Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fantasy Football Tips 2006

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I know I keep saying "it's not football season yet" -- and it's not -- but it is fantasy football draft season, so I have no problems talking about that.

My private league (14 teams, because real men don't play sissy, 10-team, "everyone's roster has at least 12 pro bowlers," fantasy football) had its draft last night, and as always it was an educational experience. So with the knowledge I've gained from the draft, I have decided to come here and shake my head, dusting my loyal readers with the dandruff of wisdom.

No, these aren't those kinds of tips (the one's you want). Not at all. These tips don't involve a running back's potential success in Herm Edwards' offense or how Minnesota's poorly ranked defense could get you mucho points from turnovers despite giving up 30 points a game. This is about how to get the most out of your fantasy football experience.

So here are some failproof guidelines for you to use as you draft your favorite players above obvious choices and take a kicker in the third round:

1. Don't waste your time doing copious amounts of research. Everyone's first round picks are based on the league rankings, and after that any "off the board" pick you think you're going to make will be taken two picks before you. If you think you can get Derrick Mason in the sixth round as your "diamond in the rough," hoping his reuniting with Steve McNair will do wonders for his fantasy value, think again. Everyone else realizes this also.

2. Backup quarterbacks are entirely unnecessary if your starting QB doesn't have his bye week in the first four weeks of the season. There's a good chance that anyone you'd be able to get by the time you're thinking about backup quarterbacks will, themselves, be a backup quarterback by the week that you need them. And if there are still certain starters available, you're wasting too high a pick on your backup quarterback.

3. Don't complain about no-shows. Granted, it is annoying when people miss the draft because you have to sit and watch the stupid clock for the full minute and a half and then it makes their pick for them, but you need those people. Sure, after four rounds you'll be wondering how the computer is auto-picking them an all-star team (here's a hint: it's picking better than you because it goes straight off Yahoo! rankings and doesn't know how to overrate "that wide out from my alma mater that I bumped into at the dining hall once"), but eventually the computer starts giving them highly-ranked injured players and disgruntled stars that have fallen to 12th on their team's depth chart. And with someone being given those players, you don't have to worry about taking them in a panic when your clock is down to seven because you've been "scouting tight ends" on the Internet.

4. Don't let trash talkers get to you. The person who talks the big game in the chat window the entire draft and calls you a moron because you didn't realize so-and-so had fallen out of favor with the quarterback and what's-his-face lost his best blocker will eventually end up picking Greg Jones and trumping everyone for "worst pick of the draft." If you're really lucky, he'll follow the pick by explaining how it's such a great steal because Fred Taylor is so injury prone and "mark my words, Jones will be getting all the carries by week four."

5. If it's not too late, choose your league participants carefully. The more shameless homers, the better. If you can get in a league with someone who's debating over who deserves the number one pick between Steve McNair, Todd Heap and Matt Stover, or if you can find a buddy who's convinced their first-round/second-round back-to-back picks are best used on Chris Cooley and the Redskins defense because they'll surely be gone before the draft comes all the way back around to them, you're probably going to do OK in that league.

6. If you have either Carson Palmer or Chad Johnson, it is your duty to the league not to trade whichever one you have to the team that has the other (unless you're getting the other in return). The same goes for Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Sure, Reggie Wayne and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (I would intentionally misspell that or make fun of his name for cheap laughs, but I'm above that) are good receivers, but they aren't the primary options or anywhere close. Giving Johnson to a team with Palmer or Palmer to a team with Johnson would be like Indiana Jones giving the bronze headpiece from Dr. Ravenwood's staff to the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You wouldn't give the Nazis the only thing separating them from the treasure, would you?

7. If you're the commissioner of a betting league, get the money before the draft. Nothing dissuades people from sending their $20 more than picking third to last or, worse yet, missing the draft entirely and finding out that half their auto-drafted team is out until November.

8. You are no longer allowed to respond to a player's great performance by telling a buddy, "he's on my fantasy team." The one exception is if the buddy you're speaking to is in your league and you're rubbing it in his face. "He's on my fantasy team" is obsolete and I'm tired of it. In today's football-crazed America where calling someone a "fantasy nerd" no longer means they read Piers Anthony books, any idiot who cares enough to mention their fantasy team while watching real players play probably has upwards of 45 fantasy teams between multiple filled accounts on Yahoo! and Damn near everyone is on one of your fantasy teams, dumbass.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ten Random Early Week Thoughts

1. As much as I felt like the Orioles should not have signed Jeff Conine, should not have offered Jeff Conine a contract that vested with plate appearances, and should not have played Jeff Conine as often as they did, I was still sad when they traded him to the Phillies Sunday afternoon. Maybe I just can't see past his late clutch hits in the weekend sweep over the Devil Rays, but I think mostly it's hard to dislike Conine. As much as I wanted him gone for logical reasons at the trade deadline, I wanted him to stay because, despite his two stints with the Marlins and two stints with the Royals, I still think of him as an Oriole. That may seem especially strange because he was never a part of a winning Orioles club, but he was Mr. Reliable for the Birds from 1999 to 2003, when he was traded to Florida to win a World Series.

2. D.C. United got absolutely WAXED at home by the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday. As The Post points out, the Galaxy is in last place in the West and averages less than a goal a game, yet they managed five against United. Coach Peter Nowak said he was "glad" it happened and that it was "a good cold shower" for the team. Yeah that's all well and good when you're leading your division by 16 points, but at some point the games are going to count again. United's next game is Monday, Sept. 3, against Chivas USA.

3. MLS should eliminate the playoffs and go to a points-only format like the English Premier League and most other European soccer leagues. Sure it means you can clinch a championship with two weeks left in the season, but to me that's one of the great things about European soccer. You can't just cruise into the playoffs and turn it on for the playoff run like you can in hockey or basketball. The "regular season" is the entire season. But I'm sure the MLS just thinks, "No, American fans can't handle a sport that isn't decided by playoffs." Give us some credit! Besides, it's not like the MLS is doing so great as it is.

4. Continuing on the English Premier League/European soccer theme, all sports should have promotion and relegation. Especially hockey. After this season, they should release all AHL "affiliates" from their parent clubs, tell every team that they can only protect 20 guys, then hold a re-draft where all the unprotected players can be taken by any of the 57 teams making up the NHL and AHL, plus three teams from the ECHL (hockey's 'AA'). The NHL would have the top 25 teams from this season's NHL, the AHL would have 26-30 from the NHL, all the current AHL teams, and the three "promotions" from the ECHL for a total of 35 teams, and the ECHL would have the 22 remaining teams in their league (they can add three if they want; who cares at that point?). Then every year, the bottom four in the NHL get relegated to the AHL and replaced by the top four from the AHL, and the bottom four from the AHL would get relegated and replaced by the top four in the ECHL. The result would be no more meaningless games! If you're not fighting to make the playoffs, you're fighting to avoid relegation! It would be awesome. Could you imagine the Hershey Bears in the NHL? Or better yet, the Caps demoted all the way down to the ECHL where they would face such powerhouses as the Augusta Lynx and the Reading Royals? Awesome.

5. More with the "Soccer-style changes to American sports": In soccer, some rival fans get together and create a "Cup" between two teams. The MLS has three such cups: The Rocky Mountain Cup goes to whomever gets more points in the standings from the meetings between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids, the Brimstone Cup is between Chicago and Dallas (named from when they were the Fire and the Burn, now Dallas is just FC Dallas), and the Atlantic Cup is between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls (although no one cares about this because it was actually created by the teams' front offices and not the fans, which makes it less awesome). Area baseball fans need to do this for the Nationals and Orioles. Fans of both teams could get together and buy a sweet trophy and present it to the winning team at the culmination of the season series between the O's and Nats. We could call it the Beltway Cup, and it would be grand. As they do in soccer, a split would mean the cup stays with the team that won it the previous year. This year, the Cup would go to neither team because the teams didn't play each other last year and this year was a split. Let it be known that I am the first advocate of this "Beltway Cup."

6. If you can't tell, I've been watching a lot of Premier League soccer. If you bash soccer and call it boring, I say you have no idea what you're talking about. It really is "The Beautiful Game." Plus I really like to watch games where the announcers have accents and use Brit slang like, "utter pants" and "bollocks!" So here's a primer: A player who wants to leave his team because of a contract dispute is "a greedy git." A manager or player who is worthless is "utter pants." Your friends who cheer for Chelsea and Manchester United are "bloody wankers," although it doesn't sound right if you pronounce the 'r'. The "c-word," which has become worse than the "f-word" in the U.S., is apparently proper for use in all occasions across the pond. I don't recommend trying this one at home.

7. No matter how much you prepare for your fantasy football draft (and I'm talking American football now), and no matter how much you think you're "going off the board" with a moderately high pick, someone will take your "diamond in the rough" two picks before you get him. Reality check: If you think taking Jamal Lewis in the fourth round is "going off the board," because he's ranked low after an off year due to injury, everyone else is thinking the exact same thing. You're not as smart as you think you are.

8. Despite #7, football season still hasn't started yet.

9. I completed my conversion of a replica Sammy Sosa Orioles jersey to an authentic-looking Nick Markakis jersey this weekend. Total cost to me: $66. Awesomeness factor: Off the charts. I found the Sosa jersey at Dick's for $4.98, half off the lowest marked price of $9.97. I bought a seam ripper for $2.50. I spent more hours than I want to admit taking SOSA and 21 off the back of the jersey (I had to remove the 21 because the replica numbers are one-color and that's not nearly as awesome as two-color numbers). I took the jersey to Pro-Am Sportswear in Lutherville, and for $58 they did two-color name and numbers (including the number on the front) and added Elrod Hendricks' number 44 to the sleeve. It looks great. It's not quite as sweet as the guy I saw a couple months ago who got a Sosa jersey and duct taped over the name and wrote "Markakis" (lowercase included) with Sharpie, but not everyone can be that hardcore.

10. You all weren't funny enough the last two weeks to warrant Blog Quotes of the Week. Seriously. I wasn't being lazy or anything. You just suck. To avoid a repeat of those debacles, send me an e-mail with funny blog and message board posts at

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Quick Hits: Covering all the in-season sports (and football)

Here's a nice thought about our local baseball teams:

The Orioles would have to go 22-22 over the remainder of the season to avoid a 90-loss season. The Nationals would have to go 22-23. Neither are likely to happen.

The Nationals certainly have the easier road if they're going to make that push, but if they should be beating teams like the Braves (10 meetings before the end of the season) and Phillies (nine meetings), they wouldn't be behind them in the standings. The Nats have 29 of their last 45 games against teams that are currently under .500.

The Orioles, on the other hand, get a murderers' row from here out. The only currently sub-.500 team the O's see before next season are the Devil Rays, who they'll play 6 times. Other than that it's the Yankees 10 times, the Twins and Red Sox six times each, the Tigers four times, and three-game sets against the Blue Jays, Rangers, Athletics and Angels.


Miguel Tejada was fined but not suspended for giving some Toronto fans the finger on Wednesday. Major League Baseball traditionally does not suspend people for that offense.

Tejada apologized for the gesture in a statement saying, "I was frustrated and should not have let things get to me. I am sorry and hope people will accept that and know that is not the kind of person I am."

I don't think anyone's too offended. I'm more offended by his recent run of strikeouts and pop-ups with the tying runs on base.

Preseason football for the Redskins and Ravens started over the weekend, and as much as I hate to talk about it because it's meaningless and stupid and there's nothing more annoying than being at Champp's and seeing people hoot and holler over no-names that won't be on the team in three weeks, it did provide me with an opportunity to rail against it yet again.

As always, the preseason is a source of significant injuries.

The Ravens managed to finish the first of four preseason games in good health. Derrick Mason sustained a mild concussion when catching Steve McNair pass up the middle, but he says he'll be fine.

The Redskins weren't so lucky. If they have three more games like Sunday's before the season starts, they won't have enough guys to take the field for the opener.

Clinton Portis was the big name injury, partially dislocating his shoulder when making a tackle after an interception. Portis is expected to miss the rest of the preseason, but the extent of the damage won't be known for a few days when doctors can assess the inflammation. He didn't hold back his frustration for TV viewers, saying he should have been taken out of the game before the play.

The 'Skins also had injuries to reserves Chris Clemons and Kerry Carter. Clemons, a linebacker, will be out for at least two weeks with a knee sprain, and running back Carter is done for the year with torn knee ligaments.

The Washington Post's Mike Wilbon says everything that I'd like to, and he's better at this than I am, so I'll just link to his column on why preseason games should not exist.

Of course, everyone in Baltimore's excited that Steve McNair expertly ran a scoring drive for the Ravens, but I refuse to get excited before it counts.

By the way, both teams lost, not that anyone should care.

D.C. United played to a 1-1 tie with Real Madrid of Spain's La Liga last Wednesday. Madrid, which features David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and a host of Brazilian nationals (Robinho, Roberto Carlos, Emerson), went up 1-0 in the 22nd minute on a goal by Roberto Carlos. United's Alecko Eskandarian scored just three minutes later to tie it.

After the game United midfielder Ben Olsen told reporters, "We're not going to win the [European] Champions League now, but I think we showed ourselves well and showed the league well."

Madrid star Ronaldo didn't make the trip to America.

D.C. United resumes MLS play on Wednesday at Giants Stadium in New Jersey where they'll take on the New York Red Bulls, who got smoked by Real Madrid rival FC Barcelona, 4-1, on Saturday night.

The Red Bulls are currently occupying the fourth and final playoff spot in the MLS East and are only four points out of second... but they're 21 points behind first-place United.

Take that.

The Mystics finished their regular season with a 93-81 loss to the New York Liberty on Sunday.

The Mystics now go on to face first-place Connecticut Sun (still a stupid name) in the first round of the playoffs. The best-of-three series kicks off on Friday at Verizon Center, with games two and three to be held Sunday and next Tuesday (if necessary, of course) in the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn.

It's awesome they play in a casino.

It's lame that the team is named for it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I Hope You Can See This, Because Miggy's Doing It As Hard As He Can

In Wednesday afternoon's 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays, Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada got a little frustrated. After striking out in the eighth inning with the tying run on second base, Tejada apparently took some heckling from the Jays' faithful, and responded with an "obscene gesture," if you want to use the vernacular supported by and The Baltimore Sun in covering the topic. Normal people would just say he gave them the finger.

I prefer to say he shot 'em the bird.

Here's the evidence:

Thanks to Leitch at Orioles Hangout for capturing the gesture for all to see.

My initial question upon hearing about this was what is it about saying the words "middle" and "finger" next to each other in that order that doesn't pass the litmus test for what is acceptable in the mainstream media? For a profession that prides itself on describing things truthfully, clearly and concisely, using "obscene gesture" instead of "middle finger" leaves too much open to interpretation. That could cover everything from an "Italian chin flip" to an Ace Ventura-esque air humping.

But that's a journalistic morality debate for a different day and a more popular blog.

At Orioles Hangout, posters are concerned that Tejada will get suspended for the gesture, which would end his consecutive games played streak that stands at 1,033 games (as of August 10).

But outside of the streak ending, I just can't think of this as anything more than a humorous incident. This isn't a scandal. He didn't throw a baseball at someone. He didn't punch someone. In two weeks this will be completely forgotten.

When you're in the heat of competition sometimes you get annoyed and lose control, and giving the finger is such an easy and quick response. Most people have shot the bird to an overly aggressive driver or to someone taking 16 items to the Express Checkout at the grocery store. Sometimes you think someone has disrespected you by not voting to put you in the All-Star Game so when you hit a big shot you flick them off with both hands on the way back up the court. I once took off my goalie catching glove in an ice hockey game and flicked off a ref. It happens.

And as long as it's not something that you're doing chronically, it's not really worth any kind of outrage.

I'll admit that this is slightly worse than Gilbert Arenas' middle fingers directed at Celtics coach Doc Rivers because Miggy's ire was aimed at fans and not competitors, but any fans heckling a player probably aren't responding to middle fingers with the shock and awe that comes with never having seen obscene gestures.

Actually, Tejada probably made their day. They'll be telling their kids and grandkids about the day a former MVP shot 'em the bird.

Granted, as I said after the Arenas incident, if this was Gary Sheffield flicking off a group of O's fans I'd be calling for a lifetime ban. But then again, if it was Derek Jeter or someone else without a history of being a world class jerk, I'd probably just figure the fans were at fault. (Yeah, I know everyone hates Jeter and thinks he's overrated, and I agree that he doesn't deserve the national media hype he gets for every play he makes, but I can't take anyone serious who's questioning his credentials as a baseball player.)

As far as I'm concerned this is good for a bit of comic relief in another bad Orioles season. Now don't get me wrong, while I think it's funny once in a while, I don't want to see my favorite team's players making obscene gestures on TV all the time...

Unless they're really creative with it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Photoshop Fun: Ramon Hernandez T-shirt

I was bored, so I decided to design a T-shirt using the likeness of my favorite new Oriole, "Razor" Ramon Hernandez. Of course, no one on the team or with the media uses this nickname, it's just something that people at Camden Chat have been using all season because it's awesome. I had considered actually buying a replica jersey and getting "RAZOR RAMON" and number 55 put on it, but that would have been $120 and I just can't justify spending that kind of money on something that only a few people I've never even met would appreciate.

I've actually thought for a while about creating a Beltway Sports Beat Cafe Press shop, but then I realized A) I don't have any funny t-shirt ideas, B) any ideas I do have infringe all sorts of copyrights and likeness rights, and C) I have like three regular readers (hi mom!), so even if ALL of them buy shirts I stand to make about $6 on the whole thing.

So here it is, my Razor Ramon T-shirt design that will probably never actually be pressed to cotton...

If you think doing that makes me a loser... I spent hours voting for Ramon for the All-Star game, and I'm proud but also somewhat ashamed to say I ended up voting for him over 1,000 times... and he still came in last...

So here's to you, Razor! Thanks for being better and cooler than Javy Lopez. Now snap out of that 4-for-31 slump.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Blog Quotes of the Week: July 28 - August 4


But hold on, first some stuff...

For about the 10th time since the Capitals introduced their current color scheme and logos 11 years ago, there are rumors that the Caps are headed back to red, white and blue uniforms. I'll believe it when I see it. I liked the old uniforms, but they were very '70s looking with the reverse italic lowercase lettering and the hockey stick to make the 't'. Supposedly the new jerseys would keep the dome logo but change it to match the new colors. I like that idea, but I'm kind of sad that I just got an Ovechkin jersey about 2/3 of the way through last season and it could already be out of date.

Javy Lopez and his whining have been sent to beantown, where I'm sure he'll chipper right up and be extremely happy to crush the Orioles in all future meetings this season. The O's sent Lopez and cash to the Sox for a player to be named later, who is rumored to be 26-year-old AAA outfielder Adam Stern. The hitch in the deal is that the BoSox are worried about sending Stern through waivers for fear that the Devil Rays will claim him in retaliation for what they perceive as Red Sox tampering with shortsop Julio Lugo by contacting him before the trade deadline about potentially moving to second base and signing a contract extension. (That was a really long sentence...) The end result is likely that the O's won't get Stern until after the season is over. Darn... What a crushing blow to the team's playoff hopes...

So that's the news, and here's the quotes:

Camden Chat commenter Johnny Action on Orioles rookie right fielder Nick Markakis' nickname, "Kakes":
"Cake is bad for you. Markakis clearly is not. I've been rooting hard for the guy, but now that it looks like he's got a future on next year's team, we absolutely MUST come up with a better nickname.

I respectfully nominate:

-- Camden Chat, August 2
Also nominated were "Nick at Night" and the very Baltimore-appropriate, "Crab-kakis."

JP of Japers' Rink on a recent Capitals signing reported on a Czech Web site:
"Translation [from Czech Web site]: 'Petr Taticek, who should probably be off herding goats in Moravia, has signed with the Caps' (apologies - my Czech is a little rusty).

You might recall Taticek as a Florida Panther farmhand. More likely you don't recall him at all."
-- Japers' Rink, August 1
By the way, if you are a Caps fan (and an NHL fan in general), Japers' Rink is pretty much the must-read blog for good info and frequent, quality posts. JP does a great job with it.

The Baltimore Sun's Roch Kubatko always makes the list, so here he is commenting on a Brooks Robinson bobblehead promotion:
"Anyone giving blood at the union hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or the Maryland Athletic Club in Timonium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will receive a bobblehead and two tickets to the Aug. 27 game against Tampa Bay.

Giving blood will be a lot less painful.
I've seen the bobblehead. It doesn't exactly bear an uncanny resemblance to Brooks, but at least it doesn't look like Frank."
-- Roch Around the Clock, August 1
I've still got my Brian Roberts bobblehead certificates, by the way. I'd rather have the erronious bobblehead...

Camden Chat commenter dayzd toe on the Orioles "veteran presence":
"Is Coninasaurus Jeff in the lineup tonight?"
-- Camden Chat, August 2

And as an extra bonus, since this week's trade talks apparently meant it was open season on wordplay, here's THE CORNY AWARDS OF THE WEEK:

BallWonk on the lack of an Alfonso Soriano trade:
"'Alfonso? Sorry, ah, No.'

Or so said Trader Jim [Bowden] to his many suitors today."
-- BallWonk, July 31

And Roch gets himself a (dis)honorable mention with this pun about the Javy Lopez situation:
"There's always room for J-Lo."
-- Roch Around the Clock, August 3

Now that you've got a headache from rolling your eyes so hard, have a good weekend!

And as always, if you see anything hilarious on a blog or message board about local sports, e-mail me with the quote and a link at Feel free to send knee-slappers you've posted yourself, you shameless self-promoters!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

10 Random Midweek Thoughts

1. The Sun says Jay Gibbons doesn't want to DH next season, but realizes that Nick Markakis has successfully taken his spot in right field. That's fine with me. He came up as a first basemen and he never was that good an outfielder. The O's forced him into the outfield because they've had Conine and Palmeiro manning first base, so Gibby has only played 86 of his 657 career games at first. No time to learn like the present. The O's are out of it (sorry to ruin it for you, but it's not like I'm telling you there's no such thing as Santa Claus) and they should start giving him time at first so he has in-game experience. The O's two biggest holes are first base and left field, and plugging Gibbons into first base allows them to go find a cheap slugging designated hitter, which are much easier to come by than cheap slugging first basemen. For example, Frank Thomas has an OPS of .885. He makes $500,000. Olmedo Saenz, trapped in the National League even though he's more suited to be a DH, has an .892 OPS to show for his $1 million salary. Those are both far better than Jeff Conine, Kevin Millar and Javy Lopez who have been rotating between DH and 1B (except for Javy who's caught a few games and hasn't played any 1B). It also allows the Orioles to focus their money on signing a star right fielder and a front-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. Of course the success of all this depends on Jay Gibbons staying healthy...

2. This video of Alexander Semin is pretty amazing. I can't wait to see him and Alexander Ovechkin on a team together.

3. I don't think the Nationals will sign Alfonso Soriano in the offseason. John Kruk thinks they will. I just can't see it unless he takes a huge hometown discount. Read Team President Stan Kasten's comments in The Washington Post and tell me how optimistic they make you...

4. You have to have a lot of My Coke Rewards points before you can get anything cool.

5. The Orioles could fall bass-ackwards into something they couldn't make happen before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline: a trade! Javy Lopez wants out, and in the most brilliant stroke of luck for the Orioles, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek hurt himself on deadline day and will be out for at least a month. Now it looks like Boston will get Javy and the O's will get something small in return while also picking up a portion of his contract, unless another team claims him and the Orioles just let him go knowing they won't have to pay him anymore. Either way, mission accomplished.

6. The Mystics have clinched a spot in the 2006 WNBA playoffs with six games to go in the regular season. If the playoffs started today the Mystics would play the first-place Connecticut Sun (what an awful name) in the first round, but they could still move up in the standings with some help. The 'Stics take on the West's fourth-place team, the Seattle Storm, tonight at 10 p.m. I would insult the WNBA here but that's really cliche.

7. The new Gym Class Heroes CD is really good, which by itself isn't that unbelievable, but what is surprising is that the indie-rock-inspired rap group created a dead ringer for a Strokes song with the CD's 12th track, "On My Own Time."

8. D.C. United advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a sloppy 2-1 overtime win over the Columbus Crew on Tuesday. The win earns them a matchup with Atlantic Cup "rival" Red Bull New York (or the New York Red Bulls, depending on whether you are going by their logo or every other reference on the team's Web site). I personally prefer Red Bull New York. And I like to drink Red Bull. But I want D.C. United to beat them on August 23 at RFK Stadium.

9. This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the Internet (and it's loosely related to local sports).

10. Football season still hasn't started.