Dumb sports announcer comment of the week: “Hard to believe” that Dick Vermeil coached in his first Monday Night Football game since 1981 this week, according to Al Michaels and Lisa Guerrero. Why is that hard to believe? He was retired from coaching for almost 20 years. The Rams weren’t expected to be good when he took them to the Super Bowl. He retired again after winning the Super Bowl. His first two years with the Chiefs, they weren’t good either. So really he’s coached five years since 1981, and until this season, he never coached a team that was viewed as interesting enough to put into the MNF lineup. Idiots.

Speaking of MNF, I was disappointed when they showed a shot of Lake Merritt that there wasn’t a reference to Gut Fest.

I vote that the greatest invention of all-time is the hard drive MP3 player. I decided to secretly allocate some funds from our wedding account a few months back (that’s a joke, I got permission to make my purchase) and while I really wanted a fancy iPod, I got a slightly larger (CD player size) Creative Labs Nomad with twice the disk space for about $150 less. After a few weeks of diligent efforts, I managed to get all the MP3s on my computer hard drive transferred as well as all the CDs I wanted to rip loaded. Now, every piece of music I own is on one easy to carry device. I can take it when I travel, or just hook it up to the speakers in my office and let it play all day. While a lot of people create special play lists, I prefer to load music by genre, hit shuffle, and let it play. I always have a hard time looking at my music collection and selecting what I want to listen to, so this is perfect for me. There’s nothing like jumping from the Beatles to the Flaming Lips to Dean Martin without any input from me.

ESPN Classic showed the Roberto Clemente edition of Sports Century twice Monday. I thought I knew the story of Roberto, but turns out I did not. I never knew that sports writers in Pittsburgh made fun of his Puerto Rican accent by writing his quotes the way they sounded, “Ever seence I been in da beeg leagues, I hup heet da ball meeny times.” Keep in mind this was in the mid-50s, so this wasn’t someone trying to be funny. It was a mean spirited way of reminding an outsider that he was different and inferior. As Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci pointed out, those same sports writers no doubt cleaned up quotes from many of the southern white players who spoke less than perfect English. I didn’t know that Roberto was widely considered to be a whiner and injury faker. I also didn’t realize how outspoken Roberto was about matters of race. I always thought that he was such a hero to Latin players because he was the first Latin superstar. Now I realize it was because unlike Jackie Robinson who was forced to bite his tongue, Roberto demanded respect for Latin players and was a beacon for youngsters throughout the Caribbean. When he died while attempting to help earthquake victims in Nicaragua, he cemented his status as a Latin icon.

I was really hoping our last memory of Roger Clemens would be of him head hunting Miguel Cabrera then Cabrera calmly taking him out of the park, opposite field immediately after. Still a punk, after all these years.

Speaking of Cabrera, he’s everything Carlos Beltran should be. When he steps to the plate, you know something exciting is going to happen. He has an aura that he belongs, he knows it, and he’s out to make an impact. Despite all his skills (probably more pure skills than Cabrera) Beltran often seems disinterested or distracted. He does amazing things too, but you don’t expect them to happen. I’ve just thoroughly cursed Miguel Cabrera’s career.

Pity the East Coast fan. Last night’s game ended at approximately 12:24 AM. I can’t wait for Sunday, when Indiana keeps its head firmly in the sand and forces us to wait until 8:00 for game seven to start.

I loved VH1’s “I Love the 80s”. While they it didn’t resonate the same way, I enjoyed “I Love the 70s” immensely as well. In fact, I don’t think I moved for nine hours Labor Day while watching the 70s marathon. So I think you can guess how I feel about “I Love the 80s Strikes Back”. Another ten-hour block of great television. Keeping all the breakout stars; Hal Sparks, Mo Rocca, Rachael Harris, and the pure genius of Michael Ian Black; was an inspired move. However, why are they continuing to give Rich Eisen airtime? ESPN finally ran his ass out (of course, they replaced him with some other no-talent ass clown, to use an Office Spaceism) and they pollute this tremendous program with his presence. He continues to offer the same banal, pedestrian observations. However, this time he’s sporting the unshaved look, apparently to add an edge to his commentary. What’s outstanding, though, is his attempt to bite Michael Ian Black’s style. Fortunately, he’s not nearly good enough to pull it off, so it just annoys me more. There is no Stuart Scott, which is nice.