Saturday, October 2, 2010

Douchebag of the Week: Thomas Gallo

Thomas Gallo
Imagine, your only dream was to become a pitcher in the show.  Ever since you were a small child, it consumed your every thought.  Every day at the playground, you and your buddies would play until the teacher blew the whistle for you to pack it in.  Over time, you actually discover you're pretty damn good, you play in High School, and eventually you are drafted by a major league team.  You work your way through the minors, and finally, you get the chance you have waited your whole life for.  You struggle in your first taste of big league action, but determined to stick, you have a good spring, and make the opening day roster.  In your first outing of the year, you pitch well, battle for six innings without giving up a run.  Your pumped, after all those years, all those practices, all the nights of wondering whether you are cut out for this game, you know that you are right where you belong.  You are in the starting rotation of a big league game.  Three hours later, your dead, all on the selfish accord of some loser you have never met.  For Nick Adenhart, this is the sad story of his short life.  Taking well before his time, all because some loser got drunk, decided to drive and plow into the car you were on.  Everything you ever worked for is gone forever.

Thomas Gallo, a then 22 year old man went out drinking with step brother.  Mr. Gallo who had a prior DUI on his record, got behind the wheel of his minivan, and plowed into the car of Courtney Stewart, killing her and Henry Pearson instantly.  Nick Adenhart passed away in surgery, and the lone survivor Jon Whilette was internally decapitated, and faces an uphill battle in his recovery.  Gallo then, jumped out his car, ran a few miles down the road, and called police, saying that his car was stolen.  His first act wasn't to see what had happened to the vehicle he t-boned, no it was to run away and save his own ass.  While this coward ran, three lives ended way too soon.

Earlier this week, Gallo was convicted of three counts of second degree murder, and will face 55 years to life.  Three promising lives ended, Nick a MLB pitcher, Courtney, a student at Cal-State Fullerton, and Henry Pearson, a law student.  The lone survivor has a permanent reminder of that fateful night, both physical and emotional scars that may never heal.  Gallo, an alcoholic, and a murderer gets to live on, albeit behind bars, but it's more life than the other three murder victims will get to experience.

Nick Adenhart 1986-2009
Part of me feels really bad for Gallo, I doubt he got behind the wheel that night, and decided that he was going to smash into a vehicle, and kill as many people as he could.  Then the overwhelming majority says Gallo got everything he deserved.  He drove with a blood-alcohol limit of .017, twice the legal limit.  He received a prior DUI, and signed a contract stating that he could end a life, as part of his alcohol counseling.  So Gallo is fully responsible.  The blood of these three people will be forever on his hands.

All these families lost a son, a daughter, a friend.  We as baseball fans were robbed of watching Nick Adenhart grow as a pitcher.  He was the top-ranked pitching prospect in the Angels system, and could have been the next Felix Hernandez or Zack Grienke.  His Major League statistics will always be incomplete, promise never fulfilled.

I like these articles to be fun, but writing this, has pissed me off.  I implore all of you, if you drink, don't drive.  You could end your life, or the lives of someone else.  Be smart, or you could end up like Thomas Gallo, forever branded a murderer, and the latest "Kevin Says, Douchebag of the Week."

Friday, October 1, 2010

Check out my Podcast

Originally I wasn't planning on doing a podcast radio show this week, but I decided that I would.  So check it out tomorrow at 5:30 Eastern, 2:30 Pacific at www.blogtalkradio.com/kevincharity.  We will talk NFL, MLB, preview the weekend Box Office, plus wacky news, and my opinions.  So call in at 760-454-1106, I might have a special guest pop in, so check it out.  Thanks everyone!

-Kevin

Hatchet 2 hits theatres today!

October is an exciting month for fans of horror movies, such as myself.  We've got Let Me In, which opens today, and My Soul to Take, and Saw 3-D opening later in this month.  However, I am most excited to check out Hatchet II, the sequel to the 2007 gorefest.

One of the main reasons that I am excited is the presence of Danielle Harris.  Danielle, who started in Halloween 4 and 5 as a child, and both Rob Zombie Halloween films, stars as Marybeth, taking the role over from Tamara Feldman.  Harris is a bonafide scream queen, and has carved a nice career in horror.

The main reason that people will check out this film, however, is the ridiculous amount of blood and gore.  Director Adam Green boasts that this film will feature 17 deaths, which are even more brutal and disgusting than the original.  In the first film we saw a man get hacked to bits, a woman have the top half of her head ripped off, and a an unfortunate hottie take a belt sander to the face.  I can only imagine the carnage that ensues in the sequel.

The lovely Hatchet 2 star, with yours truly, circa 2008
For those of you who haven't seen the original, a group of tourists go into the New Orleans swap, for a boat tour, but the said boat takes the wrong turn, and naturally they get lost.  They meet Victor Crowley, a grossly deformed maniac with a thirst for blood.  He then kills off the cast, until he gets to Marybeth(Harris) and the second film picks up right where the first one ended.

This film is also being released unrated, as Director Adam Green was dissatisfied with having to cut much of his first film, due to limitations by the Nazi's that the MPAA.  Green promises uncompromising brutality and fun.

You have a lot of choices this weekend, with The Social Network being released, as well as the aforementioned Let Me In, but if you're a horror buff, drag your ass to a theatre and go see Hatchet 2!  The film is unrated, and is not for the squeamish.

Hatchet 2 trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JCzv6lAaUE

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The five most "cursed" sports cities

The word curse gets thrown out a lot in professional sports.  There was "the curse of the bambino" which Red Sox apologists blamed their 86 year drought between World Series titles.  The Cubs have "the curse of the Billy Goat," and the whole Bartman incident of 2003.  I am a lifelong San Diego fan, and our town hasn't won any kind of championship since 1963 when the Chargers won an AFL title. (before the Super Bowl was even around)  The Padres recent collapse made me think about cities that seem to have a black cloud over their sports teams.  So I present to you, the 5 most "cursed" sports town.  Here is the criteria:  The town MUST have at least two major sports teams, and has to have gone at least 15 years without a championship.  Cities like Chicago are ineligible, since the Chicago White Sox won a title in '05.

5.  Kansas City
Major Teams:  Chiefs, Royals, Kings(moved to Sacramento in 1985)
Last Major Championship:  Royals, 1985

Kansas City has had some success, with both of their major teams winning championships, but there has been a long drought.  The Royals won the World Series in 1985, (the year I was born) but have not returned to the playoffs since.  25 years, without a division championship or a wild card.  They have been a perennial doormat in the AL central too, losing 100 games four times from 2000-2009.  Things aren't looking better for them in 2010, although they have a very deep farm system.

The Chiefs had several great teams in the '90's, teams that were coached by Marty Schottenheimer(a recurring theme on this list) but always seemed to come up short.  The 1993 Chiefs, who featured Joe Montana and Marcus Allen, won the AFC West with an 11-5, and advanced to the AFC championship, only to fall to the Buffalo Bills.  The 1995 Chiefs went 13-3, but lost to the Colts 10-7 in a playoff game, in which kicker Lin Elliott missed 3 Field Goal attempts.(sound familiar Charger fans)  The current version of the Chiefs look strong, so perhaps they may end their championship drought in the near future.

4.  Seattle
Major Teams:  Seahawks, Mariners, formerly the Supersonics(moved to Oklahoma City)
Last Major Championship:  Sonics(1979)

Seattle has had a lot of great players on their teams over the years, but haven't been able to win the big game.  The Mariners featured Ken Griffey Jr., one of the finest outfielders in the history of baseball, and developed Alex Rodriguez.  The biggest choke job by the M's came in 2001, when they won 116 games, yet lost the ALCS to the Yankees in five games.  With the direction this team is going in, it will be a long time before they are in the mix.

The Seahawks have had some success recently, but were unable to win the big one.  They advanced to the their only Super Bowl berth in 2005, only to fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Seahawks also went 11 years, between 1989-1999 without advancing to the playoffs.  Oh, how I will never forget the Rick Meier era.

The Sonics are probably the biggest disappointment of all.  I loved watching the teams they had in the 90's with Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and role players like Sam Perkins and Heresy Hawkins.  They of course, ran into Michael Jordan in his prime, and lost to the Bulls in the 1996 NBA finals.  The team rebuilds, and are able to select Kevin Durant in the 2007 Draft.  Then, Clay Bennett, an Oklahoma businessman, moves the team, and the fans of Seattle are left wondering "What if?"  They have built an impressive, young team that nearly took out the Lakers in the playoffs last season.  I can't even imagine the bitterness these fans must hold.

3.  San Diego
Major Teams:  Chargers, Padres, Clippers(moved to Los Angeles in 1985)
Last Major Championship:  1963(Chargers, AFL)

Now we come to my hometown.  I live and die with my teams, and I've had many brushes with death.  San Diego teams, always seem to get your hopes up, only to kick you in the crotch in the end.  The greatest example has been the last few seasons.

I will never forget the 1994 season.  The Chargers went 11-5, and beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, for a berth in their first Super Bowl.  Naturally, the Chargers were matched up against an offensive juggernaut, and were beat down 49-26, in the most uncompetitive game I have seen.  If the 49'ers don't pull their starters, they win at least 63-14.  Then we have the '06 Chargers, who won 14 games, under Marty Schottenheimer of course, yet choked against the Patriots.  If Marlon Mccree falls down with the Tom Brady pick, the Chargers might have won it all.  Then in 2007, the Chargers made the AFC championship game, only to see their stars, Rivers, Gates, Tomlinson, all suffer injuries prior to the game, and weren't at 100 percent.  Hell, Tomlinson didn't even play, and they lost 21-12.  The Chargers lost a couple of other brutal games, to the Jets in '04 and '09, and the Freezer Bowl in 1981 to the Bengals.  The Chargers just can't seem to get over the hump.

We move on to the Padres, and they don't have much history to speak of.  Two pennants in 40 years, and a ton of losing seasons.  The '84 Padres were outmatched by a great Detroit Tigers, and the Padres in '98 were forced to do battle with the Yankees, a team that i feel is the greatest of my lifetime.  The 2010 Padres look poised to piss away a six game lead that they held in August.

Maller's problem now.

2.  Buffalo
Major teams:  Bills, Sabers
Last Major Championship:  1965(Bills, AFL)

Poor, poor Buffalo.  The weather is miserable, and their professional sports teams are even worse.  I do realize that the Clippers actually played here, but it's not really important, so I didn't really mention it in the section above.

I also don't really like the NHL, and naturally the Buffalo Sabers have never won a damn thing.  So let's move on to those lovable losers, the Buffalo Bills.  They won consecutive AFL championships in 1964 and 1965, but have come up dry since.  They famously lost four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990-1993.  They had their hearts ripped out by Scott Norwood's missed field goal in '90.  They lost the next year to the Washington Redskins, 37-24, and Thurman Thomas lost his helmet, forcing him to miss the first two plays of the game.  The next two years, they were beat down unmercifully by the Cowboys in both '92 and '93.  The team now, is an absolute joke.

1.  Cleveland
Major Teams:  Indians, Browns, Cavaliers
Last Major Championship:  1948(Indians)

I really pity the poor bastards that live in Cleveland.  I can't imagine how much trauma they have been dealt over the years.  From the Indians losing the series in 1997, to the original Browns bolting to Baltimore, to Lebron James spitting in the collective faces of Cleveland fans everywhere.  Curse is an understatement when describing the history of Cleveland sports.  Some origins of the "curse" point to Rocky Colavito, who was traded by the Indians in 1960, in an unpopular move.

The Browns had some success in their history, but the heartbreak that made them synonymous with the word failure started in 1986.  The Browns led by, none other than Mr. Chokejob himself, Marty Schottenheimer, led the Browns to the AFC Championship, only to lose in a game famous for "The Drive," in which John Elway led the Broncos on a 98 yard drive to tie the game, then lost in overtime on a field goal.  In 1987, the Browns were again a very strong team, and again met up with those pesky Denver Broncos in the playoffs.  Just as it looked like Cleveland might finally get over the hump, running back Earnest Byner was stripped at the goal line, and the Browns were crushed yet again.  Later, in 1995, owner Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore, in one of the most vilified moves in sports history.  The Browns came back in 1999 as an expansion team, but are still looking to find their niche in the game.  They are one of four teams who have never appeared in the Super Bowl.

The Indians haven't won a title since 1948, before television was relevant in our society.  The team had an impressive run in the 1990's, featuring superstars like Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, and Jim Thome.  They lost in the World Series in 1995 and 1997, blowing a ninth inning lead in game 7 of the 1997 World Series.  Cleveland fans will forever see Craig Counseil crossing homeplate to steal the title away from the Indians.

Then we move to the Cavaliers.  Before Lebron James, they were best known for Michael Jordan posterizing Craig Ehlo.  Then in 2003, the team wins the draft lottery, allowing them to pick the most hyped draft pick in the history of the NBA.  Lebron got the team to the NBA finals in 2007, but they were swept away by Tim Duncan, and the San Antonio Spurs.  The last two seasons have featured 60 wins, but no championships.  Then in an unprecedented event, Lebron ditched Cleveland in an elaborate made-for-television special, taking his talents to Miami.  Cleveland was left once again to make sense of yet another agonizing heartbreak.

All of these cities seem to have horrible luck.  Is it poor team management, or is there some supernatural force prohibiting these cities from tasting the champagne of victory.  Which of these cities will rise from the ashes first, to experience a title?  I may die before that happens.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is this a joke? Chargers on 4th long snapper of the year, plus English has surgery.

The Chargers put their third long snapper on IR already this year, placing Ryan Neill on the injured reserve.  Neill was signed just a few weeks ago, after the Chargers placed James Dearth on IR.

So insert Ethan Albright, formerly of the Washington Redskins.  He was actually a member of the 2008 NFC Pro Bowl roster, so he brings a good deal of experience.  He is also famous for being for being the lowest rated player in Madden '07.  

Larry English, the Chargers 2009 1st Round Pick, had surgery on his foot, which will put him out for the next 4-6 weeks.  With Shawne Merriman ailing, the Chargers will have to rely on Antwan Applewhite and Jyles Tucker.

Guard Louis Vasquez is also down with an MCL sprain, and he will miss two games.  Tyronne Green will step in, to a unit that had issues in pass protection in Seattle.

The Chargers also signed strong safety Quinton Teal and cornerback Dante Hughes, in an effort to sure up their pathetic special teams unit.  To make room on the roster, the Chargers placed linebacker James Holt, and placed long snapper Ryan Neill on injured reserve, and waived running back Curtis Brinkley.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chargers Sleepwalk in Seattle, Lose 27-20

The good news is that the Chargers don't play another game in September.  The bad news is that the Chargers have put themselves in another hole, losing 27-20 to Seattle, and falling to 1-2.  With Kansas City beating San Francisco earlier in the day, the Chargers are already two games behind the Chiefs.

The Chargers came out of the gate, and gained 26 yards on their first three plays, but turned the ball over after Legedu Naanee fumbled the ball, and the Seahawks recovered.  The Chargers forced Seattle to punt without gaining a first down, so the turnover wasn't too costly.

Seattle got on the board first, putting together a 8 play, 80 yard drive, that led to an Olindo Mare field goal.  The Seahawks had the early 3-0 lead.

Later in the second quarter, the Chargers put together a nice drive, moving all the way down to the Seahawks 12, but Mike Tolbert coughed up the football, and Seattle recovered to stall a scoring chance for the Bolts.  Turnovers were a recurring theme in this game.

Seattle added a touchdown at the end of the second half, and took a 10-0 lead into the halftime locker room.  The Chargers had opportunities  to score, but continued their disturbing trend of turnovers.  You had to figure the Chargers would get their act together in the second half.  Well, not exactly.

Leon Washington, who the Jets dumped after he suffered a gruesome injury to his leg last year, took the opening kick of the second half, and ran it back 101 yards to the house.  The Chargers missed several tackles on the play, and things were looking grim, as the Chargers were down big, 17-0.

The Chargers showed some resilience, bouncing back with a quick 4 play, 80 yard drive, that resulted with Rivers hooking up with Malcolm Floyd on a three yard touchdown catch.  The Chargers had life, down 17-7.

The Chargers got even closer after the teams traded punts.  Middle linebacker Brandon Siler, who was filling in for the injured Stephen Cooper, sacked Matt Hasselbeck in the end zone for the safety.  The Chargers pulled to 17-9.

The Chargers took advantage of the field position given to them, and were able to turn the drive into a Nate Kaeding field goal from 29 yards, and the lead was cut to just 5.

On the Chargers next position, Rivers tried to hit Gates on a route over the middle, but the ball went off the hands of Gates, and into the hands of Seattle safety Earl Thomas.  His return inside the Chargers 20 yard line, set up a chipshot field goal by Olindo Mare, and pushed the Hawks lead back to 8.

The Chargers still had plenty of fight, marching back down the field to score.  Rivers hooked up with Antonio Gates on a 12 yard TD score, and Legedu Naanee made the catch on the 2 point try, and the Chargers evened the score at 20.  Rivers finished the game with a franchise record 455 yards passing.

The draw was short-lived however, as Leon Washington ran back another kickoff return for a score, giving Seattle a 27-20 lead that they would not relinquish.

The Chargers had another opportunity to score, but Philip Rivers threw his second pick of the day, and a desperation throw on 4th and 15, from the Seahawks 17.  The Chargers battled back from a big deficit, but were unable to pull out the victory.  The Chargers turned the ball over five times, and had 11 penalties in the game.  The Chargers next opponent is the Arizona Cardinals, next Sunday at home.

The Good:  Philip Rivers did a great job once again, of spreading the ball around.  Rivers completed passes to nine different receivers, and it wasn't just Antonio Gates making plays.  Buster Davis had his best day as a pro, catching 3 passes for 82 yards.  Malcom Floyd also had 97 yards on 6 receptions.  On defense, the Chargers played a pretty solid game.  Brandon Siler, and Antwan Applewhite each had a sack, and Siler had three tackles for loss.  Quentin Jammer had a pick, and the unit only allowed Seattle to have one long, sustained drive.

The Bad:  This team is flat-out pathetic on special teams.  Allowing two return touchdowns is inexcusable.  The Chargers also allowed a 31 yard punt return to Golden Tate.  The Chargers will not be able to beat anyone with making a serious adjustment in this area.  Five turnovers, including three fumbles is pitiful.  The Chargers continue to turn the ball over in the red zone, leaving points on the field.  You cannot win the NFL doing things like that, especially on the road.  11 penalties show that this team is playing undisciplined.  You have to wonder why Norv Turner can't get this unit to play it's best ball out of the gate.  I really am starting to think that this team won't be able to go into Oakland and win. 

Chargers Key Players

Philip Rivers:  29-53, 455 yds, 2 TD's, 2 INT's, 80.3 rating.
Mike Tolbert:  17 carries, 73 yds, 4.3 avg.
Antonio Gates:  7 catches, 109 yds, 1 TD
Buster Davis:  3 catches, 82 yards
Malcolm Floyd:  6 catches. 97 yards, 1 TD

Chargers Notes: Marcus Mcneil signs his tender

Marcus Mcneil ended his holdout today, signing his one year, restricted free agent tender.  Marcus Mcneil's contract is for a prorated amount of $440,000.  He was placed on the roster-exempt list, so he must sit out the Bolts next three games.  He should make his season debut October 24, against the New England Patriots.

Kevin Says:  The timing on this signing is strange.  One would figure that Mcneil was going to sit out until week ten, come play, get his year of service time, and move on to greener pastures.  Perhaps the Chargers and Mcneil are working to hammer out a long-term deal.  Mcneil has to feel pretty stupid, he could have signed his tender in June, and received $3.1 million.  The dude obviously got horrendous advice from his agents, and it cost him big.  Since the bridge looks to be completely burned on the Vincent Jackson front, its good to see the Chargers get a key player into camp.

Douchebag of the Week: Braylon Edwards

One of my major pet peeves are people who drive drunk.  There is absolutely no excuse for it.  I've known people who have gotten themselves in a ton of trouble for making that choice, and sadly, I have known people who lost their life in an accident involving drunk driving.  Which leads me to our "douchebag of the week", Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

Edwards was pulled over last week, in the middle of the night, with two of his Jets teammates.  Edwards proceeded to blow a .16, twice the legal limit.  He was subsequently arrested, and charged with DWI.

Later on in the day, Edwards showed up into court wearing ripped jeans and a t-shirt. hardly professional attire for someone in the situation.  He had his drivers license suspended, and will have to appear in court in November.

Any athlete that drives drunk deserves to have the book thrown at him.  Vincent Jackson is a prime example:  He received two DUI's in a calender year, and was slapped with a three game suspension by Adolf Goodell, but personally I wouldn't have had a problem with more excessive punishment.  It's shameful that anyone would be so reckless, especially someone who should know better.

Edwards was famously partying with former Browns wideout 'Donte Stallworth last year, when Stallworth got behind the wheel intoxicated, and ended up hitting a man, killing him.  Stallworth didn't have intent to kill this man, but because of his foolishness, that man's blood will forever be on his hands.  Someone who witnessed a teammate, and a friend go through an ordeal like this, would surely learn their lesson.  Shame on Edwards for being such an idiot.

You can also look at Thomas Gallo, the man who is on trial for 2nd degree murder for the deaths of former Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, and his two friends last April.  Imagine Adenhart, coming off a brilliant effort against the Oakland A's, a dream finally fulfilled.  I'm sure he felt like a legitimate big leaguer, like he belonged in the show.  A few hours later, he's dead, because some selfish asshole decided getting behind the wheel of a car was a good idea.  A family lost a son, a brother, a friend.  Adenhart left with so much potential of his own, none of that will ever come to fruition, quite depressing if you ask me.

Edwards has every right to go out and have a good time, we all like to hit the bars, and have a couple of cocktails.  He could hire a driver, call a cab, or even dial up the service that the Jets organization runs for players that are out drinking.  Braylon has no rationalization, and no excuses for the poor judgment he exercised.

You're lucky this time Braylon.  It appears you won't face a suspension, and you will likely escape jail time.  You can't escape this blogger though, as you win "Douchebag of the week".  Hopefully you use the media backlash, as an opportunity to grow up, and take responsibility for your actions.