The Opossum-Palooza

It's okay. We don't know what the name means either.


Another O-P Field Trip - With Booze, Of Course

As some folks around here know, I am a fan of Rugby in general and the New Zealand All-Blacks in particular. Jonah Lomu has long been my Rugby boyfriend. It has come to my attention that there is a fund-raiser this weekend involving, from the press release, "a traditional Irish breakfast, Kiwi meat pies and assorted beverages." (yum). The beneficiary is Alexandria Rugby, an organization that indoctrinates the small-fries into the love of this violently beautiful game.
The event is a televised viewing of the Tri-Nations rugby match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the South Africa Springboks as a fundraiser on Saturday, September 2, 9:00 AM, at O'Connell's Restaurant and Bar in Old Town, Alexandria. There is no charge for entry and all proceeds benefit Alexandria Rugby.

So if the above picture of the two gentleman in black crushing the little Springbok in green intrigues, or even (as it does for me) excites you, please join me to eat, drink and talk shit about a sport hardly any American cares about (Biff's note: My favorite kind of sport). Oh, come on, it'll make you feel all superior.

And if the game itself isn't enough, you should come for the Haka alone. Awesomely fearsome tradition.

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Coming Soon: The Sprint Wireless Opossum-Palooza powered by NEXTEL

Say what you will about Peter Angelos (I certainly have) but there is actually one instance where he is not only in the right, he is a shining beacon of truth and justice: Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I am, of course, loathe to ever side with Angelos on anything, but his ability to remain free of corporate-naming-rights corruption actually astounds me. Especially given the Ravens' home, M&T Bank Stadium (rolls off the tongue, no?) right across the street. Not to mention the new Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium down I-95 at the University of Maryland.

There are few things in sports that rub me the wrong way more than naming sporting venues after corporations. I understand why it happens. I'm not completely stupid. But that doesn't stop me from getting pissed off when "The Capital Centre" becomes "USAir Arena" (I even got pissed when MCI Center was renamed). Nor does it stop me from being quite amused when corporate naming rights backfire, like Enron Field, or BankOne Ballpark (refered to by locals simply as The BOB, much to the chagrin of BankOne bigwigs).

So it is with some fascination that I watch the developments surrounding the artist currently known as Cardinals Stadium. Obviously, it is not likely that the name will remain the same. There have already been some rumors as to who the new sponsor will be, and, ultimately, the name will probably just end up going to the highest bidder. But Off Wing Opinion has alerted me to a fascinating, and altogether brilliant, idea. Pat Tillman Stadium, anybody? If I had any sort of influence over anyone, I would do everything I could to make this a reality.

FANTASY HOCKEY UPDATE: The O-P Hockey League has already added two members, and it is entirely possible, as far as you know, that neither of them are related to me by blood (though not particularly likely). Only nine spots left, so sign up now! (BigTDog earns special honors for choosing a team name that caused me to shoot milk out my nose. At least, it would have, had I been drinking milk. Even if the league doesn't get enough members and I have to scrap the whole thing, that made the whole thing worth it.)

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What? Too Soon?

It's the end of August, folks. A time to look ahead to fall. The new television season and the NFL are right around the corner. It's a time to reflect, and to prepare yourself for your upcoming fantasy draft. In keeping with the times we here at the Opossum-Palooza (and by "we" I of course mean "me". Siobhan had nothing to do with it) have decided to start an official fantasy league for this here blog. Introducing The O-P Fantasy Hockey League. Siobhan's note - more than having "nothing to do with it," I'm actively ignoring the whole sad thing. Fantasy football is bad enough, but fantasy hockey? New lows in sports-geekery.

Yeah. That's right. I said hockey. Forget all this football nonsense, hockey season is just 39 days, 8 hours and 42 minutes away. Which just might be enough time to find eleven other people who actually like hockey. Although I'm not particularly optimistic. If I can't get enough people, I'll probably just scrap the whole thing and play in a public league like I usually do.

So, tell your friends (or your enemies) to go to the Yahoo! Fantasy Sports page to sign up. The league ID# is 12763 and the password is "ovechkin".

I feel dirty.



Thanks a lot, Pacman

I announced yesterday on this here blog that I am now a Titans fan. Apparently, my boy Pacman Jones heard the momentous news and went out to celebrate. In Mufreesboro, TN. I've been to Mufreesboro. I'm not sure why anyone would go out there, let alone an NFL football player. Tennessee is a tough place to get your drunk on, apparently.
Turns out Pacman mistakenly thought he was playing for the Bengals this year and went and got himself all likkered up and belligerent. And arrested.
It's gonna be a banner year for my maiden voyage as a Titans fan.

The accompanying image was chosen entirely for the benefit of my drunken-kitty-loving friends. If you know what I mean. And I think you do.

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Why I've Decided I Like the Titans - Historical Perspective

I was going to spend an inordinate amount of time (a la Bill Simmons and the Premier League) to finding a new NFL team to replace my tepid affair with the Patriots. Then I started doing a little research and decided (with the help of a good, NFL-loving friend) that the Tennessee Titans are the team for me.

First off, the stadium is located a mere 82 miles from my birthplace, which is close enough in that part of the world to be considered a hometown team. If I were, you know, still in KY. And the team had been in Nash Vegas and not Houston when I was a small-fry. I'm old. Then there's the matter of the Houston Oilers. I loved Warren Moon when I was a little girl, bereft of my own NFL team. And nothing tops the hideosity of the Houston Oilers, #1 Song.

And I would be terribly remiss if I didn't mention that the flashy Titans logo at the top of this post is from the light show at an Oak Ridge Boys' concert to celebrate the opening of Adelphia Stadium - the home of the Titans.

The mind boggles.

Finally, as I research more, I'm sure that I'll find a legitimate, football-based reason to cheer for these Titans. In the interim, if you can give me any substantive information on the Titans, nee Oilers, I'd be forever grateful. I don't want to seem like a dumb broad at the bar when all the cool kids are talking about football.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Tiger Woods

On Saturday, upon my remarking that Tiger Woods was leading the PGA Championship, my friend replied “Ugh, how boring.” And at the time, I agreed with her. However, due to the fact that I was lampooned into attending a family function on Sunday, I watched Tiger’s entire dominating final round from start to finish and during the process I came to the conclusion that if you consider yourself a sports fan to any extent, you are absolutely required to root, and root hard, for Tiger Woods.

My friend’s argument was that she was sick of seeing Tiger win all the time. Who wants to watch the same two or three people (or teams) competing for titles every single year? At this point, Tiger winning a major has become seemingly routine. He is now 12 for 12 when leading or tied for the lead going into the final round. Watching the tournament on Sunday, it wasn’t a question of “if” Tiger would win, it was “by how much?”

And therein lies the fun. If you watch the final round of a major, you are no longer seeing Tiger compete against the other golfers on the course that day. You are seeing Tiger compete against Tiger. Against Jack Nicklaus. Against history. He had a chance on Sunday to set an all time record for score relative to par in a major championship and as a result, in spite of his five stroke cushion, you could still see the frustration on his face when he missed a makeable birdie putt on the 16th hole. Or when he bogeyed 17. In most cases where an athlete has a chance to break a record, you’ll hear him say things like “All that really matters to me is winning.” Tiger? Not so much.

“That’s great, Biff” you say, “but why does it mean I have to root for him?”

Nowadays in sports (there are those of you who will argue that golf is not a sport and you're objection is duly noted and, for the purposes f this blog, ignored), nothing is really pure. Major League Baseball is a prime example. Tiger Woods dominates the PGA not because he has more money by virtue of playing in a larger market. He doesn't make fifty-foot birdie putts with the aid of performance enhancing drugs. He is simply better than everyone else. There are absolutely no mitigating factors to refute this. Tiger has absolutely no competitive advantage over his fellow golfers other than his extraordinary talent. He has no teamates to prop him up if he should falter, no officials that can err in his favor. He is dominating his sport in a way that no individual ever has or ever will and he is doing it virtually all by himself. The day he wins his nineteenth major, it will be arguably the single greatest sporting accomplishment any of us will ever see in our lifetimes and to root for anything other than that outcome is unacceptable.

Interesting/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week: I flew from BWI to Long Island on Sunday and as I was sitting in the terminal waiting for my flight to board, who should I find myself sitting next to but none other than John Riggins. The inside dirt on Riggo? He has some seriously nasty toes. Nobody with toes like that should ever wear sandals.

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WHO DEY, My Sweet Ass

I am in a quest to decide which team to back in the NFL. I have a passing interest in the Patriots that I inherited from one particular boyfriend (Biff's Note: In the pantheon of STDs, this ranks somewhere between herpes and scabies), but it's not enough to get me excited about the impending NFL season. So I’m trying to be open-minded about which team fits me best, but after Sunday night’s debacle, I will say with great certainty that I can never, ever cheer for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The evening started innocuously enough, with a lovely dinner at a local oyster bar. I then joined a party of my friends at a bar off Dupont Circle. When I walked in, I noticed a huge din coming from the bar area. And there, in all his glory, was the hugest “Who Dey” Bengals fan I have ever seen in the flesh. Dressed in full Bengals regalia from head to foot, including some ersatz cowboy hat in orange and black stripes (Halloween castoff, perchance?) Wait, does anyone remember that wave-doing, Griffey jersey-wearing, glove-in-the-500-section retard at RFK? He was wearing a cowboy hat too. Is there something about Cincinnati and assholes in cowboy hats? Okay, right, back to my story. This in a bar near Dupont Circle, where the demographic looked like this: 50% desperate alcoholics, 50% gay men. The best analogy I can think of is that it is the equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys. Needless to say, no one there was paying much attention to the game at all. Even the inveterate sports fans among us (myself included) were watching the game in a slightly passing fashion.

His over-reaction to every single play by the Bengals left me wanting, more than anything, to punch him in his fat, drunken face. Then the coup de grace of douchebaggery: he cheered loudly and for an extended period of time when Clinton Portis was injured. Let me be clear. I am by no means a Redskins fan, but all right-thinking sports fans want Portis in his finest form and cheering for his demise is beyond the pale. Then he drunkenly accosted two unsuspecting Japanese tourists who will now have a great story about big, smelly Americans to tell the folks back home. Soon thereafter he broke a barstool with his fat three-way chili eating-ass and was (mercifully) asked to leave.

So the long and short of it is that I am still in the market for an NFL team. I only know that it can’t be the Bengals, despite an admittedly catchy tune from Bootsy Collins.

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Thirty-Six Days to Go

I've let this go for a while now, due to unbridled laziness, but I just can't pass it up any longer. The fact of the matter is, I just can't pass up a chance to poke fun at the Philadelphia Eagles.

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B Smpl 2 mch Tstr

From the AP report on Floyd Landis' second failed drug test

"I have received a text message from Chatenay-Malabry lab that indicates the 'B' sample of Floyd Landis' urine confirms testosterone was taken in an exogenous way," Pierre Bordry, who heads the French anti-doping council, told The Associated Press shortly after the "B" sample results were released.

A text message? Seriously? I mean, I love text messaging and all, but it seems to me that in a matter as important as this, at least a real phone call would have been appropriate.

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Angelos can kiss my... Nevermind.

As per ususal, DCSportsChick is way ahead of me, but I can't not mention the big news: Nationals games. On television. More specifically, Nationals games on my television. Finally.

I'm actually a little disappointed. The Comcast/MASN dispute was a great target, a good way to release pent up anger. Bad day at work? Complain to someone about how I loathe Comcast. Get cut off in traffic? Fuck Angelos. In fact, the Nats TV issue was the thing that inspired me to start this here blog.

And now its all over. It's a sad day for haters.

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It's A Bargain

As I was watching a Simpsons rerun on Fox 5, Chad Cordero appeared on my screen to inform me that the Nationals will be hosting a blood drive at RFK during a game sometime soon. Sadly, I cannot find anthing online to verify this, but they did something similar last year, so I assume its legit. My favorite part, however, is the fact that, if you show up and give blood, you get two free tickets to a future Nationals game.

That's right. Can't afford Nats tickets? You can, indeed, pay for them in blood.

Update: Just saw the ad again, and I can give you the details I know you've been craving. The blood drive will be happening August 12, from 10 AM - 7 PM. At RFK Stadium. If you're planning on going that day, you should really do this.

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Another Ovechkin Highlight Reel

For the football fans here, I pose this question: In a situation in which a running back finds himself one-on-one with a defender. Would you be more excited to see the runner A) make a spectacular spin move that causes the defender to become confused and fall down B) lower his shoulder and level the defender to the ground?

I ask this not because I have anything relevant to say about football, but because, sometimes, I like to use other sports as analogies when I talk too much about hockey. If you liked Option A, go back a few posts, and view the beautiful video. However, if you like Option B (it's also okay to like both), check out this highlight reel. Please keep in mind that both videos feature the same player.

(Disclaimer: Unfortunately, this was the best Ovechkin hit reel I could find. I'm quite pleased with it except for the accompanying music. I strongly encourage you to turn the sound off.)

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Sadly, This Is the Best We Can Come Up With

We're in a bit of a rut here at the Opossum-Palooza, and we apologize. To make it up to you, please enjoy this video of Washington Capitals winger Alexander Semin scoring an absurdly pretty goal. (I know this doesn't really make up for anything, as I'm sure most of our readers don't give a whit about hockey.) Semin (Siobhan: "Semin. Heh") was with the Caps briefly during the 2003-04 season, then played the past two seasons in Russia. He will be returning to DC this year. As the video will show, it should be quite exciting. If you're in to that sort of thing.

(As an aside, I would just like to say that any and all jokes pertaining to Alexander's last name are encouraged. So long as Siobhan doesn't beat you to it.)

On a not entirely related note, the more I discover things like this, the more I grow to love UniWatch.

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