Well a few months and a new year anyways. It seems everytime I promise not to be too long before I post again, it ends up being far too long. Lesson learned, no more promises.

Let's get right to the main things that I've missed out on in my absence, which is half-way explained by the fact that I took a long roadtrip that lasted through November and December and continued on to my home town of Toledo for the holidays. I'm going to skip the BCS Championship game and the Australian Open and a few other big name events that have passed us by and try to tackle a couple of more relevant topics, like the Superbowl and A-Rod's latest embarrassment.


I won't mention the Boss's crotchslide into the camera at the Superbowl halftime, but rather try and focus on the important stuff, you know like the actual game and the commercials and what not. Though the Boss did kind of rock, and do a crotchslide. That word is just hypnotic. Crotchslide. I can't stop typing it. Crotchsl---sorry.

Alright, I'm better. The Superbowl was for the second consecutive year, the best NFL game I watched all season. The momentum swung more times than Rob Deer (some Tiger fans will get that one), with each team building then losing what looked like an unstoppable amount of energy and will to win. To be perfectly honest, I've never been too big on Ben Roethlisberger as a QB, even though he already wore one Superbowl ring before adding his second this year. For one thing, Big Ben won his first Superbowl turning in what even he has admitted was a real dud of a performance; with his running game, defense and the boys in black and white doing more for the Steelers than he ever did in that game.

It's not entirely his fault because the MO in Pittsburgh has consistently been a great defense and a strong running game. You'd probably have to go all the way back to Terry Bradshaw to find a big name quarterback in Pittsburgh, and despite his success the born-again FOX blowhard isn't exactly mentioned when it comes to the greatest QBs of all time. So Ben found himself at quite the crossroads going into this game. Would he shake off the jitters from his first foray onto the game's biggest stage or would he lay another egg and leave the game up to the NFL's best defense and the legs of Willie Parker?

The answer isn't as cut and dry as the question should allow, but Roethlisberger certainly played a hell of a football game and made play after play down the stretch to help his team towards a victory. That play where he seemingly shrugged off the weight of the world, spun around like a dradle during Hanukkah and threw a rifle pass to a waiting receiver on the other end of the field is the kind of highlight Sportscenter junkies drool over and the game's final drive to seal victory was nothing short of breathtaking. His throw to Santonio Holmes (from THE Ohio State--oh you know by now!) was where only the former Buckeye could grab it and the skinny dood with the great hands made a catch that will live on in Superbowl legend far after I'm done watching them. Holmes and Big Ben shared the spotlight with their defense on that night in Tampa, providing the Steelers D with a much needed sidearm against what proved to be an as-advertised Cardinals offensive attack.

While the Steelers of course receive the laurels of victory, Kurt Warner and that AZ Cardinals team must be congratulated for an amazing season that nobody saw coming. Warner threw for almost 400 yards and proved that Larry Fitz, not Anquan Boldin is the real star in Arizona and his favorite target. More importantly old man Warner proved that Matt Leinart doesn't have a shot in hell at being the Cardinals' starting QB next year. Warner defies the continuingly negative perception of his age and out-performs the speculation in ways that most athletes can't fathom. Make no mistake that while the Cardinals' franchise will continue to build a deep roster of young talent (like they are as they say good bye Anquan, hello Steve Breaston), they will go as Kurt goes next season. Cards fans should be happy about that.

Speaking of Anquan Boldin, he's shown some truly off-putting colors this season. First he's a contract hold out, then he wants out of Arizona, then he goes after the offensive coordinator during what was a game-deciding drive in a playoff game. After all of that, he says that now he definitely wants to be traded and quite frankly I'm sure that the Cardinals brass is stoked. The speedy Steve Breaston was the third leg of the Card's 1,000 yard receiving stool this season and will be a more than adequate compliment to Larry Fitz, who is emerging as perhaps the best wide out in football. The Cardinals have proven to be draft and free-agent savvy as I mentioned a moment ago and will have no problem plugging new talent into that high-powered offensive attack should ol' Q decide to book it.

Also, if you're a continuing football fan you had to notice the 180 that Kurt Warner's wife has done since we last saw her spectating from the seats. She went from being the oddly feminine version of her husband standing slightly too straight-backed in the crowd to having a Rapunzel like head of golden locks this Superbowl. Kurt must have mentioned something about her flattop being better than his at the dinner table one night, because that woman looks like a completely different person now. I don't care if its a wig or not, at least I'm not confused as to why I thought I just saw Kurt Warner on the field and in the crowd simultaneously.

Check it out for yourself:

When we first met Mrs. Warner, she look-a-like this

Now, she look-a-like this

And don't yell at me about bringing this up, because SI did an article on it too. We are if nothing, an image-obsessed culture.

Of course beyond the game, Kurt Warner's wife, and the future of the Cardinals, I have to talk about the Superbowl ads, which I watched between breaks in the action on the field and breaks between stuffing fried chicken down my throat. To be honest, this year's crop of adverts didn't really do much for me with the exception of the one that Career Builder put out. I couldn't stop laughing as the thing built towards increasingly ridiculous and hilarious shots of what a bad job looks like, from "Hey, dummy" to a koala bear being punched in the face to a man drinking a glass of liquid gold. Check it out right here if you missed it the first go 'round:


Now, on to A-Roid or A-Fraud or whatever you'd like to call him. Another baseball superstar getting caught doing steroids should be of little surprise to even the most casual fan of the game, with the early nineties to the early 2000's nearly completely blanketed under the cloak of performance enhancers already. While the proof is in the pudding that these guys injected into their asses and I've already come to grips with a lot of my baseball heroes and memories being washed away by steroids and HGH, I have to say that A-Rod's admission has been the hardest one for me to handle thus far. If you've read this blog before you may remember my view on performance enhancing drugs and the athletes that take them (I let loose a lot of words on Roger Clemens and a few on Barry Bonds a while back if you want to check them out here) I think quite simply they're liars and cheaters and should be treated as such. So why does A-Rod's guilt hit me harder? There are a few reasons.

I've mentioned before my opinion of baseball as the most graceful and high-minded of sports and my affinity for the way the game makes real fans slip into a Peter Pan-like eternal childhood, where trips to the ball park or having a catch with the old man seem as pure as driven snow no matter how dirty the athletes get. For me, A-Rod was a last chance for the baseball players of my generation to hang on to one of our game's heroes and stack him up against the all-time greats. A-Rod puts up amazing numbers year in an year out and while his image could use more overhauling than the Louisville treeline, he's always been something to point at for guys in my age bracket who still remember collecting his rookie card out of packs of Upper Deck. You could take away Sosa, Bonds, McGwire, Clemens--just let us keep A-Rod. Let us have him in all his douchebag-edness, just to show the other generations that Aaron and Ruth and Mantle and their like are indeed immortals, but our generation has one too.

With A-Rod's admission, all of that potential pride is erased. He was truly the last hope of his generation and proves that the Steroid Era should now be permanently captialized, underlined and printed in bold next to anyone that played professional baseball from the early nineties into the early part of the 21st century. A-Rod is going to one day break Barry Bonds homerun record, along with a few others along the way, but now it doesn't really matter if he does or not. Hank Aaron's record and many more like it will be held by men whom the world knows to be cheats. It doesn't matter who was actually clean or who was using, more than a decade's worth of athletes are now part of an era in baseball that they will never fully escape. Even if like many of his peers A-Rod had been a suspect all along, his admission and conviction in the court of public opinion are the coda for an anabolic musical movement that pitched and moaned its way into every baseball fan's head and many of their hearts.

I have to add that I'm entirely disgusted with the way all of this was released to the public and press and downright furious that Bud Selig continues to wag his finger at baseball players that get caught or admit to using when baseball wasn't testing. The test that proved A-Rod's guilt, for example, was conducted randomly and anonymously by the players' union as some sort of "research" into whether or not testing was necessary. Really players' union? Really Commish? You needed anonymous test results to realize your guys should be tested? How about the physiques of Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds? How about someone hitting more than 70 homeruns in a single season? How about a guy hitting 40 homeruns and stealing 40 bases in one year? Jesus christ. Selig makes me nauseous at this point. Doing nothing for years about his guys cheating then admonishing at will anyone who took advantage of the fact that he put the test answers on the fucking blackboard.

Well, I suppose that's enough vitriol and disgust for now. I shall return. Stay tuned.