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Weekly Grumble with IHM
Category: FEATURED

 

   Hello Gabbers, and welcome to this week’s grumble! We’re in the midst of one of the greatest spectacles in the world of sports, the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. So far, it’s lived up to the name of March Madness, with many high seeds being upset… not good for brackets, but it makes for some damn good watching for me!

   Looks like Waren Buffet can unclench and relax now… because after Thursday and Friday, I highly doubt anybody has a perfect bracket left! Unless someone actually went through and filled out a bracket for every single scenario possible, a process that would require you to fill out over 9,223,372,040,000,000,000 brackets. Either way, I’d say the guy just picked up a ton of publicity at zero cost by making this unlikely challenge.

   Honestly, I didn’t fill out a bracket this year. I knew this year would be a good one for upsets; the parody around the NCAA all season was astounding. But even this year has been a bit surprising to me. Day one, you had Ohio State forced to finally quit ducking Dayton, as the 11th seeded Flyers ousted the Buckeyes 60-59. A little later on, Harvard topped Cincinnati in a 12-5 upset, although a lot of people saw that one coming. North Dakota State topped Oklahoma in another 12-5 upset Thursday, but again, not exactly a surprise given North Dakota State’s success last year. In fact, Saint Louis beating NC State 83-80 as a five seed beating a twelve seed seemed like more of an upset than the rest!

  Friday started off with a bang as 14 seeded Mercer beat 3 seed Duke 78-71. 10 seed Stanford beat 7 seed New Mexico. 11 seed Tennessee ran 6 seed Massachusetts out of the gym 86-67. 15 seed Eastern Kentucky gave Kansas a scare, but eventually went down 80-69. 12 seed Stephen F Austin beat 5 seed and former bracket buster VCU 77-75.

  Really, at this point you have to get pissed off as soon as you are announced as a five seed anymore. Every year, it seems like at least two of them go down… if not more. This year, three out of the four lost their first game in the tournament. Just a bad omen to draw that fifth seed anymore.

   As much as I love the upsets, seeing Duke go down in the first round is just a special kind of win for me as a fan. The only way it could have been any better is for both Kentucky and Louisville to go down in their first round games to boot. For me, I don’t hate teams, I certainly don’t hate any individual players… these are just 18-22 year old kids after all. I have to find a reason to root against a coach, and for me the three highest on my shit list are Mikey the Rat, Pitino, and Calipari. I suppose that Coach K shouldn’t be so high on my list, since he actually does tend to recruit guys that stay around for a few years here and there as opposed to the one-and-done guys. Pitino has left a trail of NCAA violations and sanctions everywhere he has gone. And Calipari is the king of the one and done, and another guy that has left a trail of NCAA violations and broken programs in his wake. I’m not sure what it is about Coach K that makes me hate him… but I just do, damnit! Hopefully I get to see Pitino and Calipari go down this weekend!

    Other than binge watching the tournament the past two days, I’ve been watching a little spring training ball as well. Sadly, I’ve already seen the Red Sox and Yankees… TWICE! That’s right, ESPN has already broadcast two of these freaking games, and we’re not even to opening day yet! Luckily, I have my Fox Sports channel, and they show a few of the Tigers Spring Training games. Got to see Justin Verlander take the hill yesterday afternoon, and he looks much sharper than he did all of last year. Hopefully he’ll be back in form, along with Scherzer who has looked just as good as he did last year so far this spring.

  The biggest issue to arise for the Tigers so far this spring has been the health of Jose Iglases. He will miss the entire season with a series of leg injuries, and now the Tigers must make a few moves to secure their short stop position for the 2014 season. They traded Jose Alvarez to the Angels for INF Andrew Romine, but you really don’t know if that guy is Major League ready. Stephen Drew is the best available free agent out there, and Clint Barmes or Alex Gonzalez give you solid defense if nothing else, which is really all you need out of a short stop if you ask me (although a little offense is a bonus).

  The Tigers got more bad news Friday, with the announcement that set up man Bruce Rondon will miss the entire year due to Tommy John surgery. Not quite as bad as it seems, though, because Rondon never really was established as a clear set up guy, so someone else can be used in the role.

  MLB had it’s opening game yesterday down under, with the Dodgers beating the Diamondbacks 3-1 in Australia. Clayton Kershaw got the win, and Scott Van Slyke showed the world why Matt Kemp is sitting on the bench by going 2-3 with a two-run home run.

  Well, that’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your weekend, Gabbers.

Weekly Grumble with IHM
Category: FEATURED

 

  Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s grumble with IHM. To start things off, I’d like to apologize for not being around too much this week. Honestly, it’s been a crazy fucking week! Over the last weekend and the first three days of this week, the whole house was sick on and off. If I wasn’t sick, I was helping take care of somebody that was! By the time Thursday rolled around and everybody was mostly recovered, it was the boy’s birthday! The Mrs. Spent all day Wednesday (despite having to stop and wash her hands every ten minutes from coughing) making our boy his special “camo” birthday cake. Turned out pretty damn awesome looking and it was delicious to boot. It really is amazing what a woman is capable of even when sick, compared to me especially. She gets sick, still gets shit done. I get sick, I turn into a fucking lump. A whiny, whiny lump.

 

   On Thursday, my folks came by to see the kid on his birthday. He got his favorite dinner (Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes), and then he got to go to town on some cake. Later on, my buddy stopped by to bring him his birthday present and have a piece of that camo cake, so the boy got to have even more cake, which he did not complain about at all (you only turn 8 once!). Friday, the Mrs’ folks stopped by with a couple of the cousins, so we ordered some pizza and had even more cake (she made one cake for each day).

   Today after I’m done with this and the boy is done with his breakfast/morning routine, we’re going to take him on his annual trip to Toys R’ Us. We’ve been so freaking busy over the last couple days that we haven’t had time to go yet. Every year instead of buying him crap he’s going to end up not wanting, we just put some cash aside and take him and let him pick his own stuff out. Hopefully we’ll get there before the lines get too crazy today.

   Pretty crazy how old having an 8 year old kid will make you feel. I’m sure it gets even worse when they hit double digits; but that’s something I’ll deal with when he gets there two years from now.

   In the world of sports, it’s been a pretty good week with the start of NFL free agency, and with spring training heating up across Major League Baseball. No offense to the hockey/basketball fans out there, but without either baseball or football, the world of sports is just flat-out boring!

  Finally got to see a Tigers spring training game Tuesday, where the Tigers really put a beating on the Cardinals 15-5. After watching the game, I have to say that I’m not as worried about this lineup as I once was. It might actually be nice to have some speed at the top of the lineup. I’m hoping Miggy has an easier time staying healthy playing first base again, as I got to see him hit his first two home runs of the spring in that game. Rookie Nick Castellanos looks like he’s as good as advertised, and ready to step in and protect Miggy in the lineup this year along with VMart. Just hoping the front end of the bullpen is up to the task this year. No matter what, I’m just excited to see baseball being played… just as much for the warm thoughts as for the actual baseball being played. I don’t know about any of you, but I am DONE with all this winter shit already!

  On the NFL front, there weren’t really a lot of big names on the free agent market, yet the start of free agency at 4PM Tuesday took the headlines and hasn’t let go over the past few days. The bigger names wound up being guys who were cut as cap casualties, both DeMarcus Ware being cut by Dallas and being snapped up by Denver, and Darelle Revis being cut by Tampa and signing with New England. The big winner so far seems to be the Broncos, who picked up Ware, Aqib Talib, and Safety T.J. Ward from Cleveland. Of course, they also lost G Zane Beadles and WR Eric Decker, who went to Jacksonville and the Jets, respectively.

   The most confusing team seems to be the Browns, who cut DeQwell Jackson only to sign an older Karlos Dansby, and allowed T.J. Ward to walk only to sign another, older safety in Donte Whitner. Not sure how much of an upgrade either guy is, aside from an age standpoint.

  The Lions made one big move in signing WR Golden Tate to a five year, 31 million dollar deal to be a #2 for Megatron. They also re-signed TE Brandon Pettigrew, who made some pretty big improvements last year after a disaster of a 2012 season. After those two moves without restructuring Suh’s deal as of now, it looks like the Lions are pretty much out of cap space for now. Bad news when you consider the fact that they still need a starting safety, on top of needing another corner. Hopefully the team can figure something out on that front, and quick, before the rest of the better options are gone. The sooner the situation with Suh’s cap number of $22.5 million is resolved, the better.

   Well, that’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great rest of your weekend, Gabbers.

Weekly Grumble with IHM
Category: FEATURED

            Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s grumble with IHM. This week, I’m in extra grumble mode, because I’ve been dealing with a stomach bug in the house for the last two days. The boy brought it home from school Thursday, and it’s been making the rounds. Luckily, Mrs. IHM hasn’t had it just yet, but it hit me yesterday and more or less knocked me out of commission for the day!

            It looks like the feelings police are out in full force once again, as South Carolina head coach Frank Martin has been suspended one game for using profanity towards a player during the Cock’s loss to Florida on national TV last Tuesday night. Martin made every statement possible to make himself look like the bad guy, but come on… just cussing at a player gets you suspended now? Hell, my liquored up JV basketball coach would have been suspended for every other game after the first game of the season if it would have been that way back then. But, yet again butt hurt prevails, and Frank Martin is gone for a game. Good thing the Gab doesn’t have that policy… otherwise you wouldn’t be hearing from me again until June of 2015!

            Harvard became the first team to get an automatic bid for this year’s tournament by winning the Ivy League championship last night by beating Yale 70-58. Of course, I am not going to profess to know much of anything about college basketball this year, because I haven’t paid any attention to it what so ever! For the real skinny on what is going on in the world of college hoops, be sure to look at Bandit’s spec sheet.

            With it being March, I’d like to be able to say that March Madness is right around the corner… unfortunately, like many other sports, March Madness has stretched into April. Just as the Super Bowl has moved into February, and the World Series has moved into November. Honestly, I don’t get the attraction in adding all these extra games. The baseball season is way too long at 162 games. Cut it to 125 and get the World Series back into October. The Super Bowl… it’s simple, get rid of all the bye weeks, and quit adding wild card and extra playoff teams. Of course, it won’t happen, because the greedy pricks running it all love the profits generated by more games and more ticket sales/TV revenue. Even the NCAA loves it… even though it’s all about the kids and their education… But personally, I’d like to see sports get back into the right seasonal alignment. But, it’s all a cash grab, and nothing will change that.

            Over in the NFL, the free agent frenzy is set to begin Tuesday at 4 PM. A couple of big names are available, and a couple more were added to the market over the past week with teams looking to free up a little more space, including Champ Bailey, Darren Sproles, and Devin Hester. The free agent market is full of top defensive talent, particularly defensive linemen. Now that Ndamukong Suh has finally found his agent, hopefully they can get a deal done quickly and get some money freed up on the cap, so they can get a guy or two out of this free agent heap.

            Speaking of the Lions, ex-Detroit Lion (played four games in 1987 with the team) Chris Geile is suspected to be the hit man in an attempted murder for hire plot involving a dermatologist to the stars, Dawn DaLuise. Apparently she wanted to take out some of the competition and make her roster of famous clientele even more impressive. Luckily the plot was stopped by police, and nobody was hurt. At this point, only DaLuise is charged with anything, as there is no confirmation that Geile was even aware of the plot or had consented to take part in it.

            Get ready for a summer full of Phil Jackson rumors; the report is that Jackson is ready to return to the bench next season if the right fit were to come along. In other words; if the “right” team has the “right” amount of power and money available for Phil Jackson, that would be the “right” fit. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Phil Jackson and what he’s been able to do in the game of basketball, but coaching, especially in the NBA, is just so damn overrated. Yes, it takes a little bit of coaching, but this is a player’s league more than any other league out there. It doesn’t really help Phil Jackson’s case that he’s had Jordan/Pippen and Kobe/Shaq for all his rings, either. I say let the Knicks throw a ton of money at the guy, and let them continue to flounder around .500, even with the “greatest coach in NBA history” at the helm. Unless LeBron decides to “take his talents to the Big Apple”, the Knicks are going nowhere.

            Finally, anybody see the whacked out fan that ran onto the floor during the Hawaii-UC Santa Barbara game the other day? Luckily nobody was injured, and the fan simply yelled something at Hawaii’s head coach and ran back into the stands… but where the hell was security on that one? Scary to think of what could have happened if that idiot would have had any kind of weapon on him. On the plus side, the kid is now expected to go before the board at UCSB and face possible expulsion over the incident, and he was just a few months away from graduation. Hope it was worth it, dipshit!

            Remember back when running out onto the field of play (or court) got your head knocked off? Back in the day when there were some real consequences to doing stupid shit? The latest video of a fan on the field in Detroit that I’ve seen, there were several fans in the stands yelling “shoot him”. Frankly, I’m just tired of seeing it happen. Why the hell not just shoot the idiots for running out onto the field? Put it on the ticket, make sure the idiots have ample warning, and if they’re still dumb enough to do it, put a fucking bullet in them. The more opportunities you give stupid people to do stupid shit, the more stupid shit we’re all stuck dealing with!

            That’s all I’ve got for today, folks. Thanks as always for reading, and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great rest of your weekend, Gabbers.

Weekly Grumble with IHM
Category: FEATURED

 

 

  Hello folks, and welcome to this week’s grumble. Normally, I tend to rant and rave about this and that, use some salty language, and at some point lament about the state of sports in general. This week is going to be a lot different. This week, I write about a man that only two people on this site have ever even met, myself and AFD. Last Saturday a man by the name of Donald Wesley Beck passed away at the age of 78. He was a former teacher and coach in the Center Line school system, and a longtime assistant head coach to Michigan HS HOF coach Pete Coll.

So why write an entire blog about a man that nobody else knows about? It’s simple, really. While you do not know Coach Beck, you still know Coach Beck. The last name is different, the face is different, but you do know Coach Beck. We have all, at some point, had a coach that inspired us, pushed us to be our best, and held our respect at all times. If it wasn’t a coach, it was a teacher. Someone along the way was an inspiration; someone along the way taught you the things that made you who you are today.

Football was not the blockbuster event it is in say Texas in the state of Michigan. Yet Friday nights were always special just the same as they are where high school football is regarded nearly as highly as religion to the players, coaches, and parents. The practices were where the biggest difference was made to me. This is where I learned the value of hard work, the value of turning practice into success on the field. Coaches are normally defined by a certain set of criteria, normally by wins and losses on the professional and college levels. But statistics only tell part of the story; the best coaches are the ones that manage to get the very best out of you.

Coach Beck was the epitome of this. He was not even the head coach, just the assistant coach, yet anyone who played Center Line football while he was a member of the staff has a story to tell you about Coach Beck. He was a small man in stature, the stereotypical short coach pulling the six-footer’s facemask down to his level. He was also a quote machine. When you smarted off, he’d tell you he was going to “take you out behind the woodshed”. When you dropped a pass, he’d tell you that you had “hands like feet”. When he instructed you on how to fix something you got wrong on the last play, he’d ask you if you understood. When you said yes, he’d tell you “Well, I’m from Missouri (the show me state)”.

My personal story of Coach Beck goes back to 1997, when I was just a freshman in high school on the junior varsity team. It was after JV practice was over, and varsity practice was still going on. A couple of us JV kids were waiting around on our rides, tossing a football around when the varsity squad started heading in at the end of their practice. My journey through the system at Center Line was mostly as an offensive lineman, but that day Coach Beck happened to see me make a catch that impressed him. He asked me, “what position do they have you playing, son?” I answered, “tackle coach”.

Two years later as a junior and my first day on varsity squad, Coach Beck and Coach Coll were busy evaluating talent and deciding on positions for the new arrivals. Sure enough, Beck calls me over, puts me in the tight end line. Still remembered what I thought was an insignificant moment two years later. As he put it, you need to block like a tackle, and catch like an end. He believed in me, and as a guy who came up through the system that held both Beck and Coll in such high esteem it meant a lot.

During my time playing varsity football for Center Line, under the tutelage of Coach Beck, I made improvements in every aspect of life. I learned the value of hard work, the fact that nothing is given to you, and the path to good citizenship through the many life lessons learned on and off the football field. Thank you Coach Beck, for all you did for me over the two years I was privileged enough to play for you. May you rest in peace.

Thank you all for reading today, and on the way out, I’d like to hear some of your stories. Tell me about the coach, the educator, or even the parent that helped to shape the person you are today if you’d like. Hope you all have a great rest of your weekend.
 

Weekly Grumble with IHM
Category: FEATURED

 

  Well folks, it’s that special time of week once again; time for another visit from your old pal IHM for this week’s grumble.

  While the NFL is in its off-season mode, it STILL dominates the headlines with impunity. This week the scouting combine kicks off, so we can witness future NFL players poked-prodded-tested-and judged for our amusement (as well as to establish the order in which they will be drafted).

  Despite the best efforts of the NBA, having the Durant- vs. James mega-showdown, and the hockey community having a mega-matchup between team USA and team Canada, it’s still all about the NFL. Spring has sprung for Major League Baseball, but it’s still all about the NFL.

  The big question here is, what do other sports in America have to do to grab some of the headlines? At this point, I honestly don’t know. The allure of the NFL is the fact that, just as this past season, a team can go from two wins to 11 or 12 and being a playoff team, as the Chiefs were able to do. Seems to happen every year in the league. Other leagues, it takes a minimum of two or three years to put together a playoff-worthy roster. Especially in a league like the NBA, which has essentially become a study in the haves and the have-nots, as desirable destinations like LA, New York, and Miami seem to attract all the top free agents while Midwestern and non-LA western cities end up with the scraps (at best); guys like Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, Al Jefferson, etc.

  Yet it seems there is a large anti-football sentiment brewing in America. Between the concussion issue and the fact that somehow the NFL is still a tax-exempt organization despite revenues in the billions of dollars, people are starting to develop an anti-NFL attitude. Roger Goodell’s attempts at “fixing” the game haven’t helped, either. Now we get a new story today about a new rule for the NFL expected to be passed thanks to the folks at the Fritz-Pollard Alliance (the good people that brought you the Rooney Rule), where use of the word nigger (or the “N-word” if you want to be a six year old about it) on the playing field will garner a 15-yard penalty. A second offense will lead to ejection. FPA chair John Wooten says he would be “totally shocked” if the rule does not pass. The question here is how the hell do you enforce that rule fairly? If someone comes up to an official complaining about use of the word do they just take the player’s word for it… because we all know players are completely and totally honest when talking to officials.

   So is the NFL here to stay, or will another league eventually supplant it as the top entertainment source for the masses? Honestly, I don’t see it happening any time soon, short of the NFL becoming more of a touch football league… you know, for players other than the quarterback and receivers. Despite Goodell’s best efforts, I think the NFL will be in power for a long time to come.

  There is a report that the Cleveland Browns nearly made a trade for 49ers head cocach Jim Harbaugh in exchange for several draft picks, but Harbaugh nixed the deal in order to stay in San Fransisco. Harbaugh denies the report.

  The Baltimore Orioles apparently are continuing their last minute shopping spree as they are reportedly close to a deal with free agent OF Nelson Cruz. This comes a week after signing Ubaldo Jiminez to a four-year deal on the eve of spring training’s opening. Still, sounds like one hell of a lineup in Baltimore with Cruz, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Chris Davis. That AL East just keeps looking better and better.

    Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax was hit by a foul ball while assisting with instructions at Dodgers spring training yesterday. Luckily the 78 year old legend was unhurt, suffering just a small cut on his forehead.

  Well, that’s all I’ve got for today, folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great weekend, Gabbers.

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