Alouettes Say “Bonjour” to Ochocinco

A few weeks back, the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes turned heads when it was announced that they would invite former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson for a tryout during spring mini-camp in Florida.

The Oregon State Beavers alumnus wowed Alouettes scouts in his Tuesday workout session, making sharp cuts to rid himself of defenders and hauling in passes just short of midfield. It seemed to have worked. Earlier today, general manager Jim Popp inked Johnson to a contract.

Johnson, who spent over a decade playing football stateside with the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots, was signed to the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad during the 2012 NFL preseason. His US career was derailed after he was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery on his girlfriend.

Earlier in the week, Johnson met with reporters at Alouettes’ mini-camp in Vero Beach, and he admits that because of his negative rapport with the League, the doors are likely now closed to an NFL return.

“It was a horrible mistake,” Johnson said. “A dream of mine since I was 4 years old was taken from me, rightfully so, by my wrongdoings.”

Johnson is happy to be playing football anywhere at this point.

“I just want to get back to doing something that I love to do, regardless of where it is,” he said. “[Whether it's] Montreal, flag football, back in the street the way I grew up, I just want to play football.”

The receiver utilized his Twitter account to reach out to the Als, and Popp quieted the rumors of a publicity stunt by Johnson and his camp. Here’s what he had to say:

It’s all business. It’s real. He’s in great shape. He wants to play and we’ll see how things are. None of you would know it was here unless it got tweeted out. ”

This is what Popp said of the decision to sign Johnson.

Chad Johnson did an outstanding job the last three days. As we added him into the mix, it was to see how he communicated with the players, how he held himself, the way he physically held up, his true interest in coming to the CFL. It was a total evaluation so that it’s a good fit. He was very happy and very excited to be on the field again and we are happy to welcome him to the Alouettes.”

Chad Johnson is a man who, in the last several years, has done a complete 180 from the kind of guy that he was in Cincinnati. He has engaged in misdeeds, paid the price, and has now learned from them.

At this stage in his career, the 36-year-old Johnson is not looking for a big-money contract like so many athletes of his stature are, but rather just a second chance at playing the game he is passionate about. Football is Chad Johnson’s life.

Having that game taken away from him two years ago was a real wake-up call for him, a call which he answered. Here’s hoping he has a successful run as a member of the Als.

QUICK ADDENDUM: Johnson must still obtain a work permit in order to play in Canada. The Als hope to know whether or not his permit is approved by Thursday, May 1. Montreal’s training camp is set to begin on Sunday, June 1, with its first preseason game on Saturday, June 14.–nfl.html

CFL Posts Coming Soon!

Football is not just a game with a 100-yard field. Sometimes it’s played on a 50-yard field, or, in the case of Canadian football, a 110-yard field. In some instances, you don’t get four downs to gain 10 yards for a first down, you get just three.

You don’t have 11 men to a side in some leagues, you have 12. Some players are from their home country, while others are imports.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the magic of the CFL. The CFL is not covered that much by the American sports media, and it’s a damn shame. Half of the players in the CFL are American.

The CFL is viewed by many of its detractors as a “dumping ground” for players who were just not good enough to make it in the NFL. In reality, NFL legends such as Warren Moon, Jeff Garcia, and the great Doug Flutie, had fruitful careers in the Great White North before taking their talents stateside.

It is in that positive spirit that today, I proudly announce that, in addition to the Arena Football, Indians baseball, and all the other posts you see on here, you will now see a category devoted to all things Canadian football and the CFL! 

The CFL is perhaps the most exciting brand of outdoor gridiron football in North America, and my goal here is to bring some of that excitement to you, right here on this blog. This is Drew Zuhosky, The 3-Down American, reminding you to never concede the rouge.

Indians/Tigers Postponement a Sign of Wussification in America

The Indians should be playing tonight. They should be in action right now against the Detroit Tigers. It should be game one of a three-game series. I should be listening to Tom Hamilton right now.

But I’m not doing any of that, because the Indians aren’t playing tonight. The game was postponed at the discretion and the decision of the Tigers because of what was termed “inclement weather.” The game, which was called around 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time today, did not need to be postponed.

Sure, there was snow on the ground in Detroit this morning, but it’s fine now. No new snow has fallen in Detroit since earlier this afternoon, when the game was called. This is total BS. The field at Comerica Park, where the Tigers call home, is in good condition tonight.

This game should never have gotten postponed, at all. So WHAT if it’s just a little too cold for baseball? That’s not an excuse, nor will it ever be. Damn it, we have people who show up to playoff football games at Lambeau Field in sub-zero temperatures drunk off their asses, wearing nothing but a pair of undergarments.

But when chilly temperatures are factored into whetheisr or not a baseball game gets played, the conditions lean the decision toward “not.” Why is this the case?

As long as there’s no snow falling, who really cares how cold the weather is? Play on. It just floors me that they decided to call it off with no inclement weather in the forecast.

At the core, the decision to unnecessarily postpone tonight’s ballgame is another sad example of how soft we have become in this country. It’s another chapter in the wussification of America.

Good Lord, this is like the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears. “Oh, this porridge is too cold.” If Goldilocks had the guts, she’d have eaten the cold porridge, slept in the big bed, and sat in the big chair. Goldilocks didn’t have the guts because she was a wimp that enjoyed things that were small and juuuuuuuuuuuuust right! 

If the Indians and Tigers had the guts, they’d be playing right now. But that’s sadly not the case because these guys are too soft. There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be playing tonight. Skies are clear in Detroit right now, and there is no snow.

Instead, they decided to take the wimpy route tonight and not play when the game really could have been played. I am disgusted by this. Don’t give me that crap about how it’s too cold. I sat on metal bleachers to watch a college football game during a snowstorm last November, so I know a thing or two about weather that’s “too cold.”

Because of the Tigers’ regretful choice to postpone a game that didn’t need to be called, they will now be forced to make up the game that should be going on right now as part of a day-night doubleheader in July. Dumb move. Man up and play ball!

No Tom Hamilton tonight. No baseball. Bob Frantz is yakking the night away on the radio. It’s all thanks to the Tigers’ stupid mistake. I’d have played.

Rattlers, Power to Square Off in Epic Week 6 Clash Saturday Night

When the 2014 Arena Football League schedule was released to the public last November 11, a lot of fans around Arena Nation immediately jumped to Week 6, Saturday, April 19, when the Pittsburgh Power will face the two-time defending ArenaBowl champion Arizona Rattlers. Even back in the fall, we had a feeling that this game would be special.

Well, fast forward to a little over six months later, because we now know for sure that this will be a mammoth game, the anticipation of which matches that for a UFC heavyweight fight. All that’s missing is Bruce Buffer. Just look at the storylines heading into the battle.

Arizona and Pittsburgh are two of the AFL’s hottest, streaking teams. The hometown Rattlers currently hold first place in the West Division at 4-0, and folks, they haven’t lost a game since last summer.

For Pittsburgh, the change in head coaches from Derek Stingley to Ron James has proven to be most beneficial, as they’ve rattled off three straight wins to enter the contest at 3-1, second place in the East behind only Cleveland.

The head coaching matchup for this clash of the titans is also intriguing. Kevin Guy has led the Rattlers to two consecutive World Championships, fighting tooth and nail with opposing teams and blowing out others all the while. Ron James, the 2012 AFL Coach of the Year, has taken a Power team that was in shambles a couple of years ago and put them into respectability.

Both men are familiar with each other, as they were former West Division rivals when James coached the late Utah Blaze franchise. Shootout at the O.K. Corral, anyone?

The quarterback matchup is perhaps the best storyline heading into this Saturday night’s ballgame. Two old West Division gunslingers will load up their ammo and draw their pistols one more time. Back in September, the Power acquired veteran QB Tommy Grady in the Utah Blaze/ Chicago Rush dispersal draft.

This acquisition’s paid off most handsomely. Through four games, Grady has been 86-for-155 for 889 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions, giving him a completion percentage of 55.4. Grady’s favorite target’s been his old Blaze teammate Aaron LeSue, who enters the game with 35 receptions, six of them for touchdowns, and 340 yards.

On the other side of the field, Nick Davila’s off to a scorching hot start, going 60-for-88 for 774 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and only two interceptions, giving him a 61.8 completion percentage. Davila’s go-to receiver, as has been the case for several years now, is Maurice Purify, who’s caught 24 passes (8, 1/3 of them for touchdowns) for 277 yards.

This is also kick returner/ defensive back Virgil Gray’s first game back in Arizona since joining the Power. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from the audience at U.S. Airways Center on Saturday night. Thinking cheers and a warm round of applause are in order. If they give him a LeBron James-esque round of deafening boos, I’ll be shocked and appalled.

One more thing, both these teams have a penchant for really scoring points. Heading into the game, the Rattlers are outscoring opposing teams 250-193, whereas the Power, who’ve blown out their last two adversaries, are outscoring foes 227-141. Methinks they’re going to need a few extra bulbs on that scoreboard in Arizona.

Quite simply, this is going to be the best game of this young season. If you’re in Arizona, buy your tickets now. If you wait too long, you’ll be left to watch the game on COX 7.

#MSTribe3K: It’s ALIVE!

Hey, Indians fans! It’s going to be a long season, so why not make watching Tribe games (an activity that’s fun in its own right) even more enjoyable?

To add to the entertainment, I suggest we start doing running commentary on social media… but in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000!

Yes, Mystery Science Theater 3000, the long-running cable series wherein a human and a pair of wisecracking robots make smarta… er, witty remarks about horrible cinema. It’s a show that’s achieved cult classic status over the years. It’s all over Netflix and Reddit, so go there and watch it.

This is a most-unique means of entertainment. To join in the fun, here’s what you have to do.

  1. Watch every Indians game on TV. You all know how to do that, right?
  2. Create “riffs” (funny comments about the game on Twitter) using the hashtags #MSTribe3K,  #TribeRiff, or #MysteryScienceMLB
  3. If you don’t have a Twitter account, create one at It’s fast, easy, and free. Within 20 minutes, you’ll be riffing with the best of ‘em.

This will work with just about ANY MLB team, so if you’re not an Indians fan, BEGONE with you– oh, I mean, try it with your team and see how it works.

Get in the theater and play ball!

Dissecting Indians’ First Week in Action

Don’t panic, but for the first time in this young 2014 Major League Baseball season, the Cleveland Indians have lost two consecutive ballgames. Yeah, I know, it’s early yet, but you don’t want to see a team lose twice in a row to a team in its own division.

Despite Cleveland’s most recent contest, a 10-7 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Twins earlier this afternoon at Progressive Field, there’s been some good to come out of their 3-3 start to the new year.

Michael Brantley has gotten off to a blazing start, hitting at a .315 clip with 5 RBI and 1 run scored, drawing a walk in the process. He’s 9-for-24 to begin this season, including a 3-for-5 output with 1 RBI in today’s game.

Brantley exits the clubhouse tonight with the team lead in batting average, RBI, and hits. The fact that he is being utilized as the fifth man in the starting lineup most evenings right after Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis and newly-converted third baseman Carlos Santana should drive up his RBI total up further as the season goes along.

New acquisition David Murphy is following Brantley’s lead, hitting a .316 batting average, going 6-for-19 at the plate, including a 4-for-5 performance earlier today versus Minnesota. Name for me any person who’d be dissatisfied at having an .800 single-game batting average. OK, maybe a guy who hit 1.000, but that’s pretty much it.

Going into today’s game, Murphy had not been swinging that hot of a bat (he had a BA of only .143 exiting the clubhouse on Saturday afternoon,) so it will be interesting to see whether or not he utilizes this afternoon’s performance as an inspiration and a catalyst going forward.

On the other hand, starting pitching has been troubling through the first week of this new season. Every game, Cleveland’s starters have had to labor to get the outs and get out of innings. Terry Francona has had to dip into his bullpen more often than he would have otherwise liked to during the early going.

Heck, even Justin Masterson’s had a rough go of things through his first two starts. Although he leads the Indians in strikeouts recorded (8,) he has yet to notch a victory or a decision. Today, it was like he was having a root canal on the mound.

He failed to even make it to 4.0 innings pitched. In his 3.2 innings of work this afternoon, Masterson gave up 7 hits, 6 runs (5 earned runs,) 3 walks, and only struck out 4. Those 4 Ks are his only strikeouts to date this season. Masty’s ERA exiting today’s game was an ugly, pathetic 12.27.

Thus, with the snafus from the starters, it should come as no shock whatsoever that RHP Cody Allen heads into tomorrow’s ballgame versus the San Diego Padres (7:00 ET on SportsTime Ohio, FOX Sports San Diego, MLB.TV and MLB Extra Innings) leading the pitching staff in wins (2.)

If Masterson’s woes persist deeper into the month, he will most likely become trade bait. Speaking of trades, the Indians made one prior to the ballgame today.

This morning, RHP Colt Hymes, who was designated for assignment last Sunday, was traded by the Tribe in exchange for fellow RHP Duke von Schammann from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hymes himself was traded to the Indians on Halloween last year from the Padres in exchange for cash considerations.

Sure, Yan Gomes, Carlos Santana, and the rest may do a good job, but if the pitching doesn’t improve, the “Unfinished Business” that the Indians were touting throughout Spring Training could be finished by early summer.

Are you concerned about the Indians’ slow start? Comments are welcome, but please keep them clean and respectful.

Letterman’s Retirement Long Overdue

The long television career of David Letterman will soon come to a close. After a career hosting comedy talk shows for 35 years, three series, and two networks, the gap-toothed funnyman from Indianapolis announced his retirement from television Thursday.

Fans of Dave have no reason to fret right now, as The Late Show with David Letterman will still be part of the CBS late night schedule until sometime next year. Letterman, 67, extended his talent contract, which was set to expire at the close of the current broadcast season, last October.

Letterman revealed his intentions to call it a career during the taping of this evening’s show. Mike Mills, bassist for R.E.M., sat in with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra on tonight’s episode. After the taping, Mills tweeted the following well-wish:

“Dave just announced his retirement #2015 #muchlovedave.”

Dave said of his decision to retire:

“”The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance.  And I phoned him just before the program, and I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring. I I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much.”

Letterman then followed up this bombshell by jokingly saying that he and Shaffer can now get married after he steps down. The fact that it’s taken Letterman this long to admit to himself and to the country that his comedy act and his show aren’t funny anymore is just flooring.

It’s gotten to the point where only Letterman and his writers find the jokes in his monologue amusing. The audience doesn’t want to laugh at his jokes, but they laugh anyway, so as not to unleash the wrath of the scolding pages at The Ed Sullivan Theater.

Letterman probably should have called it quits after his heart surgery in 2000. Don’t believe me? Go on YouTube and punch in one of Dave’s old bits from the 80′s and/or 90′s. You’ll find that those classic sketches are a riot. Compare it to something from 2001 on.

After the 9/11 attacks, and even more so in recent years, it’s become evident that Letterman uses his platform to wax his political ideology to his audience, and abandoning the crazier stuff that made him so popular in the early years.

Late night comedy talk shows should not be used as a forum to get overly political. Of course, jokes about politics are a mainstay in late night monologues, but in the body of the show? Not really. If people wanted to hear other people talk politics on late night TV, they’d put Nightline on.

Moreover, with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Arsenio Hall firmly entrenched in the late night landscape, among other hosts, Dave can’t adequately compete anymore, especially with the young male demographic, the target for late night comedy shows.

Dave’s trying to get Grandpa and Aunt Bella to watch his show. Only one problem, their bedtime’s 7:30 and he’s on at 11:30. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Dave’s retirement is long-awaited and long-overdue.