08.31.12

Houston’s Royce White – A BIgger Square Than Gregg Popovich

Posted in General at 10:25 pm by

(OneRepublic, slightly embarrassed at being deemed, “classic” — they’d have settled for, “an edgier Quiet Company”)

Though he draws the line at Stephen Jackson’s unspecified CD collection (“once I started hearing what they were saying and everything I just gave them back,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich tells NBA.com readers his musical faves include “Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Led Zepplin, those kind of guys”. You may or may not want to take age into account when judging the musical acumen of Houston F Royce White, who tells Rockets.com’s Jason Friedman he’s got a slightly different playlist in mind than Pop’s.

JCF: What have you been immersing yourself in musically of late?

RW: I’m really doing a lot of my own things right now. I think you’ll hear this from other people who are very creative: I’m really focused on blocking out all the popular things so that they don’t influence you and that you don’t just become another piece of the pop movement. Of course if your things are successful then they become popular, but it’s important to have your own identity. So I’m really trying to create my own identity without having too much influence.

I definitely listen to a lot of OneRepublic. Maroon 5 is one of my favorite bands and they just came out with a new album. Even though they have a new band member, he’s fantastic and it’s just a different Maroon 5. And I’m still into the Beatles. I’m really trying to go back and find unheard Beatles material now – that’s what I’m really into: the under the radar stuff; who was writing with them; who was helping them. So I’ve been trying to find that stuff out and then going to listen to those people’s music as well.

So I’ve just been digging, getting into music history – that’s what I’m into. But OneRepublic is always classic and Maroon 5 is obviously pretty good, too.

L’affair Gillispie : Texas Tech Administrators Can’t Decide Who They Miss More, Mike Leach Or Bobby Knight

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 6:01 pm by

Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie was hospitalized earlier today, just after reports surfed a number of his former Red Raiders players — since transferred — have accused him of violating NCAA rules governing practices.   Some of the charges against Gillespie, as reported by CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman, have vague echoes of accusations against Rich Rodriguez or Mike Leach, so full credit to Gillispie for making both of those educators seem downright reasonable by comparison.

“We practiced two hours, then he told us to leave and go shave because he didn’t like the way we looked,” said Kevin Wagner, who is now at McClellan Junior College. “Then we came back, practiced two more hours before he told us to get a haircut. Then we came back and did about four more before he kicked us out.”

Another ex-player, who did not wish to be identified, estimated the entire November practice lasted a total of 10 hours.

“We used to go more than four hours all the time,” added Nash, who transferred to North Dakota after last season. “I remember that day when we went almost all day. We didn’t leave until 9 p.m. or so. It was pretty bad. A lot of guys were really hurt after it. One guy had a stress fracture in both legs.”

“If you were hurt, he told you that you had to stay in the training room all day — from 6 or 7 in the morning until 10 at night,” Wagner said. “Stay in there and get treatment over and over and over. We couldn’t leave. My mom had to come and bring me food.”

Both players also said that it was commonplace for Gillispie to hold two hour, full-speed practice only hours prior to games. “Guys were worn out and sleeping by the time the games started,” said Nash.

Pittsburgh TV News Anchor Helpfully Describes What It Means To “Do A Tim Tebow”

Posted in Gridiron, Leave No Child Unbeaten at 5:47 pm by

Shame on you, if you thought it mean urinating in someone’s mouth. Also, they’re having some kind of wild week at Channel 11 if the item above is only the 2nd most fucked up story of the week.

Hunter Pence, Caveman (Dieter)

Posted in Baseball, Food at 3:36 pm by

(isn’t the above clip of the late Jimmy Castor a better use of space than say, a jpeg of Hunter Pence casting a grim view at the SF Giants’ clubhouse spread?)

“If you happen to randomly bump into Hunter Pence reading labels in the aisle of a Whole Foods in Chicago this weekend, don’t be surprised,” writes CSNBayArea’s Andrew Baggerly. Not simply because Pence is one of the nation’s 1% economically secure enough to patronize Whole Foods regularly, but also due to the Giants outfielder recently embracing the paleo diet.

The basic premise: Only eat foods that were available when the greatest artists in France were experimenting with the charcoal-and-cave wall motif. That includes fish, grass-fed meats, fruits, vegetables, roots and nuts. No grains, dairy, refined sugar or processed food. And no processed oil.

“I have to buy a certain kind and I put it on kale,” Pence said. “And I eat it.”

“I don’t know how you can eat that stuff,” Brandon Belt sneerd from an adjacent locker. “I don’t go too much into vegetables.”

Pence was introduced to the diet by his brother, and after just a few days, he began feeling less sluggish.

“This time of year, I know when I wake up it usually takes me a little while to get going,” Pence said. “Now I’m waking up and feeling pretty good.”

A keen student of nutrition and human history, Bob Brenley was read the above story during today’s Giants/Cubs tilt and wondered, “did the caveman have bourbon?”. Surely a broadcaster who learned at the feet of Dr. Jacob Bronowski could answer that question for himself?

Evan Grant To Josh Hamilton : Nice Knowing You

Posted in Baseball at 3:13 pm by

The last time the Texas Rangers invested $200 million or more in a position player, Tom Hicks ended up losing control of his franchise and Alex Rodriguez went on to win an elusive World Series ring….with another team.  And with that history firmly in mind, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant warns that with Josh Hamilton’s contractual commitment to the Rangers coming to an end this autumn, saying farewell to the born-again outfielder might be the smart bet.

Q: If the Rangers win the world series this year would it make it easier for them to cut bait with Josh Hamilton and let someone else give him $100M?

Evan Grant: It’s never easy to walk away from a talent of that magnitude. But let’s face facts, Hamilton is going to be looking at $150 mm if not $200 and the examples of the LA Angels and Detroit Tigers this year should be cautionary tales to anybody who wants to jump in the boat with $20 million per year players. Unless you go to the Yankees level of payroll, you simply can’t spend on those players and fill out a deep roster. It would be tough to let Hamilton walk, but it might be the better business decision, not because I have any doubts about Hamilton’s ability, but I have doubts about how the Rangers would be able to sustain a consistent contender with that contract at the center.

08.30.12

Sympathy For The Devil : NY Priest’s Take On “Poor” Jerry Sandusky

Posted in Leave No Child Unbeaten, Religion at 10:45 pm by

Much has been written over the past several months of the predatory acts of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the school’s inaction towards his crimes, but I’ve yet to see anyone suggest that Sandusky’s victims were, y’know, asking for it. Until now, anyway, as Father Benedict Groeschel (above, right), director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, took to the Catholic Register with the following hypothesis ; “suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.” If only Father Bruce Ritter had encountered this sort of empathy. (quotes courtesy The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan)

It’s not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse or anything like that.

Here’s this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky — it went on for years. Interesting: Why didn’t anyone say anything? Apparently, a number of kids knew about it and didn’t break the ice.

It Wasn’t Easy, But CSTB’s Research Dept. Found A Vocal Performance Worse Than Taylor Hicks Doing “Taking It To The Streets”

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV, Technical Difficulties at 9:34 pm by

Ladies and Gentlemen, the karaoke stylings of TNT’s Charles Barkley (link via CBS Sports).

Q : What Time Does The Orioles Game Start? A: What Time Can You Be There?

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 3:54 pm by

(pic taken from Summer Of Dreams)

The overachieving Orioles beat the White Sox today, 5-3, in front of ten thousand or so witnesses at Camden Yards earlier.  The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck is quick to point out preparations for the Grand Prix Of Baltimore have created traffic issues in the neighborhood, but that aside, “the tiny crowds are just another symptom of a fan malaise that is going to take more than one exciting season to cure.”

Even though the Orioles have raised their national stature and are on track to have their first winning season since 1997, they obviously have a lot more work to do to get fans back in the habit of coming to the ballpark. Getting to the playoffs for the first time in this century would help a lot, but it might take another year or more of winning baseball to put a big dent in the hard-earned cynicism of Birdland’s silent majority.

If the Orioles continue to win, they will most certainly come, but never in the numbers that passed through the turnstiles of the ballpark when it was still an architectural revelation in the late 1990s. The opening of M&T Bank Stadium took a lot of entertainment revenue out of the market, and the arrival of the Nationals drew away a significant number of Washington area O’s fans. And, with the way the Orioles played over the past 14 years, it wasn’t too hard to convince them to go elsewhere.

Rosenbloom : Crime Pays At South Bend

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Sports Radio at 3:26 pm by

(l-r : Lou Holtz and a member of the criminal element)

The IMG Notre Dame Radio network will be without the dulcet tones of Allan Pinkett for this weekend’s season opener against Navy in Dublin. Pinkett, who opined earlier this week that the Fighting Irish needed “a few bad citizens on the team” (“that’s how Ohio State used to win all the time. They would have two or three guys that were criminals, and that just adds to the chemistry of the team”) has been temporarily removed from his broadcasting duties, a situation the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Rosenbloom finds fault with. “This is embarrassing,” writes Rosenbloom, “when you’re representing the sanctimonious hucksters in South Bend.”


There is a lot of truth to Pinkett’s idea, either in actual criminals or in the spirit of lawless, reckless players. You know, crazy guys. Because you have to be crazy to play a game that includes criminal acts on every play.


Yeah, it’s a cynical view, but there’s a history of national champions and contenders with rap sheets.

Like, I don’t know, Notre Dame. Like, when the oily Lou Holtz refused to suspend quarterback Rick Mirer and linebacker Demetrius DeBose after their arrests at an off-campus party just before the 1991 opener.

And don’t forget how much NCAA trouble the Irish faced in the wake of Holtz’ reign. So, there you go: The Irish produced good teams when breaking laws and rules.

Kind of makes Pinkett’s point, doesn’t it?

08.29.12

Someone In The Big Ten Fails To Find Humor In Child Rape

Posted in Fashion, Gridiron, The Marketplace at 11:15 pm by



The New York Daily News’ Justin Tasch
reports an the above shirts have raised the ire of an OSU alum, Molly Litfin, the person responsible for an online petition calling for their removal from the marketplace.

As a parent, a human, and a graduate of The Ohio State University, I am beyond sickened that this shirt has been allowed to be produced. I know that it’s not only OSU that has used this nightmare as some kind of sick joke, but since it’s my alma mater & my hometown, I’m asking the officials at The NCAA, The Big Ten, and The Ohio State University to step up and be the first university to call for an immediate halt in production & destruction of these horrible, offensive shirts.

There’s one small hitch : there’s no evidence (not that I’ve found anyway), to indicate these shirts were licensed by the NCAA or Ohio State, much less any hint the school itself is guilty of having “used this nightmare as some kind of sick joke.”

MLB Advanced Media Formally Congratulates Yadier Molina On Having A Penis

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 6:46 pm by

If you thought the war on women was being waged this week in Tampa, FL, there’s an smaller effort afoot in Major League Baseball’s midtown Manhattan officesCards C Yadier Molina risked having his brains scrambled in bearing the brunt of the above collision with Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison last night, but the not-so-suave typist in charge of MLB.com’s Twitter feed picked a particularly uncerebral way to characterize the play. “Yadier Molina was forced to exit after this devastating collision, but he held onto the ball because he’s a man,” was the offending passage, which caused The Good Phight’s Liz Rocher to pen the following reply ;

What do you think is wrong with that tweet? Is it:

A) Sexist
B) Hideously unfunny
C) Stupid and in poor taste
D) All of the above

The answer, of course, is D. Sexism isn’t right anytime, anywhere (duh), and here it seems like whoever wrote that tweet was trying to make a joke. A bad, unfunny, unnecessary joke about a guy who had to leave a game after getting crashed into by another guy running at top speed. Isn’t that totally hilarious?! Even funnier? He held onto the ball! BECAUSE HE’S A MAN. It’s not because he’s tough as nails or good at his job. It’s because he doesn’t have ovaries or a uterus, which automatically make you inferior.

Ms. Roscher has a point here. If an MLB.com representative opined, for instance , that black men lacked the skills to become general managers, the person responsible would rightfully face termination (after claiming the account was hacked). If the same author suggested a ride on the 7 Train was an unsavory experience due to the rich cultural mosaic on board, he or she would probably be pounding the pavement tomorrow. But suggest to MLB’s target audience that lady-folk are too dainty to withstand physical punishment, that’s apparently a-ok, if not business as usual.

At least one person has pointed out that taking umbrage with MLB.com official Twitter posts might result in being blocked. If that’s the case, who’d have suspected Bud Selig and Dino Costa would have nearly that much in common?

Stay Dead, Pauline Kael (Continued) : The Film Criticism Of Brandon Beachy

Posted in Baseball, Cinema at 10:55 am by

Challenging Channing Frye for the title of Dean Of American Professional Athletes Turned Film Critics, Braves P Brandon Beachy awards Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”,  “four out of 5 Beach Balls” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

I thought Christian Bale, one of my favorites, delivered another great performance. My natural inclinaiton to think back to watching “The Princess Diaries” with my little sister always makes me skeptical of anything Anne Hathaway is in, but I was pleasantly surprised with her portayal of Catwoman. If I had one complaint from this otherwise very entertaining movie, it would be the voice of Bane. I found it to be ridiculous and a little distracting.

08.28.12

Kneel, Hamburger (SV) : A Target Even Easier Than Anthony Kiedis

Posted in Football at 10:18 pm by

When is the appropriate moment to say a team’s hopes for the new season are utterly doomed? In the case of the Bundesliga’s Hamburger SV, how about after 90 minutes of competitive soccer? The Guardian’s Raphael Honigstein reports that’s all the time it took to generate, “newspaper stories that read like obituaries.”

“A club does away with itself, HSV have become a caricature of themselves,” wrote Die Welt. “Not fit for the first division,” sniffed Hamburger Abendblatt. “Their fiftieth year in the Bundesliga could well be their last,” warned Süddeutsche Zeitung. Tabloid Morgenpost went further still: “Sixteen weeks without the Bundesliga were not long enough as far as the Hamburg supporters were concerned. Every day at HSV without football is a good day.”

“No one’s ever gone down after the first game,” argued manager Thorsten Fink on Saturday, not unreasonably. But neither a lack of perspective nor typical media knee-jerkism can be blamed for headlines such as “naked fear” (Morgenpost) – Hamburg’s catastrophically inept 0-1 home defeat by Nürnberg was in truth only the latest low point in a painful, drawn-out decline. “It’s been a constant for two years now, there’s has been no development, we haven’t made one step forward,” said midfielder Marcell Jansen with alarming honesty. “I don’t feel as if there was any progress,” admitted sporting director Frank Arnesen.

Fink is sticking to his “it’s all about confidence” defence but his utterings are increasingly unpersuasive. “We didn’t believe in ourselves enough to take the lead, how can a side that’s been criticised all year play well?” he wondered. Not that criticism is the problem, however, it’s the team. And those who are responsible for it.

America’s Most Highly Compensated Flight Attendant, Urban Meyer, Would Like You To Power Down Your Mobile Devices…

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Sports Journalism, twitter twatter at 2:54 pm by

…..LEST YOU BE TWEETING HIS PRESS CONFERENCE.   If you thought Jim Tressel’s ethical missteps might’ve resulted in a sea change at Ohio State, rest assured that under the Meyer administration, the power of Buckeyes football trumps all other considerations.  In the words of the Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd, “this reeks of a power-hungry program flexing a little muscle in a rare area where they don’t have any and searching for control in areas out of their domain.”

Want to ban your players from using Twitter? Fine. Want to keep the coaches off it? That’s their prerogative. But attempt to tell a room of reporters from around the state when they’re allowed to report news and problems are sure to ensue.

It appears as if, at least for this week, everyone in the room abided by the request. I didn’t use my Twitter account during the news conference because I wanted to reserve judgment on the policy in hopes of hearing a better explanation. I didn’t really get one.

After speaking with a couple of the school’s media relations people, the reasoning ranged from the success they had banning Twitter during some closed practices over the summer to how reporters can’t really listen to the news conference if they’re constantly tweeting what Meyer is saying.

My job is to decipher what is worthy of reporting instantly on Twitter and what is worth saving for later. I don’t need OSU officials to make the decision for me.

Never Before Seen In The Same Room, Roger Clemens & Roger Clamens Finally Convene

Posted in Baseball, When Mascots Attack at 10:17 am by

As seen in Sugarland, TX this past Saturday night, a freakish, oversized, distraction, best suited for bush league environs.

And in the middle, Zooperstars’ Roger Clamens.

08.27.12

Pay No Attention To The Grown Men Yelling In Davey Johnson’s Office

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 10:26 pm by

A Sunday shouting match between Nationals manager Davey Johnson and GM Mike Rizzo after Washington were swept by Philly over the weekend attracted no shortage of attention. And there’s nothing weird about that, not when Johnson allegedly asked Rizzo, “Why don’t you come down here and manage this team?” within earshot of Nationals beat writers.  But no worries, Washington fans, not when Nats Insider’s Mark Zuckerman is ready to assist with the coverup. “It all sounds like juicy and salacious stuff,” admits Zuckerman, before insisting, “blowing off a little steam at the right moment never hurt anyone.”  That should’ve been Rob Dibble’s excuse!

Don’t mistake the occasional raised voice a sign of animosity between the two. The level of respect Rizzo has for Johnson and vice versa is as strong as you’ll find between any manager and GM in baseball. They’ve each got opinions on a lot of matters, and they’re not afraid to make those opinions known, but they’re on the same page when it comes to the big picture.

Maybe it’s because the Nationals have cruised along all season without any hint of adversity, occupying first place in the NL East for all but 10 days over the last five months, but we tend to forget a baseball season is full of emotional highs and lows. The Nats have done a remarkable job staying even-keeled through it all, not getting excited over winning streaks, not getting demoralized over losing streaks.

But that doesn’t mean these guys don’t have emotions. That doesn’t mean they don’t get upset when something bad happens, whether it’s tossing over a bat rack after striking out or knocking over a clubhouse chair after giving up a run.

These aren’t robots.

Whitlock : Posnanski’s JoePa Bio Is A Fluffy Failure

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 9:16 pm by

“Paterno”, the lengthy Joe Posnanski tome that’s under heavy scrutiny was just squashed by a heavy scrutinizer.   Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock lowers the boom on Posnanski, declaring the book unwittingly serves as a cautionary tale about what happens when “a coach and a writer sacrifice their integrity one compromised decision at a time.” So it’s not as likely to command as much money on eBay as this book, then.

With the exception of Posnanski’s interaction with former Penn State fullback Don Abbey, the book reads like a series of cleverly written blog postings buttressed by brief telephone interviews. Posnanski, the storyteller without ego according to his passionate band of sycophants, is center stage throughout “Paterno,” most often without good reason. He delights in explaining how inconsequential figures in the book acquired nicknames. He showboats, sharing nerdy, pointless and colorful background stories on Herschel Walker and Bear Bryant. Posnanski dances and distracts because he has little that is new or enlightening to share about his subject, Joe Paterno.

Based on the content of the book, Posnanski barely had any more access to Paterno and Penn State football than the typical Penn State beat writer. All the dialogue with Paterno reads as though it transpired during a couple of rushed interviews after Penn State dismissed Paterno and the coach’s family realized it needed a biographer/stenographer to record Paterno’s rationalizations.

A self-righteous man doesn’t sacrifice integrity overnight. It happens methodically. It happens when his ambition concludes the calendar isn’t cooperating. A middle-aged sportswriter might still dream of being as famous as Mitch Albom. An aging coach might want to be as revered and beloved as John Wooden. Paterno, Sandusky and Mike McQueary were on a collision course for three decades. Paterno’s vanity and insecurity — the ingredients necessary to play deaf, dumb and blind to Sandusky’s heinous perversion — were on full display when he went after President Nixon, when Paterno first publicly exposed he cared too deeply what others thought of his team and its accomplishments.

President Nixon knows more about college football than he does Watergate,” Paterno famously quipped.

President Nixon might retort that Joe Paterno knows more about Barry Switzer and Jackie Sherrill —coaches Paterno smugly accused of breaking NCAA rules —than Jerry Sandusky, a 30-year assistant.

SBN’s Goldman : Cherrington Won’t Have Epstein’s Albatross Collection To Kick Around Anymore

Posted in Baseball at 3:26 pm by

Wild, unabashed salary dumps usually get lousy press (hello, Jeffrey Loria!), but Boston’s successful attempt at saddling the Dodgers’ with Carl Craword and Josh Beckett’s salaries (and the latter’s personality) with Adrian Gonzalez’ less insane mega-pact as the carrot is being hailed far and wide as a defining move  for Boston GM Ben Cherrington. It’s also evidence the Dodgers have completed a dramatic 360 degree turn from the days of Frank McCourt (and wouldn’t they just love to pick up Jason Bay?  HINT HINT), but let’s keep the spotlight on the frontrunner for 2013 Executive Of The Year.  Of Cherrington, SBN’s Steve Goldman warns, “it is far easier to tear down a team than to build one, and now the onus is on Cherington to take his new, relatively blank slate and construct another contender. ”

Even with Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster coming over from Los Angeles, the team is not deep in potential top starters. This lack of pitching depth is what doomed the Red Sox to their historic fall-off last fall and, having gone uncorrected this winter, doomed them again this year. Whatever the turmoil in Boston’s front office this winter, and there was a lot, if they could have bolstered their pitching depth, they would have; it’s not so easy. No team would have pinned its hope on Daniel Bard moving to the rotation if not desperate to begin with.

Cherington did an amazing thing last week in freeing the Red Sox from onerous obligations left behind by his predecessor. He took advantage of a historic moment of willing credulity on the part of the Dodgers’ new owners, who seem willing to do anything to win back their fans. But starting over is merely a beginning. The pieces are all back at “Go.” We’ve seen what Cherington can subtract. Now, with the Epstein alibi as gone as Dizzy Akers, he must show Red Sox fans what he can add.

Bissinger To Non-Heroic USADA Suit : How Many Tour de Frauds Have You Won?

Posted in cycling, Medical Science, Sports Journalism at 1:28 pm by

Buzz Bissinger’s emotional support of Lance Armstrong on Twitter Friday served two functions.  For starters, who knew Newsweek was still in business?  More importantly, Buzz generated anticipation for today’s cover story (“I Still Believe In Lance Armstrong”), in which the Pulitzer winner insists the Micheob pitchman face of Livestrong, “is one of the few heroes we have left in a country virtually bereft of them” (“if Armstrong used banned substances, he was leveling the playing field…he was still the one who overcame all odds”).

What point is being served here besides the USADA’s own desperation to prove to the public that it is cleaning up sports? It’s a slam job, and Armstrong is the victim of that slam. It has been that way for 13 years, an almost pathological desire by a select group of haters to bring him down—either out of jealousy or a determination to make a name for themselves. If he was the only one in cycling suspected of doping, then by all means tar and feather him. But he is not. Not even close. He is a target, the biggest target there is, the perfect symbol for the USADA to prove its existence.

“It’s a sad day for all of us who love sport and our athletic heroes,” said Travis Tygart, chief executive of the USADA, “it’s yet another heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all-costs culture, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe, and honest competition.”

Save me the absurd self-righteousness.

Perhaps Travis Tygart, before trying to destroy Lance Armstrong for his own job security, should get his ass out of the chair in his office and try it himself.

That competitive cycling has been awash with PED use is hard to argue with, but when Bissinger declares, “so what?” if Armstrong was amongst the more prodigious users (and amongst the most skilled at covering it up), he implies it’s no big deal and the ends justify the means. Perhaps the latter would have a shred more credibility if he simply echoed Buzz’ sentiments. Something along the lines of, “I’m the cancer-survivor Superman.  I’ve helped people. What the fuck have you done?”

Of course, that’s not what Armstrong has ever said.  He’s never embraced Buzz’ level of cynicism (“professional cycling is a rotten sport like all professional sports are rotten (anybody who believes otherwise is a Pollyanna fool…it’s “not about the bike,” as the title of Armstrong’s bestselling biography states. It’s about winning by any means possible,”) because doing so would be professional, if not philanthropic suicide.  It’s curious the way Armstrong’s shortcuts and dishonesty can be excused because of his survivor status and fundraising prowess.  Had Barry Bonds overcome a terminal illness —- as opposed to say, simply being a jerk — would a respected national publication (or failing that, Newsweek) have commissioned a similar defense?

08.26.12

Cowboys’ New Scheme For Dez : A Trio Of Babysitters, No More Fun Of Any Kind

Posted in Gridiron at 10:49 am by

(you really thought I was gonna post a DC3 video this time?)

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones describes embattled WR Dez Bryant as “open-minded and cooperative”. There’s been no reports this offseason of Bryant turning up late to practices, team meetings or even losing his trousers at the mall. Still, in light of an alleged August 14 incident between Bryant and his mother, ESPNDallas’ Calvin Watkins reports the Cowboys have imposed the following conditions on America’s 2nd Most Favorite Dez (see above).

• A midnight curfew. If he’s going to miss curfew, team officials must know in advance;

• No drinking alcohol.

• He can’t attend any strip clubs and can only attend nightclubs if they are approved by the team and he has a security team with him.

• He must attend counseling sessions twice a week.

• A rotating three-man security team will leave one man with Bryant at all times.

• Members of the security team will drive Bryant to practices, games and team functions.

I suppose that’s all good news if that’s what it takes to keep Bryant on the straight and narrow. The bad news, however is this guy has already applied for one of the security jobs.

Farewell To One Of NYC’s Legendary Jobs Creators : Matty The Horse, Dead At 92

Posted in New York, New York, The Law at 10:22 am by

Genovese family boss Matthew Ianniello, aka “Matt The Horse”, shuffled off this mortal coil some eleven days ago at the age of 92. It took the New York Times’ Paul Vitello an entire week to note the passing of one of the more crucial figures in U.S. porn history. Conversely, I’m only 4 days later in cutting and pasting portions of Vitello’s obit.

Mr. Ianniello — whose mob name derived from his powerful physique and his early career as an enforcer — served only two significant prison terms during his life: a nine-year term for racketeering and tax evasion involving Midtown topless bars that he owned, which he served from 1986 to 1995; and an 18-month sentence for his role in illegally controlling garbage-hauling companies in Connecticut, which he completed in 2009, at 89.

Yet federal prosecutors considered him the mastermind of one of organized crime’s most lucrative profit centers in New York — the topless bar scene and pornography shops of Manhattan.


Some establishments were owned outright by Mr. Ianniello’s organization. In most cases, though, the profit came in the form of payments for “protection,” which establishment owners paid as supposed insurance against police raids, union demands for higher wages or, explicitly or not, visits from goons with tire irons.

Similar protection incentives made Mr. Ianniello, in effect, one of the biggest operators of Manhattan’s discos and gay bars during the ’70s. Among them were several that were considered landmarks of gay night life, like the Gilded Grape and the Hay Market.

Mr. Ianniello was involved in more than 80 restaurants and bars at the peak of his operation, which prosecutors described as a “smut cartel,” with a network of holding companies offering an array of services for his bar and disco clients: money lending, interior decorating, garbage collection and vending-machine leasing; one was the talent agency providing topless dancers for the bars. By laundering protection payments through the various service providers, Mr. Ianniello protected himself for many years from the notice of law enforcement.

08.25.12

Proposing A New Home For The Kings Even Less Likely Than Virginia Beach

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 9:43 pm by

Over the past few years there’s been talk of the Kings leaving Sacramento for Las Vegas, Anaheim and most recently, Virginia Beach.  Perhaps fashioning fonder memories for Bryant “Big Country” Reeves’ NBA tenure than any sane person should allow, a published report from the Conference Board Of Canada proposes Vancouver, B.C. as a prime spot for an NBA franchise-on-the-move (link swiped from Canada.com’s Hasan Alanam :

Vancouver, like Montréal, is projected to see a population increase of over 1 million over the next 25 years, and it should attract more corporate headquarters. Most of the population increase will be due to immigration, much of which will come from Asia, where the popularity of basketball has grown rapidly. Vancouver demonstrated its appetite for basketball with the Grizzlies, and that appetite should continue to grow. Although the Grizzlies left Vancouver following the 2000–01 season, the population of the Vancouver CMA at that time was barely 2 million and the Canadian dollar was sinking. Those conditions have now changed. The NBA could return to Vancouver one day and be successful there, especially if the Canadian dollar remains strong. With a population of 3.5 million in 2035, the Vancouver market will be large enough to sustain franchises in the NHL, Canadian Football League (CFL), Major League Soccer, and the NBA—but not MLB.

The professional sports scene in Canada will continue to expand over the next 25 years. The conditions for growth are right—the Canadian dollar will likely remain strong and the taxation gap with the U.S. is expected to continue to narrow. This will allow existing franchises to prosper, and offer a better chance for new franchises to succeed. Canada could be home to 10 NHL teams, with new franchises in Québec City and Hamilton, and a second team in the Toronto CMA. If the league conditions are right and the city gets a new stadium, Montréal could once again be home to a Major League Baseball team. And with its continuing rise in population, Vancouver should be in a position to get a second chance at a National Basketball Association franchise.

Regardless Of Your Rooting Interest, The Most Unfortunate Part of The Red Sox/Dodgers Trade….

Posted in Baseball, twitter twatter at 4:06 pm by

(STEWARDESS! MORE KFC FOR THE GUY IN THE HAT!)

….is learning the Twitter handle for LA’s newly acquired infielder is @shredderpunto.

08.24.12

For All The Mets Fans Wondering What Offense Looks Like…

Posted in Baseball at 11:34 pm by

…here’s a home run by our old friend Lastings Milledge hit a few days ago. He should be halfway to 2nd base by sometime tomorrow afternoon. Back to matters on our own shores, however, with tonight’s 3-1 loss to Houston (a club a mere 46 games under .500), the Mets have now scored 6 runs in their last 45 innings, while facing the NL’s two worst pitching staffs. At home. So with that in mind, I look forward to Sandy Alderson’s December announcement they’ll be moving Citi Field’s outfield fences in an additional 300 feet.

Niners Remind Young People (Other Than Alex Smith) “It Gets Better”

Posted in Gridiron at 4:21 pm by

The San Francisco 49ers have added their name to the growing list of professional and collegiate sports programs willing to make a PSA directed at LGBT teens, though there’s every chance Sirius/XM’s Dino Costa will denounce the effort as somewhat less than sincere.  Until that fateful moment arrives, let’s credit the Niners for making a video that has much higher production values than the sort of preseason clips they were once known for.