The NFL's replacement refs are worse than ever, a bunch of hockey players are joining a children's hockey league, Jeremy Lin hates spending money, and the Dodgers re-up their GM.
We understand, you missed this past week in sports because of Jewish New Year’s prep. Sports are cool and stuff, but you need to get those slacks pressed, right? There’s a stew that needs cooking. It’s not a big deal, and VICE’s crack sports department is godless and has it covered.
- It's established that football's replacement referees are next-level bad, but the real eyebrow raiser is how badly they've been handled. One of the guys assigned to work Sunday's Saints game was a Louisiana native whose friends are Saints fans and who kind of was one himself. He was booted off the game once ESPN sent a note to the NFL, presumably via fax. Another referee who worked the Seahawks game last week, the one where Seattle got an extra timeout, also had worked Seattle practices before. The video above is of the dude who's calling the Monday night game. Weird, right?
- Eli Manning put up like an insane stat line and the Giants beat the Buccaneers after an awesome rally. Baby Prince Fielder wore Zubaz Giants pants out of respect. The Buccaneers, who did not wear creamsicle, played rough, sacking Eli late, the coaching of which pissed off the Giants coach and one guy from the Daily News.
- Andrew Luck, of Indianapolis, carved up the (crappy) Minnesota defense en route to his first career win, and Robert Griffin III, who is a few credits short of his Master’s degree and is a lot skinnier looking than one would think, was basically a human highlight reel in a loss to St. Louis (which is the worst kind of loss). Remember all those articles a few years ago saying the NFL was broken since there weren't any good quarterbacks anymore? Yeah, me neither.
- In addition to owning a rocket arm, Jay Cutler has a fatter face than any skilled athlete who doesn't shotput should have. He is probably not fat, but man, he has like weird baby cheeks. It's creepy. He's also known to stink it up, which he did Thursday. That stuff happens, which is fine, and the worse sign was him reaming out his offensive line. He got sacked seven times Thursday; it's been rough like that in 2011, as well. He threw four picks against the Packers, but the whole thing looks like some shitty chicken/egg scenario, where you’re not sure who was shitty first. People don't like Cutler because of his pricky face, but it might just be that he's worse since his o-line straight up sucks.
- Last year’s September was one of the best of all-time, and the last day of the season was probably totally the best of all-time, and while this year’s might not foster identical results, there's at least a shot of some sort of close finish. Going into Monday action, the Rays and Dodgers are, more or less, out of the playoff race. In baseball terms that means they're still in the playoff race, but hold low odds. They're not totally out of it--just like, say, the two principals of the insane September 2011 shit, the Rays and Cardinals, were in September. That's a boring way of saying anything can happen, but yeah, anything can theoretically happen.
- The Dodgers re-upped GM Ned Colletti for a few years. Some people are real salty about it since the Dodgers are skidding and Colletti isn't exactly a sexy name as far as front-office types go. It's a fair criticism, but the same people who criticized Colletti for being too spendthrift during the Dodgers’ lean years are now bagging on him for being too loose with money in the new ownership era. Colletti both signed guys like Tony Gwynn (a shitty player) for like, no money when the Dodgers were broke, and then put down a quarter-billion dollars for a couple good players under the next-level super Baller Blockin’ Dodgers. (All while developing a pretty impressive coterie of young pitchers.) Is Colletti a bad GM, or does he just work with what he has? Like, you know, most GMs? His dinosaur reputation might precede him, but some of the great GMs are having some trouble themselves. Or maybe it just doesn’t matter and LA will get there eventually.
- USC, the No. 2 ranked team in the country, lost to Stanford and basically their season is over. Both teams have some studs, though Matt Barkley, USC's quarterback, is the consensus banger. He'd have gone super high in the '12 draft, like top five, but came back so he could win a Heisman and a championship. Now neither will happen, probably. Oops. It's not fair game to make fun of college students, but since USC football players are on salary, it's OK here, I think.
- Hockey is locked out, which is a big freaking deal since the season starts... is it before or after Halloween? Does it have something to do with Canadian Thanksgiving? I'm not sure. Someone help me here. Also, it's worth mentioning that Donald Fehr, the NHL Players Association executive director, looks super-duper young. Also, Canadians are so starved for hockey, they read articles like this. I mean, I'm Canadian, but I am not having cold sweats or anything. OK, I am, and they're crippling, but they have nothing to do with hockey.
- A bunch of Russian players signed contracts to play over there for a year, since they’re justifiably worried there’s not going to be a season. This is mainly amazing since the KHL stands for Kontintental. That spelling is so cute, like a children’s league, and it probably has something to do with that commie Canadian toy store that’s selling kiddy komputers so kids can watch its games on their bootleg Russian streams. COINCIDENCE? Nah.
- Jeremy Lin is so cool—he’s sleeping on a roommate’s couch until he gets his furniture delivered! It's not so much that he's cheap, he just loves leaving stains on people's couches. And the furniture he's getting delivered? Rick Owens furniture. That stuff's expensive. Pretty good look by Lin.