Notorious Fantasist / Lineman Reclaims The Spotlight. Sort Of.

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 10:38 pm by

The lunacy of Signing Day took a decided turn for the absurd in February of 2008 when Fernley, NV OL Kevin Hart made quite a show of his dramatic choice to attend Cal-Berkeley over the University of Oregon.  Trouble is, Hart wasn’t being recruited by either institution of higher learning. Fast forward to the present day, and Hart — currently a sophomore at Feather River Community College, has taken to Facebook to update his adoring fans on future football plans.  From Lost Lettermen :

Hart responded to a post on his page on January 15 by commenting that his choices are between Division II schools Concordia University in St. Paul, MN, and Missouri Western in Saint Joseph, MO.

On January 4, Hart posted the following on his Facebook page: “Really thought I was close to making decision but after tonight things are wide open again, crazy!! Going on to St Paul on the 14th then Missouri Western on the 21st”

And when a friend commented that he thought Hart was set on a trip to St. Paul, Hart responded by saying he was until Missouri Western called in early January and “started talking offer and a visit so it’s back open u know how much I like Western.”

Yes, we know you like Western, Kevin, because you actually “liked” the school’s athletic page on Facebook. So it’s not a surprise that Hart is enjoying the recruitment process that he apparently never had four years ago and making it public through social media.

Rick Adelman : I Didn’t Leave Les Alexander Hanging By The Telephone

Posted in Basketball at 9:55 pm by

T-Wolves head coach Rick Adelman made his first appearance in Houston last since parting ways with the Rockets after the 2010-2011 season, and took pains to correct claims in the Houston Chronicle that he failed to return phone calls from owner Les Alexander. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Kent Youngblood ;

“You know, I’m still waiting for that phone call he said he made to me every year,” Adelman said. “I never got one, unless he was calling another Rick. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw all this stuff about how I never listened to him. It was kind of a joke.”

He wasn’t done. “[Alexander] said he used to call me three or four times a year. It never happened. … I chose not to accept the extension they offered me. I always thought the operation was Daryl [Morey, Rockets GM] and Les talking and then when I met with Les it was Daryl, Les and I. I’m not real smart, but I’m going to listen to my boss. That kind of turned me the wrong way.”

That said, Adelman took pains to say how much he enjoyed his four years with the Rockets.

“It was a great place to work, and I had a lot of fun,” he said. “Hopefully we can recreate it in Minnesota, that same atmosphere.”

The Big Lead – Allowing Cowherd To Take Full Ownership Of His Suckiness

Posted in Blogged Down, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 4:37 pm by

Of his ill-advised attempt to force a shutdown of The Big Lead in  2007,  a tearful Colin Cowherd tells TBL’s Jason MacIntyre, “ It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done to another person. It was a horrible thing to do … it ate me up.”  And with that Oprah moment out of the way, we’re treated to a mostly fluffy portrait of the flaming douchebag highly motivated broadcaster.  Though Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch offers qualified praise for McIntyre’s effort (“the conceit of staring down the person who took down your fledgling web site is an interesting dynamic to explore,”), he’s not entirely satisfied with the results.

First, I’m not a fan of single source profiles, which this basically was, and the fact that an ESPN PR rep shadowed the writer during the entire interview experience would have been a non-starter for me. (I’ll use this moment to note that of all the sports television networks I deal with, ESPN is the only one that consistency insists on its PR staff sitting in on interviews (phone or otherwise) with talent and executives. You can judge for yourself whether that’s sound handling, paranoia, or both. Sometimes I’ve played ball with them and other times I’ve contacted subjects independent of the Ministry of Magic. I will say that ESPN PR staffers have never interfered during an interview I’ve conducted, and that their conduct when they have sat in has been professional. But a third party, and a PR person at that, shadowing an interviewer shapes the dynamic of a profile, and makes you question things as the reader.)

I don’t know how the editorial process went down here but I wish McIntyre, if he had not, ran a draft by an experienced editor or a trusted profile writer who would have prompted a discussion about what’s not in here, from an attempt to speak with Cowherd’s ex-wife to the reaction of those he’s insulted on the radio to a firm discussion with his bosses.

Though Cowherd was allowed to call his assault on The Big Lead, “the worst thing I’ve ever done”, was it really any worse than this act of plagiarism? Or how does it compare to his contrition fading fast enough to have bragged to Deitsch in 2008, that sports bloggers were begging him to be knocked offline?  Where does Cowherd’s commentary following the shooting death of Sean Taylor fit into the pretty picture of a workaholic radio host who claims a TV network told him Will Arnett was “too m” to play him in a sitcom?


Lansing’s MWL Franchise Is Going (Lug)Nuts For Indie Beer

Posted in Baseball, Beer at 8:46 pm by

(the entry below was a cheap excuse to show this video.  Thought I could’ve opted for this, instead)

The Lansing Lugnuts’ slogan for their 2012 Midwest League season could very well be, “Come For The Creepy Logo That Suggests A Sex Act, Stay For The Boutique Beer”, as MLive’s Larry Hook reports the Class A ballclub will debut a Craft Beer Garden next spring (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“It’s basically like a lot of your little microbrews that are around town,” Lugnuts Assistant GM Nick Grueser said. “They’re not the big Budweisers of the world that are mass producing all over the place.”

He said certain specifications are required of craft beer manufacturers.

“They have to sell less than two million barrels of beer a year,” Grueser explained. “They have to be independent; they can’t have more than 25 percent controlled by a larger beer company. And they have to be a traditional beer, like they have to be an ale or a lager.”

Grueser said it is unknown at this point what brands of beers will be available in the beer garden.

“We’ve working with our beer partner, Dan Henry Distributing, on finding a selection of beers,” Grueser said. “We’re going to have about eight different, rotating beers that are craft-beer options for people.”


When It Comes To The Browns Beat, Randy Lerner Remains Halfway Relevant

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism, twitter twatter at 5:52 pm by

Imagine, if you will, if a writer covering the New York Mets took to Twitter to describe Fred Wilpon as “a pathetic figure”.  Or if someone on the Knicks beat called James Dolan, “the most irrelevant cable TV heir/guitarist in the world”  The reaction would be shrugs all around, right?  Not so in Cleveland, OH, where the Plain Dealer has removed Tony Grossi from Browns coverage after the veteran scribe’s unflattering Tweet about team owner Randy Lerner (above), “went unintentionally viral,” as the paper’s “reader representative”, Ted Diadun explains.

Grossi had typed a message, which he termed “a smart-(aleck) remark to a colleague,” that called Browns owner Randy Lerner “a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world.”

But instead of sending a text message only to its intended recipient, he hit the wrong button and sent it out to his 15,000-plus Twitter followers.

Grossi said he discovered to his horror what had happened within about 60 seconds, and immediately retracted the Tweet, but the damage had been done. When he realized the following morning that the Tweet had been copied and re-Tweeted around the football world, he called Fladung to give him the bad news.

An apology — to Lerner, the Browns and Grossi’s Twitter followers — was quick in coming. Editors also posted an apology on cleveland.com and Publisher Terrance C.Z. Egger sent Lerner and the Browns a letter of apology.

But Managing Editor Thom Fladung was still left with a problem: His Browns reporter had revealed to the world his utter disdain for the owner of the team he was covering. How would the paper’s readers be able to have faith in the objectivity in his reports following that?

“In another area, it would be an obvious call,” said Fladung. “What if the reporter covering City Hall called the mayor pathetic and irrelevant? What if a reporter in the Columbus bureau said that about the governor? They would be removed from the beat immediately. It’s the same with this situation.”

Nick Stevens Presides Over The Biggest Masshole Convention You’ll See…

Posted in Gridiron, Mob Behavior at 3:35 pm by

….unless DYS’ reunion tour hits some really big venues New England wins next Sunday, in which case they’ll do it all over again. Typically fine work from the Townie News correspondent, though it possibly would’ve been more entertaining had Stevens aka Fitzy visited a Giants Pep Rally instead. Dressed in Pats regalia, of course.

Tony Kornheiser Would Love To Help The Occupy Movement, But He’s Simply Too Rich

Posted in politics, Sports TV at 11:30 am by

Occupy Washington DC’s protests outside of Saturday night’s Alfafa Dinner  included the glitter-bombing of Sen. Joe Lieberman, a smattering of female nudity and the obligatory playing of Rage Against The Machine.  The event also featured a cordial confrontation between activists and ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser (above), who reportedly offered the following excuse for not taking up the fight ; “I’m with you in solidarity, but I’m a rich guy and I had fun.”  With such a sophisticated take on civil disobedience, ’tis a shame Tony couldn’t have been on the scene in Tienanmen Square, Selma or  Gdansk.


CSTB’s Greatest (?) Hits : (Regurgitating) Pro Bowl Chili

Posted in Food, Gridiron, Internal Affairs at 3:59 pm by

(Baltimore’s Ray Lewis shows a young fan just one of the places on the human body where you’d really like to avoid being stabbed)

(EDITOR’S NOTE : the following was first posted on February 8, 2004. Since our archives from year one are on the fritz, you’ll just have to take my word for it -GC).

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. Advertisers 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 Proofreader (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.

Fake It Till You Make It : Jayson Williams’ Popularity Rebound

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 1:42 pm by

Former Nets / St. Johns standout Jayson Williams, whose post-playing career has included charges not limited to manslaughter, cover-up of said killing and numerous scrapes with the law, is currently serving a one-year DUI sentence at New York’s Riker’s Island after completing an 18-month stretch in relation to the 2002 shooting of limousine driver Costas Christofi. One of Williams’ fellow inmates, Christopher Hughes, tells the NY Post’s Page 6 that Williams, “is beloved by all behind bars with him, from crackheads to gangbangers.”   Michael Alig was presumably unavailable for comment.

“People treat him like a star,” said Hughes, who was released from Rikers last week after serving time for reckless assault. “Every single person shakes his hand. He is like Moses, the Moses of Rikers.”

“Jayson would sign people’s Bibles,” Hughes told us. “I would ask him why, and he’d say, ‘Fake it till you make it.’ I thought he was saying, ‘If I can get them in the door through this signature, then at least I got them in the room to see Christ.’ ”

Williams worked as a suicide-prevention assistant for a week on the midnight shift, to help inmates who were contemplating killing themselves, Hughes told us.

Jayson, also a former Philadelphia 76er, who receives “tons” of mail and spends four hours a day writing back, is also penning a second book, “Humbled,” which includes the bombshell that he was sexually abused as a child.

“It’s raw,” said Hughes, who read excerpts while in prison.


With His Fox Soccer Cameos, Piers Morgan Has Accomplished The Near-Impossible..

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 9:07 pm by

(image culled from The Denim Kit)

…in that he’s somehow managed to make Eric Wynalda come off like a thoughtful commentator.   Next Sunday morning, Fox’s US terrestrial network will air a live broadcast the Chelsea v Manchester United match prior to their Super Bowl pregame coverage. Let’s hope that unlike last weekend’s transmission of Manchester United at Arsenal, unabashed Gooner Morgan is kept off far away from an analyst microphone, lest he deliver the sort of performance described below by When Saturday Comes’ Ian Plenderneith ;

Arsene Wenger’s substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he declared, was the worst substitution he had ever seen. Get that! The teenager had just set up a goal and then off he went for Andrei Arshavin, who failed to track back when Valencia went on a run that set up United’s winner. Again, Morgan table-thumpingly declared it was all Wenger’s fault, then loudly proclaimed: “I’ve had enough of this!”

Rob Stone and Wynalda looked at him, slightly worried. Would Morgan stab himself in the chest as a gesture of protest? No such luck. Rip up his season ticket live on US television? That might have been difficult, given that season tickets at the Emirates are small plastic cards, and a cynic might doubt whether Morgan actually owns one anyway. Make a run for the board? Wealthy, overbearing, clueless about football and with the requisite plummy accent, he’d be the perfect fit, but no announcement was made. Stop supporting Arsenal and change his allegiance to the New York Giants? That might have been in the Fox script, but at that point the football coverage came to a close. We are yet to find out what action Piers is preparing to take now that he’s had it up to HERE with Arsène Wenger.

Of course no one is fooling themselves that this was anything besides theatre, and that Morgan was briefed beforehand to step up and look like the passionate homer. Gloat if you win, get mad if you lose and don’t forget to find a hero or a scapegoat depending on the scenario. It is only a shame (though hardly a surprise) that the opportunity was missed to present football to a wider US public in an intelligent and more balanced fashion.