IT LIVES (Bon Jovi-less, and Distinctly Lacking Grudens)

16 02 2010

Perhaps you’ve noticed a subtle buzz around the water cooler; there’s a spring in your step, the source of which you can’t quite identify. The sun shines a little brighter, and strangers smile at each other in the street.

This is probably because olympic curling starts today in Vancouver.

Also, hey: the AFL is back! We don’t even have to call it Arena Football One (1) anymore! According to sources (a profootballtalk.com post forwarded to us at least twice), the old nomenclature was used on a conference call from the league. WOOOO. AIN’T NOTHIN’ STOPPING US NOW!

Albany, not part of the league, don't worry

Rising! Like a phoenix! Or a Firebird! Whatever!

We were going to wait until this clusterfuckery ended, and there were some actual games to be played, or data to be massaged, or characters to be assassinated, but whatever. There was a conference call! Kosar and Ditka are back! It’s a war! Indoors! On the floor! Petit four! Esprit de corps!

Who’s involved?

South Division: Alabama (Huntsville – space camp!) Vipers, Jacksonville Sharks (Al Pacino-coached), Orlando Predators (Now with Zero Grudens),  Tampa Bay Storm (Brett Dietz!)

Southwest Division: Bossier-Shreveport (LA) Battle Wings (served with a side of bleu cheese dressing), Dallas Vigilantes (Dr. Dolezel bought the name Desperado for his own perpetual use, thank you), Oklahoma City Yard Dogz (I will never use this name), Tulsa Talons (formerly the Pittsburgh Phlanges)

Midwest Division: Chicago Rush (Wooo! We’re getting the band back together!), Cleveland Gladiators (Wooo? We’re getting the band back together?), Iowa Barnstormers (Look, it’s not like Kurt Warner’s doing anything), Milwaukee Iron (Wooo. We’re getting the band back “together.” With Ringo’s kid playing the drums.)

West Division: Arizona Rattlers (I wonder if the money-back guarantee’s still good), Spokane Shock (more like shocked to find themselves in Spokane, am I right? Oh, let’s just get through this), Utah Blaze (who are currently holding open tryouts, and that’s really the only news of use on arenafootballone.com)

Conspicuous by their absence: Jaws/Bon Jovi-owned Philadelphia Soul, only the current Arena Bowl Champions; Grudens; ESPN (Hooray? The NFL Network?); San Jose Sabercats and ol’ LazerQBVision; actual useful data.

On the other hand: football games, starting April 10. -ish.





Bwah?

25 05 2008

Guh? Utah 51, Chicago 48?

P.S. That’s why you don’t cut your veteran all-star kicker 15 minutes into the season, idiot. It’s bad juju.





The Utah Blaze – playoff contenders?

22 05 2008

I CAN HAZ WINN PLZ KTHNXBAI

WR Aaron Boone stares into the sky, where The Limit is

If you told us last week that the Utah Blaze, then at 2-9, were still looking to the playoffs, that is, the 2008 playoffs, I’d tell you the Utah Blaze were aptly named. Apparently, Danny White has suffered brain hemorrhages from the certain-repeat smashings of his own skull against the arena wall in frustration over this season:

Having put together back-to-back wins after a miserable 0-9 start to the season, the Utah Blaze truly have — believe it or not — put themselves back into the Arena Football League’s playoff chase… after two wins in a row, Blaze coach Danny White and Co. sound confident things can be different this time around.

“Morale is good, and it gets better with each win,” said White.

…Utah, meanwhile, doesn’t even necessarily have to win all of its last five games to make the playoffs. White believes three more wins — for five total — could be enough.”

Aside from believing the Blaze will have a shot at the playoffs with three wins out of their next four (Chicago, Grand Rapids, LA, and Arizona), Coach White also believes in The Secret, Santa Claus, and the presence of WMDs in Iraq.

Wait, who are their last four games against? Maybe it won’t be enough for the playoffs, but 5-11 doesn’t actually seem out of the question. If White believes in The Secret, all he has to do is wish!





Holy Mother of God, Utah Wins! Philly Loses! (Also, MN(A)F Preview)

5 05 2008

Ah, yes, the low-hanging fruit of posting this Far Side picture. In this allegory, Utah’s the door, by the way.

Holy flaming dog-poop! Utah won their pillow fight with Kansas City for their first victory of the season! Success and joy abound, for Coach/GM/Incompetent Buffoon Danny White’s urge to kill is subsiding! I could cover this in the Weekend in Review that tends to go up on Wednesday-or-not-at-all-sorry-about-that, but screw it. 1-9, baby! No zeroes here! All right! Let’s you, me, and our 12,000 friends celebrate.

Wait – 12,208 people saw this game? For real? An 0-9 Utah draws 12,000? What were they giving away, gold bullion? Was it “Full price ticket for the first wife, all extra wives are free” night? (Ah, yes, polygyny jokes in re: Utah. Will you never get old?*)

On the other hand… the completely mysterious Cleveland Gladiators managed to capitalize on smashing Matt D’Orazio’s bones to a fine powder, forcing a somewhat-rusty Tony Graziani into the game. Cleveland… controlled the clock? I mean, it was a relatively low-scoring affair, and the Gladiators got four rushing touchdowns out of Marlon, excuse me, Marlion Jackson, so… presumably… I seriously have no idea what to make of Cleveland. I have to presume that Bernie Kosar now just wears a cape and a zorro mask and hides in shadows, leaping out at unsuspecting owners.

[Ominous voice] No team remains unbeaten. No team remains winless. [/Ominous voice]

As for tonight’s tilt in Tampa between the semi-mighty Chicago Rush and the mostly-spastic Tampa Bay Storm, well, let’s just say our loyalties are divided. On the one hand, a human being who’s been nice to us, which allows us to overlook the fact that it seems that he’s on his back a distressing amount of the time and while he gets his stats, there hasn’t been as much, you know, winning as one might like. On the other hand: blatant homerism! WOO! Our city rocks the hardest! We have deep dish pizza and beef sandwiches and HOLY SHIT: MARIO’S ITALIAN LEMONADE OPENED FOR THE SUMMER LAST WEEK.

[The sound of a chair being flipped over, doors slam, minutes pass]

Where was I? Oh, yes: torn between whatever the opposite of a rock and a hard place is. Here’s the analysis: Tampa Bay hasn’t done well against defensive pressure, which is the only thing Chicago’s consistently shown. If Brett Dietz, the Finnish Flash, can escape from the Rush D, they’ve got a puncher’s chance. Michna’s a good kid, but he doesn’t quite have ice water in the veins yet. You know when you turn on the tap to “cold,” and you run your hand under the stream and say to yourself, “Well, I could drink that, or I could see if there’s anything left in the Brita,” but it’s colder than tepid? That’s what Michna has. Chicago has the defensive edge, and they’re even on offense.

My theory? Chicago pulls out a squeaker, but Tampa Bay gets some sort of moral victory. OR, if the Storm do pull this one out, expect them to go on a second-half run, a la last season.





Reader Suggestion Theater: Things for Utah’s Mascot to do

25 03 2008

this is probably a bad idea

Chief of the Utah Blaze is challenging YOU, dwindling Utah Blaze fans, to challenge HIM to entertain YOU during what could be the Blaze’s fifth-straight LOSS versus Georgia this Saturday, and per his page, the front office doesn’t want to see him lit on fire unless you really REALLY want it.

Our ideas thus far:

  • Attempt the drop-kick-field-goal …um, while jumping off a trampoline
  • Boxing match with giant fire hydrant
  • Showing the defense how to stop a third or fourth down conversion
  • Any of the above with something on fire

Leave your suggestions in the comments – if you’re so inclined, suggest them directly to the man dog himself here.





Utah Blaze Totally Don’t Freak Out At All, Cut Videtich

6 03 2008

Nobody else… ever… did this for the Blaze. (Silent weeping)

DID YOU KNOW: The Utah Blaze have only had one kicker ever?

DID YOU KNOW: Steve Videtich only needed one field goal to tie the record for career field goals made? AND that he already holds the record for most extra points with more than 1,000?

DID YOU KNOW: That he missed a 36-yard field goal and an extra point that would’ve defeated the (possibly) lowly Arizona Rattlers this past weekend?

DID YOU KNOW: The Utah Blaze reacted like somebody had failed to provide them with a pony for their 16th birthday party, and released the shit out of Videtich today?

DID YOU KNOW: That I made a LOLKicker for poor Steve that made me feel so bad, I decided not to run it?

He’ll probably get picked up by someone else, and we’ll have a good subplot of the Phoenix variety. I hope. But be warned, Joe Germaine and the rest of the Utah Blaze players I can’t think of right now: Coach Danny White is running this ship like Darth Vader ran the search for the Millennium Falcon:

Chokes To Death::

Okay, I’ll run the one that made me sad, after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »





What On Earth Can We Expect: The Utah Blaze

14 02 2008

the angles tell Joseph Smith he will find the plans for an indoor football league buried in the forest

Joseph Smith is visited by angels, who foretell of skinny field goals with nets

Facts:

  • American Conference, Western Mitsubishi Division 
  • The potency of the Blaze’s offense is perfectly counteracted by the impotency of the Blaze’s defense (3rd to last in 2007)
  • Finished 8-8 in 2007, lost in wild card round to Los Angeles
  • 3rd string rookie QB Royal Gill is not a magical fish king
  • Northwestern alum DL Dwayne Missouri is ready to bring the pain, as well as mom’s cookies, to Blaze

A paragraph about upcoming Horror/Delight:

Give it to the Blaze, they’re only in the third season and looking for their third straight playoff appearance. Let’s just ignore the fact that ten teams make it to the playoffs each year, fact of the matter is that Joe Germaine leads one hell of an explosive offense, and with new rules freeing up the jack linebacker and the clutch addition of Missouri to the D line, Utah could be the whole package this season. Let’s ignore the fact that they don’t currently have a kicker on their roster, as Blaze veteran Steve Videtich refused to report to camp.

Bullet Points About People:

  • We still hold firm in our belief Joe Germaine’s face looks like a microwaved Marshmallow Peep.
  • Defensive Coordinator Hunkie Cooper is not a Slavic immigrant, but does work well with his hands
  • You’re invited to challenge their mascot, Chief, to perform various feats throughout the season. Yes, we will abuse this feature of the Blaze website frequently. Yes, we encourage you to send us ideas you’re submitting as well. Yes, we think this feature is a delightfully horrible idea.

The Good:

Ohio State quarterbacks. Northwestern defensive lineman. Fire.

The Bad:

Defense. Pyromaniacs. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Completely Arbitrary Prediction:

Blaze finish regular season 10-6, lose in first round of playoffs to wild card team (I dunno, Cleveland?). Chief is sent to farm where he can run around all day long.