Monday, March 28, 2011

An Ode to Jay Bilas

By Ben

The Final Four is a few days away and college basketball fans are buzzing.  We will get to the match ups and the hysteria surrounding one of the greatest sporting events later in this week, but for now we must pay homage to an unsung hero of March Madness.  Games are televised Thursday through Sunday for three weeks and everyone tunes in, but following the games come the expert analysis and breakdown.  No one…I repeat NO ONE is better or more honest with their analysis than Jay Bilas.  He contributes his excellence to ESPN mostly, but can be relied on to call a game with expert fashion for CBS as well.  

You may be asking yourself why I am lauding Jay Bilas and the answer is very simple; he is a stone cold red-blooded American.  He is the most truthful and honest analyst on T.V.  You can always rely on Bilas to shoot straight from the hip and give you his honest opinion.  In the sports analyst game there are a few kinds of talking heads.  There are irreverent ones who will say anything to garner a reaction even if it is outlandish and unfounded.  A few examples are Doug Fraudlieb and Skip “Please Sayless” Bayless.  These two will argue some of the most ridiculous points in a shameful attempt to further their reputations and stir the pot.  The other kind of “experts” are those who are afraid to say anything controversial and just pander to a certain fan base…I’m looking at you Buster Olney.  Then there is the Jay Bilas type of analyst, much like Highlander…there can only be one!  Bilas does not attempt to create controversy; he just speaks his mind and does not hold back.  His intentions are different from Skip Sayless and Doug Fraudlieb.  They choose to argue points that they know will create controversy and only help get their names mentioned by other;  whereas Bilas just presents the facts and aims to provide expert level insight..  Bilas is a professional, and his workmanlike approach to analysis should be recognized.  He is really at his best on Selection Sunday during ESPN’s Bracketology.  When many analysts use this as a time to affirm themselves atop their soapboxes and rant and rave about the small teams not getting any love, Jay calmly points out how it is, and does his best to steer these other analysts in the proper direction.  He does not hop on bandwagons, he just delivers his opinions and then sticks to them even when the waters grow rough. 

Are any of you following Jay on Twitter? If your answer was no then shame on you!  He is one of the more entertaining Tweetsters on the globe.  He delivers expert analysis and even peppers his tweets with quips and funny anecdotes.  Many of these come at the expense of his elder cohorts such as Bob Knight, Bill Raftery, and Digger Phelps.  But Bilas does not have to worry about receiving any backlash from the General, Captain Highlighter, or “Onions” Raftery  because they think “twitter” is what their grandmother’s warned them not to do because it will make them go blind.   

Some of Mr. Bilas’s gems have been:

“Digger just received a message by pony express that I have been tweeting about him. Objects are flying in the war room.”

“Just caught a glimpse of Craig Sager's jacket interviewing Rick Barnes. Threw up in my mouth at the sight of it. Tie making me dizzy.”     
                                           For further clarification on why Bilas was getting dizzy…

“Digger said Jimmer Fredette is "on a mission." If he's on a mission, you can't pick BYU for two years. They should tell us that in advance.”

 How’s this for expert analysis:

"Against UNC, when Kentucky made four or more passes, the Cats were 14 for 23 FG, including 8 for 8 3pt.”

When Bilas isn’t providing his expertise on the round orange ball, he is an attorney at law with the firm of Moore and Van Allen, PLLC in Charlotte, NC.  Is it wrong that I am thinking about driving down to Charlotte just to commit a misdemeanor only to have Bilas represent me?  I mean come on, if he is as good a lawyer as he is a basketball analysis then the trip plus the public urination citation would be well worth it.    
Just a few things about Jay Bilas you should know:
      1) When Jay Bilas speaks, GOD listens.
      2) Erin Andrews has a crush on Jay Bilas…but he’s out of her league.
      3) Digger Phelps and Bob Knight have forgotten more about college basketball then we could ever learn.  They’ve also forgotten their ATM pin numbers, daughters’ birthdays, and where they left their keys.  Jay Bilas has the answers to all of these.

So this weekend after you’ve watched a couple more classic college hoops games, quickly tune over to ESPN and listen to this man and I promise that you will learn more about the games you just watched in two minutes of his analysis than you learned from watching the whole game.   

Do yourselves a favor and follow this man on Twitter for tremendous basketball insight and the occasional laugh. @JayBilas
And while you’re at it check out the newest members of Twitter: @Beltway_Battle

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Top Ten Drunk People You Know

 By Tyler

Let’s start by saying CONGRATULATIONS!!  It’s Friday in late march, weather is getting better and the days are getting longer and longer.  In honor of this glorious time of year, and also in celebration of the upcoming weekend, we’d like to introduce something new to the warzone, our weekly top 10 list.  This week we’ll be examining all the different types of drunks that we come across on a nightly basis.  Keep in mind these are in no particular order, we’ll let you decide the hierarchy of what type of drunk you want to be and what type you don’t.  Trust us, if you’re reading this you fall into one of these categories, enjoy!

1) Happy Drunk: This guy is the man.  Complete with red cheeks, glazed over eyes, a perpetual shit eating grin, this bro is literally untouchable.  He is somehow able to diffuse any awkward situation by saying something so crazy the only thing anybody can do is laugh at this obliviously happy goon.

2) Hungry Drunk: What a pain in the ass this dude is.  It’s 12:30 you’re working your A game on your chosen slambox for the evening, and this dumbass comes meandering over to you swinging his full beer around screaming about how he needs some McNuggets.  Meanwhile what you’re ready to feed him is a knuckle sandwich because you just noticed the bridge troll you were trying to hit skins with wandered over to the Affliction tee across the bar….Thanks dick.

3)  Fake Rich Drunk: Every group needs this guy.  This man lives with his parents, has a shitty job and never has any cash.  That is until you go out on Saturday night, and he is off like he’s been shot out of a cannon. He bellies up to the bar with a, “six shots of Patron barkeep!!”  Once the bartender gets over being totally pissed off and offended by being called a “barkeep,” he pours the shots and calls your friend a fag, without him hearing of course.

4) Depressed Drunk: Why does this douche ever drink?  One game of pong into the night and he has you cornered listening to Michelle Branch and he’s asking you gems like, “why don’t I have a girlfriend? Am I ugly, do I not have a good personality…?” To which your only response can be, “are you fucking serious right now?”  I mean if I wanted to have a heart to heart on a Saturday night, then I would have just stayed in and watched Dr. Phil on the DVR.

5) Extreme Drunk: Apparently this guy thinks he’s Superman.  He’s halfway through his first wine cooler and he’s betting you $100 that he can do a back flip off of the garage.  This is the same guy that will walk around in public, have to piss, and pull his dick out on the street because he thinks it’s, “SWEET!”  Bro, pulling out your 2.5 inch trouser worm isn’t sweet, oh and by the way, you just pissed on your fresh DC shoes.

6) Weird Drunk: Who invited this guy?  They say money and fame make you more of what you already are; well the same can be said for liquor.  This guy rolls over to your place halfway through his first gin based drink that he mixed in a thermos from third grade, and it’s at that point you know, this guy’s fucking weird.  You almost can’t bring this guy out, whether you introduce him to your friends and they look at you in total disgust, or you listen to ANOTHER of his horrible jokes, you realize again, MY GOD THIS GUY’S WEIRD!

7) The Quiet Drunk: Ho boy is this guy hard to figure.  The scene is…you’re all hangin out at a bar, obviously beating back chicks with a broom handle, all of the sudden you realize, “Holy Shit, where is this guy?”  You look around the bar quickly but it’s the quick glance to your right that reveals the cold, dead eyes of what you think is an extra from The Ring, but no, that’s your quiet drunk friend.  Watching you dance and hit on everything that doesn’t have a set of balls with a strange look of satisfaction on his face.  This guy hovers, when you’re talking to a girl at the bar he stands awkwardly next to you/behind you and does not make a peep.  When you are denim-dogging a lady on the dance floor he can be relied on to stand directly at your three o’clock…one foot away. And believe you me, he is not busting a move.  If he were dancing then his move would be called the “No. 2 Ticonderoga”. 

8) The Overly Confident for No Reason Drunk: It’s after his third sea breeze that this monster really starts to emerge from his deep slumber.  He’ll hit you with motivational masterpieces like, “Bro!  We’re gonna get so much crazy hot box on that dance floor tonight it won’t even be fair, bro!” Or, “Dude we’re the fuckin sweetest bros in here tonight everybody else might as well leave.”  It’s at that point you remind him, if everybody left we’d be alone in a bar, great Saturday night…loser.

9) The Angry Drunk: This one’s always a treat.  So they’re about 4 appletini’s deep and suddenly this schmuck starts getting angry for no reason.  He’s denied his green drink of choice and he’s getting all pissy, you say, “well hey guy, there’s 2 bartenders and 30 other drunk clowns trying to get drinks also, you gotta relax.”  To that he says, “Fuck you man, all I want is a drink!”  It’s not just the service, no that would be too easy, it’s the, “shitty music this DJ is playing,” or, “All the ugly chicks here!”  Everything sets off this Mt. Vesuvius of an asshole.  That’s when you know, you have an angry drunk on your hands.  So strap in and enjoy the shitstorm!

10) The Sloppy Drunk: You did it, you read the whole list and this is it, the time has come, the most unintentionally funny, possibly brain dead of your friends.  The Sloppy Drunk.  This person will drink literally anything if they know it’ll get them to tip-toe that very thin line between drunk and comatose.  These people have no edit button and no self control, both instincts possibly permanently incapacitated due to the weekly beat down they issue their brains and livers. This is the person that’ll get so drunk they’ll trip on fresh air, fall to the ground in a heap, and laugh so hard they literally piss themselves.  All while you’re recording it on your iPhone of course.  They rip shots at 3 am when they can barely get their mouths open not to mention the fact they’ve been taking a break from the English language for the past 4 hours.  These people are the butt of every joke; these people are the random hook-ups you have in college.  These people are the ones you see walking downtown at 9 am in mud covered heels or a torn button down shirt with a tattered beater underneath. They serve as a cautionary tale, to all of us, that if go down the dark and mysterious path of drinking to blackout, this is the life you will lead. 


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Evolution of an O's Fan

By Ben

I was born in Boston in the fall of 1986 right in the heart of Red Sox Nation.  I was born two weeks after the infamous play that would define Red Sox Nation until 2004.  As an infant I did not know left from right or up from down, but I did know that I did not want to be a Red Sox fan.  When I was 6 weeks old my family picked up and moved to New York City where I was dropped right into the eye of a hurricane.  Yankees fans to my left and Mets fans to my right, here I am stuck in the middle of HELL.  We lived in the Big Apple for two years until salvation came in the form a job offer for my dad in Northern Virginia, the heartbeat of the DMV.  So the young Kaplan family moved again and my baseball fan-hood was on the cusp of its formation.

The Baltimore Orioles were the DMV’s adopted baseball team.  The Senators left D.C. in 1971 and there were no other baseball teams in town, so the DMV turned to the Baltimore Orioles to cure their baseball fever.  When my family settled in Virginia, the Orioles were the team that was on Home Team Sports (HTS) 162 nights of the year. The booming baritone of Jon Miller echoed on the radio, and the silky smooth color commentary of Al Lowenstein came out of the T.V. set. This was the team who had beat writers working for the Washington Post, this was team who was covered locally and was considered the HOME team.  In 1992, my father took me to my first Orioles game; it was played at the newly opened Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  With a hot dog in hand, we finally found our seats on the third base line.  I was a young ball player with a season of T-ball under my belt, (.980 avg. 15 HRs, 30 Rbis in 11 games. Those numbers could be skewed but I feel like they are fairly accurate) and baseball was hands down my favorite sport to watch and play.  My dad put his arm around me and pointed out to the shortstop position and said, “Son, that’s Cal Ripken Jr.  He is the Orioles best player and one of the best players in the league.  That’s the guy to watch.”  For nine straight innings I watched Cal’s every move.  I watched how he set himself before the pitch, I studied his batting stance, and I memorized how he fielded the ball on defense and effortlessly slung it side-armed across the diamond.  Cal quickly became my favorite player and I even emulated his assortment of batting stances in my little league games.  The starting pitcher for the Birds that game (and for most of the other games we attended until 2000) was the young right hander Mike Mussina.  “The Moose” became my guy and I would do his patented “dip” when holding runners on base in my little league games.  In fact during on foe my more dominating performances (3 IP, 1 hit, 5 K’s, and 2 unearned runs) one of my pal’s dad turned to my dad and asked, “Who does he think he is? Mike Mussina?” To which my pops responded, “You’re damn right!”  I hitched my cart to the Orioles bandwagon and watched this team explode onto the scene during my formative years.
Mike "The Moose" Mussina
Cal Ripken Jr.

My fan-hood with the Orioles has been compared to an all-American marriage.  It started out hot and heavy, the love was true.  Then the honeymoon phase kicked in and even though there were signs of bad times ahead, they were pushed to the back burner because the good times (albeit were in the past) seemed so likely to emerge again.  In 2005, a new sexier and sleeker team moved to town (The Washington Nationals) and even though I developed a wondering eye, my heart still belonged to my first love.  Thirteen straight seasons of finishing with a losing record (which can be equated to 13 years of a sex-less marriage) did not help, but this marriage was strong and a little bit of spice was waiting just around the corner.  A new manager, a strong young nucleus, and an off season for the ages have done for this fan, what a new sexual awakening can do for a middle aged marriage.   Good times are ahead, and here is a little more elaboration so I do not sound like a raving lunatic.

The Hot and Heavy Stage:  This was when I first became an O’s fan.  Guys like Cal, Brady Anderson, the Moose, Mike Deveraux, and Joe Orsulak were the foundation.  I watched every game every season and I could not get enough even though the O’s could not crack the playoffs.  Then came the 1996 Baltimore Orioles.  Through a series of shrewd trades, and key free agency signings, not to mention the hiring of World Series Champion Manager Davey Johnson, the 1996 O’s were ready to compete and make serious noise in the Major Leagues.  The additions of Robbie Alomar and Raffy Palmeiro strengthened the right side of the infield, and trades for Bobby Bonilla and Todd Zeile filled the holes (off the field as well) in the Orioles’ lineup.  Key contributors also included B.J. Surhoff, Chris Hoiles, and everybody’s favorite first round pick…Jeffrey Hammonds.  The starting rotation was top heavy with Mike Mussina and the sinker ball extraordinaire Scott Erickson a.k.a. Mr. Lisa Guerrero.  Our third starter was a younger and slightly svelter David Wells, who didn’t do much for us but eat innings like it was the post game spread.  The bullpen was lights out with set up men Alan Mills, Arthur Rhodes, and a young hot-headed fire baller named Armando Benitez.  The closer was none other than Randy Myers who nailed down 31 saves that season.  Unsung hero of this bullpen was 87 year old (actually 41 in 1996) Jesse Orosco.  This was a quality ball club that knocked off the Cleveland Indians team in the ALDS thanks to a little controversial home run heroics from Robbie Alomar.  In the final week of the season Robbie got into an argument with the home plate umpire and “allegedly” spit in the umpire’s face.  Alomar would be suspended by the MLB, but appealed it in order to play in the playoffs and have his suspension start at the beginning of the 1997 season. 
After casting aside Rick Vaughn’s squad, the Orioles engaged in an epic ALCS vs. the bitter rival, the New York Yankees.  Game 1 of the series showed that this series would not go the Orioles’ way simply because the umpires did not want to see the O’s win.  I’m not getting into it, I’ll just let you watch this and let you be the judge...

The 1996 season ended in a bitter and unfair fashion, but the 1997 Orioles were motivated and empowered by that nasty taste in their mouth.  This was the “Wire to Wire” season, which simply means that O’s were in first place in the A.L. East from start to finish.  Essentially the A.L. East was fresh fish in prison, and the Birds were big and strong cellmate. Ya dig? David Wells and his size 88 pants were sent packing and was replaced by the crafty vet Jimmy Key.  This was addition by subtraction in the rotation and there was more food in the locker room after the games.   The lineup remained intact with the additions of smooth fielding shortstop Mike Bordick (Cal moved to 3b for the betterment of the team), and Eric Davis replaced Bobby Bo as the token brother and resident Pimp McSwag in the locker room. The weak link for this team was Armando Benitez.   He was notorious for blowing leads and would be the reason the Orioles would lose the 1997 ALCS to the Cleveland Indians.  The O’s took game 1 behind the strong pitching of Scott Erickson, only to see Armando blow a 4-2 lead in the 8th inning of Game two when he surrendered a 3-run bomb to Marquis Grissom.  Game 3 was in Cleveland and summed up Mussina’s career as an Oriole.  He pitched his butt off and received no run support.  Mussina struckout 15 Indians and left the game losing 1-0.  The O’s tied it up at 1 only to lose in the 12th inning.  Moose took the mound in game 6 with the O’s down 3-2 in the series.  With their backs up against the wall, the Moose turned in another amazing effort only to exit the game with the score tied at 0-0.  In the Top of the 11th, Armando Benitez strolled to the mound and the O’s faithful collectively dropped their heads.  Armando quickly gave up the game’s first run by giving up a home run to Tony Fernandez who had amassed 94 homers in 17 full big league seasons.  Translation: Benitez sucks.  This signified the end of the Orioles’ 1997 season and also the end of an era of winning.  

Matrimonial Rutt:  After the 1997 season, the reigning A.L. Manager of the Year Davey Johnson was fired by owner Peter Angelos for reasons known only to Angelos; this would be the 156th mistake in a long line of terrible decisions by this horrible excuse of a man.  Angelos also refused to pay pending free agents Roberto Alomar or Rafael Palmeiro the money they so clearly deserved and both left via free agency.  Albert Belle was brought in to replace the massive hole left by fan favorite and cancer survivor Eric Davis.  Let’s just say that did not go well (Angelos mistake number 237).  The Orioles began racking up losses and Cal, Moose, Brady, and Mike Bordick were surrounded by turds.  The 2000 Season would become one of the most disheartening Orioles’ seasons in recent memory.  Mike Mussina was in his final season under contract and it became very clear Angelos would not be opening his checkbook to one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.   When the July 31st trade deadline rolled around, the O’s were at a crossroads and the notorious “fire sale” took place.  Orioles veterans and fan favorites (Bordy and Surhoff) were traded away for minor leaguers who never amounted to anything.  This would be like if a truck owner turned in his hemi-motor and got back used brake pads, a used timing belt, and a girdle for his grandmother.  It was not a complete waste of a season because Cal did get his 3,000 hit.  However, when the season ended I watched my guy Mike Mussina sign with the New York Yankees.  He has 30 other big league teams he could have signed with and he chose the Yankees.  As a young eighth grader I contemplated jumping off the Warehouse in order to splatter my remains on Eutaw Street.  But some smooth talking southerner named Buck advised me not too…more on that later.

2001 would be the final seasons of Cal Ripken Jr. and Brady Anderson.  Cal announced early in the year that this would be his last season and thus embarked the Birds on the Cal Ripken farewell tour. The season ended with Brady striking out while Cal watched from the on-deck circle.  This ended the era of the Orioles I grew up watching, and ushered in an abysmal decade of losing teams.  There were more bad front office decisions (signing Javy Lopez over Pudge, bringing back Raffy Palmeiro instead of Derek Lee, and refusing to offer Vlad Guerrero one more year on his contract) and there were poor managerial choices (yes I’m looking at you Leo Mazzili and Sam Perlozzo).  Do yourselves a favor and compare Pudge’s 2003-2005 seasons with Javy Lopez, and check out Derek Lee vs. Raffy Palmerio from 2003 on.  Vlad emerged as an MVP with the Anaheim Angels.  It was a disheartening time for sure, but then the Orioles actually started developing “prospects”.  First came the “can’t miss” pitching prospect Matt Riley. Ever heard of him? No? Well I guess he did miss.  Then came Adam Loewen who ended up blowing out his elbow and is trying to make the Blue Jays as an outfielder.  Awesome.  

A new Awakening: Marriages find themselves in ruts in the bedroom, but the strong marriages can have awakenings in the bedroom which can breathe new life back into their marriage.  That is what is happening with the recent versions of the Baltimore Orioles.  General Manager Andy MacPhail has been the marriage counselor here between the Birds and their fan base.  MacPahil has been the architect of some outstanding drafts, key free agent signings, and shrewd trades that have gotten the O’s finally back on track.  Young players such as Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, and Adam Jones have formed the new nucleus of a squad who is out for blood.  Older Orioles vets such as Brian Roberts, Luke Scott, and Jeremy Guthrie are elder statesmen who are the calming voice of this young bunch.  They are led by their manager, the charismatic and no nonsense Buck Showalter (more on him later…he’s getting his own article).  This offseason had two key trades in which the Orioles traded for 3b Mark Reynolds and SS J.J Hardy; both coming off down years and have a lot to prove.  In a spirited attempt to make up for past mistakes by Peter Angelos, Andy MacPhail went out and signed Derek Lee and Vlad Guerrero.  This 2011 Orioles squad is a great mix of young-on-the-verge talent with professionals who have chips on their shoulders, and a good sprinkling of veterans who will hope to turn this franchise in the right direction. 

In 2005, the Washington Nationals came to town and many passionate Orioles fans jumped ship.  I however, did not.  I root for the Nats and definitely pull for them, but my heart belongs to the Birds.  I’ve endured some of the worst seasons in professional sports, and I ain’t going anywhere.  The town of D.C. needs the Nats to be successful because there are some die hard baseball fans in the DMV.  However, there are pockets of us who still remember when Cal Ripken Jr. played his 2,131st straight game, or when Eddie Murray hit his 500th homer, or when the Moose took a no-hitter vs. the Indians into the 9th inning, or even when Jeff Reboulet played on a Sunday to give Roberto Alomar the day off.  There are those of who remember Jeffrey Maier and the brawl and this reminds us why we absolutely hate the free spending and arrogant New York Yankees and their fans who invade our beautiful Camden Yards for every Yankees series.  Most importantly…there are those of us who still believe in a little Orioles Magic.

The leader for the New Era.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Owner's Series: The Man Who is Changing The Game

….in the most powerful city in the world, our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is a man bigger than the Washington Monument.  His pedigree boasts a stint as senior executive for America Online (perhaps you’ve heard of it) filmmaker, philanthropist, and current owner of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards.  This mountain of a man is none other than Theodore Leonsis, aka “Teddy Owner’s Box”, henceforth known as The Notorious T.O.B. 

This article is so important and the magnitude of this man’s greatness is so immeasurable, we here at the Battle of the Beltway deem it necessary that we combine our literary talents into one mind-melting, thought-bending, nipple-hardening exposé on the one, the only, T.O.B.

When T.O.B. purchased the C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS, the team was successful and in the midst of a mini Southeast Division dynasty.  However, this squad was aging and about to expire like old milk.  T.O.B. had a vision and a blueprint of trading these olde but valuable parts in for draft picks and younger fresher legs.  The man to execute this plan was none other than General Manager and talent evaluator extraordinaire, George McPhee.  McPhee helped show these older players to the door in favor of draft picks and youth.  Early returns were less than desirable, but the light at the end of the tunnel was brighter than the sequins on Elton John’s pants-suit.  That light was manifested in the form of “The Great 8”, Alex Ovechkin.  Since this day Ovie and the Caps have launched a full on offensive for the Stanley Cup; anyone who stands in their way will be treated to a worse reception than Muammar Ghaddafi at U.N. benefit dinner.  (Quick sidebar: We wonder what 100 cruise missiles feels like in one day’s work…it can’t tickle. )  Ovie has not done it alone; Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, and Alexander Semin have all been integral parts in the revival of the Washington Capitals.  McPhee is the coal that drives this rejuvenated Capitals train, and Leonsis is the conductor.  The Capitals had a terrific 2010 season under the direction of head coach Bruce “BBQ Sauce” Boudreau.  Not to demean the man who has led the Capitals to three straight Southeast Division Titles, (soon to be four!) but can someone get homeboy a wet nap.  (Bruce, do not ever leave this town, we love you.)  The Capitals however were bounced from the Stanley Cup Playoffs faster than Jimmer Fredette on his wedding night.  Back to the drawing board they went, and the 2011 model was forged on defense and toughness.  This plan was met with skepticism and disbelief from die hard, and possibly misinformed Capitals fans.

The first half of the season did not go as scripted.  The defense was stout, however the vaunted and explosive offense that we Caps fans have come to expect was harder to find than Tim Tebow in a strip club.  An eight game losing streak was a red flag to those who did not have faith.  However, those of us who have deeply sunburnt by the light at the end of the tunnel have been vindicated and validated by the recent surge by our beloved Capitals.  The Capitals currently find themselves at 2nd place in the Eastern Conference with 94 points, two points behind the Filthadelphia Flyers…and closing.  Check your rear view mirrors Philly, cuz we are closing in on you like John Kruk on a buffet line.  The Flyers come to town on Tuesday clinging to their conference lead of two points like a Philly hooker to her crack rock.  The city will be rocking its red, and will be at a fever pitch eagerly awaiting the puck to drop.  This game is huge.  This game is as big as any game the Capitals have played in this season.  The Capitals need the entire DMV to stand up and be counted.

T.O.B. has seen how starved this area is for winner, and took it upon himself to purchase a franchise in desperate need of an overhaul.  This group is none other than the team formerly known as the Washington Bullets.  T.O.B. took over the franchise after the passing of another D.C. sports luminary, “Mr. Re-Gentrification of China Town”, Abe Pollin.  Since the purchase T.O.B. has made cost-cutting and youth driven moves to become younger, faster, and sexier.  Is it me or is T.O.B. operating this team like a 50 year old man with E.D. who just bought a Ford mustang?  T.O.B. has cast aside the elderly like Ben Stiller in Happy Gillmore, in favor of youth.  T.O.B’s first order of business was to oversee the drafting of the transcendent talent that is John Wall.  DMV residents, D.C. sports fanatics, listen the eff up! Do you fully comprehend the talent and greatness of this young man?  John Wall cannot legally drink yet, but that has not stopped him from getting 15 points and 10 assists in his sleep.  I am afraid that many of you have tuned out the Wizards simply because they are not winning.  John Wall will be a top 5 point guard in this league and you will be able to watch him develop and grow right here in our own backyard!  Please, I am begging you all as a collective fan base, do not let this man walk away without you fully appreciating his talents and supporting him.  This young man eats, sleeps, and breathes hoop, and wants nothing more than to bring a winner to D.C.    

The blueprint for the Wizards is identical to that of the Capitals, NBA you have been warned.  T.O.B. has a plan to build through youth and the draft and he has placed experienced professionals in the proper positions in order to execute his vision.  He does not meddle, he does not interfere, and he does not get in the way of winning…………………..Mr. Snyder, with all due respect, are you listening?

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Weekly Groove

Happy Friday.  Ben and Tyler here, and we would like to introduce you to our very first guest blogger.  We bring to you today a music guru of the highest regard.  He is known around the Montgomery County area as one of the most in-tune sets of ears who has a knack for being able to detect the pulse of pop culture.  He knows which songs are going to be hits before they are even written.  He even helped Katy Perry write "I Kissed a Girl" based on his personal experiences of kissing girls. Without firther ado, here is Sir Billiam and his first installment of "The Weekly Groove".


I would like to start off by thanking the Battle of the Beltway for providing me with entertainment galore.  I will try to keep this short and sweet.  My name is Sir Billiam and I am here today to discuss what may define our generation's music.  It is music and lyrics by non other than the ever so talented and beautiful Rebecca Black.  It has been said that her song "Friday", seen below, is the inspiration for many talented acts such as Justin Bieber, Lady GaGa, Lil John, and many others who rely solely on their natural singing abilities to produce hit records.

It is rare these days that you find songs with profound lyrics that really speak to you.  In the 50's, there was the introduction of Rock and Roll, the 60's and 70's used music as a social and political voice, we will skip the 80's, (I am not sure what went on there except bad hair and techno) and the 90's brought us the grunge rock scene followed by boy bands.  These are all looked upon today as definitions of the time periods through music.  However when we look back in 20 years from now at the 2010's, we will say to ourselves there is one song that took our country from the economic shit hole it is currently to the richest fucking place on earth, which it should be. The only debt we will have is for the ass beating we owe other countries for not paying us.  I am even willing to go as far as saying that this song may bring world peace (because America says so) and fight off hunger in third world countries (again because of America). Rebecca Black is on tour at the moment and I can tell you that I will be the first in a very long line of people to grab a front row seat. I have never been so inspired by music as I am when I listen to "Friday".  Nobody has had a musical ear like hers since, I dare say, Mozart.  Be on the lookout for Rebecca Black, coming to a town near you, and ready to rock your socks off.

Thank you.  I hope to return soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NFL Lockout: Billionaire Boneheads

by Tyler

Let me start by saying WOW.  I have so many questions and not nearly enough answers for what exactly is happening with the NFL.  Oh well, let’s just dive into this like the shallow end of the public pool shall we?  On a scale of 1-10,(1 being reprehensibly dumb, 10 being a stroke of underrated-genius-that-totally-caught-the-owners-off-guard) how would you rate the hiring of Demaurice Smith to represent the players?  What will we do during the fall?  Does anybody benefit in all this?  Finally, how can a group of supposedly brilliant BILLIONAIRES and a commissioner with an economics degree, not understand how HORRIBLE this is not just for their product and bottom line, but more damaging their public image?

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being reprehensibly dumb, 10 being a stroke of underrated-genius-that-totally-caught-the-owners-off-guard, where does hiring Demaurice Smith to represent the players rank?         
I’ve gotta say, probably a 15.  The real reason why we as fans and The League are in this situation to begin with is because for the longest time the owners knew, “at the end of the day Gene Upshaw cares way too much about the success of the NFL and football to EVER let an extended lockout happen ever again.”  The owners and the commish knew that they had one of their own in the room with the players.  Eventually a deal would get done.  Imagine if the British had former generals in the United States army during the American Revo…..oh wait, they probably did, didn’t matter, but I digress….
But oh boy did the players absolutely nail this one.  They got a guy that has no interest in preserving the league, and judging by his unwavering stance, clearly won’t be swayed by public opinion, which is a lead pipe lock to turn on the players, then turn on the owners, then back on the players, over the coming months.  Smith cares about getting his clients, formerly the NFLPA, now the NFL players as individuals, what they are looking for, and if he happens to up his retaining fees and notoriety it’s a win-win for him.  This is a stroke of genius and judging by the owners’ mystifying arrogance; they did not see this one coming. 
Granted, the owners did make these same players rich beyond their wildest dreams, however, the players I think rightly understand that no fan ANYWHERE would pay to walk into a stadium anywhere to watch anything but the best.  Ultimately and rightfully the players realize they should hold the power.  The players more than the owners, control the quality of the product because they are the product.  Great move, and if you don’t think the MLBPA, NBAPA and NHLPA aren’t paying VERY close attention, you’re more delusional than a Redskins fan…..wait a minute…..

What will we do during the fall?  
This is a pretty interesting question, one I’m surprised hasn’t been addressed much.  Ben and I have wondered aloud, “Wait a minute, what the hell, WHAT ABOUT FANTASY FOOTBALL!?!? (Mr. Roto and Eric Karabell, head in hands looking at a blank resume)  This is called the ripple effect.  When a billion dollar entity like the NFL ceases, the BILLION dollar industry known as fantasy sports is circling the drain for the year with it.  Playoff baseball is great, but it ends in November and I’m sorry but I cannot be sold on pre-season or early season NBA.  Fantasy Canadian Football League is out of the question because of one word…CANADA.  Which brings us to our next question:

Does anybody benefit in all this?
Every college president in America right now is wetter right now than a parole officer at a Charlie Sheen house party with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton providing the, “entertainment.”  Two scenarios here, let’s look at the first.  Imagine for a second, an expanded college football schedule…..  You know that 3-5 week gap between the end of the season and bowl season.  Yea, how about we fill that with games, give the college teams an additional bye week and tack on another game.  More guaranteed games, do you think TCU and Boise wouldn’t jump at the chance to squeeze in Texas or USC?  The best recruits go to more schools because hell everybody is on national television multiple times a year and every school gets more money from advertisers.  We could also move every marquee college football game, (WVU vs. Pitt, Michigan v. Ohio State) to primetime on Sunday night, ask the NFL how that’s been going……yea not bad….

Number two and much more appealing: These advertisers and college presidents realizes, HOLY SHIT we are the ONLY source of watchable football in a country that literally cannot get enough of it.  They finally and thankfully get rid of the abortion known as the BCS and fill it with….wait for it…..little more….a playoff system.  The college football regular season ends in the last week of November.  You get enough teams to fill out a bracket that would have 2 games every Saturday and Sunday throughout December and January until a National Champion is crowned the first weekend of February.  Oh and the season ending the exact same weekend as the BCS “let’s see which major school is the best, all the while totally ignoring potentially great other college teams,” Game, is no coincidence.  Should keep those bleeding heart academics quiet, haha.

How can a group of supposedly brilliant BILLIONAIRES and a commissioner with an economics degree, not understand how HORRIBLE this is not just for their product and bottom line, but more damaging their public image?
Can’t explain this one.  Never in a million kajillion (I know that’s not a number!) years did I EVER think these guys would voluntarily cut off their main source of income so they could fight over possibly getting another 5-10% of total league revenues.  Ever hear of pennywise and pound foolish?  It sure doesn’t sound like the owners have.  As far as public image, nobody looks good in all of this.  Think about this though, the owners have been saving for a lockout since last season, their current pot sits at 4 billion, enough to keep them afloat during a missed season.  Sure sounds like they were planning this lockout for more than a year.  Surprising that never came up on Hard Knocks, oh well.  

You'll have plenty of time for snacks now, Rex.

Let the Madness Begin

by Ben

Let me paint you a picture: Brown recliner, ice cold Natty, big ol’ bag of Funyuns, sweat pants, and a right hand submerged underneath said sweat pants.  What am I? If you guessed the Andray Blatche training regiment then shame on you.   The correct answer is yours truly on the first two days of the NCAA Tournament.  March Madness is here and I could not be more excited!  The NCAA did try to piss in my punch bowl by doing this whole field of 68 garbage and their subsequent multiple play-in games.  My first response to this was how this would kill the brackets by forcing everyone to turn them in on Tuesday before the first round of play-in games (or as I like to call them “The Tallest Midget Contests”).  Quick side bar, I just watched D-Wade absolutely posterize Kendrick Perkins and proceed to break it down with a swag-filled rendition of the cabbage patchSorry about that ladies and gents, now back to the Madness.  Like I was saying, I thought the field of 68 was going to shoot a Zulu dart in the neck of bracketologists all over the country.  But much like post 9/11, Americans would not be defeated and we bounced back in a way our enemies were not prepared for.  As a collective effort, Americans decided to forgo these play-in games and set the bracket-turn-in deadline to Thursday at noon, the way Uncle Sam intended. THESE COLORS DON’T RUN! 

March Madness is great because everyone gets into it.  Your buddies, your girlfriend, your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your boss, the fat smelly guy at work, the lonely girl at work, the 7-11 attendant who creepily stares you down as he prepares your taquitos, and that guy who keeps driving that white van around your neighborhood.  He keeps offering kids candy to join his pool, I think his name is Phil, helluva nice guy.  Everyone fills out a bracket and no one, I repeat NO ONE is an expert.  Not even you Dick.  Read why he was expelled from Notre Dame, and you’ll understand why he is such a colossal d-bag.  Not to mention this guy is about as smug as Donald Trump’s turds.  I’ve seen chicks win bracket pools, hell I watched a gay kid win our pool in high school.  That was more emasculating than when I was held down by my sister while she painted my toe nails and finger nails.  Hey now before you judge…I was six (+10) years old.  March Madness is great because we get to see the small mid major schools who qualified because their 6’3” center hit a turn-around hook shot at the buzzer to win their conference.  We get to see the best players in the country go toe-to-toe in seldom seen matchups of great teams.  Buzzer beaters, blowouts, highlight reel dunks, and of course Gus Johnson.  Without further ado I give you a few things to watch for in this year’s edition of March Madness.

Cinderella: The underdogs always come to the party.  Underdogs and the “Cinderella” teams are what make this tournament the best of all of the postseasons in all of major sports.  To this day one of the best, if not THE best sports momens in my life was George Mason’s improbable Final Four run.  George Mason is located in Fairfax, VA where I have lived since I was 3 years old.  The excitement in our town was palpable! I was a freshman in college and “703” pride was contagious! Raise your hand if you had ever heard of George Mason before the 2006 NCAA Tournament.  Yea, that’s what I thought…none of yas!  But that is what is so great about this tournament, the Patriots of Mason Nation are now household names and everyone is asking themselves who is this year’s George Mason???  We will soon find out.

The Opening Weekend: Games start on Thursday at noon and go on all the way up until Sunday night.  My roommate GBG has planned his weekend perfectly.  He is teleworking tomorrow, and then has the day off Friday.  If he misses a minute of game action it will only be because I have placed laxatives in his Natty out of sheer jealousy.  But what kind of bro would I be if I sabotaged his epic man-caving experience? I’m willing to bet that the first two days of the NCAA tournament set the record for most sick days in the work force.  I truly love these first few days even though my brackets are generally dead in the water by Friday at 4 P.M.

Gus Johnson: This guy is the best in the business.  His manly baritone and silky smooth delivery is uncanny.  He brings so much fire and passion to his job.  This man’s enthusiasm for March Madness is comparable to Charlie Sheen’s love of coke and porn stars.  I really think God is a basketball fan and Gus is his favorite broadcaster, need any proof? How bout this doozy! I mean this guy was built for this month, and he truly deserves better than the way CBS treats him.  He generally gets the 3rd or 4th best game of the day, but it’s not because he is not worthy of the top game.  It is because he is so transcendent, that he can make a game between two lesser teams seem like the National Championship.  Every year it seems like the big guy upstairs gives Gus the game of the tournament, and Gus never disappoints.  A few years ago it was Gonzaga and UCLA, then it was Ohio State Xavier and last year Gus earned every penny of his paycheck on this masterpiece.  In the event you still don’t comprehend this man’s greatness just view this and enjoy…
The Final Four: This may be America’s greatest sporting event.  The Super Bowl is a close second, but sometimes it feels more about commercializing the game, and eating a ton of food.  The Final Four is and always will be about the collegiate athletes who have grinded it out all season long in order to be recognized in one of the most polarizing sports events of the year.  These young men will be immortalized by their successes*(Sorry Beastmaster.), and unfortunately chastised by their failures.  (REDSKINS FANS: do not, I repeat, DO NOT read the bottom line at the start of the video).  The Final Four is filled with great coaches, great players, great games, and great stories.  In fact that is really the whole tournament in a nutshell.
*Laettner’s shot sent Duke to the Final Four, it did not take place in the Final Four.

There is a lot to look forward to this year.  Will Duke repeat?  Who is this year’s George Mason? Can Kemba keep it up? Is this the last we will see of Bruce Pearl’s bright orange sport coat? And can Louisville last longer than their Coach in a Porcini’s bathroom stall?  All these questions will be answered over the next couple of weeks and I will be in my recliner with a handful of Kaplan enjoying every minute.

The "15th Second" Face

Monday, March 14, 2011

Public Service Announcement #2

By Tyler

Good morning, my name is Tyler and I’m here to talk to you today about Ed Hardy apparel.  Folks let’s be honest, we’ve all seen them, they draw more attention to themselves than a 200 lb hooker at a seminary school.  This is their sole purpose for being, to grab your attention.
My message today is to the brave souls that choose these pieces not out of irony or losing a bet.  I stand humbly before you today to personally thank all of these fake tanned, CZ wearing goombas.  You see everybody; there is one type of person that wears this apparel, that is…the douchebag. 
I say, "thank these men for wearing this douchebag apparel," because it makes finding said douches far easier.  Thank them for having the fortitude to literally wear their emotions not just on their sleeve, but on their back, cresting over their shoulder, and cascading onto their chest, with gold sequins no less. 
Let’s break down the American luminary below: 

Folks if you can’t recognize this puffy former reality star I’ll give you a hint.  This man successfully exploited his wife and 8 children for a multi-season gravy train socking hundreds of thousands, potentially millions of dollars in the process.
Yes this is Jon Gosselin, sporting not one but two douchebadges, making him, you guessed it a two star douchebag general.  As mentioned before this man voluntarily walked away from runaway success as a reality T.V. star to evolve into the mega-raging d-bag we see here.    Never in the history of mankind have we seen a simple piece of apparel transform so many individuals from a pedestrian nobody, into a yelling, chest bumping, shaven ape like Ed Hardy apparel has.  If you see a loved one, be it family member or friend, approaching this product, please, I beg of you, step in and make a difference, because only you can prevent this:

Public Service Announcement #1

By Ben

Good day, my name is Ben and I am here today to bring your attention to very serious problem in our society.   There is a very serious condition that is crippling women all over our United States.  (Fun fact: these colors don’t run!)  It is a condition that cripples many women, and causes many beautiful moms, daughters, and sisters to question whether life is either worth living.  It has been the cause of repetitive rejections from men, job interviews, and fertility clinics.   This condition is known medically as Separatus Non-Existos, but better known as “cankles”.  A cankle is when there is no clear separation between a woman’s calf and her ankle.  They simply form together into a unified and blobby rectangle.  

It is a scary and cruel world out there, and women have enough to worry about with their appearance.  They are judged everyday on their hair, nails, face, rack, and what kinda wagon they are draggin’. They do not need to doubt their beauty and intelligence just because they lack the proper definition that should reside betwixt the calf and ankle.  Women flip on the television and they see fit, beautiful, and curvy goddesses with perfectly sculpted ankles.   It must be devastating for those suffering from such a life-stunting condition.  Nobody wants a stumpy leg, and no one wants to look at stumpy legs.  But I am here today to be that voice.  I am here to let those of you out there know that is OK, ladies. Cankles cannot stop you from accomplishing your dreams; unless your dream is to one day wear those gladiator sandals that seem to be so popular.  If that is your dream you may have to drop that like the Enola Gay circling Hiroshima.  Let’s be honest you’ve got a better chance of marrying Neil Patrick Harris, than you do wrapping those straps around your stumps.  But other than that you’re golden!  Many famous and inspirational women suffer from this condition.  These ever so brave women have given a face and a voice to your stumpy existence.  And I’m not just talking about Kathy Bates, I’m talking about the gorgeously MILFtastic Denise Richards, everyone’s favorite bad girl from the right side of the tracks Mischa Barton, and even the pants-suit enthusiast Hillary Clinton.  (Quick sidebar: Slick Willie must be into that sort of thing because you know Monica is rocking two honey baked hams where her ankles should be.) You think I’m making this stuff up? Have a gander at these famous and powerful women freely flaunting their lack of calf and ankle separation.

I thank the good lord for two things everyday: my hang-down and the firmly obvious separation between my calves and ankles.  I have never been with a woman with cankles, nor do I ever plan on it. But we can’t let my shallow pickiness get in the way of the support you so desperately deserve. There are women, young and old, who deal with the daily stomach-churning decisions of what they can wear in order to hide their cankles, or frankly what will fit around those chunkers.  Thank god for the elastic in socks! Am I right sisters?!?!   Fear and embarrassment are no longer options gals!  Embrace your cankles, flaunt those bad boys like a diamond necklace-ace-ace (a la Ke-dollar sign-Ha).  Rise up together (please take your time standing up because it cannot be easy balancing yourself on those tone-less tree stumps) as a united front and say to yourselves that it’s ok!   No longer should some jerk get away with calling you “Stumpzilla” or “Tolkien-Legs”.  The days of rejection are over, and it is time to unleash those dreams.  Go out and be an actress, a lawyer, or an egg donor.  I hope that those suffering from this condition can once and for all live their lives without barriers.  And remember, a life without separation between the calf and ankle, is a life without limits.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mission Statement

When we say DMV what crosses your mind? The Department of Motor Vehicles? You know that place where you go on a Saturday morning at 7 AM, wait online outside until the doors open, then wait online inside in order to get your waiting number,  and then you proceed to sit in a waiting room longer than any Charlie Sheen “bender” ever lasted, simply because you just need to retake your license picture?  How about the nerve of the person taking your license picture who pleads with you to smile?  The proper response to this person who is asking you to smile after wasting your entire Saturday for a 2 second picture is, “Lady, I need you telling me to smile like I need to be chained to a chair in front of a T.V. that is playing Gigli.”
Still with me?  Ok good, well you could not be more wrong.  When we talk about the DMV we are talking about the most powerful area in the world.  We are talking about the greater Washington D.C. metro area, the District, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV); home to politicians, CIA agents, Tim Gunn, The President; a place more unloved as a sports town than a 15 year old orphan.  We are two guys who grew up in this hub, one on the Northern Virginia side, and one on the Maryland side.  I know what you are thinking, oh here we go just another couple of privileged punks who are going to complain about how they can’t get their collar to stay popped, or how the line at Starbucks was sooooo long this morning, or how the A.C. was out on the Metro this afternoon on the way home from their cushy government jobs.
Well we don’t pop our collars, we sure as hell would never set foot in a Starbucks, and we do not even work for the government.  But we are life long, die hard, avid and animalistic D.C. sports fans.  Tortured D.C. sports fans.  Our teams are notoriously bad and yet we keep coming back for more.   However, you simply cannot dampen our enthusiasm, you cannot stop our optimism, and we’ve got more hope than Barry Obama’s unfulfilled campaign promises.  Our blood type is a hybrid that stem cell nerds could not even comprehend!  It is a rare blend of burgundy and gold, red and blue (2x), white and blue with gold trim, and even specs of black and orange.  It’s been deemed DMV-Positive.   This blog is primarily a source for us to talk about our beloved sports franchises who may not rack up wins, but they certainly rack up controversy and headlines.  We are full-fledged sports nuts, but we’re unafraid to tackle any pop culture happenings, politics (false), we’ll bring you in on our ridiculous capers we get ourselves into, and just other random happenings in the world we live in.  Our goal is to entertain you, make you laugh, keep you guessing, and have you commit to us like an impressionable altar boy.  We will offend many people (unintentionally), we will inspire you, and above all else we will make you laugh until you either:

a. Pee yourself

b. Fall out of your chair

c. Both

WARNING: There is no turning back.  Once you start sipping our Kool-Aid you will never have a taste for anything else.  Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.