All I need is someone with the right fingerprints...

I ... really don't think having one of these talk would be helpful, exactly.

Man, this takes me back to the days of auld...

Hey, someone found a purpose for New Coke. (Granted, a somewhat anachronistic purpose.)

Not a web comic, but may I just say: EEEEUUUUWWWW! Some things are just wrong!

And in conclusion: It's actually not the fact that he managed to get the Machine on national television -- although that's pretty impressive. It's not that, despite the fact that this is clearly planned, Jay Leno still manages to be thoroughly nonplussed by the whole thing.

No, honestly, it's the thing with the shoes. The fact that he calculated so very carefully just the right way to completely piss off the MLB hierarchy while still remaining barely within the letter of the rules. You have to appreciate someone like that.

Though the beard thing is a little weird. Seriously, I wonder if that actually works?

Media Relations / September 7, 2010 / Oh, Danimal...
I really have no words. Just follow the bouncing controversy, shall we? Let's shall. [...] No, no, wait, it gets better: [...] Wait, it gets even better (for certain values of "better" defined as "Dan Hampton loves the taste of his own foot"): [...] But it turns out that his foot was, as it were, pre-chewed, because either the day before or earlier in the the show than the Katrina remark (it's not exactly clear), there was this gem: [...] It's actually a toss-up as to who is more profoundly offended by Hampton's comment: Cowboys fans or gays (and gay Cowboys fans get the two-fer, of course)....
iainpj: cartoon of big guy in orange football uniform with bear logo on chest (freak sportif)
( Sep. 2nd, 2010 10:43 am)
The eternal problem of the superhero.

Aw, how ... um, sweet?

Either this is some seriously acid commentary about the state of the nation and of "the gay community" ... or something was lost on the way to the punchline. Or possibly both. (NB: Reading the lead-in strip -- which has some genuinely and unambiguously acid commentary -- might help.)

Not that the whole LeBron thing isn't worth mocking mercilessly ... but this is perhaps just the teensiest bit ... late.

That just can't end well.

Well ... yes. Yes, he was.

That last panel is nicely wistful, isn't it? (Click on the comic to enlarge.)

Not a comic, just commentary: I'll bet they cast him as the Governor. It would be a limited time, but also very high impact. (Not that I will be watching, oh no no no no NO. I don't need to see that particular nightmare made even more lifelike -- for certain values of "life", of course.)

And in conclusion: Best Football Predictions Show EVER.

grim amusements / April 28, 2010 / the only openly gay male athlete:
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there are only a couple of ways that a male athlete in a major sport in this country will come out.

Mind, the SI article is slightly misleadingly titled. After all, there are openly gay male athletes in minor sports like swimming and skating. And there was, briefly, one openly gay male athlete in European soccer, which is about as major as it gets. Justin Fashanu came out in 1988; he also committed suicide in 1998. But when you're talking about major team sports -- at least, team sports which are major in their own countries, which soccer isn't here -- then, yes, Thomas seems to be about it for now.
elsewhere/grim amusements: they go to rio! de janeiro! (a substantially reworked and expanded version of the entry below.)

BBC SPORT | Olympics | Rio to stage 2016 Olympic Games:
Brazil will become the first South American country to host the Olympics, after the city of Rio de Janeiro was chosen to stage the 2016 Games.

Rio won a majority of the 95 votes at the meeting in Copenhagen, eliminating Madrid in the final round. Tokyo and Chicago had been knocked out earlier.

Earlier, Brazil's president told IOC members "it was time time to light the Olympic flame in a tropical country".

Chicago's early exit was a surprise, with bookmakers making them favourites....

I would like to thank the Chicago City Council for being so extraordinarily reluctant to guarantee the costs of the games that even the IOC had to notice, despite later delivering and reaffirming said guarantee. (Also, no cookie for the city council for that craven cowardice and caving to Hizonner da mayor.) I would like to thank the USOC for being such outstanding dickwads that they announced an Olympic cable network, while having disputes with the IOC not only about that very selfsame network, but a major ongoing dispute about the amount of revenues allocated to the IOC by the USOC. I would like to thank President Obama for dinging his public celebrity and credibility by going to pitch Chicago at the selection committee meeting, as maybe now, he'll get on with the business of governing -- though, given how badly he's been doing in some aspects of that, maybe we'd be better off with a celebrity president, at that. But, honestly and genuinely, I would like to thank the IOC for deciding to go where no Games has gone before.

EDIT: And the actual vote totals have been released and they are ... surprising. From the Venerable Beeb:

First round: Madrid 28 votes; Rio de Janeiro 26; Tokyo 22; Chicago 18 (Chicago eliminated).
Second round: Rio 46; Madrid 29; Tokyo 20 (Tokyo eliminated)
Final round: Rio 66; Madrid 32 (Rio to host 2016 Games)

Rio came within two votes of winning the games in the second round; they picked up the entirety of Chicago's votes, minus one that drifted to Madrid, as well as two of Tokyo's first round votes.

One might guess that I was not in favor of an Olympic Games in Chicago. Being as I live less than a mile from one major venue, and work more or less directly at one of the minor ones ... no, I certainly was not in favor. That's apart from lunacy like proposing demolishing a brand new gymnasium and swimming pool needed by a high school in favor of a velodrome they can't possibly use. That's apart from the lunacy of putting a "temporary" 80,000 seat stadium and possibly an additional aquatics center in Washington Park, currently on the National Register of Historic Places. Because we know how well things work here when they alter structures on the National Register. (Seriously, Soldier Field looks like an alien flying saucer is having ongoing unlawful and indecent congress with a Roman coliseum -- and the coliseum is not at all happy about things, no it is not.) And frankly, this city does not need the opportunities for corruption that awarding Games contracts would create; we do quite nicely with that without additional impetus, thank you kindly!

Apart from that, one suspects that a summer games in Rio is going to be one of the most unspeakably fun things ever to see. Hopefully, they can avoid the pitfalls of Athens, which wound up with several essentially unfinished venues for its games; they've got nearly as much to build from scratch as Athens did.

And now, a musical interlude!

Or, if you prefer something more authentically Brasil (I think):

Or maybe this:

Information about the New York ceremonies (first of three -- insert eyeroll ... here) can be found at at the bottom of this post on the GLAAD website. I'm glad to see that Suze Orman, Noah's Arc and LZ Granderson won awards. Most of the film and television awards still remain to be announced. The Los Angeles ceremonies promise to be positively littered with celebrities. I will admit that I'll be astonished if anything but Milk wins the best film award. I'm also a bit puzzled at East Side Story being in this year's television awards, since I first saw it in a theater -- admittedly, at a film festival -- two years ago, in a slightly different form.

Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment » Buffy the Vampire Slayer wins GLAAD award:
Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer has received a GLAAD Media Award honoring its representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The 20th annual Media Awards were presented Sunday at a ceremony in New York City.

The award lists Drew Goddard, Jeph Loeb and Joss Whedon, who wrote the 2008 stories “Anywhere But Here,” “A Beautiful Sunset,” “Wolves at the Gate,” “Time of Your Life,” and “After These Messages … We’ll Be Right Back.” The artists were Georges Jeanty, Karl Moline, Cliff Richards and Eric Wight.

Other nominees in the comic-book category were: The Alcoholic (DC Comics/Vertigo), Final Crisis: Revelations (DC Comics), Secret Six (DC Comics), and Young Avengers Presents (Marvel).

Given the nominees, probably the best of the choices for this category. Which reminds me...
OK, I'm glad that da Bearsss are in the Super Bowl and all, but oh dear GOD I had forgotten what the lead-in was going to be like. There's damn little that's going to keep the Bears from being the top story in local news every day for the next two weeks.

You know, after 21 years, you forget one or two things, like what it's like to watch a city going slowly insane. Strangely, it wasn't like this for the White Sox and the World Series.

But getting through the next two weeks is going to be rough, let me tell you. - NFL - NFC championship game: Saints at Bears: Now Do You Believe?

Well ... not really.

However, I can't say the Saints gave away this game the way the Seahawks gave away their game. Or rather, the Saints gave it away to the extent that the Bears literally took it away, with four turnovers. And the Bears demonstrated that as long as Rex doesn't actually hurt them, they can deal perfectly well with him having a less than average game. The first grounding penalty against Brees was thoroughly odd -- not that he didn't do it, but it looked as though the officials talked each other into actually calling the penalty somehow. Notwithstanding, New Orleans really wasn't a factor after early in the third quarter.

In the meantime, south of Lake Michigan, Indianapolis finally sucked it up and beat New England. And now Indy is installed as a one-touchdown favorite over the Bears. Given a rather odd statistical dominance over New England -- the statistics look as though the Colts pushed New England all over the field, rather than having to come from behind to win a close game -- and the fact that their playoff strengths play into the Bears' playoff weaknesses, that's somewhat understandable. (Indianapolis is having a severe case of "Where the hell did THIS team come from?"; they've held all three postseason opponents under 100 total yards rushing after having had the notorious #31-ranked rushing defense coming into the playoffs.

As Dungy said, pity they can't just play the game in Fort Wayne. And it's a good thing that this isn't baseball; nobody outside Chicago and Indiana would watch this game if it were. - NFL - Recap:
Two swings of the foot by Robbie Gould were all the Chicago Bears needed to offset any shortcomings in Rex Grossman's arm.

And the Chicago Bears got their first playoff win since 1995, moving them one step from the Super Bowl...


I tell you true: going in, I thought the final score of this game would be something like Seahawks 28, Bears 13. That the Bears came out of this game with a win is truly remarkable.

That said: the Bears didn't win this game so much as Seattle gave it away. Repeatedly. Literally, with a late back-breaking interception and a late mishandled fourth-down play. And Grossman, for a wonder, really wasn't the problem this time; his one interception wasn't his fault (although his fumble really was -- only an idiot tries to make that pass at that point). The problem was a defense that couldn't shut down the middle -- its alleged strength -- and had problems maintaining containment in the passing game.

It's going to be interesting to see whether or not the Bears can deal with the Saints' offense well enough to win. "Interesting" in the Chinese curse sense of the term, that is. That said, this seems to be the playoff season for weak defenses (and the Bears' defense is wounded enough to be considered weak, with a slide from first in the league to fifth in only its last four games) to rise up and play above themselves. I mean, whoda thunk that Indianapolis, with the 31st ranked rushing defense, would manage to absolutely shut down two powerful rushing games, and could play well enough to win even without strong games from Manning? One would think they were inspired.

Truly, if you go for teams playing above themselves, you're expecting a Chicago-Indianapolis super bowl. If you go for, you know, sanity, you're expecting a New Orleans-New England final. - Bears' 41-point first half stands in rout of 49ers

Well, that was interesting. And kind of worrisome, what with the whole "not scoring anything in the second half" routine. Granted, game already determined, hard to keep your mind on the field when you're likely bored silly already. But still.

There's also the fact that the Niners shoved the much vaunted Bears' defense all around the field in the second half. Again, the not paying attention, lack of urgency, boredom, I get all that. Still something to be corrected. They get one more weak team -- and Miami really shouldn't be as weak as they are this season, so there may be a few tigers left in that tale -- followed by six weeks of NFL hell, with three consecutive road games, and four of the next five on the road, and two tough home games, all against contending teams. (OK, Tampa is kind of arguable, but again, they shouldn't be as bad as they are this year, and only Balmer had an easy time with them, back in week 1.)
I completely, totally forgot about this game.

Apparently, so did the Bears.

For two and a half quarters, this game bore all the hallmarks of one team underestimating another that was pretty much loaded for bear (no pun intended). The Bears absolutely, utterly and completely stole this game. What it looked like, more than anything, was one of last season's early games, where the defense only asked the offense not to lose games -- heaven knows, the offense did its level best to lose. SIX turnovers? And even after the defense clawed their way back, it still took a missed easy field goal to win this game.

Of course, what everyone keeps forgetting, because he's been around three years, is that Grossman has only started 10 games. He's going to have young-quarterback clunker games more often than you would like. And the defense is going to go walkabout mentally every now and again -- although, to be fair, they really didn't go walkabout that much. Arizona just had one short field after another to go up.

Well, they probably needed a wakeup call, headed into the softest part of their schedule. I'd imagine this might be it.
Well, that was certainly ... unexpected.

I wonder if this is going to be seen as a statement game, in the same way that the Carolina game last year was considered a statement game. As in that game, a team expected to at least play a close game, if not win, was steadily and methodically dismantled. To be sure, the Seahawks were playing without their top running back, but you wonder what he would have done to prevent this.

That said, a statement game at this point in the season doesn't mean a lot. On the up side, the Bears now have a two game lead in the division, with Minnesota losing at Buffalo. On the down side ... well, it's just the fourth game. They can give back that lead easily. And a statement game during the season means nothing if you can't follow through in the playoffs; last year, Carolina learned from the statement game how to defeat the Bears. Hopefully, Seattle won't learn the same lesson.
How ... unexpected.  Seriously, I thought that this would be a close, low-scoring loss by the Bears, not a blowout by them, and never mind shutting Favre out for the first time in his career. Weirdly impressive performance by the offense.

That said, I kind of agree with Favre: "Yeah, give them credit, but maybe we can do something better. Maybe we just ain't very good. I don't know." Because, seriously, the Bears' defense is just that good, but the offense isn't good enough for this result.

That said, it's interesting to see that the Bears had enough flexibility finally to overcome what was clearly the Packers' strategy: shut down the rushing game as best they could (and with the Bears having 109 total yards rushing, and 3.0 yards per carry, the Pack did a damn good job of that) and force the Bears to beat them through the air ... which they actually did.

Bears blank Pack in opener | Chicago Tribune:
In what might turn out to be the first game of Brett Favre's swan song season, Rex Grossman stole the show early and the Bears defense handed the gunslinger the first shutout of his career.

Grossman came out firing after a shaky preseason, completing his first six passes, the highlight being a 49-yard touchdown strike to Bernard Berrian on the sixth play from scrimmage. Grossman finished with a career-high 262 yards, a passer rating of 98.6 and ran his career record at Lambeau Field to 3-0.

The Bears defense also came in with question marks hanging over it, and responded with three sacks and two interceptions, didn't allow the Packers into the red zone and yielded only one third-down conversion.
No real update. In deepest mourning (or, you know, sorta kinda mourning, considering as this was actually the result I was expecting).

So, linkfestiva obscura:

This looks dementedly cool, somehow.

"Oh, zephyr wings which float on high/ lift me now so I may fly..." I never knew that had been turned into a comic book. If I had known, at the time, I would have bought every single issue ... though I somehow gather that there weren't many. (Only the very old among you will actually have the slightest idea what I'm talking about, alas.)

I hope this is good. It looks like it could be fun, if it's well done.

And also: one of the reasons why DC can be very very annoying.

May Require a moment of thought, indeed. And also a moment of snickering.


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