Out of Bounds - The DFW Sports Newsletter
Out of Bounds
The DFW Sports Newsletter

Out of Bounds While Thinking About How Great This Game Is

by Joshua Best on 09/29/11

Wednesday September 28, 2011 - a date that baseball fans will never forget. After watching the Rangers and Mike Napoli crush the Angels to secure home field in the ALDS, end with a 10 game lead, achieve their best record ever (96-66), and finish with just one win less than the Yankees for the third best record in baseball, my attentions turned to the other epic battles what were going on. DirecTV was there to help, airing the Phillies-Braves, Yankees-Rays, and Orioles-Red Sox all on their various ESPN stations.

 

Joel and I switched back and forth from game to game, frantically trying to take in every pitch and knowing the games could turn at any moment. Anyone reading this knows what happened, but as it unfolded, we were continually awe-struck, dumbfounded as the unlikely events mounted and the impossible became reality.

 

Extra innings in Atlanta and Tampa Bay. The games wore on as the night aged. Just 26 days before, the Red Sox owned a 9 game lead over the Rays. By Sept. 6, their chances of making the playoffs stood at 99.87%. There are so few guarantees and .13% is statistically non-existent. Except in baseball.

 

We watched of course as Rangers fans, knowing that tanking, reeling Boston team was probably the better team to wish we could meet in the first round. With a one run lead and the almost perfect Jonathan Papelbon on the hill with 2 outs, it seemed all but certain the Red Sox would win. Rick Sutcliff certainly thought so. And with two outs, I saw Chris Davis making his way to the plate.

 

"Well this is a strikeout waiting to happen," I said, certain it was over. Oh, me of little faith. There is no player I want to succeed more than Davis, but he just hasn't been able to put it together - more of a Kevin Reimer or Kevin Mench than a Josh Hamilton. But it was Papelbon. Come on.

 

And then Chrissy doubled down the right field line and represented the tying run for the Orioles. Immediately I knew something wasn’t right. Or was very, very right.

 

When the sinking liner went toward left two batters later, I was amused to see Carl Crawford out there just missing the play. The baseball gods were laughing at the Red Sox, who finally have to be wondering why the curse has suddenly reared its head again.  And a few minutes later when Evan Longoria's liner to left cleared the wall in Tampa, well, I can’t imagine the havoc that must have been wreaked on the visitor’s clubhouse inBaltimore.

 

The figures are unfathomable. No team had ever overcome an 8 game deficit in September to make the playoffs. Two teams did it this year (Rays - AL 9 games, Cards - NL 8.5 games). No one had hit a walk-off homer to earn a playoff spot in 60 years since a certain "Shot heard "round the world." The Yankees hadn’t blown a seven run lead after the eighth inning since 1953. Going the other way, the Rangers, just two games up a couple of weeks ago finished a full 10 games above the Angels and completed their finest regular season ever at 96-66, 30 games over .500. And the happiest sad fans anywhere have to be in Atlanta. After blowing their own 8.5 game September lead, at least it was at the hands of the best team in baseball (The Phillies), and the fact is, no one will remember it.

 

So we turn our attentions to the playoffs wondering what they hold in the way of drama. Much, to be sure, but 9/28/2011 will be hard to top.

 

Joel and I are looking forward to finding out.

  

PS- Old time Mavs fans will appreciate the latest DFW sports blog I discovered. You can read the UWE BLOG here:http://www.uweblogsports.blogspot.com/

 

I kid you not.

Out of Bounds With Some Random Friday Thoughts

by Joshua Best on 02/11/11

What is up with Jason Kidd's hair? I think I have seen that before: http://bit.ly/hKXUet

Norm Hitzges has reported a possible trade between the Mavs and the Suns that would send the expiring contracts of DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler along with Roddy-B and a #1 pick to the Suns for Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Josh Childress. This is a wonderful idea! If it is 2004.

Here is a photo of Willie O'ree, the "Jackie Robinson" of hockey: http://bit.ly/g960z0

The difference, of course, is that other African-Americans went on to play baseball after Jackie.

Know the reason the Buffalo Bills switched to red helmets from their original white almost 30 years ago?  There were a lot of other white-helmet teams in their division and management thought QB Joe Ferguson would throw fewer interceptions if their helmets were a different color.  No, really.

Ever wonder what game Ferris Bueller was watching at Wrigley?  Anyone? Bueller? Of course you haven't! But now you are, so here: http://bit.ly/ehW0l8

So the NBA and Marvel Comics are getting together.  (Oh, why not!): http://bit.ly/glsxdi

In stunning proof that recession and rampant unemployment are being used to productive ends by some, I present to you the top Super Bowl Moments, made out of food.  Yes, seriously: http://bit.ly/eMIyl6

So you can get a Michal Young Fathead like this: http://bit.ly/ecAI8C

One made from this failed pose would probably be more accurate: http://bit.ly/ehtMBT

Finally, Jerry Sloan has had enough of Deron Williams and has turned in his clipboard.  This means that for the first time since I was 6, the Jazz will be coached by someone other than one of these two guys: http://bit.ly/hypZr3

I bring this up, simply to tell the story of when, in 1988, Morganna the Kissing Bandit got old Frank Layden in her sights: http://bit.ly/igAgg9

Back in those days, that sort of shtick was celebrated and even show on ESPN and CNN Sports (our choice at the time). We watched with amusement as Morganna planted one on Big Frank - who subsequently grabbed his chest and fell over, feigning a heart attack.

Have a great weekend!

Joshua V. Best

Check out www.oobsports.com - which is in the process of being revamped.

Out of Bounds Super Bowl XLV Recap

by Joshua Best on 02/07/11

SUPER BOWL XLV
starring
Mr. Soon to be Living the Rest of his Short Life in Agonizing Pain Roethlisberger

When you decide to have the Super Bowl in Dallas, there are certain things that are reasonable to expect - especially with Jerry Jones at the helm.

Falling sheets of ice injuring people the Saturday before and improperly or incompletely installed seats should not be among them. Nevertheless, as Jerry scrambled to set an attendance record by trying to get the people outside counted and possibly offering “sky box” seats on the roof itself, the big game finally came and was for the most part a great success.

I didn't write a Super Bowl wrap-up last year. For reasons that now escape us, the Lizard was not on his usual perch - and I am glad to report his return to his rightful spot encouraged a number of pithy observations and sage comments. None of these will be included here.

Nor will I bore you with the excessive number of Roethlisberger zingers bandied about as the night went on. I repeat, NO Roethlisberger jokes are forthcoming!

The Packers victory elevated Aaron Rodgers to Brett Favre status, but it just left female Steelers fans feeling violated.

No, seriously this was a Super Bowl like any other, except I saw Mariska Hargitay stationed permanently by the NFL on the Steelers' sideline.

The final score was 31-25. It was just the second time in NFL history a game has ended in that score according to some guy with way too much time on his hands at ESPN.

As we gathered around the TV and kickoff approached, someone issued a “Big Ben” one-liner while the wife set about her mission to figure out who the Packer's QB looked like. Oddly, the Steelers’ field general looked a lot like Kobe Bryant.

At any rate, it would be a night filled with product tie-ins, cross-sponsorships and shameless Fox promotion - none so shocking as the network's decision to have Omar Epps coach the Steelers.

In the pregame prognostications department, I spoke with Brother Buddha and determined my areas of wager. I told him I was predicting either a special teams or a defensive score. I also asked him to set an over/under for number of chimps we would see. He took the under on 3 chimps, while I went with the over.

My first wager came to pass on the Steelers' first turnover which Green Bay returned for a TD. Score one for me!

About that same time, it really began to sink in what I was witnessing: The most yellow pants gathered in one place since that Craig Sager lookalike contest a few years back.

Not too long after that Fox gave us a wide crowd shot where we enjoyed picking out celebrities and famous faces. We spotted Michael Douglas and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones. There was President and Mrs. Bush, Emmitt Smith and Condi Rice. At that moment, however, Fox pulled a fast one and cut to the hated A-Rod. We gasped in horror as insult added itself to injury and we all saw Cameron Diaz. Feeding him.

"I'm gonna be sick!" exclaimed the Lizard, as screams went up from every disgusted person in the room. Once things had calmed down, he added, "Well, I don't know what the highlight of the game will be, but I'm pretty sure we've seen the lowlight." 

True. True.

About that same time, we noticed William Kennedy Smith, er I mean, Ben Roethlisberger wearing a tinted visor. "Why is he wearing a tinted visor? This is an indoor game!" exclaimed the Lizard.

"So the woman he attacks in the tunnel at halftime won't be able to identify him later," I explained.

About the same time, Troy issued the following sage wisdom about defensive coverage against the Steelers: "You gotta maintain Gap integrity." At least I think it was about defense - he may have been making a fashion statement, though I didn’t previously know about his love for that particular mall store.

More Steelers' gaffes and Aaron Rodgers' game management opened up a hefty 21-3 lead for the Packers as we approached halftime. I became suspicious, however,  as Pittsburg rallied late to close to within 21-17 and a crowd shot showed El Directo Superemo Ron Howard in the house. Was this live, or was this a Ron Howard production? Only later did I decide it was the real thing, when I never saw Clint Howard playing a part.

Half-time showed up, and we were all treated to a performance by the Black Eyed Peas. And by treated, I mean "tortured." In a bizarre array of people in light-up costumes and boxes on their heads, four people dressed in space suits began to prance around and "sing." One looked something like Gary Oldman in "The Fifth Element," while another with a Mr. T 'do appeared to be enjoying the whole thing in 3D, his glasses being the giveaway.

As the radio hits faded one into another, a confused Lizard simply said, "I am old," and we left it at that, bemoaning the fact that Jerry hadn't called ZZ Top for this Texas Extravaganza. 

After a couple of songs, the strains of "Sweet Child O' Mine" filled the Death Star, and the wife was immediately aghast. "How dare they!" she exclaimed in horror. For those of you who don't know, the wife is a bit of a hair bands freak, and GnR ranks highly on that Aqua Net list. All was made well again for her, however, when a lone guitar playing figure rose from beneath the stage. Wife and Fergie sang the classic '80s song, while the Lizard howled with laughter.

I simply wondered why Troy Palamalu was playing guitar instead of studying game film in the locker-room.

The "entertainment" was capped when someone they call "Usher" danced about, to more howls of approval from the X-Box playing Abercrombe-wearing teen masses.  Ten seconds in, the Lizard said what we all must deep down have been thinking:

"Uh, Michael Jackson's estate called. They want their moves back."

The second half started with more gaffes, though Green Bay seemed to be on the hook now.  Jordy Nelson would probably have had to run off and join the circus if the Packers hadn't pulled out a victory. He may still have a career there as a juggler if his play last night is any indication.

Let me also just say that it is time for the jumping Fox Robot to go.  There is nothing more irritating on the broadcast than that. Well, except Joe Buck.

By late in the game, Troy Aikman offered up a tasty Freudian slip, when he said Palamalu was being "extinct… uh… instinct…ive…" on a certain play.  The writing was on the wall.  Green Bay had pulled out a Super Bowl victory, and Aaron Rodgers was going to Dinneylan. 

But of course, as entertaining as the game turned out, the commercials hold a special place for my game watching crowd. And while it would appear from said advertisements that all we in this country do is watch movies, drive cars, drink Bud and eat Doritios, there were nevertheless some decent spots.

Kenny G gets props in my book for poking fun at himself. Justin Beiber does not.

Doritios resurrected grandpa to many howls from the faithful.  This almost, ALMOST removed the disturbing finger-licking, pants-sniffing spot they ran earlier in the night, which was some sort of Doritos-KFC-Roethlisberger amalgamation or something.

Nice looking white girl getting smacked upside with a can of Pepsi Max (and it was quite funny), followed closely by a guy getting smacked in the yahootz with another can of same made a comical set of pain humor ads.  Most probably found it to be "equal opportunity." I just wondered why Pepsi is delivering their latest product in such heavy containers. Said Junior Miller, "that's heavy Pepsi."

I also finally discovered something even more irritating than Eminem.  CGI Eminem.

A late game Stella Artois commercial featuring Adrian Brody as a nightclub singer was the most effective advertisement of the night, as it had everyone in the country thinking the same thing all at once: "Who is this Stella Artois lady, and how did that creepy looking Adrian Brody become so famous? Hey, I think I just realized what happened to the Sphynx's nose!"

But the highlight of the evening came just as Roseanne got smacked with a massive tree trunk. The Lizard issued a fine line: "I support Roseanne violence…" Then, it happened.

A man sitting in front of his office in his car prepared to get out and walk into work. Suddenly, another car pulled very close and he was blocked in. Yes friends, it was the Careerbuilder.com chimps. Soon, another car broadsided him and all the monkeys toddled off to work leaving our friend stuck in his car.  

As we viewed it repeatedly (there are few things funnier what watching the Lizard watching chimps), we keyed in on the chimp in the dress, smoking a cigarette and trying to keep her purse on her shoulder. Howls of laughter ensued.

She was the best moment of the evening at this Super Party.  She also was likely the only female that night the losing QB made no advances on. At least, that’s what George is reporting.

So there were a total of four chimps in that ad, making me two for two in my pregame predictions. Along the way, the Packers seized opportunity and became champs once again and Fox begged us to watch their other programming.

I just bet Jerry is pretty upset that he got less screen time than Hugh Laurie – and it wasn't even close. I do wonder how long it will be until he suggests that every playoff game be played in the Death Star. Yeah, that seems far fetched now.  Just wait.

Nevertheless, somewhere Jerry is saying, “How'd you like my Super Bowl! I hope you enjoyed it… I hope you enjoyed it very much.”

Everyone's a Packers Fan http://bit.ly/fitpvy

Well, not everyone: http://bit.ly/dH7T8z

Someone has talent: http://bit.ly/gnsSxH

Last Update: 2/11/2011
"I want you to know that although I am here, I am fundamentally against this foolishness..."

OOB founder Joshua Best to parking lot attendant at the first interleague game in baseball history - 6/12/1997
Out of Bounds
The DFW Sports Newsletter
Joshua Best with HOF pitcher Bert Blyleven in 2002.
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