the urbane league

Just another weblog

orton hears a boo

leave a comment »

Kyle Orton was named the starter for the Chicago Football Bears this week. Not to rain on his parade, and I’m sure his mother is very proud, but c’mon; what does that really mean? It means he beat out an interception machine and a rookie from Colorado State. The fact of the matter is, Orton has somehow managed the master the art of not losing games while putting together unbelievably bad football. Orton is like a pitcher who is 10-5 on the season, but rolls with an ERA somewhere around 7 or 8; he makes ALL the little mistakes, but never makes the catastrophic, back-breaking one. The important thing to realize is that Chicago’s offensive line is still awful, and that in and of itself means that Rex could be in there by week 6.

What I really don’t understand is that if you’re Bears’ management, you KNOW that neither Rex nor Orton are the man, so…a la Dallas Cowboys with Tony Romo, why wouldn’t you just put Caleb Hanie in? Orton plays about 50 QB RAT football, and Rex is just a walking train wreck. You might as well see what the rookie’s got. You can make the argument that it would look like they’ve given up on this season, but I’d say it looked that way the instant they decided not to upgrade their quarterback situation.

I’m just sayin’…


Written by misteressama

August 19, 2008 at 3:54 am

85 pennies for his thoughts

leave a comment »

This is why Chad Johnson is a clown. My friends always ask me, how can you like T.O. and dislike Chad Johnson. Chad Johnson spent the whole off season talking about how dead serious he was that he was not going to play in Cincinnati anymore, and just as the pre-season is opening up, where is he? All over t.v. smiling like a Sambo telling everybody how happy he is. The basic idea is, Chad Johnson is weak of character, and has no backbone; he also just does things for attention.

Everyone knew that there was no chance that Johnson would a) not hold out, and b) show up on time to get into camp. He’s a joke, he’s not about anything, other than attention. Plain and simple, Chad Johnson is an attention whore. He wasn’t really unhappy, he just thought that people would take him seriously enough to listen to him, and when the organization flexed its muscle, he tucked his tail between his legs like a he-bitch and returned to the foot of the master.

The thing with Ownes is, he only causes disruptions when he’s truly unhappy, and most importantly, he deals with the consequences. When he was raising his whole stink about how little he was being paid over the middle part of his contract, the team threatened to shut him down for the season, but T.O. didn’t waiver. The Eagles shut Owens down, he took it to arbitration, and eventually won his release. You knew Chad Johnson would never take it to that, he’s just a loud talking court jester, who is genuinely afraid of management, and when all is said and done, will do whatever management tells him to do.

Chad Johnson doesn’t know what he wants other than for everyone to love him. He talks this whole game about he was “talking out of frustration and tired of losing.” My thing is, first of all, that’s bullshit. Johnson wasn’t tired of losing, he was tired of making less than $2.5M year, when he thought he was worth more. Fueling all of this was Larry Fitzgerald, Randy Moss, and Terrell Owens all being handed monstrous deals. If the Bengals had re-upped Johnson’s deal for much more money, he would have been smiling like the buffoon that he is.

So he can try to run this game on everyone that he only cares about winning, but that’s not at all true. Johnson cares about getting his money, and everyone slurping him and telling him how much they love him and need him. And this media stunt was just a ploy to get the Bengals to beg and plead with him, but the break out of Houshamazillah and the potential return of Henry let Johnson know that he’s not as important as he thinks he is.

Written by misteressama

August 14, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Sports

Tagged with

dreams deferred

leave a comment »

Maybe I just don’t have a real appreciation for the pressures of the office of the General Manager of an NFL franchise, but I thought the end game was to win the Super Bowl. I also thought that the value of a Super Bowl was immeasurable, or at least incalculable. I thought Super Bowls were a lot the way some early philosophers (I think those of the Kantian variety) looked at the value of a human life. Nothing was worth more than a Super Bowl. However, more and more I’m seeing teams make moves “for the future,” and taking their current Super Bowl windows for granted.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that this is motivated by feelings of my franchise (The Cowboys) taking theirs window for granted. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I don’t think Jerry Jones isn’t doing a phenomenal job taking Dallas back to the top of the mountain, but I am saying that there are some moves that definitely could have been made that would have made Dallas the prohibitive favorite to win the Super Bowl. If I’m Jerry Jones, and I see the contract that Arizona just handed Larry Fitzgerald, and I see how offended Bolding got by it, I talk to the Cardinals, and give them WHATEVER they want for him. All this talk about we feel confident in Patrick Crayton’s abilities should stop; we saw where confidence in his abilities got us last year. I honestly would have given the Cardinals two firsts for Boldin. I know it sounds like a lot, but consider this, what do you need those draft picks for if you’re the Cowboys?

First round draft picks cost more and more every year, and especially when what you need is a wide receiver, it takes too long for them to develop. When you’re not concerned with overpaying consecutive first round picks, you can funnel the money you would have spent on them into giving Boldin a contract more commensurate with his talent and production. The point is, you never know when your window is going to close, and when you find yourself in a position to be no lower than the third best team in the league, and best in your conference you HAVE TO sell your soul to the devil. That means you completely sell out to win that Super Bowl. A team that got that idea was the Patriots, they understand that you’re not always going to be there and you have to treat every run as though it’s your last. That is why when they fell short to the Colts, they didn’t say “well we like where we’re at, and we’re just going to try harder next time.” They treated the situation like some third world rebels vying for emancipation; they went out and got western weapons (Randy Moss).

Just ask the Bears about how fast a Super Bowl window can close. After Rex Grossman handed the Colts that Super Bowl, the Bears should have gone out and done everything in their power to obtain McNabb from the Eagles. Instead, they figured they’d just keep trying with what they had and now look at them, they are now looking up at the Vikings and Packers, and wins against Detroit aren’t guaranteed either. From 13-3 to division cellar, that is how quickly it can happen.

A Super Bowl win takes unspeakable amounts of pressure off of a team (most notably the team leaders) and frankly it appeases the fans (for a while), it also allows you the time to really evaluate your team and replace necessary pieces without having to deal with media and fan scrutiny as to what you’re doing (see: NY Giants off loading all kinds of players with nary a word said). Winning the Super Bowl is the equivalent of tasting the rare berry that grows at the top of an “insurmountable” mountain; you would rather have tasted it, even if only once (Kurt Warner) than have been so painfully close, no matter how many times (Jim Kelly)

Written by misteressama

August 12, 2008 at 10:28 pm

pennington bear?

leave a comment »

[It seems] The saga is over. Brett Favre is a now a New York Football Jet; with that, Chad Pennington has been handed his walking papers. Tell you the truth, this is probably best for Pennington. Props to the Jets for just giving Pennington an unencumbered release and letting him dictate the course of the rest of career…I’m not taking a shot Green Bay, I’m just saying; The Jets had decided what direction they were going in and within 24 hours, had everything straightened out. Favre goes to the Jets for a 4th round pick which can escalate rounds all the way into a 1st round pick if Favre plays 80% of the offensive snaps and the Jets make the Super Bowl. That’s all well and good, but what I think is key to note is the poison pill the Packers put into the agreement which would make the Jets forfeit three first round picks if they trade Favre to the Vikings…pretty smart if you ask me.

Now the question moves to where does Chad Pennington go? Now, if you’ve heard me rip the Bears for not making a move for Chris Simms or Byron Leftwich, and for passing on Flacco, Henne, Brohm and Booty, it would only seem to stand to reason that I would be in favor of Pennington signing with the Bears; not so much. It would be the Bears luck that the one “marquis” QB who becomes available is not at all suited to play for your team. Now, understand, that when I say that, I’m not saying that the Bears wouldn’t be a better team with Chad Pennington, because I believe they would. I’m just saying that it wouldn’t be an ideal situation for Chad, making it unlikely that a deal gets worked out there. Chicago is too cold and windy for Pennington’s surgically-reconstructed, mediocre-at-best arm; not to mention the absolute dearth of quality receivers and an unproven running game. Pennington to the Bears just doesn’t make any sense right now from his perspective, but from the Bears’, ANYTHING is better than the lower tier firm of Grossman & Orton MLP (Maximum Liability Partnership)

A really intriguing option from both player and franchise perspective would be the Vikings. The Vikings don’t have the most elite receiving corps in the league, but the absolute strength of the running game and offensive line more than makes up for it. The issues of Pennington’s lack of desirable arm strength are mitigated by the fact that Minnesota will play at least 9 games in a dome. Minnesota is also stacked on the defensive side of the ball and just smothers the run. Minnesota is a team just poised to strike in the NFC and they are one productive QB away from doing so. And all this talk about Pennington being a backup, I don’t understand, what about last season makes us think that Tarvaris Jackson is ready right now?

Obviously, there are the connections to Miami (drafted by Parcells) and Kansas City (played to win the game for Herm), but I really can’t call the probability of either of those. Personally, I think Kansas City makes a lot of sense. Brodie Croyle is not a lock to be a productive starter, and I think having Chad back there as a guy to push Croyle (that’s assuming Pennington doesn’t beat him out) would be great. If I was Chiefs management I would see about bringing Chad into the fold. Again, you have Larry Johnson and Jamaal Charles carrying the ball, and Tony Gonzales and Dwayne Bowe to catch it. Last I checked, the AFC West is pretty much “The Chargers and ‘em,” this would be a great move for the Kansas City to try to make a push in the AFC and try perhaps take one of the wildcard spots from either Jacksonville or Tennessee. The Dolphins make less sense. Even though their offensive line will be much better in run blocking, Jake Long is not quiiite there yet when it comes to pass protection. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams cannot necessarily be counted on to play a full season and if the Terry Glenn thing works out, that makes the Dolphins’ best receiver nothing more than a vertical threat so it doesn’t really bode well.

Teams I think should consider it, but won’t because it’s “too risky” in terms of fan and media perception are; the Arizona Cardinals and the Baltimore Ravens. The Cardinals are not ready to admit that they’re wrong with Matt Leinart (I’m not sold on him, if you can’t tell) , but I just feel as though you’re not going to have Boldin and Fitzgerald for that much longer and the NFC West is really not that good. Matter of fact, they wouldn’t even have to cut Leinart (they would have to let Warner go, but he’s 37 years old). I think if you cut Warner, and either Morelli or St. Pierre, and bring in Pennington, there’s a great chance he ends up starting, and with his accuracy, he could be a great stabilizing force under center for the Cardinals in a completely winnable division.

I thing the Ravens should make the move because any time you’re assessing your team’s situation, and it has you starting Kyle Boller, you’ve got a problem. I’m sure he’s a very nice young man, but as far as being a starter in the NFL, I’m fairly certain Boller has proven he can’t do that. I think with the sound fundamental approach and good decision making that Pennington brings to the QB position, he would put the Ravens in a great place as far as the QB position goes. Remember, the Ravens still have a great defense and playing Pennington until either Joe Flacco or Troy Smith are ready to take the reins is a far better situation than just leaving Smith and Flacco to their own devices, with nobody to learn from.

The Jets have been awful as of late, and I think Pennington has taken too much of the blame; he does play quarterback though, and that’s just the way it goes. I think this release from the Jets should be an opportunity for Chad to really be deliberate about where he signs. Pennington could be just enough of a game manager to put a decent just over the “contender hump.”

unblissful ignorance

leave a comment »

Read This

In one of the most impressive manifestations of ignorance I have encountered in quite some time, Ron Artest explained that his charging into the stands was just him “representing his culture.” He then went on to say that Yao Ming has played with black players before, but has never played with “a black player who represents his culture as much as Artest does his.”

It is precisely this type of dumb shit that makes it harder and harder for black people to break free of the stereotypes that still plague us today. Not only do black people have to deal with stereotypes being imposed on us by those of other races, we also have to deal with ignorant blacks in positions of prominence perpetuating them. With these statements, Artest has essentially cast black culture in this county as one of perniciousness, lack of decorum, and emotional instability.

I guess I shouldn’t really be using the term “we” because those who know me, know that I am straight out of Cameroon, and am not African American. One of my African-American friends called me on this and said I was trying to distance myself from the African-American population; because when I told him about this, I said “Man, Artest just set African-Americans back quite a few decades.” I found this funny because it has typically been my experience that African-Americans only view us all as black people, when shit is hitting the fan or when something like this happens. I’m pretty sure I got made fun of (to my face) more by African-Americans than by any other group I could think of growing up. Made fun of mostly because I spoke differently, dressed differently, and thought differently. Let’s not even get into what happened once they found out I was African, then all the jokes about growing up with flies on my eyelids, running around naked, and throwing spears came out. I understand kids are mean, and frankly it didn’t really get to me, because I have a pretty strong apathetic sentiment when it comes to what others think of me; but all that time from my youth being reminded of how different I was, now I’m being accused of trying to distance myself.

I really do find it a bit risible. Ron Artest is ghetto, not only should I separate myself from him and his thoughts, EVERY black person in America should. This is a problem that is extremely pervasive in black America today; this idea that being “ghetto” or “hood” is a good thing. No it’s not, it’s in fact what keeps black people (I’m including the Africans that come over and adopt this ideology) from ever fully making the move out of second-class citizenry. Think about what being ghetto is; has anyone yet to find ONE positive or redeeming factor on society from people with a ghetto mentality? But yet we have guys like Artest (yes, I’ll say it, who young black kids look up to) purporting this idea of ghetto as if it’s something to be proud of.

As long as WE as a whole keep thinking that somehow being well educated, well adjusted and affable are just for white people, we as black people are going to be a long ways off from overcoming in this country. So yes, I’m not like Ron Artest, and I’m proud of that; but what must be noted is that I didn’t create the distance, it was created for me, and I can’t be more grateful.

Written by misteressama

August 6, 2008 at 1:11 am

Posted in Society, Sports

Tagged with

let’s see him return that

leave a comment »

In case you hadn’t heard, Devin Hester was blessed with a 4 year, $30M contract by Bears management a few days ago. I really didn’t know what to make of it, so rather than think on it myself, I went to one of my best friends, closest associates, and wartime consigliere (he also happens to be the biggest Bears fan I know), to see what his thoughts were. I sent him a one line e-mail that read “$30M for Hester…thoughts?”. And in a brazen maneuver of convenience sampling, I will take his opinions as the uncontested, consensus view of the ursine nation. Enjoy.

Well, here’s my whole take on the Bears paying big money to both Hester and Urlacher. Is it the best use of money? probably not.


The Bears do not operate like Jones and the Cowboys. Jerry Angelo is not going to stiff Urlacher and Hester so he can spend money on something else to make the team better (look at our QB’s and WR’s). So, it’d be one thing if he was going to say, “we’re not gonna pay these guys because we’re going out to get other players who will make us better.” If Hester doesn’t play Rashied Davis will take over for him.

Also, I think Chicago sports fans are different than in other towns. They LOVE Urlacher and the REALLY LOVE Hester. And they HATE the Bears management. And they’re used to losing, so if we’re gonna lose at least we should be able to watch Hester. So they did what they had to do. If the Bears had other options at WR, they might have some leverage. The truth is, he’s our best option even though he has a huge potential to bust at WR. Our WR’s right now are Rashied Davis, Marty Booker, Brandon Lloyd, and Mark Bradley. Pretty pathetic.

And, like we were talking about the other day. You said he only scored 6 or 7 TD’s last year. But I looked this up the Bears offense scored 26 TD’s and 31 FG’s. So, when you figure Hester had 6 TD’s that more than anyone else on the Bears other than Griese who threw for 10. How many of those FG’s were the result of Hester brining it back 40-50 yards so the offense could go three and out and kick a field goal? Hester lead the NFL in TD’s and punt returns of 20+ and 40+ yards, so probably more than a few.

I guess that’s my take. I’m glad they signed him and he’ll play, but the Bears obviously don’t care about winning since they won’t sign a real QB or WR. So if they overpay Hester, so be it.

Written by misteressama

July 29, 2008 at 3:01 am

Posted in Sports

Tagged with ,

white power

with one comment

I was reading a post on where the author predicts an all maize uniform for our “big” games. And without seeing it, I’m not really going to comment, I actually could see how it would work given the right design. However, if I had to design an alternate uniform for us to wear, I would go with what I like to call the “hyper-whites.” We would don white jerseys with white pants, white socks, and (are you sitting down?) white cleats. The white cleats are absolutely critical to tie the whole aesthetic together. I know that both Oregon and Texas have hyper-whites, but I don’t think anyone could legitimately claim that we would be copying them if we unveiled one. Essentially, if Oregon and Texas’ hyper whites are fresh, mu’fuckah, ours would be RIPE[1].

Oregon tries too hard to be different, plus they’ve got that weird font for numbers (which I’m sure serves to emphasize physique…O-Line?). Texas does have the advantage in the sense that their helmets are predominantly white, but I think we could overtake them with some key design nuances on the jerseys. What would really dictate the aesthetic appeal would be the color of the numbers. At first I thought we could roll with yellow-excuse me-maize numbers outlined by blue, but then I realized that the maize and white would not be distinguishable enough, and it would take away from the white. So we go the other way (and get all the panties in Happy Valley in a bunch) and go with blue numbers with no trim. Where Texas has “TEXAS” printed above the numbers, we will just have the block ‘M’. There would be smaller block ‘M’s on the shoulder pads (facing up) and smaller numbers on the sleeves (facing out). As stated above, the pants would be all white, but real white, not that bathhouse see through that Miami broke out a couple of years ago; and there would be small, blue adidas logo on one of the front hips, probably the right. The idea of the white cleats is imported from world class soccer players. If you pay attention, only the most flamboyant wear white cleats. That would add just the right amount of flamboyance[2].

I’m perfectly happy with our uni situation as it stands, but if I had to add one alternate for the Notre Dame and Ohio State games, it would be a hyper white. Sorry MSU, but you don’t wear your dress whites to give your little brother a wet willie–where would you wipe your finger? Nothing else really conveys that sense of gangster like all white. Think about it; LeBron James on draft day? All white. The KFC Colonel? All white. That one guy in the Yakuza from the Simpsons episode where Marge got help from the mob for her pretzel business? All white. You get the idea.

[1] Wayne, Lil. 2008. Brand New. Happy Father’s Day: 2:24-2:26

[2] See: Billy “White Shoes” Johnson.

Written by misteressama

July 28, 2008 at 2:19 am

Posted in Sports

Tagged with , , ,