaska, Field of Dreams, Major League, Kingpin, Little Giants, Shaolin Soccer (added), The Natural (added).