03.14.12

Jacked-Off : Doritos’ SXSW Eyesore

Posted in Austin, The Marketplace at 10:34 am by

So Doritos has erected a 50-foot tall vending machine on the corner of Red River and 5th. Though it’s a staggeringly offensive sight to behold, I will say the following in the snack food company’s defense ;

a) it’s far and away the best looking piece of architecture in the current Austin skyline
b) finally, someone has come up with the right venue / setting for TV Torso to display their full range of talent.
c) someone had to take the heat off those Homeless Hotspot innovators.

03.13.12

Marlins To Their Little Havana Neighbors : Suck Our Dust

Posted in Baseball, Ugly New Stadiums at 2:38 pm by

Days after Marlins president David Samson climbed atop a stack of telephone books to fire back at critics of his club’s sweetheart stadium deal, residents of Little Havana are telling the Miami Herald’s Melissa Sanchez, “they feel let down by promises that they’d somehow benefit from the taxpayer-subsidized project.”

“It’s been one deception after another,” said Castro, 55. “We had to swallow all that dust during the construction phase. Our neighbors who didn’t have work then are still unemployed. And now we’re not even allowed to park on our own street.”One recent evening, hours before an exhibition game between the Marlins and the FIU baseball team, Castro and a half-dozen of his neighbors griped about the lack of parking outside their two-story apartment building, at 1452 Northwest Third Street.

The building, like many on the street, lacks its own parking lot, so residents leave their cars on the street. Back in the era of the Orange Bowl, parking was prohibited on game days but allowed the rest of the year. Now they have 10 times as many game days to look forward to.

Residents said they expressed their parking concerns during community meetings with Marlins representatives and city and county leaders. But just a few weeks ago the County’s Public Work Department eliminated the off-street parking to a create a center turn lane that stretches from 14th Avenue to 16 Avenue. Next came the parking tickets.

“Instead of giving us residential parking passes or something, we got $28 tickets,” said Adela Otero, 57.

The exhibition games last week gave another group of residents a bitter taste of what’s to come. Maria Campos is one of close to a thousand seniors who live in a complex of three public housing developments along Northwest Seventh Street, directly north of the stadium. She said it was nearly impossible for residents to get into or out of the complex because of stadium traffic and police blockades. It took some residents close to an hour to get home.

“It was incredible, you couldn’t get out or receive a visit from a family,” said Campos, who heads a residential association at Robert King High Towers. “We were like prisoners here during exhibition games…I don’t know how we’re going to survive when the Yankees come.”

Stephon Marbury : Surrounded In Shanxi

Posted in Basketball, Mob Behavior, We Aren't The World at 11:34 am by

The AP and the Star are reporting former Knicks PG Stephon Marbury is accused of assaulting a fan following a Chinese Basketball Association playoff defeat Sunday.  I can neither confirm or deny this story was fed to me by someone in the MSG public relations department, eager to distract from the tiny matter of the Knicks losing their 6th consecutive contest.

The 35-year-old Marbury and his Beijing Ducks teammates were trapped in their team van after their 102-100 road loss Sunday to the Shanxi Brave Dragons, Marbury’s original team when he joined the league in 2010. A newspaper photograph showed fans pounding on the windows of the van.

Marbury was quoted Tuesday by the official China Daily as saying he and the fans had been separated by guards. However, he disputed reports he’d hit a fan.

“I didn’t do that,” Marbury said. “How could I do that over the security guards?”

“We know that for us to win it all we must trust one another because we are at war now,” Marbury wrote in a column carried in the China Daily.

Dusty Hails Cubs Fans As Math Geniuses

Posted in Baseball at 11:08 am by

Sort of.  Not in any way bitter over the Cubs allowing him to walk at the end of his 2006 season, Reds skipper Dusty Baker has words of warning for current Chicago manager Dale Sveum, telling CSN.com’s Patrick Mooney, “In ’04, we kind of stood pat and even subtracted…we didn’t reload. That would have been the time to reload when you’re getting close. They reloaded after I left.”

“From my experience, patience wasn’t a real virtue here,” Dusty Baker said Monday. “They’ve been patient for a hundred years. That’s a hard sell in Chicago – more patience. They might be patient for a little while, but unlike any other place I’ve been, they count. People count. They can add real good in Chicago. Everybody – men, women and children.”

“The national anthem is my favorite time of the day,” Baker said. “During those three hours, the game’s the same. The difference is what happens and what’s entailed before the game and after the game. That’s the difference and the vibes that you get, positively and negatively, from everything involved.”

CSTBracket VI: Where The Elite Meet To Overestimate The ACC

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Internal Affairs at 8:00 am by

(WRONG BRACKET! GODDAMN ART DEPT.)

Things change. Six years ago, when the CSTBracket started, John Calipari was a coach with a talented roster and some Shout-proof gravy stains on his reputation, Michigan State was a topsoil-dull title contender defined by a feels-like-getting-a-headache style and a bunch of chunky elbow-tossing 6-8 forwards, and Duke was regarded as both typically loathsome and unusually flawed. But look at us now, living in a future in which which CSTBracket VI now officially a thing, wondering how things such as those described above could ever have been true. Funny old world and so on.

But yes. Yes, because it is March and because one of the internet’s most storied sporting traditions isn’t going to go away just because Colorado somehow won the Pac-12, CSTBracket VI is here, and if it’s not quite better than ever, it’s at least worth mentioning that you will no longer have to try not to win because you don’t want me to send you a photograph of myself in a Corliss Williamson jersey or some gross shorts. This year, this time, please feel free to pick without fear, because the actual prize — a selection of premium-grade 12XU swag, courtesy of GC — is an actual prize, in the sense that it consists of things that are actually desirable. As opposed to the Turbo Grafx16 “Vernon Maxwell’s Howling Mad Hoopz” cartridges and Patrick O’Bryant rookie cards that have traditionally been our prizes. This year, in other words, you’ll win more than bragging rights if you win. Although anyone bragging about finishing ahead of GC or me in a NCAA bracket contest hasn’t paid much attention to previous CSTBracket outcomes.

So: your window to enjoyable frustration and predictive inadequacy is here; it’s a public league, and as such there’s no password. I will be the person overrating Belmont for reasons I can’t explain without drugs or alcohol. You will be a few slots ahead of me. In that sense, not much has changed.

03.12.12

This Week In Austin, Texas – Attend Not One, But Two Star-Studded Musical Events (That Might Bankrupt CSTB)

Posted in Austin, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 4:20 pm by

At one time one of the nation’s 40 or so most popular sports blogs, Can’t Stop The Bleeding celebrates 9 years of cutting, pasting and quoting out context (along with dramatic downturns in traffic & advertising revenues), with a 4th annual, not-at-all-affiilated with SXSW free event. Past participants have included such superstars as the Homosexuals, the Muffs, TV Ghost, Endless Boogie, Wiccans, Wounded Lion, The Young and many others who used this particular event as a launching pad….to play additional shows no one paid them to play.

At the risk of sounding more arrogant than usual, this year’s lineup (running order possibly determined by coin toss) might be the strongest yet.

Apache Dropout (Bloomington, IN)
Puffy Areolas (Toledo, OH)
G.Green (Sacramento, CA)
Mannequin Men (Chicago, IL)
Cruddy (Austin, TX)
Bare Wires (Oakland, CA)
Unholy Two (Columbus, OH)
Obnox (Cleveland, OH)

As usual, this event is not sponsored by any purveyors of healthy drinks, unhealthy drinks, dot coms that actually pay taxes or action-wear suppliers. If someone would like to kick in for the gear hire, the socialist tone of this introduction goes straight into the paper shredder.

Because one amazing free show in the middle of rock biz-convention-week isn’t nearly enough to satiate the Austin area’s half dozen CSTB readers or their fucking freeloading brethren, here’s another.

We’d like to thank the ownership and staff (shown above) of Austin’s premier showplace, Trailer Space for allowing the use of their premises.  Memphis’ Sex Cult have recently changed their name to Ex-Cult due to one of those disputes with someone who can’t handle being in an inferior band over intellectual property. This bill will also feature a midnight performance by special surprises guests who we cannot identity. So please don’t tell anyone Death Of Samantha are playing.

If Anyone Ever Calls JaVale McGee “Enigmatic”, Keep In Mind That’s Just A Euphemism

Posted in Basketball at 2:05 pm by

(video link swiped from Dan Steinberg)

D’Antoni In Full Scale Lame Duck Mode

Posted in Basketball at 12:07 pm by

The Knicks’ fifth consecutive loss, a listless display at MSG versus Philly yesterday featured the return of Tyson Chandler, but also the 4th quarter benching of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. “‘Maybe he (Mike D’Antoni) was trying to save us for tomorrow. I’m not sure. That’s something you have to ask him.’ muttered Anthony after the game, though with the Knicks’ 2011-12 sinking fast, it might also be the soon-t0-be free agent head coach is eager to distance himself from a superstar he never wanted to acquire.  The New York Daily News’ Fillip Bondy poses the “a team with a coach-killing roster – or is it a roster-killing coach?”

D’Antoni has no more Jeremy Lins up his sleeve. He doesn’t seem overly concerned about rescuing his job, either. D’Antoni has been trying in vain for a year to mesh these disparate talents, to tame overblown expectations in New York. He sounds tired of it all, as if he’d much rather be coaching a team in Philadelphia or Denver, free from the burden of self-styled stars.

“I think that’s the way to go,” he said on Sunday about Philly’s balanced lineup. “Every coach wants to play that way. They’re doing a great job and Doug (Collins) does a great job. It should always be a team game. I think Denver made that case, a lot of people are making that case. Every coach aspires to everybody sharing the ball and stats don’t matter.”

D’Antoni also mentioned Miami isn’t doing badly with their triumvirate of stars, that there is another way to build a contender. But by citing Denver, the coach singled out a franchise that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. He was, essentially, second-guessing a deal heartily endorsed by ownership.

03.11.12

Kelner : Save The Relegation Grief For Actual Relegation

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 8:32 pm by

A controversial 2-1 defeat at Bolton dropped CSTB faves Queens Park Rangers to 22nd in the EPL, and if the season were to end today, the Stupor Hoops would find themselves relegated to the Championship next season. Of course, the season won’t end today, and that’s the crux of Guardian scribe Martin Kelner’s argument, that the BBC’s Match Of The Day, “may have gone a little too early with its annual Agony of Relegation from the Premier League show.

In the match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers, there were rather too many cutaways of Wolves fans in the stands, looking depressed and anxious, biting nails and so on, followed by the obligatory shot of fans trooping disconsolately out of the ground five minutes from the end. We also had a short sequence of angry fans outside the ground voicing their discontent with the owners. This stuff should be left till the last day.

MOTD will have nowhere to go, when relegation actually occurs, unless they are fortunate enough to get the money shot: a male fan, too heartbroken to move, sitting head bowed, in an empty stand, his girlfriend extending a consolatory arm around his shoulders. It also works the other way around: a weeping female fan, her quivering boyfriend trying to stay strong for her. Extra points for the director if either is attractive. I should like to think we are not too far away from the Brokeback version of this scene, a civil ceremony if you like: two men lovingly consoling each other – not in an alcohol-fuelled-I-bloody-love-you-mate way – on relegation day. That could be a giant step towards ridding our national sport of homophobia.

Marcus Camby, Possibly Not A Fan Of John Feinstein’s “The Punch”

Posted in Basketball, Hockey at 12:01 pm by

Blazers forward Marcus Camby was tossed from last night’s 110-99 win at Washington for his 2nd quarter flagrant foul on the Wizards’ Kevin Seraphin (above). While the latter suggested, “maybe he tried to punk somebody,”, Camby was a little more detailed in his explanation (“I felt he had his forearm on my throat so I was just trying to get some space between me and him”). From SB Nation’s Michael Katz :

“I hate coming out of the ballgames and being forced to get ejected,” Camby said. “I felt embarrassed, me being the captain I wanted to be out there for my team in the second half.”

“I always said growing up I wish the NBA was like hockey, you know, and let two guys go out there and fight. It would eliminate a lot of the tough guys you think are tough guys in the NBA.”

I’ll say this much for Camby ; he’s so focused on his job, he’s unlikely to be distracted by a mountain of press that implies hockey fighting might lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

03.10.12

BREAKING : The Owner With A Boner Is No Oscar Wilde

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 11:27 pm by

Though we’ve yet to learn which ESPN.com employee is the Rosemary Woods of the following episode, there’s been considerable anxiety over Mavericks owner Mark Cuban claiming the Sports Putz’ affection for the Kiss-Cam is “because you and your boyfriend are always on it”.  The Worldwide Leader chose to edit the offending remark from Bill Simmons’ podcast, an ommision The Boston Phoenix’s Carly Carioli finds troubling given the NBA’s recent efforts to “create a PSA’s begging kids not to use homophobic slurs.”

While I’ll putting aside for a moment whether or not Cuban ought to face the same punishment as a Kobe Bryant or Joakim Noah (fuck, of course he should!), Yahoo Sports’ Dan Devine asks, “How big a bummer is it that this grown-ass man’s — this billionaire’s — idea of a killer joke was exactly the same as that of basically every middle-schooler in recorded history?”

Having achieved as much as Cuban has — or even just having lived 53 years on the planet — doesn’t also cause you to say to yourself, “Making fun of people by suggesting they’re gay isn’t a good thing to do; I probably shouldn’t do that”? That’s kind of depressing, right? In that moment, I was disappointed in part that Cuban said something that made him seem like a creep, but mostly because what he’d said made him seem like a boring one. A dull one.

Of Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza once said, “It’s pretty funny. All the money in the world can’t buy class.”  And that’s what I’d say to anyone who expresses even mild shock that that for all his business success, Mark Cuban might be less funny than your average Deadspin (or YouTube) commenter.

Take It From Mackey Sasser, Frank Francisco Needs To Talk

Posted in Baseball at 6:17 pm by

Assuming no one ever reaches first base against Mets closer Frank Francisco this year, it’s safe to say the former Texas reliever will have a very successful 2012 season. In the more likely event,  however, that batters occasionally reach first, those attempting steals with Francisco on the mound have a 33 for 36 rate of success over the past four years, due in no small part to what one scout calls “pretty common knowledge” of Frank’s wildness when holding runners.

If Francisco’s inability to throw to first turns a single into a near-automatic double, it might be fair to question a $12 million dollar investment, unless of course his troubles are more mental than physical. If that’s the case, would be well advised to consider the case of former catcher Mackey Sasser, whose habit of double-pumping prior to tossing the ball back to the pitcher virtually guaranteed opposing teams would run on the Mets at will.  Toiling as a coach for Wallace Community College, Sasser spoke with the New York Daily News’ Anthony McCarron in 2009 about his attempts to break the yip-habit.

After Sasser’s yips returned while he pitched batting practice, turning a simple duty all college coaches must perform into a chore, a friend suggested Sasser talk to Dr. David Grand. Grand, a Long Islander, finally helped Sasser “let it all go,” Sasser says, the first step in curing the problem that inexplicably began in July 1990 after a collision with Atlanta’s Jim Presley.

“I wish I would’ve known David Grand while I was playing,” adds Sasser, who played for the Pirates, Giants, Mets and Mariners from 1987-95. “It’s hard to explain all these years later, that your career is shorter because you couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher. Someone asked me why I still tried to end the problem and I said I wanted to know why it happened. Dr. Grand explained it to me. He made me relax.

“He works with a lot of trauma cases and it’s a lot of suppressed things that happened to you over your lifetime. You haven’t been able to throw it away or get rid of it. He dug up some things from my childhood that were traumatic, with my father or me [Sasser lived with his father after his parents divorced when he was 10 years old] and he made me see. It is a relief. I think a lot of players could benefit from what he does.”

Christian Death Update : Laettner Stiffed Pippen, Merriman

Posted in Basketball, The Law, The Marketplace at 1:05 pm by

Though  the troubled real estate dealings of former Duke standouts Christian Laettner and Brian Davis have been mentioned in this space before (“Christian Laettner, Just A Little Bit Closer To Breaking Rocks In The Hot Sun”, 9/16/11), the degree to which other athletes have been victimized by the duo was detailed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by Valerie Bauerlin and Spencer Wilking.  “The timing of the economic collapse and our game plan was not good,” Davis tells the WSJ, though with Laettner currently serving as an assistant coach for the D-League’s Ft. Wayne Mad Ants (2-14 this season), I’m not sure I’d trust a game plan of any sort from these guys.

Court documents show that Laettner and Davis individually and their real-estate businesses are defendants in several civil lawsuits seeking repayment of loans worth about $30 million. The plaintiffs include sports celebrities like ex-Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen, who played with Laettner on the 1992 Olympic team. In August 2010, a state court judge in Lake County, Ill., ordered Laettner and Davis to repay Pippen $2.5 million. Through his attorney, Pippen said he had been paid half that amount and that litigation between the parties continues.

“What they have done isn’t honest—I feel cheated,” said Shawne Merriman, the three-time All-Pro Buffalo Bills linebacker who had lent money to the real-estate ventures of Laettner and Davis, which operated under a multitude of names.

In January 2011, a federal court judge in Maryland ordered Laettner and Davis to pay Merriman $3.7 million.

Laettner declined to be interviewed. Speaking on behalf of their real-estate companies, Davis said, “Me and Christian took a lot of risk.” Davis said he regretted alienating friends, particularly former Duke captain Johnny  Dawkins (owed more than $670,000), whom he has known for 25 years.

03.09.12

Mike Bianchi’s Carriage Return Abuse / Emotional Blackmail Of Dwight Howard

Posted in Basketball, Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 11:04 pm by

(above : the anti-Dwight Howard)

When watching Peyton Manning’s tearful farewell press conference earlier this week, who amongst us didn’t say to ourselves, “wow, I wonder you could use this event to fuck with Dwight Howard’s psyche?” Well, the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi did more than just drunkenly mumble to himself, he actually did the goddamn deed in Friday’s paper, adding, “Indy cries because Peyton wanted to stay. Orlando cries because Dwight has said he wants to leave.”

You see, Peyton didn’t want to leave; he was forced to leave. Four neck surgeries, 14 years of NFL wear and tear and an uncertain future caused the Colts to make a cold but understandable business decision. They saved $28 million and chose soon-to-be-drafted No. 1 pick Andrew Luck over Manning — arguably the greatest passer the NFL has ever known.

Manning, as you would expect, took the high road. He didn’t rip the organization, team management or the media. In fact, he thanked all of the above and said he understood why the Colts had to do what they did.

And then he cried.

“As I go,” he said, his voice breaking up, “I go with just a few words left to say — a few words I want to address to Colts fans everywhere: ‘Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. I truly have enjoyed being your quarterback.’ “

That, LeBron, is how you say goodbye to a city.

And that, Dwight, is why you should never say goodbye to Orlando.

“If Dwight leaves Orlando now,” Bianchi warns,  “he will get none of that. No statue. No retired jersey. No lifelong adoration and respect.”  He might, however have a chance to win a title elsewhere. And the rest of Bianchi’s analogy is deeply confusing.  Despite all he’s done for the Colts, Peyton Manning was ultimately deemed expendable.  Earlier in his career, however, he did everything in his power to maximize his earnings.  Were Manning, a) 26 years old, b) healthy, c) at the end of his contract, and d) toiling for a coach and GM he was thoroughly sick of, does Bianchi seriously believe Eli’s older brother would stick around out of loyalty?  And if the Orlando scribe really wants Howard to thoroughly follow in Peyton’s footsteps, exactly whose face does Bianchi want Howard to sit on?

Rangers Seek To Diminish Nolan Ryan’s Thuggish Past

Posted in Baseball at 5:08 pm by

The 1993, oft-replayed assault on 3B Robin Ventura by Rangers starter Nolan Ryan would be a neat thing to show over the Arlington jumbotron when Chicago opens the 2012 season at Texas on April 6, particularly as Ventura is now the skipper of the visiting team, while Ryan fronts the ownership group for the hosts.  However, sounding a little sick-to-death of this ancient violent highlight, Rangers public address announcer Chuch Morgan tells ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett, “We may show it on the day it happened as part of the 40th anniversary moments, but that’s probably it.”

 ”I just thought this offseason that we didn’t need to be showing that anymore,” Morgan said. “I watched how St. Louis treated Stan the Man during the playoffs and that’s how we should treat Nolan as the face of the franchise. We’ll celebrate his no-hitters and other moments.”

“I also don’t think it’s right for us on our Opening Day to show a fight, and then that whole weekend we’re going to treat Robin Ventura with respect,” Morgan said. “He’s the manager of the White Sox. We don’t need to do anything like that.”

“We’ve got a team that just went to back-to-back World Series and we’ve got plenty of good moments to show,” Morgan said.

I hope Morgan has more luck finding footage of Chan Ho Park’s contract signing ceremony than I did.

Astros To MLB : We’re Dope For Guns

Posted in Baseball, Firearms at 3:49 pm by

Apologies to the late Malcom Owen for the above headline. One of the few benefits of having once purchased Houston Astros tickets online is that I’m blessed with spam like the sort that arrived earlier today. Let’s hear it for historical accuracy!

HOUSTON, TX – Houston Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane announced today that the Astros will wear replicas of their original Colt .45s jersey during the April 10 and April 20 games at Minute Maid Park.

The jersey, worn by the ballclub in its first three years of existence (1962-64), included a pistol below the name “Colts” on the front. This week, the Astros heard from thousands of fans who were virtually unanimous in their support of the authentic Colt .45s jersey.

“The Colt .45s name was selected by the fans when the franchise was born, so it has special meaning to them,” said Crane. “The fans have spoken again and I can only stand with the fans on this decision. I would like to thank Major League Baseball for allowing us to make the final decision.”

03.08.12

Papelbon : Philly Phans Are Knowledgable & Sophisticated, Just Like Me

Posted in Baseball at 2:24 pm by

“I’ve had a guy take of his prosthetic leg and throw it in the bullpen in Boston,” claims former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who despite having yet to throw a single pitch in anger at Citizens Bank Park, has already declared his new team’s fans to be intellectual superior to the Massholes he’s left behind.  From CBS Philadelphia’s Spike Eskin (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory) :

“The difference between Boston and Philadelphia, the Boston fans are a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball,” Phillies reliver Papelbon said in an interview with 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team.  “The Philly fans tend to know the game a little better, being in the National League, you know, the way the game is played.

Even though Red Sox fans can be extreme at times, Papelbon used it to his advantage. “It’s a religion. It’s a way of life. They come to the field and they expect certain things out of players. It’s an environment where you put up or shut up. I enjoyed that. It got my motor running every day.”

Why Must Sean Salisbury Continue To Pay For The Victimless Crime Of Showing You His Penis?

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 1:03 pm by

At least once a year, John Rocker pops up in magazine or perhaps on a radio station, reflecting on his thoroughly negative encounter with former SI scribe Jeff Pearlman.  As Rocker isn’t entirely contrite — and continues to spew his toxic worldview — few amongst us, least of Pearlman, are inclined to say, “ok, he made a dumb mistake. Let’s give the big nazi lug a second chance.”

Should we then, compare and contrast Rocker’s case with that of former ESPN football analyst / serial bullier of John Clayton, Sean Salisbury? Salisbury, as you’re probably aware, lost his lucrative Bristol gig after Deadspin revealed he’d photographed his penis and circulated the portrait via cell phone.  In the months and years that have followed, Salisbury’s engaged in a war of words (and threats of legal action) with former Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio, and found himself tossed from another sports commentary jobInterviewed by Pearlman, Salisbury openly admits the error of his ways, but still seems to come a little short of taken full accountability, arguing, “I can’t even get in front of an executive to tell him, ‘Just judge me by this, not some stupid, irrelevant cell phone picture of six years ago that didn’t harm anyone.’”

SS: There has to come a time when one TV executive says, ‘This is nonsense.’ And what I want to ask—what I dream of asking—is, to a room of TV executives, ‘If I open up your computer or phone, what will I see?’ I have one executive I sat down with a friend, and we talked about this. This was last fall. And I said, ‘This incident is over.’ And he said, ‘No doubt.’ But he broached it, and it irritated me. I said, ‘What’s in your phone?’ And he said, ‘Sean, if you knew what was in my phone it wouldn’t even compare to what’s in your phone. It’s that bad.’

I kept a journal for 12 years while I was there. I’ve got a best-selling book in my lap if I ever wanted to do it. You know? I’ve got it sitting right in my back pocket if I ever wanted to. To I’m not into taking guys’ wives and families away. I’m not into getting guys suspended and taking their careers away.

J.P.: I remember when I wrote the John Rocker piece for SI. And one of the people who told me how big of a jerk Rocker was was a kid I knew in college—who was an insanely large racist. And I think it’s interesting how … ‘Who hasn’t done something they’re embarrassed off? It seems like we judge others on a different level than we judge ourselves.

S.S.: Oh, there’s absolutely no question. The same person that may have sent a picture to his girlfriend is the same person who will judge you the most and ‘How can you do this?’ But I’ve also had plenty say, ‘Who cares?’ Put it that way—had I known I’d gone through this, I would have gotten my money worth. Had I known this would detour my life … not just my career, but my life … I would have gotten my money’s worth. Good gracious. At least I would have had a helluva sex session with an executive’s wife. I’m obviously kidding here, but your point is right—we do judge.

Keep in mind, this isn’t the first time Salibury has alluded to his ability to take down some former colleagues, if push came to shove.  As for whether or not no one was actually harmed by his infractions, I don’t think it is particularly crazy to suggest a normal, safe work environment should not include receiving unsolicited photos of Salibury’s cock (tellingly, Salibury blames the furor on Harold Reynolds).

On the blackballing tip, is it entirely fair that each time Sean, his family or prospective employers Google his name, they’re greeted with stories about his precipitous fall from grace?  Not exactly, but it would be very helpful if he had accomplished anything of greater consequence during his tenure at ESPN or in the time since.  Even when he wasn’t playing Biff to Clayton’s George McFly, Salisbury was a hectoring, smug figure, devoid of insight or wit. Though he was hardly alone in that respect at ESPN, it’s the height of insanity to suggest he wasn’t easily replaced.

Funnily enough, even for an ex-jock with the most modest of broadcasting skills, Salisbury has no idea of how fortunate he was.  “Look at some of the people who have been in trouble, who everyone will make an excuse for,” he grouses.  “I guess if I were a Hall of Famer as an athlete, I guess I’d be back on the air,” (tell it to Steve Phillips!) So there you have it folks ; it’s not merely the asshole bloggers and the PC police who’ve conspired to cost Sean Salisbury his livelihood.  It’s those goddamn former athletes who are fondly remembered!   Thank heavens we’ve got Jeff Pealman around to diss one of ‘em : “meanwhile, Jerry Rice has a gig. Explain that one to me.”  EASY, Jeff.   While he’s hardly a brilliant analyst, persons seeing Jerry Rice on their television set rarely have the mental image of the HOF wide receiver photographing his penis in a TGIF men’s room.  They also have few memories of Rice screaming and hollering at Herbert Kornfeld’s inspiration.  In short, no one will remember Jerry Rice as a great broadcaster.  But there’s relatively little ill-will towards, him, either.  He’s considered likeable. As opposed to, y’know, repellent.

Do I have any proof that Jerry Rice doesn’t possess something deeply disturbing on his laptop or cell phone?  None whatsoever, but as long as he’s gracious enough not to share it with the rest of the world, and refrains from the borderline psychotic expressions of outrage that have typified Salisbury’s post-ESPN career, it’s really of no consequence.  I realize that Pearlman was trying to do Salisbury a favor, but I were a prospective employer, I’d be even less likely to give him a job after this, let alone sit in the same room with him.

The Canadian Football League Is No Stranger To Bounties

Posted in Gridiron, We Aren't The World at 3:17 am by

Upon hearing that Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was paying cash bonuses for injuries inflicted on the opposition, who amongst us didn’t wonder if the same sort of thing was happening north of the border?  Not me, for starters.  In fact, unless I’m trying to wonder where Tim Tebow will be playing football in two years, I rarely find myself thinking of the CFL, so it’s very helpful of TSN to take the matter up.

Player bounties are making headlines in the NFL but former CFL defensive tackle Adriano Belli says the practice is also commonplace in Canada.

“Players put up bounties all the time,” said Belli, a 10-year CFL veteran who retired last May.

“We all got per diem when we travelled, you’d get a couple of hundred bucks or even more depending on your contract for spending money on road trips.

“I’ve seen guys before the game put $100 a pop into a pot and go into the locker-room and say, ‘OK, first sack or the first guy to knock the quarterback out of the game gets the pot.’ That’s fairly normal.”

“My goal was to get their quarterback out of the game,” said the 34-year-old Toronto native, dubbed “The Kissing Bandit” for penchant for giving people a peck on the cheek. “I didn’t want to injure him so he couldn’t play anymore but certainly hurt him so he couldn’t play anymore against us in that particular game.”

“I’m not a hateful guy, I never wanted to injury somebody. We’re all professional athletes and have to make a living and I love quarterbacks, I think they’re so cute in their little uniforms. However, my job was to get them out of the game.”

03.07.12

Marlins Prez / Diminutive Accu-Jack Enthusiast : Local Politicians Are Stupid (Unless They’re Bending Over For My Boss)

Posted in Baseball, politics, Ugly New Stadiums at 6:33 pm by

If you have a problem with Jeffrey Loria and club president David Samson (above) sticking Miami-Dade County taxpayers with a more than half billion dollar tab for the construction of the Marlins’ new ballpark — or with former Mayor Carlos Alvarez losing his office as a result of said sweetheart deal — Samson would like you to know, “I don’t have to hold back now that the stadium is built — not that I ever have.” Flexing his oratory chops in front of 75 people at a Beacon Country breakfast, Samson’s preseason pep talk was transcribed by Miami Today’s Scott Blake.

Samson called politicians “not the intellectual cream of the crop,” adding about the entire population, “We’re not the smartest people in Miami. If you’re in this room, you’re instantly in the top 1%.”

“I went to Tallahassee,” he said. “I don’t know what they do up there. There are so many special interests. You walk through the building, and they’re watching “Family Feud.’ You see people running around, working on legislation. All I know is that gavel goes down and nothing gets done.”

During his speech Tuesday, Mr. Samson blasted Norman Braman, former owner of the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles and now a Miami auto dealer and activist who filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the Marlins’ stadium deal.

“I don’t see Norman Braman trying to fix anything,” Mr. Samson said. “If he has the time and money, let’s see [him] run” for public office. “He should stop saying how bad it is, and start trying to make a difference.”

Mr. Braman helped lead last year’s successful campaign to recall Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who drew opposition for his pushing of tax increases and the stadium deal.

Calling voter turnout for recall elections “pathetic,” Mr. Samson said recalls have a negative effect on the political process by making public officials who are not even targeted “shake in their shoes” instead of “making them do what’s good for the community.”

Mr. Samson might have saved his most biting criticism for Miami Today Publisher and Editor Michael Lewis, who has written a number of editorial columns opposing and criticizing the public-private deal that financed construction of the Marlins’ complex.

“I don’t read his columns anymore,” Mr. Samson said. “It’s crushing to have someone write their emotions disguised as facts. People with a pen can use it as a sword to destroy a project without having all the facts.”

03.06.12

Fred Wilpon Likened To An All-Time Sporting Legend

Posted in Baseball at 8:10 pm by

Under normal circumstances, Tuesday’s Grapefruit League performances by Andres Torres and Johan Santana would provide a genuine glimmer of hope to the breed of masochists who call ourselves Mets fans.  However, in the wake of yesterday’s court ruling that principal owner Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz must pay at least $83 million to victims of Bernie Madoff (a sum that might only increase following a pending trial), ESPN.com’s Buster Olney suggests Wilpon’s ill-advised attempts to hang on at all costs are best compared to those of the late Joe Paterno (if we’re looking for football analogies, I’d have picked Fran Tarkenton).  Leave it to Metsradamus, however, to find some potential silver lining in this atrocity exhibition.

It’s good news to hear that a U.S. District Judge has ruled that the Picard vs. Wilpons suit will go on as planned, and that the first family of tone deaf has to pay out those $83 million in ficticious profits. Now that alone wouldn’t be the best news, as $83 million is just enough to doom the Mets to financial irrelevancy over the next couple of years, yet not enough to give Bud Selig the ample reason he needs to force these clowns out of business. But there’s a chance now that the Wilpons have to pay out a whole lot more money at the end of this trial, which would probably be the death blow.

The Mutual Admiration Society That Is Joe Buck & Charlie Sheen

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 1:32 pm by

Fox Sports’ Joe Buck is co-hosting a radio program on St. Louis’ KFNS this week with Tim McKernan, and for the show’s test-run, who can blame the duo for pulling out all the stops in terms of star power?  Among their initial guests, Buck & McKernan chatted with Jared Allan, Howie Long, and most spectacularly, Randy Moss, jock-sniffing reprobate Charlie Sheen (above, right).  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Deb Peterson transcribes highlights of yesterday’s love-in.

“I’ve gotta tell you also, Joe, I was in Minnesota for Game 6 ’91,” Sheen said. “I was there. And if I’m not mistaken, you honored your father with the Freese walk off, the same call. It was so cool. I had tears. I was like he’s been waiting 20 years to do that you know…”

Buck answered: “It was almost 20 years to the day and anybody who asks me about it and why I did it, I did it for my mom who was watching and hanging on every word and misses my dad like crazy. It’s in St. Louis. St. Louis kid David Freese hits the home run so it just fit. And I’m not going to be a Jack Buck cover band and do his hits…I’m just going to leave well enough alone and that will be that.”

Expounding further on his baseball fandom — which he referred to as his religion — Sheen said: “That’s the greatest game ever played, by the way. I think it’s just this much better than Game 6 (in) ’75.”

03.05.12

Early Contender For Nuisance Suit of 2012 : Soccer Flop Sues Baptist Church

Posted in Football, Religion, The Law at 9:46 pm by

(obscure American Baptist Jim Brown. Who knows what he could’ve accomplished were it not for religion?)

On Friday, the Evening Standard’s Jack Rivlin reported the Baptist World Alliance and England’s Baptist Church are being sued for $10 million by a retired soccer play who claims the church’s “psychological” tactics cost him a sporting career.  I have no idea what Grant Roberts’ religious background is, but I hope he’s paying rapt attention.

Mr Arquimedes Nganga, 46, from Forest Hill, said he could have earned £20,000 a week, despite never making more than £200 a month in his home country Portugal’s Third Division. He quit the sport aged 25 when he converted to the Baptist faith.

He said: “I could definitely have had a long career in the Premiership. I see many players playing today who I am not inferior to – and perhaps even better than. Most midfielders are either defensive or attacking but I was both. I had something new.”

After converting in 1989, Mr Nganga spent 19 years as a “fervent evangelist”, devoting his life to the Bible and abstaining from sex. Now he is suing the leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, who, he says, “conspired to defraud me of my finances, time and my life”.

In papers filed in the High Court, he accuses the church of destroying his social life and defrauding him of money through compulsory donations.

Zirin On Bounties & The NFL’s “Unequal Partnership”

Posted in Gridiron at 4:18 pm by

(cartoon by the Chicago Tribune’s Drew Litton)

Of the National Football League’s distaste for New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ illegal bounties/bonuses, The Nation’s Dave Zirin writes, “Roger Goodell is nervous because if there is anything that could endanger the golden goose, it’s the idea that the 3.5 hours of commodified violence we hold so dear might have an ugly and invisible human cost.” All the more convenient for management, then, that many players continue to suggest (essentially), there’s-nothing-to-see-here.

The NFL’s website—think Pravda with better graphic design—seems to be saying by highlighting these comments, both “This violence will not stand” and “This is just the way things happen in the locker room.” All the sports radio debates have been framed the same way. One side is appalled that violent motivators like a “bounty system” exists. The other rolls their eyes and says, “It happens on every team. Get over it.”

This is an inherently dirty game with a real body count. Its main business isn’t a race to the Super Bowl but to present raw violence in a way that’s palatable for mass consumption. The more comfortable we are with violence, the more successful the NFL becomes. The minute we squirm, they lose. Like war, as long as the reporters are embedded and no one sees the coffins, business can proceed as planned. The tragedy is that often its only after players retire that they see the reality of an unequal partnership where only one side really walks away from the table.

Iman Shumpert, Penalized For Hostile Body Language

Posted in Basketball at 11:36 am by

While some have howled in protest over Iman Shumpert’s failure to foul Paul Pierce before the latter’s game-tying 3 pointer at the end of regulation in yesterday’s Celtics/Knicks tilt, the former tells the NY Post’s Marc Berman it was an earlier incident that might well have cost New York a rare win in Boston.

Shumpert feels he did nothing at all to warrant a costly technical foul with 10:08 left in regulation after he soared for a monster driving dunk, landed and glared at the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett. The referee whistled Shumpert for taunting, though he didn’t say any words. Ray Allen made the free throw and the point ultimately made a difference.

“It was just a dunk,’’ Shumpert told The Post. “I didn’t know I couldn’t look at him. I didn’t say anything. He’s the one who said something. I don’t talk to the refs. I just looked at him. He’s been talking the whole game. I don’t say anything to anybody.’’