The Lowest Moment For 8-Bit Gaming Since “Buster Douglas Knockout Boxing”

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Video Games at 2:25 pm by

Or perhaps, since Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. Sure, it’s a PR nightmare for David Stern, but on the bright side, Elliot Spitzer can’t prevent kids from playing it.

Not Holding Our Breath For The Debut Of “Kissing Jack Arute”

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron, Sports TV at 1:54 pm by

(journeyman Jack, for the time being anyway,portrayed in a very SFW context)

Are sideline reporters useless eye candy or under-utilized-awesome-journalists? Writing in the Times’ Play Magazine last Sunday, Bryan Curtis bemoans the treatment afforded to the likes of Erin Andrews, Suzy Kolber, et al (“Producers will boast of the sideline reporter’s journalistic credentials, her nose for news, and then, come game time, treat her like another ornament of the broadcast, like the trivia games and network promotions. (Jack Arute and the armada of male sideline reporters also come in for ridicule, but as yet, no one has made a video ode to Arute”), and suggests, “if there is to be a general smartening-up of football TV, the sideline reporter should lead the way.”

The problem is not just the vapidity of the sideline reporter’s work but the ribald environment in which she delivers it. For years, fans have been taught that any woman on a football show is strictly a sex object, there to put an extra arch in Terry Bradshaw’s eyebrows. We need only look back to Roone Arledge’s football telecasts on ABC ; sprinkled with so-called “honey shots”, the leering camera takes of cheerleaders and the prettiest women in the stands. More recently, Fox NFL Sunday hired Jillian Barberie to perform a ditzy weather report, and in 2003, Monday Night Football tapped Lisa Guerrero, a veteran of an Aaron Spelling drama series, as its new sideline reporter.

If viewers missed the broadcast’s subtle sexual dynamics, the game announcers were happy to remind them. Earlier this year, ESPN paid tribute to Erin Andrews’s career as a University of Florida Dazzler dancer, which prompted Dick Vitale to yelp, “She’s still a dazzler!” Roaming the Purdue sidelines during a 2005 football game, Holly Rowe of ESPN pointed out that despite trailing by four touchdowns, the Boilermakers coaches hadn’t given up. “Holly, it’s not giving up”, sniffed play-by-play man Ron Franklin. “It’s 49-21, sweetheart. ” Given a pittance of airtime and placed in a hothouse of male libido, it’s no wonder the sideline reporter isn’t taken more seriously. The intellectual distance between the honey shot and the sideline report has become precariously small.

The final frontier is play-by-play, which for some reason remains an all-male realm. (Andrea Kremer actually turned down an opportunity for a play-by-play job with NBC in 1989, fearing she would become a lab rat.) The more real football work the sideline reporter does, the more airtime she gains, the more her talents will look underused in what is essentially an apprentice job. And if her football savviness should illustrate a certain disparity vis-à-vis the play-by-play man, well, that’s too bad. It’s not about embarrassing anyone. It’s called competition, sweetheart.

Curtis makes an excellent point, and certainly the NFL could take a tip from the New York Yankees’ long and wildly successful relationship with Suzyn Waldman, who despite suffering no end of sexist slurs, has never embarrassed her employer or herself. Well, maybe once, but compared to her male counterpart in the booth, that’s not so bad.

It’s Official : Jerry Buss Isn’t The Only Owner With A DUI Problem

Posted in Golf, The Law at 1:16 pm by

Hot Shit College Student describes a news item about Bill Murray refusing a breathalyzer test after driving a golf cart through downtown Stockhold as “a tough one not to pass along.”  Whether or not the American Association  — home to the actor’s partially owned St. Paul Saints, plans any disciplinary action, remains to be seen, but full credit to Murray for heightening awareness of the humble golf cart’s versatility.

Golic & Seibel’s Game Of Soft Toss With Roy Jones Jr.

Posted in Boxing, Dogs, Gridiron, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio at 9:29 am by

In stark contrast to Howard Bryant’s excellent debut for ESPN.com yesterday, others at the WWL are struggling to find their voice on the Michael Vick case. Earlier today, Roy Jones Jr. — promoting his upcoming bout with Felix Trinidad — appeared on ESPN Radio with John Seibel and Mike Golic, and argued that Vick was the victim of “bandwagon jumpers”.

Jones opined that Vick, shouldn’t lose his career over “a mistake”. The boxing great, who might’ve not have actually read the indictment, suggested the QB was merely guilty of trying to set up some old pals “in the only business they know how to do”.

Golic, not-so-helpfully proposed the firestorm of media criticism leveled at Vick was analogous to any contemporary celebrity coverage (“look at all the movie stars…in the magazines”), while referring to Seibel as “Greenie” at least once in the process.

Awkward thought it may have been, would it have killed either Golic or Seibel to remind their listeners that Jones has previously boasted of his involvement in cockfighting, and was described in a 2003 Ron Borges article as the owner of some 40 pit bulls ? (“Every one is chained to the ground as well, with a small plastic house behind them so they can get out of the sun. Each is chained for the same reason – because they live a life filled with bad intentions.”)

For sheer entertainment purposes, we only keep our fingers crossed that Golic is allowed to quiz Stephon Marbury on the same subject tomorrow morning.

Decrepit Columnist : I Throw Like A Girl

Posted in Baseball, non-sporting journalism at 8:51 am by

Though I’m not sure which is the bigger surprise, that “60 Minutes”‘s Andy Rooney is still alive or that the following column wasn’t written for The Onion, who amongst us wasn’t thrilled to learn that Rooney, “never liked baseball as a kid. My friends said I threw like a girl and that’s enough to put any young man off a game”?

From the Stamford Times, link courtesy Repoz who sighs, “even Looney Skip Rooney makes more sense.”

My disinterest in baseball as a kid has lasted all my life. I’m still not interested in the game. I don’t watch it on television or follow it in the newspaper. I know all about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, but today’s baseball stars are all guys named Rodriguez to me. They’re apparently very good but they haven’t caught my interest. I also think baseball needs some rules changes, too. For example, the player who starts the game as pitcher should have to play all nine innings without a substitution. A pitcher hardly ever plays more than a few innings and then the manager replaces him with someone who isn’t as good. I think baseball managers dominate the games more than the players do and more than coaches do in other sports.

There are 30 major league baseball teams, but sometimes it seems as though the New York Yankees are the only team that ever wins the World Series. There have been 102 World Series since 1903. The Yankees have been in 39 of those and they’ve won 26. Five teams have never won a World Series. What in the world keeps baseball fans in those cities coming to games?

The figures they keep giving us on broadcasts of baseball games are batting statistics, the amount being paid the players, the number of fans in the stands. There are other statistics I’d like to hear more often. When a player comes up to bat, they can tell me what his batting average is but I’d also like to know how many times he’s struck out. Tell me how many different teams he’s played with. Which player on either team has made the most errors? What’s the average IQ of a baseball team compared with the IQ of a professional football team?


Remembering Eddie Layton

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, The World Of Entertainment at 8:51 pm by

Though it’s been over two years since Yankee organist Eddie Layton’s passing, Hoppy Slope pays tribute to man he calls “one of the most imaginative organists of all in the 1950′s.” From WFMU’s Beware Of The Blog :

Layton became as nearly as indelible a part of the Yankee Stadium experience as anyone. In the process, he forged new ground through his (as he put it) “cheering with my music”. He claimed to invent the now de rigueur bugle-esque “Charge” (F-Bb-D-F—D-F!), although this is open to debate, as someone who frequented Shea Stadium a few years prior with a trumpet lays claim to it also.No matter. Layton, along with Gladys Gooding, Jane Jarvis, and many others, helped put the sound of the organ in everyone’s ears as part of the baseball game fabric, and it exists to his day, although not as prevalently as in the past. Layton also played for the Knicks, Rangers, and Islanders along the way, making him the answer to an oft-bantered trivia question about who ‘played for’ all these teams. He was not the first baseball organist, and not even the first at Yankee Stadium (a gentleman named Toby Wright apparently played there in 1965-66), but Layton is probably the most recognizable name and a true pioneer in stadium organ.

There’s a plethora of Layton MP3 links to be found via Slope’s original post, the author insisting, “anyone who is familiar only with Layton’s work at Yankee Stadium will marvel at what he really had up his sleeve when left to his own devices.”

Not The Genesis (Believe It Or Not) Of The Chant “Potvin Sucks”

Posted in Fashion, Hockey, The Marketplace at 8:26 pm by

Yep, that’s the man a generation of Rangers fans loved to hate posing for American Apparel Jockey in a vintage advertisement dug up by Jeff Johnson at Fitted Sweats.

Suggests David Roth, “Steve Carlton looks like an extra in some nonexistent gymnastics scene in ‘Cruising’”.

If nothing else, we’ve learned tonight which CSTB contributor doesn’t own a copy of the director’s cut.

O’s Retain Trembley, Make History

Posted in Baseball at 7:19 pm by

Compiling a 29-25 record over two months was enough for Orioles brass to remove the interim tag from manager Dave Trembley’s neck Wednesday, as Sam Perlozzo’s replacement was given an extension through 2008 with a club option in 2009. That Baltimore’s recently respectable stint neatly coincided with Eric Bedard’s emergence as one of the league’s more dominant starters, can’t be discounted. Though even Davey Johnson knows the O’s weren’t gonna make Bedard player-manager.

Later in the day, Trembley’s pitching staff provided their own special brand of congratulations to the skipper by allowing 30 runs on 29 hits to the visiting Rangers. Texas’ output was the most prodigious in 110 years, and if that wasn’t crazy enough, not one Rangers hitter was knocked down.

Though the Roy Hobbs comparisons have been foisted on Rick Ankiel a few times this month, Oakland’s Jack Cust might feel a bit slighted. The much-traveled Cust hit a 2-run HR off A.J. Burnett earlier today in Oakland’s 4-1 win at Toronto. The A’s Esteban Loaiza, making his first start of ’07, was nothing short of masterful, allowing no serious damage besides a solo HR to Aaron Hill over 7.2 IP.

Though it made little difference given the room service, would-be DP ball hit a few moments later, one of the day’s low moments for the hosts came when Frank Thomas was thrown out trying to advance from first to second on a Greg Zaun line drive…to fairly deep right field. Granted, the Big Hurt had to hold up to see if Zaun’s hit was gonna be caught, but I’m pretty sure several members of the Molina family are getting ready to challenge Thomas to a footrace for charity.

Today marked my first visit to the former Skydome in some 9 years (what’s the matter, Liz, can’t they grow real grass in Canada?), and I’m happy to report that if you’re sitting in the 200 seats, it is impossible to tell if anyone is having sex in the Renaissance Hotel. Not without very powerful binoculars, anyhow.

Portland Split on Beavers

Posted in Baseball at 12:28 pm by

It was 1903 when Portland, Oregon first had a team called “Beavers,” seven years before a certain university. But any time I walk around the city in my mascot cap people assume that it’s for OSU (and as the two-time College World Series champions, they’re certainly the more exciting team).

So I’ve got no real problem with the team’s new owner angling for a name change…though I’m not so sure about the choices currently on offer:

Portland Green Sox: Portland is green. Our leadership in sustainable architecture is internationally renown. Portland is a bicycle-friendly, mass-transit-using, Flexcar-driving, energy-saving, recycling-crazy, Ralph Nader-loving place. Portland has more owners of the Toyota Prius hybrid car than any city anywhere.

Errr, can’t we just go with Tree-Huggers? Tree-Spikers? Monkeywrenchers?

Portland Sockeyes: A tough name, a tough fish. The Sockeye is an acrobatic and powerful salmon popular in sport fishing… When they are ready to spawn, the Sockeye jaw becomes distinctly hook-shaped. Sockeye are not particularly attractive fish, but what do we know, really? We are not fish.

Too similar to the Chinooks.

Portland Thorns: Portland is the City of Roses. Roses are regal amongst flowers. But to pick that beauty, there is a price to pay. Roses have a natural defense mechanism: thorns. Thorns are the royal guardsmen. Thorns place themselves strategically like a batting order. They are threatening like a high, inside pitch. Or like the razor-sharpened cleats on Ty Cobb™s shoes as he slid into home. Thorns is a hip name. Cool. Aggressive. Interesting.

I can think of several names that would be more aggressive, hip and interesting: the Portland Spikes. The Portland Thongs.
Or how ’bout: the Portland Wipers?

Portland Wet Sox: Wet Sox is self-deprecating, yet it also takes a shot at the elite status of the two MLB Sox teams. Wet Sox is actually full of local pride. We bear the brunt of rain jokes like a badge of honor because we know that the rain brings our natural beauty, snow-capped mountains and the best-tasting tap water of any city in America. Only a minor league team could have a name as light-hearted and entertaining as the Wet Sox. However, the execution of Wet Sox should pay respect to professional baseball and honor its history. It should be presented straight and heroic like the tradition of the Yankees, so the name has a sophisticated wit.

This is probably my favorite, but not because it is any way sophisticated.

And the tap water is totally awesome.

No More Stephen A. To Kick Around?

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 9:22 am by

The Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist (above, right) who’s not as good as Bob Ford or Phil Sheridan is a sports columnist no more, says Phawker (link via Romenesko).

In the wake of painful lay-offs and general belt-tightening [Inquirer editor Bill] Marimow has been taking a hard look at columnists. Gail Shister™s TV News column was the first casualty of this re-think. (FYI, Shister has a fine front page piece in today™s paper that has nothing to do with television news and not a single quote from a network anchorman.)

Sources believe Smith™s column has been in the cross-hairs for some time. œThere was a time when the powers that be were just happy to have somebody that™s on ESPN on the masthead, says a source who spoke on condition of anonymity. œBut I think the new leadership has been asking itself for a while now whether or not the columns [he] was turning in were justifying his [reportedly generous] salary. And I think they decided he wasn™t bringing his A-game.

As per his commitments to ESPN, Smith spends two hours a day in a New York studio do a live call-in show for ESPN Radio, and he is concurrently on-assignment for ESPN TV which often requires him to be in the sports network™s Connecticut studios.

Of course you don’t have to be distracted by the WWL to be a GA columnist who doesn’t do enough reporting and can’t cover certain sports. Smith has always been miscast as much as overstretched – an effective screaming panel guest does not a show host make, and a (once?) excellent reporter shouldn’t necessarily write columns.

While I’m all for comparing Roger Clemens to T.O. and A.I. (and Smith’s access to Owens and Iverson made him a must-read whenever they were in the news) Stephen A. was never, shall we say, much of a prose stylist, and it probably goes without saying that the same rhetorical approach that got him on TV and radio did not wear well in print (as Truman Capote might have said, that’s not writing, that’s yelling). And that hardly makes him unique in today’s sports world either.

GC mentioned Smith’s most recent column, but I must admit I missed the one that Phawker points out from last Sunday, when he said the Phillies lost a game they won.

Catbird On The Singing Batboy

Posted in Baseball at 8:06 am by

Former Mets batboy Kirk Radomski (above) has apparently provided names galore to former Senator George Mitchell’s Never-Ending Steroid Investigation (SI.com, Jon Heyman). The report following the initial raid claims “Radomski’s North Fork checking account revealed 23 deposits from MLB-associated individuals between May 2003 and March 2005, totaling $33,935.”

Something tells me that if you had a look at Fred Wilpon or Peter Magowan’s bank accounts from the same period, you might also see a few transactions or payments to MLB-associated individuals, too.

Writes Catbird In The Nosebleed Seats’ Jeff Kallman,

Radomski™s attorney John Reilly told Heyman his client”believed a major PES supplier since the BALCO shut-down four years ago”isn™t commenting yet on his meeting with Mitchell. He has a 7 September court date in San Francisco, where the question of whether he goes to the calaboose for up to a quarter century (he made a plea deal in April) œhas been said by authorities to depend to some degree on his level of cooperation, Heyman continued.

OK, who wants to ante up a pot on how soon the leaks begin?

No wagering required, Jeff. I’ll start right here. My guess is Radomski, watching the backs of batboys everywhere, rolled over on Manny Alexander. And I think we can all agree that Manny’s Hall Of Fame chances will suffer a serious blow.

Rather than wilt under the pressure of the Yankees being clubbed to death by Garrett Anderson the surging Yankees, a pair of Red Sox vets are using the dog days of August to look after their financial interests. While Big Papi is selling his Mercedes on eBay (above), Curt Schilling is dabbling in reverse tampering with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Rick Sutcliffle does realize his microphone is on when the game is being played, right?


Eddie Griffin, R.I.P.

Posted in Basketball at 9:02 pm by

A sad tale out of Houston (from Lindsay Wise of the Houston Chronicle):

The Harris County Medical Examiner’s office has identified former Rockets power forward Eddie Griffin as the man who died when the SUV he was driving plowed into a moving train in southeast Houston last week.

Officials said Griffin, 25, drove his Nissan SUV through a railroad crossing barrier, past flashing warning lights and into a moving train in the 5300 block of Lawndale about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 17.

The accident remains under investigation by Houston police.

Griffin’s vehicle burst into flames on impact with the Union Pacific train that was hauling plastic, burning his body so badly that investigators had to use dental records to confirm his identity Tuesday.

Griffin, whom the Rockets acquired for three first-round draft picks in 2001, faced off-court troubles throughout his NBA career. A power forward, he was released by the Rockets in 2003 after several run-ins with the law.

One of those three picks, of course, was Richard Jefferson. And Griffin had been such a giant high school star in Philadelphia that when the Rockets first suspended him, the Philadelphia Daily News sent down a writer to check in.

A bit more from the same piece:

“If this is true, then Eddie is free now,” said former Rockets guard and NBA coach John Lucas, who worked with Griffin in Lucas’ Houston-based substance rehabilitation program. “I’m just sad. Just so sad.”

Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis said Griffin was trying hard to get his life back together after he left the Rockets.

“All the potential, all the dreams his family had for him for what his career would and could be, to see it end like this is just tragic,” Luis said. “He was a very quiet, introverted kid. But you could tell there was a current of trouble underneath the surface with him. It’s a shame.”

UPDATE: ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande raises the question I resisted asking, i.e., did the poor guy kill himself or was it just the ultimate in self-destructive recklessness?

And as for this comment, yeah, probably a bit too soon, though you’d think any serious obituary would mention the incident.

Rudy G : A Fleeting Presence At Ground Zero, But Worked Overtime To Sign Giambi

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, politics at 5:28 pm by

Republican presidential hopeful Rudoplh Giuliani has been taking heat of late for his recent claim that he’d spent as much time at Ground Zero as rescue workers. While the former Mayor of New York might’ve exaggerated his time spent watching other people shift through the wreckage, Slate’s Alex Koppelman explains it wasn’t as though Giuliani was doing nothing of great importance.

By our count, Giuliani spent about 58 hours at Yankees games or flying to them in the 40 days between Sept. 25 and Nov. 4, roughly twice as long as he spent at ground zero in the 90 days between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16. By his own standard, Giuliani was one of the Yankees more than he was one of the rescue workers.

During three postseason playoff series that began Oct. 10, 2001, and ended Nov. 4, 2001, Giuliani attended every one of the team’s home games, with the possible exception of the third game of the American League Championship Series, for which Salon could not confirm his attendance. According to Salon’s arithmetic, Giuliani spent about 33 hours in stadiums — this includes two World Series games he watched in Phoenix — during the Yankees’ 2001 postseason run, four hours more than he spent at ground zero.

Giuliani’s involvement with the team went far beyond a time commitment. He was, in fact, a visible, constant presence at the postseason games and, more than once, a participant in the team’s victory celebrations. Dave Johnson, executive sports editor of the Evansville Courier & Press, even wrote a column at the time bemoaning Giuliani’s omnipresence and saying, “If I didn’t already dislike the New York Yankees, I’d root against them just because of Rudolph Giuliani … Who anointed Rudy baseball’s new Super Fan?” The mayor was pulled on the field after the Yankees clinched both the American League Division Series and Championship Series, and spent time in the clubhouse after those victories as well.

Nor did Giuliani’s involvement start as some attempt to boost the city’s spirits after the tragedy it experienced. As the Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett has previously reported, Giuliani has four Yankees World Series rings from the time he was mayor; by contrast, Barrett reported, no mayor in any other city that’s won a championship since 1995 has any Series ring at all. Barrett also reported that Giuliani attended at least 20 of the Yankees regular season games each year he was mayor.

Giuliani also found time during the period studied by the Times to, for example, make a call to slugger Jason Giambi exhorting him to leave the A’s and sign with the Yankees. Giambi did, on Dec. 13. A day later, Giuliani introduced Giambi at City Hall, where, according to the Associated Press, Giambi said, “[Giuliani] was going to help me find somewhere to live, so I’m going to take him up on it.”

Though the above factoids are a tad embarrassing to the Giuliani campaign, Rudy should look at the bright side : at least his daughter isn’t looking for “random play” with a Red Sox fan.

A Mort Beyond Chris – Every Bit As Enthralling As The Hold Steady…

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 3:46 pm by

….but perhaps not nearly as provocative as A Matter Of Trust.

The Couch Slouch’s Sudsy Slip Up

Posted in Beer, non-sporting journalism at 8:58 am by

Norman Chad has already described his move from Rolling Rock to Shiner as “among the seven or eight monumental mistakes I™ve made in my tortured adult life.” Hot Shit College Student surveys Norm’s new choice and opines, “Chad is a fucking drooling idiot.”

It’s Pabst Blue Ribbon, baby.
I like saying, “PBR.” I like how comfortable it feels in my hands and at a bowling alley. I like the fact that, if I pop one open at night and forget to finish it, I can put it in my dog’s water bowl in the morning and let him finish it.

It was the beer of choice for the surgeons in the 1970 movie “M*A*S*H.”

Does Budweiser have a blue ribbon? No. Pabst Blue Ribbon used to kick Bud’s butt — PBR even won the blue ribbon for best beer at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

Sure, you say, times have changed since 1893. You’re right — THEY’VE GOTTEN WORSE. So let’s go back to a simpler, saner America, where we all sat on the front of the porch instead of in front of a TV, where we once could chew the fat amiably and chew a blade of grass, where Pabst literally used to wrap a blue ribbon around the neck of its bottles.

Replies HSCS, “Chad dumped his old beer because Anheuser-Busch bought and now produces it, then picks a piss brewed by Miller? I could rip his readers’ unrefined suggestions too, but at least no one is pimping the fascist froth that oozes from the Rocky Mountains.”

Ian Sample Does His Part For Hawaii Recruiting

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 8:45 am by

Drugs, coursework done by others, girls…and the weather’s not so bad, either. And the quote about June Jones going to the public library instantly endears Ian Sample to all whistle-blowers / bus-thrower-unders – aspiring jocks turned authors.

Still, this story wasn’t without shocking details. Who knew you could play professional football in Japan?

Tennesse Pol : Enough About Dog Killing, What’s Up With The Immigrant Baby Killers?

Posted in Blogged Down, Dogs, politics at 12:01 am by

Thanks to the internet detective work of Paul Sen, I believe we’re graced with the single dopiest commentary to date regarding the sad story of Michael Vick. Beware Tennessee State Representative Stacey Campfield — some moron is pretending to be you.

Does anyone besides me see the hypocrisy of some on the left who go nuts about Michael Vick and the whole dog fighting thing and yet are the same people who don’t care about the loss of human life caused by illegal aliens or are the same people who fight for the right to kill unborn babies?

I hear the battle cry of: “It is my body, it is my property, I can do with it what I want”

From the pro aborts, but the opposite cry from the same person against a person who’s property is a dog. Do they respect the life of a dog more then they respect the life of a human?

I started to think. How many dogs have been killed in dog fights versus how many babies have been killed in abortion clinics or by illegal immigrants. I bet dog deaths pale by comparison. But what do we see on TV every day on about every news channel?

Dog fighting is cruel and inhumane. But if Vick could have figured out a way to pit two unborn babies against each other in a fight to the death, maybe we’d outlaw killing children as quickly as we rushed to enhance penalties for crimes involving our pets.

If the above piece of hysteria was indeed penned by Rep. Campfield, I’m pretty sure the programming department at Spike TV would like to talk to him about this Fetus Death Match idea.


Repeat After Me : Valerie Plame Is Not Walking Thru That Door

Posted in Basketball at 7:46 pm by

Former Louisville standout Erik L. Brown (above, middle) is facing a 20 year sentence for setting his own apartment on fire, an event triggered by Brown’s schizophrenia, according to his attorney.  How dangerously paranoid is Brown?  Not very, if you ask most Celtics fans.  From the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Brandon Ortiz.

Once the nation’s leading freshman scorer in college basketball, Brown, 28, now believes the CIA installed a chip in his brain in a conspiracy that somehow involves his former University of Louisville coach, Rick Pitino (above).

About a year or two ago, before the arson arrest, Brown told friends that he’d just got back from hanging out with filmmaker Spike Lee in Los Angeles and was going to make a movie with him, Washington said. He also believed he’d signed a contract with the Detroit Pistons for millions.

Psychologists say the indications are that Brown first began to have symptoms of mental illness in 2003, according to his public defender, Herb West.

Brown has had auditory hallucinations, paranoia, delusional thought processes and suicidal ideations, Dr. Steven Simon of the  Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center said.To this day, Brown believes that the CIA implanted a chip in his brain when he was in Ireland, Simon said. He thinks that the CIA is following him, and that Pitino has something to do with it.

As recently as last week, he called his attorney to repeat his beliefs, West said.

I’m sure most persons who have all their marbles will agree (I believe there’s a clinical term for this), the CIA has much more important things to do.

The “Boom, Goes The Dynamite” Guy Might Have A Future After All

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 6:59 pm by

Countless viewers across New England have swooned over the good looks and all-around journalistic chops of WHDH’s Matt Lorch, and surely some of those fans have wondered (perhaps seconds before ejaculating), “where exactly did this multitalented young man come from?”

I really don’t mean to give Lorch a hard time over a bad day suffered ages ago. After all, Tom Ellis had worse moments like this much further into his career, sadly before anyone had the presence of mind to save it for YouTube.

Rosenthal : Mets Picking Up Conine

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 4:20 pm by

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, undaunted by sharing a web home with Jay Mohr and Big Sexy, reports the New York Mets are on the verge of acquiring 17 year veteran IF Jeff Conine from Cincinnati.

Conine, a career .285 hitter has 6 HR’s and 32 RBI’s in 215 at bats for the Reds this season. Or to put it another way, he’s provided similar power to Shawn Green in about 160 fewer plate appearances.

The Journal News’ Peter Abraham, while suggesting the Yankees’ recent release of Mike Myers cost Chien-Ming Wang a trusted pal, says of the pitcher, “my theory is that he™s trying too hard. He is the athletic focal point of an entire nation and all they expect is a perfect game when he pitches.” Aside from the country of Westchester, I understand Wang’s games are closely followed in Taiwan, too.

Jamie Mottram has generated a list of baseball’s most whiff-prone longball threats (ie. The Rob Deer All-Stars), a feast-or-famine collective so exclusive, not even Dave Kingman could crack the ranks.

Surely if anyone is entitled to be stomping around at 260 pounds +, it’s a guy named Boof?

I’ll say this much for Cameron Maybin’s website ; at least he resisted the temptation to co-opt “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Vick : Let’s Make A Deal

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron, The Law at 2:30 pm by

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeremy Redmon :

Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in his federal dogfighting case and will enter his guilty plea during a court hearing next Monday, his attorney said today.

“After consulting with his family over the weekend, Michael Vick asked that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him,” Billy Martin, Vick’s attorney, said in a statement issued this afternoon.

“Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to these charges and to accept full responsibility for those actions and for the mistakes he has made. Michael wishes to apologize to everyone who has been hurt by this matter. The legal team and Mr. Vick will appear in Court in Richmond on Aug. 27.”

Falcons owner Arthur Blank left Falcons headquarters in Flowery Branch without commenting today. The NFL is expected to make an announcement momentarily, stating it is still too early for the League to make a decision. Vick has been suspended by the NFL pending a league investigation of the case.

Federal prosecutors had warned Vick that he must agree to a plea deal last Friday or face more serious charges ”- including at least one racketeering charge ”- as part of a superseding indictment this week, people with knowledge of the negotiations said.

At the risk of echoing Colin Cowherd, it’s pretty hard to imagine Michael Vick taking another snap in the NFL.  The WWL’s legal guy says the sentencing will probably happen in November, at which time we can crank up the speculation regarding future CFL tryouts.  In the meantime, whether or not you consider Vick guilty of barbarism or merely incredibly poor judgment,  this was one of the more precipitous falls from grace any public figure has suffered.

(UPDATE : Why wait until November? On ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” prior to tonight’s Super Bowl rematch, the panel of Chris Berman, Keyshawn Johnson, Bill Parcells and Emmitt Smith wasted little time in pondering the date and nature of Vick’s possible return. For Smith, who previously caught flack for taking a somewhat moderate tone regarding Vick, his MNC debut presented a chance to bust out the Salisburian rhetoric. Punch line : Smith suggested Vick’s comeback will be at a position other than QB.

’92 : The Year Christian Death Was Considered A Better Olympian Than Shaq

Posted in Basketball at 1:23 pm by

True Hoop’s Henry Abbott already linked to an item from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jan Hubbard, alleging that Isiah Thomas was omitted from the 1992 USA Olympic basketball squad due to considerable animus on the part of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone.

However, as Hubbard points out, that wasn’t even the biggest USA Basketball diss of all time.

The next biggest snub? That’s an easy one. It also involved the 1992 team, which included one college player. USA Basketball officials selected Christian Laettner of Duke, primarily because he had played for a number of U.S. teams.

Passed over, however, was Shaquille O’Neal, who had passed on playing for several U.S. teams. Laettner was rewarded for his loyalty, but O’Neal was the No. 1 pick in the 1992 draft, and far and away the most dominant college player.

That oversight is one of the largest embarrassments in USA Basketball history.

Steve Perry’s Lawyer Will Be In Touch

Posted in Baseball, Rock Und Roll at 12:46 pm by

“Cubs Fans : Please Stop Believing” (mp3), from the Beachwood Reporter’s Tom Latourette and Marty Gangler.

If nothing else, any White Sox claim to a truly turgid piece of pop sludge has been rendered done and dusted. (thanks to Joe Doyle for the link)

Newark Airport President’s Club Overrun by Herbalife Salesmen

Posted in Football at 9:27 am by

Sure, they lost 5-4 to the Red Bulls and they have to fly commercial, but at least the L.A. Galaxy were able to enjoy an unlimited supply of pretzels, Fritos, Pepperidge Farm crackers and Tillamook cheese (cheddar and Monterey Jack). And I can now say that I’ve shared a bathroom with Ante Jazic (above, who demonstrated his athleticism by hopping away from the urinal on one foot before re-gathering his crutches).

Do ya think Beckham would have been there had he not had other plans?

Touched By The Hand Of Fraud : Maradona As Chávez’ Political Football

Posted in Football, politics at 8:12 am by

Thought it is hard to imagine many good things about a chat show hosted by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, I’m gonna take a wild guess that he’s every bit as qualified for the gig as Alan Thicke or Rick Dees.  From the Guardian’s Roy Carroll (link courtesy I’m Sorry I Had To Kill That Guy) :

Diego Maradona taunted England over his “hand of God” goal yesterday, on a television show hosted by Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez. The Argentine footballer told a cheering audience in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, that he cheated in the 1986 World Cup quarter final and had urged his team-mates to cheer the strike into the English net to fool the referee into awarding the goal.

Peter Shilton, the England goalkeeper, was very tall and Maradona could not reach the ball with his head, he said. “The goalkeeper had the advantage of grabbing with his hands. It was too high for me and I stuck out my fist.”

Looking healthy after serious illness linked to cocaine addiction, the 46-year-old was a surprise guest of “Hello President”, a Sunday talkshow hosted by Mr Chávez which lasts much of the day.

The Venezuelan leader welcomed the footballer as Argentina’s “golden boy” and an ally in the fight against imperialism. He invited him to reminisce about the goal which broke English hearts and cheered much of Latin America.

Later in the programme Maradona earned thunderous applause when he said he loathed everything that came from the US. “I hate it with all my strength.” He pledged allegiance to his host and to Cuba’s Fidel Castro, who has arranged treatment in Havana for his addictions.

“I believe in Chávez, I am Chávista. Everything Fidel does, everything Chávez does, for me is the best.”