August 30, 2009
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image0035The Sports Philosopher and his faithful dog engage in a lively Q&A over what’s doin’ in Sports….

  by Brad Eastland


       Good morning, sports fans.   Time for another satisfying edition of “Monday Morning Coffee”.   I don’t know about you, but when it comes to Sports I take my coffee with both powdered *Coffee-Mate and extra half-and-half, and a generous dollop of brown sugar.   Try it.   Seriously.


      Anyway, lots going on in Sports, as usual, and Monte has his share of strong opinions on the issues, so let’s get to it.


TSP:            First of all, get your grubby paws off my best goose-down pillow….

MONTE:    Woof.


TSP:            Hey, didja see that Albert Pujols, the ‘Unknown Superstar’ himself, hit another walk-off home run on Saturday?
MONTE:    That guy’s a monster.   Why even pitch to him in the 9th inning of a tie game?   NL pitchers and managers are so stupid.   If it was me, I wouldn’t even walk him.   I’d just plunk him in the ribs with the first throw, thus announcing my presence with authority, let him take his base, and thereby save three pitches and a lot of valuable energy.   Then get the next guy out.

TSP:           Speaking of monsters, I think our readers would be interested in hearing about how you bravely stared down a 700-pound brown bear from 15 feet away the other day, right in front of our house….

MONTE:    I didn’t bravely stare down anything.   It just looked that way.   I was frozen with fear over never having seen something so big before that was also alive!   


TSP:            Oh.   Is that why you didn’t bark at him or attack him?

MONTE:    Yep.   I almost soiled myself that day.   Which reminds me, Mr. TSP, why the heck did we ever move to some stupid place fairly crawling with dangerous wildlife like the Monrovia foothills, anyway?


TSP:            We got divorced.

MONTE:    Oh yeah.   Bummer….


TSP:            I think we should stay on this bear theme for a bit—how do you think our favorite team the Chicago Bears will do this year?          

MONTE:    Does my human Uncle Jeff in Virginia read this column?


TSP:            Sure.

MONTE:    Then I have to say without hesitation or equivocation that the Bears are going all the way.

TSP:            God, what a miserable suck-up you are.
MONTE:    Hey, he’s coming out for a visit next month.   When you’re a dog, it’s all about goods and services.
TSP:            Seriously….
MONTE:    Well, they finally traded for a great young QB in Jay Cutler, that should help big-time, they did well in the middle rounds of the draft with Defensive Tackle Jarron Gilbert and other impact players, Hester is set to explode at wide-out, they have the toughest two-tight-end tandem in football (try saying that tongue twister three times after a couple beers), and the offensive line isn’t offensive anymore, thanks to a couple of key off-season acquisitions.   So even though Favre theoretically makes the Vikings tougher and Aaron Rodgers is due for a break-out year in Green Bay, the Bears should be very competitive in what is suddenly a very, very tough division.

TSP:            That was very eloquent, Monte.
MONTE:    Thank you.   Maybe you could show your love by serving me the occasional can of Pedigree brand liver and beef chunks in rich beef gravy.   Or maybe Pedigree lamb with vegetables.   You know–wet food for a change, instead of that worthless dry kibble I have to choke down all the time. 



TSP:            I’ll take it under advisement.
MONTE:    What about you?   Any brilliant opinions with which to drench your loyal readership regarding the upcoming NFL season?

TSP:            It’s a quarterback’s league, so that’s where any discussion of the NFL starts and ends.   Cutler does make the Bears better.   Favre should improve the Vikings, at least until he gets injured or his teammates get sick of him.   Will Tom Brady and Carson Palmer come back full strength from their injuries?   Sure.   But the Bengals still won’t make the playoffs.   Will Tony Romo ever win a playoff game for the Dallas Cowboys?   He never has, you know.   Personally, I think he has a lot to prove as a starting quarterback in this league.   In fact—and most people aren’t aware of this—the Cowboys have not won a single playoff game in over 13 years.   Anyway, I can’t wait for the season to start.   Pro Football is the greatest week-to-week spectator sport in the world because every week is life and death.   Must be the way the ancient gladiators felt about their jobs.   Win and you move on.   Lose and you die.   Sounds exactly like any die-hard NFL fan to me.  
MONTE:    Well said, my lord my liege my god and master.


Monte likes the Chicago Bears, but then again all the Eastlands like the Chicago Bears….

Monte likes the Chicago Bears, but then again all the Eastlands like the Chicago Bears….


TSP:            Thank you, my furry subordinate.   Here’s a tasty dog biscuit for your trouble.

MONTE:    Please don’t say “dog” biscuit.   When you modify the word biscuit with dog, that kind of negative profiling is very demeaning to me.
TSP:            Let’s move on, shall we?
MONTE:    *gulp*   Sure.   How about the baseball pennant races?

TSP:            Not much suspense left.   In the American League apparently only the Angels are standing in the Yankees’ way, and all three division races in the NL are seemingly done.   The only race left is for that 4th playoff spot, the ‘Wild Card’.   You’ve got to give the San Francisco Giants credit for hanging in there!   They just swept the Rockies three straight over the weekend, and as of today those two clubs are in a dead heat.   I really think the Giants’ pitchers are going to win that 4th playoff spot for them.   I really do.
MONTE:    Don’t do this to yourself….

TSP:           Don’t do what?
MONTE:    Don’t get your hopes up about the Giants!   Have you suddenly forgotten your baseball history?   Have you forgotten about all the pain and disillusionment that team has put you through?   Well let me remind you.   Question:  How many World Serieses have the San Francisco Giants won in their fifty-two years of existence?   Answer:  NONE!   All they do is break your heart!   McCovey’s line drive right into Richardson’s glove in sixty-two, the earthquake metaphor of eighty-nine, Felix Rodriguez throwing eight straight fastballs to Scott Spiezio in two thousand two, they’re all part of the same nightmare for you.   Some nights I can hear you muttering in your sleep, “Throw a curve, moron.…just throw a curve….”.   Just don’t get your hopes up, that’s all I’m saying.   Let it go.

TSP:            It’s just that I want it so bad….*sob*.   It’s one of the few things in life I’ve ever really wanted.   It’s not fair, man.


MONTE:    I know, ‘dog.   But nobody ever said the world is a fair place.


TSP:            Let’s wrap this up.   I think we should close this week’s Monday Morning Coffee with a big fat shout-out to Usain Bolt, who I now hereby dub the “World’s Greatest Athlete”.   Shattered his own world records in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters at the World Championships in Berlin a couple weeks ago.   Did you hear what they gave him as a gift for breaking two world records?

MONTE:    No, what?


TSP:            It was so cool.   They actually gave him a 3-ton chunk of the original Berlin Wall.
MONTE:    You’re gonna have to sit me down at some point and explain that whole Cold War thing to me again.   I’m still not a hundred percent clear on all the modern geopolitical ramifications of a partitioned, post-war Europe.

:            I’m happy to do that, as part of your ongoing education.   But that’s for another time.  

MONTE:    I think a big piece of old concrete is a stupid gift, by the way.   No utilitarian value whatsoever.           

:            Ok, smart guy, what kind of gift do you think would be a suitable reward for the greatest track & field performance of all time?   What is the mother of all gifts?
MONTE:    Oh I don’t know….perhaps a nice squishy goose-down pillow?


TSP:            *sigh*   Ok, you win.   You can sleep with it tonight, but I get it back tomorrow.   Deal?

MONTE:    We’ll see.

The Sports Philosopher

Brad Eastland is an author, historian, film buff, dog lover, and sports nut; in no particular order.   Brad’s other recent columns for LaVerneOnline can be found in Sports under ‘The Sports Philosopher’ and also in Viewpoint under ‘Brad Eastland’s View’.    Brad has also written four novels and over 20 short-stories.    Samples of Brad’s fiction work can be discovered within the links below:



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