01.26.08

Incredibly, “The Super Bowl Shuffle” Was Not The Worst Single Or Video Of Early 1986

Posted in Gridiron, Rock Und Roll at 5:44 pm by

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed to be from New England,” sighs Kevin Rys. “Or be a Pats fan.  I loved that the only Celtics they could get were scotty wedman, greg kite, rick carlisle, and was that sam vincent?  The Bob Lobel/Joyce Kulhawik cameos both made my head spin and cemented (in my mind) some long held beliefs about the two of them.”

Indeed, it’s harsh stuff. Then again, how many other songs have included the astonishing lyric, “pass the ball, Eason, pass the bloody ball”?

KG In The Heat Of The Moment

Posted in Basketball at 2:29 pm by

Boston’s Kevin Garnett, as quoted by the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett prior to facing the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday :

My attitude about playing (tonight™s) game is to get back on track winning, he said. œObviously, we had a slippage here (in Wednesday™s loss to Toronto). It™s just to get back on track — nothing more, nothing less than that.

œI want you all to understand something. A lot of the guys I played with in Minnesota are not even on this team. It™s like a brand new team. The personnel — the trainers and the people behind the scenes are probably a little more important than some of the people that are on the court.

Above : the shy, retiring Garnett after a last second steal from Sebatian Telfair preserved Boston’s 87-86 victory. For the Fanhouse’s Brett Edwards, this celebration was a bit excessive.

The Celtics won a close one, and KG made the decisive defensive play at the end. But come on man, is all that crazy celebrating and jersey popping really necessary? You guys are supposed to be the best team in the league, and you just beat the worst … by one … in your own building. And it’s not like Minnesota wronged you in some way during your career, they did you a freaking favor by sending you to a contender. I’d tell KG to act like he’s been there before, but the reality is, in his entire career, he hasn’t.

If the Warriors are truly serious about reuniting Chris Webber with Don Nelson, surely there’s a chance, however, remote, Seattle will sign free agent Latrell Sprewell?

How’s this for a shitty night out for a 19 year old college student? Having a beer by his lonseome, IU undergrad Justin Thomas was allegedly punched in the eye by a hate criminal, then proceeded to puke and get arrested by the local cops.

The worst part is, when Justin sobered up, Isiah Thomas was still his dad.

Say It Ain’t So : Is Someone Trying To Fix The Africa Nation’s Cup?

Posted in Football at 2:07 pm by

For the time being we’ll turn our attention from FA Cup 4th Round action that included Liverpool’s successful squash-job of minnows Havant & Waterlooville and Arsenal bouncing back from their midweek Worthless Cup disappointment by throttling Newcastle and instead, stare at the following scandal-a-brewing, as clipped from Reuters :

Namibia said on Saturday they had been approached to fix a match at the African Nations Cup, having been offered $30,000 per player to throw their final group game against Guinea in Sekondi on Monday.

Namibia Football Association president John Muinjo said he had been told of the offer by his players and had immediately informed the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

“My players were approached by a man saying he represented a syndicate and offered them money to lose the game,” Muinjo told Reuters in Accra on Saturday.

It follows a similar approach to Benin coach Reinhard Fabisch before the start of the tournament by an unidentified man, purporting to represent betting interests.

“The players came to me immediately to tell me and we’ve informed CAF of what has happened,” said Muinjo.

“The players were offered up to $30 000 to lose the game. They were offered half in advance but told they had to be able during the game to manipulate the score on the instructions of the syndicate.”

The Benin coach said he had been approached by a man who claimed to be from a Singapore-based company.

“He wanted to find out from me if there was any possibility of manipulating the match,” Fabisch said.

Resigned DC : Williams Out Of The Redskins’ Fold

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron at 1:31 pm by

A day after Jim Zorn was named the Redskins’ offensive coordinator, the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora reports highly regarded defense coordinator Greg Williams is not only out of the running for the head coaching position, but he’s gone, gone, gone to boot.

Williams, assistant head coach – defense, had a meeting with owner Dan Snyder this morning acccording to his agent Marvin Demoff, and is no longer a part of the organization. The sides mutually ageed that he was no longer a candidate, Demoff said, and will move on.

The meeting was pleasant and productive, Demoff said, and Williams intended to withdraw from their coaching search Tuesday. At the urging of Joe Gibs he stayed in the process. He reached out to Gibbs again Thursday and Friday and was asked to stay in, Demoff said. So he did.

In today’s meeting Williams asked Snyder about media reports that he had disrespected Joe Gibbs. “Both Snyder and Cerrato agreed that that had never occurred and those reports were totally false,” Demoff said. “They wished each other well in the future and the sides parted.”

Amongst those bound to be saddened by the above news are the creators of FireSynderandFassel.com (link courtesy Mr. Irrelevant), who seem unwilling to let simple facts (you can’t fire the owner, Fassel’s not been hired yet, etc.) stand in the way of their glorious right to free expression.

As Apocalyptic Visions Go, This Still Makes More Sense Than “Cloverfield”

Posted in Basketball, Video Games at 4:55 am by

David Roth has forsaken the dubious pleasures of a Flickr stream of the Will Leitch Debutante Ball for a video game recommended by pal Matthew Abram.  If you’re confused, just think of how Curt Schilling feels right now.

The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041, a day so painful to some that it is referred to only as the “B-Ballnacht”. Thousands upon thousands of the world’s greatest ballers were massacred in a swath of violence and sports bigotry as the game was outlawed worldwide. The reason: the Chaos Dunk, a jam so powerful its mere existence threatens the balance of chaos and order. Among the few ballers and fans that survived the basketball genocide was Charles Barkley, the man capable of performing the “Verboten Jam”…

Flash forward 12 years to the post-cyberpocalyptic ruins of Neo New York, 2053. A Chaos Dunk rocks the island of Manhattan, killing 15 million. When the finger is put on the aging Charles Barkley, he must evade the capture of the B-Ball Removal Department, led by former friend and baller Michael Jordan, and disappear into the dangerous underground of the post-cyberpocalypse to clear his name and find out the mysterious truth behind the Chaos Dunk. Joined by allies along the way, including his son Hoopz, Barkley must face the dangers of a life he thought he gave up a long time ago and discover the secrets behind the terrorist organization B.L.O.O.D.M.O.S.E.S.

01.25.08

Jeff Nelson Surrenders His Archives

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 8:18 pm by

Thanks to Don for the link to the test pressing auction of the century.  Man, if this is the sort of thing Nelson’s got laying around, can you imagine what John Wetteland’s record collection looks like?

Columbia Prof : Real Thugs Aren’t Afraid To Weep

Posted in non-sporting journalism, The Marketplace, The World Of Entertainment at 6:46 pm by

Columbia Sociology professor Sudhir Venkatesh, author of “Off The Books : The Underground Economy Of The Urban Poor” has previously hailed “The Wire” for shining a light on “nuances in the underground economy”. Writing Friday for the New York Times’ Freaknomics blog, Venkatesh watched Season Five’s third episode with “the usual cast of thugs from New York and New Jersey ” ex-gang members and drug dealers who prided themselves on being impervious to emotional outbursts”. Fuck. And I’m worried if I’ve got enough guacamole for Sunday night.

As soon as Butchie received the first of two gunshots to the knee, about 40 minutes into the show, a pall was cast over the assembled crew. Shine began the love-fest: œOh sh-t! I can™t believe they f”ed with my man. And I had tall respect for Snoop. He was referring to one of two henchmen Marlo had sent to forcibly obtain information from Butchie. œNever thought I™d see the day.

œOh sh-t! Orlando shouted. œButchie? He™s my boy. And a good, hard-working man don™t deserve this. He™s like my father.

After a final shot to the head claimed Butchie™s life, Flavor couldn™t hide his disappointment. œI say we find Snoop and that other [guy, Chris], beat their black a“ to death.

œIt™s a TV show, I said, sarcastically. I was surprised at the display of pro-Butchie sentiment.

I was thrown a œf“k you stare that only men with deep knowledge of hand-to-hand combat could give.

œWe all have a Butchie, Kool-J explained, rubbing his hands through his hair as he grasped the gravity of Butchie™s death. œOne time, I got $10,000 worth of product stolen. I was held up. I had to make a payment to my bank [loanshark] in two days and I didn™t have any money. Problem was I was already late once ” cost me a broken wrist. This time I was going to be shot in the knee, maybe even worse than that. My friend Buster got this real estate guy to loan me $10,000, at 30 percent interest, but it saved my life. Buster was my Butchie.

Tony-T raised his drink in the air. œMany a time I called this man named Jo-Jo, he said. œEighty years old, and that [guy] knew every cop in Harlem. Whenever I had somebody out to kill me, Jo-Jo always got me a safe house. To Butchie! a [man] for all [men]. The others calmly raised their drinks. Orlando threw up a clenched fist. I searched for a box of Kleenex to pass around.

Mushnick Lowers The Boom On Esiason

Posted in Sports Radio at 6:11 pm by

From this perspective, Don Imus’ dismissal was one the best things that could’ve happened to WFAN. Not only did the station finally find a way to rid itself of a morning show with scant sports content, but the introduction of former Jersey Guy Craig Carton — a prior subject of scorn in this space — has actually made for an entertaining early morning program.

Of course, much of the entertainment comes from wondering what sort of incredibly ignorant comment Carton’s gonna make next, or guessing how badly his co-host, former Bengals/Jets QB Boomer Esiason (above) is squirming in what’s turned into a straight-man role.

Make no mistake, “Boomer & Carton” is all Carton. I don’t know if Esiason ever aspired to become radio’s answer to Alan Kalter at such a (relatively) young age, but WFAN found a breakout star in Carton, and probably at a fraction of what they would’ve paid anyone with greater name recognition.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick
has observed the first few months of the Carton/Esiason partnership, and finds a serious dichotomy between the latter’s respectable role for CBS football and his sidekick status alongside the former.

Craig Carton plays by the rules. He adheres to the drive-time formula of crotch-talk, putdown-talk, young wise guy-talk and the excessive, desensitizing degradation of whatever and whomever. He’s what used to be known, until they became radio requisite, as a shock jock.

That WFAN replaced Don Imus with Carton tells us what radio and TV executives must now value. Carton meets the terms of modern engagement. I’m told he’s not actually a creep; he just often plays one on the radio. It’s a living.

And Esiason mostly indulges him. Sometimes he seems discomforted by him. Sometimes he says nothing. Sometimes he encourages him. But weekday mornings, Esiason’s the primary party to it all. What can he do? Carton’s his business partner; it’s the Boomer and Carton Show.

But such a double-life can’t last forever. Esiason can’t, for example, on TV, condemn the incivilities of a professional athlete, but, on his radio show regularly suffer the public incivilities of his partner – not without eventually being discredited.

He can’t, for example, indulge the sexist and homophobic riffs of Carton while on WFAN, then play the social nobleman during his other TV and radio appearances without inviting big trouble. You’re either in or you’re out.

As Carton’s co-host, Esiason’s on an even faster track to having to answer for his compromised, chameleon-like persona. The day’s approaching when Carton, already with a legacy for having gone too far at previous radio stops – that’s what WFAN liked about him – again goes too far and Esiason will be dragged along with him.

Old Man In Sweats Writes Letter For Young Man in Visor

Posted in Gridiron at 5:44 pm by

Doesn’t sound so bad, right? But what if the old man in question is ultra-reptilian 213-year old douchemonster Al Davis (above), and the letter in question is a letter of resignation…for someone else. More bad. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports on the weird goings-on in Oakland, where Davis is trying to help Lane Kiffin resign against Kiffin’s wishes.

(Davis has drafted) a letter of resignation for Kiffin to sign, a source said. Kiffin has refused to do so but has dared Davis to fire him instead. The letter, the source said, was sent to Kiffin two weeks ago.

Kiffin, who was 4-12 in his first season as coach, has two years remaining on his contract at an estimated $2 million per year.

In the letter sent to Kiffin’s legal representatives, Davis stated that only he would have control over his staff and full personnel decisions, sources said. According to a source close to Kiffin, Davis had promised Kiffin when he hired him that he would have more control over staff and personnel matters than recent Raiders coaches. Kiffin was allowed five offensive assistants and to name his own staff when he took the job after the 2006 season.

This apparently stems from a disagreement Kiffin and Davis had over firing Rob Ryan, the David Heavener-looking architect of the Raiders’ 22nd-ranked defense (well, 26th if you want to go by scoring, and dead last against the run). Kiffin wanted to do it; it didn’t happen. I’m not going to tell Lane Kiffin how to do his job — he’s like four months older than me, so I don’t want to seem above my station — but maybe he should try growing a beard and long hair?

Dunleavy : Clippers Exec Asked Me To Lie

Posted in Basketball at 4:49 pm by

(Donald Sterling, right, interviewing Elton Brand for the position of player-coach)

How screwed up are things in the Los Angeles Clippers’ front office? Even Steve Mills read the below item and shook his head. From the LA Times’ Jonathan Abrams.

Late Wednesday, after the Clippers’ 111-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings, Mike Dunleavy told The Times that team President Andy Roeser had asked him to say publicly that the coach had patched up his differences with owner Donald T. Sterling, even though the two hadn’t spoken.

Dunleavy elaborated on Roeser’s request Thursday morning at the team’s practice. Dunleavy explained how he carried through with them, by talking to reporters before Wednesday’s game about his “conversation” with Sterling, in an effort to quiet a growing public rift.

Then late Thursday, Roeser said: “In our haste to create closure on this matter, Mike and I obviously had a misunderstanding. Mike has acknowledged to me that he regrets how he handled this situation. You can be sure that we are disappointed in the way he chose to handle it. His comments were inappropriate. It’s now time for us all to move forward and concentrate solely on working harder to improve the team.”

Sterling told The Times at halftime Wednesday that he knew nothing of a conversation that day between himself and Dunleavy.

The Clippers executive suite has been in turmoil since Monday when Sterling told The Times, in a story published Tuesday, he was upset at his team’s poor performance and was contemplating changes among his top management — Dunleavy and Elgin Baylor, longtime director of basketball operations.

Dunleavy responded Tuesday by inviting Sterling to fire him and saying it would be a giant mistake. Dunleavy, coach of the Clippers since 2003, is in the first season of a four-year $22 million contract extension.

Dunleavy explained Thursday morning that he talked with Roeser on the phone Wednesday morning and they agreed the management dispute should be handled in-house.

Dunleavy informed Roeser he had called Sterling at his office, at his home and spoken to Sterling’s wife, but not the owner, and had left messages. Roeser assured Dunleavy that Sterling was on the same page as his coach and that they should end their public disagreement, Dunleavy said.

Dunleavy said he asked Roeser how he should respond to questions from the media about the dispute. Roeser told him to say that he had talked with the owner, Dunleavy said.

Friday’s line of the day goes to the Post’s Peter Vescey, who in highlighting the Sixers’ visit to “Sexual Harassment Hacienda”, claims Larry Brown, “plans to be escorted to his seat by Robert Culp and Bill Cosby.” Once again, Vescey’s killing us with the timely cultural references.

Dana Jacobsen Is Not The New Jayne County

Posted in Blogged Down, History's Great Hook-Ups, Sports TV at 3:13 pm by

While the Catholic League would like to forever silence the drunken voice of ESPN’s Dana Jacobsen, The Eddie Kranepool Society‘s Steve Keane writes “after seeing this pic on The Big Lead, I think I’m falling in love.”

I wish I knew Dana Jacobson back in the day like when Max™s Kansas City was the hang out of choice. Just thinking about walking into Max™s with an amazon woman like Jacobson, swilling vodka would make me the envy of every Hell™s Angel member in the place.

And there you have it, folks. Any lady-human-persons who might someday aspire to a career in televised sports broadcasting should know that in their darkest hours, there’s always the added motivation of someday becoming wank fodder for a middle-aged blogger.  Or Mike Ditka.

Unsafe At Any Speed

Posted in Free Expression, Rock Und Roll at 12:32 pm by

Writes David Roth, “A friend sent this to me. I’d love to blame its existence on Guitar Hero, but I’m pretty sure it predates that game’s existence by somewhere between 10 and 25 years. So, yeah, the keys to the Lamborghini.”

If nothing else, David, you might’ve found the right foil for Jens Hannemann‘s upcoming supergroup.

LI Coupon Rag’s Obama Gag Bombs

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Racism Corner at 12:15 pm by

Not since the very brief of heyday of the late, unlamented Critical Sports Blog has there been as clumsy or witless an attempt at satire as The Independent’s “Low Tidings” (“girls think I’m cute. I’m kind of like Will Smith, except he’s got those Dumbo ears and mine are normal”), The Jerry Della Femina-owner paper published an editorial penned by “Yo Mama Bin Barack” (“part of my strategy of becoming our first black president is to deny I am black unless I am campaigning in Harlem”) so intensely cringeworthy, it’s a wonder Bernard McGuirk hasn’t asked the author out for a drink.

Newsday’s Mitchell Freedman reports The Indy’s editor, Rick Murphy, has apologized to those offended and has promised to remove the editorial from the paper’s website in their near future. Apparently, they’ve only got internet access on even days of the month. That said, I think Murphy oughta leave the offending item online and let his readership and advertisers decide for themselves if he’s a full blown racist or just pitifully unfunny. Or perhaps some combination of the two.

Speaking Ill Of The Recently Deceased, Pt. II

Posted in Blogged Down, Professional Wrestling at 4:42 am by

Who amongst us, when learning of the untimely passing of Heath Ledger, didn’t say to themselves, “wow, I wonder what The Ultimate Warror would say about all of this?” While Ledger’s death provided the Westboro Baptist Church with grist for their homophobic mill, for Jim Hellwig, it’s just another roundabout route to taking a cheap shot at Hulk Hogan. From Warrior Machete (link courtesy Sam Frank) :

Apparently, Leather Hedger had sleeping troubles and anxiety and dealt with terrible mood swings. So do soldiers but they don’t self-destructively fuck up their lives. In fact, they don’t sleep, handle anxiety and mood swings while dealing with whether or not they might at any moment lose their life. And they do this all the while they are dangerously protecting the freedom of others to fuck up their own. By the way, how many 28 (or older or younger) year old soldiers met their death yesterday? It’s not easy to find out. None of them made the headlines of any news.By today’s standard, though, I do have to agree that he was a great father. Perhaps even greater then the father of the year, Hulk Hogan. After all, Leather Hedger did what it took to kill himself. His kid is without a father, yes, but the negative influence is now removed and his own child has the chance for a full recovery. Hogan, on the other hand, won’t go quite that far. He insists on sticking around to keep further ruining, and profiting off of, the parentally mismanaged lives of his own children.

It is sad and tragic…that we don’t demand attention be paid to greater things.

If You Think The Oracle Jumbotron Is Funny, You Should See Josh Boone Shooting Free Throws

Posted in Basketball, politics, Racism Corner, Sports TV at 12:41 am by

The Warriors’ in-game entertainment department and TNT conspired to distract our attention from Golden State’s ritual humiliation of the Nets’ Josh Boone…and unwittingly provided Hillary Clinton’s campaign with her most powerful propaganda tool to date.

Obama’s a tremendous public speaker. He’s got the sort of charisma and poise we’ve not seen from a major candidate in generations. But if even a tiny percentage of the electorate are led to believe he and Reggie Miller are the same person, the Senator from Illinois is well and truly fucked.

Or course, there’s some consolation in how Obama and Miller don’t really look that much alike. Seriously, what the fuck is TNT thinking? Rudy Tomjanovich and Bryan Ferry, maybe. But not the two men shown above.

01.24.08

Joe Posnaski Singlehandedly Pushes Kansas City Into The Santana Chase

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 9:37 pm by

“Whenever there™s something enormous like this going on in baseball ” some gigantic free agency deal or some monster trade involving the best pitcher in baseball,” complains the KC Star’s Joe Posnaksi, “the Kansas City Royals might as well be playing Major League Soccer.” I beg to differ. I don’t think the Royals could afford Juan Pablo Angel, either (link courtesy Baseball Think Factory).

It™s not that the Royals are not able to trade for Johan Santana. It™s NOT EVEN THE SLIGHTEST POSSIBILITY. It™s like playing in a crooked fantasy baseball league or something.

So you know what? Forget all that. Royals fans deserve to be in the discussion ” hey, Kansas City is a major league town too. So I decided to write my own, œHey, now the Royals are in the Santana chase, story. I got to Royals general manager Dayton Moore and asked, œHey, why can™t you guys go get Johan Santana?

He responded, basically, by suggesting that was not exactly one of the world™s great questions.

But you will notice ¦ that™s not a denial. Am I right or am I right?

So here™s my story:

KANSAS CITY ” Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore on Wednesday did not deny that his team is very close to completing a trade for Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana.

œThat™s a ridiculous question, he said, when asked why his team just didn™t go out and trade for Santana.

Over the last few weeks, several teams ” in particular the New York Yankees, Mets and Boston Red Sox ” have been rumored to be close to acquiring Santana, so it would be quite a coup for the œsmall-market Royals to beat them to the bunch. As one scout who would prefer to remain anonymous said on Tuesday when first told about this potential Santana-to-the-Royals trade, œAre you drinking and taking medication at the same time?

Gay Dunk Challenge

Posted in Basketball at 8:16 pm by

In all honesty, not once have I ever watched the dunk contest and thought “I could do better.”

OK, maybe the year Cedric Ceballos won.

Not Coming To The Independent Spirit Awards : Magglio Ordóñez

Posted in Baseball, Cinema, The Law at 5:17 pm by

From the New York Times’ Michael B. Schmidt & Duff Wilson :

José Canseco, the former major league slugger and admitted steroid user who exposed other players in his 2005 best-selling book œJuiced, offered to keep a Detroit Tigers outfielder œclear in his next book if the player invested money in a film project Canseco was promoting, according to a person in baseball with knowledge of the situation

Four people in baseball confirmed that referrals were made from Major League Baseball to the F.B.I. regarding Canseco™s actions relating to the six-time All-Star outfielder Magglio Ordóñez, who was not mentioned in Canseco™s earlier book or in any other report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. All four insisted on anonymity because they said they didn™t have authority to speak about the events.

The F.B.I. did not open a formal investigation because Ordóñez said he did not want to pursue the complaint.

Canseco denied that he ” or any associate of his ” ever asked Ordóñez for money to keep his name out of a book titled œVindicated.

Considering Jose’s original ghostwriter already bailed on the project, Mags at the very least saved himself some money. Sure, the Times claims Canseco’s got a new ghostwriter — one who previously penned O.J.’s ill-fated “If I Did It”, but it’s gonna take some doing for “Vindicated” to hit the shelves by March 31. Unless they opt for 25 point type.

As far as the film biz is concerned, Jose has already flexed his thespian chops with an excellent cameo in the 2005 feature, “Mail Order Wife” (Canseco does a rather credible job playing a washed up baseball player named “Jose Canseco”). One of the film’s stars, Adrian Martinez (above, left), not only has a brief moment brandishing an air horn in one of the new Budweiser “dude” spots, but he closely resembles a paunchier, slightly desperate version of Mags.

I don’t know what the real deal is here, but I do know many persons (myself included) previously ended up looking foolish when doubting Canseco’s credibilty. Rather than making fun of Jose, perhaps this afternoon’s sports yack radio hosts oughta focus on the real story — Magglio Ordóñez had a chance to be the next Ellen Page, and he let it slip through his meaty paws.

The Long Awaited Collision Between Derek Erdman & West Baltimore’s Hardest Working Small Businessman

Posted in Modern Art, The World Of Entertainment at 11:33 am by

If the folks at HBO had a lick of sense, they’d commission Derek Erdman to turn the above image into a pricey t-shirt. Writes Tim Cook, “I’m going to see if I can’t talk him into creating a Bunky Bunk, a Dayglo Marlo and, I dunno, a Deputy Commissioner for Operations William A. Rawls?”

Westboro Baptist Church : Speaking Ill Of The Recently Deceased

Posted in Religion at 11:29 am by

It seems Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller and WFMU’s Mark Allen aren’t the only persons unimpressed with the late Heath Ledger’s most critically acclaimed performance. The charming folks behind Topeka, KS’s Godhatesfags.com claim they’re organizing a picket line for Ledger’s funeral.

God hates the sordid, tacky bucket of slime seasoned vomit known as “Brokeback Mountain” and he hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it.

Heath Ledger is now in Hell and has begun serving his eternal sentence there, besides which, nothing else about Heath Ledger is relevant or consequential.

For starters, I sincerely doubt these hatefuckers can afford the plane tickets to Australia. And I’ve got to question the sincerity of the ugly sentiments expressed — do they really believe God hates Randy Quaid?

Once Upon A Time, This Man Knew The Meaning Of The Word “Brevity”

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening at 10:40 am by

OK, it took them 87 takes to get this one right (the first ran for almost 6 minutes), but results are all that matters.

Florida Columnist Scolds Meyer, Terrifies Readers With A Graphic Mental Image Of Tony Siragusa

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 2:07 am by

“Now we know why Urban Meyer is such a great recruiter,” sneers the South Florida Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi. ” Because he doesn’t just offer scholarships to players. He apparently offers scholarships to their girlfriends, too.”  I guess this is Bianchi’s way of saying he doesn’t believe in romance.

There are reports that junior college WR Carl Moore likely wasn’t going to attend UF unless Maranda Smith (above) — a gymnast who had competed for UCLA in 2006 but quit because of an injury — came to Gainesville, too.

Can you guess what happened next? That’s right, Meyer reportedly contacted the girlfriend, he contacted UF gymnastics Coach Rhonda Faehn and — voila! — Moore and Smith are both on scholarship and already enrolled at UF.

In fairness, Smith was one of the top high school gymnasts in the country and could have signed with other collegiate gymnastics teams. She even competed in a meet this past weekend when the No. 1-ranked Gators met No. 2-ranked Georgia. But let’s be honest, shall we? This is college football recruiting we’re talking about. Smith could have been Tony Siragusa in drag and probably would have been given a scholarship to UF.

Moore, after all, is considered the No. 1 junior-college prospect in the country. He’s a 6-foot-4, 220-pound wide receiver who runs a 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. “A freak,” according to Jamie Newberg, a national recruiting analyst for Scout.com.

It’s no wonder Meyer recruited Moore to be a UF football player. But the question everyone wants to know is: What business did Meyer have recruiting Moore’s girlfriend to be a UF gymnast?

Obviously, it wasn’t because he was impressed with her back handspring. In fact, I’d love to hear Meyer’s recruiting pitch to Smith. I’m betting it went something like this:

Meyer: “Can you do a cartwheel?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Meyer: “Say no more — full ride!”

One of the things that make Meyer such a phenomenal recruiter is that he works every angle. If it meant getting a star recruit, he’d promise the kid’s father a spot on the UF golf team. If a stud recruit were really close to his grandmother, Meyer would offer granny a knitting scholarship (“What, no knitting team? We’ll start one if your grandson becomes a Gator.”)

Meyer’s zeal for recruiting is all well and good — as long as it’s being done within the rules. If it’s not then somebody needs to have the guts to give UF’s coaching prodigy a reprimand and a firm slap on the wrist.

Obese, Frequently Nude Coach Angers St. Louis Archdiocese…But Not For Those Reasons

Posted in Basketball, politics, Religion at 1:42 am by

Last week, Sports Illustrated published an impressive article detailing Rick Majerus’s tendency to make coaching points through the time-tested pedagogical method of testicle-whackery. It was an interesting piece, but it was missing…something.

Not insight: it had that. Not a real sense of the pathos that drives someone to neglect his health and fixate on how to defend the pick-and-roll: the article had that, too. No, what S.L. Price’s profile was missing was Majerus’s personal opinions on hot-button social issues that have nothing to do with his job. Luckily for those who wondered where one of the most consistently successful coaches in NCAA history stood on stem-cell research, Majerus corrected that oversight this week. And for that — not for brandishing his horrific penis at Michael Doleac (I’m sorry, but he did); not for a lifetime of pork-product abuse; not for his St. Louis Billikens’ upset of No. 21 Rhode Island last week — Majerus found himself in the papers this week.


The ostensibly offensive comments, delivered by Majerus — who is a Catholic, and was educated at Catholic schools — to St. Louis TV cameras after a Hillary Clinton rally, were reported for the first time on Tuesday, when St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke pronounced himself shocked and dismayed that they had ever been uttered. The comments then surfaced in print in their actual form — as opposed to merely as “controversial statements” — in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Wednesday. I’ll save you the trouble of clicking the link. Here, in their entirety, are the comments that sent Archbishop Burke into the frenzy that somehow made this a story. Okay, get ready: “I’m pro-choice, personally;” “I’m very much an advocate for stem-cell research.”

I know, I know: holy shit! Anyway, this “matters” for two reasons: the first is that Majerus’s current employer, St. Louis University, is a Jesuit school; the second is that the archbishop of St. Louis is Raymond Burke. SLU and its president, Rev. Lawrence Biondi (Italian for “blondes,” if I remember correctly), have defended Majerus’s right to say whatever he wants. Per the Post-Dispatch, “the university does not require employees or students ‘to aspire to Jesuit ideals, to be Catholic or to otherwise have any specific religious affiliation.’”

Burke, on the other hand, condemns whatever he can and requires just about everyone to “aspire to” his ideals. “It’s not possible to be a Catholic and hold those positions,” the archbishop told the Post-Dispatch. “When you take a position in a Catholic university, you don’t have to embrace everything the Catholic church teaches. But you can’t make statements which call into question the identity and mission of the Catholic church…You can’t have a Catholic university with one of its prominent staff making declarations” of the sort Majerus made. Burke, if you remember, is one of the squeakers who said he’d deny John Kerry communion in 2004, for the same reasons he’d deny it to Majerus (who would obviously rather have an Amighetti’s Special Sandwich than a wafer anyway). Since ’04, Burke has kept busy by IMing Bill Donahue about “Judging Amy” reruns and showing how closely he’s read Jesus’s teachings about “the least of these” by coming out against a Sheryl Crow benefit concert for a children’s hospital because of that doo-doo-wack Soak Up The Sun song her pro-choice views. It’d be hard to take him seriously without the collar, but he’s the archbishop, and that means the Post-Dispatch, among other venues, is obligated to give his views some play.

It doesn’t mean anyone is obligated to give his grandstanding, painfully ginned-up intolerance the time of the day, though. And it certainly doesn’t mean that Majerus — who for all his faults is at least interesting and willing to speak his mind — ought to shut up, especially considering the lengths to which he went in claiming his views as his own. Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell sums it up nicely:

(KMOV-TV reporter) Mike O’Connell did more to create the controversy than Majerus. Soon after Majerus said he was pro-abortion rights and stem cell research, O’Connell asked him, “Is this OK with (SLU president) Father Biondi?”

“… Are you trying to go ’60 Minutes’ on me?” Majerus lightheartedly asked.

Little did he know. Forty-eight hours later, Majerus was in the middle of the latest mini holy war waged by the archbishop…Once O’Connell contacted Burke, a controversy was born when the church leader said he would encourage SLU officials to not only discipline Majerus, but also put a public muzzle on him as well.

“I would have to insist that it is not possible for a representative of the university to espouse these views,” Burke told O’Connell. “They’re in open violation of moral law, let alone Catholic teaching.”

Thankfully, SLU officials ” including the Rev. Lawrence Biondi ” took a more open-minded view. The school announced that Majerus was entitled to speak his mind, particularly when he’s acting as a private citizen, not a representative of the school.

…When it comes to true freedom of speech, I’ve always believed most educated people, regardless of their political or religious beliefs, knew and respected the value of free speech. As a child of the ’60s and ’70s, I came from an era when socially conscious athletes and coaches were considered admirable, though controversial. From Muhammad Ali to Arthur Ashe, from Billie Jean King to Bill Bradley, from John Thompson to Dean Smith, these courageous men and women were always willing to step out and speak up.

You don’t have to agree with a man or woman’s politics to admire their resolve. In fact, one of the best things that ever happened to this country was when athletes set the tone for a country where we used to feel it was not only a right, but also a duty, to be visible participants in the political process.

So I propose KMOV-TV let the ultra-Catholic Jeff Suppan debate Rick Majerus on TV. Bob Costas, Tito Landrum and Will Leitch can moderate. And we already know, thanks to this priceless YouTube clip, where Majerus stands on (Rudy) Gay Rights.

01.23.08

The Most Depressing, Sort Of Basketball-Related Item Of The Month

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 10:38 pm by

Given the overall quality of “Pros Vs. Joes”, ’tis hard to find much outrage in said cable program pitting Deadspin’s Will Leitch against former Knicks  Charles Smith and Charles Oakley in and of itself.

Rather, the bummer is that Smith had his shot blocked by Leitch 3 times in a row. You don’t even need to bother watching the show, trust me.

The Man Who Maimed Olbermann’s Mom Continues To Elude The Feds

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, The Law at 9:04 pm by

“How can we find Osama Bin Laden if we can’t find Chuck Knoblauch?” asks Pulp of The Gil Meche Experience. “On the other hand, if the Knoblauch bounty reaches Osama levels, I’m all over it.”

So let me get this straight. We have the PATRIOT Act and the NSA is eavesdropping on our phone calls and we can’t find a guy who forgot how to throw a baseball from second base to first base? At least we’ll know what books those dastardly Unitarian Universalists are reading. This does beg the question though, Where’s Chuck? Some possibilities:

  • Shrank himself down, hiding in his Rookie of the Year Trophy
  • Fled to Mexico, sailing with Andy and Red
  • Turned himself into a cartoon, guest starring on Aqua Teen this week with John Kruk
  • Is masquerading as Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, Dr. James Peake
  • You ever see “Serving Sara”? No, me neither, but still…
  • Is hiding in plain sight at Kauffman Stadium
  • Stalking the underbelly of early 1960s New York
  • Did so much steroids he turned himself into a being pure energy

I’ve seen “Serving Sara” on cable, and with all due respect to the many talented people who toiled on it, said motion picture is not the finest achievement in Bruce Campbell’s filmography.