Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, February 12, 2007

More Sideline Slants

In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t such a wise move after all
After Devin Hester ran 92 yards for a touchdown to open Super Bowl XLI, I thought that I was going to see a shuffle redux. Instead, I saw Adam Vinatieri claim another championship. Guess Tony Dungy figured that if they couldn’t beat the New England Patriots, then they needed to get Vinatieri who broke their hearts on one too many occasions. And now Vinatieri’s probably laughing all the way to the bank for he has one more ring than Tom Brady.

An officemate accosted me the day after the Bears lost and said that I didn’t know how to choose my sports teams. I stood perplexed and was like, “Am I supposed to bet on another team even if I’m not rooting for them?" Hurm.

I felt bad but maybe not as bad as Scott Wiese who also may not be as wise as we might think. This die-hard Bears fan said that he’d legally change his name to Peyton Manning if the Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl. The former Wiese guy said that his sacrifice is indicative of his passion for Bears’ football. But think of the headlines: Peyton Manning roots for the Bears.

This is Anfield or is this England?
Not since John Goodman made a mockery of the Royals in King Ralph have we seen an invasion of England by “those bloody Yanks.” There are currently 10 Americans plying their trade in the Premiership including quite a few for Newcastle United which has finally risen from mediocrity. And now American tycoons George Gillet and Tom Hicks have purchased ownership for Liverpool FC hoping to restore the Reds to respectability after an impatient fan base drove away Gerard Houllier who helped steer the Mersey side to some stirring victories and championships and is now doing the same to Lyonnaise Olympique in the French Ligue 1. Word is they’re looking to re-brand Anfield for some corporate advertiser. Tradition is definitely out of the building. Now let’s see how they do on the pitch.

With Liverpool’s purchase, that makes the top three English clubs in the hands of foreigners (Chelsea was purchased by eccentric Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003 while American businessman Malcolm Glazer completed a hostile takeover of Manchester United in 2005).

Ironic isn’t it? After Britannia colonized about half the world, their football clubs are now getting a 21st century version of that --- the corporate takeover. But really, it should be good for Liverpool.

Another reason why athletes should not be role models
Chicago Bulls’ rookie forward-center Tyrus Thomas said that he was only joining the Slam Dunk Contest during the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend to claim his appearance fee. The ungrateful lout was fined by Bulls’ GM John Paxson for $10,000 for his comments that clearly embarrassed the organization. Well, at least Thomas can use his earnings from the contest to offset his fine.

Rust never sleeps
Iron Mike Tyson is a joke. The former heavyweight is a shell of his former self when he was the meanest sonafabitch inside the square ring some 15 years ago. With a rap sheet longer than Yao Ming’s wingspan, Tyson once more made the news (but why, I ask?) after checking himself into a rehab center for a cocaine addiction. Tyson told arresting officers that he uses cocaine every chance he gets.

Some boxing observers hypothesize that the passing away of Cus D’Amato before Tyson won the heavyweight title contributed to his downward spiral. That may be partially true but Tyson prior to that was like a force of nature that took a lot of effort to control. I believe that his dismissal of trainer Kevin Rooney was the turning point for his boxing dynamics began to sharply decline after that.

Does Mike Tyson deserve pity? If this were his first offense then there could be some form of clemency, but Mike Tyson is a ticking time bomb. I’m not even sure that prison time – which is something of a possibility because of his new offense – will do any good.

A white hanky for Capello
The Bernabeau faithful are looking for the heads of Ramon Calderon and Fabio Capello to roll. Things looked bright despite the retirement of Zizou after the World Cup, but instead, the season is close to being another disaster. I’ve written before saying that the Beckham situation was deviously manipulated by Calderon and Capello to suit their plans. Instead the whole thing has backfired on them and the white hankies have begun to appear after games. It rose to a fever pitch after that recent loss to Levante.

Yet in an incredible twist of fate, Capello let Becks play against Real Sociedad just the other night (after saying that the former England captain was done in a Madrid kit) and he scored the equalizer in the 37th minute. Ruud Van Nistelrooy finished off the home team with a header for his 11th La Liga goal for Madrid.

Said Capello, “I picked him because he has been good in training for three weeks. I’m pleased he scored with a free kick because he hasn’t scored many this season.”
What a schmuck. Of course, he hasn’t scored many. Some confidence you’ve given him and the rest of the team.

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