Writer’s block.

Grumble, grumble.

It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve written anything. Not just on this blog (cough, October 2009, cough), but in all realms. I haven’t been able to find my words. For someone who’d rather write down everything than attempt to say it, this is devastating. I stare at my notebooks; filled with years of musings on heartbreak, confusion, love, self-aggrandizement, self-deprecation, dreams and desires; and I wonder why I can’t seem to open a fresh page. Or ready a thought for print.

After a solid year’s worth of actively trying to get my shit together (pardon my shit), I’m inclined to think I’m ready to start inking up some pages and providing the internet with a few of my brain sparks.

I’ll be back later to talk about why Brett Favre won’t go away.

Arguing about sports is arguably my favorite thing.

As more and more women appear on television sports networks, I find myself dealing with a quality versus quantity situation.  The number of females covering sports is up, but are the representatives up to par?

I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus here, and I’m DEFINITELY a feminist and all about women cracking the glass ceiling etc. etc., but what is up with some  (most) of the women in sports media?  Whether it’s the inability to ask a question (“The first half looked like it was tough on your defense, coach.” Points mic at coach for response), getting embroiled in a sex scandal with a superior (the ESPN production assistant sitch ), or having a sex tape floating around (thanks for everything, Erin Andrews), it’s no wonder people aren’t inclined to listen to a female talking sports.

This is particularly frustrating for me, because I am both female AND competent.  And I love nothing more than to argue about sports (and win said argument).  I have a number of idols in the industry (Lisa Salters, to name one, is incredible), but I find that a large number of those employed and actively showing up on television screens across America aren’t helping out the plight of the female in sports media.

To elaborate on the ESPN scandal I mentioned earlier–MLB analyst Steve Phillips was fired by ESPN Sunday night for his affair with 22-year-old production assistant Brooke Hundley.  I tip my (incredibly stylish) cap to ESPN for cutting off its business relationship with Phillips for being a poor representative of their network.  Scandals have long been shoved under the proverbial rug (tarp?) when they concern a high-powered man, so it’s refreshing to see ESPN publicly separating itself from Phillips.

It would seem like things are moving forward–the male superior is going down for his wrongful actions, and the subordinate female is not the disgraced owner of the spotlight this time!

Yeah right.

On Monday, it was announced that Brooke Hundley would no longer be working at ESPN either.  Not only was she involved in this ill-fated affair, but according to a police report, Hundley began calling Phillips’ wife, Marni, after Phillips broke off the affair, then sent a disturbingly graphic letter in which she described both her relationship with Phillips and the specifications of his birthmarks.  You can’t tell me that’s going to add any points to the women-should-be-respected-in-sports-media column.

So there’s the problem.  Women pave the way for future female generations, that’s the way it’s always been, but I’d hate to lose my arguing credibility because of other females’ miscues.  If you’re going to lump everyone in my gender together, I’d feel a lot better if the women laying all that important groundwork were fully equipped for the job.

 

 

Mr. Regular Season returns…and other notable gunslingers.

Mr. Regular Season is my nickname for Tom Brady.  He hasn’t lost a regular season game with the Patriots since Dec. 10, 2006.  I may not like his style or his general demeanor, but I cannot deny the man has talent. A lot of it.

The Patriots edged the Buffalo Bills last night 25-24, almost solely because of Brady’s performance in the final two minutes.  Brady threaded two TD passes to tight end Ben Watson in a span of one minute and 16 seconds.  That’s…impressive.  Despite rehabilitation and rust, Brady proved that he is still a force, and he still knows how to win.

A number of other quarterbacks made debuts this weekend, like rookie notables Mark Sanchez (New York Jets) and Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions), and a purple-clad Brett Favre (Minnesota Vikings).  Sanchez grabbed a W in his debut, going 18-31 for 272 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT; helping the Jets beat the Texans 24-7.  Stafford, the 2009 top overall draft choice, wasn’t as successful in his opener, going 16-37 for 205 yards, 0 TD, and 3 INT.  The Lions fell to the New Orleans Saints 45-27, thanks in part to a phenomenal showing from Saints QB Drew Brees.  More on him in a minute.

Favre, whose vacated New York Jets QB spot opened up nicely for Sanchez, donned his third uniform in three years and took the Vikings to a 34-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns.  Favre was 14-21 for 110 yards and 1 TD–clearly not a pass-heavy day–but he had some fierce offensive support from running back Adrian Peterson.  Peterson rushed for a measley 180 yards and 3 TDs.  Cripes.

Around the league, QB’s got into the groove or showed very plainly how many months they had been off the gridiron.  Brees was one of the strongest performers from the weekend with 358 yards and 6 TDs.  Tony Romo helped the Cowboys by going long for 3 TDs, and Joe Flacco flew three of his own to the endzone to help the Baltimore Ravens beat the K.C. Chiefts 38-24.   

The season has officially begun.  Rookies have one under the belt, and vets are back in the game.  Week One is history; who will shine in week 2?

 

 

Check out the poll for this week to vote on Week One’s top-performing QB.

This little pigskin.. is BACK.

WHOA.  It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to check in with all of you.  I had to dedicate a little bit of time and a lot a bit of brain power to move from State College to Pittsburgh to New York.  Yeesh.  But now I’m here in the Center of the Universe, as I like to call it, and I’m ready to talk some football.

The teams of my childhood and beyond, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Penn State Nittany Lions, are off to winning, albeit unimpressive, starts to their respective seasons.  PSU cruised past Akron in a game that wasn’t a great indicator as to how the rest of their season will pan out, followed similarly by an easy win over a soft Syracuse.  Penn State notoriously soars through their non-conference schedule, only to suffer a hiccup-loss mid-season to a Big Ten team they should have beat.  I need a few more Saturdays, specifically Saturdays where Penn State is challenged, to provide my full impression.  For now, I’ll say that having a seasoned Daryll Clark at the helm is comforting, but the loss of key players on the O-line, receiving corps, and secondary leave me a bit skeptical.

The Super Bowl champion Steelers opened at home Thursday night against former Nittany Lion Kerry Collins and the Tennesee Titans, taking the win from visiting Collins and company, 13-10.  Neither team was able to mount much offensively, resulting in a defensive struggle and an overtime field goal deciding the entire game.  It was hard-nosed, grind-em-out football–which tends to be expected in any Steelers game, but has become a Titans trademark as well.  Sloppy showing for both squads, but I don’t think it spells doom for either. 

Check back for some musings on Week 1 NFL action… oh, and that guy Tom Brady is back on the field tonight for the Pats opener.

So much for a quiet Steelers offseason.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t had much luck with offseasons following Super Bowl wins.  In summer 2006, Big Ben suffered a serious motorcycle crash that resulted in surgery, plastic and otherwise, to help repair his facial and head injuries.  An appendectomy sidelined him at the beginning of the 2006 season as well.  Summer 2009 seemed quiet, as sweaty seconds ticked away in typical muggy Pennsylvania summer fashion.  The Steel City fanbase thought their beloved Black and Gold was home free, mere days away from the start of Steelers training camp, until a Lake Tahoe woman named Andrea McNulty served Roethlisberger with a civil suit accusing the two-time Super Bowl champ of sexual assault.  Things aren’t so quiet anymore.

ESPN breaks down the legal situation, so if you’d like to read the civil suit details, please do so here.

After reading meat of the situation, watch Big Ben’s short statement below.

I am not the biggest fan of Roethlisberger, but I can’t deny that this whole situation seems to have the essence of the 2003 Kobe Bryant sexual assault case.  I am a female and a feminist to boot, but I can’t help but think that these women are after some loot.  If I am wrong in regards to the current McNulty vs. Roethlisberger situation, then I will absolutely recant what I’m writing in this post, but for now, a few things are standing out to me as incredibly fishy.

One, the case relates to an incident a year ago that was never reported to the police, only to hotel security.  McNulty’s lawyer made a comment that alluded to McNulty reporting the alleged incident to hotel security being the same thing as reporting it to the proper authorities.  If he continues to make statements like that, McNulty might want to reconsider her choice in legal backing.

Two, the accusation comes in the form of a civil suit.  Civil to me means money.  If she really did suffer a sexual assault at the hands of Roethlisberger, it is absurd that she did not report it to the police, especially if she suffered the damages she is claiming to have suffered–mental breakdown, depression, hospitalization, etc.  A criminal investigation will not be held unless the accuser, McNulty, files a criminal complaint.  She has yet to do so, and at present it seems like that isn’t going to change.

Three, McNulty’s coworkers at the time of the alleged Big Ben assault are asserting that the mental breakdown actually stemmed from another issue involving an affair-gone-bad with a man in the military who happened to be married.  This is the shakiest information I have come across, as it was reported by TMZ (I mean no offense to TMZ, but they operate basically as an Internet tabloid).  TMZ did report Michael Jackson’s death first, though, so it’s plausible that this piece of reporting may contain accurate information.  Read it here.

No matter what, whether this is a case of money chasing or a legitimate legal situation, it spells bad news for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tiger: a whisker away. Or not.

Right now, everyone in sports is whispering behind their palms about the great Tiger Woods missing the cut for the British Open.  When you’re Number One, you have to expect this reaction.

The last time Woods missed a cut was the 2006 U.S. Open.  Today marked only his sixth MC since turning pro.  With 2-1 odds having him winning at Turnberry, the whispers and speculation aren’t going to go away too quickly.

Woods wasn’t having a horrible day from the start, which might add to why his self-implosion was so, well, cataclysmic.  Woods was one-under par on the day, breaking even overall for the Tournament, but when he reached No. 8, the meltdown began.

Bogey, bogey, bogey, and so on.  Until he ended the day with a very subpar (pun) +5.  As other golfers finished their rounds, it became clear that Woods didn’t actually miss the cut by much–one stroke, as it turned out.

That’s the thing about sports.  Sometimes things aren’t falling your way, sometimes you’re off.  Sometimes Lady Fortune turns against you.  The shocking part about today and the fall of Tiger is the fact that the “sometimes” factors don’t usually apply to him.

Golf’s current prominence in the eye of the sports viewing collective has a lot to do with the general consistency and golfing prowess of Tiger Woods.  Some tune in only to watch him.

It’s incredible what he’s done for the sport, as well as what he’s done in terms of the sport, but he isn’t the game.  And sometimes the hero falls.

With no Tiger on the prowl, 59-year-old Tom Watson is atop the leaderboard along with relatively unknown American Steve Marino.  Marino was an alternate who got the call after Shingo Katayama withdrew because of injury.  Marino actually had to have his dad FedEx his passport in order to play in his first Open.

Watson was scheduled to be an analyst tomorrow, but he’s gone and fired himself by staying in the game.  He won his first Open Championship in 1975 and was supposedly playing for nostalgic purposes. Possibly vying for a win at Turnberry might be nostaligic for Watson, but it’s a hell of a storyline for those needing to fill the void that Tiger’s departure may have created.