Archive for July, 2006

Sports leagues and teams enact measures all the time that make them more money yet are detrimental to fans, such renaming ballparks for corporate sponsors (Comiskey, despite being the last name of the cheapest bastard in baseball history, should still be the namesake of wherever the White Sox call home forever) to stretching out postseason play to last two months (I seriously love David Stern and the NBA Playoffs, but we do need have some parameters in place). Yet, if you ask the average sports fan how he or she would like to have the champion of college football be determined, the overwhelming response is that there needs to be some type of playoff system. At the same time, the television networks would fall all over themselves in writing checks that would dwarf what CBS currently pays for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (which hopefully won’t be screwed up) to broadcast college football’s “December Madness”.

Despite such a rare confluence of interests between the fans and the financially-driven institutions, however, the college presidents seem to get more stubbornly deadset against a playoff system every season while backing the less-than-satisfactory Bowl Championship Series. This continues to be one of the world’s great mysteries, right up there with the location of the Holy Grail and how “Two and a Half Men” is not only still on the air, but is a certified top 10 hit.

Therefore, I propose the following relatively simple solution that ought to appease the fans’ clamor for a playoff system, keep the bowls intact for the college presidents, and has a realistic chance to be actually implemented: take the 4 BCS bowls, keep the traditional matchups (i.e. Big Ten vs. Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl) with the at-large bids given to the two highest ranked teams that didn’t win their BCS conference or were champions of a non-BCS conference, and make those games the quarterfinals in a national championship playoff that will be played on a weekend in the middle of December. The winners would then advance to semifinals that are played on New Year’s Day and the championship game would be played a week later.

From my perspective, this playoff/bowl hybrid would address all of the most frequently cited reasons and impediments against having a playoff system. Let’s go through the reasons why I believe this hybrid model would work and have a reasonable chance to be put in place:

1) BCS Schools Keep Control – Forget about all of that lip service about academics or the season being too long (although I’ll touch on those subjects later). The largest reason, by a landslide, as to why there isn’t a playoff system in place right now is that the BCS schools receive wildly disproportionate financial benefits under the current bowl arrangements. Thus, they have little monetary incentive to have an NCAA Tournament-style playoff for football.

Under the playoff/bowl hybrid, the BCS schools would be able to retain their financial advantage, or even add to it, while finally giving the fans what they want. This might not appease the supporters of the smaller conferences that want more access to the top tier games, but they would at least have an equitable chance at an at-large spot under my proposal (as opposed to having Notre Dame get invited as long as they win 9 games regardless of their ranking because of the school’s popularity). The reality is that the BCS schools will never willingly go to a completely NCAA Tournament-style open playoff system or give up their automatic bids (they would seriously secede from the NCAA before that ever happens). If a playoff for college football is ever going to be put into place, the BCS schools are going to insist upon receiving similar advantages that they currently have. In the end, a playoff/bowl hybrid, even if the BCS retains its power, is a whole lot better option than what’s in place now.

2) The Season Wouldn’t Be Extended Any Longer Than It Is Now
– I have always felt that the detractors of a playoff citing that the season would be too long were always full of bunk. The lower divisions of college football all have playoffs, while BCS bowl participants currently have a layoff of a month or more between their last regular season games and the bowls. Not only that, the national championship game will be played on January 8th beginning next season.

There’s no reason for such a long layoff between games (don’t give me academics as a reason – Division 1-AA teams play in playoff games that go straight through December), so that’s why I proposed moving the quarterfinals to a weekend in mid-December. That would allow the semifinals to be played on New Year’s Day (with the added benefit of having the games being played on that holiday mean something again) and the championship game would be played no later than it is now. As a result, the “season would be too long” argument carries no water here.

3) Regular Season Would Mean More Rather Than Less – The small number of fans that are against going to a playoff system almost always argue that they do not want to diminish the importance of the college regular season (i.e. they say that the season is already a 12-week playoff). I sympathize with those thoughts. The beauty of the playoff/bowl hybrid is that every BCS conference regular season championship race now also has national championship implications as opposed to having just one or two games that matter across the country by the end of October.

A perfect example of the problems of the current system is how last season played out, where by the middle of the year the only games that had national implications were the ones involving USC and Texas. In my opinion, spending half the season where 60 games per week don’t really matter isn’t a great way to have a strong and interesting regular season for fans across the country. By using the playoff/bowl hybrid, however, the regular season will have more meaningful games involving more teams and conferences up until the last week since winning a BCS conference championship automatically means a chance to play for the national championship.

4) No More Judgment Calls Regarding Championship Participants – One of my biggest pet peeves over the past two seasons is hearing people state that the BCS system has “worked” since the best two teams have been placed in the National Final. This is a ridiculous notion – the BCS got lucky by having two straight years where there were only two teams at the end of the season that were undefeated. Did all of those current system supporters suddenly forget the previous seasons when there were multiple one-loss teams vying for a spot in the championship game based upon a convoluted formula? That is anything but a system that works.

Now, my proposal keeps the BCS rankings, but they are instead used for the two at-large spots as opposed to determining who should play in the final. While there would inevitably be controversy regarding which teams deserve those at-large spots, that would be no different than arguing about the last at-large spots to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Besides, if a team takes care of business during the regular season and wins its BCS conference, that school is going to have an automatic chance for the national championship. Having controversy over a team that didn’t win a BCS conference getting into the playoffs is a lot more acceptable than what has happened under the current system, where top teams that did win their conferences have been denied a spot in the national final. It’s not perfect, but I believe that it’s a solid trade-off that’s on par with what is in place its college basketball counterparts.

5) Tradition of the Bowls are Kept Intact – As a Big Ten alum and fan, there is definitely something special about the conference’s relationship with the Rose Bowl and the Pac-10 that I would never want to see go away. Under the playoff/bowl hybrid proposal, the paegentry and tradition of each of the BCS bowls would still carry on. Not only that, all of those bowls would matter again as the quarterfinals to the national championship as opposed to being the glorified consolation prizes that they are now.

There you have it – a proposal to create a college football playoff that also keeps the bowls and addresses all of the arguments that have been levied against a normal playoff system. The vast majority of sports fans want to see this happen and the BCS would make even more money than they do now. So, the only question is how much longer the presidents of the BCS schools continue to be stubbornly tied to a position that makes no sense. Judging by what little advancement there has been on this issue over the years, it will probably a lot longer than I’d care for.

About these ads

About a week-and-a-half ago on a Saturday, a small fire occurred in the building next door to my company’s offices in the Loop. On the following Monday, every store and restaurant on the floor where the fire occurred, which includes Bank of America, Dunkin’ Donuts, Nestle Toll House Cookies, and Gateway Newsstands, was closed with the glaring exception of one right in the middle of it all: Starbucks. God forbid that the zombie-like addicts don’t get their caffeine crack during the Monday rush-hour. The point here is that whatever you think of Starbucks, they obviously have such a well-tuned disaster plan that they ought to be put in charge of running FEMA. Anyway, on to today’s links:

1) Welcome, All Chorizos! (Deadspin) – Usually, “South of the Border” to people from Wisconsin means FIBs.

2) 2008: The Case for Barack Obama (Washington Post) – If I were Barack, I’d be running for President right away. Out of the 5 Presidents that we’ve elected over the past 30 years, the only one that had any substantive national experience was George H.W. Bush. If anything, the more time that you spend in the U.S. Senate, the worse presidential candidate you become (see John Kerry, Al Gore, and Bob Dole).

3) White Sox Acquire MacDougal (South Side Sox) – For all of the Alfonso Soriano rumors, acquiring Mike MacDougal from the Royals to shore up a less-than-stellar bullpen was the move that the White Sox really needed to make before the trade deadline. Even South Side player-hater Minneapolis Red Sox approved of the move! Of course, it would help if we started winning again.

4) Chicago Bulls’ New ‘Bench Seat’ Runs $125,500 Per Season (Crain’s Chicago Business) – While this might sound expensive, the cost of this seat for an entire year is almost $60,000 less than what Ben Wallace will be making per game from the Bulls during the life of his new contract. From that standpoint, this is a steal, right?

5) Camp Starts Thursday (Da’ Bears Blog) – I don’t know about you, but Bears training camp, which opens up tomorrow, has completely snuck up on me.  This is noteworthy because I usually start counting down the days to the opening of training camp by around the Fourth of July, particularly when the Bears are coming off of a playoff run as they are this year.  However, with everything that has been going on with the Sox and Bulls over the summer plus an even worse than average season for the Cubs, we’re in a rare period where the Bears aren’t dominating the Chicago sports scene.  That being said, I’m starting to get the annual football itch.

And finally…

6) New Monopoly Version Uses Debit Card (Yahoo! News) – No word on whether we need to pay $1.50 for each time that we pass “Go”.

I’m not happy with the performance of the White Sox lately at all. If this keeps up, we might be worrying a lot more about the AL wild card contenders behind us right now than Detroit. Well, at least there are some links to take away attention from the slumping Sox:

1) Making Money in Basketball (Blog Maverick) – Mark Cuban’s suggestion on how to build a successful minor league basketball franchise: pay off high school kids… seriously. While his “business plan” here starts with this unfathomable leap, he does make an excellent point as to how European basketball teams make their serious profits from the buyout clauses of the players that they develop that go on to the NBA and that there’s no reason that an American minor league club couldn’t do the same. The Wall Street Journal had an article a couple of weeks ago about how the reverse of this money flow occurs in the soccer world, where European soccer clubs will pay large “transfer rights” to Latin American clubs for the top players that they develop, which are completely separate from the actual playing contracts for those players (it’s a virtual stock market regarding the value of soccer players, which is why the Journal reported that hedge funds have been getting into the action). In the case of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United paid his old club in Portugal $19.2 million for his transfer rights. Something tells me that the Pistons paid a bit less for the rights to Darko Milicic (although I could be very wrong in that thought).

2) Scientists Plan to Rebuild Neanderthal Genome (New York Times) – They’re exclusively using DNA samples from Patrick Ewing and Bill Laimbeer.

3) Ex-Village People Singer Answers Charges (Los Angeles Times) – You knew it had to be the cop, right? By the way, it might be just me, but I always have an internal chuckle at every wedding that I attend where all of the grandmothers are whooping it up to “YMCA” since it’s obvious that they have absolutely no clue what that song is about.

4) Remini Held Suri Cruise During L.A. Visit (Washington Post) – There still hasn’t been any denial that this baby is an alien cyborg. Hmmmm….

5) Quite Frankly, Baker Bails Out (Chicago Tribune) – A number of Cubs bloggers received emails that appeared to come from the producers of Stephen A. Smith’s show on ESPN, urging them to join the studio audience during a Dusty Baker interview and boo him. Smith stated that he believed it was a hoax and then blamed Deadspin for all of this. Of course, Deadspin has a nice retort to Stephen A’s accusations.

And finally…

6) Pennsylvania Man, 80, Admits Dealing Crack for Sex (San Francisco Chronicle) – On that note, have a great weekend!

Dennis Rodman. Ben Wallace. John Salley. Magglio Ordonez. Al Simmons. Chris Chelios. Erik Kramer. Bobby Layne. All of these prominent sports figures from past and present have one thing in common: they have played for teams in both Chicago and Detroit during their careers. Chicago sports teams might have individual rivals from cities other than Detroit such as the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals that are more pronounced. However, Chicago and Detroit are linked by having geographically defined and historic rivalries in every sport across the board whether it’s in the professional or college (when taking into account the Big Ten plus Notre Dame) ranks. Not even New York vs. Boston (they have the pro sports covered, but you couldn’t pay enough money to the average person on the street to watch Rutgers play Boston College in anything on the college front) or Los Angeles vs. San Francisco (L.A. doesn’t have an NFL team while the Bay Area only has a quasi-NBA franchise in the Warriors) have sets of sports rivalries that run as wide and deep as Chicago vs. Detroit. With the important series between the White Sox and Tigers (the Sox took game 1 last night after a marvelous performance by Jon Garland) occurring this week, here’s my ranking of the top Chicago vs. Detroit rivalries taking into account history and present fervor:

1) Bulls vs. Pistons – As I’ve stated before, the Bad Boy Pistons were the first team I ever had pure hatred for during my childhood. During the late-1980s and early-1990s, this was the most heated rivalry in all of sports with annual nationally televised Christmas Day matchups at the old Chicago Stadium and inevitable meetings in the NBA Playoffs, coming to a peak when the Pistons walked off of the court after being eliminated by the Bulls in 1991 without even acknowledging Michael Jordan and his team. The rivalry subsided when the Bulls, during their 1990s dynasty, eventually found new foils in the Knicks and Pacers and then the Pistons rose back to dominance after the start of the new millennium right when Chicago went into the cellar. However, with Ben Wallace defecting from a Motown fan base that loved him to go to Chicago out of all places (the basketball equivalent of Johnny Damon spurning the Red Sox for the Yankees), these two franchises are going to be rekindling that old hatred this season and beyond.

jordandumars_030311.jpg

2) Notre Dame vs. Michigan – Michigan fans will tell you that while Ohio State, without question, is their biggest rival, they save their harshest vitriol for the Irish. At the same time, even though Domers count USC as their most important game of the season, there’s a certain respect for the Trojans in contrast to the pure hatred for the Wolverines. Notre Dame and Michigan are the two winningest programs in college football history with fight songs that are beaten into everyone’s heads, whether or not they care one iota about these teams, from birth. When you add in the pompous fans on both sides, the only thing comparable to this game is watching the Yankees play themselves in an intrasquad game: you hope there’s a way that both teams can lose. Regardless of how much I might hate these teams, the college football season really doesn’t start until Notre Dame plays Michigan in September.

(Sidenote: I really wish I could put Illinois vs. Michigan on this list, but I’ve learned over time that the “rivalry” is completely one-sided with my Illini brethren. Now, the most emotionally scarring sports moment that I have ever witnessed at an event that I actually attended was the 2000 Illinois – Michigan football game, where the Illini had the game stolen by the Big Ten referees who, with less than four minutes left in the game with Illinois ahead, incorrectly called a fumble by Illinois’ Rocky Harvey when he was actually down and then seconds later inexplicably didn’t call a fumble on Michigan’s Anthony Thomas when he dropped the ball when his knees weren’t anywhere near close to the ground. Michigan would go on to score the winning touchdown on that drive. The errors were so egregious that the Big Ten issued an unprecedented apology to Illinois a couple of days later and spurred the conference to begin using instant replay. What happened in Champaign that Saturday evening wasn’t a case of heartbreak a la Illinois losing in the 2005 NCAA Championship Game. Instead, it was probably the only time I’ve ever felt completely violated after watching a sporting event. To say the least, my disdain for Michigan peaked at that point.

However, when I went to law school at DePaul, the two undergraduate schools that matriculated the most students there by a substantial margin were Illinois and Michigan. Everytime I spewed my anger toward the Maize and Blue, my Michigan alum classmates were sincerely and genuinely perplexed. They had absolutely no feelings toward playing us whatsoever. In fact, a number of them upon moving to Chicago even started cheering for Illinois when they weren’t playing Michigan. They simply didn’t think about us at all as any sort of rival – we might as well have been Northern Illinois. While learning about this apathy was initially even more enraging from a personal standpoint, it also made me realize that Illinois vs. Michigan was a fictional rivalry and we, as Illini fans, look pretty petty into making the matchup into something more than what it actually is. This is now so apparent across the Big Ten that the Michigan Daily even had an article a couple of years ago examining how much we hate them in contrast to their ambivalence toward us. From that point on, I decided that if I was going to hate a team that really wasn’t a true rival of the Illini, I’d redirect more of my sports rage toward someone outside of the Big Ten: Duke. Of course, that’s not to say that I won’t continue to drop “Muck Fichigan” lines at every opportunity.)

3) Bears vs. Lions – In 1934, the Detroit Lions began their tradition of playing on every Thanksgiving Day by matching up against the Chicago Bears. When examining longevity and frequency, only the Packers are bigger rivals to the Bears than the Lions. While in terms of sporting excellence this rivalry has seen better days, the Bears and Lions are, year-in and year-out regardless of records, the most important franchises in their respective cities. So, as we wait for Matt Millen to put together an offensive formation that features one quarterback and ten wide receivers, we can appreciate the history between these two NFL teams along with the passionate fan bases that they bring to the table.

walter-payton-1978.jpg eddie-payton-rookie-card.jpg

4) Blackhawks vs. Red Wings – As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this rivalry once would have been the clear and undisputed #1 on this list. However, this matchup is looking more like Illinois vs. Michigan as opposed to Bulls vs. Pistons with every inept team that the Blackhawks trot out on the ice. Still, there’s incredible history here, from their mutual status as Original Six franchises to the Bobby Hull vs. Gordie Howe boxing matches.

5) Illinois vs. Michigan State – A continually growing college basketball rivalry that is based more on excellence as opposed to bad blood. When looking at the Big Ten over the past decade, these two programs have perennially been at the top of the conference, which makes their annual matchups that much more important. For the record, if I had to pick the one head coach in college basketball other than Bruce Weber that I respect and admire over everyone else, it would definitely be the Spartans’ Tom Izzo.

illini-msu030406.jpg
6) White Sox vs. Tigers – This season, these two teams are battling for supremacy in the American League. I’ve got to rank this rivalry at #6, however, because they have spent the last one hundred seasons as pretty lackluster franchises. It wasn’t very long ago that the Tigers were battling to avoid losing 120 games in a season, while the White Sox finally broke an 88-year World Series championship drought in 2005. If these two clubs can sustain some success over multiple seasons after this year, then we’ll have another true rivalry on our hands.

And finally…

7) Cubs vs. Tigers – This isn’t a real rivalry at all, but it serves me with an opportunity to remind my readers that are Cubs fans that your team (a) hasn’t won a World Series since 1908, when they defeated none other than the Detroit Tigers in five games and (b) hasn’t won a National League pennant since 1945, when they then lost to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series in the maximum seven games. The Circle of Life continues (as well as the Curse of the Billy Goat).

(Images from Pistons.com, Beckett.com, Beckett.com, FightingIllini.com)

Have the Mets stopped scoring on the Cubs yet? All jokes aside, my White Sox didn’t fare any better against the other New York team this weekend. The three game sweep at the hands of the Yankees makes the series beginning tonight against the Tigers a pivotal point in the season. I still don’t quite believe in Detroit because of their inexperience, but I’d be remiss if I neglected to mention that the baseball world didn’t think the Sox were for real until the last out of the World Series last season. In fact, the 2004 Red Sox are the only World Series winners of the last five years that really had any “big game” experience prior to their championship season. Until tonight’s game, here are the links for the day:

1) The True Nature of Bo’s Tecmo Dominance (Deadspin) – The Big Three of Old School Nintendo: Mario in “Super Mario Bros.”, Link in “The Legend of Zelda”, and Bo Jackson in “Tecmo Bowl”.

(Update: Per TK, the Bo Jackson footage was from Tecmo Super Bowl as opposed to Tecmo Bowl. The original Tecmo Bowl didn’t use NFL teams or players.)

2) Oprah: I’m Not Gay (Washington Post) – Crisis averted for American males: there will not be an Oprah/Rosie love child.

3) The Deal-Breakers (Chicago Tribune) – Rationally, to paraphrase the former Hollywood magnate Samuel Goldwyn, I believe that verbal commitments aren’t worth the paper that they’re written on, so I can’t really be shocked by this or play the “unethical” card here. Emotionally, however, if Kelvin Sampson and Indiana somehow steal Eric Gordon from Illinois, my hatred for the Hoosiers would catapult them past Duke and the Packers on my personal list of the most evil teams in all of sports (and that’s akin to switching the order of the Ten Commandments for me). If you’re not up for a couple of rants per week on this blog for the next umpteen years about how Sampson is the Anti-Christ, you absolutely do not want this to happen.

4) DePaul Big East Basketball Opponents for 2006-07 (DePaul Blue Demons) – Having two games apiece against Notre Dame and St. John’s is a good thing. However, what’s up with South Florida (who I don’t believe should have ever been invited to the Big East) appearing twice on the schedule instead of traditional rival Marquette? That’s not very cool. All in all, I have some doubts as to whether DePaul is going to have enough to get to the NCAA Tournament next season since the tough Big East gauntlet is coupled with a brutal non-conference schedule with home games against Kansas (speaking of a school with a coach that is the Anti-Christ), Wake Forest, and California, along with a trip to the Maui Classic that will feature Kentucky, Memphis, UCLA, and Oklahoma.

5) Chicago Weighs New Prohibition: Bad-for-You Fats (New York Times) – If Ed Burke had read my list of Chicago buffets from last week, he never would have proposed such a clamp on the joys of humanity. Do we live in Russia or something?

6) Never Say Never (Chicagoist) – See, Naperville isn’t such a bad place to live! However, I do remember seeing the noted T-shirt being sold around the corner from my old apartment in the city right before my wife and I made the move out west.

And finally…

7) Snoop Dogg Planning West Cost Dominance (AllHipHop.com) – Tell us what you really think about non-West Coast rappers shooting videos in your ‘hood, Snoop.

There are a number of factors that make America great – freedom of speech, the dedication to innovation, our steadfast refusal to adopt the metric system, and, most importantly, the preponderance of all-you-can-eat buffets across the land.  As a moral duty to all my readers, I’d like to share some of my favorites from the Chicago area in no particular order (please note that these are old school eat-from-the-trough buffets, so the amazing all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouses such as Fogo de Chao that are on a whole other level aren’t included here):

1) Aurelio’s Pizza Buffet (506 West Harrison Street, Chicago) – My favorite food in the entire world is pizza and my favorite pizza in the entire world is from Homewood-based Aurelio’s. Thus, when Aurelio’s began a lunch buffet a few blocks away from my Loop office, my cholesterol level shot up about 100 points just with the marvelous foodie thoughts dancing through my head. Plus, the salad bar has crushed up bits of real bacon (that’s really the only time I ever touch the salad bar over there), which means you can turn any slice of pizza into a bacon special.

2) KFC Buffet (700 North Milwaukee Avenue, Vernon Hills) – Did I just say that there is KFC that allows a patron to delve into an orgy of Original Recipe, Extra Crispy, and sides without limitation? Damn straight. As far as I know, this is the only one that exists in Chicagoland. After having lived in nearby Libertyville for a couple of years, I can no longer eat KFC like a normal human being. Unless I get 15 wings and 5 breasts, I’m not satisfied. Damn you Colonel Sanders, with your beady little eyes!

3) Malahini Terrace (321 West 75th Street, Clarendon Hills) – Pretty much all Chinese buffets are inherently good. However, the last time I went to this place, it had Peking duck as one its offerings, which makes it inherently stupendous. (Sidenote: How about a pay-per-view battle between General Tso and Colonel Sanders for chicken supremacy? That would totally kick the hell out of that Burger King chicken fight from a couple of years ago.)

4) John Barleycorn’s Sunday Brunch (3524 North Clark Street, Chicago) – Yes, I know that the bar is played out for anyone that is more than two years removed from college. However, the breakfast spread here with made-to-order omelettes is surprisingly good at an inexpensive price, although my memories might be colored by the fact that I was probably nursing a hangover during my visit.

5) Bobak’s (5275 South Archer Avenue, Chicago) – It’s Xanadu on Archer. Chicken stuffed in pork stuffed in beef stuffed into a deep-fried pierogi… that essentially describes the experience at this Polish classic. In the end though, it all comes down to how many of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning bacon-wrapped hot dogs you can down Kobayashi-style. That is not a misprint. I would never, ever joke about the existence of a restaurant that offers hot dogs wrapped in bacon, which has been verified by Dan Brown as the main course at the Last Supper. Just be sure to duck your heads while you’re in the parking lot to avoid the jets flying into Midway.

Every once in awhile, Frank the Tank’s Slant unintentionally prints erroneous information and is not able to update it within a reasonable amount of time. Unlike the vaunted New York Times, which buries its corrections in the middle of the obituaries section, this blog will devote an entire post on its front page from time-to-time to rectify its unaddressed errors. Please review the following:

1) In the Land-o-Links – 6/15/2006 post, Frank the Tank’s Slant reported that the opening line for the new Jay-Z/Beyonce song is “I used to run the bases like Juan Pierre”, which is incorrect. Instead, the opening line is actually “I used to run base like Juan Pierre”, where “base” is a reference to free base cocaine, A.K.A. crack. Frank the Tank’s Slant sincerely regrets the error and apologizes to Shawn Carter A.K.A. Jay-Z A.K.A. Jigga A.K.A. Hova. This blog should have known better.

deweydefeattruman-crop.jpg

2) In the 2006 American League Preview post, Frank the Tank’s Slant has managed to bungle every prediction as of this year’s All-Star Break. While this blog stands by its predictions and will not issue a full retraction unless it is warranted at the conclusion of the Major League Baseball season, Frank the Tank’s Slant sincerely regrets influencing anyone that would have been intoxicated enough to actually base wagers on such predictions.

3) In the 2006 National League Preview post, please see all of the comments for the 2006 American League Preview above, except that this blog will issue a full retraction of its idiotic and insane prediction regarding the Chicago Cubs immediately (and please note that the prediction was made by a diehard White Sox fan, which makes this whole situation completely unacceptable).

A special non-sports post is on tap for tomorrow that everyone can relate to. Until then, enjoy your Thursday!

(Image from Wikipedia)