Speed Read: “The T.O. Show” Predictably Lousy

For those of you who didn’t watch “The T.O. Show” on VH1 last night, consider yourselves the lucky few: like the residents of Johnstown who weren’t washed away by the giant flood, you somehow missed out on being carried away in a torrent of filth, muck and debris. For those of us contractually obligated to watch the show (this is why you should read contracts before agreeing to become a blogger), there’s no Red Cross volunteers coming to our rescue. We’re left shaking on the banks of the river as we try to comprehend what we just saw.

Terrell Owens

Maybe I’m being a bit over the top. But man, it wasn’t good.

To recap: Terrell Owens has a great body (honed by only the finest rubber bands your $19.95 can buy), and enjoys spending time showing it off. A lot of time showing it off. As in, going shirtless for about three-quarters of the show.  But, as you would hear any good pitchman say, that’s not all.

Terrell Owens and friends

No VH1 “Celeb Reality” show can just be about following a celebrity around, so there has to be some sort of convoluted plot, and here the one for “The T.O. Show”: his “best friends” and “publicists” Kita Williams and Monique Jackson have convinced him to move to Los Angeles during the off-season to “find himself.” Which - according to the first episode - means the following things:

  • Spending more than $100,000 on new diamond earrings.
  • Hooking up with the trashy real estate agent who rents him the mansion he’s staying in during the show.  (I know that the market is tough, but this seems like excessively aggressive sales tactics, although maybe now is the right time to buy.)
  • Going out to a club with said earrings, meeting a bunch of trashy women and inviting them home to “party” with him.
  • His half-assed attempt to get back together with his ex-fiancee, who seems like the only semi-intelligent person on the show by getting the hell out of Dodge.

Somehow T.O. has managed to create a show with less likable characters than “Rock of Love” and even fewer morally redeeming qualities as “I Love Money.” It’s an exercise in egotistical wish fulfillment - T.O. is famous and wants a show, so someone had to give it to him - and the early reviews have been particularly brutal:

Terrell Owens is one beautiful man and he knows it, oh, Lord, he knows it, and so do his publicists, Kita Williams and Monique Jackson, the forces behind “The T.O. Show,” which premieres tonight on VH1. Why else would the publicity art include a nude portrait of the football star, why else would Owens spend at least 60% of his time in front of the camera shirtless?

Good thing too, because the sculpted pecs, mighty shoulders and perfect abs are just about the only thing the show has going for it. No, wait, I take that back; he has a lovely smile as well.  - LOS ANGELES TIMES

Your mama never warned you to watch out for reality TV, but it can be poison. You sense its brain destructiveness when you get up in the morning, thinking, “I can’t wait to see if T.O. makes it with the real estate agent.”

The T.O. Show is so shallow mosquitoes couldn’t breed in it, though it appears some of the humans are trying to, as Terrell Owens joins up with two publicists, who are also supposed to be his best friends. -PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

What VH1 gets out of the deal, frankly, is less clear, other than a strange amalgam of soap-opera pathos and jock-like bravado, with Owens taking marching orders from his ubiquitous “publicists,” who, given their time commitment to the athlete, surely must have no other clients. - VARIETY

…and don’t even get me started on T.O.’s bodyguard Pablo. Just…no.

Meanwhile, while”The T.O. Show” was premiering, another type of muck was being dredged up in Pittsburgh. PRO FOOTBALL TALK reports that Ben Roethlisberger is the subject of a civil suit filed by a hotel employee in Washoe County, NV who says that in July 2008, the Super Bowl MVP called her into his room to fix her TV, and then “forced her to have sex with him.

Ben Roethlisberger

Using a little bit of local knowledge, based on the locations given and the date, I’m going to assume this allegedly happened when Roethlisberger was in South Lake Tahoe last year for the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. And if this sounds a lot to you like the allegations made against Kobe Bryant in Colorado a couple of years ago…you’re not the only one. Of course, the big difference here is that these are civil allegations - no criminal charges have ever been filed by Roethlisberger’s accuser.

Finally, former North Carolina wide receiver and point guard Jason Holley was revealed as the winner of Michael Irvin’s “4th and Long” reality TV show on Spike, and with it has earned a shot with the Dallas Cowboys during their training camp. Is it possible to do a reality show about football and not have the Cowboys involved? So help me, if Alvin Harper gets a show, I’m never watching TV again.

Other sports stories from last night:

  • ESPN’s Jayson Stark has the details of Pedro Martinez’s contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, and as expected it’s heavily incentive-laden. He is only guaranteed $1 million for the rest of the season, but could make more than double that if he meets certain longevity and performance-based milestones.
  • Pedro Martinez, Nelson de la Rosa

    (Can Pedro keep his midget well-cared for on $1 million a year?)

  • Anyone who questions whether or not Jeremy Mayfield is hooked on crystal meth - as NASCAR and his stepmother claims - should check out this video from a few years ago of him giddily blowing up watermelons and full gas cans. Nope, that doesn’t sound like something a meth head would do at all.

  • Maybe John Smoltz should have retired last season so he could go into the Hall of Fame with former Braves teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine instead of trying a comeback with the Red Sox, if last night is any indication: he gave up three home runs as the Rangers (and another former Braves pitcher in Kevin Millwood) beat Boston, 6-3.
  • A few weeks ago, Quinten Richardson was traded by the Memphis Grizzlies to the Los Angeles Clippers, which pretty much defines “sideways movement.” Last night the Clippers turned around and shipped him to the Minnesota Timberwolves, somehow going from bad to worse. On the plus side, Mark Madsen’s back in Lipstick City. Watch out on the dance floor.
  • I guess it’s a job: former big league manager Terry Collins lands a new gig - leading the Duluth Huskies of the Northwoods League. Is this a step up or a step down from managing Team China?
  • What to do if you’re eight months pregnant but want to hang out at the sports bar watching your favorite team play. Get a Maternity Jersey, of course. Or as they are otherwise known, “Rich Garces Style.”
  • To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing, the Houston Astros wore special patches and caps. In addition, they also went out and got loaded on Tang and vodka.
  • Mississippi State might have a first-year coach in Dan Mullen, but they’re already in midseason form in terms of arrests. Leading running back Anthony Dixon has been arrested on a DUI charge, the fifth Bulldog to be nabbed by police this off-season.
  • Police have arrested a man who shot and paralyzed former NFL player Michael Woods 27 years ago and charged him with aggravated murder after Woods died from a related kidney infection six weeks ago,
  • Tom Watson might have lost out on his bid to win the British Open at age 59, but his equipment sponsor Adams Golf might be a big winner, as their stock price has risen 18 percent since Watson took the tournament lead on Friday.

Who was the least likable person on “The T.O. Show”

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Speed Read: Like You Are Working Today Anyway

O Glorious Day! The zenith of nascent spring has arrived! Today, you can call in sick to work (tell them you need to prep for your World Series-winning colonoscopy), crack open a beer before 9:30 am on the West Coast, and stare intently at teenagers in short pants for four straight days without so much as a cocked eyebrow from your loved ones.

Final Four Memphis Tigers fans

(2008 Final Four coverage from SPORTSbyBROOKS)

(Hint: timing’s everything on this one. One weekend in the wrong direction and you’re stuck programming your GPS to stay 200 yards from schools for the next five years.)

Here’s what you need to thrive today:

Television schedule
Watch online
Watch on your iPhone
Nevada Council on Problem Gambling

Final Four Tickets

(2007 teaser from SPORTSbyBROOKS coverage)

Here’s your morning NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament storylines:

Since you now have a few hours to kill, here’s the hail of bullet points to distract you while considering why you’re getting sex advice from China’s last eunuch (and how they tested for this):

Francisco Rodriguez of Venezuela

Manny Ramirez

Which #1 seed falls first?

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Speed Read: It’s All An NFL Mediocrity Rat Race

All this flowery speak about perfection and futility can bore easily. So the Titans are still 9-0 and the Lions are the opposite of that. Big whoop. But what about the teams that are between sweet and suck? What about the underachievers? The hangers-on? The — to borrow from the college hoops folk — bubble teams? Eight squads (excluding the Arizona Cardinals, who play tonight on MNF) finished Week 10 with a meh-worthy 5-4 record: the Bears, Broncos, Colts, Dolphins, Bills, Cowboys, Eagles, and Vikings. And two of those teams are in the rattiest of races to align themselves for just a few playoff spots.

NFL Rat Race

(Click right here for the big boy version)

Granted, with seven weeks left to play, a couple of those top teams could tumble, therefore a 6-3 record doesn’t mean jack diddly because (a) eight or nine teams are breathing down their neck, and (b) some of those six-win teams aren’t guaranteed a wild card spot. Isn’t it great when the bulk majority of the football teams are rather collectively unhappy? After all, they’re doing good work, but they are so pissed at the mistakes they’ve made this year that it gives their fans a little bit of solace that their favorite team is almost as miserable at their own jobs as they are.

Again, most teams. Not all.

Eli Manning

The New York Giants have to be at least cracking a smile with their 8-1 start after defeating their division brethren, the Philadelphia Eagles, 36-31 on Sunday Night Football. Eli Manning threw two touchdowns and Brandon Jacobs scampered for two scores of his own to go with 126 yards. Expect coach Tom Coughlin to yell at only 80 percent decibel level.

America's Funniest Home Videos over NASCAR

So what’s more of a value to America? Fast cars or trauma to the groin? The VIRGINIAN-PILOT’s Dustin Long feels that people will take bouncy camcorders over rubbin’, which is the same thing as racin’. After a couple of red flags in Phoenix’s Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, ABC moved the final 30 minutes of the telecast to ESPN2 so they could show “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Wait. Rain in Phoenix? Methinks ABC had a bucket full o’ dry ice up their sleeve.

Greg Maddux

And now for (mostly) non-crotch-pain-related news:

  • ABOUT.COM’s Scott Kendrick says the Gold Glove voting is a popularity contest, which is the only reason Greg Maddux has won one more than anyone else.
  • Chris Mullin’s time as the Warriors’ top basketball executive may be nearing an end, and SACRAMENTO BEE’S KINGS BLOG chronicles Mullin’s mistakes.
  • BLEACHER REPORT names this year’s MLB All-Rookie Team, and Armando Galarraga is named as the pitcher, so it’s a quality list.
  • Could Ohio State still make the Fiesta Bowl, yet again? The CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER says it’s possible … provided “six or eight upsets take place”. Gee, that’s all?
  • Where, oh where, will Matt Holliday land? The ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS’ answer: not the Cardinals.
  • Steelers’ tailback Willie Parker has a torn labrum, and might miss most or all of the season, depending on you ask. If you ask Parker himself, he doesn’t have one, since he says nobody told him that. So it won’t hurt, Mr. Parker, if I just take this doctor’s hammer and tap here?
  • Not only South Africa get shut out of the Beijing Olympics, but the DAILY NEWS reports they also wasted 11 million rand ($1.11 million) on a South African expo in Beijing that nobody really went to, since it wasn’t anywhere near the Olympics. See, America? We’re not the only country who spends poorly!
  • Time for feel good news, the court-ordered way. The WHEELING NEWS-REGISTER says cyclist Susan Haywood was entitled to $319,000 after she was improperly kept off the 2004 U.S. Olympic cycling team for some convoluted reason involving lost racing points and confusion over number of mountain bikers on a team. Hey, just because it’s not a sex scandal doesn’t mean it’s not worth mentioning.
  • The KC STAR’s Jason Whitlock says the Chiefs are heading in the right direction, even after their 20-19 loss, where they went for two at the end and missed. SHUTDOWN CORNER’S MJD concurs. Disagree with them? That’s two people, and you are only one person, therefore you are wrong.
  • And finally, THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER says Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace hurt his groin in their 21-19 loss to the Dolphins. Hey, I said it was going to be mostly-free crotch-pain news, didn’t I?

What athlete(s) earned a spot on President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet?

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Speed Read: Prez Candidates Grilled By Boomer

Have you voted yet? Why haven’t you voted yet? Why do you hate democracy so much? You know who loves democracy and elections? Chris Berman. That’s why we had Barack “And A Hard Place” Obama and John “Raising” McCain being interviewed by The Swami at halftime of Monday Night Football, answering the hard-hitting questions on topics such as health care, specifically their stance on importing medicine from Canada.

Obama and McCain on MNF

Actually, they didn’t give their stance on “222s,” although that would have been more enlightening than what we got out of each candidate. I saw Bob Costas interview President George W. Bush during the Olympics, and Chris Berman is no Bob Costas.

Here’s what each candidate would change about sports: McCain would get tough on steroids, while Obama would put a playoff in place for college football. That McCain chose a topic six months past relevancy while Obama went for the classic suck-up that all sports fans care about shows why the polls stand where they do.

Judge for yourself. First, Sen. Obama:

…and Sen. McCain:

And, oh yeah, there was a football game last night! And to draw a Presidential Election analogy, the Redskins played Walter Mondale to the Steelers’ Ronald Reagan (anyone under 30 should look it up on Wikipedia), as Pittsburgh rolled to a 23-6 victory. The only downside for Pittsburgh? Ben Roethlisberger left at halftime with a bum shoulder.

Ben Roethlisberger sacked

How come Pittsburgh has someone like Byron Leftwich as their back-up QB, but the Cowboys’ choices post-Tony Romo resemble the Republican ticket: ancient (Brad Johnson) and ineptly overmatched (Brooks Bollinger)?

Here’s what else happened last night for you to read before you get out and vote because it’s your civic duty as Americans and your fathers died for this right and if you don’t vote you are spitting in the graves of dead soldiers from World War I and the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln will haunt you until your death (maybe I’m being a bit hyperbolic, but you really should vote):

Brady Quinn

  • Break out the hair gel and popped collars, and get ready to cover your junk: the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER says the Brady Quinn era for the Browns will officially begin on Thursday, as the strapping young man gets the nod ahead of Derek “I Suck” Anderson for Cleveland’s game against Denver.
  • UFC middleweight Chris Leben might want to consider changing his nickname from “The Crippler” to “The Juicer” after MMA JUNKIE reports that he has been suspended for nine months after testing positive for steroids. John McCain would put Leben over his knee and give him a firm paddling if he’s elected President.
  • The BOSTON GLOBE brings news that Theo Epstein has signed a new contract with the Red Sox to stay on as GM. Epstein held out until the team promised to pick up all gorilla suit-related dry cleaning bills.
  • From the Jim Fixx Memorial Department of Irony: two runners died of heart attacks after finishing the New York Marathon, according to the NEW YORK TIMES. I’ll choose to die of a heart attack while eating a Hot Pocket and watching Antiques Roadshow, the way God intended it.
  • The LAS VEGAS SUN says the sun is setting on Greg Maddux, as the future Hall of Famer is finally set to call it a career after 23 seasons and 367 wins.
  • Meanwhile, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS has news that Greg’s brother Mike Maddux has been named pitching coach for the Texas Rangers, as he can teach them everything he learned about being a throughly mediocre-to-average pitcher (which would be a drastic improvement for the Rangers).
  • The AP notes that Ken Mink, the 73-year-old college basketball player at Roane State Community College, scored two points last night in his team’s 93-42 win over the King’s College JV team. Maybe John McCain will have something to look forward to post-election after all…
  • Breathe a sigh of relief, Bears fans, the CHICAGO TRIBUNE soothes your worries about the 2008 season going down the tubes: Kyle Orton does not have ligament damage in his ankle, meaning your time with Sexy Rexy at QB could be as short as three games.
  • The BUDAPEST TIMES reports that former Hungarian Olympic athlete Krisztián Tölgyesi has been arrested after numerous explosive devices were found in his car. John McCain has no opinion on this, as long as they weren’t fueled by steroids.
  • Iowa can’t seem to stop getting their football players arrested, as the CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE has word that Hawkeyes DB Harold Dalton has pleaded guilty to three booze-related charges after a fight at a bar on Sunday. That’s three arrests this season for Iowa players, if you’re keeping track.

The hell with secret ballots: who are you voting for today for President?

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Smoltz Gets 3000th Strikeout and a Text Message

Though the joy in Atlanta is surely tempered by the loss, all of the boys and girls on Peachtree rejoiced as Felipe Lopez struck out, making John Smoltz the 16th pitcher to record 3000 strikeouts in a career.

john smoltz

In the bottom of the third, Smoltz utilized his signature split-finger fastball to retire Lopez. Lopez was effusive in his praise, “that guy is good,” Lopez said. “He’s freaking nasty. He’s tough. He never follows a pattern. He changes it up.” Quite effusive, wouldn’t you agree? Read more…

Blog-O-Rama: Maddux Works On Big Adjustments

• HOME RUN DERBY catches Padres pitcher Greg Maddux overdoing it a bit in adjusting his cup.

Greg Maddux hands down pants

• FLOTSAM MEDIA unearths one person who can relate to Miguel Tejada’s age issues.

Matt Mosley of ESPN’s HASHMARKS calls the moving vans, as Falcons owner Arthur Blank is putting his house on the market.

• WITH LEATHER checks up to see that the Sacramento Kings Dance Team still knows how to have a good time.

Read more…

Dmitri Young is Fat; Greg Maddux is Big-Boned

Do you want to lose that gut but don’t have the motivation? Are the ladies checking you out and rolling their eyes at stomach level? Do you despise exercise so much that you’ve considered building an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine over your couch to lift your beer bottle to your lips? Did you abandon the idea when you realized the word ‘build’ was involved?

Round knights at a table

Welcome to the Greg Maddux Workout Plan! In just three easy steps, you too can turn those flabby abs into a badge of honor! Turn yourself into an athlete without a single athletic endeavor by following these few simple steps that require almost no caloric effort: Read more…