Celebrate and remember Pat Burrell, a pillar of this site

Pat Burrell is retiring, which means this site now has to exist in a world without him. Ladies… without Burrell is like Seinfeld without Jerry, like a flower without petals, like Grady Sizemore without that one coffee cup. Just…totally naked, but in like a really sad way.

According to Google, the Ladies… have written about Pat Burrell 118 times. By no means is that the most we’ve ever covered a hottie of sport (paging Tom Brady, Ryan Lochte, etc.), but he is a part of the very fiber of our collective heart nonetheless.

In most of the rest of this post, we'll forget he has a face, too.

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Sweet Relief – Baysbawl Is Back

Today is not a national holiday… but it should be.

A day to get up to watch a ballgame being played halfway around the world, that starts at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. (5 a.m. for those of us here in the Central timezone.) A day to agonize over batting orders and rotations and scratching due to injury and stats and averages and fastballs that don’t zing fast enough and sliders that don’t kiss the paint close enough and whether to put on the shift and managing the middle relievers in the pen. A day to rejoice over the crack of the bat and the smell of the grass (err… turf) and the freshly chalked lines and the newly broken-in leather gloves and the announcement of the starting lineups and the sparkling clean new uniforms and pitching from the stretch and stealing that extra base and smashing the ball through the gap and careening into the outfield wall for a catch and laying the perfect curveball right over the plate.

It’s time for baseball.  And boy have we missed it.

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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Be Mine

People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.
~Rogers Hornsby

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that’s certainly true for baseball fans who have to endure the long and lonely offseason that stretches through the cold, unending months of winter. But those dark days are officially behind us now: it’s P&C day, y’all.

It’s positively poetic that pitchers and catchers report on Valentine’s Day, because quite a few of the Ladies have ongoing torrid affairs with baseball. And let’s be honest- we’d much rather be treated to the boys of summer than yet another lame box of candy. So we’ve put together a few love letters to baseball – little Valentine’s treats for our favorite teams and players, and the game itself… all after the jump.

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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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Hump Day Hottie: Johan Hedberg

It’s time to show some love for the backup – the #2 guy, the benchwarmer, the alternate plan, the man who sits at second on the depth chart. While the starters are out there getting all the love and the limelight, the backup rides the pine waiting for his time to shine. But Mr. Alternate deserves love, too.

Take for example the case of one Johan Hedberg – backup goaltender for the Atlanta Thrashers. The sexy Swede (I have always wanted to write that in a post) may play second fiddle to Kari Lehtonen on the ice, but he definitely wins in the looks competition. Johan was named one of the 50 Sexiest People in Atlanta – and where was Mr. Lehtonen on that list? Nowhere, that’s where.

Plus, his nickname is “Moose” (thanks to Pittsburgh- whose fans gently mocked him for wearing his old Manitoba Moose helmet when he got called to the Penguins at the last minute), which is awesome. And he is super sweet to the kid fans, too:

[A fan] asked Hedberg if he had a moment to take a photo with her daughter at a Thrashers practice. She got more than a picture. “He picked her up and talked to her and snuggled her,” said the fan, sporting a No. 1 Hedberg Thrashers jersey before a recent Thrashers home game. “That’s a big deal for a mom.”

That picture now has a permanent home in her purse and Hedberg cemented another lifelong supporter in a fan club that grows with each person he meets.

So you can have first crack at tending the goal, Kari – and Johan will just have to be satisfied with being sweet and handsome. And don’t look now- but Johan’s getting more playing time lately, so maybe he’ll take over #1 on the ice soon, too.

Lots more Johan loveliness after the jump…

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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