Bad enough that Blackwater’s Xmas card didn’t announce a donation to The Human Fund —- the copy is 100% stolen from CSTB’s 2003 greeting to advertisers and investors.
Bad enough that Blackwater’s Xmas card didn’t announce a donation to The Human Fund —- the copy is 100% stolen from CSTB’s 2003 greeting to advertisers and investors.
Well, sort of. Newsday’s Neil Best reports that Chris Connelly — man cannot live by exploiting terminally ill children year-round — will helm an “Outside The Lines” telecast next week centered on a 1972 plane crash in the Andes mountains. Said crash and resulting efforts by the surviviors to consume human flesh, have already been dramatized in the motion picture “Alive”, culled from the 1974 book by Piers Paul Read.
If you’re not psyched about staring at Chris Connelly and Bob Ley, you can always just stick to YouTube.
“It’s funny,” writes DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg “when you get an e-mail with a subject line reading ‘Manute Bol Takes on the Candidates in Iowa,’ you figure it’s gonna contain nothing but hilarity and photos of Manute Bol wearing an Abraham Lincoln hat.”
Then, when you read the e-mail, it turns out that Manute Bol is actually holding a press conference and rally on the west steps of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines on Tuesday afternoon, while joined by hundreds of Sudanese U.S. citizens, who will be demanding the Presidential candidates address atrocities in Darfur and throughout Sudan. Among their questions:
What would you do to end the genocide in Darfur?
Should the U.S. deal with the Government of Sudan by segmenting Darfur, Southern Sudan, Nubia etc. as separate and isolated matters, or with Sudan as a whole?
Actually, Bol’s an old hand at this kind of thing — most of his public stunts over the years (KO’ing the Fridge, putting on skates for minor league hockey) were with the express purpose of raising loot or awareness about events in the Sudan.
I eagerly await the results of Tuesday’s activity, mostly ‘cuz if I continue reading this I’ll be laughing too hard to get any work done next week.
Supplier of the sordid link, Kevin Rys writes, “someone should tell Jim Leyritz that alcohol is not a performance enhancing drug when it comes to driving.” From WPLG Miami :
Police said Jim Leyritz was behind the wheel of a Ford SUV that collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Southwest Seventh Avenue and Second Street in the Himmarshee area of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The impact caused the other car to roll over and the female driver of that vehicle was ejected and she died after being taken to Broward General Medical Center, police said.
Leyritz was arrested on suspicion of DUI because he refused a Breathalyzer test, police said.Leyritz is being held on $11,000 bond. According to police records, he was booked at 4:30 a.m. Friday.
Simply awful stuff. While there’s no word yet on how this incident will impact Leyritz’ employment with MLB Radio, surely there’s some kind of job in the St. Louis Cardinals organization?
While the Boston Herald’s Mike Felger concludes the 15-0 Patriots “beat up on a weak league”, the ever-excitable Steve Serby of the New York Post would have you believe the Giants are sold on the questionable import of tomorrow night’s clash with New England.
The Yankees are hated for a lot of reasons, but mostly because they have won 26 championships. Everyone wanted to knock off John Wooden’s UCLA teams, especially the ones with Lew Alcindor sky-hooking opponents into submission. Oh, how they hated Red Auerbach for lighting up those victory cigars during his Celtics reign of terror. Wilt Chamberlain once bemoaned the fact that nobody likes Goliath.
Now, here come the Hatetriots, the 15-0 Hatetriots, marching into Giants Stadium, and only the Giants are standing between them and the first 16-0 regular season.
The last thing the Giant players want, even with a wild-card playoff game in Tampa the following week, is to wave a white flag and surrender to the perfect team so close to becoming Greatriots.
They would much prefer to stop the Hatetriots.
Even as they fully understand it is Tom Coughlin’s decision as to who plays and how much and who rests, an umistakeable œnot against us” mentality has gripped them and won’t let go.
It is as if they feel compelled in some way to defend the honor of the rest of the league.
On the road, where they are 7-1, it is œus against the world” for the Giants.
Tomorrow night, it is Hatetriots against the world, and the world outside New England is with the Giants.
Good job, then, to Big Blue’s Osi Umenyiora (“I’m what you’d commonly refer to as a hater”), who hypnotized Serby with promises of not-lying-down (“we are a brotherhood and nobody really wants to see a team just looks that much better than everybody else”), thus ignoring the most obvious scenario of all : Col. Coughlin’s job is on the line, and if a starter were injured tomorrow evening in pursuit of a meaningless win while the club still has a shot (however remote) at winning a Super Bowl, he’s almost certainly headed back to college football.
The only outcome I’m rooting for would be Jared Lorenzen putting up crazy numbers against N.E. backups, thus leading to a public outcry for Eli’s benching against the Buccaneers. Sure, it’ll never happen, but neither will New York’s first-stringers be allowed to risk injury late in the game, not if Coughlin has an ounce of smarts remaining. Umenyiora knows this, and chance are, so does Steve Serby.
Would it have been so hard for Darren McFadden to have driven something a little less conspicuous until after the Cotton Bowl? From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Tom Murphy and Bob Holt.
A report by KARK-TV, Channel 4, in Little Rock claimed that Arkansas junior tailback Darren McFadden was present when sports agent Mike Conley recently purchased a Cadillac Escalade, which the station said was put in the name of McFadden™s mother, Mini Muhammad.University of Arkansas officials would not comment on the accuracy of the report.
œWe™re aware of the report, said Kevin Trainor, Arkansas associate athletic director for external affairs. œThe situation is under review. Muhammad, reached at her home in Little Rock, said neither she nor her son owned the Escalade.
œMike Conley hasn™t bought nothing, and it ain™t in my name, Muhammad said. œIt™s his stepmom™s, Ella McFadden™s. Really, the truck is on loan. Darren drove that down [to Dallas ] to see how he™d like it, and maybe he™d get one later.
œ They got that all wrong. Darren doesn™t have no truck. Conley, a former track and field All-American at Arkansas, told KARK on Thursday night that he was not at a car dealership with McFadden and that he hadn™t negotiated a deal.
œThat is 100 percent a lie, Conley told the station. œI would challenge anybody to say that I have ever been at a dealership with Darren McFadden. Though it is considered a foregone conclusion that McFadden will enter the NFL Draft as an underclassman this winter, he has yet to acknowledge that move.
Conley assures us McFadden does not own a truck, and from the looks of this photographic evidence, why would he need to buy one?
All of a sudden, there’s a storyline for the Saturday’s Alamo Bowl. From the Dallas Morning News’ Brian Davis.
Texas A&M officials were left red-faced Thursday night when an unidentified Yell Leader joked that Penn State coach Joe Paterno “needed a casket” during a joint pep rally.
The Yell Leader, a male student cheerleader who organizes cheers at football games, was on stage during the pep rally when he grabbed the microphone and unleashed on Paterno, 81.
“Joe Paterno’s on his death bed! And someone needs to find him a casket!” the Yell Leader screamed. Stunned PSU fans started booing. The Yell Leaders quickly left the stage, and the pep rally continued.
A&M interim president Eddie Davis and athletic director Bill Byrne apologized to their Penn State counterparts, A&M spokesman Alan Cannon said.
The Patriot News’ David Jones writes, “the man at the mike had been telling a lengthy and convoluted fantasy story that was falling flat. Finally, PSU fans began booing and chanting ‘We are!…’ At that point, the flustered yell leader fired back with his insult.”
Indeed, sometimes desperate attempts to kick-start a failing monologue just make matters worse.
(UPDATE : video of the incident. Why, oh why must Rudy’s Barbeque be dragged into this?)
Sure, everybody’s laughing after Texas dropped 52 points on Arizona State, but come next September, Chris Jessie might find his sideline pass has been replaced with a seat in the last row of DKR-Memorial’s section 124.
On the same day Isiah Thomas and a Knicks executive issued contradictory statements regarding when and if G Stephon Marbury might return to the club, the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola opines “Marbury’s prolonged absence tells you everything you need to know about the state of the franchise.”
The organization acted appropriately in the days and weeks after Marbury™s father, Donald, passed away on Dec. 2. The fact that the entire team, including Thomas, showed up at the funeral is a tremendous gesture. They have been overly sensitive toward Marbury™s feelings to the point where they are now covering for him even though it is clear that Marbury should have rejoined the team long ago.
If Marbury wants to remain on bereavement leave indefinitely that™s fine. But it is about time that the Knicks tell the veteran point guard that he is no longer getting paid for each game he misses. The grieving process of a loved one never ends but eventually an employee has an obligation to return to work.
The fact that Marbury is at odds with Thomas doesn™t excuse him from abandoning his teammates and missing valuable time. Also, the timing of Marbury™s latest hiatus leaves him open for criticism.
He returned to practice two weeks ago saying he was ready to play again. The following day, Marbury didn™t start but played well in a blowout loss to Indiana.
The next day, he skipped practice and then recorded a DNP against Cleveland. Since that game, Marbury hasn™t attended a single practice and has missed three straight games. During his latest absence, Marbury found enough time to formally file a grievance through the player™s association to fight the fine the Knicks levied against him when Marbury left the team for 24 hours last month.
On the one hand, the Knicks are telling Marbury to take as much time as he needs and are still paying him while Marbury is fighting them over one game™s pay.
There’s also the matter of the undermanned Knicks wasting a roster spot. If Marbury were waived, suspended or placed on a some kind of mental fatigue DL, surely there’s another point guard in the D-League, CBA, West 4th Street, etc. who could provide valuable minutes?
On one hand, it wasn’t a surprising endorsement since I had seen him in a local cable ad for the same establishment. On the other hand, I nearly dropped my groceries when I saw it. What the fudge was the great Keith Hernandez doing shilling for some coin store? It instantly brought to mind the time in 1982 my father told me heard something on the news about Mark Gastineau autographing pumpkins on Jericho Turnpike to make a few bucks before Halloween during the NFL players’ strike.
Keith Hernandez should not be doing anything that reminds anybody of Mark Gastineau. But he does. He endorses Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay (now with 2 locations to serve you!). He broadcasts other people’s dates alongside Clyde Frazier. He recently popped up on eBay offering a signed Keith Hernandez jersey as a bonus if you were high bidder on a Mercedes from a Palm Beach-area dealership. I assume he is compensated in satisfactory fashion by Long Island’s Largest Rare Coin Store just as he is by Just For Men Haircolor, just as he probably gets a break on a car in Florida.
If you see him in these gigs, let alone his analyst role on SNY, Keith Hernandez comes off as something of a cartoon figure (and not just because he has been animated as a cartoon figure by the very same network). He has very much become Crazy Keith, tittering over names like Jon Coutlangus and Pete LaCock, roaming tangents regarding wine and lollipops and generally playing the cranky, kooky uncle card that ex-ballplayers have been known to play in front of a camera or behind a microphone.
It was an article of faith circa 1986 that you shouldn’t get up to buy a hot dog if you knew Darryl Strawberry was coming to bat in the bottom of the inning. Well, you couldn’t leave your seat for any of the Met seasons in which Keith Hernandez was in his prime. You had to watch him work a count, jaw at his pitcher, confront his catcher, bear down on a bunter, give a quote. It is not hometown bias that leads me to say that Keith Hernandez was the most fascinating player I ever saw.
That’s my Keith Hernandez, my Mex. The one on TV and in the Pennysaver, Crazy Keith? He’s somebody else as far as I can tell.
Hernandez turned 54 last October. I think he’s entitled to a) earn a living and b) play the clown as often as he likes. I can understand why an admirer of Keith’s would flinch at some of the commercial activity he’s involved with, but that’s exactly the sort of work a part time broadcaster might need to avoid autographing pumpkins by the side of the road. Unless and until Mex turns to reality TV, his legacy is largely safe.
The Detroit News’ Santiago Esparza on Derrick Coleman’s noble efforts to improve commercial activity in his hometown.
Coleman has purchased land on Linwood between Clairmount and Taylor and hopes to acquire more to Gladstone. He is building a pizza shop, cellular phone store and upscale barber shop to accompany the ultra hip Snyx Sneaker Studio built in a strip mall this year dubbed Coleman’s Corner.
Next year he has plans for a farmer’s market, laundromat and dry cleaner across from the strip mall.
“People here have to go outside the city to spend their money,” Coleman said. “Hopefully in two or three years we won’t have to go across Eight Mile to get the things we need.”
City officials praise Coleman’s investment — which he has made without any tax breaks typically requested by companies moving back to the city — and say they hope it pushes other retailers to return. A recent city-sponsored report estimates that city residents spend roughly $1.7 billion outside Detroit every year.
His neighbors do everything from sell sneakers to paint walls to clear snow and even manage shops. Coleman said it is part of his efforts to get people living in the area to change their way of thinking.
“We are talking about setting a standard for what we do in the neighborhood,” Coleman said. “It is all about changing the perception of where we are and where we are going.”
Coleman wants his neighbors to expect quality products, good service and clean shops. Coleman said everything from crime to economics to dropout rates are impacted by the mindset of people in the area who do not yet believe the neighborhood can be better.
“It is a standard we accept,” Coleman said. “That has to change.”
To that end, Coleman has no bars or steel sheets to cover windows and doors at his businesses, unlike many other businesses, gas stations and shops in the neighborhood, because he said it makes people think the business is unsafe. Shoppers don’t have to pay clerks through bullet-resistant plastic windows and visitors are warmly greeted.
Coleman’s work is genuinely inspiring, and I remain hopeful other prominent ex-Nets will soon do their part to give something back to the community. Marcus Williams’ laptop repair center? A chain of John Calipari Mexican takeaways? How much longer need we await the opening of Jayson Williams’ rifle range?
Trevor Ariza, ladies and gentlemen. Surplus to Isiah Thomas’ requirements and traded along with Penny Haraway’s expiring contract for that final piece of the puzzle, Stevie Franchise.
5) Chad Johnson
4) Muhammad Ali
3) Michael Jordan
2) Gary Payton
Seriously, while I’m fully in favor of Denver doing whatever they need to do to fashion solidarity as they search for that elusive 7th win, there is something mildly weird about this much bravado on the part of the Bolts, given all the weeping and finger-pointing that ensued after they were bounced by the Patriots last January.
You know, the one having zilch to do with Isiah Thomas. Though if Glen Sather asks you over to his place to watch the director’s cut of “Love & A Zamboni”, you’re still better off turning him down. From the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir :
Rather than defend itself against sexual harassment again, Madison Square Garden on Wednesday settled a lawsuit filed three years ago by the former captain of the Rangers™ cheerleading squad, the Rangers City Skaters.
No details of the settlement were provided by the Garden or the former cheerleading captain, Courtney Prince, who sued the Garden and two Rangers employees in October 2004. She accused the Garden of sexual harassment and of retaliation, because it fired her and tried to smear her reputation.
The Garden and Prince™s lawyer, Kathleen Peratis, issued nearly identical statements. œWe resolved this matter with no admission of wrongdoing on any part, each said while offering no further comment.
Fred Nance, a sports law expert who is a regional managing partner for Squire Sanders, a Cleveland-based law firm, said: œThey™ve gotten the right idea now, by resolving things like this and getting out ahead of them. It certainly gets the issue off the front pages and out from under the microscope, as long as there aren™t more allegations of this type of conduct.
A psychiatrist hired by the Garden said Prince had a bipolar personality that was apt to have been manic and hypersexual at the time of the bar incident.
In her court documents, Prince said that she showed no unusual symptoms when the psychiatrist examined her and that his diagnosis was derived from comments made by 10 skaters in unsworn affidavits. Two of the skaters later said in affidavits that they had been coerced into signing the earlier statements.
Several years before Eddie Sutton’s career at Oklahoma State ended in a booze-stankin’ resignation and handover to his son Sean, something terrible happened to him. It’s hard to say, with any degree of certainty, what it actually was. But the formerly vital-looking — if obviously hard-living — man seemingly lost all the collagen from his body and physically crumpled sometime during his late 60s, and spent the rest of his OSU career looking like a wrinkly plastic bag filled with whiskey.
Sutton kept coaching, and his team kept winning for awhile, but he himself simply went slack, and hung wrinkly inside his suits on the sideline like something that had been improperly stored. It was almost merciful when the obviously rather-undone Sutton finally stepped down after the 2006 season in the wake of a crash and DUI arrest so egregious that it had even Bob “Don’t Do This To Me” Huggins shaking his head. During his spare time, Sutton crafted an exclusive CSTB podcast, did some hunting and fishing and…holy shit, really? The University of San Francisco? Okay, if you say so, Janie McCauley of the Associated Press:
Sutton is coming out of retirement to replace Jessie Evans as San Francisco’s basketball coach and will have his shot at 800 victories after all. USF announced Wednesday night that Evans was taking “a leave of absence” for the rest of the season and that the 71-year-old Sutton would lead the Dons (4-8) on an interim basis.
Sutton’s first chance for win No. 799 will be Friday night at Weber State.
“It’s very important,” Sutton said of winning 800 games. “I had a chance earlier this year to take a Division I job and didn’t think I wanted to do it. From a selfish standpoint, it is something I’m excited about.
…(USF AD Debra) Gore-Mann said she or someone from her staff would be traveling with the team regularly in the near future to “lend my support to the student-athletes and to assist interim coach Sutton in any way I can.”
Sutton retired as Oklahoma State’s coach after the 2005-06 season. He has 798 victories in 36 seasons as a Division I coach at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State.
When his victories at Tulsa Central High School and the College of Southern Idaho are included, Sutton won exactly 1,000 games before retiring from coaching in May 2006.
His retirement came about three months after a drunken driving accident caused him to miss the Cowboys’ final 10 games of the 2005-06 season. Sutton pleaded no contest to misdemeanor aggravated drunken driving and two other charges following the February 2006 car accident.
“I’ve thought about that and I would say it probably does (enter into this decision). I certainly didn’t want to end my coaching career the way it ended here,” Sutton said, speaking from an athletic office at Oklahoma State.
He called his drinking problems a “thing of the past.”
…and an imminent cease & desist notice from the EPL, which should render the above highlights invisible. And with all due respect to Purdue and Central Michigan, Aston Villa’s 4-4 draw at Chelsea was easily the most entertaining sporting event of the day for
people who hate defense.
Last week, Roger Clemens via You Tube, finally answered my unfounded charges (and those of the Michelin Report) that he used steroids. I’m more than a little miffed that, rather than face me and my questioning, Clemens has chosen to sit down with CBS’s Mike Wallace for a 60 MINUTES interview. It’s pure spite on The Rocket’s part, considering how long I’ve been investigating him and the endless hours I’ve spent on Google over this issue. Wallace, who no doubt got the interview because his son Chris Wallace is a big name at FOX News, has not reported a sports story since Abner Doubleday retired. No information yet on whether Clemens will fly out to Wallace (techinically, an away interview) or whether he will insist Wallace come to Texas.
Peyton Manning and center Jeff Saturday have started 125 games together. Since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger, only one quarterback-center combination has started more. Buffalo’s Jim Kelly and Kent Hull are the standard of longevity, durability and excellence with 157.
Saturday signed with Baltimore as a free agent from North Carolina in 1998. He was waived six weeks later, three months before his first season would have begun. He was working as an outside sales representative at a Raleigh, N.C., electrical supply store when Polian called in 1999.
Saturday became the starting center the following autumn. He has missed two games in eight years. Manning has started the first 159 regular-season games of his career.
They are centerpieces, staples, stars, world champions, leaders. Manning is the team’s offensive captain. Saturday, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, is its NFL Players Association player representative and a member of the NFL’s inaugural six-man Player Advisory Council.
“Throughout the week, we’ll talk about things we see,” said Saturday, who along with identifying the front and its key defenders, makes the line calls, setting the pass protection and blocking schemes. “I consistently try to ask, ‘What do you like? What makes you comfortable in this protection? Who would you change that we’re assigned to and how we’re going to protect?’ “
I’m grateful to Richards for penning the above bit of puffery because at the very least, it does answer the question “why on earth would Tony Dungy not play Jim Sorgi from start to finish on Sunday?”, as well as providing yet another gratuitous opportunity to link to this.
Despite his role as a crucial cog (.278, 20 HR’s, 98 RBI’s) for the 1980 AL Champion Kansas City Royals, 1B Willie Mays Aikens finds himself rotting in the stony lonesome — FCI Jesup, to be exact. Aikens, writes the Washington Post’s Darryl Fears, “is a poster child for what some jurists and civil rights activists say is the absurdity of the difference between the way federal law treats people convicted of crack cocaine offenses and those found guilty of crimes involving powder cocaine.”
Aikens received more than 15 years for possession of 64 grams of crack — about the weight of a large Snickers bar. To receive an equivalent sentence, he would have had to possess nearly 6 1/2 kilos — more than 14 pounds — of powder cocaine.
“You can supply a whole neighborhood with 6 1/2 kilos,” Aikens said by telephone from prison, where he is in the 13th year of his sentence.
Activists, lawyers and many federal judges say cases such as Aikens’s demonstrate the inequity of cocaine sentencing laws and validate the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s recent decision to ease prison time guidelines for crack offenders. The new guidelines will apply retroactively to about 19,500 inmates.
Within hours of the decision, Aikens said he was on the telephone with his lawyers, asking them to request a sentence reduction. They calculated that the new guidelines could shave nearly 2 1/2 years off his sentence.
“The disparity, as far as I’m concerned, is totally wrong,” said Aikens, a nonviolent offender. “This took me away from my family. My girls were 4 and 5 years old when I was sentenced. Now they’re 18 and 19.”
The sentencing disparity is more than two decades old. It was established after the cocaine-related death of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias prompted Congress to pass the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. It allowed sentences for offenses involving crack cocaine, seen at the time as the more dangerous form of the drug, to be 100 times more severe than for crimes involving powder cocaine.
The law was intended to curb the violence associated with the crack cocaine trade in black communities. But opponents say it was fraught with problems.
More than 80 percent of defendants were, like Aikens, African American. According to this year’s sentencing commission report to Congress, the median weight of the crack carried by offenders was 51 grams. The median weight carried by powder cocaine offenders was 6,000 grams.
“Most of these crack dealers are, in fact, low-level offenders,” said Eric E. Sterling, president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation. “Most of them aren’t violent. There is this vicious stereotype of black dope dealers armed to the teeth. But it’s not true. It’s a shame that this type of stereotype started coming out again in the debate over drug sentencing.”
The New England Patriots’ shot at history Saturday night will be available for every household in the country with a television after months of wrangling.
The game against the New York Giants, in which the Patriots could become the first NFL team to go 16-0 in the regular season, was originally scheduled to be shown only on the NFL Network, which is available in fewer than 40 percent of the nation’s homes with TVs.
But the league announced Wednesday that the NFL Network feed will be simulcast on NBC and CBS. It’s a major concession by league officials, who repeatedly said they would not show the game anywhere but the NFL Network. The NFL had faced mounting pressure from politicians in recent weeks to make the game available to more viewers.
This will be the first three-network simulcast in NFL history and the first simulcast of any kind of an NFL game since the first Super Bowl in 1967, when CBS and NBC both televised the first meeting of the champions of the newly merged National Football League and American Football League.
So much for CBS’ planned network premiere of the Cloonster’s “Good Night & Good Luck”, not to mention NBC’s showing of an “Law & Order : SVU” repeat with an MMA storyline. Maybe Mushick can write a column about how some of us really don’t give a hoot whether Eli plays one quarter or three on Saturday? Even if LT, Harry Carson and Carl Banks started on Saturday, New England would still run the table.
Still, this provides further ammo for those who’d argue football has long since replaced baseball as American’s national pastime. With the possible exception of the public stoning of Simon Cowell, what other non-news event is of great enough interest to justify a simulcast by two competing networks?
Roger Clemens’ attorney has launched his own investigation into whether the Yankees pitcher used performance-enhancing substances as the Mitchell Report claimed.
“We are convinced the conclusions in Mitchell’s report are wrong and are investigating the findings ourselves,” lawyer Rusty Hardin told The New York Times. “At this stage we have uncovered a lot of logical people who we thought Mitchell was going to talk to but never talked to him or his investigators. That’s troubling.”
“Maybe they™ll get the same detectives O.J. Simpson is using to find the real killers” writes the Journal News’ Peter Abraham. And it’s interesting to see how until he sits down with “60 Minutes”‘s Mike Wallace next month, no part of Roger Clemens’ recent P.R. offensive has included actually answering questions from the media or an MLB-sanctioned investigator.
With the possible exceptions of Brady Anderson and Mike Piazza, the biggest winner to come out of the Mitchell Report’s release has to be Rusty Hardin, whose bulldog tactics will undoubtedly catch the eye of the next public figure to become a national pariah. Depending on how their respective trials work out, R. Kelly and Barry Bonds might want to keep Rusty in mind for future work.
Newsday’s Ken Berger can’t tell us exactly who will take the floor for the Knicks tonight in Orlando, but odds are pretty good there will be at least 5 players in uniform.
The Knicks walked into Amway Arena this morning apparently unaware of Isiah Thomas™ plans for the starting lineup tonight against the Magic. Thomas said there will be changes, but wouldn™t say what they™ll be.
œWe™ll make a change, Thomas said. œYou™ll see at game time.
After an uncomfortable give-and-take with reporters about what those changes might entail, Thomas allowed some news to slip out. Not only did he acknowledge for the first time that Stephon Marbury has filed a grievance over being docked one game™s pay for leaving the team in Phoenix on Nov. 13, but he stated that the organization is fighting the former starting point guard on that grievance.
œOur position is as it is, Thomas said.
œAs what? I asked.
œIt™s a fine, he said.
Asked if there has been any reconsideration on the Knicks™ part with respect to the docked pay, Thomas said, œNo.
As for the lineup changes, Thomas said his decision wouldn™t be altered by the fact that the Knicks haven™t had a full practice with the new lineup.
œAll these guys have played together before and they™re familiar with each other, Thomas said.
At the center of the change is expected to be struggling center Eddy Curry, who sat slumped over at his locker this morning with a sweatshirt hood pulled over his head. Curry said he wasn™t sick or down, but he looked like he would rather be anywhere in the world other than the visiting locker room at Amway Arena.
œI ain™t heard nothing, Curry said. œWhat™d he tell y™all?
Informed that Thomas said there would be changes but wouldn™t specify, Curry said, œI™m not even thinking about it. If it happens, then I™ll take it from there. But right now I™m not even thinking about it.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who also has contemplated lineup changes with his team having lost seven of nine, scoffed at Thomas™ attempt at secrecy.
œI don™t think them catching us by surprise on a roster move will have much to do with anything, Van Gundy said.
Hardly satisfied with pointing the many reasons why Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph in the same starting five doesn’t-fucking-work, the New York Times’ Howard Beck reports that Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler have traded lockers. Beck cites “the chaos, the congestion and the cameras” of the assembled tri-state media “staking out the Knicks’ burly big men”. Seems like a wise move — if N8 were trampled to death, Stephon Marbury might be on bereavement leave for the remainder of his contract.
While Cleveland’s Damon Jones Palm welcomes any talk of a move to Miami (“I’m very comfortable with the system,” says Jones, which is an interesting way of describing work as Shaq’s valet), Heat guard Jason Williams has an entirely different take on such trade talk, as told to the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.
“The thing about it is how it affects your family,” Williams said before scoring nine points in Tuesday’s 96-82 loss to the Cavaliers.
With the trading deadline less than two months away, Williams said he can’t help feel he’s viewed more as an expiring contract than a needed contributor.
“We’re like some high-paid prostitutes anyway in this league,” he said. “They just use and get rid of us whenever they want.”
What Williams doesn’t appreciate is being scapegoated.
“Losing, everybody’s just going to start to look for reasons why,” he said. “Blame this, blame that, blame him, blame me.”
Miami’s a mess this year, no doubt, but the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference isn’t totally out of reach. I see no reason why Pat Riley won’t wait until at least mid-January before leaving to spend more time with Alonzo Mourning‘s family.
A holiday hangover has the hard news moving slowly at CSTB HQ this morning, so instead we’ll kick things off by wishing
regular reader Hall Of Famer Carlton Fisk a very happy 60th birthday. Fisk, shown above making dinner plans with close pal Thurman Munson, is hopefully doing something fun today (chopping wood in New Hampshire? replaying the Jabbers’ back catalog from A-Z?) and isn’t even slightly enraged the guy in the following video clip looks nothing like him.
(“hey, come over here and say that”)
On the heels of Sol Campbell and Roy Keane expressing their frustration with fan abuse, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger chimes in ahead of the Gunners’ boxing day visit to Fratton Park. From the Independent’s Jason Burt :
“Most of it is abusive but why do people get away with it?” Wenger said. “Because they are in the mass of people. Sometimes the best [thing to do] is to film them and show the DVD to their family at home. That is the way to deal with it.”
Wenger is not saying that either players or managers should be immune from criticism, but he believes a line should be drawn on what is acceptable.
“They are entitled to an opinion,” he said of supporters. “They can say to the manager, ‘You are useless’, but you cannot say, ‘You are a fucking bastard’.
“Sol has a big point,” Wenger said of the man he signed from Spurs. “Why should we not be respected just because we are on the pitch? I agree completely with him.”
Isiah Thomas might well concur, though there’s a slight difference in that Wenger rarely catches such grief from his club’s own supporters.