Couch Commentary

Thoughts from an outspoken American

Appreciating Our Troops In The Wake Of The Afghani Disaster

I was really surprised when I read the breaking news of the U.S. Chinook helicopter shot down in Afghanistan. I was even more surprised when I learned that more than 20 Navy SEALs were on board that chopper. It’s not that I disregard “regular” soldiers, but SEAL deaths are few and far between so I was shocked to hear that so many perished at once.

This news came about two weeks after I finished reading “SEAL Team Six” by Howard Wasdin, aformer Team Six member. I really recommend reading that book. Very informative and interesting. The amount of training that SEALs go through is incredible. The time that they put forth in perfecting their craft is admirable. Normal military personnel may be in the service to pay for college or to get out of a bad situation at home. SEALs, however, are lifers. They want the military as a career and, as an American, I’m especially thankful for them.

About a week ago, I received a letter from a good friend of mine who is currently a Marine lance corporal serving in Marjah, Afghanistan. He said he’s doing well considering the circumstances and that I’m only the second person that has written to him. That blew my mind.

It’s amazing to me the low level of military appreciation that exists in the United States today. From the dismal troop salaries to the citizens’ overall misunderstanding of war. Many don’t want the expensive price tag that comes along with war, thus they often disregard the great sacrifice the members of the military are giving for us.

Soldiers rely on support from back home and from each other to make it through tough times out in the field. Without that support, they become depressed and lose sight of what’s important in life.

So, America, please support our troops.

For The Phillies, If It’s Not Broken Don’t Fix It

If you’re a regular reader of our partner blog The Good Phight (I’m not quite sure why you wouldn’t be), you would’ve had the pleasure of reading a great post written by David Cohen about how the Phillies are the best team in baseball and they really don’t need to make any moves unless absolutely necessary.

I agree.

I was always taught to look back on history to find out the future. In this case, that cliché rings true. The Phillies could look across the street to the Flyers and observe what happened to them this past season when the Orange and Black tried to “fix” their lack of defense by trading a third-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Kris Versteeg. The Flyers were on top of the Eastern Conference and were ranked second in the NHL in points behind the Vancouver Canucks. After trading for Versteeg, the Flyers’ offensive spark and overall team chemistry seemed to disappear right before their eyes. How could this team collapse in this way all of sudden? They were the best team in the Eastern Conference. What gives?

I chose to use unconventional journalistic tactics to answer that question. I decided to check in with my best friend who is currently a U.S. Marine serving in Afghanistan.

Members of the armed forces go into battle with their platoon. Each soldier in that platoon knows one another and they are comfortable together and trust each other. Imagine taking a couple of soldiers from that platoon right before battle and replacing them with random, unknown soldiers. The overall chemistry and trust around that platoon will drop because of the newcomers. The soldiers in the platoon may adapt quickly to the newbies because “all Marines are brothers and sisters in blood,” but in the MLB, a New York Met (Beltran) or Kansas City Royal (Cabrera) will have to earn his respect and that takes time. And it’s that amount of time that could determine a World Series victory or early exit from contention.

Sure, there are no guns or war in baseball, but in a baseball clubhouse, friendships and trust reign supreme. If a player like Domonic Brown or any other Phillie is traded at this point in the season when the Phillies are at the top, the team chemistry is likely to drop (I used to be a poet).

As Dave Cohen asserts:

“What is it that you want from this team?  Because what we’ve gotten from this team — with the current right field situation, with no big right handed bat, with the bullpen made of Iron Pigs andRyan Madson, witih Raul Ibanez, with the bench, with injuries galore — is the best team in baseball and one of the best Phillies teams ever.”

If it’s not broken, there’s no reason to fix it. Pigs get slaughtered.

SB Nation Philly

How In The Hell Did the US Women Give That Match Away?

Okay, Japan was resilient in their efforts to come back after being down 1-0 to eventually tie it at 1-1. Fine.

But, one could make the argument that the US should’ve played LOCKDOWN DEFENSE after scoring a second time in the 116th minute. They needed to playtough D for about four more minutes. Anyone that watches soccer knows that what happened on Sunday at the end of that match was just a horrible showing on defense by the USA. There’s no way they should’ve given up that match so late. It was a missed opportunity.

The shear size of the USA should’ve been enough to close out the match. Most of the Americans were taller and bigger than the Japanese. And I’m not grasping at straws here. Height is a huge advantage on corner kicks and it was a corner kick that eventually tied the game for Japan late in extra time. Go figure.

With that said, congratulations to Japan on the victory. They truly played with heart and determination and as a sports fan, that’s something I can be proud of.

P.S. – Alex Morgan is still the hottest player on the USA team.

A Realist’s Opinion On The Bruce Feldman/ESPN Saga

Okay, we all (or not) heard about the drama going on between college football writer Bruce Feldman and ESPN. Apparently, Feldman contributed–along with former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach–to a book which had some ESPN-slandering stuff in it. I can agree with ESPN if that were the case because an employee of a company shouldn’t be contributing to a book that makes them look bad.

I think ESPN didn’t know there was any slanderous writing in the book, but they heard there was so they figured why not suspend Feldman until a thorough investigation was carried out. That seems fair. The media decided to architect a story which made Feldman look like a victim of a ridiculous “power play” by ESPN.

At this point, I side with ESPN. However, the next piece of information slightly pushed me to neutrality.

According to TheBigLead, ESPN kept quiet about the Feldman incident until 16 hours after the news leaked. Tons of journalists, agents, and athletes poured their emotions about the situation onto Twitter and Facebook accounts. A Twitter hashtag was even created — #FreeBruce.

Why did ESPN wait so long to explain what happened? I realize the information and subsequent investigation about the case is sensitive, but couldn’t ESPN release a short statement. In my mind, it would read like this: “ESPN has decided to place Bruce Feldman on temporary leave, pending an investigation of possible slanderous acts directed toward ESPN and written in Swing Your Sword, a novel authored by Mr. Feldman and Mike Leach.” 

Of course I’m not a lawyer so my legal verbiage may not be up to the standards of Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, but you get the point.

The bottom line is that Feldman obviously did something that caught ESPN’s eye and made them want to double check some things before they allowed him to continue submitting stories.

I have no problem with that cautionary measure.

On This Edition of “Smart Money”….Deuce McAllister

It really pains me to see professional athletes go down because of money. It boggles my mind that middle-class workers (like myself) and even the low-class can go through life without having to break down and sell pretty much everything to pay the bills. The level of financial intelligence amongst pro athletes is frighteningly low.

Deuce McAllister as well as other athletes such as Scottie Pippen and Mike Tyson have fell victim to the “smart investment” ploy often cast by preying crooks. It’s sad to see.

Now, after already filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for his Nissan dealership in Jackson, Mississippi, McAllister’s Louisiana home has been seized and is set to be auctioned on July 27th.

Apparently, McAllister owes about $1.8 million on the mortgage and Whitney National Bank, where the loan was set up, has had enough and are suing the former Saints running back.

Sigh.

You know the old saying: “Another day older and deeper in debt.”

(H/T ProFootballTalk)

Rays Pitcher David Price Loses Credibility As a Competitor/Man

Usually if you’re a pitcher and you give up a home run, you have an incentive to work harder in practice to prevent that from happening again. David Price of theTampa Bay Rays gave up the home run that gave Derek Jeter his 3,000th hit. Okay, shit happens. No big deal.

The thing that gets me is that David Price was either provoked by Steiner Sports or he went crawling to them to secure a memorabilia deal in which him and Derek Jeter would co-sign a ball that says “I Gave Up DJ’s 3K.”

You can disagree all you want, but that’s absolutely whack. By signing that ball with that inscription, Price is basically bending over and allowing the proverbial shaft of Derek Jeter to enter his rectum. You would never see Roy Halladay co-signing a baseball with Alex Rodriguez after A-Roid hit his 500th home run.Halladay would grab that baseball, as well as the memorabilia contract, and wipe his sacred ass with it.

Good job, David Price, you’re officially a sellout.

(H/T HardballTalk)

Couch Surfing: Brian Wilson’s ESPYs Attire, Serena Williams Booty Poppin, Roy Halladay Is MLB’s Best Player

Today was a beautiful day in Philadelphia. Nowhere near as hot as the past couple of days. Of course if you’re from Arizona, Florida, Texas, or one of those unusually hot states and you’re reading this, then I’m sorry for my bitching. I hate the heat.

Anyway, last night’s ESPYs was pretty decent. There were a lot of surprises like Serena Williams’ BOOTY and Brian Wilson’s ridiculous tuxedo tights: [Deadspin] [TheBigLead]

Emmanuelle Chriqui is ungodly hot: [TheBigLead]

The Eagles and Roy Halladay took home awards last night at the ESPYs: [Philly.com]

Bruce Feldman of ESPN has been suspended indefinitely: [SPORTSbyBrooks]

Sixers guard Evan Turner is working with Philly legend Herb McGee to re-develop shot: [ProBasketballTalk]

Sixers Sell Team To Penn Grad

For the first time since 1996, a Philadelphia franchise has changed ownership. Today, the 76ers finalized a deal which will transfer ownership of the team to Wharton graduate Joshua Harris and his team, which includes fellow Wharton grads David Blitzer and Art Wrubel for $280 million. Harris and his team will own 90% of the franchise and Ed Snider will hold the remaining 10%.

This is a great move for not only the team, but the City of Philadelphia. Ed Snider knows squat about building a successful basketball team. Josh Harris is not only a very smart guy, but also a big basketball fan. You could dub him the second coming of Mark Cuban. He’s a very energetic individual.

I’m excited to watch what could happen with the Sixers under the new ownership. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll be less hesitant to make necessary personnel moves.

(H/T SB Nation Philly)

With The Way DeSean Jackson Parties, He Better Hit The Jacccpottttt

Yeah, I realize the kid is young and he wants to have fun in his early years. What I also realize is that he’s not a millionaire yet. Under his current contract, he will make $565,000 with the Eagles in 2011. That’s a hell of a lot of money, but suppose the lockout continues? Can he really afford all of the parties he’s having over there on the “west coast best coast?”

Why am I going on this rant? Well, last night DJACC supposedly hosted an after-party for the ESPYs at Bare, a strip club in LA.  What a great place for a party (sarcasm). Yeah, the boyzzz will attend, but are the girls going to want to attend a strip club party? Probably not. If it were me, I’d pick a sick club in LA that the ladies wouldn’t mind going to.

Look I’m all for fun, but not when you’re racking up $25,000 bar tabs on a weekend with your homeboys. That’s just crazy.

(H/T Crossing Broad)

Derek Jeter Isn’t Attending The All-Star Game…So What?!

I really don’t understand all the hype behind this topic. Yes, Derek Jeter hit his 3,000th hit just the other day and the fine folks of Major League Baseball wanted to “honor” him in Arizona at the All-Star Game.

How exactly were they going to honor him?

I doubt anyone can honor Jeter more than Christian Lopez, the fan who decided to give DJ the #3,000 ball. That’s a HUGE honor and took a lot of balls from Mr. Lopez. I applaude you, sir.

But, anyway, Jeter is tired. He wants to use the All-Star break as a rest period. No problem in that. No harm, no foul. I actually commend him for being able to walk away from playing in an All-Star Game. I’m not a pro baseball player, but I imagine choosing to not play in a game like that would be a tough choice to make.

So, to all those Jeter haters, get a life. The guy still has more hits (and girls) then you.

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