Below are a few things that I'm rooting for right now.
1) I’m rooting for Francisco Liriano aka “F-bomb” aka “The Franchise” aka “our only #1 quality pitcher” to be the opening day starter. Reports in the locals this week have Gardy leaning toward Livan Hernandez as your March 31st (19 days away!) starter. I don’t like that. Livan was the add-on fatty we added late in the off-season to help us eat innings---not be our #1 guy! And everything I’ve been hearing is that Liriano has a great chance to make the rotation out of spring ball rather than be sent to the minors for more rehab work. So, if F-bomb makes the five-man rotation, why not start him against the Angels that first game? By the way, it’s a nationally televised game. The sports nation is going to feel pity on us when we roll out 8.00 ERA Livan for our first game. Liriano is clearly our best pitcher and having him run onto the mound in the first game would give fans a sense of hope---Liriano is back baby!
2) I’m rooting for the Minnesota Vikings to get going on this whole back up quarterback situation. They’re acting like college students with this procrastination method they’re implying. Half-heartedly looking for someone to bring in. This isn’t the night before a term paper due at your 8:15 class Chilly, this is about the future of your job. The Vikings employ three quarterbacks in their franchise. Tarvaris Jackson, Brooks Bollinger and Darrell Bevell. One looks like an overmatched small college quarterback, one looks like Kyle from “Road Trip” and the other is a 38-year-old offensive coordinator.
I think it would be smart for Chilly to grab a good enough veteran to push T-Jack. Just my opinion folks. It will also be a safety blanket in case T-Jack isn’t the answer, which everyone seems to be predicting. A 2nd round pick for Sage Rosenfels is probably too much. Some people might not think so because draft picks are never guaranteed to pan out. However, a second round pick for a below average veteran QB is too much for me. However, the Vikings do have two 3rd round picks and two 6th round picks along with their current picks. Would a 3rd and a 6th do it? I would do that. Or if you do think you’re that close for competing for a title, give up that second round pick but for a better QB. Second round picks are pretty valuable and could get you someone with a better resume. Would a first day pick be too much for like a Kurt Warner? I don’t have the answer to that but I’d rather have him than a J.P Losman, Mark Burnell, Chris Wienke or Bryon Leftwich, the only guys that are available right now. Either way, T-Jack needs some pressure and we need a plan B bad!
3) I’m rooting for Big Al Jefferson to develop some sort of illness that prevents him from playing the rest of the season. That’s right, I’m on the tanking bandwagon. If it’s a case of the shits (like Harry from “Dumb & Dumber”) or a herpes breakout (like 1-4 US teenage girls I guess) or Kidney stones (like Al Swearengen from “Deadwood”), anything to keep him off the court, I’m all for. Actually, I don’t wish the Kidney stones on our favorite player. The Doc stuck a two-foot rod up Swearengen’s penis to try to remove them---not cool. Make something else up T-wolves, just something! Tanking doesn’t promise you anything but it increases your odds. Having a better chance at a game changer like Michael Beasley or a Derrick Rose fits this team a lot better than another wing player like OJ Mayo or the Euro fuck. Our wing players aren’t rock stars but we have a good amount of solid ones (McCants, Foye, Brewer, & Gomes). An influential post like Beasley or a penetrating point guard like Rose, balances out our team. Anyone up for kidnapping Al for the next month? I’d be down.
4) I’m rooting for the newly acquired psycho wingman Chris Simon to flip out another NHL player. I don’t wish injury on anyone but a cheap shot that suspended him again would be an interesting scenario for this market. Minnesota is known as the nice State. The “we do things right up here” State. Adding Buffalo Bill to the roster at the trading deadline didn’t fly so well in Wild Hockeyland. The move was ripped by almost everyone. Now, I’m the jackass cheering for him to blow a fuse on the ice. He hasn’t played much but when he does, keep your eyes peeled. The fucked up thing is, I’m truthfully rooting for this. I want to see the uproar when he takes off a guy’s head like in Mortal Kombat.
5) I’m rooting for my roommate Q to come around on Tricky Nicky Punto. Dogg & I are trying are best to convince him that Punto is going to have a bounce back year. 2/3 of TKOT has faith in the diving into first base little speedster with the big heart. Q doesn’t. For example, Q brought up the fact that Punto is hitting .077 this spring. Then I proceeded to point out that Ichiro is 0-21 this spring and that all good hitters come around. He didn’t buy it but we’re still trying our best people. He’ll come around sooner or later. As the old cliché goes: Nick is #8 in your programs but #1 in your hearts. So true.
6) I’m rooting for the snow to go away so I can get on the golf course, grill outside and beat the shit out of my friends in “bags.” That’s how I do.
7) I’m rooting for Jason “Bobby Marley” Castro to win American Idol this season. One, I have him on my fantasy Idol team. Two, I think he’d be the first contestant ever to win the show and celebrate by smoking a J. on stage. This would immediately strip him of his million-dollar contract but I think he’d still do it. He’d say he would be fine because all he needs is his guitar and a street corner to live on man.
8) I’m rooting for the NBA Western Conference standings to end just like it is. First round playoff matchups would be: Lakers vs. Golden State- another #1 choke job? Probably not, but Golden State did it last year and could easily do it again. G.S. is 14 games over .500, so they aren’t a slouch team. You never know, but I think Kobe would will the Lakers to win this series. Houston vs. Dallas- battle of Texas. Dallas comes in as the #6 seed with a major role reversal from last years #1 seed. Maybe they play loosey goosey and play spoiler here. Houston is on a 20- game win streak and every team in history with a streak as high as theirs has gone onto win the NBA title. Well, they easily could get beat in round one. The West is so awesome this year…again. San Antonio vs. Phoenix- Revenge factor for the Suns after Horry bodychecked Nash last year that caused Amare and Diaw to get suspended for a game that gave the Spurs all the momentum to finish them off for good. One of the biggest bullshit rule enforcements ever. Will the trade for Shaq payoff in this series? We’ll see. Utah vs. New Orleans- Paul vs. Williams. Two of the best young pure point guards going head-to-head. Enough said. I don’t know how many NBA fans are out there, but these matchups would be entertaining as hell.
9) I’m rooting for Lucas & Lindsey and Nate & Haley.
10) I’m rooting for the PGA to keep John Daly on tour. Some people think his actions are bad for the game. I don’t think it’s hurting it. He’s a colorful character that makes Golf more interesting. He respects the game and is not doing any inappropriate to the course or the fans. He’s doing all the hurt to himself. Last weekends tournament, Daly got cut but stayed the weekend to “hangout” around the area, especially Hooters. His actions were called into question and here was his response: "I love Hooters. I had a few beers and some chicken wings. It was Saturday. I wasn't even playing in the tournament." Please keep him around.
11) I’m rooting for Duke to win the NCAA Championship. Surprised? Probably not. I don’t give a shit what any of you say; they have a pretty good shot. This year is wide open as ever. Now, I will say a few things do need to fall into place for them to get the last image in “One Shining Moment.” First off, they can’t have an off night shooting behind the arc after the Sweet 16. I think they are good enough to have an off shooting night and get to the Sweet 16. ESPN braketology has them as the #2 seed in Midwest bracket. They would play #15 Bellmont first round. Assuming they win, they would play either #7 Gonzaga or #10 Texas A&M. I just don’t see them losing before the Sweet 16 to those types of teams. So, beyond those first two games, their bread & butter (shooting threes) needs to be on or they will be bounced.
The second thing that needs to happen is they have to get lucky with teams in their bracket that don’t have a ton of size---a major weakness of this Duke team. Staying with the ESPN bracket, Tennessee is the #1 seed, Wisconsin is the #3 seed, Notre Dame is the #4 seed and Butler is the #5 seed. Sorry to break it you, but they have as good as chance as any of those teams representing the Midwest in the Final Four. I’d be nervous if the #1 seed in their bracket was a UNC or a UCLA. They’ll have a hard time competing with the big frontcourts. However, the tourney is full of surprises so maybe a team with some size gets bounced early and Duke shoots the lights out (which they can) for three weeks. I’m waiting to see the brackets to put them all the way, but they are on a short list of mine to win it all. I’d probably only favor 3-4 teams above them to cut down the nets (copyright Steve Lavin).
11) I’m rooting for Ben to kill Locke. Locke’s pissing me off. He’s the only chump that wants to stay on the island (for obvious reasons) but he’s taking down everyone with him with his personal agenda. Ben is the sneakiest dirty bastard on that island and will find a way to dethrone Locke’s power. That is a guarantee. Just think, Sayid had Ben figured out when he was a black man named Henry Gale from Minnesota about two seasons ago. Should have listened to him...
12) I’m rooting for politicians to be moral upstanding citizens. In the latest case of shadiness, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer solicits a hooker for his pleasure. Seems like a hell of an idea when you’re married with three daughters and are the Governor of one of the great States in this country. Way to think that one out pal. Below is the lady he was seeing:
Maybe it was money well spent...kidding...kind of...
13) I’m rooting for the Vikings to take Calais Campbell DE from Miami in the upcoming draft. If you remember, our very own resident draft guru, “The Bag,” had Calais at the 6th overall pick in his “Voices from a Stranger” column about a month ago. Since then, Calais has dropped in a few mock drafts I’ve seen in the teens. Mel Kiper even has him going to us at #17. We have a glaring need at DE and CC would be a nice addition to our team. Let’s hope he’s not like the stereotypical Miami player that find themselves more in police blotters than at charity events.
14) I’m rooting for May 17th, 2008. It’s the day Spencer Tollackson graduates.
15) Finally, I'm rooting the State of Minnesota to get out of this sports funk. We're the fucking laughing stock of the nation in the sports world. We have GM's and coaches that are punchlines. Every team is either really shitty or not quite there. Vikings and the Wild seem closer than the Twins and Wild. Gopher hoops is a few years away also. We don't have one team in this market that has everyone fired up. Please let that happen soon...