04.08.10

The Latest Masters Distraction : Earl Woods

Posted in Golf, The Marketplace at 2:02 am by

Tiger Woods’ precipitous slide from role model/global sporting icon to the most humbled cock-on-the-loose since Bill Clinton has been so well documented, you’d think Woods’ handlers would manage his re-entry into the marketplace with discretion and sensitivity. Sadly for the oversexed Woods, Nike’s latest commercial, featuring the voice of the golfer’s late father Earl, and timed to coincide with Tiger’s participation in this weekend’s Masters, is a baffling misstep for the company and pitchman alike. The San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami calls the spot, “one of the most cynical things I™ve ever seen”, while the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir simply finds the advertisement confusing, if not downright insulting.

Nike refused to offer context for Earl Woods™s words. When did he say it? What were the circumstances? He sounds disappointed in his son when he made these comments, but what had Tiger done? Earl, who died in 2006, couldn™t be addressing his son™s scandal.

How deep did Nike dig to find these paternal nuggets to justify their use in an ad that debuted less than 24 hours before Tiger teed off Thursday at the Masters?

And why did the son consent to having his father™s words repurposed to push not just a personal message, but also Nike Golf?

The father™s question (“did you learn anything?”) appears to be that serial philandering and addiction rehab can be positioned as a commodity ” and that you can roll it out in phases leading to the Nike amendment to the 12 steps: a TV commercial.

04.07.10

On The Subcontinent, Tiki Barber’s Zipper Problems Aren’t A Big Story

Posted in Cricket, History's Great Hook-Ups, Tennis at 11:25 pm by

Not compared, anyway, to the controversial love affair between Indian tennis starlet Shania Mirza and cricketer Shoaib Malik, recently banned from the Pakistan national team. The Guardian’s Dileep Premachandran explains :

Malik apparently married another Hyderabadi girl over the telephone “ there is such a thing as too much technology in our lives “ and is now engaged in divorce proceedings on the one front while preparing for a 15 April wedding on the other.

India’s TV channels, who find new and innovative methods to entertain us, have milked the controversy to the max. One channel even had a correspondent analysing Sania’s facial expressions as she and Malik held a press conference outside her house a couple of days ago. If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would have been funny.

Rangers’ TV Voice Promises Blogosphere He’ll Keep D-Baggery To A Minimum

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 11:08 pm by

How might SportsChannel’s Fran Healy have contended with a modern era of sports blogs, twit-feeds, message boards, fax machines, telex, candygrams, etc.?  Most likely,  he’d have just ignored the criticism, but it’s fun to imagine Fran hitting the laptop in a self-defensive manner akin to Rangers TV announcer Josh Lewin (above) (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

PLEASE PLEASE understand that the broadcast has to serve a wide cross-section of viewers. For now there are way, way, way more casual baseball fans than die-hards, and we have to do our best to throw everyone a little morsel of what it is they want. Believe me, I’m aware that the die-hards don’t need all the frivolity and BS to keep ‘em eyeballed in for three hours… there are probably a good thousand of you who live and die with every pitch, and no doubt, y’all are the most important fans the Rangers have. But for the 7,999,000 other people in the DFW area, I have to be mindful that they aren’t as keyed up or clued in as you guys… we are casting a wide net trying to get as many Texans as possible to start giving a darn and learning the game.

Anyway, that’s my cross to bear and I understand those of you who hate that dynamic and want to rail against the injustice of it all… the only thing I ask– gently and nicely — is to keep in mind that indeed, there are kids reading your posts as well as adults. My kiddos and I both know that public figures (and kids of public figures) need to have thick skin, but still, words like “douchebag” kind of cut to the core.  I’m not here to lecture or censor, but I just wanted to put that out there.

Meantime, I humbly promise I will do my level-best not to be douche-baggy to the best of my abilities.

ICP’s “Miracles” : Juggalo Nation’s Crossover Moment

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 7:20 pm by

Video link swapped from 2010 Gathering contenders harlemwhateverr. And give the clowns (ICP, I mean) a slim slice of credit — some subcultures don’t take being misrepresented lying down, not even The Most Misunderstood People Of All Time.

Houston’s “Turn Back The Clock Night” ; Uncle Drayton’s Revisionist Economics

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening at 12:25 pm by

On the surface, there’s nothing particularly offensive about an MLB club donning old uniforms and asking their ushers to dress up like clowns.  But there’s an element to the Astros’ planned 1965 celebrations this Saturday night that just seems, well, like ownership is pissing in the fans’ mouths and calling it Colt .45.

A special pregame ceremony will honor members of the 1965 Astros and the game will include great retro features such as:
$1 hot dogs courtesy of Classic Foods
$1 Coca-Cola Classics while supplies last
$3.50 ticket specials
A live in-game organ
Scoreboard features from the Astrodome and retro entertainment

Though I’m sure Drayton McLane would love to find a way to pay Lance Berkman his day’s pay in 1965 loot, the $1 hot dogs and $1 sodas hardly feel like an authentic gesture.  Even at the Astrodome, a Coke didn’t cost $1 in 1965.   The “live in-game organ” is a nice touch (and presumably not a reference to Brad Mills’ penis) but some establishments manage such a feature every day.

04.06.10

One Shining Moment: Your CSTBracket Champion is a Hot Shit College Student

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Internal Affairs at 10:32 pm by

What concluded Monday evening was a near-implausibly good NCAA Tournament, but as great as it was, we all know that it’s not the sort of thing we’ll be puzzling over for weeks to come. Remembering fondly, perhaps — the fleshtone tendrils of Matt Howards Speak-and-Spell Junior Mustache; the gauntly zombified good looks of Kyle Singler; the Gus Johnson soundboard; the numerous really excellent actual basketball games. But we all already know how Duke pulled this one out: by having more talent, by getting a few calls, by dint of Brian Zoubek’s bruising Colton-Orr-in-shorts routine. And in that way, if only in that way, this year’s CSTBracket may prove more enduring than the NCAA Tournament. Because I’m still not exactly sure how (the very excellently named) Sweetney’s Midnight Snacket and its author — esteemed commenter Hot Shit College Student — managed to pull off what amounted to a fairly easy victory.

The standings tell the story fairly clearly: HSCS’s entry finished with 116 points, which is eight more than second place finisher Williams It Was Really Nothing (and its author, the mononymic Sophia) and a whopping 22 points ahead of the third place finisher. And yet, my 19th-place entry featured two more correct predictions than did Hot Shit College Student’s winning 36. Fourth-place finisher 4AM In Bombay picked a whopping 43 games correctly. How this happened isn’t hard to figure out, necessarily, given that more points are awarded for picking Final Four teams correctly — HSCS had both West Virginia and Duke in his, and correctly picked Duke as the winner — than I did for figuring that Old Dominion could beat Notre Dame. But I was restless. I needed to know how this, this, hot shit college student pulled this off.

(McEntire – not previously featured in this context)

“I didn’t watch college basketball all year,” HSCS says. “And Duke’s Jon Scheyer kind of looks like a Bastro-era John McEntire.” And now it makes some sense. The rest of us humps are playing checkers; this guy is playing invisible 4-D chess.

So: congratulations to Hot Shit College Student on his victory. Your suitable-for-framing — at least relative to how suitable they are for wearing — Norfolk State game-worn shorts will be sent whenever I get your mailing address. Presumably GC is scouring the Internets for a suitably prestigious early-90s Capcom sports video game, as well. Clearly the route to success in this sort of thing involves both not-watching college basketball and rediscovering Gastr Del Sol-aligned projects. I’m not sure I’m up for either, personally, but all I can do is tip my cap to HSCS for his success in both areas. And thanks to everyone for playing.

Nationals Park – Still Unusually Welcoming For Visting Phans

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, The Marketplace at 9:38 pm by

Attempts by Washington management to make their lovely new ballpark accessible to rooters of the opposition have been noted in this space on previous occasions, but after a disastrous Opening Day in DC Monday, Nats fans (all 3 dozen of ‘em) can no longer ignore the preponderance of enemy forces. From Nats Insider’s Mark Zuckerman :

At least one organization in Philadelphia took advantage of the opportunity to buy tickets in bulk long before they were on sale to individuals. A website called Phillytailgate.com, founded by a Philadelphia sports fan who wanted to organize large outings with other fans, bought a huge block of seats over the winter and then offered $109 ticket packages that included bus transportation from Philadelphia, unlimited food and beverages and a tailgate outside Nationals Park featuring a DJ, a string band and parade.

According to Philadelphia television station KYW, about 1,500 fans boarded more than 20 buses yesterday morning near Citizens Bank Park and made the trip down to Washington for the game.

Obviously, there were far more than 1,500 Phillies fans in attendance, so this one outing didn’t account for the entire invasion. But it would appear plenty of other fans in Philadelphia got together and purchased group packages (minimum 25 seats) over the winter once they became available.

Asked if the Nationals discussed an attempt to restrict Philadelphia fans from buying seats to yesterday’s game, Stan Kasten (above) wrote: “We tried to limit it, but not cut it off completely.”

UFR : Zoubek’s Miss (Felt Like A Hit)

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down at 7:21 pm by

Had Gordon Hayward’s halfcourt heave as time expired gone in, it’s a fair bet we’d be calling Butler’s upset of no. 1 seed Duke for the 2010 national title the greatest finale in collegiate history (in fact, someone wrote just as much). Even with Heyward’s hail mary falling short, some are compelled to go nearly that far, while Under Further Review’s Martin Manley‘s hails Mike Krzyzewski’s ordering Brian Zoubek to intentionally miss his 2nd free throw with 3.6 seconds remaining.

With a two point lead and no time outs remaining for Butler, Coach K opted to intentionally miss the second free throw. The logic is inescapable. Even if Butler gets the rebound (and they did) and even if they get the ball out of the congestion of the lane (which they did), it would require the shot of a player™s lifetime “ heck, the shot of all player™s lifetimes combined “ in order for Duke to lose.

I recently did a post on late game strategy in basketball. The point of it was that when leading by three with just a few seconds to play, you foul! It™s the biggest no-brainer in BB strategy. However, this situation is a little more complex. Consequently, although many coaches have learned to foul when leading by three, few have accepted (when leading by two) intentionally missing the second of two free throws when the opposing team does not have a time out left.

When Coach K ordered the miss, he set himself up to be the goat “ one of the biggest goats of all-time “ if Butler had hit their half court shot for the win. That™s what separates the great coaches from the wanna-bes.

What makes this slightly less obvious as a strategy is only that if he makes the free throw, Duke could still have fouled leading by three. That gets back to the other issue. And, if he had accidentally made the free throw, you can bet your life Coach K would have called for the foul.

Krzyzewski’s denied any interested in a rumored $15 million overture from the Nets, which shouldn’t shock anyone, except perhaps Jeff Van Gundy, whose price tag just went up. . Though Coach K has nothing left to prove in college hoops, after resisting approaches in the past from the Celtics and Lakers, is there any surprise the rich pro basketball history of the Prudential Center proved less than alluring?

Rich Eisen : Just Like You & Me (Though Maybe A Stride Slower)

Posted in Gridiron at 4:23 pm by

The above NFL Network footage from this year’s Scouting Combine comes from Jason Kottke.org (link courtesy David Scheid) who writes said clip “shows just how fast prospective NFL players can run compared to normal people.”  Not everyone considers Rich Eisen, normal, Jason.  Some people think he’s exceptional.

The First Yankee Scapegoat Of 2010 Has Been Postively ID’d

Posted in Baseball at 3:14 pm by

While watching events unfold at Fenway Park late Sunday night, I turned to a trusted associate and suggested — after the Yankees had retaken a 7-5 lead following CC Sabathia squandering a 5-1 advantage — that whoever lost this contest would be greeted with near-apocalyptic reactions the following morning, despite it being just the first game of the 2010 season.

A day and a half later, it would seem the response is slightly measured, with ESPN’s Buster Olney already jumping on Bombers backstock Jorge Posada, hinting the catcher’s “ability to handle pitches may well be a growing concern.” The New York Daily News’ Matt Gagne goes further, citing Posada’s historic differences with A.J. Burnett (tonight’s starter) and a myriad of issues from Sunday evening.

After Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run homer to tie Sunday night’s game in the seventh inning, the Red Sox took the lead for good en route to their 9-7 victory when Kevin Youkilis doubled to left-center, then took third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a passed ball.

Posada appeared to be crossed up by Damaso Marte, but said the reliever “just missed location. One was a slider far out, and the other was a fastball up that was supposed to be down … Damaso just got a little wild.”

But there was still confusion surrounding Pedroia’s home run, which Chan Ho Park surrendered on a 2-1 pitch before being lifted in favor of Marte.

“I was trying to go away, but it was up and in,” Park said. “It was just one pitch and a home run, I missed my command. I just missed the location; that’s the way that (Pedroia) likes the ball.”

Posada, however, said, “It was supposed to a little further inside.”

There’s No Cheering in the Press Box Because It’s Empty: “Cincinnati” magazine on Hal McCoy

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 2:41 pm by

My old employer has published a lengthy profile of semi-furloughed Hall of Fame baseball writer Hal McCoy. Former New York Observer/Sports Illustrated scribe Sridhar Pappu touches heavily on issues like the death of newspapers, the decline of the Reds’ regional appeal (which has traditionally included parts of Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky), Pete Rose and the “obstinate babble” of sports blogs and Twitter.

So I guess if we’re tossing around blogosphere cliches, I’ll highlight the part where Joe Morgan is a dick (even when he’s holding one):

According to McCoy, he and Joe Morgan have not spoken since 1979, when he wrote that the Big Red Machine™s era was over and Morgan was no longer needed. Since then the two have been alone in elevators, stood next to each other at the urinal, and played doubles tennis against one another without ever speaking a word. When McCoy received the Spink Award during the induction ceremony at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002, he says Morgan said hello to his entire family but brushed by him when Hal stuck out his hand. (Morgan, who now works as an analyst for Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, still refuses to speak about McCoy. But he insists, œI did congratulate him [at] the Hall of Fame.)

04.05.10

Jesse White Tumblers Served Notice On The South Side

Posted in Baseball at 10:52 pm by

White Sox 6  Indians 0

It’s tough to know what’s redundant and what isn’t in today’s media-saturated world.  Chances are most of you have already seen Mark Buehrle’s incredible tumbling snap of a Lou Marson grounder in the fifth on White Sox opening day.  You might have already witnessed the Gold Glove hurler/moundtender’s Tony Esposito-esque leg technique.  It might be old hat by now to see horsehide leave leather to arrive in a meat hand.  Who knows, you might even live inside a Tex Avery cartoon universe where gently floating baseballs routinely outpace desperately galloping batsmen by a hair in daily photo finishes.

But just in case you don’t, the button with the triangle on it will play the video again.

SI.com and Cincinnati’s Daugherty: Also 20 Years Behind Slats Grobnik

Posted in Baseball, Food at 7:52 pm by

Following up on Thursday’s post about the Cincinnati Reds: in a short item about ballpark food (including gluten-free, a story that our own GC was right on top of), The Big Money‘s Dan Mitchell revives the 1989 Mike Royko column about serving sushi at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, . which can be found at the Orlando Sentinel as well.

…when historians study the decline and fall of the once-great nation known as the United States, they will pinpoint April 1989 as being the beginning of the end….

And they will be able to look to Southern California to see where it began.

More precisely, to San Diego.

And even more specifically, to Jack Murphy Stadium, where the San Diego Padres play baseball.

They will find that in April 1989 the San Diego Padres became the first major league franchise in the long history of America’s great national pastime to sell – brace yourselves – sushi to the fans.

Yes, sushi in the ball park!

Strips of raw or marinated fish, wrapped around a ball of rice with maybe a dab of fish eggs on top – the preferred snack of the yuppiest of yuppies.

I should be surprised, but I’m not. I see now that it was inevitable.

Years ago, when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, I complained to my good friend, Slats Grobnik.

”Slats,” I said, ”this is a bad thing for the country. Some day they will be selling sushi in ball parks.”

He said, ”What’s sushi?”

I said, ”I don’t know. But mark my words, Slats, it is sure to happen.”

Royko especially enjoyed attacking San Diego, having feuded with its fans during the ’84 NLCS.

Zirin, Hoping Tiger’s Not A Zillionaire Tawana Brawley

Posted in Golf, Racism Corner, Sports Journalism at 6:39 pm by

Tiger Woods’ latest public relations exercise is now in the history books, and Edge Of Sports’ Dave Zirin is no doubt disappointed at one sensational accusation that wasn’t explored.  To wit, allegations by Woods’ kindergarten teacher that Tiger’s claims of childhood racial abuse are fiction.

As Tiger Woods faces the Augusta National press corps on Monday, he actually has a responsibility to respond to Ms. Maureen Decker.  Forget the sexting and the strippers. Tiger should be indignant at the mere thought that he would lie about something so searing, so inhuman, and so utterly tragic.

He should speak out on behalf of any child forced to suffer a hate crime only to be ignored when they sought help. We live in a country where children are driven by humiliation and violence to commit suicide before their tenth birthday. Often they their complaints are ignored until it™s too late. Here is an opportunity for Tiger to open up about his private past for a higher purpose. It also has political implications: the Fox News Right loves nothing more than calling victims of racism liars.

Most of us could care less about Tiger™s mistresses and his trainwreck of a personal life. That affects no one except himself, his family, and the various parasites connected to his billion-dollar brand. But Ms. Decker™s accusation actually has a ripple effect that touches far too many lives. If Tiger was the victim of a hate crime, he needs to bravely own the experience and tell the world that Maureen Decker is the worst kind of liar: a teacher who didn™t protect a child and is now using the fog of the sex scandal to seek public redemption.

04.04.10

Former Syracuse Basketball Player Now Works for Dan Snyder

Posted in Football at 7:36 pm by

mcnabb

Donovan McNabb to the Redskins for a second rounder and a pick next year.

And so it is that for the next ten years, whenever someone on a message board says “teams NEVER trade within their own division,” we’ll have this. And if the Redskins win the NFC and Kevin Kolb’s a bust, everyone will then respond, “and look how well that trade worked out.”

Stoda : Loria’s Expectations Awfully Fishy

Posted in Baseball at 4:10 pm by

The Florida Marlins kick off their 2010 campaign tomorrow afternoon versus the Mets at Citi Field, and while I’ll be in attendance armed with my Roberts transistor radio and an overwhelming sense of dread, the Palm Beach Post’s Greg Stoda comments on the misplaced optimism on the part of the visitors’ owner, conniving scumbag art dealer Jeffrey Loria.

Here’s the groundwork Loria put down during spring training: He said he was disappointed the lowest-payroll-in-the-bigs Marlins didn’t make the National League playoffs last year, and said he expects Florida to make the playoffs this season.

Ownership’s expectation of playoff qualification is unreasonable. It invites the prospect of a decent season ” say, 87-75 again ” being considered a failure. It amounts to ownership’s implication that it has done everything possible to produce a good product, so any disappointment in performance is solely the players’ fault.

How convenient.

Is it reasonable to expect outstanding seasons as a norm?

“Absolutely,” said Marlins President David Samson. “We expect it from everyone in the front office, too. The philosophy never changes. The goal is to make the playoffs, and then the goal becomes winning a championship.”

But the in-house view doesn’t mesh with reality. The Marlins, by and large, last year fulfilled ownership’s mandate to outperform their contracts yet were still judged unsatisfactory.

“Are we going to hit? Is our bullpen a weakness? Is our bench so-so?” manager Ferdi Gonzalez said in repeating questions he has heard this spring. “Sometimes what you think might be holes aren’t, and places where you think you’ll be OK turn out to be trouble.”

Remembering Scottie Pippen’s Maturity, Leadership

Posted in Basketball at 10:05 am by

Congrats to Scottie Pippen —arguably the 2nd greatest player of his generation — on being elected to Springfield, MA’s Basketball Hall Of Fame class of 2010 alongside Karl Malone, Bobby Hurley Sr. and the late Dennis Johnson. It would be terribly petty and unfair to use an occasion such as this to remind the world of one isolated act of selfishness, but that’s the kind of person I am. Terribly petty, unfair, and to this day, so bitter over Pippen’s exploits against the Knicks, I’ll even pull up a highlight of New York losing if it serves to make Scottie look bad.

04.03.10

“The Bullpen Gospels” – More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Bush League Living Conditions

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 3:18 pm by

MSNBC’s Non-Metallic K.O. is already on record dubbing Dirk Hayhurst’s “The Bullpen Gospels : A Non-Prospect™s Pursuit of the Major Leagues and the Meaning of Life”
, “maybe the best baseball autobiography since Jim Bouton’s ‘Ball Four’”. Reliever Dirk Hayhurst’s debut tome hits stores April 8, and the author, a self-described “broken person” who tells MiLB.com’s Benjamin Hill, “I’m not going to write about myself like I’m special. Everybody knows I suck.”

Major League Baseball gets a ton of hype, and people are interested in what goes on, but the same stuff happens in the Minors — just under far more dire circumstances,” Hayhurst explains. “The travel is harder, our eating habits are terrible, and living arrangements can be brutal.”

Thus readers are treated to stories involving harsh treatment of bumbling bus drivers, unappetizing clubhouse spreads served in the bowels of decaying stadiums and the “shockingly awful” accommodations provided by the Lake Elsinore Hotel and Casino. And because the principal characters are all testosterone-fueled young men in their early 20s, booze and women — and the combination of the two — are often obsessively discussed in lurid R-rated detail.

“These are all normal 20-something boys with a pack mentality. … I think the behavior portrayed in the book is almost expected of them,” said Hayhurst, an abstinent teetotaler who often portrays himself as a bemused observer rather than a direct participant.

04.02.10

Giants To Honor Freak With Freakish Promotion

Posted in Baseball at 9:07 pm by

“The Giants are planning a promotion that only a taxidermist like Norman Bates could truly appreciate,” warns Big League Stew’s David Brown of San Francisco’s plans to hand out Tim Lincecum bobbleheads on July 17, including an extremely limited number (six, to be exact) featuring real human hair. “Not Tim’s”, the organization is quick to stress, and that’s an important disclaimer.  Dave Righetti can’t spare enough hair for 20,000 bobbleheads.

Raissman : Johnson Hysteria Fits The Final Four

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 8:19 pm by

On the eve of the 2010 NCAA Men’s Final Four, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman hails CBS’s Jim Nantz for the broadcaster’s “insight coupled with a smooth delivery and likeable presence.”  Not likeable enough, however, as the veteran Gallagher lookalike argues Nantz is “better-suited for describing putts on the bucolic greens of Augusta than heart-palpitating buzzer-beaters.”


Over the past five years, it’s Gus Johnson’s frenetic, theatrical style that is synonymous with tournament time. Something buried in his soul, a true passion for what is unfolding in front of him, is released in a flood of adjectives, sound effects and decibel levels.

He doesn’t take over a game, it overtakes him. What you’re hearing, stuff like “bam” and “pure” and “rise and fire,” or any of his other wired descriptions, is the play-by-play equivalent of a bull rider hanging on for dear life – a perfect fit for the wacky nature of the games.

If CBS winds up retaining the event, the suits must consider elevating Johnson to the No. 1 spot. It’s not like Nantz has nothing else to do. At the least, they should use Johnson on one of the semifinal games. And if another network acquires the Final Four, it won’t need a search party to track down the mouth that best reflects the tournament’s chaotic spirit.

Putting Iain Dowie’s Best Face Forward

Posted in Football, Free Expression at 4:54 pm by

Newly hired Hull City manager Iain Dowie was once disparaged by Paul Whitehouse as,uh, well, an unattractive person.  Others have said worse.  Perhaps with that reputation in mind, The Guardian chose to mark the former Norther Ireland internation’s ascent to boss of The Tigers with a series of Photoshop creations that place Dowie in all sorts of fascinating settings, much like Matt Dumont’s reimaging of the ‘Highway To Hell’ sleeve, above.

Coach of Sun Belt Cellar Dwellers Thinks He’s Ready To Move Up

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 2:05 pm by

Who’d have thought a 7-25  mark at Florida International would qualify former Knicks GM/President Isiah Thomas for a head coaching gig in more rarefied territory?  The Chicago Tribune’s Fred Mitchell reports Thomas would like to fill the vacancy at DePaul.

F.I.U. has a recruiting class that has been rated as high as 17th nationally. A source insists Thomas would be able to steer those recruits to DePaul if he were offered the job.

“Isiah also could recruit the Chicago kids. It has always been a fertile area,” said the source.

If Mitchell’s story is more than just wild speculation, it’s one heck of a kick in the teeth to FIU A.D. Pete Garcia, already widely ridiculed for trying to revitalize Thomas’ career shortly on the heels of a headline-grabbing sexual harassment trial and an alleged suicide attempt the former Hoosier tried to deflect onto his teenage daughter.

04.01.10

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before : Bernard Hopkins Cannot Stand Donovan McNabb

Posted in Boxing, Gridiron at 9:07 pm by

Reason No. 1 The Iggles Should Trade Donovan McNabb  ; because when and if they finally dispense of their formerly talismanic QB,  Bernard Hopkins might see fit to shut the fuck up when it concerns McNabb’s multitude of shortcomings.  Apparently, Roy Jones Jr. can be taken so lightly at this stage of his career, training for Saturday’s fight can take a back seat to repeated bashing of a guy from another sport. The Fanhouse’s Michael David Smith provides the transcript to an online chat from Wednesday afternoon.

[Comment From Keith: ] In the past, you have been highly critical of your hometown quarterback, Donovan McNabb. What are your thoughts on his probable exit from Philly and the Eagles’ future under Kevin Kolb?

Bernard Hopkins: After my victory Saturday night I’m going to have a big party where we celebrate sending McNabb where ever he goes. The Eagles have a chance to get to a Super Bowl and a change is well overdue. I think the starter should be Michael Vick and the backup should be Kevin Kolb but I think both guys should get a chance and Vick might still need some time to get comfortable. I’d actually like to see them mix both guys up. I think either one, both having different styles, can be successful.

Vick is a running quarterback. McNabb was a running quarterback early in his career with the Eagles but he changed. Somebody suggested that he should stay in the pocket. And I’m like, McNabb, don’t be an idiot. God gave you the ability — take advantage of that. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.

SI.com’s Daugherty: Sushi in Cincinnati? Goetta Outta Here!

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Food at 7:53 pm by

“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times.”

Many people in my former residence of Cincinnati take exception to this most likely apocryphal Mark Twain quote. But not, apparently, Paul Daugherty, who is horrifed at the Great American Ballpark’s latest food concession – y’know, the one that’s been available in other cities now for years.

The Cincinnati Reds are selling sushi at Great American Ball Park this year, and all we can know about that is, nothing says hardball in Cincinnati quite like a smoked salmon roll. Pete Rose is rolling over in his seat at the racetrack.

American soldiers saved the world on a diet of canned Spam. The Big Red Machine ran on Wheaties, Red Man and greenies. There is nothing in either narrative that mentions sesame ginger crab rolls, with a side of edamame.

This is going to take some getting used to. It’s not that Cincinnati isn’t cosmopolitan enough to enjoy an occasional eel roll. It’s just that not that long ago, we were eating head cheese.

We still consume 99 percent of all goetta made. According to Wikipedia, goetta is “a peasant food of German origin,” made of pork shoulder and oatmeal. We enjoy it. It’s not the greatest of distinctions. But it’s something.

Sushi? I don’t know. I really don’t.

Daugherty goes on to make rote references to Chardonnay and San Francisco while lamenting the decline of the real baseball fan, which I suppose is fair enough, but what does it really matter if it’s sushi, Danny Meyer or the Build-a-Bear workshop? Personally, I’ve never understood why people want to wait in longer lines for lesser quality good food – better to just stick with peanuts and go get a proper cheesesteak (or California roll) after.

And goetta, incidentally, is awesome: here’s my recipe.

One other note – while it’s common to mispell the city’s name as “Cincinatti,” here’s how the photo caption for this story read as of 8:30pm EDT:

“True baseball fans in Cinncinnai aren’t interested in sushi; they like beer and hot dogs at games.”

Helmer On The Media’s Lack Of Prokhorov Scrutiny

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, non-sporting journalism at 5:20 pm by

Self-styled journalism watchdog John Helmer absorbed Stephanie Humber and Yuriy Humber’s recent profile of aspiring Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov for Bloomberg.com and recognizes the pair for “the athletic feat of reporting Prokhorov™s all-win business career without detecting a single foul, penalty, or loss.” Somebody please forward this to Jeff Van Gundy (Dances With Bears link courtesy Ball In Europe)

“ regarding Mr Prokhorov™s transactions with Mr Ratner for the Nets basketball franchise and the Brooklyn arena and real estate development, you refer to œProkhorov™s love of sports [as] part of the reason he wants to buy the Nets. He says he originally went after the New York Knicks because of their Manhattan base. You also claim that the Brooklyn arena part of the transaction has been œheld up for six years because of legal battles with local residents opposed to the new development. Is it your view that Mr Prokhorov has succeeded in acquiring both the team franchise, and the real estate project? Are you unaware of the reports that Mr Prokhorov cannot close his deal for the team and for his share in the arena with Mr Ratner, until Mr Ratner has vacant possession of the properties standing in the way of the arena. and he does not have those yet. Are you aware that the borrowings Mr Prokhorov has said he will undertake for the transaction are also contingent on this? Are these reports incorrect, and that is why you did not report them? What evidence do you have that Mr Prokhorov and Mr Ratner can close their deal soon?

“ there are two other omissions of the record of Mr Prokhorov, which your article reveals. Have you omitted recent statements by high-ranking Russian and US officials, casting negative light on Mr Prokhorov™s character and business practices, because you were intending to do, or had agreed with Mr Prokhorov, to do a promotion? Or because you were unaware of the officials and their criticisms? . The first of the criticisms of Mr Prokhorov came from the Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who criticized him for his management of the utility company TGK-4 for what might ” in another country or in another medium than Bloomberg Markets ” be called investment contract violations or cash stripping. Mr Putin made his statement on February 24. Also, according to Admiral Dennis Blair, the US Government™s Director of National Intelligence, Mr Prokhorov™s line of business in precious metals makes him susceptible to, or a witting party to, the œgrowing nexus in Russian and Eurasian states among government, organized crime, intelligence services, and big business figures. An increasing risk from Russian organized crime is that criminals and criminally linked oligarchs will enhance the ability of state or state-allied actors to undermine competition in gas, oil, aluminum, and precious metals markets. Admiral Blair made this and related statements in testimony to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 2. Did you miss it?