Nope, not this one. With the possible exceptions of Larry Brown and Nick Denton, the person who was probably the happiest over this week’s Rex Ryan revelations had to be NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who not only presided over an epic choke job last Sunday against Philadelphia, but has seen his treatment of hapless punter Matt Dodge receive heavy scrutiny. Frequent sideline shots of Col. Coughlin going nuclear on Dodge or others Big Blue Boneheads create, in the words of the NY Daily News’ Bob Raissman, “a portrait of a coach as a lunatic.” And while the Gallagher-lookalike media critic admits such a portrait ought not to impact Coughlin’s job security in and of itself, the question is posed, “will his sideline antics, instability and temper tantrums work against him when the final assessment on his coaching future is made by Giants suits?”
“No, there’s no ‘Coughlin Rule’ in place,” said Richie Zyontz, the coordinating producer for Fox’s No. 1 NFL broadcast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. “We see him enough to tell whatever stories need to be told with the amount of time we see him on the screen already.”
Whatever that “amount” of time actually is, it has been enough to seed the clouds of controversy. The pictures cut both ways. For those who like their coach fiery, that picture of Coughlin getting in Dodge’s face was high art, kinda like the Mona Lisa. It provided a tiny bit of psychological solace after a humiliating defeat.
For those who prefer their coach to appear in control, cool and calm under pressure, it was more than enough reason to suggest Coughlin is nothing more than a two-bit, out-of-control tyrant – a stone bully. These pictures flat out made Coughlin look bad, look like a nut case, in the eyes of millions of viewers.
But enough about Doug Gottlieb’s shirt ; the fight between Mississippi State’s Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey was pretty wild, too. Said incident occurred while the pair were in the stands watching Utah and Hawaii in the Honolulu-hosted Diamond Head Classic. I’d like to think the pair were squabbling over whether or not there’s anything appropriate about naming a college basketball tournament after these guys.
(with all due respect to the CSN correspondent quoted below, you cannot beat Mama McNabb for trenchant analysis)
If you were amongst those stunned to Rex Grossman throw 4 TD passes, acquitting himself rather nicely in Washington’s 33-30 loss to Dallas last Sunday, credit should go to an unlikely source. According to agent Fletcher Smith, Grossman’s surprising performance was the partial result of the strategic acumen of the man he replaced, the (inexplicably) benched Donovan McNabb. From CSN Washington’s Ryan O’Halloran :
œThere have been reports leaked of Donovan not being in shape and not being able to grasp Kyle™s offense, Smith said. œUnfortunately it appears as though the Redskins coaching staff decided that their 12-year veteran quarterback, who flawlessly executed one of the NFL™s most complex offense [in Philadelphia], is unable to grasp Kyle™s offense.”
Smith™s statement said friction between McNabb and Kyle Shanahan developed after McNabb made suggestions about the offense, œbased on intricacies Donovan has learned in his NFL career. For example, Donovan has asked all year that the team run more screen passes to help manage the pass rush more effectively. Ironically, Kyle decided to employ Donovan™s suggestions after he unceremoniously benched him on Sunday.
Rex Grossman passed for 322 yards and tied a career high with four touchdowns in last week™s loss at Dallas. Thirteen of his pass attempts (not counting a late-game spike) did not cross the line of scrimmage. Grossman was still sacked five times.
It’s my birthday tomorrow and big plans for the evening involve opening a bottle of wine and watching Michelle Ryan a Hollywood blockbuster on PPV. LeBron’s got a birthday coming up as well, and as CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel explains, “it’s the latest example of how removed LeBron James is from reality, doing things because he can — without ever asking himself if he should.” To fair, Doyel isn’t really considering the extreme lengths any rational person will go to avoid partying with Chris Bosh.
Reading from The King’s brochure, I can tell you that this “event will attract Athletes, Models, and Musicians. As well political figures, socialites, tastemakers and affluent leaders from various industries including Art, Business, and Finance.”
I can also tell you that “this happening will consist of a A-List crowd of multicultural, savvy trendsetters, and jetsetters that reinvent and set the tone for a chic lifestyle.”
Because that’s what I think of, when I think of LeBron James. I think of a savvy trendsetter, and a jetsetter who has reinvented and set the tone for a chic lifestyle.
Also, I think of a jerk who throws himself a million-dollar birthday party on South Beach, celebrating the late-December birth of his lord and savior.
Worst ~ The fear that seized my inner organs when I heard that Steve McClaren was coming to VfL Wolfsburg. The thought of him repeating his linguistic gymnastics in the Netherlands and coming out with the sort of German accent last heard when Freddie Starr was molesting studio audiences in his swastika-clad Wellingtons was just too much to bear. Gratifyingly, he’s stuck to conducting post-match interviews in English, explaining his tactics primarily with the phrases “keep battling” and “keep believing”
œOh, very unfair. It™s just blatant lies. But that™s just the way it happens, said Johnson of the œcontrol freak label. œOne guy tells one lie and by the time it gets to the 10th person, boy, it™s a really manufactured one.
œSo that™s a part of the deal. I think Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick “ even Sean Payton, my main man Sean Payton “ they™ve all been lied on. Gregg Popovich. But they™ve still been able to be successful. That™s the nature of our business, added Johnson.
Former ESPN analyst / Philadelphia sports writer Stephen A. Smith’s tenue at Fox Sports Radio lasted roughly a year the network causing early Xmas celebrations yesterday with the following news, as provided by Larry Brown Sports :
Tuesday it was announced that Stephen A. would be leaving his morning show and Zakk and Jack will become the network™s morning show. Stephen A. will play the new role of NBA analyst for the network, which likely means guest spots talking basketball.
Stephen A. implied on his twitter account that the decision was his, saying œ3:30am wakeup calls, then traveling 80 miles 1-way to work everyday was very taxing. He also added œyou will be hearing from me very, very soon. In a big way, too. Stay tuned for the latest development in the career of Stephen A., who likely is coming to a TV channel near you.
Having already missed out on opportunities to replace Larry King and Simon Cowell , there’s another frontier in Smiths multi-media assault that would truly demonstrate his impressive range and fearlessness. But who knows, perhaps there’s already a qualified actor in line to play the primary role in the Colin Cowherd situation comedy?
Toronto broadcasters Joe Bowen and Greg Millen seem thoroughly unaware of what would possess a Maple Leafs fan to pelt the team in general (or Phil Kessel in particular) with waffles for the 3rd time in less than two weeks, however, the motivation was spelled out in this item from the Toronto Sun’s Tamara Cherry.
œThey need to wake up and eat some breakfast, Jack M., 27, who asked not to be identified, said in a Saturday interview, hours ahead of the Leafs meeting with Montreal. œI™m just trying to help them out with a balanced diet.
The œdiehard Leafs fan said he didn™t throw the waffles out of disrespect to the players, explaining, œI love them, but somebody™s got to say something.
Jack™s waffle-throwing escapade caught headlines across the city and some light, but perhaps slightly annoyed, reaction from the players.
œI don™t appreciate it, really, a guy throwing waffles at me as I am skating by, Leafs forward Colby Armstrong said after the game. œWe™re trying to make light of it in here. Throw a filet, throw a T-bone. Spend some money.
After leaving some $30 million Yankee dollars on the table in order to return to the Phillies for a mere $120 million pact over 5 years, starter Cliff Lee, “is being held up by some as a shining example of someone not motivated by greed,” sneers the AP’s Tim Dahlberg. “I’m not picking on Lee…but I’m also not going to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize,” continues Dahlberg, who then proceeds to, well, pick on Lee.
For what Lee will make to pitch one game, Save The Children -which is active in 120 countries -could help save the lives of 10,000 malnourished children by providing them with specially formulated peanut paste for eight weeks so they gain weight and get stronger.
For what he will be paid to pitch just one inning, the charity could buy 4,000 newborn care packages to help prevent infants from dying within the first 24 hours of birth.
For the money Lee makes to get one out, a complete school could be built in Mali, a country in Western Africa that is one of the poorest in the world. Each school can be built for $42,000 including three classrooms, latrines for boys and girls, and books.
“We can educate a girl for an entire year for $65,” Loehr said. “It takes so little to be able to bring education to the world’s poorest children.”
Spend Lee’s money closer to home and the left-behind $30 million could provide healthy snacks for a half million kids living in poverty in the United States.
That Lee is making an obscene amount of money is impossible to argue…and almost as useless to harp on. If Lee has an moral obligation to turn over some portion of salary to the globe’s neediest, what about the owners of the Philadelphia Phillies, whose business model presumably provides for some kind of profit over the next 5 seasons? What have Alex Rodriguez, Bud Selig, Barry Zito or Wily Mo Penaa done recently to address famine relief?
(above : jerk who believes TV schedule should cater to his whims. And on the right, Jay Leno)
OK, admittedly, that’s not at all what Lakers head coach Phil Jackson had to say on the subject of his Lakers hosting Miami on Christmas Day, the 12th consecutive time Los Angeles has bowed to their TV paymasters and played on the holiday. But in quotes circulated by Fanhouse’s Chris Tomasson, Jackson seems to argue against a separation of Church and NBA.
“It used to be Phoenix and L.A. and New York and Boston and New York or Philly or somebody on the East Coast,” Jackson, speaking before Tuesday’s game against Milwaukee at the Staples Center, said of the once much more reduced NBA schedule on Christmas. “Now, I see they have like six games (actually, five) on Christmas. It’s like Christian holidays don’t mean anything to (the NBA) anymore. You just go out and play and entertain (on) TV. It’s really weird.”
“I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day,” Jackson said. “Soccer teams don’t play this time of year… I agree (with the NHL also not playing). I don’t understand it. … You just have to keep reminding (the NBA) that this is a special day.”
If Jackson would like to be nostalgic for the days before the NBA was a hot Christmas TV property, he’d do well to recall the league was reduced to showing the Finals on tape delay as recently as 1980. Surely he can recognize the demand for a Christmas showcase is a byproduct of the game’s popularity (another result being the gargantuan compensation earned by Phil and his players)? But aside from all of that…what about America’s non-Xtian population? Don’t we deserve some entertainment? Rather than bitching about working Christmas Day, you’d think Jackson could spare a thought for those of us who live in cities without decent Chinese restaurants. I’m no fan of Miami’s Big 3, but I’d rather watch them do their thing on Saturday than stand in line for “Tron 3D”.
I think it is fair to say we’re about to enter unexplored terrain for the NFL and professional sports in general. While this could be one of the more unusual teaching moments in recent memory — the Ryans’ alleged fetish is completely harmless and far less worthy of ridicule than the behavior of some J-E-R-K-S fans — it remains very unclear how tolerant the football fans of NY/NJ will be towards a coach whose swagger might be slightly diminished starting this weekend. An updated version of Petchesky’s Deadspin post includes a screengrab of a dating profile for the swinging couple who may-or-may-not be Rex and Michelle ; for “sexual orientation”, they’re described as “straight / bi-curious”. Again, harmless stuff, and I’m in no way opposed to an even bigger teaching moment ; if we’re really living in an America free of hate, surely Wednesday morning would be an opportune time for Joe Benigno (or Fireman Ed) to declare they’d openly embrace a bi-curious head coach.
Good thing, too, as the name has already been taken. Sort of (see above). But with suggestions including but not limited to dubbing Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, “The Phab Phour” (really?), Philly.com’s Stan Hochman declares, “I want the best starting rotation in baseball called ‘The Un-four-gettables.’”
Other than Ruben Amaro Jr. and his front office elves, who thought Lee was “gettable” with the Yankees offering 7 years and $150 million?
That’s it, that’s my best shot. I had some other ideas, including “The Fourtissimos,” which refers to the musical direction to play loudly. Maybe too obscure. And besides, these might be four of the most soft-spoken guys in the whole cockeyed game.
I had a patriotic theme, “Armed Fources” plus “Deadly Fource” and “Brute Fource” but baseball is not a violent game, unless you’re sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium wearing the other team’s gear.
I thought about “The Enfourcers” but didn’t want to focus on the mob angle. I thought about that Grant Wood painting and posing the four guys in overalls and farm implements and calling them “Pitch-Fourked.” But that might have been too subtle.
I thought about “Mount Rushfour” with their portraits carved on the side of a mountain. And then there was the spinoff of a Broadway show about Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins called “Million Dollar Quartet.” Could have called them “Zillion Dollar Quartet” and scattered the shirts with musical notes.
Former Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell (above, left)— currently ensconced as an assistant in Newark, where the Carmelo-Coveting has kicked into high gear, visited Toronto Friday night for the first time since the end of his tenure in that fair city. TSN’s James Cybulski fondly recalls Mitchell’s approach towards the Fourth Estate, which apparently, was already in fine fettle before he’d even presided over his first Raptors game.
Cybulski: How do you like the city?
Mitchell: It’s good. Still figuring it out but I like it.
Cybulski: Are you settled in yet?
Mitchell: Not yet, but we’re getting there.
Cybulski: Do you have a young family to move up here as well and get adjusted?
(It was here that Sam went a touch sideways)
Mitchell: What the @$%& is up, man? What’s with all the questions? You trying kidnap my kids or something?
Cybulski: Sorry, I was just trying to make some chit-chat.
Mitchell: Labumbard, whats up with this #*$&%¤ guy? Is this guy trying to hi-jack my *$#& family!?
Labumbard: Well, Sam…it’s just people are a little nicer up here.
Yost started talking about Cain, talked about his athleticism, how he and Escobar can help the Royals offense “just with their legs alone.” Then it all took a terrible turn.
œHe™s a center fielder, Yost told Bob about Cain. œBut we™ll see where it fits in. I™m not projecting anything right now. We™ve signed Melky Cabrera (to play center field), and Lorenzo Cain only has (147) big-league at-bats.
Uh oh. Bob asked Ned Yost about Cain … and the words “Melky” and “Cabrera” were in the answer? Melky Cabrera of the 83 OPS+ and .317 on-base percentage last year? Melky Cabrera of the minus-21 on the Dewan Plus/Minus for outfield defense last year (minus-9 in center fielder where he only played 385 innings)? Melky Cabrera of the minus-1.2 WAR last year — which made him by Fangraphs ratings the worst everyday player in baseball? That Melky Cabrera?
Are the Royals really going to block one of the young and promising players they just got for Greinke with Melky F. Cabrera? And this in a year when EVERYONE knows they are going to be absolutely terrible?
“Events leading to the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl are supposed to be fun-filled activities for the teams, their families and fans to participate in,” writes the St. Pete Patch’s Jeff Rosenfeld, neglecting to mention that only the most desperate individuals amongst us and/or trustees of the schools competing could actually name the teams facing off in tomorrow night’s not-so-glittering clash. For the record, they are Louisville and Southern Mississippi, each of whom had difficulty maintaining their composure during what Rosenfeld describes as “a poolside dance competition” that took place yesterday afternoon.
“Someone said something disrespectful, did a little jawing after the dance contest¦ it’s all good,” said Louisville linebacker Dexter Heyman, who was front and center in the fracasï»¿. It’s “just a little too close to game time, ya know?” .
Southern Miss players had a different perspective.
“They started talking trash about us being in Conference USA, [that] we can’t dance¦ it was stupid. We’ll do our talking on the field,” uttered one Golden Eagle who refused to be identified. “A friendly dance competition and they take it all serious? It’s ridiculous.”
The first contest was the dance-off, featuring three players from each team. It was all in good fun as the players engaged in bouts of break dancing, moonwalking, and the ever-popular “Dougie”.
But at the tail end of the contest the back-and-forth banter grew a little too heated, prompting an appearance from a group of armed Florida Highway Patrol officers. Shortly thereafter, emcee Deveryn Wilson warned if emotions weren’t tempered, the event would be halted.
The warning didn’t work. Minutes later, just before the fan favorite belly flop contest was to begin, the event abruptly ended, the teams quickly dispersed, and the crowd left wondering what had happened.
Though my own reaction to yesterday’s Meadowlands Meltdown was an unhappy median of this guy and this guy in the hysteria sweepstakes, even I can laugh at the creativity employed by whoever took a 15 minute Photoshop tutorial in order to create the above back cover of Monday’s New York Post.
Of the Giants’ proposed one-year, $1 million deal, INF Edgar Renteria told ESPN Deportes, “to play for a million dollars, I™d rather stay with my private business and share more time with my family.” Keep in mind, that’s a translated version, but assuming the quote is accurate, Bugs & Cranks’ Tyler Maas cannot help but proclaim, “Seriously, what a dick!”
Does he not realize he played in fewer than half of San Francisco™s games last season? Can he not process the fact that his 22 RBI and 67 hits had almost as much impact on the Giants title run as œThe Machine did? If I™m Edgar Renteria, I™m taking the $1M. I™m feeling fortunate that a defending champion franchise is even willing to consider me ANY part of its 2011 plans. I™m probably thanking some weird-ass Colombian-based deity that evidently nobody realizes exactly how awful I™ve become at playing baseball for a living. I stop using awkwardly-phrased terminology like œa total disrespect. If I™m Edgar Renteria, I re-sign.
But he won™t. He™ll huff and puff (and continue to age) while widening the rift between himself and the actually good team that™s foolish enough to want to pay him in American currency instead of Werther™s Original hard candies. Then he™ll play for the A™s or something on a minor league deal offered to him in March or he™ll retire out of pride and everybody will forget about him, thus tarnishing a once-solid career. And I will laugh.
(Francis, left, shown with former MTV fixture Bill Bellamy, who sadly, cannot so easily be shipped to China)
A more thoughtful blogger would prefer to fixate on yesterday’s wheeling and dealing between Orlando, Phoenix and Washington, but as you’ve probably come to understand, I’m not that person. Instead, through the auspices of NiuBBall’s Jon Pastuszek, we consider the Beijing Ducks debut of 9-year NBA vet Steve Francis during a Friday defeat of Qingdao Double Star. Francis, having just arrived in China after 13 hours in the air, was expected to to sit this one out, but as Pastuszek explains, with time running out, “large numbers of fans started chanting obscenities towards (Ducks head coach) Min Lulei.”
With Francis icing his ankle on the bench clearly not expecting to be subbed in, Coach Min inserted him into the game anyways after Beijing™s Jordanian forward, Zaid Abbas, converted on an and-one lay-up on the offensive end. Completely unprepared to enter the game, Francis didn™t even have time to tie his shoes as he quickly shed his warm-up suit and tucked in his jersey before entering the court. With his shoelaces loose and the ice pack around his ankle, Fu Laoda “ loosely translated into English as Big Boss Francis “ received a loud standing ovation and the obligatory œFu Laoda, jiayou! chant from the home crowd as he ran back on defense after the free throw. (In Chinese, jiayou literally means œadd oil, but translated into common English, it would mean œlet™s go! œhere we go! and/or œcome on!) After a Charles Gaines putback for Qingdao, Francis received the inbounds pass and dribbled out the clock, despite cheers from the crowd egging him to shoot one at the buzzer.
He did not record any statistics.
Asked why he decided to against his original plan after the game, Min smiled wryly and answered, œYou didn™t see all the fans yelling and swearing at me?
“Yabba Dabba Doo!” Reid exclaimed after a LeBron James dunk.
The aftershocks immediately reverberated through cyberspace.
“Did Eric Reid really just say Yabba Dabba Doo?” one blogger wrote.
Some loved it. Others, not so much.
“Eric Reid really needs to stop,” one Heat fan wrote. “His friends need to do an intervention.”
Very little that local announcers say stirs more reaction than catch phrases, especially new ones. Several Heat fans have stopped Reid, at Publix and elsewhere, and shouted “Yabba Dabba Doo” since he returned from the road trip.
Reid, who has done good work as a Heat announcer since the franchise’s inception, insists the reincarnation of the TV show The Flintstones was not planned.
“It came out of the clear blue sky,” said Reid, who used it again on a telecast last weekend. “For some reason, it made me want to say Yabba Dabba Doo! I can’t remember the last time I watched the The Flintstones. The response has been surprising. The real fun of the job is the spontaneity.”
In a post written on November 14 after Liverpool™s 2-0 defeat to Stoke, but which is today trending on Twitter, Mrs Konchesky told LFC to stop ˜living off the past™ and said her son™s side were: ˜sh*t™.
She drew sympathy from one friend who told her to ignore ˜dirty Scousers™ and ˜clueless morons™, while another said: ‘the Liverpool scum don’t know class when it hits them in the face’.
The Facebook account, which was open for all to see, was hastily taken down when news began to spread and fans sent in angry messages.
It wasn™t the first anti-Scouse sentiment to emerge from Dagenham-based Mrs Konchesky, who in an earlier post, said the family would not be moving to Liverpool with their son as ˜we don™t like the way they talk™.
The passing of bandleader / visual artist Don Van Vliet is being noted far and wide this evening, and while the Village Voice’s Rob Harvilla suggests we’re in the middle of “that awful interval when someone dies and you immediately leap to YouTube and immerse yourself in that person’s work for the next several hours,” there are other options. For instance, you could trot down to the local bookstore (assuming such a thing exists in your hamlet) and purchase a copy of Nick Kent’s recently published memoirs, ‘Apathy For The Devil’. The veteran NME scribe recalls his first experience witnessing Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, taking in a particularly impressive 1972 performance in Brighton (“there was a genuinely superhuman power coming out of the PA…people just sat there slack-jawed and pinched themselves to see whether they’d fallen alseep into some alternative dream dimension…none of us could believe we were hearing music this visceral and dementedly alive”), though Kent’s earlier encounter with Van Vliet that afternoon is the passage I prefer to excerpt ;
The world at large might have been blissfully ignorant of his accomplishments to date but Captain Beefheart was still 110 percent convinced of his own artistic pre-eminence. He told me was a genius at least twice within the first five minutes of our interview. Another five minutes passed and he started telling me that he was so in advance of all other living artists – be they painters, sculptors, poets or composers – that ‘I’m going to have to create a whole new art form just to express myself in the future’. He believed in himself with the same nutcase totality that propelled him to believe he could converse meaningfully with shrubbery and insects. Like Orson Welles, he was that infuriating combination : part authentic creative visionary, part outrageous bullshitter.
Van Vliet casts a creative shadow over huge swaths of what we today casually call “experimental”, “psychedelic”, “punk” musics or sometimes all of the above. I’m not sure he ever created that new form touted above, but as a collector/dictator of fine musicians, he certainly turned wild concepts into musical reality in ways unlike anyone before or since (with all due respect to another genius level collector/dictator).
While Kevin Kaduk tells the story of Rays fans thanking their former OF Carl Crawford for his years of service, the LA Times’ Carolyn Kellogg covers the disappointed reactions around RSN once it was learned Crawford was not, in fact, “a rare book collector and a fan of early American writings, including William Bradford’s ‘Of Plymouth Plantation’ and ‘The Puritan Origins of the American Self.’ Hey, just because Todd Benzinger purchased punk rarities at Newbury Comics, that doesn’t mean anything is possible.
Crawford is very good at baseball — he just signed a $142-million contract — and was also such a good high school football player that he’d been recruited by college programs. But he’s not the type to be seen “wearing a heavy fisherman’s sweater and clutching a newly purchased diary of 1655 Connecticut Governor Thomas Welles,” as blogger Will McDonald wrote on Royals Review, a fan-centric site dedicated to the Kansas City baseball team that is under the AP’s SB Nation umbrella.
McDonald confirmed by e-mail that his post was satire.
That’s not how the Harvard Bookstore saw it. Located in Cambridge, Mass. (though unaffiliated with the university, the bookstore responded to the idea that the Red Sox had just brought on a very literary player. “File this under ‘amazing,’ ” the store tweeted, with a link to McDonald’s story. “Holy cow!” added Massachusetts-based book blogger Megan Sullivan when she retweeted it.
Strangley, at 6 p.m. Tueday, Crawford promised — or joked? — that McDonald’s wish might become a reality. Responding to the flood of positive tweets to the (satiric) antiquarian bookseller announcement, the baseball star tweeted, “Yes for those asking, I am going to open a bookstore” from his verified Twitter account. “Details to come.”
The nicest thing I can say about about the above clip — coming at a time when the Mets have signed no prominent free agents and we’re expected to buy into the new front office being the real stars of the immediate future — is that at least David Howard hasn’t resorted to marketing to Phillies and Nationals fans. Though keep in mind, it’s only December (video clip courtesy Marc Perlman)