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Shammell’s Tuesday Tirade: To Infinity, and Beyond!

Thanks for checking out the third installment of the Tuesday Tirade. Being a living, breathing human being, I can only start this week’s article one way…

A BIG hats off to Felix Baumgartner! For those of you who don’t like watching television, reading newspapers, or surfing the web, Mr. Baumgartner broke all kinds or records when he decided to skydive / BASE jump / free fall from never before seen heights (128,000 feet above the Earth) this past Sunday. Felix unhooked himself and stepped out onto a platform the size of a skateboard over 125,000 feet above the earth’s surface (or just over 24 miles). Baumgartner gave new meaning to the Tom Petty song by literally free falling out into nothing (although he was returning to this world for a while, not leaving it). His free fall lasted an astonishing four and a half minutes, during which he reached speeds of over 830 miles per hour.

The Red Bull Stratos Project was initially planned for October 9th, but was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. As you can imagine, the slightest breeze can more than likely change his landing from New Mexico to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. “Fearless Felix,” as he is very appropriately called, holds all kinds of skydiving and BASE jumping accolades and records, including the record for the lowest BASE jump, and becoming the first person to skydive across the English Channel.

I also feel inclined to give a congrats to Red Bull for turning what seemed like a NASA space project into an “action sports” milestone.

Without further ado, let’s start the tirade…


WINNER of the weekMort Bank, former McDonald’s owner/operator, North Dakota

NO! You didn’t read that wrong, and please don’t leave me yet! This is completely relevant and pertinent sports news (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). Mr. Bank, a self-proclaimed owner of tons of McDonald’s “memorabilia,” sold a gallon of Mickey D’s not-so-famous “McJordan BBQ Sauce,” for an astonishing $9,995.00 to a man from Chicago. McDonald’s released the “McJordan Sandwich,” during the wave of all of his NBA Championships back in 1992 (not to mention, his inevitable success with Team USA in the Olympics). The sandwich was a regional release in the Illinois area, and according to Bank, it was also the first time McDonald’s had ever named a sandwich after anyone. Bank cashes in as the big winner selling the BBQ sauce for an amazing 25,000% mark up over your average tangy condiment (Darren Rovell, ESPN). No information about the buyer was made public, but the transaction was completed on eBay. All signs point to a diehard Chicago Bulls fan, or a guy with a ritzy taste for chicken nuggets. After the news broke, Bank thinks he could have gotten a little more out of the deal, but is quoted as saying, “…$10,000 for barbeque sauce is pretty good.” … Yeah, no kidding.


LOSERS of the WeekThe Washington Nationals

To Jayson Werth- I think I speak for every Philadelphia fan when I say, hahahahahahahahahahahahaha… haha. HA! To all of the other Nationals, and their fans, tough luck (except Harper, he gets the same message as Werth, but that story is for another day). So the boys from our nation’s capital boasted a 6-0 lead for much of the do-or-die game 5 this past Thursday, having most of the area ready to pop bottles and buy more Nationals gear (after all, one shirt can get pretty dirty after a while). The St. Louis Cardinals had other plans entirely. The Cardinals took their time, chipping away at the lead starting in the 4th inning. Slowly and steadily, the tacked on a run here, two runs there, until before you knew it, it was the top of the 9th, and the birds were down by 2. Following the implosion that the Nationals called “the 9th inning,” the Cardinals had put 4 runs on the board, and headed to the bottom of the frame in a comfortable position: a tight lead with Jason Motte on the mound. Motte did as he usually does, and slammed the door, which in turn shattered the feelings of all of the Nationals fans in attendance (who were probably Orioles fans a week before). As for Werth, he did say that he would make sure the Phillies never won a division again as long as he was in Washington. Congratulations on completing your goal for one year, but the closing shot of your depressed mug watching the Cardinals celebrate on your field really relit the fire deep in the heart of many Philadelphia baseball fans. To the greater Philadelphia area… 4 more months until pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater!


BAD LUCK BRIANS of the weekThe New York Yankees

Now before everyone throws a hissy fit on this one, hear me out. This choice was not so obvious. There were a few circumstances that went into my decision. Up until a few hours ago, I was dead set on making the Baltimore Ravens my pick. Call it a bias as a Ravens fan, but losing Ray Lewis, Ladarius Webb, and Heloti Ngata all in one game is KIND of a big deal to a team that is notorious for having one of the best defenses in the NFL year in and year out. BUT THEN I caught wind of the news that Swisher AND A-Rod were not starting tonight. This, on top of ALREADY losing the captain himself, number 2, Derek Jeter, number 2 (Rest in Peace Bob Sheppard). All of this, with the fact that Justin Verlander is on the bump tonight. Hate to say it to all you Yanks fans out there but it is not looking too good at this point. Oh, and I almost forgot, the Yankees are down 2-0 in the series already! Hey, I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again (hopefully my parents and girlfriend don’t read that admission), but it is in my professional opinion that the Bronx may be quiet next week. The good news is the New York football Giants bandwagon is now boarding, never too late to get your ticket!

Closing out this category, it is clear that the ones getting the good luck would be the Detroit Tigers. With the injury to Jeter and a 2-0 lead as mentioned, the Tigers are in the driver’s seat. It also helps that you have Mr. Triple Crown himself in your lineup, as well as the artist currently known as Prince. As if that wasn’t enough, it appears as if the Tigers are catching every break imaginable (i.e. the Omar Enfante being tug… safe diving back into second). I’m not inclined to say it’s a wrap yet, although it’s looking that way.


FANTASY WINNER of the weekJordy Nelson, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers

Now, aside from the man who throws him passes, this was by far the best individual performance by a player this week considering he’s a wide out. I couldn’t pick Mr. Double Check Discount Aaron Rodgers again because some of the guys in my fantasy league would probably take it as me rubbing it in their face… again (5-1 boys… 5-1). Anyway, Nelson completed his Sunday workload by hauling in 9 catches for 121 yards, oh, and 3 touchdowns. It does help when you’re the primary target of one of the best quarterbacks in the game, who just decided to tear into the formerly undefeated Texans, but give credit where credit is due. Nelson had himself a day on the field helping lead the cheese heads to yet another impressive victory, while putting up un-Jordy-like numbers in the process.


FANTASY FAIL of the weekJamaal Charles, Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs

Now, I wouldn’t consider Charles’ performance a TOTAL failure if you don’t look at his past week’s production. I’m confident in the fact that a lot of fantasy owners were blindsided not only by his lack of production, but his lack of carries against the Buccaneers this past Sunday. Charles is the backbone of a lot of fantasy squads by this point in the year. There were question marks surrounding his performance this year that were turned into exclamation points week 3, where he gathered 33 touches for 233 yards and a score. His inconsistent touches to this point is an area of concern, especially with the fact that he only had 12 touches for 40 yards this week, WITH Brady Quinn under center. On behalf of one fantasy owner in every league, I have to say I hope the Chiefs figure it out, for your sake. This bye week can be very beneficial in A, giving Charles some rest and more work at the same time (weird, I know), and B, hopefully getting Matt Cassel back to health.

Once again, that’ll do it for this week! Here’s to another week of great sports, and fingers crossed for an NHL Labor Agreement!

Sources: | ABC News

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