Buzz Bissinger Thinks Your Blog Needs to Shut Up!

For those under a rock today, PROFESSIONAL journalist Buzz Bissinger thinks your blog is stupid and you're a moran. Buzz and our friend Will Leitch from Deadspin were on Bob Costas' show on HBO last night. We've posted about Costas' love of blogs and now Buzz joins the fray. Basically, Will was set up and ambushed by two guys who's livelihood are threatened by the "New Media." View the tape here, at Deadspin. Bravo, and one point for the "Mainstream Media", for showing those mean bloggers who's boss. Bob and Buzz are right, and only those who are professionals, like Shaun since he's now a professional, are allowed to write about sports. We comepletely agree.

Sports Journalism: Serious Business.

The Final 4 Is Set

It's been a rough road for all of the 64 entrants into the Super Xtreme Asskickin Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death but only four have made it to this point. We knew going into this thing that there would be no cakewalks, and nothing should be taken for granted until the buzzer sounds. Now here we are, four are left - who will walk out as champion?

If you were able to handle all of the hard hitting analysis that the regional previews dished out, then handled the second and third round analysis and predictions, you should be rewarded. Note that you should be...instead you will be bombarded with the hardcoreiest, in your faceiest analysis and breakdowns you've ever seen. Put a helmet on and grab some nunchucks, you're entering the danger zone!

#1 Wiffleball (Hazelwood Regional) - When the warm weather rolls around it is always time to break out the wiffleball and bat. You don't need much else besides that, usually just a lawn chair for the strike zone, make up a few rules, and you're ready to play. Games can vary from "non-competitive" to "Texas Death Match." I'm still here, so you know I've fared pretty well in the latter.

Strengths: Fun to play for males and females, goes hand in hand with barbeque's and drinking beer, you can plunk someone and send a message while no one gets seriously hurt (unless they charge the mound on you), bat flips and showing up your opponent is encouraged.

Weaknesses: Works best while playing outdoors, so weather and playing surface play a key role, sore arm after throwing for an hour or two, can be humiliating if you suck.

Why it will win: Classic game designed for kids, but still enjoyable in your mid-20's. It's hard to not have a good time playing wiffleball, as it goes with so many great things: nice weather, BBQ, beer, girls, funny batting stances, and taunting.

Why it will lose: I don't think enough people take the time out to play wiffleball as often as they should (myself included). There can be a big gap from the time you play as a kid to when/if you play with your own children, and sometimes the love for the game can get lost in between.

#2 College Life (Alton Regional) - There you are hotshot, you're finally on your own. Ready to take over the world? No, not yet. First meet my lady friend, she wants to get to know you a little better. Wait, untuck that shirt, math boy. Also meet my other friend, beer bong. You and him are going to spend a lot of time together. Last but not least...meet Ricky Williams. I know he can't open his eyes right now, but you guys will have some funny fucking conversations later, it will be awesome.

Strengths: Girls (or dudes for the handful of ladies reading), booze, skipping class to play video games, skipping class for ____(insert any noun or verb here), degenerate behavior, girls "experimenting" with each other in your presence.

Weaknesses: Believe it or not there are a few, like when you actually have to go to class, study, and do papers; using any of those things as an excuse for not hanging out is always depressing, the drama that you either have to put up with or witness, paying $125 for books that half the time you don't use or can't sell back, paying expensive tuition and/or "fees" to the school.

Why it will win: Too many people go to college nowadays and have the greatest experience of their life. Assuming you graduate, it typically lasts from four years for some...to seven (via five schools) for others.

Why it will lose: Some people go and don't have fun, or have to work their way through school and miss out on the cool stuff. Also some may just have bad memories from their college days. Like people who lost a 10-7 lead in the final inning of a softball championship by giving up 13 runs and losing 20-10.

#1 Bacon (Woodson Terrace Regional) - A recent Jack in the Box commercial had Jack saying "Bacon is the candy bar of meats." I don't know where that quote is from, but I'm pretty sure it was in the Bible (where? somewhere in the back). He is absolutely correct (I'm talking about Jesus and Jack). Bacon is hands down the best form of meat out there, despite a lot of great competition. Any time bacon is invited over to your house, a party breaks out.

Strengths: Goes with everything - sandwiches, other meats, chocolate; one of the most delicious things you can put in your mouth (hopefully that sounded as sexual as possible), never disappoints, and it's Atkins Diet friendly! Eat all the bacon you want!

Weaknesses: Can't be consumed in large amounts like steak or hamburgers, not for the lazy - it takes some prep time to cook, some say it's bad for your heart.

Why it will win: Bacon has that swagger that a lot of championship teams have. The '85 Bears, '00 Ravens, and '08 Bacons all have it. There are a lot of common elements when you look at each team on paper. Of course, looking at Bacon on paper is not recommended, use a plate.

Why it will lose: It is just a matter of choice here - do you go with the best meat in bacon, or a bunch of them in BBQ? This should be the toughest vote for our panel of judges, and should make most of them cry.

#2 BBQ (Natural Bridge Regional) - If there were ever a rulebook for guys, one of the first rules would be that you have to know how to barbeque. If you don't know anything about cars, fine. Don't know anything about crescent wrenches, whatever. But you better damn well know how to cook meat on the grill. Women (though not their first choice) can live with going to a mechanic or plumber, but if you don't know how to cook simple hot dogs or pork steaks (for St. Louis folk only), then they might think twice about you as a man. They'll still marry you, but know that they wear the pants in the household, while you hold the purse.

Strengths: Contrary to popular belief BBQ can be grilled and eaten 365 days a year, delicious and not too difficult, many good options of what can be barbequed, Atkins friendly, not exclusive to warm weather, great for male bonding.

Weaknesses: Also not for the lazy - unless you have Bandana's do it, you have to be careful with fire and not under- or overcooking your meat. Burnt hamburgers are the worst thing ever.

Why it will win: BBQ is kind of like Eli Manning, trying to step out of Peyton's shadow. Bacon has had a stranglehold on all foods for a long time now, but this could be BBQ's year to prove it is worthy of holding the crown as well. Either way, BBQ and Bacon's father - Bologna Manning will be proud.

Why it will lose: Same reasoning as why Bacon would lose. I anticipate fights and arguments aplenty. Households will be divided in half, carnage will ensue. Ben Affleck will have to save the world. Now there's a guy who likes meat. He's probably got his eye on some wieners right now...

That is the breakdown of our Final Four. We'll keep you posted on results later this week.

PS. The stats say this is post #300. Hooray for us!

This Bores Me...

Here is this week's insideSTL article, regarding Prince and "the fantasy conundrum." Oh, wrong Prince. There is even a plug for the Who's Shitty Fantasy Report. Is that me being a team player? What the hell's going on out here?

(Update 5/20: because of insideSTL's website switch, this article is no longer up. I'll repost the link if they fix it.)


Who's Shitty

Hello ladies and gentlemen welcome to the first in-season installment of the "Who's Shitty" fantasy report, your premier source for fantasy baseball knowledge. Tony Pellegrino, webmaster and fantasy expert will check the mailbag and answer all your fantasy questions. We have picked five more questions, so hopefully yours will get answered. If you're lucky, Tony might call your favorite fantasy player "Shitty," which will automatically make your team even better (see: Pellegrino Curse in the bertflex glossary).

In typical fantasy guy fashion, here is a badass picture of Tony Pellegrino. Note that we did not include the shorts that Tony was wearing, due to "too much leg exposure." This is for your own protection. You are not protected from the guns, because there is no defense for guns like that. Well, besides change-ups and sliders.

"Straight-ball, I hit it VERY much. Curve-ball; bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come. I offer him cigar and rum. He will come, as long as Josh doesn't get to it first."

On to this week's questions:

1. Big Head ('03 Benzo) - I own(ed) Frank Thomas in a MASH League. Comfort me.

Clubhouse Cancer Frank Thomas can still Mash, especially now that he's an A. I actually read a blog about how the A's should sign both Thomas and Bonds and have the ultimate Mashy DH Platoon. I think that would be awesome and give the idea my full support. Since Bonds is a big girl and doesn't miss baseball anyway then I think the Big Skirt should come play for my slow-pitch softball team.

2. Big Head (still ridin') - Speaking of bad 1baggers, how about Daric Barton? Shitty??

He's had a shitty start, but he's not yet shitty. I think people have too high expectations for him. He's Hal Morris, people. In 2010, he'll hit .320 with 20 bombs. Leave the kid alone already. He's not going to hit a brazillion jacks. Remember, he used to be a catcher so numbers like that would make him a stud backstop. At first, he's merely "useful". Daric Barton and Conor Jackson might be the same person in the end.

3. ELF (MO-side) - Dear Master of Mash – Cliff Lee and Zach Greinke are 1-2 in the AL in ERA. Which one of them is more “fo’ rill”?

To answer this question, I'll cite my friend* Rany Jazayerli from BaseballProspectus.com...

In 31.2 innings, Cliff Lee has allowed 11 hits, walked 2, struck out 29, and has a 0.28 ERA. Since 1956, do you know how many pitchers had made three straight starts with 8+ innings, <=3 hits, <=1 walk, and 8+ strikeouts? Here's the list, which I have put in alphabetical order for your convenience:
Cliff Lee.
Here's that list again, sorted by last name:
Lee, Cliff.
That's it. Lee's stretch of pitching is unmatched in at least 50 years, and quite possibly ever, when you consider that strikeouts tend to decrease in frequency as you go back in time.

*- Rany (or Jaza for those of us in the industry) and I aren't really friends. I've lied to you. It's ok, really.

4. Big Sandwich ($5 @ subway) - Mangy Corpas has been complete poop this year and has already lost his closer job. After watching his nasty stuff last year can you explain why he has screwed my fantasy bullpen? (And you can't say it's because he pitches in Coors smart guy)

Is everyone ready to play my favorite game "Let's! Get! Dorky!"? Good, let's begin. His K/9 this year is 3.7 compared to 6.7 last year. His K/BB last year was 2.9, this year it's 0.7. His BABIP is only .304 so that seems to be ok and is a regression to the mean from his superb .262 BABIP last year. It's early, but his average heater has dropped from 93.1 MPH last season to 91.1 MPH this year. The amazing thing to me is that, this season, 42% of his baserunners have come around to score, compared to 20% last year. Basically, he's lost a couple of ticks off his heater which is leading to him not missing any bats this season. He is paying a high price for it and if he can regain that lost velocity, I think he could turn it around.

5. shaun (north side) - I recall a certain fantasy "expert" mocking my pick of Adam Wainwright in a money league a month ago. Any regrets on your mockery, or should I be selling high on the Pain Train?

Wainwright's numbers are as deceiving as the Cardinals first place standing were last week. Wainwright is a good pitcher, but he's not going to win the Cy Young this year. He's 3-1 and that won't last with this ballclub. He doesn't yet strike out enough guys to be a true ace but he does keep the walks down. If he can take the next step and up the K's while keeping the Walks where they are, I might be regretting my mockery. HOWEVA, his BABIP is .241 so far this year and he's due for a "correction" sooner rather than later.

Bonus Question:
HMW (mowing T. McKernan's lawn) - Tony, I read last week that Megan Fox was named the "World's Sexiest Woman" by FHM. I don't know much about this young lass, but her pictures are top notch. Give me a scouting report on Miss Fox and some projections. Is she more Ben Grieve #1 (1998) or A-Rod #1 (1995)?

I don't know if I can really get behind this pick. She doesn't have that projectability I'm really looking for with a #1 overall pick. She lacks a true "plus" tool that would allow me to get really excited about her. Due to that, she has kind of an "ordinary" look about her, and not the hot kind of ordinary you get from someone like an Alyson Hannigan, who I list as one of her comparables. I think this was a need-based pick, to try and generate a spark on offense for FHM, rather than taking the best player available. In my mock draft, I had Alba, Hazell, and Johansson as my top 3, so I was shocked when they went with Fox. She's definitely in Grieve territory. Megan Fox... Shitty.

If you would like to ask Tony "Who's Shitty?" please send your questions to haymang@yahoo.com. Tony Pellegrino's advice should be taken with caution, but he has finished in 2nd place in numerous fantasy leagues over the years (none recently) and gets paid to analyze baseball players, so he's kind of an expert, using that term loosely.


Mommas, Don't Let Your Daughters Hang Out With patakas

Earlier today, I was looking at the Cardinals fan photo section on stltoday.com. It's usually a lot of baby pictures, or a dog wearing a Cardinals hat, or an out-of-focus shot taken from row 452. This time, however, there was a picture of a hussied-out girl ... and then another ... and another.

Whoever patakas is, he is somehow able to get his picture taken with the best Quadruple-A hotties the StL and Greater Metro area have to offer. You can look for him at Michael's before the game, or in the Coca-Cola Club at the stadium. You'll know him by the Rob Deer moustache.

Worse Day: Roger Clemens or Barry Zito?

It's been a busy day in the world of erstwhile big-shot starters.

First, the New York Daily News reported that Roger Clemens had an affair. With a country singer. Who looks like this (granted, she used to be hotter). Did I mention that the NYDN alleges that the relationship started when she was 15 years old.

Meanwhile, Barry Zito has brought shame to John Mayer fans everywhere by pitching so shittily that even the Giants have decided that he is best used in small doses out of the bullpen -- $126 million contract be damned.

So you've got to ask yourself: Who would you rather be today? A controversial Hall of Fame candidate who is suspected of steroid use, adultery, and/or the de-flowering of a minor? Or an overpaid, highly flammable John Mayer fan?

It's a tough call.


Yeah, This is My Dad

"The Rod", as he is fondly known as to several of my friends, rose to a new all-time high last night. Granted, he is known as "The Rod" because he likes to head out and hang with his son's friends; be it at a ballgame or driving around in his own pub crawl. I owe him a Cardinals game for his b'day, and since I'm heading into the Lou next weekend, I figured I'd throw down a little cash and take the old man out. Bleacher seats? Not good for a guy in his mid-fiddies. Remarkably, I found a pair of decent seats for a total of $86 for the Sunday night game against the Chubs.

Conversation commences.

Big Head: Dad, I found a pair of seats for the game Sunday. You in?
The Rod: How much?
BH: 86 bones...total
TR: Where at?
BH: Section 267. Second row.
TR: (Silence)
BH: You in?
TR: Well, you think we could drink $100 in beer?
BH: What?
TR: 100 DOLLARS IN BEER (Screaming like I hadn't heard him the first time. Very Chris Tucker-ish to Jackie Chan "Do you understand the words coming outta my mouf?")
BH: Uh...maybe
TR: We should go with the Party Room. All you can drink and eat. The eats are ok, and you can't taste how bad the beer is after the 2nd inning. You can get plowed for $190 for the pair. I can sober up on the MetroLink.

Damn, this is my future.


Lots of Important People at Ozzie's

I was out tonight doing a little fine dining at Ozzie's and none other than O. Smith was there in attendance. I'm not sure if there was an actual occasion, but he was signing autographs for a bunch of old ladies and fat slobs - with many combinations of both. It was the big "Dine Out St. Louis" charity thing tonight (you can google what was going on, I won't) so maybe that was the reason.

Besides signing balls, photos, and an assortment of crap, Ozzie mingled with a few guests and went into the special VIP section of the restaurant to hang out with his caucasian female friends. Of course, plenty of douchebag hangers-on were lurking around with their indoor sunglasses on, so I was sure not to mess with those gangsterrz. And I even think one of T-Mac's Girl Next Door contestants was prancing around, but I'm not great at recognizing minor local celebrities from the internet in public.

The other person - besides O. Smith - that I recognized was A++ level local celebrity Mickey Carroll. He and his entourage rolled into the joint and parked themselves at a table right next to The Wizard. If you're not familiar with Mickey, here is his extensive IMDB page:

And boom, that's it. Pack it in, done. I don't really get the fascination people have with Mickey Carroll, and I'm not really sure why he is marginally important in St. Louis, but if I asked him, I'm sure he'd tell me why. Hey, more power to him; especially when posing for pics with ladies 1/3 his age and twice as tall, he gets a nice view at eye level.

Oh and don't forget that Bertflex and insideSTL's own Hazelwood's Most Wanted was in the house. I didn't sign any autographs, I only had time to bang a few waitresses who dig unknown blog contributors. Just another day in the life...

But it was cool to actually step out into "the scene" for one night and hang out with the top celebrities St. Louis - no, the WORLD - has to offer. I plan on going to the mall this weekend and picking up some indoor shades so I can do this more often, and look like a badass in the process.

The Dangers of Being a David Wright Fan

Everyone knows my love for the best New York third baseman (the one who doesn't slap people on the field). However I will watch my back because I might get my ass handed to me by the Po-lice.

Eh, maybe it has more to do with being a jackass Met fan. I bet Carlos Beltran stood there frozen as this dude got hauled away.


Simple Math: College Baseball Minus Ping = BOOORING

The Good Face and I went over to MO'Fallon tonight to check out some college baseball action. Unfortunately, we didn't see "real" college baseball, nor did we see much action. Mizzou (#4 ranked team in the country) lost to SIU in a 2-1 pitchers duel. The teams played with wooden bats, which took away 99% of the coolness of college baseball, but it was a fun experience nonetheless.

Mizzou had plenty of chances to pull ahead - they stranded the bases loaded twice, and left a man on third in the 8th inning when Trevor Coleman was punched out on what seemed to be a strike from the 3rd base stands. He was pretty pissed, started yelling and pointing to the ump ("Your face is chocolate cake!" is what it sounded like), and got the gate.

It would have been cool to see Aaron Crow tonight, as this was his fifth day, but they must have been saving him for the weekend series at Texas A&M. Despite there being ZERO aluminum bats in the house, it was still a good time for my first college baseball experience.

A few notes:

-SIU has a guy with the last name "Crank." He did not play tonight, but I'm sure he would have hit 6 home runs. He sounds like a perfect fit for the MASH fantasy league. This is the best photo I could get from long range, and acting quickly.

-More photos can be seen at the Bertflex photo gallery.

-Not a lot of attractive females in the crowd, though the ones that were hot put on their skankiest attire for the game.

-If UMSL can afford a banner on the outfield wall, Bertflex needs to pool some money and buy one (possibly a joint venture w/ the Front Office and Mizzourah).

-A lot of well-hit balls tonight, but nothing remotely deep after the SIU home run in the second. Hmm, wonder what the problem was...oh yeah, NO ALUMINUM FUCKING BATS! Weak sauce.

-We were hoping to get a glimpse of Aaron Crow or Kyle Gibson as the players were walking by us. It probably would have helped if we knew what they looked like, though it's possible that Crow (and even Gibson) didn't make the trip if he was going to pitch on Friday. I was hoping that The Good Face could give Crow some words of encouragement by letting him know he's on his fantasy team (already) in the Hardcore League.

-It looks like FSN Midwest will be carrying the Mizzou vs A&M game Sunday Sunday Sunday at 1pm. Treadhead seats are ten bucks!

The Bert Flex Guide to Picking Up Chicks

Best pickup line EVAR: "Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?"


Email Us, We Might Read It

It's taken us two and a half years to provide this service, but if you ever have the urge to email the kind folk at bertflex.com, feel free to drop us a line. We really tried to not have an offensive email address, but this is the best we could do:


I am planning on digging into the mailbag for a post-tournament version of the Who's Shitty Fantasy Report, so get your questions sent in. Mang.


Jobbers, Faces, and Heels ... Oh My!

It is a truth universally acknowledged by almost everyone that professional wrestling is a metaphor for life. Thus, since wrestling is a metaphor for life, and since baseball is a metaphor for life, then by the transitive property wrestling is a metaphor for baseball.

Got all that, genius?

You see, in baseball, as in wrestling, there are babyfaces, heels, and jobbers. If you’re unfamiliar with this terminology, I’m deeply disappointed in you, and may God have mercy on your soul. But to help explain it, I’ll mix the metaphor and drop some Star Wars on your ass:

Faces: The good guys, like Luke Skywalker and Yoda.
Heels: The bad guys, like Darth Vader before he went all pussy.
Jobbers: The inconsequential Storm Troopers who are only there to make the faces and heels look good.

So who are baseball’s faces, heels, and jobbers?

Baseball faces: The all-time biggest face would probably be Babe Ruth, although his heelish tendencies might have been suppressed by the media. Today, biggest face honors likely go to Albert.
Baseball heels: There’s quite a lot to choose from – Ty Cobb, Hal Chase, the 1919 Black Sox, Pete Rose. Barry Bonds is easily the biggest heel going today.
Baseball jobbers: The sad, simple truth is that, at any time, 90% of major leaguers are jobbers. Noteworthy jobbers, if that isn’t an oxymoron, include Mario Mendoza, the Patron Saint of Baseball Jobbers.

Not everyone fits into these three categories, though. Some blur the lines.

Heelish faces: This is Alex Rodriguez’s lot at the moment. Much like John Cena, MLB tries to push A-Rod as The Man, but fans just love to hate him. The sooner everyone accepts that, the better.
Face-ish heels: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin practically invented this role. Not “good guys” by deed, they still get applause from fans who appreciate their willingness to kick just about anyone’s ass. Reggie Jackson and Roger Clemens come to mind.
Heelish jobbers: What the Brooklyn Brawler was to the WWF, Craig Counsell is to MLB. Take your stupid batting stance and your stupid face and get the hell out of here!!1!
Face-ish jobbers: Cardinals fans in particular love themselves some face-ish jobbers. Tell me that David Eckstein and Crash Holly don’t look like they could be brothers. Bo Hart, Stubby Clapp, and Joe McEwing also qualify. You don’t have to be white to be a face-ish jobber, but it doesn’t hurt. Does it ever?

Tournament of Death Bracketology: Sweet 16

We're now down to the Sweet 16 in the Super Xtreme Asskickin Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death! Thanks to all who have voted so far. There have been a few "Teams of Destiny" who have survived to this point despite being huge underdogs. We've even had a #1 seed already get knocked out. Read on for my expert opinion on this round's matchups.

Wiffleball has been solid, outscoring their opponents 148-51 so far, but I see YouTube as a tough matchup for them. I think YouTube has played well in close games, so if they can stay close to Wiffleball late, they can win. It will be hard for YouTube to play from behind, so if Wiffleball can stay hot and jump on them early, they can put it away.

Taunting struggled a bit against A Girl Who Can Talk Sports but really took it to Offensive T-Shirts last time out, 76-23. Punk Rock has been on an amazing run so far, defying the odds to make it to the Sweet 16. It's tempting to take scrappy Punk Rock, but I think Taunting's overall strength of schedule has prepared them for this game.

I saw Poop as the weakest #1 seed, plus it ran into the buzzsaw of Making It Rain, so I'm not altogether shocked that they're out. MIR has really gelled down the stretch this season and surprised alot of people. Making It Rain plays Nintendo this round, and I think Nintendo takes it easily given their 151-47 performance the first two rounds.

Beef Jerky really took it to Grand Theft Auto, who I was expecting more from. Too bad for Jerky, they run into College Life this round. CL has outscored their opponents a ridiculous 164-35 in their first two games, including a rout of Home Run Derby last round. Given their performance so far, I see College Life as the strongest team in the field and a lock to make finals.

Bacon on Anything got a little scare in the first round, giving up 33 to Trivial Pursuit, but got it together against Malt Liquor. I don't see them having any trouble against Tournaments this round. Tournaments had an impressive first round win over Entrance Music but I personally think EM came out a bit flat in that game.

Big-Ass TV's have thoroughly dominated their first 2 games, 139-59, and match up well against the only perfect first round opponent, R.B.I. Baseball. RBI won a tough battle against Fantasy Leagues last game while Big-Ass TV's haven't really been tested yet. These are both power house offenses, either of which could win this region. This is my "Game to Watch" this round.

Fantasy Drafts and Anchorman Quotes appear to be mirror images of each other. Both won their second round games in nailbiters which came down to the last few plays, beating teams that were dominate in the first round victories. Despite playing the lower seed, I think that FD's game against Being White was a tougher draw than AQ against Winning Someone's Money In Poker, so I'm picking Fantasy Drafts to win.

I have Barbeque as the toughest team in the tournament based on their routs so far by a score of 178-20. Buffets have been hot and have beaten quality competition so far, but I think they run out of steam here against BBQ. While BBQ isn't as much of a lock to make finals as College Life, so far they've been the better team and should win their region.

*-Disclaimer: Although I am a voter in the Tournament of Death, the opinions above are based on the results of the tournament so far and are not a reflection of my voting.


Hey, I Haven't Been Fired Yet

Three columns and I still haven't had to have "the talk" with McKernan. If you had less than 3 columns in the when does HMW get fired pool, you lost! Ha ha - wait that includes me.

Here is this week's article, where I try to convince everyone that they should use 'Bert Flex' as Alllbert PU-jolzez' nickname. Hopefully within a few weeks we'll have a glossary built for all of our baseball nicknames, possibly including the offensive and really offensive ones. We'll run our Jap Plays and get back to you.

(Update 5/20: because of insideSTL's website switch, this article is no longer up. I'll repost the link if they fix it.)

When Hack Visits, the Royals Win!

Ahh, Kansas City. You know, that city about 4 hours west on I-70? Not being a Missouri native, I’ve never been to Kansas City, but that all changed on April 13, when I made the journey west. I had court-related business early Monday morning, so I decided to head up and check out a Royals game. I wanted to see what this "New Blue Tradition" was all about.

It has a Minor League Feel!
HMW and Pellegrino both told me Kauffman Stadium "The K" had a "minor league feel." When asked for some clarification, they said it was a good feel. My first reaction when exiting I-70 at the ominous sounding "Sports Complex" exit was "Are you sure there is a game today?" It was about 20 minutes before first pitch, and the upper deck was completely empty. Katy, my girlfriend replied "No, it’s just a Royals home game." After the game I realized both were right, there was a minor league feel, in the quality of play, the size of the crowd, and the good but cheap seats I got.

When in Rome…..
The first rule that a lawyer knows is when to fit in. In this case, after purchasing tickets from a scalper (for below face value), I immediately purchased a Royals hat. Why? Wearing a Royals hat will help me fit in, and other Royals fans won’t see me as a threat. I can roam freely without being questioned.

After finding our seats, on the lower level, we realized that the wind was blowing right at us. Looking around, and realizing that there were only about 8,000 to 10,000 people in attendance, we decided to move to the third base line. After some photos, we settled in, and watched the Royals beat the Twins. Another exciting day for baseball in Missouri's "little brother" city.

Originally posted by Hack ~hmw


Greg Maddux Drops Bombs

This paragraph changed my entire perception of hanging out with Greg Maddux...

From ESPN.com: "One morning this spring in Peoria, Ariz., he sat at his corner locker with a plate of bacon and eggs on his lap, talking about pitching. He was running some sort of low-stakes golf pool out of the corner of his eye, passing out papers and collecting money without turning his head. At one point, in midsentence and without warning, he winced like a man about to pass a stone, lifted his left cheek off the chair and let loose. "Whoa, wow, sorry about that," he said, then continued with the eggs and the discussion and the golf pool. So add that to the Maddux scouting report: bats right, throws right, farts left."

Pole Position

This is Allison Stokke, a freshman pole vaulter for the Cal Bears. After looking at this pic for 1 second can you guess the position of my pole? HI-O! All I have to say is, "Thank you Lord, for creating a girl greater than any masturbatory fantasy I have ever had to this date!"

allison stokke

I believe I have become inspired to make this "Pole Position" a weekly thing. Feel free to comment on Allison, on a scale from 1 being the lowest to 10 what position is your pole?

Melo, Melo, Melo (*sigh)

Breaking news from Denver...

In what is yet another instance of idiotic moves pulled by an athlete, Carmelo Anthony was pulled over this morning on suspicion of a DUI. He failed "a series of tests" and was arrested. What a dumbass.


New Contributor

Hey everyone, please welcome our new contributor to bertflex.com, Hack. He is serving as our site's legal correspondent, and will most likely serve as our lawyer for the inevitable lawsuits that come pouring in once our site gains more viewers.

You are probably thinking "hey HMW, isn't every lawyer nicknamed Hack? Ha ha ha." To answer that - yes, but we're still glad to have this one on board (although Lionel Hutz was our first choice, we'll settle for Hack).

Tournament of Death - Round 2 Matchups

Round 1 of the Super Xtreme Asskickin Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death is in the books. Our panel of 17 judges had a difficult time deciding on some of the first round matches, and their job only gets harder from here on out (that's what she said). To give this tournament even more credibility, we added Will Leitch of Deadspin as our celebrity voter.

For those of you keeping track at home, here is what round two looks like:

Hazelwood Regional
#4 YOUTUBE vs. #12 500-FT HOMERUNS

Alton Regional

Woodson Terrace Regional

Natural Bridge Regional

As you can tell, not a lot of upsets so far. The Natural Bridge Region was all chalk. Woodson Terrace's only slip-up was #3 White Castle losing to #14 Big Ass TV's. If the voters would have been voting while drunk at 3 am, White Castle probably would have won in a rout. The only bracket-busting Region so far has been in Hazelwood, with their #11, 12, and 15 seeds moving on, in hopes of making a charge into the Sweet 16.

For the second round, in the Alton Region, #9 Making it Rain will be a tough early matchup for #1 Poop. It would seem impossible for poop to falter this early (especially since it is round #2...get it...haha poop), but because of the huge performance that Making it Rain put up vs. Photoshop, it has a legitimate shot to pull off the upset. Another matchup I like is #3 Taunting vs. #11 Offensive T-Shirts in the Hazelwood Region. Despite their difference in seeding, I think both sides are pretty even on paper. That's why they play the games in your computer box.

Our judges will go back to work over the next few days doing some careful analysis on each matchup. We'll let you know the results later this week!



Brackets! Get Your Brackets Here!

The Regional Previews are out so now it's time to release the brackets. Click the image below to get your own printable version of the Tournament Bracket so that you can play along at home. See if your opinions of the greatest things in the world jive with the opinions of our expert panel.

The potential Sweet 16 matchups I'm personally looking forward to are:

Hazelwood Regional
Wiffleball vs. 500-ft Homers
Taunting vs. Slam Dunk Contest

Woodson Terrace Regional
Tucker's Place vs. Reclining Chairs
RBI Baseball vs. Big-ass TV's

Alton Regional
Nintendo vs. Making it Rain
College Life vs. Grand Theft Auto

Natural Bridge Regional
Fantasy Drafts vs. Anchorman Quotes
Buffets vs. Barbeque

Take a look and post your bracketology in the comments. Tell us which matchups you're most excited about seeing as the tournament continues...

Natural Bridge Regional Preview

Welcome to the final preview for the Super Xtreme Asskickin Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death. Today we go through the Natural Bridge Regional. As opposed to the other regions, Natty Bridge's contests will be played at a variety of locations: Alan's Clip Joint, II STL Brothers Nightclub, Church's Chicken, Afro World, the other Church's, and former home of the USBL's SkyHawks: The UMSL Basketball Arena (aka "the gym"). It seems like yesterday that a group of young lads were living near Natural Bridge road, developing into the jerks they are today. Ahh, memories. Onto today's preview, written by Maltliquorman:

#1 Fantasy Drafts vs. #16 Slurpee's/Icee's
For most of us, Slurpees are a cherished childhood memory. You knew it was summer when you could walk down to 7-11, get a 328 oz. half-cherry, half-coca-cola Slurpee for like $.79, and hook yourself up with yet another Tony Gwynn holodisc. And if you don’t remember the holodiscs, you’re way too lame to be reading this. Times change, and so do Slurpee flavors, but you can always count on them stocking that gross-ass banana Slurpee that nobody wants. I would say that our sweet and squishy beverage friends have no chance here, except they’re matched up against fantasy drafts, not fantasy leagues. For fantasy dorks, draft day is both the best and worst day of the year. On the one hand, you and your friends get together, drink beer, curse, taunt, eat bad food, and maybe even draft a fantasy team if there’s time left over. It can basically encompass half of the awesome things on this list in one day. And hey, everybody’s a contender on draft day!!!! Right? O.K., well, maybe not everyone. One the other hand, a bad fantasy draft is an awful lot like a bad bachelor party: things start out with a bang, but seven hours later, you’re working on a mean drunk, you’re frustrated, three of your “friends” have come to blows over some old skank in Cleveland, and you just wanna get the stripper glitter off your face and go to bed.

#2 BBQ vs. #15 Ice Cream
This is a tough draw for Ice Cream. If we were taking this poll eighteen years ago, Ice Cream would’ve been the two seed. Of course, it also would’ve been taken out in the regional finals by Super Mario Brothers 3 or TMNT. If you stack the five best BBQ options (Chicken, ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, and more ribs) against the five best ice cream flavors (Rocky Road, Cookie Dough, and any three Ben and Jerry’s flavors) , it would be a BBQ beatdown. Ice Cream just cannot win the starting five matchups. The one thing that Ice cream has going for it in this matchup is bench depth. This matchup might be even tighter if you consider Ice Cream items from Dairy Queen and the like. If anything could take down ribs, it would be a Peanut Buster Parfait…. Or Ribs-flavored ice cream.

#3 Farting vs. #14 Flextime
If you’ve spend any time around Sir, you know the value of farting. Ten years ago, I would’ve bet that farting would not be hysterical when I was 25. And I would’ve lost that bet. Just think about the last time you said to yourself “Boy, this movie/TV show/ poker night/ fantasy draft would be a lot better if it weren’t for all this ass-dropping.” Yeah, that’d be NEVER. As far as flex time is concerned, I’d like to take everybody back to a parallel universe. Imagine it's 2005. Cards vs. ‘Stros in the NLCS. Brad Lidge throws a goo-ball that Bert Flex abso-freaking-lutely vaporizes. But instead of striking a look that says “I may just bludgeon somebody to death with this baseball bat and then have sex with his wife,” he puts his head down and starts motoring to first like he’s David Eckstein trying to leg out a walk. Weak. The bomb made it memorable, but the flextime made it legendary. (note: hopefully, we’re not talking about flex time at work, because if so, I got nothin’)

#4 Winning Someones Money in Poker vs. #13 Camera Phones
It’s money. It’s all yours now. It used to be somebody else’s. Go ahead, enjoy it. Go buy some tacos. And then, find the dumb sonafabitch who “bought” you those tacos, stuff them in your face, and dance around the poor schmuck whilst you sing ODB’s “Baby I got your money.” Just beware, because next week, you might be the one buying tacos for someone else. Camera phones, unlike winning at poker, don’t have quite the same inherent awesomeness. On the other hand, when you’re chillin’ at Hrabosky’s on Skanksgiving and the Co-eds are making damn fools of themselves, a camera phone is easily worth 2-3 WSOP bracelets.

#5 Anchorman Quotes vs. #12 Beat Downs
I’m sure there’ll be a day when “Sixty percent of the time, it works… Every time,” won’t be gut-bustingly hilarious, but that day isn’t today and probably won’t be tomorrow. Anchorman may not be the funniest movie evar, but it is easily one of the most quotable. Unfortunately for Mister Burgundy and the News Team, I think the fix is in placing Beat downs in the dangerous 12 seed. Just ask any member of the legendary BYOB softball squizad. Victory, like a fine wine, only gets better when you drop five bombs on your opponent in one inning.

#6 Buffets vs. #11 Walk-off Home Runs
Buffets may rank alongside Elvis, Playboy, and Baseball as America’s greatest contributions to human culture. You know what would be great? If those snotty-ass restaurant managers stopped telling me how much food I can have and started giving me plates of fried shrimp, fried chicken, fried roast beef, fried catfish, and fried chocolate pudding. Maybe the only food experience more awesome than buffets is… Chinese buffets. I personally have grown tired of the ubiquitous use of the term “walk-off.” Walk-off singles, walk-off sacrifice flies, and walk-off HBP’s can go suck a fart. The walk-off homer, on the other hand, still has the same thrill as when you were swinging a bat at an imaginary ball, pretending to be Ozzie Smith, Joe Carter, or Kirk Gibson. And if you have hit a walk-off homer at any point in your life at any level of competition, you get 1 million bonus points for giving it the Kirk Gibson fist pump while hobbling around the bases.

#7 Press Conference Blowups vs. #10 Getting Your Tax Return
“If you wanna crown ‘em, then crown ‘em!!!”
“Playoffs!?!….. PLAYOFFS!!!???!!!”
“It’s division one football! It’s the Big 12! This ain’t intermurals!”
Press conference blowups are absolute comedy gold, whether its college or pro, basketball, football, or curling. My favorite blowup is still the John Cheney vs. John Calipari A-10 Basket-Brawl from about ten years ago. Tax returns are a bit more of a mixed bag. If you’ve ever received enough to buy something completely ridiculous, like an RBI Baseball arcade game or a Cow (yes, a freaking cow), you know just how badass returns can be. On the other hand, Receiving a check from the IRS for $13.80 gives you the distinct feeling your own government has just kicked you square in the nuts.

#8 Being White vs. #9 Bling
This match-up is reminiscent of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry of the 1980’s: there’s no in between. Nobody should be thinking hard about which one they prefer. Either you love ballin’ out of control, or you love not getting your ass whupped by the police. Well, I suppose nobody likes being clubbed by the man, but you know what I mean. There is nothing whiter than the smug satisfaction of knowing just how white you are. As philosopher Chris Rock once said, “being white is like always having five dollars…. Being black is like always being fifty cents short.” On the other hand, nothing epitomizes the inherent black ability to make outlandish cool like ice in your grill and chrome on your wheels. In fact, every time I see some white guy sporting bling, I get the irresistible urge to break his fucking nose.

Come back Monday to find out who is advancing to the second round.


Baseball and BBQ

Sure, living in Omaha may have brainwashed me a bit. It's Royals country up here, but I'm going to pose a bold question; Could the Royals be better than the Cards in 2010? The answer is 'Yes'.

Damn, that was tough to say. Sure, the Cards have a future about as bright as a bilingual hooker in El Paso, and the Royals are bound to piss half the talent away for a pack of Marlboros and a Frisco Burger. But looking at projected '10 rosters, it's tough to argue...

Catcher- Yadier Molina
First Base- Albert Pujols
Second Base- Brendan Ryan
Third Base- David Freese
Shortstop- Pete Kozma
Left Field- Chris Duncan
Center Field- Colby Rasmus
Right Field- Rick Ankiel
No. 1 Starter- Chris Carpenter with a robotic arm
No. 2 Starter- Adam Wainwright
No. 3 Starter- Jaime Garcia
No. 4 Starter- Adam Ottavino
No. 5 Starter- Clayton Mortensen
Closer- Chris Perez

Catcher- John Buck
First Base- Mike Stodolka
Second Base- Alberto Callaspo/Mike Aviles
Third Base- Alex Gordon
Shortstop- Mike Moustakas
Left Field- Jose Guillen
Center Field- Joey Gathright/Mitch Maier
Right Field- Chris Lubanski
Designated Hitter- Billy Butler
No. 1 Starter- Daniel Cortes
No. 2 Starter- Luke Hochevar
No. 3 Starter- Zack Greinke
No. 4 Starter- Gil Meche
No. 5 Starter- Brian Bannister
Closer- Joakim Soria

I've seen too much minor league ball to not know who most of these guys on both rosters are. Sure, Omaha has weird shit like PBR (not Pabst like I thought, but Pro Bull Ridin') and people going ape for Olympic Swimming, but for the first time since I've been up here, they will also have a decent minor league system. The Royals hired ex-Braves front office boy Dayton Moore and his crew last year, and he's flipped the entire system in less than 18 months. The Royals still spend a Brinks truck on crappy free agents like Jose Guillen and Gil Mess, and could never figure out a way to keep their own talent...basically the anti-pimp. But with the early 90's Braves model, this Royals team is scary good.

The Cards, in turn, flip the script: horrendous minor leagues and nabbing great free agents AND keeping their own team intact. An example of how bad the Cards minor league system has been was having Rick Ankiel as a top prospect at two different positions in less than four years. That's how bad the Cards OF prospects (minus Rasmus) have been for the past four years. Sick.

It's not impossible that the Royals implode and decide to hand out players quicker than Sir throwing back JIB tacos at 3:52 in the AM, and it's basically guaranteed that the Cardinals will make some sort of move so a drunken Mike Shannon never has to say David Freese at third, but we have to look at the stack right now...and the Royals have it.

Kansas City is becoming the new Birds on Bat. Both teams will basically have new stadiums by then (huge K renovation...with Ballpark Village!), good young GMs, a good pitching staff, and both teams could have a repeat of '85 in 2010. That's boldness son!

**Side note: How sweet is it to not see Izzy on a '10 Cards roster.**

Alton Regional Preview

Welcome to the third of four previews to the Super Xtreme Asskickin Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death. This one pertains to the Alton Regional. We've worked out a special arrangement with the Alton city counsel to have these matches held at the Alton Belle Casino, since that's the only reason people still come to Alton. The post-game spread will, of course, be at Fast Eddie's.

#1 Poop vs. #16 Nerd Shit
Poop. Poop is awesome. It's fun to do, it's fun to talk about, it's fun to make fun of people for, and it's fun to say. Sure, poop has it's downsides like pooping your pants (not that I know anything about that) but even then, it makes for a great story. Face it; wherever poop is, it's a party. Nerd Shit, if you're not familiar, is taking something very simple and making it extremely complicated using numbers and equations and stuff. For example, my job at the baseball stats company is 100% Nerd Shit. I take baseball games, dissect every single play, and then try to put the numbers back together and learn something. The best part is that after you use all the numbers, you still come out with the same thing you knew before, like Albert Pujols is good at baseball.

#2 College Life vs. #15 Menthol cigarettes
Both of these entrants are slightly exclusionary: some people haven't gone to college and most people have never smoked Menthols. College Life is slightly different for everyone but, at the same time, awesome for everyone. You mooch off your parents, party every night, live with a bunch of people your own age, and play video games a lot. You have an immense amount of free time which can be used for drinking, or if you're dorks like us can be used to create awesome works of art like the Wall of Smack or the Softball SmackTalk fliers. Class, I hear, is an optional part of college life. Menthol cigarettes are kind of a mystery to me. Black people smoke them, but so do some of my friends who are not black. Dave Chappelle asked experts on the subject of black culture why black people smoke menthols and their response was "I don't know." They're minty, but I wouldn't call them fresh. I will ask a menthol proponent and get back to you on why they are awesome.

#3 Beef Jerky vs. #14 Hawaiian Shirts
Where else can you get beef in convenient, portable form without having to worry about it going bad? You'll just be walking down the street and think "Man, I wish I had some beef right now" and SHAZAM Beef Jerky is right there to HOOK YOU UP. You want flava? How 'bout teriyaki, hot sauce, peppered, bbq, hickory, steak sauce, or jalapeno. Jerky is awesome, and if you disagree, you're wrong. Hawaiian Shirts are the ultimate in everyday tacky apparel. Nothing says "This guy is ready to party!" quite like busting out the Hawaiian shirt. As a purveyor of many myself, it's the only piece of clothing that a completely straight man will ever receive compliments on from another completely straight man. Wear one to the bar, no fewer than three other guys will give you the "Nice shirt" stamp of approval, and not in that creepy gay way either. The ladies usually don't care for them, but when you rep the island you know that going in.

#4 Nintendo vs. #13 Patriots going 18-1
Most of us grew up with Nintendo and while the modern video games have stuff like graphics and sound that resemble real life, the playability of many Nintendo games can never be matched. What other system has produced such hits as Super Mario Bros, Contra, Tecmo Bowl, RBI Baseball, Blades of Steel, Zelda, and Duck Hunt? None, that's who. Even now, 22 years after it's state-side arrival, Nintendo is still a good time. Staying power, my friends. The Patriots going 18-1 in and of itself kind of sucks because we had to listen to everyone on tv give the Pats a metaphorical BJ for the entire season. However, it might have all been worth it to watch a crap Giants team who barely made the playoffs take down the "Greatest Team of All Time in the History of Life OMG!" For those of us who suffered through the Rams Super Bowl loss to the Pats a few years back, it felt like revenge, even though we had nothing to do with it. Seeing the crushed and pulverized Pats fans cry made my heart happy.

#5 Bricked Dunk after the whistle vs. #12 Gross Throwback Jerseys
There is not a single play in sports that screams "I'm a douchebag!" more than the Bricked Dunk after the whistle. You've all seen it: there's a foul on the play but the tough guy with the ball has a clean route to the basket. He doesn't care that it doesn't count, he's going to throw it down with such force, such ferocity, that all who gaze upon him will fear his wrath...BONK! The back iron usually plays the foil to our hero's attempts at greatness, sending the ball three or four rows deep into the stands. Failure at its finest. Gross Throwback Jerseys are best when they are at their most hideous. By default, this means that most are from the '70s and '80s and include polyester. In colors that are more appropriate for Hawaiian shirts than sporting attire, throwbacks invoke a feeling of nostalgia, specifically for a time when people didn't wear gross throwback jerseys to the ballpark. Powder blue Cardinals Tommy Herr? Sunburst Astros Nolan Ryan? Road Blues Wayne Gretzky? All disgustingly ugly, and paradoxically awesome at the same time.

#6 Grand Theft Auto vs. #11 Hardee's
Grand Theft Auto is, hands down, the greatest, most influential video game ever made. Being able to play the bad guy and break the law was one thing, but the open-ended game play just pushed it to a whole new level. Want to steal that ambulance? Go ahead. Feel like laying waste to cops with your AK? Have at it. Blow up police helicopters with your rocket launcher? You're damn right. You can even screw hookers to regain life. This game has everything, bro. While most of America was trying to promote healthy living and weight loss, Hardee's said "Eff this!" and gave life the bird. If you want some food that is absolutely horrible for you, Hardee's is the place. Their "standard" burger is 1/3 pound, or if that's not fat enough for you, you can go for 2/3 of a pound with double bacon and double cheese. You could get a Philly Cheese Steak hamburger there; that's just wrong. Josh heard they were putting babies on a burger, and I wouldn't doubt it.

#7 Cheese Steaks vs. #10 Home Run Derby
Cheese Steaks are one of the greatest culinary creations of our time. As with Beef Jerky, Cheese Steaks make the greatness of beef portable AND they throw in the bonus of cheese with it. Steak, cheese, bread: what more do you need? Throw some onions and peppers on for an added bonus and you're ready to roll, just you and your Portable Beef. Portable Beef would be a great band name. The most important part of the Midsummer Classic, Home Run Derby, is a vulgar display of power. Whoever decided to get the best home run hitters together and throw them batting practice fastballs to see who can mash the most is a genius. Whether it's watching Mac Wire crush balls onto the Mass Turnpike, Sammy Sosa crush at the Ted, or Bobby Abreu (gross) hit about a brazillion homers in a row, there's something in the Derby for everyone. My only complaint about the Derby is that the greatest feats occur in the first round, while the championship is determined in the last round, but hey, nothing's perfect.

#8 Photoshop vs. #9 Making it rain
Photoshop is the tool of choice for creating a picture of something that didn't happen, but you wish it did. Most commonly used to take a very normal picture and add a comedic element or clever phrases (see LOLcats). It's also very useful for making fun of celebrities or your friends, not that anyone on this site would stoop so low. Making It Rain, for the uninitiated, is "when you are in a strip club or party and decide to throw a bunch of money in the air to show everyone how rich you are." (courtesy of UrbanDictionary.com) Now, none of us are actually rich enough to make it rain, but it sounds like it would be a lot of fun. We have devised plans to make it rain pennies and to make it rain Jack in the Box tacos, which to us sound even more entertaining than the usual rain-making. We hope to one day hang out with Pacman Jones, once he gets out of prison, and help him and his crew make it rain. Hopefully we won't get shot.

Tune in tomorrow when we wrap up our series of Regional Previews!

Johnny Cueto Especial

In honor of Johnny Cueto's lights-out debut, Josh's favorite tequila has introduced a new product...


Woodson Terrace Regional Preview

Gather ‘round, bracketheads. We’ve enlisted Greg Gumbel to help us unveil the Woodson Terrace Regional of the Super Xtreme Asskickin’ Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death. Actually, that’s not true. But I’ll take any chance I can get to look at Double-G’s sweetass Mike Brady ‘do.

#1 Bacon on Anything vs. #16 Trivial Pursuit
If a 16 seed is ever going to beat a 1 seed, this would be the matchup. As great as bacon is -- let’s face it, you’d take a kick to the junk if it came with a side of bacon -- Trivial Pursuit was the first board game that rewarded you for knowing that the milk on Tatooine was blue. Plus, TP practically begs you to make as many pie-based innuendoes as you can. But what if it also came with a big pile of bacon?

#8 Tucker’s vs. #9 Malt Liquor
I have to be honest: I have no idea what Tucker’s is. A commenter will have to enlighten me. But wait ... the Internets tell me it’s “the place for steaks” in St. Louis. We have a winner! I don’t see how Malt Liquor can hope to compete with pounds of hot, beefy goodness (which also happens to be my nickname -- hiyo!). [editor's note: Tucker's has 16oz Filet Mignon for $25.95!]

#5 Reclining Chairs vs. #12 Boise State
If my marriage ever broke up, it wouldn’t be because of adultery, finances, or “creative differences.” It’d be because my wife refuses to acknowledge the outright asskickery of all things that recline, chairs chief among them. As for Boise State -- hello, their football field is blue! I mean, come on! That’s crazy! Also, I’m not telling you to Google Image search “Boise State squirrel.” But I’m not not telling you to, either.

#4 Tournaments vs. #13 Entrance Music
Perhaps the greatest irony of the Super Xtreme Asskickin’ Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death is that, in its attempt to determine the best thing ever, it fails to realize that the SXAMTFToD itself is the best thing ever. It’s basically “Tournaments” turned up to 11 on steroids on crack hooked up to an IV of Chuck Norris juice. Against any other opponent, Entrance Music would be a slam dunk. Who doesn’t get all tingly when Ricky Vaughn emerges from the bullpen to the strains of “Wild Thing”? I don’t know about you, but my job would be 100% more enjoyable if I got to walk to my cube accompanied by Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality.”

#6 Turning Heel vs. #11 Team Championships
The biggest problem with Turning Heel is that you can’t really do it in real life. Whereas Hulk Hogan can drop The Leg on “Macho Man” Randy Savage and instantly revive his career as the biggest bad guy in the game, you can’t give your buddy a chairshot, declare yourself a heel, and expect to get away with it. Team Championships might have been under-seeded. Think of all the times you’ve said “We won!” when in fact you didn’t do a damn thing but sit on your ass and consume calories. That kind of vicarious accomplishment has to count for something.

#3 White Castle vs. #14 Big Ass TVs.
The Scottish have haggis. We have White Castle. It’s vile, people. Squaring off against Big Ass TVs, which make small boobs big and big boobs bigger, White Castle should be overmatched. But I’ve got a feeling the Slyders will advance.

#7 Fantasy Leagues vs. #10 Downloading Music
“So you just pretend to be a GM and cheer for players who aren’t even on teams you like?” For the 1,000th time, yes! And it effing rules!!!11! As for Downloading Music, I do everything Lars Ulrich tells me to, and he tells me not to download music. So I hope you’re proud of yourself, Thiefy McStealerson.

#2 RBI Baseball vs. #15 Tasers
Trained and licensed bracketologists like myself know that the 2-15 matchup is a prime spot for an upset, but this is Chalk City, Population: Stone Cold Lead-Pipe Lock. RBI Baseball is simply the best video game evar that doesn’t include two Italian plumbers. Proof of its awesomeness: Jose Oquendo is on the Cardinals’ bench. Tasers enjoyed a brief surge in popularity after the “Don’t tase me, bro!” incident, but RBI Baseball has stood the test of time.

There you have it, folks. In the words of Gozar, "Choose and perish."

Tune in tomorrow when Sir breaks down the Alton Regional. No weak tot action allowed!


Hazelwood Regional Preview

Welcome to the first of four previews to the Super Xtreme Asskickin Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death. This one pertains to the Hazelwood Regional. Hopefully Howdershell Park is cleared of 13 year old vandals (and future blog writers) for these games to take place.

#1 Wiffleball vs. #16 Classic Baseball Nicknames
These are two things that true baseball fans hold near and dear to their heart. Wiffleball is probably the first "sport" played by kids across America. From there, you're hooked. I can't imagine wiffleball ever becoming old or boring. And come on, the red caveman club bat; what else needs to be said here? Classic Baseball Nicknames will forever live on with fans of the game because of comparisons to the past. Stan the Man, Joltin' Joe, and The Bambino just blow nicknames like A-Rod and J-Roll out of the water. Way too many nicknames today are just plain lazy. Bert Flex is not lazy, but not enough people use that...yet.

#2 Chuck Norris vs. #15 Punk Rock
We did not want to include actual people in this tournament since there are lots of cool people out there. But Chuck Norris is more of a concept or a brand: the Total Gym infomercials, the Chuck Norris facts, and his overall badass-ness. He is just plain awesome. While Chuck is a law-enforcing citizen, Punk Rock is pretty much the opposite. Punk Rock is in your face and doesn't play by the rules. Hey, we know you can't understand the words, but it's not about the lyrics. It's about degenerate behavior and releasing anger out on other people dressed head to toe in black.

#3 Taunting vs. #14 A Girl Who Can Talk Sports
Our generation loves taunting. Back in the old days, youngsters were taught to respect their opponents and "pretend like you've been there before." But come on, as the wise Stone Cold Steve Austin once said, "Sportsmanship? What a load of crap." True dat, Steve. On the other side, a girl who can talk sports is just plain sexy. There are plenty of pretenders out there who walk in a room and ask 'who's playing?' and 'like, what's the score?' This might have worked in the pre-FoxBox era when the scoreboard wasn't glued to the TV screen, but not now. Any woman who can talk sports with the guys is okay in my book, and automatically bumped up a couple points on the hotness scale. Any woman willing to go out in public and watch games with you and your idiot friends is a keeper.

#4 Youtube vs. #13 Vince McMahon's Swarkinsons
I know you are all familiar with Youtube, so I won't go into too much detail. The sad thing is that all I did for like three years of college was watch and share videos with other people in the dorms. Why didn't we put them all on one convenient website and make a gazillion dollars?! One thing you may not be familiar with is Vince McMahon's walk to the wrasslin' ring. Because of the convenience of Youtube, here is a clip.

#5 Gooey Butter Cake (GBC) vs. #12 500 foot Home Runs
GBC is the champion of desserts, when made properly: small layer of cake on the bottom, followed by 37 layers of gooey and butter. Expert GBC makers can even make the edges of the crust tasty. 500 foot homers are purely awesome to watch. They don't even have to measure 500 feet in distance, they just have to be towering shots that you know are gone within a millisecond of bat-on-ball destruction.

#6 Jack in the Box Tacos vs. #11 Offensive T-Shirts
Jack in the Box Tacos aren't even in the top tier of great tacos in the world, but why are they the only tacos in this field of 64, let alone a #6 seed? Simple: 99 cents for 2 of them. And you can get them at any time of day (tip: they get exponentially better the later it gets) as long as your JITB is open all night. Offensive T-Shirts are great because they are usually unexpected and it is your first impression of someone you've never met. A great t-shirt will draw attention and compliments from like-minded individuals.

#7 Miniature Golf vs. #10 Slam Dunk Contests
Miniature golf is another game that many people have played since childhood, nor does it ever get old. It is a lot simpler and quicker than regular golf. It's also good for a fun date with your significant other, or degenerate gambling with your degenerate friends. Slam Dunk Contests went through a little lull for a couple years, but were back with a vengeance in '08 and are always entertaining. Whenever you see a thunderous dunk on TV, it is fun to think about what it would be like to do that yourself. That's why 8 foot adjustable rims were invented, duh.

#8 TV Shows on DVD vs. #9 Spring Weather
With so much crap on television nowadays, good shows can be on for two or three years before word gets out on how good it is. Whether you're trying to catch up on missed episodes, really interested in deleted scenes and extras, or just want to have the freedom to watch your show whenever the heck you want, TV on DVD is great. Spring Weather is one of the most anticipated "things" in this tournament. During the months of cold and dreary days, all people can think about is the arrival of spring. It leads to many other entrants in this tournament (wiffleball, BBQ, etc). Oh, and young, attractive ladies wearing spaghetti strap tops, short shorts, and bikini's.

Tune in tomorrow when we take a look at the Woodson Terrace Regional!

In Case You're Lazy...

Click here for the new insidestl column. T-Mac will be glad he got three or four more hits because of me.

(Update 5/20: because of insideSTL's website switch, this article is no longer up. I'll repost the link if they fix it.)


Introduction to the Tournament of Death

Late last year, I received an email from our very own Sir that had a subject line of "Maybe my best idea EVAR!" I usually trust Sir but I was a little skeptical this time. Until I read this:

So I'm sitting here at my desk, eating beef jerky, thinking that beef jerky might be in the top 10 of anything, ever. But how does one determine something like that? Easy, TOURNAMENT!

We decided to make that idea come to life, and here it is, now that the NCAA tournament is almost over. Same format and everything, except there is no play-in game, or NIT bracket for the greatest things ever. The first step was to lay out a few rules on what we include in the field of 64:

*Leave any sex-related stuff out. In the whole scheme of things, something special like beef jerky cannot compete with boobs, pussy, hoes gettin off, Jessica Biel's ass, etc.

*Historical objects and figures will be thrown out too. We all agree that Mickey Mantle and bombing Japan is significant, but I don't think it fits here. Unless a Mickey Mantle bombing Japan video game is made...then we have something there.

*Tangible items only (physical objects) - no theories, accomplishments, feelings, etc.

*Things like "the internet" or "jokes" are too generic and boring.

*No emailing or making dumb comments about how we left your favorite thing out of the tournament. It took a lot of careful planning and we don't want to be crushed when we realized we left out something awesome.

So there are the rules. I'll admit, we are neglecting some cool things, but the tournament we came up with is stellar and I think you'll have fun playing along.

Voting will be done by a select panel of experts. Not that we don't trust you, but we don't want some assclown stuffing the ballot box and ruining the integrity of the tournament. Plus it's a lot easier the way we have it set up. Each round will be voted on by the panel, all friends of the site who have been invited to an exclusive Yahoo! Group. Yup, it is that big.

So after coming up with an amazing field of 64 things, we really wanted to create a catchy name for this tournament. In true Bertflex fashion, we came up with this:

The Super Xtreme Asskickin Monster Truck Firestorm Tournament of Death

A preview of each regional's matchup (of course we have regionals-what, do you think we're lazy?) will be revealed throughout the week. After the votes are cast, the results will be posted to Bertflex for you to follow along. Once a champion is crowned, we will throw a party to celebrate that "thing." I can pretty much guarantee that a drunken version of "One Shining Moment" will be sung by a member of the Bertflex staff.

The bracket is set, and each region is ready for tip-off. We'll see you tomorrow with a preview for the Hazelwood Regional.


KFNS Hangs Up on Kevin Slaten

I know many (zero) of you worship and admire Kevin Slaten, and it has to be painful to hear this news:

Kevin Slaten was fired Friday by KFNS in the wake of a controversial interview last week with Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, and says the Cardinals are behind the move and that his former station is spineless.

This would have been posted sooner, but we were all in the mourning process (Wendy's run). Not that Kevin Slaten getting fired is a huge shock or anything; in the overly-sensitive world that we live in, if you've ever listened to his show you probably said to yourself, "this dude's getting fired someday."

Honestly I was kind of hoping he would go out for a better reason - maybe a racial slur or getting into a bar fight after a show (oh wait, that already happened). But this will have to do.

If you're not aware of the original story of Slaten's interview with Dave Duncan, here is the Post-Dispatch's article from last week.

Bertflex's own Sir could not be reached for comment tonight, he is assumed to be hanging out at the Bill Swerski's Superfans show in Chicago. A couple years ago, Sir was hung up on by Slaten over an argument on something about why left handed hitters can't hit left handed pitching, but right handed hitters don't have that problem with righties. Pretty intense, I know. Unfortunately, no one on the Bertflex staff heard that conversation that day, so we have left it up to our own impersonations to recreate how much "he's wrong!!"

Since Slaten has bounced around to many different radio jobs over the years, I'd imagine he'll only be out of work for a couple months, if that long. The funny thing is, is that this isn't even the best Kevin Slaten news of the week, seeing how this is possibly the greatest thing of all-time. That's right, it's a piece of toast that looks exactly like Kevin Slaten! Un-freakin'-believable! As of press time, you only have 6 more days to bid. What are you waiting for?

[As a side note to the first photo above of Kevin and that impressive mustache, I think you'll enjoy what event they were broadcasting in 1984:

Kevin Slaten and Stacie St. James as host and color announcers respectively for the SportsTime Cable Network production "Purnia Cat Classic All Women's Gymnastics Meet" from the Hearn's Center.

I have actually never seen this until now. I highly highly recommend that you click this link and play the video (click Kevin's photo...and get ready for some Survivor).]


Yaw-Yaw Yaaaw Yaw

Can you believe this? There have been 268 posts on Bertflex, and ZERO mentions of Busta Rhymes ever?? There has been a serious lack of Busta coverage on this here site, and it comes to an end right now! After seeing this video on TMZ tonight, I knew it had to be shared with the masses.

Busta is talkin mad shit at the beginning of this video. Then rants about some Obama guy. If you would like to apply to be our exclusive Busta correspondent, please submit your application to our corporate office.


The Post-Dispatch Celebrates April Fool's Day Too

Yesterday I noticed this little promotional display on the Post-Dispatch box right outside the door to our office building. Rather than bring my camera to work, I decided to borrow it (permanently) to admire its greatness. Having the title "Hazelwood's Most Wanted," my criminal actions aren't just saved for the fine city of Hazelwood, I expand my boundaries from time to time.

But I thought it would be appropriate to share this with all of you, as a tribute to my #1 pick in the Cardinal Off-Field Problem Pool.

I love the irony in the fact that they want you to "Catch" the Post-Dispatch, while showing a picture of Chris Duncan. We all know of Duncan's capabilities in the outfield, and "catching" is kind of far down the list.

Even better, they add insult to injury by throwing the word "coverage" in there as well. Maybe the phrase should have been "Crush the Post-Dispatch for the best Cardinals Tobacco Chew and Awkwardness."

Nah, it's perfect the way it is. Well done, Post-Dispatch...well done.

Top 2008 MLB Promotions

Yes, I shamlessly took parts of this from the great baseball fans at homerderby.com and espn.com but I don't care. I thought it justified calling attention to, since we need to book flights, buy game tickets and secure hotel rooms. And since I haven't posted in like months (years?) I figured it would be good to let people know I'm still alive!

Soul Patch Night
April 12, Seattle Mariners

That's right Mariners fans! You don't have to throw away the razor in order to look like your soulful closer, J.J. Putz. They will be handing out 20,000 stick-on versions at the gate. Get 'em while they're hot! (We will see how they fair compared to the Scott Spiezio soul patches of '06). Too bad they play the Angels that night and the chances of Putz actually playing are slim to none. Oopsie. Turns out the game was last night, and he's on the DL. Not sure if the promotion was postponed, but Putz's place on my Fantasy Team lineup certainly has been.

Free Cowbell Night
April 26, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
June 7, Florida Marlins

Is there a more devastating weapon in the fans' arsenal of noisemakers than a cowbell? I cannot WAIT to watch highlights of these games (to note, the Rays play the Red Sox and the Marlins play the Reds- coincidence?)because you really can never have too much cowbell. The Marlins are really going all out this year- from CPA Appreciation Night (June 10th) to their new plus-size, all-male cheerleading squad The Manatees, it makes me almost want to move to Miami just to go to Marlins games. Almost.

Comic Book Night
April 27, Milwaukee Brewers

This is basically an excuse for me to get a picture of my favorite racing sausages up on Bertflex (from left to right- Italian Sausage, Bratwurst, Hot Dog, Polish Sausage, and the newest edition, Chorizio!), but also to give a shout-out to my favorite team. According to milwaukeebrewers.com, the first 10,000 kids 16 and under will get a comic book featuring Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart (of the 'B-Force', naturally) fighting off the evit spit tobacco monster, Grossmouth. You really CANNOT make this stuff up!

Joe Mauer Fishing Lure Night
May 2, Minnesota Twins

Oh man, I wish I was kidding. Catch the Twins in action and then head out to catch your dinner. Yes, Minnesota is the land of 10,000 Lakes. Chances are good, though, that 9,990 of those lakes will still have a foot of snow on them on May 2nd. And let's continue with the obvious: how many times has a team successfully given away something with 6 sharpened barbs on it? Given out to the first 5,000 fans over 18, you just KNOW someone is going to lose any eye. The Twins play the Tigers that night, so maybe it will be Gary Sheffield! I kid, I kid. (Side note: a comment on a message board I was reading about this promotion said that the Twins have given away lures for years in honor of Kent Hrbek. I have never seen them, so therefore don't believe it and deem this a top promotion of the year.)

June 21, Oakland A's

Everyone knows this event could in no way work in places like Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, or St. Louis. But Oakland, thanks to not having a reputation for drunken, disorderly fans (at least compared to the teams mentioned above and others) gets to test out this concept. The game starts at 6pm, but starting at 11 am, fans can come to sample beers and listen to live music. Admission is free with a game ticket, but your souvenier mug will set you back $10- still the cheapest beer you will EVER drink at a ballpark. EVER. Did I mention the A's play the Marlins that night? Surprised- I'm not. If I was stuck with tickets to this stinker of an interleague game, I would want to be hammered too.

Free Money Night
June 28, Cleveland Indians

Yes, that's right. Free. Money. Perhaps the most oxymoronic promotion of the MLB season, but here's the scoop- When you enter Progressive Field (I say 'When you' because I know all of us that read Bertflext will be flocking to Cleveland that weekend in the hopes of striking it rich!) you will be given an envelope. In said envelope could be any amount of money between $1 and $100. If you are lucky enough to receive one of the $100 bills, you are then entered to win the $10,000 grand prize. Sounds easy, right? Well, 32,700 of the 33,000 envelopes they are giving out will contain only 'Progressive Field Fun Money' in $1 or $5 increments that has to be spent that night at the park. Look on the bright side, though, at least your first beer will only cost you $6 instead of $7, or if you're really lucky, $2!

Did I miss some?? Yes, a bunch I'm sure, but these are the best I could find (minus Mullet Night in Chicago for a Sox game in July but I could not bring myself to actually posting a picture of a mullet or anything related to the White Sox for that matter. PS- where did mullets rank in our Best Things Eva' Tourney? They had to be a late bust, perhaps they're playing in the NIT somewhere?)

Happy Spring & Baseball Season!