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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Lawyers, Guns, and Money – Hit and Run

I don’t get a chances to talk about the NBA. At least not on a daily basis. First off, I am surrounded by insufferable Laker fans. Are all Laker fans insufferable? Doubtful, but tolerable ones never seem to cross my path. Secondly, my good friend – as I have mentioned a couple of times in the past – is a die-hard Cavs fan. And while we have no few problems managing our Steelers-Browns relationship, our Pistons-Cavs rivalry is never spoken of lest we have a repeat of the 2005 March of the Penguins blow-up or the 2004 Kyoto Protocol /Vivid Girls smackdown.

So please excuse me while I take this moment to yell, “Nine in a row! Nine in a row! The Piston’s come back in the fourth quarter to win nine in a row!”

Don’t Rasheed and Tyronn look cute hugging? Like two puppies on a valentine.

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Steelers Stick With Grass (And you thought the ProBowl was the end of football)

The Steelers today confirmed a Post-Gazette report three days ago that they will stick with “natural grass” at Heinz Field next season.

“The majority of our players have told us that they prefer natural grass to any artificial surface,” said club president Art Rooney II in a statement today, “and grass is also the preference of our coaches and athletic staff. We also discussed this with the University of Pittsburgh officials to make sure everyone is comfortable moving forward.” – Post Gazette 2/11/08

Awesome. I hope it rains for all of the following home games: Giants, Cowboys, Colts, Chargers, Browns, Bengals, and Ravens. (We can give the Texans a pass.) Bring on the punts that stick in the mud!

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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Joe Theismann Has Snack Recommendations (Maybe for your ProBowl Party?)

This is from last week, but as far as I am concerned throwing a good ProBowl party is just as important as hosting a Super Bowl bash. (i.e. Eating the leftover bean dip and finally kicking the second keg so you can get your deposit back.)

Starting around 2:52 of this video you can see the light in Joe Theismann’s eyes die just a little (some may argue that he perks up at this segment) when it comes to snack recommendations for a Super Bowl party. I am sure that Town House’s Flipsides will taste just as great while watching Chad Johnson finally snap and kill a reporter during halftime.

Shhh…

Yeah, totally slacking today. Went to the drinks gathering after Will Leitch’s book (which I missed due to being in a small car accident) signing last night.

Had a good time catching up with the Lion in Oil crew, Larry from Larry Brown Sports, and the gentleman from You’ve Been Blinded, who should always been remembered for his genius photo from the hot blogger bracket.

Thanks to Nacho for putting the event together.  If I can figure out how to get pictures out of the TheStarterBoyfriend’s phone, I’ll post the pictures of Will playing Guitar Hero.

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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Friday Football Foodie – Super Bowl Spread

We made it. Four weeks of pre-season. (Five if you count the Hall of Fame game.) 17 weeks of the regular season. Four weeks of play offs.

Now, it has become fashionable to consider the Super Bowl almost down-right irrelevant. Too much hype. Too much of a spectacle. Too much Ryan Seacrest. For sports tourists.

Bullshit is what I say.

If this game did not matter, it would not hurt that my team is not in it. If this game did not matter then why have I been sucked in to watching pretty much every rerun on the NFL Network the last two weeks of previous playoffs and Super Bowls. If this game did not matter, then why did we all bother to watch the last 26 weeks of play?

Being a football fan and not caring about the last game of the season would be like watching Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi and stopping the film when Han and Leia are captured on Endor, the Rebel fleet is trapped, and Luke has yet to confront Darth Vader.

It is leaving Woodstock before Jimi Hendrix plays.

Why do I bring this up? 1) I believe the spectacle of pro-football week after week is what makes it special. 2) You don’t have to be over-exposed to the hype if you don’t want to be. It is not that hard to avoid sports coverage if you choose to do so. 3) I really have no good way of wrapping up the Football Foodie for the season, and when I am tired am prone to hyperbole.

So how about a Friday Football Foodie retrospective for the best of the best. Sure fire hits if your a fan, a fanatic, or just a tourist.

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Finally, The Puppy Bowl is going to be in HD

It’s true. This year’s Puppy Bowl IV will be broadcast in glorious high-definition. And to help you prepare for your Puppy Bowl party planning, the nice people at Animal Planet have some tips on decorations, activites, and snacks (both human and canine) to ensure you have the yip-yappiest house on the block come game time.

I hear your snickering out there. You think dogs and football don’t mix.

You are wrong. Completely wrong. The world is full of dogs who’s owners love football and love their pets so much, they cannot help but combine the two. Let’s take a look.

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How Not to Throw A Superbowl Party

(Ed. note – I passed out last night after a post-op Vicodin, leaving open my laptop with the framework of this post up. TheStarterboyfriend, not realizing when I am asleep he’s allowed to clock out from his nursing duties, jumped in with the funny commentary. Thanks TSB! You’re like a magical, 6’3, spinning-gold-from-straw elf!)

‘Tis the time of year for everyone around you to suddenly start caring about football. Where even the casual observer (“Hey! Wasn’t there a Manning in a Superbowl just a couple years ago? What a coincidence!”) becomes a veritable Bob Costas-like conflagration of football idioms and statistics. And somehow, some way you wind up partying with these people, listening to them espouse moronic sports anecdotes, figuring you can suck it up for a few hours because, hey, that 60″ LCD HD TV is totally worth it.

But this year, more so than in the Bowls of yesteryear, we here at Ladies… are telling you now– BEWARE!
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8 WEEKS?!?!? 8 WEEKS?!?!!!! Sid’s out 8 weeks!!!!!

I may be high off of Tylenol 3, morphine, and subsisting on apple juice for the past five days, but the news that Sidney’s high-ankle sprain from Friday’s game is going to force Crosby to miss the next six to eight weeks has managed to pierce through the haze of drugs and glucose and has caused me to just ache.

This is the first time our little superstar has been hurt, and my urge to twirl him in bubble wrap and Band-Aids is overwhelming.  Maybe retro-fit the boards with something softer, like cotton candy from the nice old man on the main concourse or penguin plushies from Penstation.   Perhaps stop by Casa Lemieux with some soup, cookies, Yahtzee, and the box set of Futurama to help keep his mind off the pain.

It’s already helping me.  Immensely.

The Race is On: Which Blog Will Review Will Leitch’s “God Save The Fan” First?

Did you know Will Leitch, Mr. Head Sportsblogger, King of Blogfrica, Mattoon’s Native Son, and general bon vivant has a book coming out next week?

It’s called God Save the Fan: How Preening Sportscasters, Athletes Who Speak in the Third Person, and the Occasional Convicted Quarterback Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports (And How We Can Get It Back). Quite a mouthful.

Did you know he also has a fancy book tour heading to a bookstore near you right after the Super Bowl?

Next week? Next month? But that seems so far away! This is blogging in a 24/7 ESPN sports culture and I demand reactions now! If I don’t have the snap judgments of what other bloggers think, how am I going to know what I am supposed to think? Where will all the other book readers express their opinions on “God Save the Fan” on January 22?

Who will have a review up first?

Let’s lay some odds on where the party is going to be.

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AFC and NFC Championships: Last Call for Weather

Since the last seconds ticked off the clock in the Cowboys-Giants game on Sunday, I’ve been downright giddy thinking about the conference championships for one reason and one reason only; they both are going to be played outside in the cold, and hopefully the snow.

The Weather Channel forecasts Foxboro to have an expected high of 24 degrees and a low of 7 degrees on Sunday, with strong west-northwest winds of 22 miles per hour.

Green Bay at kickoff? Somewhere between 1-4 degrees with a 30% chance of snow. (This is warmer then yesterday, when it was forecasted to be -4 degrees for the low.)

According to The Weather Channel’s shaky analysis (the stats for games played indoors vs outdoors for each team seem to be incomplete) the cold does favor one team more than the other three. And it is not Green Bay. Continue reading

Everything you wanted to know about the playoffs*

* But were afraid to ask. Our first in a series of your most embarrassing football-related questions.

Why is Bill Belichick considered a genius?

His legend was born seventeen years ago in Super Bowl XXV when the Giants upset the Bills, a victory due in large part to the gameplan that then-defensive coordinator Belichick used against Buffalo. (The other part being “wide right”.) This is a document so revered, a copy of his gameplan hangs in the Hall of Fame and the shiny, satin jacket he wore is in the Canton archives.

Hard to believe that underneath that torn-sweatshirt sporting psychopath, there once was a very handsome man. (Who was a psychopath.)

Have a question? Email us at ladiesdotdotdot at gmail.com

Friday Football Foodie – Limping into the playoffs

Saying that I am behind on the Friday Football Foodie is a bit of an understatement, but in a weird way my performance is not that different from how many teams ended the season.

Week 16 – Dec 20, 22, 23 - In a Thursday night game against the Rams, Steelers running back and league leading rusher Willie Parker goes out with a broken fibula. FFF is not posted due to food poisoning from a bad turkey sandwich. (It was going to be about the above Steelers sugar cookies* with buttercream frosting and these great pumpkin spice cookies** that are perfect for the holidays. Sent batches out to all of the Ladies and Tuffy.)

Week 17 – Dec 29, 30 – Every playoff bound team is resting their starters if they can. FFF is not posted due to lack of internet at a spa retreat. (Athletes get deep tissue massages and feel a great sense of relief; I get a deep tissue massage and am sore for two days.) There is something to resting your starters though. Who knows when injury can happen. The FFF’s camera which had been on the fritz for awhile was dropped onto a marble floor at the spa from which it will never recover, thus hurting the FFF’s playoff run.

Wild Card Playoffs – Jan 5, 6 – Pressure, pressure, pressure, come up with a game plan THAT DOES INVOLVE BRUCE ARIANS HOW CAN YOU SAY HE’S COMING BACK NEXT SEASON. FFF is not posted due to poor clock management, stress, and more stress.

Which means the Friday Football Foodie is much like the Colts right now; Haven’t had a game that tested them since Week 14 against the Ravens and are completely beat up.***
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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

Sunshine cannot bleach the snow,/ Nor time unmake what poets know

Is there anything more beautiful that snow gently falling on a couple dozen of the hottest men in sports? After watching a few hours of just that in the Pens-Sabres matchup in the NHL’s Winter Classic, I would argue not.

Upper St. Clair alum Ryan Malone bendy sure is bendy…

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Nuthin’ But Nuts – The Emerald Bowl: Oregon State 21 Maryland 14

Sometimes you watch college football and think, “Gee willikers! This is so exciting! Balls are just a’flying every which way! Anything can happen!”

Sometimes you watch college football and think, “Jesus fucking christ,  it is the opening kickoff and they cannot catch the ball.  MORE. GIN. NOW.”

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Stand By Your Man Fantasy QB Results: Week 15 – Dreamboats are out!

Like every other fantasy league, the two top quarterbacks picked a hell of a time to shit the bed and ruin the the playoff runs for their hotshot owners. (Please let this happen in the real playoffs, please let this happen in the real playoffs, please let this happen in the real play offs.)

Favre squeaking by Manning leaves him as the highest remaining seed in the post-season and faces a tough match up in Week 16 as he plays a demoralized Bear team while Kitna looks to walk over the league’s doormat in KC. Brees will not get by so easily this week as he plays Philly while Rivers continues to drive for the playoffs against Denver.

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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

Friday Football Foodie – Christmas Lites: Low-fat veggie dips, lite mixers, and seasoned popcorn review

You know how way back in the beginning of the Friday Foodies I said -

“It is the one time of the week you don’t have to worry about calories, fat, and never have to say, “Oh, no. I cannot possibly eat another bite, I’m full. And can I have a water, please? Beer makes bloated.” It is in fact, a perfect day

And I meant it. I really, really, really meant it.

Except for around the Holidays. If your office is anything like my office, you have not had to worry about breakfast, lunch, or your 4pm snack due to the massive amounts of cakes, cookies, and candy that show up in the kitchen each day. Rarely do I crave sweets, but put free mini-muffins by the coffee maker? I’ll stab an assistant who thinks they are going to get the last lemon poppy seed muffin before me with their own letter opener.

Put that together with a few parties each week – anything from your friends tree decorating gathering complete with egg nog to the work parties that by 2am you’re splitting the last bottle of Patron with the blonde in from Annex while gobbling up the last of the Coconut Shrimp – and you’re looking at packing on 5-8 pounds before Nate Washington has dropped his first ball of the game.

New Year’s Eve is only sixteen days away, so eat healthy this Sunday. Give your stomach and your skinny jeans a fighting chance.

This Week: Veggie Dip, Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip, Lite Drink Mixers, and Popcorn Seasons

You will need for the Veggie Dip:

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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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Stand By Your Man Fantasy QB Results: Week 14 – The Playoffs Are Set!

It feels like just yesterday that we held our Fantasy Quarterback Draft, but here we are after Week 14 facing the playoffs. Interestingly enough, half of the top eight draft picks spent most of the season on the bench. (More on the ratio of hotness-to-stats-to-wins once the season ends. Hopefully by then I’ll be able to figure out how to properly weigh the strength of draft selections in the formula without using a dartboard.)

But first, the results of Week 14. Continue reading

Where it went wrong – End of 3rd Qtr / Top of the 4th , Losing 31-13

It could have been 31-20 with almost a full 14 minutes of play left.  Something for the defense to rally around (not that they didn’t get us into the hole in the first place), something to build on, something to keep the team within two touchdowns.

I am not going claim to know the names of every play in the book. Or even a quarter of the book. Or even know where they keep the book in the library.

What I do know is that the shortest distance between two points IS A STRAIGHT FUCKING LINE ESPECIALLY WHEN NAJEH DAVENPORT JUST MADE A BIG 3 AND 1 JUST THREE PLAYS BEFORE, CONVERTED ON 4 FOURTH AND ONE EARLIER IN THE GAME, AND WHEN YOUR QUARTERBACK ALSO WAS GOOD FOR A ONE YARD SNEAK IN THE FIRST QUARTER.

So what happened?  (All X’s and O’s are approximate.  However, I did count to eleven for each side on each play.) 

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Don’t Trade Jacoby to Minnesota

Few players around here are more popular than our mascot Jacoby Ellsbury, so when his name is mentioned as part of a trade for the Twins Johan Santana, his fans get a little upset.

Ladies commenter Bryanna found this cute and catchy song “Don’t Trade Jacoby” on Kyle’s Sketches MySpace page imploring Theo Epstein to hold on to Ellsbury.

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