Philip Rivers is either a massive bargaining chip for the San Diego Chargers or he’s their quarterback of the future. And while the former is the more likely scenario, Rivers has taken all of 8 snaps in real competition since being acquired in the 2004 Draft day deal that brought Eli Manning to the Giants. With the Chargers having been eliminated from playoff contention, what possible reason could there be for coach Marty Schottenheimer sticking with Drew Brees in this weekend’s finale with Denver? The Union-Tribune’s Jay Posner writes that Schottenheimer is less concerned with Rivers’ development and/or showcasing the QB compared to…the Chargers’ regular season record?
“We will play everybody that is healthy enough to play,” Schottenheimer said. “Our starters will start, our starters will play, because we have one objective and that is to get to 10-6.”
It might seem as if there’s little difference between finishing 10-6 or 9-7 “ except the latter could mean playing Buffalo and Tennessee next year instead of Miami and Jacksonville “ but Schottenheimer disagreed.
“There’s a difference between preseason and regular season in my view,” he said. “Ours is about winning football games. And as strange as it might sound, 10-6 just sounds a lot better to me than 9-7.”
“Winning, that’s the name of the game,” Schottenheimer said. “I understand those that might say play Philip and all, but that’s not the way the National Football League, in my view, is set up. Our goal is to win the game and get our 10th victory. That’s our objective.”
No fewer than 3 persons forwarded this story, which either means I shouldn’t sleep so late…or that Jon Solomon is faster than the rest of them.
From the Associated Press :
Jeff Reardon, one of the top relief pitchers in history, blamed medication for depression after his arrest for a jewelry store robbery.
Police said Tuesday that the 50-year-old Reardon, retired since 1994 and sixth in career saves, walked into Hamilton Jewelers at the Gardens Mall on Monday and handed an employee a note saying he had a gun and the store was being robbed.
Reardon, who starred with the Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police found him at a nearby restaurant, recovered the stolen money and charged him with armed robbery.
Lt. David O’Neill said Reardon did not have a gun and offered no resistance when he was handcuffed.
“He said it was the medication that made him do it and that he was sorry,” O’Neill said.
He said Reardon has lived in the city for more than 20 years and has never caused any problems.
Meanwhile, John Franco is allowed to walk the streets. Where’s the justice?
There’s no truth to the rumor that following Reardon’s arrest, the St. Louis Cardinals offered him a one-year deal.
On Saturday, Billy Cundiff drew a crucial roughing-the-kicker penalty against the Panthers’ Julius Peppers.
On Monday, he was out of work, the 4th such kicking change the Dallas Cowboys have made in 2005.
Bill Parcells would have you believe that such a transcation was entirely performance related, but I suspect that Cundiff’s latest exodus is related in no small part to his wildy provocative website.
Like web pioneers Barry Bonds and Terrell Owens before him, Billy Cundiff is a loose cannon. And the football establishment’s worst nightmare to boot — a kicker with an opinion. Is anyone really surprised that Billy Cundiff.com is “temporarily down”? Jerry Jones, you might be able to rent Billy’s services a few afternoons a year, but you cannot buy his silence. Some time in the very near future, Billy Cundiff.com will be up and running, and Cundiff’s unpopular views on the Iraq war, abortion, same sex unions and other hot button issues will be once again be available for public perusal.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s T.R. Sullivan writes the Rangers have signed free agent P Kevin Millwood.
The AP’s reports Millwood’s contract is worth $60 million over 5 years, though Texas can void the 5th year of the deal if the former Indians/Phillies/Braves hurler doesn’t pitch a minimum number of innings during prior years.
Chan Ho Park was unavailable for gloating purposes.
Milwood, 31, had an AL leading 2.86 ERA amongst starters last season, a figure that will surely be higher in 2006 given the likely effects of pitching in Arlington.
From Newsday :
Former Jack Adams Award winner Ted Nolan (above) has tossed his hat into the ring for the vacant head coaching job in New Jersey.
According to the Buffalo News, Nolan has, through a friend, inquired about the Devils’ job and is waiting for a response. Nolan spent two seasons as the Buffalo Sabres’ bench boss in 1995-96 and 1996-97, but has not guided an NHL team since.
Nolan is currently the head coach and director of hockey operations for the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats.
Nolan is quoted as saying, œTo leave the situation I™m in now would be tough, but I know I can coach. Yeah, I can imagine it would be a tough call to move away from Moncton, home of the largest shopping mall in the Atlantic provinces.
To which I can only reply, if you’ve neither worked for Lou Lamoriello nor spent much time in the East Rutherford, NJ ‘hood, you have no idea how tough a call it must be.
While most of you selfish motherfuckers were asleep early Sunday morning, visions of Xbox 360′s, diamond-encrusted underpants and other dubious material goods dancing your heads, other persons were showing their devotion to a great American sporting idol.
Steve Garvey (above, right) was,is and always will be Mr.Dodger.Yes he is a roll model just like Tommy said. He liked sex ,tell me someone that doesn’t. He didn’t do drugs or steroids. He was and still is mr. clean.
# posted by Anonymous : 12/25/2005 09:04:24 AM
The past month and today’s papers especially, have been filled with eulogies for ABC’s “Monday Night Football“, which comes to the end of its 35 year run on the network with tonight’s meaningless Patriots/Jets game at 9pm Eastern.
(believe it or not, this wasn’t even close to the worst thing John Turturro’s ever been in)
Sorry to diminsh the historical significance of said event, but MNF is merely moving from one Disney property (ABC) to another (ESPN) next season. Whether or not these primetime telecasts will ever again be part of the mainstream cultural fabric is, I suspect, down to the quality of the games on offer and has less to do with what network they appear on. That the terrestrial broadcasters reach more homes than basic cable is not something I wish to dispute, but ESPN is hardly the Outdoor Life Network. Or even the ESPN of 1995.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir ushers ABC out the door by forcing Joe Theismann to finally watch the replay of Lawrence Taylor breaking his leg. And if Joe watched it 10 times, that’s about a thousand times fewer than Kathy Lee Crosby’s seen the tape.
RHP Jason Johnson, Detroit’s 2005 opening day starter, has signed a one year deal with Cleveland.
Johnson, 8-13 with a 4.54 ERA last season, is expected to join Paul Byrd in the Indians’ starting rotation, recently depleted with the loss of Scott Elarton and likely departure of Kevin Millwood. A diabetic, Johnson is also the only player in MLB allowed to wear an insulin pump on the field. If Danny Graves makes the Indians’ big league roster, Johnson and some of his teammates might soon petition for the right to use other intravenous drugs while in uniform.
LA’s Lamar Odom and Miami’s Gary Payton had to be seperated at the conclusion of yesterday’s Heat/Lakers matinee. The Miami Herald’s Israel Guiterrez sheds little light on the situation.
There’s trash talk, and then there’s Gary Payton’s talk.
Sunday, Payton was at his best — or worst, depending on your perspective. The target of his verbal jabs was former Heat forward Lamar Odom. And Odom didn’t take well to Payton’s chatter.
Payton received a technical foul in the third quarter for his wrangling with Odom, after which Odom winked toward his bench as if he had the situation under control.
But the back-and-forth banter continued for the remainder of the game, to the point where the two had to be separated at midcourt after the game was over. Odom said Payton crossed the line of good sportsmanship with some of his comments.
‘He’s an extremely disrespectful young man,’”‘ Odom said. “I’m not going to repeat anything he said, but he’s extremely disrespectful.
“It’s dudes like that, that’s why things happen off the court between players and their friends and things like that. He needs to watch how he talks to other men. It’s a difference between competing and how you talk to another man.”
Payton (above) said he was just doing what he normally does, trying to get into the minds of his competition.
”You just keep talking and keep playing,” Payton said. “Some of the players, their mentality is they want to get mad and take it personal against you, then they start thinking about you all the time. That’s where my mental toughness is, because I don’t care. I can talk, and I’m not going to worry about you anymore.”
Odom normally doesn’t get caught up in trash talk, so this must have been some of Payton’s finest work.
”That wasn’t an accomplishment to me,” Payton said. “That’s the way I am. You say something to me, I’ll say something back to you. It was in fun to me. It’s over with. He goes home, I go home.”
You’ve probably heard by now that Atlanta coach Jim Mora didn’t take kindly to being asked why the Falcons chose to to punt on 4th and 2 from their own 24 with 1:08 left in OT Saturday — supposedly, Mora threw his headset microphone, narrowly missing the skull of sideline reporter.
As the Augusta Chronicle’s Don Coble points out, it was a pretty obvious question. Voluntarily giving possession back to the Bucs at that point ended the Falcons’ playoff hopes.
In an era of instant messaging and Internet searches, it shouldn’t have been that difficult for the Atlanta Falcons to know about their playoff position during Saturday afternoon’s game at Tampa Bay.
Coach Jim Mora (above, right) even made a call on his cell phone from the sidelines during the 27-24 overtime loss, presumably to find out the ramifications of a win, loss or tie against the Buccaneers.
As it turned out, the Falcons were misguided. They believed they remained in the playoff hunt with a loss, although they really were eliminated with a loss or a tie.
Apparently the information superhighway made a detour around the team’s training camp.
After punting the ball with 68 seconds remaining in overtime – kicking away any playoff hopes – Mora was led to believe his team still had a chance with a victory next Sunday against Carolina. Team representatives in the press box said the same thing.
Mora was so sure, he got upset when he was asked why he wanted to punt on fourth-and-two at the end of overtime. When asked about the punt by the team’s radio network, he left the interview.
It didn’t matter after Tampa Bay took the punt, drove 26 yards in five plays and won the game on Matt Bryant’s 41-yard field goal.
“We couldn’t come up with a solid, solid answer, and I’m not really one to play for ties,” Mora said.
If a team can’t even figure out the playoff scenario – and it was posted on at least 50 different Web sites, including NFL.com – it’s no wonder they talked of lost direction after the game.
I’m sorry to keep harping on the Chargers, but unless you actually watched San Diego and Atlanta this season, it’s amazing to consider that neither Michael Vick nor LaDanien Tomlinson (arguably the two most exciting players in the league) will figure in the postseason.
From MSNBC :
Spurs guard Tony Parker was cited for impeding traffic and failing to produce a valid Texas driver™s license during a traffic stop in which girlfriend and œDesperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria was his passenger, police said.
An officer on a bicycle saw the stopped car holding up traffic early Saturday and rapped the hood with his hand, according to a police report. Parker, behind the wheel, questioned why the officer touched the car, and the couple œbegan screaming in a verbally abusive and demeaning manner, police said. Longoria called the police report œhighly inaccurate.
Police say the Parker began to drive away, almost hitting a man standing nearby. After being told to stop and get out, Parker showed a French driver™s license, police said. The officer who wrote the citations said Parker complained: œThis is all the cops do, just mess with people, and that Longoria shouted from the car: œHe™s just a Mexican bike cop. He only wants your autograph.
Longoria denied making the comment.
Coming later today on “NBA Fastbreak”, Dee Brown critiques Parker’s form in dealing with police harrassment.
One franchise is a rare case of rebuilding and contending at the same time (albiet after years of futility), the other has a payroll amongst their league’s highest while contending for nothing more than a 2006 lottery pick (which the Bulls are entitled to). Compare and contrast the following Rangers and Knicks notes ;
From the New York Post’s Larry Brooks :
While we’re on the subject of measuring sticks, allow me a Santa-sized, jelly-belly-shaking chuckle at the notion that since the Rangers have already exceeded expectations, management is now released from its obligation to improve the team if it can be done without shaking the foundation of the program.
If that’s the case, the 1969 Mets must not have gotten that memo before trading Steve Renko and three other young suspects for Donn Clendenon at the June 15 deadline, did they?
From the Post’s Marc Berman :
Larry Brown sat down with Knicks owner James Dolan (above) last Wednesday at their Westchester practice campus. The head coach met with Dolan, top Cablevision executive Hank Ratner, Garden president Steve Mills and Knicks president Isiah Thomas.
Dolan wanted to hear Brown’s thoughts on the young players and get his take on the disastrous season, which continues tonight when the 7-18 Knicks host the Atlantic Division-leading Nets.
At no point did Brown sense that Dolan was unwilling to do whatever it takes to stop the bleeding. Two league sources, however, told The Post that Dolan is almost up to his limit ” that he’s no longer willing to be Santa Claus and he’s reluctant to add much to his already league-high $119 million payroll for only a marginal boost.
While discussing Thomas’ job performance during his two years in New York, Brown let it slip that the luxury-tax issue has begun to put the brakes on reckless spending on players. “The luxury tax has changed,” Brown said. “When [former MSG president Dave] Checketts was here, we didn’t have the luxury tax.”
If Dolan is uneager to add payroll, it’s hard to blame him. Beyond the $119 million payroll, he’s on the hook for about $43 million in luxury tax ” even after a reduction from Allan Houston’s medical retirement.
Dolan is shelling out more than $9 million per year for Brown and paying a league-high six assistant coaches. He is also still paying former GM Scott Layden’s final year of salary ($6 million) and of course, Thomas’ own salary.
Sheffield native Derek Bailey, who continually pushed the limits of the acoustic and electric guitar through a recorded career spanning some 40+ years, has passed away at the age of 75.
A co-director of the Incus label, author of the book ‘Improvisation : It’s Nature And Practice’, and a collaborator with Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, Lol Coxhill, Steve Beresford, Thurston Moore, Steve Lacy and the Ruins amongst many others, Bailey has left behind a gargantuan body of work that will continue to amaze and inspire for generations to come.
From the New York Times’ Jason Diamos.
Since the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement last summer, N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman has often referred to a new partnership between the owners and the players union.
That sort of talk raises the ire of Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
“It tells me really what I’ve known all along,” the 88-year-old Miller said. “And that is that the N.H.L.P.A. has never been a legitimate union at no time. It has always been an offshoot of management.”
Miller pointed to the players union’s eventual willingness to accept a salary cap and to Ted Saskin’s controversial ascension to executive director of the union (he replaced Bob Goodenow). Saskin (above) had been the union’s senior director of business affairs and licensing.
“The whole thing smells bad,” Miller said. “It just has a very bad odor. You have a so-called senior adviser who takes the leading role in making one of the worst settlements imaginable and then becomes executive director of the union.”
Of the salary cap, Miller said: “I don’t think it was necessary. All the signs were that the union, having come that far, they had more than a fighter’s chance of prevailing. And when the tide turns like that, I get very suspicious of management’s role in coercing the membership.”
When told of Miller’s comments, Saskin said: “Certainly, I disagree with it. Over the last 15 years, since myself and Bob Goodenow have been involved in the players association, we have been relentless advocates of player rights on a myriad of issues.
“I think, obviously, with our new collective bargaining agreement, there are parts of our business in which it’s important for us to cooperate with management.
“I have a lot of respect for Marvin Miller. But also know he’s had no familiarity with anything that has happened in our association over the last 15 years.”
From the New York Times’ Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker.
The commander of American-run prisons in Iraq says the military will not turn over any detainees or detention centers to Iraqi jailers until American officials are satisfied that the Iraqis are meeting United States standards for the care and custody of detainees.
“Bottom line, we will not pass on facilities or detainees until they meet the standards we define and that we are using today,” the commander, Maj. Gen. John D. Gardner of the Army, said in a telephone interview this week from Iraq.
Who better than Army Spc. Charles Graner (above) to help enforce U.S. standards for the care and custody of detainees? He’s got time on his hands, and the Iraqis could surely use someone with his unique skill-set.
Frequent CSTB contributor / Princeton hoops enthusiast Jon Solomon can currently be heard on WPRB, hosting his 18th Annual 24 hour Christmas marathon. For another 2 hours, at least.
A Real Player / Windows Media feed can be found here. Webcam footage of Jon doing his thing is also available.
(from left to right, Andre Emmett, Dennis Johnson and Marcus Fizer remind you that seats, though not necessarily good ones, start at $11)
It’s eye-rubbin’ time. Pre-game festivities for today’s Lakers/Heat tilt were briefly interrupted on the local ABC affiliate KVUE by what appeared to be hastily shot commercials for the NBDL’s Austin Toros, 2-6 entering Wednesday’s game with Tulsa.
The giggly trio shown above delivered the franchise’s dubious slogan “the NBA dream begins in Austin” as capably as any trained actor. I hate to nitpick, however, but unless said line is delivered by LaMarcus Alrdidge, it would probably be more truthful to say “the NBA dream ends in Austin for the big fella on the right”. But that isn’t much of a sales pitch.
Not much else to say about today’s NBA coverage other than it’s nice to see that neither “Showgirls” nor a haircut worse than Johnny Damon’s has stood in the way of Kyle MacLachlan’s continued employment.
Gordon Edes hears the anguished cries of Red Sox fans, saddened at the club’s loss of Johnny Damon to their hated Bronx rivals, and the Globe columnist has a rather unique take on who is responsible.
The Red Sox need Theo Epstein (above) to step out of the shadows. Hey, we don’t begrudge him a couple of months out of the spotlight, a chance to hang with Pearl Jam in South America, a few normal nights with loved ones, a respite from the pressures of managing the most intensely scrutinized business in New England, a job that became harder, not easier, after the Sox finally won a World Series after 86 years of trying.
But what has been best for Theo hardly has been what is best for the organization, which has taken a fearsome public beating for appearing to have dissolved into chaos at the top. The latest to point a damning finger was Johnny Damon, who pegged his departure in part to a fractured front office, suggesting that if Epstein was still in place he might never have left.
Oh, really? Are we to believe that if Epstein was the GM, the Red Sox would have offered a deal more competitive than the one the Yankees used to lure Damon from Boston?
I’m not buying it. I can’t offer incontrovertible proof — it’s hard to do so when people operate from the shadows — but my take on the Sox’ stance with Damon is that it was absolutely consistent with Epstein’s position regarding the club’s free agents: You make your best judgment of a player’s value to you, you set a price, and you don’t allow anything — sentiment, nostalgia, public pressure — to cause you to stray from it.
The decision not to offer Damon more than the four-year, $40 million proposal they made to him was, in my opinion, every bit as much, if not more, Epstein’s as it was Larry Lucchino’s. There’s nothing keeping Epstein from speed-dialing John W. Henry and Jed Hoyer from the shadows, and they are both predisposed to allow Epstein to shape the Sox’future according to his vision.
It was the same last winter with Pedro Martinez; the Sox determined they would not go beyond a certain price for Pedro and they didn’t. Plenty of other teams would have caved before allowing Martinez to leave, but the Epstein Sox always have been about planning three or four years ahead, not just in the short term.
Epstein dropped plenty of hints during the summer when he said he wasn’t married to the idea of making the Sox the best run-producing machine possible at the expense of pitching and defense. That was the best approach with what he had to work with, Epstein said, but under different circumstances, he might take a different tack. That may be what we’re seeing at play now, the team switching to building a deep bullpen, investing heavily in starting pitching to complement the wave of young arms coming up through the system, and upgrading defensively even if it means sacrificing some offense.
Could I be wrong? Sure, but I don’t think so. I expect sometime in the next month Epstein’s ”adviser” role will be made official, but even that is inadequate and misleading and mocks the intelligence of the fans, who are supposed to somehow believe that Epstein is in a subordinate role to the two guys who have been at his beck and call the last three years
The usually hard to impress New York Post’s Peter Vescey puts Kobe Bryant’s 62 point explosion against Dallas Wednesday night into some historical perspective.
Nobody I know who’s been around the pro or college game since the Twelfth of Never can remember a player ever outscoring a team by the end of the third quarter as Kobe Bryant did last Tuesday against the Mavericks.
Not even Wilt, the night he tattooed the Knicks for 100 points, or in any game during the ’61-’62 season when he averaged 50.4 for Philadelphia.
Not Elgin Baylor, when he notched 71 against the Knicks (of course), a Lakers franchise record that got a stay of execution when professionalism reigned supreme for the final quarter against the Mavericks.
Not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer or league runner-up Karl Malone; not Michael Jordan, who captured a ludicrous 10 scoring titles, three more than Wilt and six more than George Gervin and Allen Iverson.
Not David Thompson, owner of the second-highest scoring total (73 on the final day of the ’77-’78 season) in league history, for all the good it did him. Gervin beat him out for the title later that evening when he flushed 63.
Not George Mikan. Not Moses Malone. Not Frank Selvy. Not Bevo Francis. Not Bob McAdoo. And not Julius Erving, despite having a boulevard of green lights courtesy of coach Kevin Loughery. I once watched Dr. J. (along with roughly 2,500 others) barbecue the San Diego Conquistadors for 63 points. Only it took him a little more than three quarters to accomplish his feat; the Nets eked out a 175-165 decision in four extra sessions.
Not even Pete Maravich, during his three-year scourge of college when he averaged 44.2 points for LSU , outscored an opponent at the end of three quarters. Though Walt Frazier might’ve thought he did one bleak New Orleans evening in ’77, when I gaped in wonder as Pistol Pete perforated the Knicks’ pin-up defensive guard for 68.
In other words, not a single one of basketball’s all-time official scorers ” high school and below don’t count ” achieved what Kobe did. Consequently, unless someone can produce proof to the contrary, Kobe is hereby recognized as the first earthling to voyage to that unimaginable frontier of enchantment.
From the St. Petersberg Times’ Damien Christodero.
Salvador Delgado said major-league players from the Dominican Republic are viewed as “heros” by their countrymen. But Delgado said some of those countrymen in the New York area are feeling ripped off, and some of baseball’s biggest names, as well as Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo, are accused of being involved.
Delgado, an attorney representing convenience store owners who say they unknowingly sold defective phone cards advertised by the players, filed a $35-million civil lawsuit.
Named as defendants, among others, are Lugo, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez and Yankees pitcher Octavio Dotel. Also named are American Worldwide Telecom, STX Communications, TWD Prepaid Cards, STI Mobile and Global Compass Inc.
Delgado said most of the cards known as Grandes Ligas (Major Leagues) were bought by Dominicans who used them to phone home. The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in United States District Court in New York and claims fraud and deceptive advertising, says the cards substantially shortchanged users.
According to the lawsuit, a $2 phone card that was supposed to provide a 70-minute call to the Dominican, provided either nine or 10 minutes.
Ortiz’s agent, Diego Bentz, told the Boston Globe his client, Tejada and Martinez were lured into the deal by Dotel.
“They were trying to do a favor and it just snowballed,” Bentz said.
But Delgado said, “We think it is unlikely that any of the baseball players entered into the preprinted card business as a favor to a friend.”
J.R. Rider was unavailable for comment.
Really, the best part of the above item is the way Christodero distinguishes between “some of baseball’s biggest names” and “as well as Julio Lugo.”
Holidays be damned, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman knows that YES network hypocrisy doesn’t take a day off.
Man, that Johnny Damon Friday press conference can only be described as a vintage Al Yankzeera moment.
Watching Brian Cashman and Yankee prez Randy Levine step to the microphone and praise Damon only made me wonder how they characterized him in private moments when he was sticking it to the Yankees.
However, the most disingenuous part of this Phoney Fest, came when Al Yank’s chief Minister of Propaganda, Michael Kay (above), engaged Damon in a suck-up session, er, interview. This is the same Kay who in 2004, on his ESPN-1050 show, expressed outrage over Damon daring to have long hair and a beard. Kay called Damon a “caveman” and constantly put the focus on Damon’s appearance rather than his performance.
“Is this the type person you want representing your organization?” an indignant Kay asked in 2004. He ranted on, saying the Red Sox were encouraging “clubhouse chaos” by allowing Damon to wear his hair and beard the way he wanted to.
Of course, when you live in the controlled world of Al Yankzeera, freedom ain’t a high priority.
And yeah, that “clubhouse chaos” sure had an adverse impact on the 2004 Red Sox. Things got so bad Damon and his teammates actually won the World Series.
(CSTB’s long suffering corporate mascot Jack, right, endures the ritual humiliation of yet another stupid hat, while girlfriend Stella looks on)
Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kobe Vs. Shaq, the San Diego Chargers choking up a storm in ’05, or none of the above, here’s wishing you a terrific 25th of December.
At roughly 11am central each day, the Guardian’s Fiver — a column so incisive, they can’t include it in the actual newspaper — hits my inbox and proceeds to eviscerate most of the soccer universe’s movers and shakers. The following are samples from the Fiver’s annual Super Deluxe Christmas Awards, as penned by Barry Glendenning and Sean Ingle.
THE LICKSPITTLE OF THE YEAR AWARD
In any other year, Real Madrid vice-president Emilio Butragueno’s description of his boss Florentino Perez as a “superior being” would have gone toe-to-toe with RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy’s fawning insistence that “Roy Keane is right about everything”. In 2005, however, Sky Sports News presenter Jim White (above) romped home after his virtuoso display of toadying in front of 100,000 unemployed Geordies. “You’re the greatest fans in the world!” he cooed during the unveiling of Michael Owen. As brown of nose as he is silver of hair, Jim then directed his adoring gaze towards Magpies boss Graeme Souness. “You’ve done so much in football but this must be one of your proudest moments,” he gushed, as the rest of the nation reached for the communal sick bucket.
THE STEVE PENK AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL AMUSEMENT
The MU Rowdies, for keeping us all laughing by being bought by a fat American gazillionaire with bad trousers, to the obvious disgust of Shareholders United – a pressure group of Rowdies fans labouring under the delusion that plcs can’t be bought. Chairman Nick Towle confidently predicted that their arrival would prompt 20,000 Rowdies fans to boycott matches and merchandise, costing the club and its sponsors £18.5m per year. As threats go, it’s proved to be emptier than the cupboard in the DevilBowl trophy room marked “Big Cups Won Since 1999″.
(Mr. Heartbeat-Away rejecting a listener’s request for T. Valentine’s “Lucille, Are You A Lesbian?”, claiming he can’t find it in the library during a guest DJ stint at WMUC)
BoingBoing.net passed along yesterday’s silly tale of Dick Cheney commandeering an Air Force Two power supply for the purpose of recharging his Vice Presidential iPod. Such gossip did cause some to pose the question “what’s on Dick’s iPod?”, when in fact, Cheney already supplied a personal playlist to a mid-minor record label some 5 years ago, back when the only “Valerie” he was thinking of was that terrific veteran actress named Perrine.
M.O.T.O. – “I™m On Top Of The World On Top Of The World”
GG Allin & The Murder Junkies – “Legalize Murder”
N2Deep – “Back To The Hotel”
Terre Thaemlitz – “Selling”
Saccharine Trust – “We Don™t Need Freedom”
The Feederz – Teachers In Space (album)
Robbie Williams – Sing When You™re Winning (album)
Stone Temple Pilots – 4 (album)
Zagar & Evans – “Aftermath”