Thursday, September 29, 2005

« Is that a Septopus? »

By Matthew Cary

Today's news-worthy post was a little more difficult to find than the past few. In fact, I almost wrote about my surprise finding that Ball Park Franks now come in a resealable package.

After digging for a while, I found a few reports on a finding all the way from Ogasawara, Japan. According to CDNN - The Cyber Divers News Network, "Japanese zoologists have made the first recording of a live giant squid, one of the strangest and most elusive creatures in the world."

This was the first time that the biggest star in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was taped or even smiled and said cheese. "Given the problems of getting down to its home in the ocean depths, no-one had ever obtained pictures of a live one," reports CDNN.

CDNN described how the eight-metre specimen was captured on film when it lunged at a bait bag full of freshly mashed shrimp, succeeding only in getting itself impaled on the hook. For the next four hours, the squid tried to get itself off the hook as it had its picture taken every 30 seconds, gaining not only unprecedented pictures but also precious information about how the squid is able to propel itself. After a monstrous battle, the squid eventually freed itself but left behind a giant tentacle on the hook. When the limb was brought up to the surface, its huge suckers were still able to grip the boat deck and any fingers that touched them.

I guess we should all be prepared for a new Hollywood production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

(To read the rest of CDNN's report on this photo-op, click here.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

« TrimSpa v. Geezer »

By Suss
When/If John Roberts becomes Chief Justice of the United States, He will make a great impression with everyone when he first rules that Anna Nicole doesn't see a damn cent of that inheritance.

(Update: I still care a lot about baseball. I've just been swamped at work. Perhaps Friday night something will pop onto the site)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

« Now who is going to fight KAOS? »

By Matthew Cary

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, TV's Gilligan passed away. Nick at Night lost another legend on Sunday, Don Adams, who is best known as Maxwell Smart from the 60's TV show Get Smart, as well as the voice of Inspector Gadget.

According to an AP report, Adams died at age 82 of a lung infection late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His friend and former agent Bruce Tufeld stated the actor broke his hip a year ago and had been in ill health since.

Get Smart was a show that I never saw enough of, but I saw enough of it to say that it is still one of the funniest shows on TV. I don't think the show got all the credit it deserved. If you have ever heard anyone say "Sorry about that, Chief," odds are they watched Get Smart. But then again, any show created by Mel Brooks has to be funny.

Oh, and just so everyone is clear, I am not talking about the Get Smart that flopped in 1995, starring Andy Dick as the son of Maxwell Smart, Zach. Even though Don Adams was in this show as well, I do not credit the failure of this seven episode long series to him. Silly FOX. What were you thinking?

Don Adams also had a number of guest appearances on various TV shows, including Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and The Fall Guy, as well as being a regular on The Perry Como Show and the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo on the cartoon Underdog. He also voiced his own character as an exterminator on The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which puts him right up there with the great Dick Van Dyke, Joan Winters, sonny and Cher, davey Jones, and everyone's favorite landlord, Don Knotts.

(For a complete list of other shows Adams was in, click here, or to read more about his death, click here or here. Picture from

Monday, September 26, 2005

« Kelso Marries G.I. Jane »

By Matthew Cary

There have been many big news stories in the past few weeks, from hurricanes, to gas prices, to protests. But this morning I found a gem of a story. It didn't deal with politics or disasters or anything of that sort. Us Weekly reported that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore got married over the weekend.

The actor who is best known as the dumb kid on That 70's Show married his MILF girlfriend Saturday night. According to Us Weekly, the two were wed at Demi Moore's L.A. home. This wedding wasn't Demi's first. She has been married twice before.

Let's put this into perspective. Demi Moore is 42. Ashton Kutcher is 27. That is a 15 year difference. Not to mention he is only about 5 years older and she's 20 years older than your favorite writer. When Ashton was born, Demi was going on her first date. Demi was first married in 1980. Kutcher was about two years old at this time and probably wasn't potty trained yet. When her marriage ended in 1984, Ashton was probably wetting the bed. She then married Bruce Willis in 1987, and I'm betting the bed sheets were still wet. Her second wedding lasted much longer than her first, all the way until 2000, around the same time as when Ashton and his buddy Sean went on a kookie adventure in order to find a lost car.

I think this story would make a great made-for-TV movie. Of course the two lead roles would be played by newlyweds Ashton and Demi Moore-Willis-Kutcher. As far as casting for the guests at the wedding, they could have Bruce Willis play the supportive ex-husband with their three daughters; Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah. Also, the grooms reliable friend and TV sitcom co-star could be played by Wilmer Valderrama. For the bride's reliable friend and Hollywood hit movie co-star they could cast Lucy Liu. As a cameo appearance, one of the other guests could be Punky Brewster herself, Soleil Moon Frye.

This movie would be easy to produce since it would be an exact reinactment of what the wedding was really like.

I think the best part about Bruce and Demi's daughters being there is picturing them saying, "I always wanted a big brother." I just hope Demi was warned about the possiblity of waking up in a puddle.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

« Urb Your Enthusiasm: Meyer's coaching carousel from Bowling Green to Florida »

By Suss
Urban Meyer, on the front page of Saturday night

The University of Florida Gators football team, under the tutelage of their young head coach Urban Meyer, beat the No. 5 ranked Tennessee Volunteers 16-7 Saturday night.

It's hard to believe it, but it's 2005 and Urban Meyer, in his 50th game as a college football head coach, beat the first top-five team of his career.

Four short years ago he was beginning his head coaching career at a very laughable program in northwest Ohio. And I was starting college ...

Read the rest of this post on Blogcritics (I have lots of pretty pretty pictures)

Friday, September 16, 2005

« Hens are ... champions!? »

By Suss
With an 8-3 victory over Indy, sweeping the Indians and capturing the Governor's Cup for the first time in 38 years.

So much for my dismay over a non-contending Tigers team sweeping up all the good talent for the pros, leaving little behind. They apparently had enough hitting and pitching to survive the first round against Norfolk and to cruise through the finals.

I grew up with this team being bad. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the Tigers in future years.

Marcus Thames will be a force on the Tigers next year.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

« And to think that I saw it on TV last night »

By Matthew Cary
Often times when I get home from work, and even sometimes before work, and when I'm not doing anything at all, I channel surf. Last night was one of those nights.

As I was reading highlights about last nights Indians win over Oakland, I laughed out loud. Reading an article by AP Sports Writer Tom Withers, I was amazed by the wonderful use of adjectives in his description of the game. For example, his description of one of Clevelands five double plays:

"...a comical one in the ninth when rotund closer Bob Wickman tumbled over the
bag while attempting to catch the return throw at first. Wickman hit the ground,
bounced and blocked the throw with his body before alertly touching the base to
get Oakland's Dan Johnson, who had missed the base as he ran by."

Yes, Bob Wickman is rotund, and he does bounce when he falls.

Furthermore, he went on to describe the 21 minute game delay:

"The game was delayed for 21 minutes in the sixth when a computer system shut
down and caused several of the toothbrush-shaped light towers above Jacobs Field
to go dark."

Hey, Dick Jacobs. Paul Bunyan called and he wants to know why you stole his toothbrushes.

The only thing that I could think of that would make watching the highlights better would be Marv Albert and Frank Layden doing the commentary for it.

« Hens lead 1-0 »

By Suss
A 10-8 win over Indy.

Could the Fifth Third Fowl win the International League and break a long drought?

« Elimination Week 2 »

By Suss
I told ya this game was tough, especially when the 49ers, Dolphins, Lions, Buccaneers, Redskins and Cowboys -- none of whom went better than 6-10 in '04 -- all win in the first week.

But with a few last-minute entrants -- picking the Monday night game -- the field did better than .500, which, in the upset-fertile first week, is quite an accomplishment.

But the first week did claim some sports nuts. Bob A. Booey, Tan the Man and I exited quickly by picking Minnesota, Baltimore and St. Louis, respectively.


Temple - Arizona (Lost to NY Giants 42-19)
visualsimplicity - Arizona (Lost to NY Giants 42-19)
Suss - St. Louis (Lost to San Francisco 28-25)
Bob A. Booey - Minnesota (Lost to Tampa Bay 24-13)
S. Rod - Carolina (Lost to New Orleans 23-20)
Dave - Carolina (Lost to New Orleans 23-20)
Winefolk - Seattle (Lost to Jacksonville 26-14)
Bennett - Chicago (Lost to Washington 9-7)
Tan the Man - Baltimore (Lost to Indianapolis 24-7)

Mark Sahm - Kansas City (Beat NY Jets 27-7)
Tito Pampling - Buffalo (Beat Houston 22-7)
Joel Hammond - Cincinnati (Beat Cleveland 27-13)
Berlin - New England (Beat Oakland 30-20)
Zach Baker - New England (Beat Oakland 30-20)
RJ - Washington (Beat Chicago 9-7)
Matt Cary - Washington (Beat Chicago 9-7)
Chelsea - Indianapolis (Beat Baltimore 24-7)
El Bicho - Atlanta (Beat Philadelphia 14-10)
Chunk51 - Atlanta (Beat Philadelphia 14-10)

Week 2 games

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST
Baltimore (0-1) at Tennessee (0-1)
Pittsburgh (1-0) at Houston (0-1)
New England (1-0) at Carolina (0-1)
Jacksonville (1-0) at Indianapolis (1-0)
Buffalo (0-1) at Tampa Bay (1-0)
San Francisco (1-0) at Philadelphia (0-1)
Minnesota (0-1) at Cincinnati (1-0)
Detroit (1-0) at Chicago (0-1)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST
St. Louis (0-1) at Arizona (0-1)
Atlanta (1-0) at Seattle (0-1)

Sunday, 4:15 p.m. EST
Miami (1-0) at NY Jets (0-1)
San Diego (0-1) at Denver (0-1)
Cleveland (0-1) at Green Bay (0-1)

Sunday, 8:30 p.m. EST
Kansas City (1-0) at Oakland (0-1)

Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST
NY Giants (1-0) at New Orleans (1-0) [in New York]

Monday, 9 p.m. EST
Washington (1-0) at Dallas (1-0)

Those still in it, make your Week 2 pick in the comment or e-mail me.

And if you need a refresher (or are just tuning in), view the initial rules.

Cross-posted on Blogcritics

Friday, September 09, 2005

« A sexy sextuplet of series »

By Suss
This weekend features several head-to-head teams vying for position in the September race for the postseason. I won't use the "six pack" metaphor, as it is very overused, but there are six great series to watch which can change the shape of the divisional and wild card races.

6. Padres at Dodgers. While the NL West is loaded with OK-at-best teams, San Diego is beginning to pull away from the pack, and the Dodgers are tied for second place, 7 games back along with San Francisco. If San Diego can go into Chavez Ravine and leave with three wins, they may put this division out of reach of any of the other teams to catch them again.

5. Twins at Indians. This Cleveland team is hot. Hot, hot, hot. They went into Detroit and didn't meet much resistance from their young Central opponent. They swept the team in a four game series and took the Wild Card lead from the Yankees. Now they come back home to Cleveland and host Minnesota, who is hanging on for dear life. The Twins have their back to the corner with a five-and-a-half game deficit in the Wild Card, and the Tribe should not take them lightly, especially because they are 7-9 against the Twinkies this year.

4. Braves at Nationals. After Washington's improbable start, they came back down to Earth in August as just another good NL East team, but after leveling off in late August as a competitor, they dropped three straight to division foe Florida. They are now four games back in the Wild Card and need a good series against the Braves, who are pulling away in the East with a six-game lead over Florida.

3. Marlins at Phillies. The other sexy NL East match-up features the second- and third-place teams who are beginning to hope only for the Wild Card. Florida is a half-game behind WC-leading Houston and Philly is two-and-a-half back. With Houston's easy schedule, both of these teams have to play to win and not hope for losses on the other side.

2. Angels at White Sox. This the only series that features two division leaders. Chicago has the best overall record in the AL with a sizable lead on Cleveland in the Central division. But they are 5 games ahead of Boston for the overall lead, and they should be looking ahead to not only claiming home field advantage throughout the playoffs (AL gets home-advantage in the World Series) but also setting up their rotation for the first round. Meanwhile, the Angels are only a game ahead of Oakland (who visit the Rangers) and cannot rely on the Wild Card to be there in case they fall to second in the West.

1. Red Sox at Yankees. It doesn't matter who else is playing. This is the marquee series. The Yankees are four games behind Boston and a half game behind Cleveland, who swept Detroit in a four-game series, for the Wild Card. If this series doesn't make you salivate, then hopefully you are holding out for the next time they play together, which is the final series of the season.

Also posted on

Thursday, September 08, 2005

« First Hens' playoff win in 25 years »

By Suss
When I bitch about the team having no offense, at least they have Marcus Thames.

Mud Hens beat Tides 6-5.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

« We're all just beach sand in the wind. »

By Matthew Cary

Last Friday, TV lost an icon. The man who was known as Bob Denver to some, and Gilligan to most, passed away due to complications of cancer treatment. For a show that only ran 4 years, from 1964-1967, Gilligan's Island is a fan favorite on channels like Nick at Nite and TV Land.

Little buddy, we will miss you.

For more information, check out this article from USA Today.

Monday, September 05, 2005

« NFL Elimination Game »

By Suss
You think you're so hot with football predictions? Now you can prove it to the world.
How "NFL Elimination" works:
  • Each week, pick a team you think will win by posting a comment.
  • If you're wrong, you are OUT.
  • You can only pick each team once in the season. So you can pick the Patriots to win in Week 1, but you can't pick them for the rest of the season!
  • Multiple people are allowed to pick the same team.
  • Picks must be made prior to the game's start. If you forget to make a pick on week, you are OUT.
  • I will keep track of which teams you have already picked. You can change your pick only if both your old pick and new pick have yet to begin.
How hard is this game?

Last year five of us tried this, and only one of us made it past Week 2, and that man went down in Week 4. So this game may come down to who makes it the furthest. Pat yourself on the back if you can hit past the halfway mark (Week 9.)

Week 1 NFL games (all times Eastern. Make picks for that game prior to this time):

Thursday, Sept. 8, 9 p.m.:
Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots
Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m.:
Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins
Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs
Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, Sept. 11, 4:15 p.m.:
Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, Sept. 11, 8:30 p.m.:
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Monday, Sept. 12, 9 p.m.:
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
Make your picks in the comments!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

« Back to school means back to football »

By Matthew Cary

Waking up early, missing the bus because you didn't do the previously mentioned action, having your lunch money stolen by some guy threatening to give you a swirly, and then realizing you forgot to do your homework for half your classes. High school can be rough times. Is there anything to look forward to during "back to school" time?

When the end of the week rolls around, it doesn't matter how bad your week went or how much money you lost to avoid getting your head shoved in a toilet, there is always one night where you can look up and see the light. Friday night.

“[the game] was still the place to be... like the bar or dance club before you get to college.”

It's the one day of the week where half the student population gets together, if not to watch the game, then to walk around the stadium because of the simple fact that they are not at home. But just as my esteemed colleague, Matt Sussman, showed how the Little League World Series is baseball in the purist form, the same can also be said when describing High School Football.

For four years, I went to every one of my high schools football games. I was there to support my home team, win or lose. Being on the field is the closest you could get to the game, and I was there. I was in the band. (Hold back your insults; I was in the drum line. I don't see a movie named after anything you were a part of.)

Regardless of the fact that I only saw about five minutes of the actual game every week, the high school football game was still the place to be Friday nights. It's like the bar or dance club before you get to college.

High School football still has all the same thrills as the NFL. Plus, you don't have to pay at least $40 to see a preseason game from the upper deck. Instead you can pay a few dollars to sit on the unforgiving metal bleachers with nothing more than the pants you came in and possibly that foam pad with your schools logo on it between you and the steel you're sitting on.

Enjoy the games while you can, however, because once you graduate highschool, you will more than likely only come back and see one more game. You will do as most of the rest of the graduates do and come back for the first home game of the season after you left. That is usually when you realize that going to the high school games lost their luster and you find it less important. Plus, you and your friends have gone to college now. It's time to root for your college football team. There are certain occasions that you may wish to get up and go see your team play again, and that's if they make the state playoffs. Two years ago, I went to a playoff game with Mr. Sussman. It was a roommate rivalry game. His high school played my high school, and won. But that rivalry situation made the game even better.

Rivalry games are another aspect of high school football that makes it worth watching. Every team has at least one rival team in it's conference. Usually, it is the best two or three teams in the conference that are rivals. I remember back home, the conference title would either go to Brunswick or Strongsville. These two teams have a great rivalry, and the fact that this game is usually the last game of the season adds to the anticipation. Plus, this game is usually played around Halloween, which just added some excitement to the atmosphere. The rivalry between Medina and Brunswick is an interesting one because Medina's head coach was Brunswicks previous head coach, and until 2003, was Brunswicks winningest coach in school history.

But if you are like me, then you like to keep track of how your high school football team is doing every year. For example, I know my Brunswick Blue Devils are 2-0 with wins over Cleveland Heights and Lakewood, and are rated 11th around the city of Cleveland.

But what's the point of following your teams record you may ask. You never hear about these kids after high school. This may be true, but you never know if or when someone from your school could be a Myron Rolle or Matthew Stafford.

Most of your gridiron heroes that you saw in the hallways between classes won't become more than just that. However, their imressive records live on in record books like the Ohio High School Athletic Association's football record book. See if your state has one. It's worth checking out, remembering the glory days of your youth, maybe even sitting there with your kids and saying "I was there for that," and leaving out the parts where you had your lunch money stolen.

Friday, September 02, 2005

« A closer look at each team's ... closer (AL) »

By Suss
Cleveland Indians. It's difficult to find a better bullpen -- top to bottom -- outside Cuyahoga County. Bob Wickman is the definitive anchor, saving 35 of 40. Indeed, he does have five blown saves, four of which have been losses, and his ability to save "the big one" has been questioned. His save count may be inflated because his bullpen is so good, he gets more opportunities. Setting him up is either Arthur Rhodes or David Riske. Both of them could close if needed. Beyond them are Matt Miller, Bob Howry, Rafael Betancourt, and lefty Scott Sauerbeck. Other teams may have a more dominant Front Three, but try and find seven legitimate relievers on the same roster. You may only find them here.

Los Angeles Angels. While the Indians may have the deepest, their Front Three of Riske/Rhodes/Wickman pales next to Brendan Donnelly/Scot Shields/Francisco Rodriguez. This trio is a true 7th-8th-9th inning combo. Esteban Yan, Jake Woods and Joel Peralta have been OK as the bullpen's backend, but the real question is the innings this bullpen has logged so far. Among AL relivers, Donnelly leads in innings pitched (over 77 in 62 games) total decisions (8-9 record) and is second in strikeouts (80). This man could burn out quickly in the playoffs. Now you have yourself a two-man bullpen, and -- like the Yankees -- that's not good enough.

Oakland A's. Proof that the A's bullpen is new age: their lone all star was setup man Justin Duchscherer. He's done a bit of everything: 6 wins, 5 saves, 8 holds. And that 1.77 ERA and 1.01 WHIP are just as attractive. But closer Huston Street is making a late, great case for Rookie of the Year by posting a 1.23 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 18/22 saves. The pen is rounded out by inconsistent lefty Ricardo Rincon and veterans Keiichi Yabu, Kiko Calero and journeyman Jay Witasick. The collective ERA (3.41) is a direct result of Duchscherer and Street's tiny ERA's and high inning counts, but since the A's have a loaded starting rotation, they may not need any more bullpen help (although who never has enough relievers!) and can kick their #5 starter -- possibly Kirk Saarloos -- into the pen for the playoffs.

New York Yankees. Do I really need to explain how Mariano Rivera will become the first first-ballot Hall of Fame closer? Well, I won't, but I will iterate that he's having yet another Mariano Rivera season. 1.42 ERA. 32 saves. 0.86 WHIP. Just amazing numbers. His set-up man is Tom "Quit calling me Flash" Gordon, whose 2.59 ERA and 27 holds protect the lead for Rivera to cut down the 9th with his cutter. Beyond Gordon and Rivera, the 'pen is a patchwork quilt. After cutting ties with aging pitchers Paul Quantrill, Mike Stanton and Buddy Groom, the rest of their relief features Tanyon Sturtze and Felix Rodriguez. They also signed the recently-released Alan Embree from the Red Sox. The pitching in general is hodge-podge for the Yankees, and with anchors in the pitching staff like Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina, Gordon and Rivera will muster enough clutch performances to keep them in this tight race.

Boston Red Sox. After the Bruce Springsteen concert in Fenway Park, the groundscrew took so long to repair the centerfield grass that the upcoming game was delayed. But becaues of the bullpen, they may want to mow the word "HELP" back in the outfield. The BoSox bullpen needs help. After Keith Foulke and his 6.23 ERA went down from injury, Alan Embree became the closer, until he was let go from the team. Then Curt Schilling came back from injury and experimented as the closer, which was slightly less hit-or-miss than Foulke. Now that Schilling is back in the rotation, the reliable righty Mike Timlin has asserted himself as the closer, whose 1.88 ERA is a breath of fresh air for Boston. The rest of the hodgepodge staff includes lefty specialist Mike Myers, finesseman Jeremi Gonzalez and submarine thrower Chad Bradford. They've also gone through John Halama, Matt Mantei and Mike Remlinger like water (although Mantei is still on the roster, just injured) and currently have Matt Perisho and Chad Harville in their bullpen, although neither has contributed thus far. Suffice to say, the Red Sox bullpen has been the most volatile, which is not a good descriptor to have for a staff who is supposed to keep a game close.

Chicago White Sox. The kings of the AL prove why they're on top. They've got a very deep bullpen. After Shingo Takatsu faltered early, they released him and found a gem in Dustin Hermanson (1.68 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 32/35 saves) and an unheralded supporting cast in Damaso Marte, Neal Cotts, Cliff Politte, Bobby Jenks and Luis Vizcaino. Their 3.12 cumulative ERA ranks third in the AL behind Cleveland and Minnesota.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

« "Tonight what heights we'll hit..." »

By Matthew Cary

Greetings readers. As you may already know, I have been brought in as The Futon Reports second writer. I seem to have made a good impression on Mr. Sussman with my writing abilities, my knowledge of baseball and my ability to sound like your grandfather telling a "When I was boy" story.

However, that is not all you should expect to see in my entries on TFR since I hope to entertain all of you with my thoughts on what's hot in the news these day's, whether it's sports and leisure, entertainment, TV and movies, or any other subject you may find in a deck of Trivial Pursuit cards.

With that said,
"...On with the show, this is it."

« September callups »

By Suss
On September 1, the MLB teams expand their rosters from 25 to 40. In spirit of the final month of the baseball season, the Futon Report is expanding its roster from 1 to 2.

Matthew Cary has been promoted from comment writer to staff writer. If he does a good job, he'll earn a spot on next year's roster.

Welcome him and his text.