The (After)Birth Of A Blogging Nation

Posted in Blogged Down, Racism Corner at 10:27 pm by

Other than those who are employed by or related to the man, it’s difficult (though not impossible) to find anyone willing to say something nice about Stephen A. Smith.

When the “Quite Frankly…” host / Philly Inquirer columnist is castigated for being-full-of-shit-for-a-living, that’s fair play. By all means, convict Stephen A. for crimes against television, journalism or telejournalism.

All of that said, it is kind of astonishing that in the year 2006, the color of Smith’s skin is considered further justification for ridicule.

The person responsible
for the above item seems to covet some kind of attention. I hope he receives exactly the sort he deserves.

Zirin : Don’t Forget The (Real) Motor City

Posted in Baseball at 9:18 pm by

The 2006 season is all done and dusted for the AL Champs, but the Nation’s Dave Zirin can’t help but compare and contrast the Tigers’ current fan base, ballpark and hometown with the climate that surrounded the ’68 squad that lost to the Cardinals.

The 1968 Tigers team–led by Al Kaline, thirty-game winner Denny McLain and prominent African-American players like Willie Horton and Gates Brown (above)–was seen as a force of calm in the Motor City. An entire HBO documentary called “A City on Fire” was made based on this thesis. Many at the time believed that the success and joy brought by this integrated team would stop the exodus known as “white flight” and revitalize the city. But professional sports doesn’t always herald revival. Often it mocks it.Detroit today is not a story of low-level insurrection but immiseration. Unemployment in 2006 was 13.8 percent (three times the national average), and more than one-third of the city’s residents live below the poverty line. As the Associated Press recently reported, “Much of the rest of Detroit…is a landscape dotted with burned-out buildings, where liquor stores abound but supermarkets are hard to come by, and where drugs, violence and unemployment are everyday realities.”

For the Tigers, the main difference between 1968 and today is where they play. In 1968, it was the historic Tiger Stadium. Today it is an amusement center known as Comerica Park. By all accounts, it is a very nice amusement park, complete with Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds and beer halls. It also is a place decidedly not for the folks left in Detroit. Anita Caref, a teacher in the inner city, was at game one of the World Series, and this was what she wrote me:

“I realize that baseball has a preponderance of white fans, and I know that I didn’t get a look at all of the 42,000 plus in attendance tonight, but clearly there were hardly any people of color there. What a stark contrast to the city itself, which is 83% African-American and 12% Latino. Frankly, it was hard to believe we were in Detroit. I sat there wondering how many of the folks there actually live in the city, and thinking that Detroit would be a very different place if the majority of them lived in Detroit and contributed their taxes to the well-being of the city.

“Secondly, I thought the choice of music played was odd. Of all the songs played during and between innings, only one was a Motown song. Most of the songs were by white rock-and-rollers. I have nothing against rock music, but I thought that given where we were, it would have been fitting to hear the Supremes, Temptations, Aretha Franklin, etc. Finally, during one of the breaks, they showed a video of some of the great Tigers of the past. The most prominent player in the video was Ty Cobb, who was praised by any number of sports journalists and celebrities. Not a word was said about the fact that he was perhaps baseball’s most prominent racist. And of course there was the usual militaristic patriotism, including fighter jets flying overhead after Bob Seger sang ‘America the Beautiful.’”

Not so beautiful, if you live and die in the city of Detroit.

For Jayson Williams, The Defense Never Rests

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 8:52 pm by

From the Bergen Record’s John Brennen.

A defense attorney for former basketball star Jayson Williams argued Monday before the New Jersey Supreme Court that admitting evidence of Williams’ post-shooting conduct during his reckless manslaughter retrial would be “potentially inflammatory in nature.”

But a Hunterdon County assistant prosecutor insisted that Williams’ botched coverup attempt “proves his state of mind and consciousness of guilt” following the Feb. 14, 2002 fatal shooting of limousine driver Costas “Gus” Christofi at Williams’ estate.

“To allow [the current court ruling] to stand is to withhold from the jury what truly happened that night,” prosecutor Charles Ouslander said.

Joseph Hayden, Williams’ attorney argued that if presented with the post-shooting evidence, “a jury could conclude that the defendant is unsympathetic and callous” and thus improperly be swayed toward a reckless manslaughter conviction.

Chatting With The Commish

Posted in Basketball at 7:22 pm by

From NBA.com

Nat: I know you must be saddened by the passing of Red Auerbach. What was your favorite memory of Red?

David Stern: My favorite memory of Red is me calling him once to raise the baskets because the big players have too much of an advantage.

He said if they raise the baskets, who’s going to get the rebounds? The big guys. So get rid of that idea.

Commissioner Stern was hardly the only person today to fondly recall Auerbach’s storied career.

Defending The Honor Of Sharon Stone

Posted in Blogged Down, Cinema, History's Great Hook-Ups at 6:43 pm by

(what are you gonna do? arrest another blogger for sucking?)

Though the filmography of Sharon Stone is littered with errors in judgement, crap performances and improbable hairstyles, the lady-actress-human is not without her redeeming moments. For example ;

1) Were it not for “Basic Instinct 2″, Stan Collymore’s thespian debut would’ve been straight-to-internet instead of straight-to-video.

2) She was a-ok in “Broken Flowers”

3) Stone took her former husband to the zoo for his birthday. Though things turned out badly, it was a very nice thought.

So there you go. Sharon Stone isn’t all bad. So with that in mind, I was sad to see the following item in The Big Lead regarding Ms. Stone’s purported dalliance with former Laker Rick Fox.

If you ask us, this is a tremendous falloff from Fox™s ex-wife, Vanessa Williams. While Stone™s face may look presentable here, she™s got to be the clubhouse leader in Hollywood when it comes to botox and surgery. We shudder to think what her pussy looks like these days.

I’m sorry, full credit to The Big Lead on being a worthy alternative to reading Deadspin’s guest editor for a day (funny, the Cards win the World Series, but for one Wednesday in October, the rest of us are rewarded), but until the author is ready to put his cock on the block for public inspection, speculation about the condition of Sharon’s snatch is a little unfair.

Champions League Matchday 4 : Bordeaux Blasted

Posted in Football at 5:51 pm by

Liverpool 3, Bordeaux 0

(left to right, Rise, Bickle. You should see what the other guys looked like)

Frank Lampard scored a ridiculous endline-walking goal in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Barca that you’re gonna have to see to believe. Totally worth taping “SportsCenter”, just on the off chance it might be shown.

In the Championship, QPR erased a pair of deficits against promotion hopefuls West Brom, Marc Nygaard’s 83rd minute strike earning the R’s a 3-3 draw at the Hawthorns.

Chelsea have supposedly put a £5 cap on their Secret Santa action. Keep in mind you could purchase a Kunt & The Gang single for a bit less.

Because There’s Not Nearly Enough Moisturizer Advertising On ESPNU

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 4:59 pm by

From the Des Moines Register’s Andrew Logue (Oldham).

An announcer for ESPNU has been taken off the air due to a comment he made during Saturday™s telecast of the Iowa-Northern Illinois football game.

Brian Kinchen, a color commentator, will not work a game this weekend, according to Josh Krulewitz, ESPN™s vice-president of public relations.

Krulewitz told The Des Moines Register Monday night that the network made its decision after an internal review.

On Saturday, Kinchen was explaining to a television audience that receivers need to make catches with their hands because they are œtender and can œcaress the ball. He then paused and said, œthat™s kind of gay, but hey¦

œThe comments were inappropriate and we apologize, Krulewitz said
Monday. œHe will not appear on our air this weekend and his future appearance schedule is under review.

Kinchen, a former tight end who played in the NFL from 1988-00, issued a statement through ESPN: œI sincerely apologize for my extremely poor choice of words.”

Steve Lyons, Chris Moyles, unavailable for comment.

Hooded Casanova Jr. In Weed Bust

Posted in Gridiron, Leave No Child Unbeaten, The Law at 4:38 pm by

From the Boston Herald’s Stacey Hart.

Stephen Belichick, 19, of Weston, was arrested after an officer reported he had two subjects in custody on Winter Street at 9:25 p.m. Jonathan Pizarro, 18, of Roxbury, was also arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.

Belichick graduated from the private Rivers School in Weston in June and planned to attend Northfield Mount Hermon School this fall. He is committed to attend Rutgers University in New Jersey in the fall of 2007 on a partial athletic scholarship to play lacrosse for the Scarlet Knights™ nationally ranked program.

He was captain of both the football and lacrosse teams at Rivers School as a senior.

Belichick received an award last year for outstanding service to the football program at Rivers. The award is presented to a player for his strength and determination, personal sacrifices and selfless generosity.

Though I think marijuana possession is a victimless crime, one might also presume poor role models might have something to do with Hoody Jr.’s transgressions. When the patriarch is a Bon Jovi-digging adulterer, what kind of behavior do we expect from the children?

Poetic Injustice? DC’s Haywood Not Starting, Hints At Departing

Posted in Basketball at 3:19 pm by

The Washington Times’ John N. Mitchell takes a break from selling flowers by the side of the highway to update us on the turmoil engulfing the Wizards on the eve of their opening night against Cleveland.

Etan Thomas will be the Washington Wizards’ starting center, coach Eddie Jordan announced yesterday, a decision that does not sit well with backup Brendan Haywood (above) or his agent.

While Haywood was unavailable for comment shortly after Jordan went public with his decision, agent Andy Miller said his client felt the decision was made along personal lines — not based on performance — and indicated Haywood may want out of Washington.

“He’s got a contract that he’s going to live up to, but this doesn’t bode well for his future in Washington beyond the contract,” Miller said of Haywood. “I’d like to seem him treated with the optimum level of respect, and that’s not going to happen in Washington. I don’t know how this situation is going to unfold.”

Jordan explained his reasons for naming Thomas the starter shortly after Haywood outperformed Thomas in practice.

“I’m ashamed to say it, but Brendan kicked his [rear] up and down the court, but that’s a good thing,” Jordan said. “What we saw as the preseason wound down with all of our evaluations and what we heard from our core players was that Etan showed a bit more force and a little more aggressiveness in terms of what we’re looking for to protect the rim and the paint.”

The tension between Haywood and Jordan also is well documented. Haywood felt slighted last season when he was benched and heard from reporters that Jordan had told Antawn Jamison — also temporarily benched at midseason — via phone conversation that he would be benched.

Both Haywood and Jordan have mentioned a meeting between the two this summer, but yesterday Miller said the outreach was totally on Haywood’s part, not Jordan’s

“We were the ones who tried to mend the relationship,” Miller said. “Eddie didn’t reach out to Brendan; Brendan reached out to him. I don’t know. Maybe he has a problem with my clients.”

Chucky Atkins, another Miller client, was the odd man out at point guard last season. The Wizards bought out his contract, and Atkins eventually signed with Memphis. Jared Jeffries, who signed with the Knicks, also employs Miller. The year before, veteran guard Anthony Peeler, also a Miller client, saw limited playing time with the Wizards.

“I can tell you that none of those guys knew what their roles were,” Miller said. “It seems like every year this is an ongoing situation where every year there is a veteran player that seems to be the focal point of Eddie’s frustrations, and now it appears to be Brendan’s turn.”

The New York Post’s Peter Vescey
reviews the list of familiar faces who find themselves without a team as the 2006-07 campaign begins.

Typically, renouncements, retirements and joblessness have created a swell of departures. Some of the more notable: Jalen Rose (Pistons, Lakers and Heat will come a courtin’ once he clears waivers, say sources), Penny Hardaway, Keith Van Horn, Antonio Davis, Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson, Walter McCarty, Nick Van Exel, Jon Barry, Derek Anderson, Jimmy Jackson, Brian Grant, Toni Kukoc, Greg Ostertag, Doug Christie, Lamond Murray, Tony Delk, Voshon Lenard, Alvin Williams, and Luke Schenscher, America’s retribution, no doubt, for the Aussies’ recent firing of Mark Price after only five games (all losses) as coach.

Think of how many different starting lineups Larry Brown could conceive if given his dream job to coach the above players.

Soriano Demanding Beltran Bucks

Posted in Baseball at 11:51 am by

From the Washington Post’s Jorge Arangure Jr. and Barry Svrluga.

The Baltimore Orioles, according to a team source, began preliminary discussions with Washington Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano , and were floored by the free agent’s initial contract outline.

According to the source, Soriano is seeking a deal similar to the seven-year, $119 million deal given to center fielder Carlos Beltran by the New York Mets before the 2005 season. It’s unlikely the Orioles will be in the running for Soriano if he doesn’t back off those demands. Teams can start bidding on free agents on Nov. 12.

Before the O’s start crying poorhouse, they oughta be a little more creative. Perhaps they could tell the converted left-fielder they’ve got a guy inhouse who gets great deals on B-12 shots?

San Diego has declined their $8 million option on Mike Piazza for 2007. While it seems unlikely Metal Mike will be unemployed next spring, there’s always a spot on Eddie Trunk’s couch. You’d think he’d get it cleaned, but you know how bachelors are.