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I'm thinning, not balding... I've got a lifetime of embarrassing moments just waiting to be shared RCNJ Baseball '19

Take A Lap: ESPN Edition

Sometimes in life, there are times when you did something so uncomprehendingly stupid, like wearing a bright red short sleeve flannel shirt with cargo shorts to the movies or trying to pimp a home run in gym softball and letting go of the bat and breaking a kid’s nose the day of Prom, that you just have to take a lap.

Some days it’s you, some days it’s your friend, some days it’s somebody who you may not even know, but somewhere somebody is doing something stupid and deserves to take a lap. Today, that moron was none other than ESPN and their dufus-filled scheduling team.

This morning, at 11 AM Eastern Standard Time, ESPN 2 aired the “2017 FIFA Ultimate Team Championship Series: Berlin” for a FULL FUCKING HOUR.  They put, on their actual channel, not like ESPN 8: The Ocho or some shit like that, on ESPN 2, their second biggest station, the Berlin FIFA Championship.

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First off, FIFA is a great video game to play.  When I play it, I’m like a pig in shit, and I’m actually quite terrible at the game.  I can’t imagine how much fun it would be if you’re good.  But I mean, you score 4 goals combined on a good day between the two teams usually, so there is not a lot of action.  What in the name of Chuck Knoblauch was ESPN thinking?

Nobody wants to even watch real soccer when the games matter.  They had difficulty getting Americans to watch their own team in the World Cup. If it wasn’t the championship or the semi-finals, only like 80 people tops cared. So why would the Berlin-based, video game version of that provoke anybody to sit down on their couch and actually watch that? We hate the Germans. They start every war and their accents suck.  I don’t care how good they are at FIFA, and I definitely don’t want to watch it on my TV when they could have thrown on a 30 For 30 or some random documentary about the knuckleball.

It just hurts my brain to think that the people at ESPN legitimately thought this was a good idea, considering the world of sports has an obscene amount of content and ESPN used to be prime television.  Nobody can literally be that stupid.  It was an hour of their time, just air another shitty Sportscenter, I don’t care.  Just not the fucking Berlin FIFA Championship.

And for that ESPN, take a lap.

Should the Cubs Be Concerned?

The magic that seemed to propel the Cubs through the strong National League last year has evidently worn off here in 2017.  They are 21-19 and 2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.  The question is: Is it time for Cubs fan to bite their nails?

Before you make the argument, “Oh, it’s only May, there’s still 120 games left”, let me take you through some stats:

Ben Zobrist (World Series MVP): .244 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI

Anthony Rizzo (2016 Regular Season MVP Candidate): .224 BA, 7 HR, 22 RBI

Addison Russell (franchise shortstop): .215 BA and only 25 runs scored

Kyle Schwarber (critical piece in the Cubs coming back from 3-1 against the Indians): .188 BA, 17 RBI, and 46 strikeouts

Jake Arrieta (perennial Cy Young candidate): 4-3, 5.44 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.46

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Clearly, I highlighted the bad things happening for them this year to make a point.

Kris Bryant is hitting well and is returning to MVP form, their bullpen is turning into a strength with Carl Edwards, Jr., and Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester are under-performing, but not by much.

But there is still so much wrong with this Cubs team, and we officially a quarter of the way through the season.  Where is the star power and the excitement that we saw last year? Was the leadership and expertise of Cody Ross really that much of a factor? Will they be forced to make trades this season just to contend? These are not questions you thought were going to be asked at the beginning of the year.

All in all, it is not time to be concerned…yet. They are young, learning, and have an abundance of talent. But they seem to be missing the X-factor this year, and you cannot wait until August to find it.  As a Cubs fan, I’d be on my heels because a team that falls into complacency can quickly fall into trouble.

The Chicago Cubs are playing average baseball right now, and that is SCARY considering they finished the 2016 season looking like this:

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How the Dumbest Trade in the History of Sports Possibly Created a Dynasty

Let’s reminisce for a brief moment: It’s 2013, Barack is in the Oval Office, “Sharknado” was terminally being forced into our memories, Colin Kaepernick was in the Super Bowl, and the Brooklyn Nets though they had a chance to win a title.

And like everything else the Brooklyn Nets do…they blew it. They traded for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and D.J. White while exchanging to the rebuilding Boston Celtics Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans, three first-round picks (2014, 2016 and 2018), and the right to swap first-rounders in 2017.  Chris Rock explained this situation best:

Now, the Celtics probably have not taken perfect advantage of their opportunities thus far, drafting James Young in 2014 and Jaylen Brown two years later with the third overall pick, who definitely has potential but is not a star yet.  Regardless, the Celtics have built a strong team since this trade and have without a doubt rebuilt successfully.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that.  They were the #1 seed heading into the post season (which pretty much happened by default since the Cavs didn’t play the second half of the year), and looked poised to make a decent playoff run.  They now find themselves playing against Playoff LeBron, which is regular season LeBron on crack, and ultimately stand no shot of winning the series.

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But…thanks to the twats over at the Brooklyn Nets organization, the rich get richer. The Celtics have the #1 overall pick this year, that belonged to the Nets, and might find themselves being able to put up a fight next year against the Cavs.  With Isiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Al Horford, and the rising young talent around them (Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown, James Young, etc), and the likely addition of either Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball, the Celtics may be onto something here.

With another year of growing and maybe Isiah moving to the shooting guard position and Fultz/Ball taking over at point, the Brad Stevens-led Celtics can make a push to put someone in the Finals from the East other than LeBron and Co. for years to come.

For now, let’s enjoy LeBron treating the rest of the NBA like a Make-A-Wish All-Star team.

Note: Fuck Kelly Olynyk, I hope he gets traded to China for Jimmer.

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The Man Show: Hilarious Videos

The Man Show was a show that ran on Comedy Central from 1999 to 2004, hosted by the now infamous Jimmy Kimmel and the less infamous Adam Corolla.  Together, the two of them basically just did stupid shit that every guy would get a kick out of.  The video above is this 11 year-old, white-bred,white-chocolate truffle-looking kid that is the last person on Earth you would think would say wildly inappropriate stuff. From hitting on college girls to selling beer on the streets, this legitimately made me laugh out loud. My new life goal is to find this kid, and I pray he’s still just as fat, if not more.

This second video is still from The Man Show and is a deer strapped down to a car screaming for help and shouting insults at passing bystanders. Give it a watch and enjoy.

 

If Avril Lavigne is Dead, So Am I

Warning: this post will contain severa hidden and unfortuntaley bad Avril Lavigne puns. Viewer discretion is advised

First things first, get caught up on the issue at hand.

The Guardian:
Did you know Avril Lavigne was replaced by a lookalike named Melissa in 2003? At least, that’s what the internet would have you believe. The old conspiracy theory that Lavigne was “cloned” resurfaced on Twitter over the weekend, but it has been bandied about the internet since 2005 and is thought to have originated on a Brazilian fanpage.

The theory claims Lavigne, struggling with fame at the beginning of her career, began using a body double named Melissa. At some point, the real Lavigne is said to have died, so the record company replaced her with Melissa full-time. “Proof” has included Lavigne’s red carpet shots (Lavigne wears trousers; Melissa prefers dresses and skirts) and supposed differences between the facial features of pre-2003 Lavigne and the current incarnation. Theorists also believe Melissa has left clues in songs, such as Slipped Away, in which she sings: “The day you slipped away was the day I found it won’t be the same”. There was even a publicity shot in which Lavigne had “Melissa” written on her hand. Spooky.

 

What the hell.  In 2017, anything is possible, but I did not think the songbird of 2002 would have a lifetime stunt double. This is the type of shit that will make a great movie in ten years.

Please note before reading on: If Avril Lavigne made sure she had a replacement to live the rest of her life, you HAVE TO recognize that heart and give her some damn props. That is the definition of “The show must goes on”.

The question being ignored in this whole scenario is how the hell Avril Lavigne died???? If alive, she is 32 now and if not, and this has been going on for a while she was dead at like 28! If you die before 30 the only options are shot, drugs, or sickness.  I’m sure if Avril Lavigne was shot then people would have known. She was a damn icon after “Skater Boy”.  That’s like shooting John Lennon. That makes the news 9/10. If she had a terminal illness then I’m guaranteeing you people would have known about that because too many idolized her to just let her go quietly without a fight.  This leaves the only option being drugs, which is a possibility since she went to rehab various times. That will be the only theory I accept for the time being.

If that theory is correct, we must now think of life without Avril Lavigne, which is certainly a tough concept to grasp.  It’s complicated, considering she was a legend when we were growing up, whether or not you want to admit it.

All I know is I’m not ready for her to be gone, and if this damn Melissa tries to duplicate what Avril did, she’s gonna get a dropkick to the nose. Her music won’t be looked at the same, and how will we ever know what was Avril and what wasn’t? I am willing to accept the idea that her three good songs were Avril, and every other one that sucked or was forgetful was simply Melissa trying to catch the wave and get ready for this time.

Whatever the truth is, I’m just praying Avril is fine and ready to make another guilty-pleasure hit in the coming months. If she does, she’s an early candidate for Comeback Performer of the Year.

 

 

Redefining Average

As a BTB Sports Editor and Founder, it is with great pride I present to you the first article ever to be published on the site.  This site is all about what it means to be living life in the nosebleeds, removed from the game entirely, and shouting your opinions (ideally drunk) to those who really don’t care what you think. Hopefully, with this site, these hollow shouts become a little louder.

With all that said, here is a list of some of the most average sport icons of our generation:

Tony Womack

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Playing for almost 30% of the league, Tony Womack can be considered the Rod Carew knockoff version. His career  average of .273 with only 36 career home runs caught my eye considering he played for 13 seasons.  I mean, if you gave Hank Aaron a bat right now, he’d have a tough time not hitting 36 dingers in half that time, and he’s 83.  Other than his speed, Womack made a career out of being the best “okay” second basemen in the league.

Brian Scalabrine

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Had to get this guy out of the way because outrage would have ensued if he was left off this list. If you count swag, number of nicknames, and misplaced confidence, then The White Mamba was far from average. But since this regards actual performance, he can take the crown as the King of Mediocrity. At 6′ 9”, he averaged 2.0 rebounds a game and only 3.1 points.

Side note: Please do not overlook his annoyingly average ‘dad bod’.  It’s like this guy was sculpted by the Greek God of Ordinary.

Nate Burleson

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The guy who was always near the top of waivers in your fantasy league, but it was always a stretch to actually pick him up.  Through 11 years in the NFL, Burleson found himself playing for three teams and hauling in 5,630 yards and 39 TDs.  For those of you who don’t specialize in short division, that’s 511 yards and 3.5 touchdowns a year.  That’s consistency, and that is exactly what Below the Belt Sports is about.  Thank you Nate Burleson, you’re a role model for us.

Ryan Raburn

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Ryan Raburn is a name that we all have definitely heard, but don’t know exactly where we heard it from.  Most recognizable from his time in Detroit, there is nothing exceptional about this guy.  He’s still giving it a go right now as a minor leaguer in the White Sox system, but keep in mind Raburn has 16 career stolen bases in 11 years.  Get a clue, Ryan Raburn, get a clue.

Jordan Farmar

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If Kobe is a nice steak at a country club, then Jordan Farmar is the green beans you get on the side that you eat first to try to get out of the way.  Topping the list of mediocrity, Farmar average 7.7 points a game during his stint in the NBA. His most memorable moments are with the Lakers as the man who brought the ball to half-court then passed it to Kobe. Hey, somebody had to do it.

 

Rob Sartori