Back on the NHL Wagon

You win, Leafs. I mean, you didn’t last night, but in the battle for winning me back over? I’d say you win.

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Jake Gardiner made it fun to be a Leafs fan for a few minutes Monday night.

So remember last fall when I was pissed off with the NHL? And my utter apathy when it returned earlier this year? I truly managed to go an entire (shortened) season without watching a complete game. I ignored favourite hockey blogs. I occasionally snubbed Sportscentre. I shrugged when I heard the Leafs may possibly be in playoff contention. I watched people who swore up and down on social media that they’d never forgive the NHL forgive the NHL and tune in with days of the league’s return. I was teased by my friends. “You’ll be back,” they said. Continue reading

We’re This Many! The Ladies… Turn One.

One year ago, a group of female Deadspinners got together and built a website that would forever alter the sportswriting landscape. Some delusions of grandeur, but whatevs.

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Artwork, as always, by the one, the only, the incomparable Lady J-Money, who credits our success to the quality of our ingredients.

When we last saw our heroines, we were raising glasses to six months of this contraption. Since then….where to start? We got out of the house a little, and brought a few friends along for the ride. We stirred up a couple hornets’ nests and got our knees dirty. We launched a blatant homerism lovefest and let lust rule our fantasy drafts. We went undercover with the Mets and the Mitchell Report and got inside with the Tigers. We turned back time and had ourselves a total eclipse of the heart. We pledged our hearts to the World Series, and just about killed ourselves trying to get there, and just about GOT ourselves killed once we were…but that all worked out just fine, didn’t it? We got down and dirty with the history of Rock and championed the little guys. We came heroically close to covering every single bowl game. We said fond farewells to a fine crop of college boys, and found new targets for next year.

And the snacks. Oh, TSW’s snacky goodness. The legendary Buffalo Chicken Dip. The homemade corn dogs. The 9-Layer Ranchero Dip, K2 of snack foods. Pork with more pork. The genesis of our quiche obsession. The other Ladies got into the act, to the tune of Pudding Shots, Beer Bread, Cheese Straws, and a variety of meats and cheeses.

We celebrated (properly) the apex of football season (and then some), and marked the turning of the sports season. We got our gamble on. We gave thanks, wished on our stockings, spread holiday cheer and strove to be better fans. We found humor in the worst of times and stood up for boobs everywhere. We rassled and clawed and even screwed each other.

After the jump, some poetic and prosaic reflections on our year together.

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Hump Day Hottie: Novak Djokovic

Tennis is about the only sporting comfort I have to get me through the long dark offseason. Ain’t many gents take a finer picture than Novak Djokovic. And he beat Fedy darling in the Australian Open, but went on to win the damn thing, so I suppose that’s all right.

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A note for our tennis fans before we commence to ogling:  Interested in winning tickets to that Sampras-Federer matchup?
Kaleidoscope of djeliciousness after the djump:
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Pro Bowl LiveBlog

Holly and I are going to attempt to live-blog the Pro Bowl from a local watering hole this afternoon. You have the next five hours to plan accordingly; prepare snacks, finish the laundry, secure bail money.

I assume we’re totally going to gossip about Brady and Favre since they’re not going to be there.

And away we go:

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Poetry Slam: Fuck Tiki Barber, Over And Over.

barber_frolic.jpgAfter a year of playing FanHouse Poetry slam, I’ve come to expect many things from AOL’s comment threads. Racism. Misogyny. Homophobia. Dallas Cowboys threadjacks. But I never dreamed they would one day spread their wings, fling themselves out of the nest, and begin to fashion their own poetry. Yet there they were, when I came running shortly after time expired in the Super Bowl to see what madness awaited. I have excerpted some modest examples for your pleasure:

He boosted the signal then he looped it he looped it
(oh he came from New England oh he hooped it he hooped it)
then got caught kinda STUPID

cheaters,cheaters, pumkin eaters, taped our signals and still couldnt beat us…..

Yea Baby, Yea Baby, Patriots lose, Patriots lose.
Colts, Colts, Colts, LOL, LOL, LOL, YES, YES, YES, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Couldn’t you just burst from pride? (Or is that contempt?) They’re taking over. But what follows, I’m almost certain, is unintentional art. (Standard disclaimer: I did not make any of these up. Original spelling, grammar, and punctuation have been preserved. All [sic]s implied.)

I call it “Fuck Tiki Barber, Over and Over”.
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Super Bowl XLII: The Ladies React

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Holly: NOW IS THE SEASON OF MANNING.

TSW: Short of the Steelers winning SB XLII, this is best outcome. (And I am proud that three out of the four Ladies who made picks, picked the Giants.)

Clare: I cannot believe what I have just seen.

TSW: So glad it wasn’t a blow out. I cannot believe how many people said this game was going to be lame.

Andrea: WOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Best Super Bowl since Rams/Titans! Holy crap! WOOOOOOOO!!!! [falls over, asleep]

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Hot or Not: The 2008 Senior Bowl

Saturday was our last chance to lay eyes on many of our NCAA honeys before the draft. Who sizzled? Who fizzled? Who’ll be fielding calls from scouts, and who’ll be sitting at home crying with their hair in hot rollers (or, as Brady Quinn calls it, “Thursday”)?

HOT: Erik Ainge, QB, Tennessee.

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Our boy wasn’t even supposed to be at the game, but there he was—taking Brian Brohm’s roster slot and Offensive MVP honors, and handing off the winning TD to…
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Let’s hear it for the Underdogs: Why we’re cheering for the Giants and Chargers this weekend.

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Michael Cera in Superbad. Justin Long in Dodgeball. Seth Rogen in Knocked Up. We pull for these guys to get the girls, because who doesn’t love a little pluck and moxie in a man? After the jump, find out why Holly and J-Money have given their hearts to New York and San Diego for the duration of the playoffs.

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For 2008 I Resolve…

Ah, the first of the new year. It’s that great day to kiss your sweetie (or that really hot guy standing to your left) at midnight, watching the bowl games (or outdoor hockey), and to make a fresh start in your life.

Or something like that.

Yes, last week was that time to make a whole bunch of resolutions to yourself. I know, you’ve already resolved to lose weight and to stop drinking as much and finally start saving your money for a rainy day. Let’s be honest, you’re not going to do any of that. You would have already. How about making some logical resolutions this year? I will not hate the Yankees with a white hot fire. I will appreciate Alabama for its continued devotion to a dead coach. I won’t defecate in a cooler. All the things you know you can do.

If you’re at a loss as to what you should resolve this year, read the Ladies… 2008 resolutions for some ideas. I’m sure you’ll be able to adopt some of our ideas. And if not, good luck with that whole less drinking thing. Continue reading

RosezzzZZZzzz Bowl Wrapup: Pete Carroll without end, amen.

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Choose the form of the destructor.

49-17?? This game shouldn’t have even happened. No one wins. Not the Grandaddy Bowl, which takes a massive PR hit. Not Rashard Mendenhall, a consistently entertaining watch whose 155-yard game was overshadowed by his team taking it in the mouth for four quarters. Not Desmond Reed, whose endzone gymnastics should have been encouraged, not penalized, in the name of giving us something interesting to look at. Certainly not the fans of the game (entertaining though it was to watch the Trojans rack up 633 yards of offense, we will now be treated to another offseason of their media darlinghood..and I say that as a fan of USC).

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What’s not to love?

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Independence Bowl Poetry Slam: A lot of tongue and no cheek.

shreveport.jpg I jumped to cover the Independence Bowl based on the wide margin of hate available. Nowhere else in the 2007 postseason is a team that’s been such a large part of my life (Colorado and the MAJESTIC BUFFALO) facing a team I so loathe (Alabama, and the presence of Saban in Tuscaloosa is only exacerbating things). The prospect of a lovely pink soapbox from which to broadcast my everlasting disdain for the Crimson Tide was a delicious one. I had planned to award these guys some sort of medal.

And then I read Spencer Hall’s Sporting News column on the matchup. And he took (seriously, seriously mild) shots at Shreveport. And the people of this fine metropolis rose up, pitchforks in hand, to write their Congressperson ululate about it on the internet, which fixes everything, and that’s about where the trouble started. As one commenter put it,

The Independence bowl was only singled out because if you say POULAN WEEDEATER BOWL out loud, it’s kinda funny. What is certain, though, is that people in Shreveport are passionately proud of their city and their culture, and they are just a bit touchy. A bit. Touchy….

As an added bonus, several clever trolls figured out how to make LARGE!RED!LETTERS! in their comment boxes. It was positively FanHousian. And it was time to bring back the Poetry Slam.

Standard disclaimer: I swear, I did not make any of these up. Original spelling, grammar, and punctuation have been preserved. All [sic]s implied.

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San Diego County Credit Union (at least it’s not .com) Poinsettia Bowl

poinsettiabowl.jpgNavy’s tricky triple option work was no match for the solid play of Utah tonight. The Midshipmen fell to Utah 35-32 in the inaugural bowl of 2007-08. The first half wasn’t much to look at (I honestly chose to watch this game solely because of the potential for Holtz on-air dementia fun), but aside from this being the beginning of the end of life-giving games to sustain us through the winter (and spring…and summer….*gulp*), it’s not a good time to turn your back to the screen. I spent most the fourth quarter packing for Christmas break and missed four touchdowns.

A good six minutes of the halftime show was devoted to an “eye on the street” feature that they kept cutting back to, asking random middies to pronounce the name of their new head coach, Ken Niumatalolo. Results were predictably disacouraging, but seriously, gentlemen: Say Navy QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada’s name correctly twice in a row before you commence to too much snickering.

Wire photos of gridiron boys in mildly compromising clinches, after the jump. Welcome to the postseason, ducklings.

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Santa Baby, Hurry Down The Chimney Tonight

Just over a week left before Christmas and you’re still not sure what to get the sporty woman in your life?

Tired of at least four “diamonds for the journey” during every commercial break? Does your brain shut off the second you walk into the local mall? Does your wife grit her teeth every time she remembers the year you bought her a boom box for Christmas, which was returned on December 26th at 9 am?

We here at Ladies know how hard it can be to pick out the perfect gift, so we’ve made ours lists and checked them twice, and figured out which presents are naughty or nice for the female fans in your life.

AND IF THERE IS REALLY IS A SANTA CLAUS THAN HE CAN MAKE SOME OF OUR WISHES COME TRUE! Continue reading

The Men of the Mitchell Report

Ladies…is proud to introduce the one and only 2008 Men of the Mitchell Report Calendar: All ‘roids, all year ’round. This morning, we invite you to join us for exclusive previews along with excerpts from our liveblog of yesterday’s circus.

Roll call! What are we drinking, Ladies?

[10:27] Andrea: yeah, I gotta get my wine. I have some X Y Zin, heh heh
[10:28] TheStarterWife: I have some coffee
[10:28] TheStarterWife: but am eying the booze in the bar
[10:28] Texas Gal: I’m drinking Abita Christmas Ale
[10:28] TheStarterWife: or the beer in my fridge
[10:28] Holly: I have…water and Emergen-C. Sigh.
[10:28] Texas Gal: Louisiana swamp water beer = yum

Without further ado…I give you…Mr. January. U-S-A!!

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Pink Locker Room

What a PERFECT ending to the craziest college football season I can remember. The best comment I saw right when the game ended was “You just got WANNSTACHED!” Heh. I think I’ll let Clare do the talking on this one:

Clare: [jumps around living room like an autistic child] WoooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo! Light the golden lamps of victory! What? Pitt went 5-7 on the season? And 3-4 in the Big East? Oh. Uh….

WOOOOOOOOOOOOO WE WON WE BEAT WEST FUCKIN’ VIRGINIA WOOOOOOO!!!!!


Ed.’s note:  There is no Dana, only Zuul.

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Saturday Morning Hate Sex: The Hit Parade

And this’ll about do it for the 2007 season. (Was it good for you?) One day of conference championships and rivalry games, then that’s all, she wrote.

(Programming note: Five Ladies’ teams have wrapped their seasons. If you care to follow along with us, we’ll be glued to Tennessee vs. LSU on CBS at 4:00 Eastern, and Pitt vs. West Fuckin’ Virginia at 7:45 on ESPN.)

I know better than to try and wrap my head around the past three months. (I mean, my boys are about to play for the SEC Championship. The hell?) But there’ll be long months of analysis and head-scratching in the offseason, and we’ve still got games to play. So kick back, pour a drink, and enjoy a little afternoon delight with the finest of the season’s hate sex recipients…gentlemen we’d love to hit, in one fashion or another.

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Pink Locker Room

A couple of our Ladies got quite a scare this past weekend and the BCS is starting to…well…sort of shake out. Mizzou and West Virginia are looking poised to meet for the title, but they each have a game left and pesky little Ohio State is just waiting to swoop in like some crazed pageant runner-up should one of them stumble. There is also Georgia, ranked inexplicably at 4th despite having lost the SEC East to Tennessee. Huh. I have to say, in another month I may have to break out my buckskin Mountaineer costume because hell if I’m going to root for Mizzou (sorry, Tigers fans). Let’s check in with some Ladies’ action…

G-shumway: In the Battle of the Schools That Quite Possibly Have the Same Mascot, Wake Forest’s Demon Deacons defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 31-17. Wake finishes the season 8-4, tying a school record for second most wins in a season (last year’s team set the mark with 11 victories, including the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Brought to You In Part by Dr. & Mrs. Pepper) and almost guaranteeing an appearance in a bowl game, maybe even one that is televised. Wake RB Josh Adams ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the victory and my future first husband Riley Skinner (See me, Riley. See me.) threw two more TDs.

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Saturday Morning Hate Sex

I have a confession to make, for those of you who’ve stuck with this feature all this time. It’s been a source of much discussion, caused a couple of you gentlemen to inexplicably criticize my housekeeping, and it’s time to know the truth: That is not my bedroom, over there to your left. I Googled “unmade bed” the day I started this series and the rest is history. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. (That said, I do love the sheets, and I’d kill a man for those shelves.)

Home stretch, girls. And what a ride. If there’s one comfort we can take into bowl season, it’s that the number of upsets and disasters is such that no one’s humiliation remains front page news for long.

(If there’s a second comfort, it’s that we get pretty faces and forearms of boys marginally too young for us to ogle before soldiering on the following week.)

Lean with me, rock with me, jump with me:

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Pink Locker Room

First thing’s first:  my apologies to Mizzou and Oklahoma State fans out there.  Last week I forgot that just because the Big Ten is done doesn’t mean other conferences are and (obviously, now) the Big 12 Championship Game still hasn’t been determined.  Ooops!  Congrats to Kansas on remaining undefeated and a big “yikes!” to Oregon and Oklahoma.  Now let’s see how the Ladies’ teams fared….

HollyTennessee 25, Vanderbilt 24.  Sing along if you know the words:  You’re killing me, Vols.  I was roundly taunted for fearing this game; and spent most of it feeling ill that my dread was completely justified. Saturday was Senior Day.  Erik Ainge‘s last run through the T into Neyland.  I’ve loved and cheered him since he was a freshman, and he deserved better than what he got this year…but a win is a win, particularly in a conference that could end up with eleven bowl-eligible teams, and he’s soldiered on through a mad carousel of receivers and a host of injuries (enjoy the closeup of his mangled throwing hand!).  You left nothing on the field, Erik, and I couldn’t be prouder.

Two more games for certain…and Ainge deserves three.  He gave his all for Tennessee.  Let’s get him to Atlanta, boys.  Oh, and as for yesterday?  To borrow from my good buddy TCG borrowing from me:  Happy trails, assholes.  You’re still Vandy.

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Saturday Morning Hate Sex

Not a bad week for us here at Ladies, all told. To review:

Rutgers rolling over Army in primetime. Iowa holding on for bowl eligibility. Tennessee putting serious hurt on Arkansas at home. Texas rolling through a shootout with Texas Tech.

Those two losses, though? Ouchtown, population: us, and we never saw it coming.

No one could’ve predicted Clemson would field a viable football team this year…least of all Wake Forest, playing like I-AA imitations of their former ACC Champion selves. Sorry, Cousin J-Money–at least you had the big WFV win for solace.

Same for SA and Michigan…unlike Clemson they’ve been sleepwalking all season, but who knew Wisconsin would pick Week 11 to start playing football? (But who’ll remember this if they beat Ohio State?)

Let’s send our two lovely Ladies on their way to bigger and better things this week with some eminently beddable boys from the opposite sideline:

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Hit & Run: WHAT THE HELL ON EARTH.

Is Mercury in retrograde? Have the stars knocked back a few too many cosmos (I am so sorry) at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe? I swear, I leave the internets alone for FIVE HOURS, and look at what happens:

Quack Attack, off the tracks: Oregon 24, Arizona 34. Dennis Dixon is out of commission and Oregon is out of the national title game. I wouldn’t call myself a Pac-10 homer by a long shot, but I’ve been watching a lot of Duck football this year, Dixon in particular, and whatever your allegiances, you can’t argue they’re a hell of a lot of fun to watch. That said: Losing the linchpin of your entire offense is one thing, but as far as I know Dennis didn’t maim any of his own teammates on the way off the field. A defensive collapse of this magnitude against Arizona is pretty much unforgivable, though not unexpected in the larger picture of CFB 2K7: Year of The Hell?.

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Oh, Dennis. Your Crazy Eyes only make you more alluring.

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Pink Locker Room

These last few weekends of football should prove to be pretty interesting.  I cannot wait to see what shakes out of the LSU-Oregon-Oklahoma-Kansas-West Virginia group.  I am particularly excited, barring something weird happening at either Iowa State or Texas Tech, to see the Big 12 Championship game between Kansas and Oklahoma.  Let’s check in with our favorites Ladies’ teams….

HollyTennessee 34, Arkansas 13.  This is only the second complete game the Vols have played this season (aided and abetted by an inexplicably abysmal game on both sides of the ball for the Razorbacks), but it couldn’t have come at a better time. Arkansas superstar and would-be Heisman frontrunner Darren McFadden was held to 117 yards.  Sounds like a lot until you remember he hung 321 on South Carolina last week. Our defense is back (for only the second time this season) to their smashmouth selves, and if we win out (far from certain with Kentucky and a spoiler-happy Vanderbilt team on the horizon), we’ll be punching tickets to the SEC Championship game. Continue reading

Saturday Morning Hate Sex

The season is waning!  This year has simply flown by in a haze of ludicrous upsets and marquee comebacks.  And it finally feels like fall, even in southern California.  Perfect day to curl up with a good book, a glass of wine, and reflect on the changes of the past year chain one of your most attractive nemeses to the bed and commence to forgetting your worries.  Bit of a nail-biting weekend for us last week…of the seven Ladies’ teams playing, we had two three-point margins of victory (Texas and Pitt), a four-point win (Michigan), and a one-point loss (Wake). We were 5-2 on the week, and that’s something to celebrate, particularly in 2007, the Year of the What The Hell. It’s Saturday morning, though….time to go from nail bites to neck bites.

Welcome to the weekend, dear readers.  Let’s get it on….after the jump:

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Pink Locker Room

Another week of college football sees undefeated Boston College fall to Florida State, which I laughed pretty hard about. AZ State fell to Oregon, leaving Ohio State, Kansas and Hawaii as the only unbeaten teams left. Personally, I’d like to see the National Title game as some combination from Oregon, Oklahoma and LSU, but if Kansas and Ohio State stay undefeated…we could end up with the most horrible National Title game EV-ER. Manboobs McCupcakes versus Cheaty McSweatervest. A real barn-burner whenever those two teams get together. But let’s find out how the Ladies’ teams did… Continue reading