01.31.11

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Living In The Shadow Of Superstar Tom Candiotti

Posted in Baseball, The World Of Entertainment at 12:17 pm by

I’m not sure how I missed what missed have been a top-rated run for the Stephen Furst-hosted “Payback”, but there’s some consolation.  After many years, I’ve finally found something  Tom Candiotti-related on the net that’s harder to explain than this.

The Dream’s Real Nightmare : Suffering Fools, Not So Gladly

Posted in Basketball, Fashion at 11:42 am by

Thrillist saw fit to grill retired NBA C Hakeem Olajuwon about his newly launched “The Dr34m” fashion line, though it’s doubtful the former Rockets icon had a prior hint he was gonna receive such Narduwar-esque treatment (thanks to David Williams for the link)

You’re an entrepreneur. Have you ever thought of making an after-workout drink called the Dream Shake, and what would be in it?
Really, no. I’ve thought about an actual milkshake. But your idea is better. I like vanilla and strawberry. With banana. You’ve gotta be creative.

How else do you apply the Dream Shake to your life?

A classic example of that is fashion. Take cashmere. It’s a formal fabric, sports coats, overcoats. I’d bring it down, make it casual. But it’s cashmere. People aren’t used to seeing it in a casual environment. That’s a Dream Shake. Shaking from formal to informal.

So misdirection is key to your style off the court?

Yes. The key to fashion is, you don’t want to look like you’re trying. You’ve gotta be natural. But what you throw on is making a huge statement without you talking. That’s the Dream Shake. Or you could call that a crossover.

Have you ever thought about making Phi Slamma Pajammas?

No, but I am going to do the Dream House collection. A lot of bedspreads, towels. But this is a good idea that you gave me, I’m adding it to the collection. That’s what’s so good about building your own brand. Any good idea, you can add it to the collection. That’s the creativity.

When Nene came into the league, everyone compared him to you. How did you feel about that?

Who is he?

He’s a Brazilian player, for the Nuggets.

I don’t know, I’m not familiar with him. You have to hurry up now because my battery is dying.

Okay, real quick then: did you ever play the video game NBA Jam?

No.

01.30.11

A Challenge To The Authenticity Of Chris Bosh

Posted in Basketball at 10:28 pm by

During his prior tenure in New Jersey, Keyon Martin was once labeled “fugazy” by the Knicks’ Tim Thomas, who might’ve taken an equally dim view of Heat F Chris Bosh’s attempts to lay hands upon Oklahoma City F James Harden. OKC teammate Kevin Durant became the latest in Bosh’s long line of critics this season, with the following postgame remarks provided by the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry.

“He was telling Harden to dunk on me,” Bosh said. “He said dunk the next one. I expressed that, no, he’s not going to dunk that. And he expressed, yes he is. We just kind of went back and forth. I don’t think it was anything to get a tech over. It was just talking.”

Video replay showed Durant starting to walk away before Bosh began talking. Durant then stopped and barked back.

“I was talking to my teammate and he decided he wanted to put his two cents into it,” Durant said. “I’m a quiet guy, a laid back guy. But I’m not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He’s on a good team now so he thinks he can talk a little bit. But it’s a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them.”

“I’m no punk,” Durant said. “I wasn’t even talking to him, first-off. He decided to butt in. I’m not just going to let that slide, especially in our house. He’s not one of those guys that I look at and say he has a rep for talking back to guys or always getting into it. He’s a nice guy. He’s not one of those guys. So I’m not going to let that type of person say something to me like that.”

Kitna : CNN.com Is A Gateway Drug To Porn Addiction

Posted in Gridiron, Religion, The Internet at 8:00 pm by

If you don’t totally follow the logic of Cowboys QB Jon Kitna, be advised he comes to the pulpit a man who’s already had a serious chat with G-d. Also be advised that if you believe the religious fervor of Kitna and Matt Hasselbeck is worthy of mockery, well, you might as well be laughing at Stephen Baldwin, too.

For The Umpteenth Time, CSTB’s Award Winning Pro Bowl Chili Recipe

Posted in Food, Gridiron at 1:04 pm by

(the Hooded Casanova, deep in thought after being told he’s missing quite a feast today)

(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.

01.29.11

Psycho, Smith : Hoffarth’s Picks For SoCal’s Worst Sports Broadcasters

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Sports TV at 6:59 pm by

Two weeks after lowering the boom on recent Los Angeles arrival Max Kellerman, The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth turns his attention from the region’s best/worst talk show hosts, and moves towards the subject of game analysts. How bad is Hoffarth’s pick for LA’s Lamest? He seriously proposes Eric Karros as a viable alternative.

1. STEVE LYONS, Dodgers TV, FSN/KCAL

Eric Karros. Jerry Reuss. Ron Cey. Al Downing. Jeff Torborg. All far more worthy candidates for this 40-game-a-year roadie. Oh, and they have some credibility as former Dodgers. Instead, the Psycho Babble act plods forward, and the Dodgers continue to be caught with their pants down here, trying to shake out the dirt.

Last year: No. 2, bottom 5.

2. MICHAEL SMITH, Clippers TV, Prime Ticket

Imagine if Blake Griffin’s heroics left him speechless. Cool, eh? The problem is that Smith overstates the obvious so much, it’s tougher to trust his judgment when Griffin does something extraordinary. Take this exchange he had with Ralph Lawler on the Jan. 12 Clippers-Heat broadcast, after a LeBron James bounce pass led to a basket: “That’s one of the best passes I’ve ever seen,” Smith said. “Settle down,” Lawler said. “I don’t ever overstate things,” Smith deadpanned, causing Lawler to chuckle and respond: “Of course not.” Smith: “I NEVER do. That’s one of the best passes I’ve ever seen.” Lawler: “(They just called) a jump ball.” Smith: “A terrible call.” That it was.

Filler Up! – Mayo Blames Mysterious Gas Station Tonic For Postive PED Test

Posted in Basketball, Medical Science at 4:55 pm by

(surely this stuff is no longer on the market?)

Grizzlies G O.J. Mayo received a ten game suspension from the NBA yesterday after testing positive for Dehydroepiandrosterone aka DHEA. On Saturday, Mayo, no stranger to heavy scrutiny after his truncated tenure at USC, told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal’s Roland Tillery that he’s merely guilty of drinking some garishly labeled product anyone could grab from the nearest neighborhood Circle K.

“It was an energy drink or something similar,” Mayo said. “It was bad judgment on my behalf because I maybe should have gotten it checked out by Drew (Graham, the team’s athletic trainer). I can’t go too much into it because of the NBA.

“It’s not like I went to a GNC and got some kind of muscle armor or something,” Mayo said. “Or ordered some supplement off the internet or anything. A local gas station got me hemmed up. I’ve definitely got to make better decisions. I admit to my mistake and it’s something I got to deal with.”

“I was stunned,” Mayo said, “because I didn’t think I had done anything wrong. I had no idea I was taking a banned substance. You could probably ask just about every athlete ‘what is DHEA?’ and I don’t think you’ll be able to get an answer. But as athletes we should be responsible for what we put in our bodies. There’s a whole list of things we don’t know of that we should probably go over with our trainer on a yearly basis.”

01.28.11

Lawyer : Wilpons Were Madoff Enablers

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 10:45 pm by

Of reports earlier today Mets ownership would seek to peddle a minority stake in the team, the reliably-to-the-point Steve Keane declared, “I guess Cash 4 Gold couldn’t cut it for the Skill Sets,”, while Amazing Avenue’s Eric Simon pointed out, “if the Wilpons needed just a few million dollars in order to maintain the fiscal solvency required to run the Mets they could get that from any number of people and there never would have been a press release…we’re surely talking about a lot of money here.” Who’s your dream new owner of the Mets, folks? Mark Cuban or James Dolan? Maybe Jeff Loria would like to take a crack at a 3rd NL East franchise? If today’s earlier news wasn’t disturbing enough, a New York Times quartet of Alison Leigh Cowan, Peter Lattman, Serge F. Kovaleski and David Waldstein report the trustee representing victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme doesn’t consider Fred and Jeff Wilpon to be amongst those wrong. To the contrary, Irving Picard (above) hopes to demonstrate Mets ownership, “knew or should have known Madoff was operating a fraud”.

The lawsuit seeks to recover not only $300 million in what the trustee, Irving H. Picard, calls “fictitious profits” the difference between what the Wilpon and Katz entities put into Madoff’s investment firm and what they took out over their many years of investing” but also additional millions, according to the two lawyers, who would not be identified because of the secrecy surrounding the case.

On Friday, Mr. Wilpon, who has long portrayed himself and his family as victims of Mr. Madoff’s and who had insisted his personal finances were stable, announced that he would be seeking at least one “strategic partner” to buy a share of the Mets. In a statement, he asserted that he and his family would not give up principal ownership of the team, estimating that he would be willing to sell up to 25 percent of the club.

One person involved in the Madoff proceedings said it was possible Mr. Picard was seeking as much as $1 billion.

Mr. Picard has won roughly $10 billion in settlements from other Madoff investors whose fortunes he charged were amassed improperly through their lengthy history of investments with Mr. Madoff.

According to the lawyer involved in the case, Mr. Picard’s lawsuit will claim that Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Katz ignored or failed to heed what amounted to red flags in recent years about the potentially suspect nature of Mr. Madoff’s operation. The red flags, according to the lawyer, included concerns raised by officials at Merrill Lynch, the investment bank, and Peter Stamos, an investing partner of Mr. Wilpon’s

Bill Walton Emerges From The Mothballs No Worse For Wear

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 3:00 pm by

Persons watching Boston’s dispatch of a younger, not-so-easily bullied Portland on ESPN last night were denied the dulcet tones of Bill Walton, subbing for Tommy Heinsohn on Comcast-SportsNet’s Celtics telecast. Since retiring from full-time broadcasting due to continued back problems, the one-time New Alliance recording artist has provided analysis for a handful of Sacramento games this season, and WEEI.com’s Paul Flannery transcribed a few of Walton’s high spots from last night at the Rose Garden ;

On oft-injured Portland center Greg Oden:

“He should move to Hawaii, lose a ton of weight and start all over¦ become a yoga master.”

On former Pistons Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman:

“They just made those decisions. That they were going to break all the rules of human decency.”

After the camera caught Garnett in the middle of his pregame ritual where he bangs his head against the basket stanchion:

“Kevin Garnett, working on his repetitive head injuries”

On Portland center Joel Pryzbilla:

“Pryzbilla does what he does best¦ violate the rules.”

The Wilpons’ Latest Spam : Kind Of Like An E-Mail “For Sale” Sign

Posted in Baseball at 12:05 pm by

Dear Mets Fans:

As Sterling Equities announced in December, we are engaged in discussions to settle a lawsuit brought against us and other Sterling partners and members of our families by the Trustee in the Madoff bankruptcy. We are not permitted to comment on these confidential negotiations while they are ongoing.

However, to address the air of uncertainty created by this lawsuit, and to provide additional assurance that the New York Mets will continue to have the necessary resources to fully compete and win, we are looking at a number of potential options including the addition of one or more strategic partners. To explore this, we have retained Steve Greenberg, a Managing Director at Allen & Company, as our advisor.

Regardless of the outcome of this exploration, Sterling will remain the principal ownership group of the Mets and continue to control and manage the team’s operations. The Mets have been a major part of our families for more than 30 years and that is not going to change.

As we have said before, we are totally committed to having the Mets again become a World Series winner. You deserve nothing less.

We wanted to share this information with you concurrent with sharing it with all Mets employees and the media. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Sincerely,

Fred Wilpon, Chairman & CEO

Jeff Wilpon, COO

TNT Producers Make Mental Note : Next Time, Put A Microphone On Matthew Modine

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 12:39 am by

With all due respect to the subsequent heroics provided by the Knicks’ Danilo Gallinari and Landry Fields, perhaps the greatest moment to take place on the MSG hardwood in recent memory took place prior to tip-off tonight against Miami. TNT’s already apologized for Tracy Morgan’s remarks, which I suppose, is tantamount to publicly stating Sarah Palin isn’t appropriate masturbation material.

01.27.11

ESPN’s MIA Ombudsman : Fuck It, I’m Outta Here

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 11:31 pm by

It’s been more than 3 months since ESPN ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer saw fit to complete a column, a situation the retired television executive blames on poor health rather than, for instance, having absolutely nothing to say. In his farewell entry for ESPN.com, the former O.J. Simpson crony saved his harshest criticism for other companies (were you aware the New York Times and NPR sometimes fuck up royally, too?) while assuring the handful of readers still paying attention the Worldwide Leader is really doing the very best they can. So shut up, already.

Some might misunderstand the fact that my every comment has not been a scathing, blistering indictment of network miscues. That might be because, after 40 years in the business, I have an appreciation of the intricacies and difficulties of what ESPN is trying to accomplish. There is plenty to criticize in Bristol, but in some respects I marvel at how well the company presents its product on so many varied platforms. The sheer magnitude of the undertaking today makes any other production operation seem puny by comparison.

Is every one of the 30,000-plus programs on air or each of the millions of pages on ESPN.com a gem? No, and that’s never going to happen. Does ESPN make egregious mistakes? Of course. Are there philosophical differences between ESPN’s approach and the way its audience and critics would like to see things? Certainly. Does programming multiple platforms for the widest possible audience run counter to the individual needs and tastes of some in ESPN’s audience? Absolutely. Are some of its efforts going to fall flat? Does Peyton Manning ever throw an interception?

In fairness to Ohlmeyer, we must sympathize with his dilemma. Clearly, he’s been given a mandate to serve as something beyond a mere ombudsman, but a combination ombudsman/apologist/publicist.

In Defense Of One Of The Worst Movies Ever Made (Sports-Related Or Otherwise)

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Cinema at 5:29 pm by

The 1996 hoops comedy “Eddie”, starring Whoopi Goldberg as a mouthy Knicks superfan hired by a Doh’lan-esque owner (played by a whoring-it-up Frank Langella) to replace a pseudo-Pat Riley head coach (Dennis Farina, about 30,000 times funnier than the film’s titular star without even trying) has been mentioned several times in this space over the years, usually everytime Dwayne Schintzius makes the news (which is surprisingly often).  I’ve long held the opinion “Eddie” is guilty of of numerous crimes against basketball and cinema, but in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony mess in Denver, Hoop Speak’s Zach Harper argues, “on the surface, it’s no less gimmicky than Air Bud or Like Mike in its fantasy-driven ‘how cool would it be if’ type of tale…however, when you dive into the movie, it shows you a glimpse into the life of the professional athlete that we never really think about.”

NBA players appear to have super human abilities, but they’re still human nonetheless. They’ve been humans whether they’re battling racism, family illness and death, a crappy boss to work for, a city they don’t want to live in or whatever the personal reason is. They’re affected by their lives and jobs the same ways we are, even if they live in a world we can’t all relate to.

In the movie, Whoopi Goldberg’s ability to relate to the players and find a way to reach out to them as a common person is instrumental in bridging the gap between the two existences. Indeed it is only once Eddie connects with her players off the court that her team begins to win on it. You don’t have to feel sorry for the NBA players. Just try to remember what affects your job performance can affect theirs as well.

Is Eddie full of kitschy fluff and inaccuracies that cheapen the reality of the story being told? Absolutely. That’s part of what makes it so fun to watch as a self-aware NBA fan. You can make fun of the failed execution of the NBA rules and intricacies in many ways.

But you can’t deny the reality of the human element this movie deals with, in reminding us that pro athletes are actual people.

For Jets’ Cromartie, CBA Stands For “Criticism Burns (My) Ass”

Posted in Gridiron, twitter twatter at 3:29 pm by

In which Gang Green’s candidate for Father Of The Year is taken to task for anti-unionist tweets, and tells Seattle’s balding QB know exactly what he thinks of his intellect being challenged.  And yes, Hasselbeck has deleted the offending tweet, proving that he’s every bit a man of his convictions as the drummer for Kings Of Leon.

Proposed Cover For The 2011 Chicago Bears Media Guide

Posted in Gridiron at 1:21 pm by

You really can’t question his heart….but you’d be totally justified in questioning his choice of sweater.

01.26.11

Vladmir Romanov’s Meddlesome Ways Extend To Multiple Sports

Posted in Basketball, Football at 8:01 pm by

When last seen in this space, Hearts Of Midlothian’s owner Vladmir Romanov was not only refusing to apologize for his habit of selecting the side’s starting XI, he accused journalists who reported as much of “spreading manure on my crops.” LIttle wonder then, that Romanov’s equally intrusive acts with his Lithuanian pro hoops squad,  Zalgiris Kaunas, were meant to be top secret. From BallinEurope.com :

During last week’s Euroleague match with Power Electronics Valencia, Ilias Zouros (Zalgiris’ third this season, for those of you keeping score at home) was spotted on camera more than once conspicuously consulting a scrap of paper, then re-tucking it into an inside jacket pocket.

When questioned by Lithuanian media about the suspicious scrap, Zouros stated that, as a new coach, he still hadn’t memorized some set plays and so wrote them down. Zouros’ purported naivety with the squad made for stark contrast for the eye-popping 42 substitutions Zalgiris made during the match.

Zouros’ cover was soon blown at a “Zalgiris Members Club” event. At a Q&A session for club members, one early query centered on *that* paper. Zalgiris general director Paulius Motiejunas dodged the question a bit as he explained that “the owner’s position is to balance the players’ physical condition [while] letting others improve. To accomplish these goals, he contributes to the preparation of the game plan and its execution is ensured by coach assistants.”

Woolridge : Gray’s Sexist Sputterings Are Just Soccer Biz As Usual

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 2:33 pm by

Having no fewer than 3 YouTube videos circulated in short succession that revealed Andy Gray to be somewhat less than enlightened concerning the role of women in the soccer universe, the Sky Sports pundit found himself yet another member of Scotland’s unemployed. Ch. 4′s Joyce Woolridge took it all in and was less than shocked ; “I thought that they were relatively mild and exactly what you’d anticipate hearing, in private, from an ex-professional of Gray’s age and pedigree…many men would agree that women should have no place in football, except in the service industry (and I’ll leave it up to you how widely you define the range of possible services).”

Kicking a ball around, however badly, with the addition of testicles, qualifies you as an expert opinion and potential official; just the testicles make you a real supporter. Women have, for some of the hardcore, done their bit to dilute the atmosphere within grounds and get in the way of the matey, blokeish experience.

The worst I’ve ever been called in print, in a fanzine, was a “c**t”, with the asterisk included (and a fulsome apology for any offence caused followed later) – even the current Culture Secretary has been dubbed that on the airwaves.

But I have always considered myself an outsider as a supporter and writer because I am female, just as Sian Massey and those who follow her will continue to be regarded as for a long time to come.

And no amount of supportive tweets from that unlikely feminist Rio Ferdinand leads me to expect any different.

YES Network To Yankee Bloggers : Who Do You Think You Are, Brian Cashman?

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Journalism at 2:17 pm by

While Yankee Brian Cashman’s less than enthusiastic response to his club’s acquisition of reliever Rafael Soriano has been noted far and wide, what’s good for the GM isn’t acceptable for the blogging gander. TYU’s Moshe Mandel reports River Ave. Blues — a member of the YES blog network — and the YES-hosted Pinstripe Bible — had differing responses to the above transaction. In the case of the latter, criticism of the deal was removed from the site, while in the matter of River Ave. Blues, “the YES network toolbar had disappeared”.

Because YES hosts Pinstriped Bible, they likely were able to directly censor Goldman, asking him to remove his post and edit it so as to mitigate the harshest points of criticism within it. As for RAB, because YES has limited control over the content of the site, their only choice was to pull their toolbar from the site until the displeasure over the deal settled a bit.

The question then becomes whether there is anything wrong with what YES did in this case. Some might argue that the team has no responsibility to provide a forum for criticism of the club and the moves that they choose to make. The problem with this argument is that YES has already chosen to provide that forum by affiliating with blogs in the first place. PB and RAB are critical of moves made by Brian Cashman all the time, yet no censorship of this sort has ever occurred before, to the best of my knowledge. It is unseemly to suddenly object to the content of the blogs now that they are critical of whomever in the organization was responsible for signing Soriano, particularly when similar criticism of other key members of the organization has gone uncensored in the past.

As of this writing, the YES toolbar is again at the top of the River Ave. Blues front page. It seems hard to imagine Hal or Hank Steinbrenner trolling the sportsblogosphere (not that either site is particularly obscure), but not as difficult to envision a strong critique coming to the attention of a Yankee functionary on a bit of a power trip.

01.25.11

If You Happen To Find Yourself In The Alleged Live Music Capital Of The World During Mid-March (Pt. III)…

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 3:44 pm by


….you’ll be thrilled to learn that after 2010′s amazing CSTB-sanctioned 7 band bash and 2009′s equally impressive bill at Beerland, we’ll be presenting another free show on March 16, 2011, from noon to 6pm.  After winning the most recent Pazz & Jop Poll by a landslide, you’d think Columbus Discount’s Unholy Two would have better things to do than play some poorly trafficked sports blog’s party, but people do really desperate things for attention in Austin at this time of year.  Equally confusing is the confirmed appearance of Los Angeles’ Wounded Lion, whose 2010 full length for In The Red Records was so impressive, it claimed spots 1 thru 8 on Tim Cook’s top ten for the year. Oakland’s Bare Wires are probably playing no fewer than 37 times in Austin that week, so we’re just lucky we’ve got the trio early (before they’re totally burnt out and hating life). Getting to see NYC’s Pop. 1280, Denton’s Wiccans, Cleburne, TX’s Fungi Girls and Austin’s fearsome foursome, James Arthur’s Manhunt in the daylight (OK, it’ll still be dark inside Beerland) would be a rare enough treat under any circumstances. On this occasion, you get to see them surrounded by agitated out of towners asking if you know how to find Club DeVille!

‘Cept For Being Widely Disliked, This Is The First Time Anyone’s Compared Andy Gray To Rob Dibble

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 1:52 pm by

On the scale of relative broadcasting competency, just-fired Sky Sports soccer analyst Andy Gray doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as former MASN mouthpiece Rob Dibble, but when it comes to indefensible sexist remarks heard far and wide, the two have more in common than just unemployment.  Following a widely circulated recording of Gray and co-presenter Richard Keys dissing EPL assistant referee Sian Massey, Gray was hung out to dry by his employers with the above clip including additional remarks about Massey prior to the telecast. While the Sky News reporter, Andy Burton, has been suspended, Gray was fired this afternoon after a third offending clip surfaced, this time showing Gray performing a Sean Salisbury impersonation in the direction of colleague Charlotte Jackson. Angered by Gray’s termination, The Telegraph’s Brendan O’Neil argues the analyst is “a victim of thought-policing, pure and simple, carried out by a huge corporation that is being cheered on by apparently liberal hacks and a Twitterati who love nothing more than seeing someone who has a different outlook on life to them “ how dare he! “ being dragged across the coals of public humiliation.”

I have to admit, I’m slightly fascinated by O’Neil’s take on this. If whipping one’s dick out in the workplace is an some sort of political act, perhaps the Telegraph columnist call tell us who was the greater martyr, Dov Charney or David Cone?

UConn Booster : I Want A $3 Million Refund

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 1:05 pm by

Stung by the recent departure of UConn football coach Randy Edsall, Huskie benefactor Robert G. Burton, CEO of Burton Capital Management has asked for the return of a $3 million donation to the program, along his name being removed from the school’s practice facility (above). The Hartford Courant’s Jeff Jacobs provides some highlights from Burton’s missive to Athletic Director Jeff Hathway, which was also forwarded to Connecticut Gov. Daniel P. Malloy and school officials ;

Burton wrote. “To be crystal clear, I was not looking for veto power over the next hire; I just wanted to be kept in the loop and add value and comments on any prospective candidates,” Burton wrote. “This is the same process that [former AD] Lew Perkins had with me when Randy Edsall was hired in December of 1998. You did not call me and ask for information on Paul Pasqualoni or talk to my son Joe, who started as an offensive lineman at Syracuse from 1997-2001. Instead you listened to others.”

“I am fed up with you as a manager because you did not let the hiring process take place in an open manner,” Burton writes. “You and your committee of three talked to some coaches and made a critical decision about who you were going to hire without input from knowledgeable people who care about the program.”

Burton goes on to say Pasqualoni, a Cheshire native, “only knows CT coaches and players.” The letter is also a scathing indictment of Hathaway, whom Burton writes is “not qualified to be a Division 1 AD.”

In the letter, Burton writes that he paid for Perkins’ air transportation to “find Randy Edsall” and that he once paid for his alma mater Murray State to play at UConn.

He also writes that he will take “eight actions” effective immediately, including the cancellation of his $50,000-a-year suite at Rentschler Field. Burton also said he will not pay $8,000 for the inside cover of the program and will transfer all of the football scholarship dollars to the Business School — a donation that has been as high as $1.5 million, he wrote.

He also writes that he is pulling his $20,000 a year donation to the summer head coaching clinic. And after the school returns his $3 million, Burton writes that UConn “can take our name off the Complex.”

01.24.11

The Most Appropriate Music Video In The History Of CSTB Embeds

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 8:08 pm by

Home Blitz participated in this past Saturday’s NYC benefit for Leetha Melchior Rodman (previously noted in this space) ; if you fast forward the above clip (link courtesy Jon Solomon) to the 2:19 mark, you’ll understand the reason for the above headline.

Josh Hamilton – One Deadspin Scoop Away From An Arbitration Beating

Posted in Baseball at 8:03 pm by

Texas OF Josh Hamilton is seeking a $12 million salary in 2011 ; his employers have submitted a figure of $8.7 million, with an arbitration hearing scheduled for Valentine’s Day.  Recalling a time in which Hamilton routinely ingested substances far more harmful than whipped cream and ginger ale, Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcatera raises the specter of the Rangers “trashing” the reigning AL MVP in order to save a few bucks.

An arbitration doesn’t just set the current player’s salary. It’s used as a baseline for later players with similar production and similar service time who head into the process themselves. If one team eases up on Josh Hamilton, other teams heading into arbitration with their Hamiltonian super stars will have a tougher hill to climb in order to prevail.  In a way, then, the integrity of the process requires that the parties fight their hardest case possible.

And it’s not hard to see how Hamilton’s history could, theoretically, be used against him.  Not on moral grounds, per se, but because his drug use took away from many important development years. Hamilton has had an injury history.  If the Rangers want to argue that that history gives them pause, could they not ” and should they not ” point to Hamilton’s abnormal development as a player as a potential reason for concern?  Could they not also point to his brief and highly-publicized relapse in 2009 as an added risk factor with respect to future playing time?  Another relapse and ” bam! ” he’s in rehab. I’m not saying that they should do that, just that they could.

Later in the piece, Calcaterra acknowledges that Hamilton’s career resurrection is part and parcel of his public appeal, and bringing his past troubles up in this context, “could make bringing the subject up worse for them than if they leave it alone.” Particularly if they’re hoping to lock up Hamilton for a longer pact in the near future. And with that in mind, one of the best ways the Rangers can respect the integrity of the process would be to come to some resolution with Hamilton before an arbitrator picks a side.

The Not-So-Impossible Dream Of Philly’s Howard Eskin…

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 3:34 pm by

…seems to be Topping Francesa As The East Coast’s Formost Megalomaniac.  Eskin lit into Phillies ace Roy Halladay last night for the failing to honor “the media” (ie. Eskin) and his role as the all-important conduit between the great unwashed and the sports universe’s leading lights.  Philly Burbs’ Patrick Berkery takes issue with Eskin’s claims of Halladay showing the high hat to the Fourth Estate, pointing out numerous examples of the pitcher, while not quite a quote machine, being relatively professional with his time.

This is all about you, Howard. You feel slighted because Halladay wouldn’t talk to you. You’ve enjoyed unprecedented access to Philly sports stars like Charles Barkley and Mike Schmidt, but Doc’s not letting you in. Too bad. Shame on you for filling a slow news cycle with your own petty grievances.

Halladay is a model citizen and teammate. Works harder than any Philadelphia athlete I’ve ever seen. Best pitcher we’ve had in this town in a generation. Talks to the media after he pitches. That’s more than enough for me, and I suspect it’s more than enough for most fans and other members of the media.

Faint Praise, Strong Defense: Yahoo’s MJD Sticks Up For Cutler

Posted in Gridiron at 12:21 pm by

The ashes of all those burned Jay Cutler jerseys — I thought Rick Reilly reported that no one owned those — are barely cold. The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board hasn’t made Sunday’s Bears loss in the NFC Championship about Obama yet. And there’s finally a diagnosis on the knee injury that knocked Cutler out of the game, which led to (in no particular order) what must be the 54-year-old Todd Collins’s last professional snaps, the ascent of Caleb Hanie to Clint Stoerner/Charlie Batch Respected Third Stringer status, and — arguably — a Bears loss.

The saturnine surl-beast Rick Reilly loves to hate has a torn MCL in his left knee, it turns out, which is the sort of injury that knocks people out of games. And while those of us who make hay on easy Todd Collins jokes will certainly feel his loss acutely, the most interesting larger-scale development this Monday is the way in which the narrative has seemingly turned in favor of the generally unlovable but wildly over-maligned Cutler. Shredded on Twitter by ex-players and armchair Urlachers alike, doubted on-air by blandly odious Bush Family golf buddy Jim Nantz and subjected to a few instant-reaction rip jobs — I read a bunch for today’s Daily Fix, but only used one — Cutler at last seems to be benefiting from a late-awakening sense of shame. Perhaps not so much among the anonymous comment set — although they can presumably expect calls from Jeff Pearlman on this — as from the bylined sideline types who suddenly realized that they were eviscerating a professional football player for imagined wimpiness while themselves dealing with no more serious football-related injury than a brief twinge of “nacho wrist” in the second half.

Or maybe the shame thing wasn’t it. But in what’s probably the most concise and amusingly undermine-y column I’ve read in Cutler’s defense thus far, Yahoo’s Matthew Darnell argues that everything in Cutler’s checkered track record — the wild-eyed back-footed picks, the smirky self-centeredness, the ineffably Cutlerian Cutlerness of Cutler — argues against the “Cutler is a quitter” angle.

The notion that he quit yesterday doesn’t make sense. Cutler was playing poorly, so he wanted out of the game? He was taking a beating, so he didn’t want to play anymore?

Like Jay Cutler has never played poorly or taken a beating before. As a matter of fact, if there’s anything that Jay Cutler has proven in his career, it’s that when he’s throwing interceptions, he is absolutely willing to stay on the field and keep throwing interceptions. It’s his defining trait.

Never once has Jay Cutler gotten gun shy. He has never been accused of not believing in his own ability, as evidenced by his constant willingness to make low-percentage throws into tight windows. No one ever said before yesterday, “Boy, playing poorly really seems to embarrass and affect Jay Cutler.”