Update: Thanks to the 102.5 WDVE Morning Show for having me in-studio to talk about the list in greater detail today. It's always an honor to be on Pittsburgh's #1 morning show! You can visit the show's website at www.dve.com.
I've become an angst-filled sports fan lately. So today I'm going to unleash some rage and vent with all of my faithful readers. 55 things that annoy me about sports. Why 55? Because I couldn't stop at 50. Feel free to air your own grievances in the comments section, and we'll take the best and add them on in a future post, making it the uber-list of beefs from annoyed fans.
1. Bill Belichick dressing like a hobo. At least wear a hoodie with sleeves! While I'm at it, kudos to Mike Nolan and Jack Del Rio for their suits this weekend. And since the NFL is a copycat league, expect to see all 32 coaches in suits, since the 49ers and Jags both won.
2. "...this is ouuuuuur country..."
3. The Lions on Thanksgiving every year. Is this not the worst tradition in the history of mankind?
4. Celebrities in the Monday Night Football booth. Especially when they aren't even football fans. Christian Slater, I'm looking in your direction.
5. Stuart Scott. Your act is so played out. Boo-ya.
6. "Thrown under the bus". When Donna Shalala uses it, it's time to move on.
7. "Drinking the kool aid". Find a new cliche.
8. The 1972 Miami Dolphins. You're embarrassing yourselves at this point.
9. Red Sox vs. Yankees. You're both full of overpaid underachievers. The rest of the country doesn't care.
10. The BCS. Let's devise as many ways as possible to decide a champion other than a playoff system.
11. The Oakland Raiders' apathy. Nice work naming Randy Moss captain.
12. OJ Simpson's now-cancelled confession, I mean book.
13. Pitt football's "defense".
14. Fans wishing each other luck on message boards. As my brother Ramon Mondesi, a frequent visitor of Pitt message boards, often wonders, "Why would WVU fans wish us luck against Louisville? The guys on the message boards aren't playing!"
15. Websites/blogs offering messages to deceased athletes' families. As admirable as it is to post messages like, "To the Schembechler family, our thoughts and prayers are with you...", I doubt they're reading a blog the next day.
16. Notre Dame. Play a real schedule or join a conference. Three service academies, North Carolina (2-9), Stanford (1-10)...what a murderer's row.
17. Ogden Nutting. Although I admire his being able to dodge the arrows for so long through McClatchy, who many fans still think is the majority owner.
18. D-Fence Signs. At least try the "Off-fense" in the Man Law commercials.
19. Pete Rose, Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds, and Bobby Knight. Please go away, and take your "I'm Sorry I Bet on Baseball" autographs, Little T children's books, Cream, Clear, and choking with you.
20. Diminishing the accomplishments of teams who just won the championship. First we heard about how the Steelers stole the Lombardi Trophy. Then we endured how the Cardinals were such a crappy champion. How about criticizing the teams that finished in the bottom of the league?
21. The Red Sox crying poor (not re-signing Pedro or Damon, calling the Yankees "the Evil Empire") and bidding $51 million to negotiate with a Japanese pitcher. Hypocrites.
22. Spoiled Yankee fans. They boo their best/most fragile player, driving him into a further funk. They really are the smartest fans in baseball. Want to see real fans? Check out the brave souls who pay to watch Jeromy Burnitz trot out to right field.
23. Big East bashing. How about bashing the ACC, the real worst conference among the big six?
24. Roger Clemens/Brett Favre's annual retirement dances. Go away.
25. Corruption in amateur basketball. When there is a list of top 6th graders, I can safely say our priorities are out of order in this country.
26. Chris Berman. Tha Rayyyydahsss...The Seeeeeehawks...The Geeeeee Men...The frozen tundra of Lambeauuuu Field...and my favorite...You're With Me, Leather.
27. Ranking Peyton Manning as the best QB in the NFL every year, only to have him disappoint everyone in the playoffs. I know, this year it will be different. And next year the Pirates will have a winning record.
28. Jon Gruden as an elite coach. Keep working those 20-hour days. They've resulted in losing seasons in three of the last four years.
29. Larry Brown.
30. Teams who hire Larry Brown.
31. Players who celebrate individual plays when their team is behind. Also known as "The Joey Porter Special".
32. The NHL on Versus. Most YouTube videos have better production values.
33. Kobe vs. Shaq on Christmas. This was cool 2 years ago. How about Lebron vs. Wade?
34. Bud Selig. Need I say more?
35. Tiki Barber as a first-ballot HOFer. On the all-time rushing list, he's behind players like OJ Anderson, Ricky Watters, and even Edgerrin James, who started two years after him and lost a year to a torn ACL. Don't think so.
36. Koren Robinson. He's the Steve Howe of the NFL. He just can't help himself.
37. Michelle Wie, and to a lesser degree, Danica Patrick.
38. Overprotection of NFL quarterbacks. 2006 has taken this to ridiculous heights.
39. The myth that Michael Vick will someday be a polished quarterback. Marcus Vick has a better chance, and he's a wide receiver.
40. The NHL schedule. 8 games against some teams, 0 against others. Did they have one too many Labatt's when they wrote this up?
41. Matt Millen still having a job. The Lions are now 23-67 (.255) on his watch.
42. Tear-jerking Sunday morning SportsCenter pieces. I'm looking for the scores and insight. If I wanted to cry I'd watch Brian's Song.
43. Trey Wingo imitating Chris Berman. So if Berman wasn't bad enough, now he has a clone.
44. CBS's Gus Johnson. Strictly upon the Steelers-Browns game on Sunday.
45. Athletes stealing nicknames. First there was the Anthony Thomas/Mike Alstott "A-Train" controversy. Now we have Ladainian Tomlinson stealing "L.T.". Unless he gains some bulk and starts snorting coke by the bushel, he is not L.T.
46. Tony Kornheiser talking about his fantasy team on Monday Night Football. Congratulations on drafting Matt Jones. It really does prove you know nothing about football.
47. The Broncos' cut-blocking. Hard to believe a team that once employed Bill Romanowski would resort to such dirty tactics.
48. Lee Corso. Try not pandering to the home crowd. That would be really interesting.
49. Joe Theismann. Let's recap: the Sunday night football crew gets blown up. Paul Maguire gets shuffled off to college football. Mike Patrick gets shuffled off to college football. Joe Theismann gets promoted to Monday Night Football. Didn't make sense to me, either.
50. Selected ESPN programming. I know there's a lot of time to fill, especially with 19 channels, but in addition to poker, we now have paintball, dominoes, the Hot Dog eating competition, and worst of all, Cold Pizza.
51. The NFL Network. It's the ultimate leverage for the league, but until some of these cable operators blink, a lot of fans will miss out on some good football.
52. Power Rankings. The ultimate space-filler for websites. Absolutely meaningless, yet fans get whipped up about perceived disrespect. Just remember, John Clayton's vote doesn't have any influence on your team making the Super Bowl.
53. AC/DC's Hell's Bells played on 3rd and or 4th down in 98% of stadiums across the country.
54. Footballs players putting up four fingers to signify the fourth quarter.
55. Nerdy bloggers who write lists. Oooh, some guy in Pittsburgh hates the Yankees...I'm sure George Steinbrenner is losing sleep.
Find Jurassic Dog Bones in your local Wal-Mart, Giant Eagle, Shop'n'Save, Foodland, or online--just click on the banner!