Greenland’s Hoops Suckiness Confirmed

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down at 12:37 pm by

I don’t get it.  Can’t the Suns or Spurs send a qualified scout to Godthaab for a few years?

ATHF’s Carl On Mangino : One Onion Ring Away From Exploding All Over The Drumline

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron at 10:29 am by

“Catch that new Dan Dierdorf video?” asks David Roth. And while, yeah, it’s been all over the place, I’m pretty worried that if Carl keeps up this kind up of free web video commentary, nobody’s gonna shell out for The Kid From Brooklyn’s new pay site.

Perhaps Not The Best Spokesperson For The NRA

Posted in Basketball, Firearms at 10:01 am by

The General wasn’t shooting at James Simpson’s house. It was his friend. Besides, they didn’t start firing until 7:45 am. And they don’t have to move. Unless you’re polite. In which case, they still might not move.

Does anyone doubt that having a camera crew follow Bobby Knight 24-7 would result in something almost this fantastic on a regular basis?  The man has already demonstrated that heavy-shit-goes-down on visits to the salad bar, gymnasium, etc.   What could possibly be happening when Knight is in line at the DMV? Looking for a parking space at Costco?

I’m willing to bet after a day or two you’d have more interesting footage than the entire season of “Knight School”.

Grating Minds Think Alike : Cowherd, Brick On Taylor’s Death

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Radio at 9:36 am by

What were the odds that a pair of sophisticated, erudite social commentators like Fox Sports Radio’s J.T. The Brick (above) and ESPN’s Colin Cowherd would have virtually the exact same thing to say, particularly when it involved their own questionable judgement?

Both radio hosts took yesterday’s comments by Arizona CB Antrel Rolle that his childhood pal, the late Sean Taylor had “been targeted for years” as validation they were justified in openly speculating about the nature of Taylor’s killing.

“Who you gonna believe?” bellowed The Brick, “the Miami chief of police or the guy’s buddy?”, forgetting of course, that said buddy was in Tempe at the time of the killing and has no more firsthand knowledge of the crime than you or I.

“I’ve always said that reasonable people can reach a conclusion before all the facts are in” huffed Cowherd earlier today, before using Rolle’s remarks as a way of patting himself on the back.

“It wasn’t an accident!” proclaimed Cowherd, who perhaps has difficulty distinguishing between a home invasion (rarely accidental) and something more circumstantial.

“This is talk radio,” explained the Brick’s colleague, Tom Looney last night. “We can’t wait ’till all the facts are in. We have to speculate.”

Given the very deep backgrounds all of these men have in criminal investigation, I’m sure their listeners cannot thank them enough.

Coming to the WWL: BCS Idol

Posted in College Spurts, Lower Education at 4:07 am by

Austin American-Statesman sports editor John Bridges muses on the process that made Mike Sherman (above) the second highest paid employee of the State of Texas:

Usually, state jobs in Texas must be posted for 10 days. A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne was able to get a special exception by deeming his opening an emergency. The emergency? Recruiting.

Never mind that Sherman is going to spend the next five weeks coaching for the Texans.

Here’s a suggestion to end all the doubletalk: Establish a National Firing Day, similar to National Signing Day.

At the stroke of noon on this magical day every December, coaches can be fired and hired. Sell the broadcast rights to ESPN. Available candidates could be seated in a soundproof room, squirming like Brady Quinn on draft day. There might even be room to let in a couple of black coaching candidates.

It’s really no more ludicrous than the current process ” a process that rightly has the Black Coaches Association and state Sen. Royce West raising questions about minority hiring practices.

They would like for colleges to follow the NFL’s lead and at least include minority candidates in the conversation.

Shoot, at this point, it’ll be progress if there is more than one candidate of any color in the conversation.

Byrne said that Sherman was the only coach interviewed for the A&M job; Ole Miss probably just left Nutt an offer on his voice mail. (“This is Houston. I’m probably on the other line with another school. If you’re an AD, just leave your best offer at the tone.”)

But we can cut Byrne some slack on the minority-hiring thing. He said that he had never met Sherman until he walked into a Houston hotel room Friday night.

Given how much time he’d spent on the matter, perhaps he was surprised to see that Sherman was a white man.


The Bummer That Is The NY Knicks Beat

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 6:12 pm by

Though the New York Times’ Howard Beck nicely summed up the career travails of Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury since the pair parted ways 8 years ago, the New York Observer’s John Koblin paints a rather grim picture of what it’s like to cover the 2007-08 New York Knicks (link courtesy Jason Cohen).

œIt™s Madison Square Garden, it™s New York City, it should be one of the top beats in New York, said Newsday beat reporter Alan Hahn.

Instead: œIt™s maddening. What it should be and what it is”it™s a shame.

Frank Isola, the 12-year Knicks-beat veteran for the Daily News, said, œIt used to be fun here. Now, there are some nights when you™re trying to talk your boss out of sending you here and maybe lie and tell him you™re sick or something.

œI™ll admit, said Howard Beck, the New York Times Knicks reporter, œthat the beat makes me miserable.

What really separates the complaints of Knicks writers from those of every other browbeaten city reporter”and reporters are definitely a whiny lot”are their unironic, and apparently accurate, tales of systematic repression.

œIt™s the gulag, said Mike Vaccaro, a columnist for the New York Post.

œWe all know what it™s like to cover a normal team, said Mr. Beck, who previously reported on the Lakers for the L.A. Daily News. œCovering the Knicks is so much worse.

œSome of the things they practice here are completely against what you™d expect a normal team to do, said Mr. Hahn, a second-year reporter on the beat who said that he now misses his old job as a hockey reporter covering the provincial New York Islanders. œThey come up with things all the time. There™s zero access to players. They would rather you don™t even write.

The stories from the reporters are endless: layers of institutional paranoia; public relations officials who openly eavesdrop on private conversations with executives and players; the threat”and implementation”of cutting off reporters who are perceived to be critical of the team.

œEveryone is so worried about upsetting Jim Dolan, or getting fired, and as a result people aren™t themselves, said Mr. Beck. œIf you transplanted the same individuals and put them in another city, then they™d be far more interesting. They™d be themselves.

When I spoke with Mr. Isola, the News reporter, on Saturday afternoon on the Garden floor, he pointed to a media relations official watching us. œHe™s taking note that I™m talking to you, he said.

There are very, very successful teams out there that treat the media with dignity and respect and recognize that 90 percent of the time it™s a mutually beneficial relationship, said David Waldstein, the former Knicks beat reporter for The Star-Ledger. œEvery writer who covers the Knicks gets the impression that we are treated as the enemy.

(Starting this season, The Star-Ledger eliminated the Knicks beat, opting instead to run wire copy.)

œWe have three people here tonight, said Mr. Vaccaro of the New York Post on Monday night. œThat™s 16 inches of copy and 16 inches of free space for the Knicks to sell their product, for better or for worse. To make those three stories as difficult as possible to write seems counterproductive to me.

Later in the piece, Isola claims that since he asked the Knicks to stop having him tailed around MSG by security, he’s essentially been cut off from all communication. When Isiah Thomas’ contract extension was announced last spring, Isola had to find out elsewhere.

Twins, Rays Swapping Garza For Young>

Posted in Baseball at 5:48 pm by

A day after writing the Twins could listen to offers for closer Joe Nathan, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s La Velle E. Neal III reports Minnesota might’ve found their centerfield replacement for Torii Hunter.

The Twins and Tampa Bay Rays are close to finalizing a multi-player deal, according to several sources with knowledge of the discussions. The deal could be announced as soon as today.

The main pieces changning teams would be outfielder Delmon Young, the first overall pick in 2003, and righthander Matt Garza (above). But indications were strong on Wednesday that as many as six players could be involved.

In addition to Garza, the Twins would send Tampa Bay shortstop Jason Bartlett and reliever Juan Rincon for Young, shortstop Brendan Harris and outfielder Jason Pridie. Pridie was with the Twins during spring training of 2006 as a Rule 5 pick.

The addition of Young could lead to the Twins non-tendering outfielder Craig Monroe, who was dealt to the Twins from the Cubs a few weeks ago.

While one Twins follower is less than thrilled at the prospect of adding Young, it is interesting to see Garza apparently switching teams without the Mets parting with Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez or Fernando Martinez. Whether or not today’s mooted deal impacts the asking price for Johan Santana remains to be seen, but I can’t imagine the acquisition of Young improved the Mets chances.

This Isn’t Even Close To The Most Terrifying Advertisement On North American Televsion

Posted in Blogged Down, The Marketplace, Total Fucking Terror at 4:00 pm by

Deadspin’s Will Leich claimed in a post earlier today the below PSA is “definitive proof Canadians are terrifying.” So much for David Cronenberg’s career, then. (thanks to Mac for the link)

There’s at least two commercials running south of the border that are far scarier in this observer’s opinion. The first is spot for Hanes underwear that inexplicably asks us to believe Michael Jordan is the host of a television talk show. “The Magic Hour”, anyone? (Though the prospect of Charles Oakley taking the Ed McMahon / Hank Kingsley role is kind of hard to resist). Even more incredibly, we’re supposed to believe Cuba Gooding Jr. would be booked as a guest on a said chat program. In 2007.

The second is a slightly more contemporary ad for Wachovia Bank, in which the firm’s sad-sack employees are awakened on Christmas morning because some kid left his passport in a safe deposit box. Nice fucking work Wachovia, either your employees are going to running errands on the biggest holiday of the year or you’re setting your customers up for grave disappointment.

Source Who Might Be Full Of Shit : Mets Will “Think About” Dangling Reyes For Santana

Posted in Baseball at 1:34 pm by

Perhaps foreshadowing an ESPN report that has Andrew Marchand claiming knowledge of the Mets being contenders in the Johan Santana sweepstakes, the New York Daily News’ John Harper spoke with another unnamed insider with alleged insight into Wilpon Inc.’s pursuit of the otherworldly left-hander.

One executive who knows Omar Minaya well said yesterday that he believes the Mets’ GM will be “very creative” in pursuing a deal for Santana.”He always wants to do something big,” the executive said, “and this is a time when he needs to do something big. And this is as big as it gets for him. I believe he’ll exhaust every possibility, even if it means getting other teams involved, to make a deal for Santana.”

But would Minaya give up shortstop Jose Reyes to make it happen?

“I know he wouldn’t want to,” said the executive. “But I do believe he’ll think long and hard about it if he absolutely has to. As explosive as Reyes is, Omar needs pitching to win a championship, and it has become so hard these days to acquire front-line pitching that I think he’d have to consider it.”

People in baseball say the Mets do have other young players the Twins would consider, including outfielders Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez and Lastings Milledge, and pitchers Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Mulvey.

But would some combination of those players get it done? Probably not. With lefthander Francisco Liriano expected back from elbow surgery, the Twins think of themselves as contenders next year and need to bring back players in a deal for Santana they can sell to their team and their fans as ready to help them win.

Metsblog’s D.J. Short, struggling through this afternoon’s “Mike & The Mad Dog” program with the rest of us, points out that while Francesca and Russo seem all too quick to pack Carlos Beltran’s bags, the center fielder has a full no trade clause. There’s also the matter of Beltran making far more money than Minnesota would willingly pay. But who could imagine a guy willing to play in pain, arguably the finest center fielder in club history, would be considered so expendable by a pair of baseball sophisticates like Mike and Chris?

Who Will Raise Funds To Cure Painful Online Chats?

Posted in Free Expression, Mob Behavior, Sports Journalism, The Internet at 1:03 pm by

Given the Sports Putz’ willingness to use his unique skills (cough) to raise money to defeat cancer, I suppose 6+ hours of Bill Simmons chat could be considered collateral damage. But much like Truman’s decicion to level Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I hope a good deal of soul searching went into this on the part of ESPN.com

Bill Simmons: (12:09 PM ET ) Mike from Cleveland asks: “Dont know if you’ve seen Mr.Brooks, but Dane Cook is in it and when he dies I couldnt help but yell out THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO HAVE YOUR THROAT SLASHED to mock his playoff baseball commercials.”

Bill Simmons: (12:10 PM ET ) Glad you brought this up. I hate to give away a key plot point in an Oscar winner like Mr. Brooks, but here we go… if you don’t like Dane Cook, definitely rent this movie if you ever wanted to see something horrible happen to him.