01.31.10

What Jewish Media Conspiracy? Mushnick On Gibson’s Easy Ride

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Racism Corner, Religion, The World Of Entertainment at 9:56 pm by

(l-r : persecuted Jew, guy with box office clout)

Actor/director Mel Gibson is “a born and raised anti-Semite” argues the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick, “What am I supposed to do, look past it, get over it? Enjoy his movies, anyway?” Only if they’re as much fun as “Payback”, Phil.

As TV commercials for Gibson’s new movie appear, and earlier this month, when Gibson appeared on NBC as a presenter of a Golden Globes award ” host Ricky Gervais only poked fun at Gibson’s fondness for excessive drinking; Gibson’s anti-Semitism was politely indulged by all.

It got me to thinking about what it would have taken for Gibson to have genuinely suffered the slings, arrows and fortunes of race and/or religion-based hatred.

No wishful thinking here. Just the honest application of what you and I know about TV and modern American life.

Do you think that if Gibson’s father proclaimed South African apartheid and/or American slavery to be exaggerated ” no big deals ” and if Gibson then delivered a drunken, hate-filled spew about African-Americans, he’d have been invited, two weeks ago, to the podium at the Golden Globes?

If Gibson swapped Jews for blacks, do you suppose that TV networks would have accepted advertising for a new movie starring Mel Gibson?

It’s a legit enough question, though surely there are enough real life examples that Mushnick could’ve cited to disprove his own point. Drunkenly calling Ray Charles “a blind, ignorant nigger” wasn’t enough to keep Elvis Costello — one of the more critically feted musicians of the past half century — out of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.  Nor was Michael Richards dropping N-bombs in a semi-crowded theatre the sort of thing that precluded his participation in this past season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (with Richards playing himself and the show’s writers openly mocking said incident).  One outburst may or may not be enough to sink a career — it all depends on the degree of contrition (Costello) or earning power (Gibson).  But one thing is for certain ; whenever a public figure faces censure for racism towards black people, you can count on Phil Mushnick to suggest there’s some kind of crummy double-standard at work. We know plenty about Mel Gibson’s upbringing — what was up with Phil’s?

James Dolan’s Electronic Paper Route – Less Popular, Believe It Or Not, Than The Straight Shot

Posted in non-sporting journalism, The Marketplace at 8:42 pm by

“I figure there is no opportunity to make fun of the Straight Shooter himself that you aren’t interested in,” guesses Charles Star, forwarding an item from The New York Observer’s John Koblin claiming fewer than 3 dozen persons have have opted to become paid subscribers to Newsday online since the Cablevision-owned paper retreated behind a pay wall.  At least Neil Best’s Tweets are still free.

That astoundingly low figure was revealed in a newsroom-wide meeting last week by publisher Terry Jimenez when a reporter asked how many people had signed up for the site. Mr. Jimenez didn’t know the number off the top of his head, so he asked a deputy sitting near him. He replied 35.

Michael Amon, a social services reporter, asked for clarification.

“I heard you say 35 people,” he said, from Newsday’s auditorium in Melville. “Is that number correct?”

Mr. Jimenez nodded.

Of course, there are a few caveats. Anyone who has a newspaper subscription is allowed free access; anyone who has Optimum Cable, which is owned by the Dolans and Cablevision, also gets it free. Newsday representatives claim that 75 percent of Long Island either has a subscription or Optimum Cable.

“We’re the freebie newsletter that comes with your HBO,” sniffed one Newsday reporter.

Mr. Jimenez was in no mood to apologize. “That’s 35 more than I would have thought it would have been,” said Mr. Jimenez to the assembled staff, according to five interviews with Newsday staffer.

It must come as tremendous consolation to Newsday’s staff that their work is so accessible to Long Island residents….and virtually no one else.

Cowboy Down : Kevin Millar, Not Coming Soon To A Video Game Console Near You

Posted in Baseball, Video Games at 4:23 pm by

Every wonder why the name and likesness of former Red Sox farmhand / position player-turned-reliever Ron Mahay (above) cannot be found in one of the popular video games for the Wii, Xbox or PS3? Me neither, but as Kontaku’s Owen Good explains, Mahay and former other active major leaguers who participated as replacement players during the 2004 work stoppage, are banished from virtual competition by virtue of their non-membership in baseball’s players union.

Brendan Donnelly, Matt Herges, Ron Mahay, Jamie Walker and Kevin Milar, one of the emotional leaders of the 2004 Boston Red Sox, known for his “cowboy up” comment in 2003 that became a rallying cry. All of them are on their real-life teams under different names, uniform numbers and player images in any video game.

Could 2K or SCEA cut individual deals with Donnelly, Millar and the other three to get their authentic names and likeness in a game? I’m not sure what the contracts say, whether they are specifically prohibited from doing so or if there’s some other legal proscription at work here. But even if they could, it simply wouldn’t be worth it to get five journeymen players into a game, considering the antagonism that would cause to an absolutely essential licensing partner in a realistic sports simulation.

That said, the continued banishment of these players reflects poorly on the baseball players’ union. When Donnelly won a World Series ring with the Angels and Millar claimed his with the Red Sox, neither were allowed to appear on licensed memorabilia commemorating the titles. That kind of KGBing of history makes the MLBPA look petty and its posture needlessly punitive.

CSTB’s Greatest Hits : Pro Bowl Chili

Posted in Food, Gridiron, Internal Affairs at 3:07 pm by

(David Garrard, QB of the last place Jackson Jaguars, working up a Pro Bowl-sized appetite for the recipe below, earlier this week)

(the following was first posted on February 8, 2004).

Excuse me for having to spell this one out for our European readers. Pro Bowl Sunday is a BIG event for Americans. All over the country, families come together for Pro Bowl Parties. Advertisters pay hundreds of dollars to televise commercials featuring their newest products. Each year on Pro Bowl Sunday, battered womens’ shelters report the number of victims admitted to their care decreases by two percent, testament to the calming nature of the contest . If the NBA All-Star Game is, in the words of Michael Wilbon, Black Thanksgiving, then the Pro Bowl is sort of like Yom Kippur for Gambling Degenerates & Football Obsessives of All Races.

In this household, the Pro Bowl’s importance is matched only by that of the NHL Skills Competition (skate-sharpening, carrying Eric Lindros off the ice) and the entire NASCAR calendar. And with that in mind, here is CSTB’s Award Winning Pro Bowl Chili Recipe :

Ingredients :
750 g of Sainsbury Lean Minced Beef

1 jar of Uncle Ben’s Hot Chili
simmer the minced beef in a wok or non-combustible container until brown.

drain the fat in a colander.

remove half the beef and serve to CSTB’s Dog Mascot (allow some 20 minutes for cooling or you’ll be very very sorry)

put the other half of the beef back in the wok, add the contents of the Uncle Ben’s jar.

go watch NFL Countdown for 30 minutes

serve over a bed of white rice (if you don’t have any white rice, you can always try to cut the taste by swallowing without chewing)

Serves 1 – possibly two if you can get anyone to come over to your house for the Pro Bowl.

(Possibly) Coming To MSG : Le Dunk De La Mort II

Posted in Basketball at 2:07 pm by

I don’t know how many of you spend your Saturday’s scouring L’equpe for international basketball news, serious props to True Hoop’s Chris Sheridan, who raises the very real possibility the Knicks’ 1999 first round pick Frédéric Weis might make his long-awaited Madison Square Garden debut next June.

Sheridan speculates that France will be Team USA’s opponent at the Garden, thus raising the specre of Weis’ most famous moment on the hardwood, ie., the time he was brutally posterized by Vince Carter in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Though Weis isn’t currently on the ViveMenorca active roster, who amongst us wouldn’t love to see, say, LeBron James, attempt to replicate or better VC’s effort?

01.30.10

“Pragmatism Gone Mad” : Lacey On Palace’s Cash-Strapped Starting XI

Posted in Football, The Marketplace at 8:20 pm by

Neil Danns scored a pair of goals in Crystal Palace’s 2-0 defeat of Peterborough Saturday, a result that came days after the Eagles were docked 10 points in the Championship standings after falling into administration. The Guardian’s David Lacey considers the greater implications of Palace’s plight, and manages to do so without once calling chairman Simon Jordan (above) the sort of names that shouldn’t be employed in a family blog.

Palace represent the solid middle footballing class that not so long ago formed the backbone of the English leagues. They were never going to be as big as Manchester United but in a good season could live comfortably with Aston Villa. Clubs like Leicester, Southampton, Norwich and Charlton fell into the same category, providing the strength in depth of the top two divisions. In football terms Palace have not been doing badly, nibbling at the fringe of the play-off places with the promise of something better if they could start turning draws into wins. But now they have suffered the statutory 10-point deduction for going into administration and are in a relegation struggle instead.

Administration changes the conventions, including the one that presumes the manager picks the team. When Palace played at Newcastle on Wednesday their best player, Victor Moses, did not appear because it had been decided that he was too valuable an asset to be risked. The manager, Neil Warnock, was able to name only three substitutes. In the depressing circumstances Palace produced a surprisingly spirited performance before losing 2-0.

It is difficult to apply the logic of the balance sheet to a business in which success or failure does not depend on the number of widgets produced in a financial year but on the ability of one set of assorted human beings putting a ball into a net more often than another set while an independent arbiter intervenes from time to time if someone breaks the rules. Weakening a team in order to avoid the possibility of harm coming to a player who is likely to be sold, even though he might just have got them something from the game, is surely pragmatism gone mad.

Jane Jarvis, RIP

Posted in Baseball at 2:23 pm by

Longtime Shea Stadium organist Jane Jarvis, last seen in this space facing homelessness in 2008, passed away last Monday at the age of 94.  From the New York Times‘ Peter Keepnews :

After eight years playing for the Braves at County Stadium in Milwaukee, she was a fixture at Shea Stadium from 1964 to 1979, performing a repertory that mixed jazz staples like Charlie Parker™s œScrapple From the Apple with more conventional fare like œTake Me Out to the Ballgame and œMeet the Mets.

Few Mets fans knew that Ms. Jarvis had begun her career as a jazz pianist. Even fewer knew that she had a day job with the Muzak Corporation.

Muzak was synonymous with soothing background sounds piped into elevators when Ms. Jarvis was hired for a clerical job there in 1963, not long after she moved to New York and roughly a year before she joined the Mets. She worked her way up to vice president in charge of programming and recording; when she began supervising sessions, she hired Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry and other jazz musicians. The result was canned music considerably more swinging than the Muzak norm, much of which the musicians, including Ms. Jarvis, composed themselves.

Faith & Fear In Flushing’s Greg Prince paid tribute as well ; “She outlived Shea. She outlived the organ as the prime source of pregame and between-innings entertainment. She lived a very long time and accomplished a great deal as a musician and music executive. She lives on for every Mets fan who ever clapped or tapped along to whatever she played. Jane Jarvis was as much the Mets as anybody or anything else between 1964 and 1979. For those of us enchanted by the Melody Queen of Shea Stadium, she™s always going to be synonymous with some of the best days of our lives.”

Allred: Sanctimonious QB’s Birth A Matter Of Phillipine Law, Not His Maw

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Happy Mother's Day at 12:23 pm by

(Tim Tebow: Never got to Matthew 6:1, apparently)

As much as we would all prefer on Super Sunday to contemplate – in excruciating detail – the birth canal of Tim Tebow’s mother, and as much as the CBS network would help us in this when not airing moronic entreaties for the jiggliest web hosting company in Arizona, powerhouse feminist and discrimination attorney Gloria Allred has insouciantly put the Tebow family’s claims up on the table and into the stirrups to begin a procedure of her own.

Days after representing Shaq’s girlfriend in a lawsuit concerning his alleged harassment, the plucky counselor has announced she smells something fishy about the Tebow family’s claim that religious bravery on Ma Tebow’s part against the medical establishment is solely to credit for Tim’s existence.  For one thing, abortion has been flatly illegal in the country of his birth since 1930. So has the under-center snap, but that’s a different kettle of fish controversy.

In her exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com Allred slams the ad and CBS’s decision to air it, pointing out factual inconsistencies with Pam’s story. One glaring one is the fact that the act of abortion is totally illegal in the majority Catholic country of the Philippines – under all circumstances including rape and incest, and even without a provision in the circumstance that the mother’s life is in danger. The law has been in effect since 1930.

Allred says she believes it an impossible scenario to believe that Philippino doctors would of ever suggested abortion as a viable option for Tebow in the first place. And when you learn that physicians and midwives who perform abortions in the Philippines face six years in prison, and may have their licenses suspended or revoked, and that women who receive abortions – no matter the reason – may be punished with imprisonment for two to six years, it’s easy to see why.

01.29.10

The Bacsik/Redding Bond : Joined Forever In Mutual Dislike, Irrelevancy

Posted in Baseball at 2:50 pm by

“Tim Redding is one of the worst teammates I’ve ever had,” fumed former Met Mike Bacsik on a Friday afternoon edition of ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight”, denying charges from former Nationals teammate Tim Redding the former had intentionally delivered a big fat meatball to Barry Bonds for the Sultan Of Surly’s 756th career home run. “I was fighting for my baseball life everytime I took the mound,” Bascik insisted to Karl Ravech. “I’d be costing myself a big league job if I was trying to give up runs.”  Observing this bizarre pissing match, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ray Ratto muses, “It is nice to know, though, that the record still matters enough to remain a point of ugly speculation and innuendo well into its third year of existence. In that way, it remains the gift that keeps on giving.”

This extends the number of people taking credit or receiving blame for Bonds 756th home run by one, to Bonds, the Giants’ organization, the sellout crowd at the game, the poeople who built the ballpark, the bat manufacturer, all the employees at BALCO, two pitchers and the Nationals’ organization.

And Bonds, to his great credit, has remained silent on the entire issue because, actually having hit the home run, doesn’t need to say he hit it.

Before Anyone Asks, Sam Champion Does Not Own A Judas Priest Golf Bag

Posted in Baseball, Golf at 2:14 pm by

Photo link courtesy Caryn Rose.  Surely I’m not the only person who hopes Bruce Dickinson’s airplane has a catcher’s mask painted mask painted on the side.

01.28.10

“Let’s Go Mets” – Just One Of Many Bad Acting Performances From Joe Piscopo

Posted in Baseball at 11:00 pm by

Baseball / pop culture fans of a certain vintage undoubtedly recall former “SNL” fixture Joe Piscopo’s prominent role in the Amazins’ 1986 cheese classic “Let’s Go Mets” clip. In Thursday’s Trentonian, Piscopo tells the paper’s Chris Melchiorre, “I was never a Mets fan…I only did that video so I could get my kid inside [Shea Stadium] so he could play on the field. (link courtesy Mets Police)

Piscopo was in Bordentown Tuesday night for Roma Bank™s 90th anniversary banquet, and the Sinatra-impersonating, bodybuilding, ™80s icon set the record straight about his fandom and about sports in his home state.

œI™m a Yankees fan, I always have been, Piscopo said. œI respect the Jets and the Mets, and that Jets™ loss on Sunday was heartbreaking, but I root for the Yankees and Giants.

œYears ago when the Yankees won the World Series, I was actually in the parade, I was on one of the floats. Piscopo said. œAnd everybody was screaming ˜Hey, Piscopo what are you doing up there? You™re a Mets fan.™ And I kept yelling back, ˜It™s not true, I™m a Yankees fan.™ I grew up a Yankees fan and I™ll always be a Yankees fan.

Tanks For The Memories : Motown Scribe On The Inefficiency Of Throwing In The Towel

Posted in Basketball at 6:23 pm by

The 15-29 Pistons take on Miami later tonight in Auburn Hills, an occasion that has the Detroit News’ Vincent Goodwill warning hometown fans dreaming of a shot at John Wall there’s little to gain in losing on purpose.

The bottom line is this: Tanking doesn’t pay off, especially if a team doesn’t have competent leadership. Yes, once-in-a-lifetime players come through the draft, but there’s a reason those guys come along only twice a decade. What happens when a team tanks to draft Michael Olowokandi or Kwame Brown (above, right)

The Celtics tanked the 1996-97 season in pursuit of Tim Duncan, and with two lottery picks, had the best odds of winning at 36 percent.

They wound up with Chauncey Billups (No. 3) and Ron Mercer (No. 6). Billups was traded midway through his rookie season and didn’t develop into a top-level player until his arrival in Detroit in 2002. Mercer was serviceable, at best.

In the last 10 years, only No. 1 picks LeBron James and Dwight Howard led their team to The Finals, and neither have jewelry to show for it.

When a team gives up on a season, it makes it increasingly difficult to evaluate its players, to see who fits and who should be let go. With a possible labor dispute coming in 2011, many teams will be reluctant to go through a housecleaning.

And who knows? If one of those porous teams makes the playoffs — and makes some noise — general managers might discover they want to add to the roster, not blow it up

I wouldn’t be too worried about the prospect of the 2009-2010 Pistons making the playoffs, much as I’d find it hard to characterize Joe Dumars as a poor GM (the selection of Darko Milicic — unassisted via tanking — aside)

Not Nearly So Big Sexy : Whitlock’s Penis Envy

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 11:49 am by

“It’s a feeling of inadequacy that permeates every aspect of your life,” said a former Houston Chronicle beat writer who covered the Twin Towers, Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon. “Before I covered the Rockets, my life seemed perfect. I wasn’t rich, but I was married to the love of my life and we were happy.”

The retired scribe says after three or four years covering the Rockets, his wife began complaining he seemed insecure about almost everything.

“I flipped out when we went to her 20-year high school reunion and met her prom date,” the former writer said. “He was the backup center on her high school team. He was 6-6 and maybe 180 pounds, a real bag of bones. You know the type. Probably hung like Secretariat.”

His marriage never recovered. He turned to alcohol. He wasted thousands of dollars on male enhancement supplements. He refused to believe his wife’s kind words of reassurance. Watching sports, particularly basketball, had been the bonding thread in their dating relationship. He demanded his wife never watch another basketball game — pro, college or even high school.

It’s not an uncommon story. Statistics show the divorce rate for NBA writers is nearly triple the divorce rate for NFL writers. It’s not the travel. It’s the wear and tear on the male psyche.

If you’ve ever wondered why Sam Smith no longer writes for a national daily, perhaps Whitlock has the answer.

01.27.10

SOMM’s Wilson – Quite Possibly Not Rooting For The Saints In Eleven Days

Posted in Blogged Down, Gridiron at 6:10 pm by

(New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson. Not shown : umbrella)

It would take some doing to compete with Greg Oden’s cock pics or Paul Shirley’s act of career suicide for heavy sports blog attention this week, but Sports On My Mind’s D.K. Wilson is fully up to the challenge. To wit, following the Saints earning their first ever conference championship, dwil takes umbrage with “Black people who’ve taken on the characteristics of their oppressors so fully that, like zombies, they believe that the city™s welfare, its psychic and actual health is tied directly to the city™s professional football team landing a berth in Super Bowl XLIV.” OK, that’s Quintron off the hook, then.

The proof lies in the sudden and disgusting proliferation of a Black œWho Dat nation of quasi-elitist, once-slave journalists and Black professionals and students; photos on social media websites of their alcohol-induced camaraderie abound as they cheer for a football team owned by a rich, drunken White fool who is quick to break out an umbrella and dance on the graves of the dead who are a by-product of a Crescent City™s sullied gifts to a nation “ the gifts of deadly racism and of government-organized crime-corporate graft.

The gift of a hurricane meant only for Black people, meant only to drive those Black people from the city forever.

These are the Black people who will cheer for Tom Benson™s New Orleans Saints come Super Bowl Sunday, though a Black man, Jim Caldwell, is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. They will cite their hate of Peyton Manning and howl at the very press they yearn to emulate that the press would have us believe Manning is the real head coach of the team. Of course a few of them will write of Caldwell now, but they are the same Black men who also said Caldwell was responsible for cavalierly throwing the œintegrity of the game of pro football into doubt “ and they are the same people who fail to comprehend the oxymoronic nature of that statement. They are the same men who fail to comprehend how statements like that and others of a similar nature serve to further fement racist attitudes by White people; how their statements protected the White man who was actually responsible for pulling the Colts starters, general manager, Bill Polian.

The Final Pass (Hopefully) Of Favre’s Career : The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Posted in Gridiron at 5:53 pm by

Video swiped from Townie News. If I work for Sears’ advertising agency, I’m figuring out a way to pair this guy up with Brett for a Super Bowl commercial.

ESPN : Fully Respectful Of Paul Shirley’s Right To Express Himself (Somewhere Else)

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression, non-sporting journalism at 4:01 pm by

“He was a part-time freelance contributor. The views he expressed on another site of course do not at all reflect our company’s views on the Haiti relief efforts. He will no longer contribute to ESPN.”

So reads the unattributed statement from ESPN Media Zone. And full credit to the widely-vilified Shirley — it’s awfully difficult to cause the network to disassociate itself nearly this fast from a person who’s kept his pants on.

01.26.10

Shirley To Haitian Relief : No Thanks, I Didn’t Give At The Office

Posted in Basketball, Natural Disasters, We Aren't The World at 8:21 pm by

Former pro hoops journeyman / author Paul Shirley has won considerable acclaim throughout the sports blogosphere for his thoughtful takes on subjects ranging from the plight of NBA 12th men to whether or not Oasis are better than the Beatles (OK, less acclaim for the last one). Today, however, might be the day when much of that goodwill goes straight down the toilet. “I haven’t donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don’t give money to homeless men on the street,” argues Shirley. “Very few have said, written, or even intimated the slightest admonishment of Haiti, the country, for putting itself into a position where so many would be killed by an earthquake.”

I don’t mean in any way that the Haitians deserved their collective fate. And I understand that it is difficult to plan for the aftermath of an earthquake. However, it is not outside the realm of imagination to think that the citizens of a country might be able to: A) avoid putting themselves into a situation that might result in such catastrophic loss of life.  And B) provide for their own aid, in the event of such a catastrophe.

Imagine that I’m a caveman. Imagine that I’ve chosen to build my house out of balsa wood, and that I’m building it next to a roaring river because I’ve decided it will make harvesting fish that much easier. Then, imagine that my hut is destroyed by a flood.

Imagining what would happen next is easier than imagining me carrying a caveman’s club. If I were lucky enough to survive the roaring waters that took my hut, my tribesmen would say, “Building next to the river was pretty dumb, wasn’t it?.” Or, if I weren’t so lucky, they’d say, “At least we don”t have to worry about that moron anymore.”

Sure, you think, but those are cavemen. We’re more civilized now, we help each other, even when we make mistakes.

True enough. But what about when people repeat their mistakes? And what about when they do things that obviously act against their own self-interests?

I recoil at the notion that I’m SUPPOSED to do something. I would like to help, but only if I feel that my assistance is deserved and justified. If I perceive that I am being told to feel a certain way, and if I can point to a pattern of mistakes made in similar situations, I lose interest.

Later in his essay, Shirley admits, “children cannot very well control their destinies”. The same could be said for parents born into a cycle of poverty.

Coming Soon : A Charlie Hustle Film With Way Less Tom Sizemore

Posted in Baseball, Cinema at 6:27 pm by

“I got tired of hearing about all the gambling stuff, and wanted to concentrate on the past,” director Terry Lukemire tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter, explaining the raison d’tre behind “4,192 : Crowning Of The Hit King”, a feature-length Pete Rose documentary scheduled for release later this year.

Rose, who turns 69 in April, has done four lengthy on-camera interviews here for the “in his own words” part of the film. Lukemire and his partner Aymie Majerski, 37, pitched the movie to Rose last summer.

Reds announcer Marty Brennaman and “some of baseball’s biggest icons” also will be interviewed for the film, according to the Barking Fish announcement being released Tuesday at the Sundance Film Festival.

Lukemire and Majerski would not say how much Rose was being compensated for his role in the film, or how it will deal with his gambling and his official banishment from Major League Baseball.

“We’re not giving away certain information at this time. If we gave away the house, nobody will want to rent it,” says Majerski by phone from Park City, Utah, where she was attending Sundance.

Hopefully the above project will come to a happier conclusion than Rose’s last encounter with independent filmmakers.

WaPo’s Wise To Vescey : You Make Me Sick

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio at 4:44 pm by

The New York Post’s venerable “Hoops Du Jour” columnist Peter Vecsey (above)  took aim at the Washington Post’s Mike Wise earlier today, accusing the former of tailoring reports of the infamous Gilbert Arenas/Javaris Crittendon locker room pistol exchange to something uncomfortably close to Agent Zero’s preferred version of events.  Keep in mind, this comes after Vecsey’s own account has been challenged by WiseDC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg carefully tuned to Wise’s afternoon show on Washington’s 106.7 The FanTuesday and in addition to hearing Vecsey accused of accepting interest free loans from former Nets owner Joe Taub, Wise provided the following rip job (link courtesy Jason Cohen) :

“Peter Vecsey would be a flat-out joke in my business, but he’s not funny. He’s mean-spirited, and he’s just about heartless. I’ll never forget the time I came back from talking to a kid who tried to commit suicide in Dallas after he ingested a bottle of aspirin. Leon Smith was his name, and he never should have come out of high school, and the Mavericks should have had a much better support system for an obviously troubled young man who just happened to have talent. Vecsey made cruel jokes about this kid’s suicide attempt afterward in his column. Now, I don’t care if you slam me or anybody else, but Leon Smith was raised in a foster home called Lydia Children’s Home in Chicago. He was a ward of the state of Illinois due to neglect from his parents when he was 5 years old.”

“When you do something like that, when you make fun of that kid, you’re not just insensitive, you’re a rotten human being. You’re a lousy person. You don’t deserve the respect of a punk-ass kid at the Rucker League thinking, ‘Man, Peter Vecsey used to be something, didn’t he?’ You old bitter man. You make me sick.”

Steinberg goes on to quote a number of Vecsey’s gags at Smith’s expense (eg. “Leon Smith’s Nets tryout could be viewed as another suicide attempt”), and while he deserves full credit for spending serious Google time today, I’m curious if Wise tried to publicly defend Smith from such abuse when it was happening a decade ago.  Rather than, y’know, the same day he was publicly named as Gilbert Arenas’ best buddy.

Hell Hath No Fury LIke A Husband Denied PTI

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Sports TV, The Law at 2:46 pm by

(“what Sado Marquis is to Chicago’s Mentally Ill… Jerome Smalls is to Norwalk’s domestic violence scene”)

The Hour.com’s Chase Wright reports a Norwalk, CT man was arrested Sunday on charges of threatening his spouse after learning she’d pulled the plug on cable television.

Officers responded to Jerome Smalls’ home on West Main Street on a call of an armed subject shortly before midnight on Saturday, Norwalk police Sgt. Lisa Cotto said.

At the residence, police interviewed a woman who alleged her husband threatened her with a kitchen knife after he learned that she had recently canceled the family’s cable package, Cotto said.

Smalls was most upset for having lost his favorite sports channels, specifically the 24-hour sports network ESPN, she said.

The wife told police that she canceled her husband’s favorite programs because the family could no longer afford it, Cotto said. The husband told officers that he was upset because he believed the luxury of cable was well within the household budget, she said.

Surely there’s a way the above incident can be used as fodder for a forthcoming “This Is SportsCenter” commercial? Who’s to say the skill sets of Scott Van Pelt and Steve Levy might not include hostage negotiation?

Self-Portrait Enthusiast Oden (Allegedly) Displays Non-Injured Body Parts

Posted in Basketball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 1:19 pm by

The NSFW pics can be found at World Star Hip Hop, whose editors helpfully add, “this is one of the stars from the NBA team ‘Portland Trail Blazers’”). There’s some priceless commentary on the site, including the following bon mot ; “People send naked pics 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What’s the big damn deal? ‘Cause he’s an NBA player? Please!!!!!” Nice to see recent events haven’t kept Sean Salisbury from trolling the ‘net.

America’s New National Pastime : Brutalizing Jets Fans

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron, The Law at 11:51 am by

For the second time in two weeks, an apparently innocent Gang Green supporter has found himself on the wrong end of the sort of strong arm tactics we commonly associate with the Republican National Convention. Seriously, what did J-E-T-S fans ever do to deserve such a miserable national reputation?

Oliver Perez : Already Missing Targets In Midseason Form

Posted in Baseball at 11:25 am by

Last spring, Mets starter Oliver Perez arrived at spring training from an WBC stint in what pitching coach Dan Warthen thought to be less than stellar physical condition. In Tuesday’s New York Daily News, Perez assures Adam Rubin his preseason work has the erratic lefty feeling “really happy….really strong.”

Perez relocated this offseason from his native Culiacan, Mexico, to Arizona to train at Fischer Sports, the facility credited with preparing Randy Johnson during his career. Other than two weeks spent in Mexico around Christmas, Perez said he’s spent the entire winter in Phoenix working out at that training center with major leaguers including Kerry Wood, Chris and Shelley Duncan, Sergio Mitre and Mike Hampton.

“A lot of good players there,” Perez said.

Perez said he’s religiously at the facility by 7 a.m. and stretching 90 minutes later.

Perez’s trademark wildness comically remained Monday. As he long-tossed with Johan Santana on a windy morning at the Mets’ complex, Perez twice overshot Santana with throws on a back field and cleared a fence.

“It’s going to take a couple of weeks,” Santana turned and offered with a smile.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, Fischer Sports — the official training facility of Oliver Perez, Kerry Wood and Mike Hampton. What happened, did Mark Prior not receive their brochure?

01.25.10

For Your Consideration : Shaggy 2 Dope For Best Actor In A Western With Juggalo Themes

Posted in Cinema at 9:12 pm by

Though the trailer for “Big Money Rustlas” has been in circulation since last November, it was only this afternoon that our associate Mr. Wojohowicz brought said epic to our attention. Ladies and gentlemen, you can scrap my earlier predictions this March’s Oscars would be a battle between Katheryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and Bille Woodruff’s “Bring It On : Fight To The Finish”. If the above stylistic hybrid doesn’t take top honors on March 7, it’s safe to say the widely misunderstood Juggalo genre might never receive proper recognition.

Calcaterra, Favre & The Birth Of A Meme

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron, The Internet at 6:55 pm by

Circling The Bases’ Craig Calcaterra, like many of us, watched the end of yesterday’s NFC Championship game.  Unlike many of us, he was sufficiently inspired by Brett Favre’s latest season-ending boner to make the following contribution to popular culture.

So last night Brett Favre throws an interception that costs his team a trip to the Super Bowl. You think he’s going to be ripped for it, but within minutes of the game ending the ESPN talking heads are launching right back into that “he’s like a kid out there/he’s a gunslinger” baloney. The best one was Tom Jackson who said  “That’s the thing about Brett Favre; he’s not afraid to throw an interception. That’s one of the things I most admire about him.”

I thought that was some of the best suck-up-inspired denial of reality from a commentator I’ve heard in ages, so I quickly tweeted the following for laughs: “That’s the thing about Bill Buckner. He’s not afraid to muff a grounder. That’s one of the things I most admire about him.” Worried that people may not get the joke,  I applied a #FavreRulesForAll tag on it.  I giggled to myself for approximately four seconds, shut my computer down and went to sleep.

Once Calcaterra awoke, he learned he’d given birth to a Twitter sensation.  Amongst the highlights ;

That’s the thing about Clint Barmes: he’s not afraid to carry deer meat. That’s one of the things I most admire about him.” – Crashburn Alley

That’s the thing about Rick James, he wasn’t afraid to kidnap and torture people in a crack haze. Gotta respect that.” – Chris Fontecchio

“That’s the thing about Kenny Rogers. Not afraid to walk home a run. Gotta admire that about him.” – Sundeep Paruchi