Obscure Athletes

Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End

Monthly Archives: December 2010

From the Desk of Mr.Boss

So, I was thinking,

This guy is ruining the NFL Today

With the coaching carousel that awaits us in the NFL off season, as a fan of the game I’m only worried about one thing: Who’s gonna replace Bill Cowher on the NFL Today? It’s a big hole to fill, and today, I came up with the perfect replacement. How sick would it be if they found a way to get John Madden to take Bill’s place? John wouldn’t have to travel like he did doing MNF, and he’d still be able to be involved in the game of football. Of course he has nothing left to prove at this point, but boy would he be an addition to that staff. Minus Charlie Casserly, that guy’s just absolutely putrid.

Wishing the obscure athlete-reading community a belated happy holiday

Like my colleague Mr. Boss eloquently stated, I hope all of the readers we’ve been lucky enough to have gathered over the past six months or so, have had a happy and safe holiday. We’re back next week, the last of 2010, with an Obscure Year in Review as well as a few all-new Obscure Spotlights.

PS- good to see Mike Singletary on the sidelines with his religious icons in plain view, but c’mon, man! No just God would let any team win the NFC West.

A Happy Christmas From Mr. Boss

I’m sure Christopher will chime in soon enough with his take, but I  wanted to make a post to personally thank the Obscure Athlete followers we’ve accrued so far this year. In 2010 we were born, and I can’t wait to see where we’ll be this time next year. We’re gonna work harder in 2011 to be a better unit, and I can’t wait. So, here’s to you, Obscure Athlete reader. Thank you!

P.S., Happy Christmas Birthday to: Rickey Henderson, Hideki Okajima, Willy Taveras, and Ruben Gotay!

From the Desk of Mr.Boss

So, I was thinking,


"Didja see that? DIDJA!?"

Can we all stop pretending that Mike Shanahan is some kind of football God? This is the same guy that, I remind you, hasn’t come close to winning ANYTHING since anyone named John fucking  Elway  wasn’t his quarterback. This recent Donovan McNabb situation has just made me hate Shanahan even more. I didn’t think it was possible. The look of sheer stupidity and fear he has painted on his face for every game just flashes in my mind every time someone speaks his name. Shanahan has managed to take an OK quarterback in McNabb and completely fuck him in the mouth. Why would you even bother giving the Eagles anything in return for this guy if you were just gonna dick around with him and end the season with Rex Grossman as your starter? Mind boggling, but oh so sweet at the same time. Why? Because slowly people are now starting to realize what a goddamn sham Mike Shanahan is, and I love every second of it.

Obscure Spotlight: Ron Coomer

Oft-forgotten is how smooth the Coom Dawg's swing was.

They called Ron Coomer the “Coom Dawg.” What a lame nickname. Like, the guy played in the majors for nine seasons, and that’s the best they could come up with? Ron Coomer really does sound like the name of an obscure athlete, too. I could never picture Ron Coomer being an all-star, yet his Wikipedia page informed me that indeed, Coomer was the Twins’ lone representative in the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. And with the all-millenium team in attendance, featuring a Ted Williams lovefest, Coomer is a mere footnote upon the 1999 baseball season. Coomer struck out in his only All-Star Game at-bat.

The Athletics took the infielder in the 14th round of the 1987 draft. Coomer kicked around in the A’s, White Sox’, and Dodgers’ farm systems before being traded to the Twins in 1995, for whom he would make his debut on August 1. Most of his major league success would come in Minnesota, where he would play five full seasons, including his all-star performance in 1999. Coomer hit .278 for the Twins with 77 home runs and a .746 OPS.

During the 2000 season, Coomer was moved from third base to accomodate the emergence of power-hitting third baseman Corey Koskie. The Twins released Coomer after that 2000 season, and he played a season each for the Cubs, Yankees, and Dodgers. The Coom Dawg was never the same after he left Minnesota. His last season was in 2003, when he played in just 69 games for Los Angeles.

Just because I was curious, other members of the ’99 AL All-Star Team? John Jaha, BJ Surhoff, Jose Offerman, and Brad Ausmus. Good thing Pedro was pitching.

Garbage Goals- Draft Busts #3: Brian Lawton

Future NHL superstar Brian Lawton in his first moments as a pro.

By Ben Ricker and Josh Wilson

In 1983 Brian Lawton became the first US-born player to be drafted first overall in the history of the NHL. This was sure to go down as a great moment for the doomed North Stars and, in a larger sense, for United States hockey. He was selected before Hall of Famers Pat LaFontaine (3rd overall, NY Islanders) and Steve Yzerman (4th overall, Detroit Red Wings). Naturally the Whalers blew it too at second overall, but Sylvain Turgeon did amass almost 500 points in his career. Some believe that Brian Lawton failed because he flew too close to the sun by wearing number 98 (he was the only player ballsy enough to do it), some believe he sealed his sub-par career when he was drafted by the lowly North Stars. I, however, maintain that he failed just because he is from New Jersey.

In Lawton’s illustrious career, he found himself playing 483 games over the course of seven NHL seasons. His highest NHL point total came in his sophomore season, which is never a very good time to “peak”, with 44 points. Lawton played for five teams after leaving Minnesota in 1988 until retiring in 1993 in Minnesota to go back where his shortcomings began.

Lawton has since gone on to become an agent but more notably the Tampa Bay Lightning’s GM until he was succeeded by, you can’t make this up, Steve Yzerman. Tampa Bay was one of the league’s worth teams under Lawton’s rule, sinking to 66 points in 2008-2009, but under Yzerman’s guidance they’re on pace for 104 points. Maybe it has something to do with all that talent they stacked up from the high draft picks. Or better yet, maybe Yzerman has spent his entire existence trying to one-up Lawton for getting drafted before him. Either way, Stevie Y has owned Lawton as both a player and a GM.

Scary Fact: Lawton is considered a huge draft bust, but he had more points in his rookie season (35) than Tyler Seguin is on pace for (29). Wuh oh!

Ben Ricker and Josh Wilson are weekly columnists for Obscure Athletes and our resident hockey experts. They can be reached at Ben@obscureathletes.com or Josh@obscureathletes.com

Childress in the stands at Vikings Game?


A man, possibly Brad Childress, left, looks on with disdain, as his Vikings get blown out in the snow.

Brad Childress must have hit up Brett Favre for tickets to last night’s Vikings game. And  why wouldn’t he? It was Minnesota football history being made at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium. Wouldn’t wanna miss that, would ya Brad? The Vikings, in case you missed it, turned in a Vikings-like performance, getting blown out by the Bears at home, and losing Favre for, once again, an indeterminable amount of time.



Obscure Broncos’ 1000-yard Rushers: Mike Anderson

One day, you’re going to be in a position to answer a trivia question, for either a bunch of

I think I could have rushed for a thousand yards with that Broncos O-Line

money or a pair of tickets to your next local sporting event, or something of that nature. Maybe it’s on Jeopardy. Alex Trebeck is going to look you in the face and say “Call him both an early and late bloomer, because he holds the NFL record for most time in between 1000-yard rushing seasons.” And because of Obscure Athletes, you’ll correctly answer the question. Maybe it’s a Final Jeopardy question, who knows? And if it is, you’ll answer “Mike Anderson” and smile. Hopefully you wagered all your money and weren’t that guy who sees the Final Jeopardy category and bets $0. Isn’t it really lame when that guy wins?


Anyway, today we’re talking Mike Anderson– the pride of Winnsboro, South Carolina and a former sixth round pick out of the University of Utah. Anderson served in the Marines after high school and was 26 by the time he was drafted in 2000 by the Broncos.  Anderson was thrust into the starting role after Olandis Gary went down early in the season, and did not disappoint. On his way to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, Mike Anderson rushed for 1487 yards on 297 carries and an impressive 15 touchdowns.


Chillin' in Baltimore, starring Mike Anderson. Coming this fall.

Anderson’s carries were cut in half both of the next two seasons, and his production diminished. Finally in 2004, Anderson suffered a season-ending injury during the preseason, and the already improbable run of Mike Anderson all the way to the ranks of the NFL looked to finally be ending.


Going into the ’05 season, Anderson was determined to prove he had one more good NFL season in him, and behind a stellar Broncos offensive line, Mike Anderson once again broached the 1000-yard plateau. In fifteen games Anderson rushed for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns, and added another three in two playoff games for Denver.

After that 2005 season, Anderson was a salary cap casualty for the Broncos, after which he signed on with Baltimore, for whom he played only one season. That year saw him  carry the ball only 39 times from a backup role with the Ravens. Mike Anderson’s NFL career came to a close when he was suspended for a full season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, after which no team was willing to take a chance on the running back.  He finished his career with 919 carries, and a 4.4 yards per carry average. Anderson ran with a chip on his shoulder, making sure to always fall forward. And his fifteen minutes of fame will remain well-preserved here at Obscure Athletes.

The continuing saga of Broncos’ 1000-yard rushers gets even more obscure next week, think you can guess who we’ll be looking at?

From the Desk of Mr. Boss

So I’ve been thinking…

What were Knicks fans doing last night booing Lebron James and Chris Bosh? And chanting ‘overrated?’ Knicks fans,

Oh, and fuck Spike Lee too.

don’t you understand? Lebron was NEVER going to New York. And just because ESPN and the New York Daily News spent two years selling you on the idea that he might take his talents to the MSG, doesn’t mean it was ever going to happen. They just plain made it up. So fuck you. I bet you were feeling pretty good when the Knicks were up 51-50, eh?

I usually hate groups of people with a common cause BUT…

I’m here today to call everyone in the Obscure Athletes-reading community

All the luck in the Irish Universe couldn't make these dickheads full-time SportsCenter anchors.

together. We must unite to make the sporting community, and our society as a whole, a better place, and to me the obvious place to start is at the epicenter of mediocre, rehashed, thoughtless garbage: the Mike and Mike Morning Show, broadcast every morning on ESPN Radio and simulcast as part of the “What the fuck else are we gonna show?” morning block on ESPN2.

Thanks, Worldwide Leader, for giving us something we’ve never, ever seen before in a morning program: The duo featuring the fat, marginally talented former player whose “Down-home” personality and overt lack of sophistication make him the perfect anti-intellectual counterpart to the uptight, straight-laced, salmon-eating douchebag whose  agoraphobic tendencies and overall twitchiness ensured that he never got laid in his younger days. Yeah, I’ve never seen that before, save perhaps for not only every morning sports show, but every movie Chris Farley and David Spade have ever been in.

Mike and Mike are the sports version of Two and a Half Men– recycled, contrived drivel, that uses every shitty old trick in the comedy book, garnering a giant audience and cheap laughter at every turn. Do the sports world a favor, and don’t watch Mike and Mike in the Morning. Not only that, tell your friends to make sure they never see or listen to it. In fact, I go on a personal media blackout from 6-10 every morning just to make sure I don’t accidentally stumble upon it while surfing the channels.

Join the cause, and spread the word. The betterment of western society is at stake here. The more people who don’t watch that garbage, the more the Worldwide Leader will have to consider using that four hours of daily airtime differently. At the very least, it’ll allow them to talk about Brett Favre some more.

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