DirecTV Introduces The Prevent (You From Seeing The End Of The Game) Defense

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 4:29 pm by

OK, Titus Young’s improbable catch of Matt Stafford’s Hail Mary wasn’t the last play of Sunday’s Lions/Titans tilt, but simply the last consequential play from scrimmage in regulation. And no small number of viewers watching DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket missed it.

No to worry, however.  The satellite TV provider has promised to mollify angry subscribers by allowing them to watch Switchfoot’s “Guitar Center Sessions” anytime, 24-7, between now and the end of the calendar.


Where Did The Yankee Rookies Find Such A Convincing Joe Girardi Costume?

Posted in Baseball at 10:40 pm by

Why should a something as trivial as  losing to Oakland in the midst of a pennant race stand in the way of a time honored tradition like hazing young guys too intimidated to fight back like a road trip costume party?  Hiroki Kuroda’s interpreter, Kenji Nimura drew the assignment of donning the Yoda suit, while David Phelps drew the short straw and got stuck with the Princess Leia outfit. Ken Phelps-as-Princess Leia would’ve been a cool idea, but if the Yankees were really into that kind of meta stuff, Randy Levine would be under the Darth Vader mask rather than Melky Messa.

Lensman Insists History’s Most Scrutinized, Debated K.O. Wasn’t A Setup

Posted in Boxing, Rock Und Roll at 5:13 pm by

Am I referring to Mike Tyson’s brief yet brutal demolition of Michael Spinks?  Sonny Liston’s dispatch of Floyd Paterson?  Or perhaps the former Cassius Clay beating Liston in their second meeting with a punch most observers insist never landed?

No, sadly, I’m talking about the 2004 incident in which Glenn Danzig had his clock cleaned by Danny Marianino of the North Side Kings. You Tube footage of the fateful confrontation has been viewed millions of times and long ago became an embarrassing albatross for Lodi, NJ’s most prominent former resident, with Danzig insisting in recent years the video was either doctored or Marianino’s crew had conspired to make him look pitiful.  Videographer Dan Stone provides his side of the story to Decibel Magazine, while Marianino assures Glenn “don’t worry about handing my picture out to every security guard with a note that says ‘eject him immediately.’ I never want to see (Danzig) again and I never will.”  From Blabbermouth.net :

“When I got there, I saw Danzig signing an autograph and Danny waiting to talk to him,” Stone told Decibel. “The two of them started talking, and things got a little heated, so I figured, ‘Let’s see where this goes.’ I had no idea of what was about to happen, mind you. I just imagined I’d get some footage of Glenn Danzig and Danny talking — two guys from Jersey yelling at each other. A push and a punch later, the scene turned into total chaos. I immediately turned my camera off and stashed it in my bag. I walked down this hallway toward the exit as nonchalantly as possible, and Danny was pinned to the wall by a security guard. As I passed by him, I whispered, ‘I’ve got the whole thing.’ At that point, there was absolutely no intention of doing anything with it — it was just a weird moment caught on video.”

Asked how he might’ve reacted differently if he had a chance to revisit the experience, Marianino said, “I wouldn’t have even acknowledged Danzig or tried to have that conversation with him, especially after he talked down to my guitar player’s ex-wife. I regret that the situation happened at all. But I don’t regret hitting him — he had it coming. He can tell every story he wants to tell, bu’t it’s an open book. I don’t see what the big deal is. I think this would’ve went away for him if he had just admitted that he fucked with a big guy who got one over on him.”

Celebrating The 25th Anniversary Of A Prior NFL Union-Smashing Endeavor

Posted in Gridiron at 1:43 pm by

Given Roger Goodell’s fixation with player safety and eagerness to discipline those who impugn the game’s integrity, there’s no way to reconcile the NFL’s current labor dispute with referees as anything other than the former being equal parts cheap and full of shit.  However, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette reminds us, “If you think the replacement refs are funny to watch, you should have seen the replacement players in 1987.”

Those three games counted in the standings, all the records went in the books and you can still find guys who never should have set foot onto an NFL field listed as Steelers alumni. Two Hall of Famers — Mike Webster and John Stallworth — crossed the picket line and joined the replacements. Stallworth, in fact, caught what then was a Steeler-record 500th pass in a strike game.

The strike folded as more and more veterans gave in. The NFL was forever empowered by what it pulled off. But it was taught a lesson as well. It is why the league locked out the players last year instead of waiting for them to go on strike once the season began.

As for the replacement fans, they stayed away in droves from the strike games. The Steelers’ first strike game came in Atlanta, where former Pitt and Penn Hills High School star Bill Fralic led a group of Falcons strikers picketing the stadium. They picketed the entrance to where the Steelers busses were supposed to enter, but the busses pulled an end-around and went through another area. The attendance that day in old Fulton County Stadium: 16,667. Not even a good baseball crowd in Atlanta. The crowd for their next game, in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Rams, was posted as 20,219.

They had one home game with the replacements, against the Indianapolis Colts — the final replacement/scab game. They drew an announced crowd of 34,627 at Three Rivers Stadium. Unlike some other teams, the Steelers offered refunds to those ticket-holders who did not want to watch the un-real players. Enough took them up on their offer that the Steelers acknowledged the game was not sold out, breaking a string of sellouts that had begun in 1972.Like revisionist Russian history, however, the Steelers since have changed their mind and decided that game was a sellout and their string of sellouts since ’72 stands.


Monument To Bruce Ratner’s Avarice & Greed, Stil Not Universally Embraced

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York, Real Estate, The Marketplace at 3:59 pm by

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held this week at the Nets’ new home, Brooklyn’s controversial Barclays Center, an occasion which prompts the New York Times’ Liz Robbins to remind the public there’s more to the venue than Barbara Streisand concerts and Mikhail Prokhorov’s sunny prognosis.  In the words of one local non-profit housing advocate, “it’s the end of the community as we know it”.

Amid the festivities, the arena stands as an island, a reminder of what is missing. The 16 surrounding towers — primarily residential — that were originally planned by the developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, for the 22-acre, $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project have yet to be built. The 10,000 or so jobs promised have not materialized. Of the 2,250 affordable housing units pledged out of 6,300, only 181 are planned for a first tower, and ground for the building has yet to be broken.

Surrounding residents fear that unruly basketball fans will stagger drunkenly onto their sidewalks, that Armageddon-like traffic will blockade their streets, that already-squeezed parking spaces will be swallowed, that crime and rodents will run rampant and that housing and jobs will never come about.

By promoting jobs and affordable housing, said the Rev. Clinton Miller of Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Clinton Hill, Bruce Ratners’ Forest City was able to sell the project to members of the black community and create an early schism between them and the residents of the nearby brownstone neighborhoods, many of whom were white. Mr. Miller did not join the plaintiffs, led by Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, who first sued in 2006 to block the use of eminent domain to acquire the property for Atlantic Yards.

“We were never against the project; we just wanted the process to be fair and inclusive,” said Mr. Miller, who has formed a new group of 25 pastors to monitor the project.

When the company enlisted Jay-Z and engaged other leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton, Mr. Ratner made it difficult for some in the black community to criticize the project, Mr. Miller said.

“The racial dynamic,” he added, “was tremendously manipulated by Forest City.”

Echoing Miller’s sentiments, there’s more on the subject from a one-time supporter of Ratner’s Atlantic Yards initiative who now insists, “The whole of Brooklyn got played.


Terry Collins Sincerely Apologizes (For Saying What Everyone Else Is Thinking)

Posted in Baseball at 4:34 pm by

Following last night’s 16-1 defeat to the Phillies, the New York Mets (spoilers of nothing other than their fans’ interest in baseball) received a no confidence vote of sorts from manager Terry Collins, who upon being asked if he charges had quit, told his postgame interrogators, “You’ll have to ask them. I have my own opinion. I’m not going to express it publicly.”  Quoted today by ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, Collins insists, “I still believe in them.”  If he’s not lying, he’s the only person who does.

“We know we’re going through a tough time,” Collins said. “I’m very proud of this team, the way they played all year. The one thing I will never, ever talk about is their effort. Their effort has always been there. If you saw, Dan Murphy last night hit two double-play balls and ran both of them as hard as he can to first. I’ve seen guys break up double plays, take extra bases. That’s not the issue. The issue has been, as a manager you sit here and you try to fix it. You try to figure out how to fix it. And you pull out all your stops. No matter what you’ve done in the past, you try to find an answer to it. When you don’t have the answers anymore, it’s frustrating.

“So, as I sat there on the bench last night, I was saying, ‘What’s my next move?’ I thought maybe they need to know — everybody’s frustrated, but let’s just see who’s willing to rise up again and give it another shot. And so I probably did it the wrong way. But I believe in what we do here. We’re going to grind it out on a daily basis.”

“I Don’t Care” – Destined To Replace “Can’t Wait” As Bart Scott’s Most Remembered Catch Phrase

Posted in Gridiron at 3:09 pm by

The New York Post’s Bart Hubbach reports Jets LB Bart Scott threatened to slug a journalist earlier today following practice.

Before the near-scuffle, Scott, who has not done much talking with the media this year, was seen walking away with a reporter from ESPN. Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential took a photo of Scott with the reporter to mockingly document the action, angering the burly linebacker.

Scott told Leberfeld, “get a life,” the two exchanged words and got in each other’s faces. Scott threatened to punch Leberfeld, who said “Yeah and I’ll sue you!” Scott responded: “I don’t care!”

Jets PR guy Bruce Speight stepped in front of Scott, seemingly the only thing that prevented fisticuffs. Speight had to use both hands to Scott’s chest and ask for help from PR aides to keep Scott away.

At least one observer claims Scott’s problems with Lebfeld stem from the latter taking pictures of the former chatting with a female reporter.  Of the Jets’ difficult relationship with the local press, Scott said, “you’re all going to screw us next week or the week after..you’re all going to get us eventually,” after Week One’s dismantling of Buffalo, which raises the question what exactly what sort of media training these guys are receiving during training camp.  You might argue that threatening physical violence against a reporter is an improvement on sending cock pics, but neither are particularly great ideas at the end of the day.

Pittsburgh’s Assistant GM Has A Boner-4-Bikers

Posted in Baseball at 8:00 am by

(above : footage of an instructional film shown to all Pirates minor leaguers)

After looking like a bona fide playoff contender for much of 2012, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ recent slide threatens to ensure the club’s streak of consecutive losing seasons hitting the 20 year mark. Earlier this month, the club’s plans to have prospects learn at the feet of Navy SEALS was roundly mocked by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejan Kovacevic, who reiterated his earlier complaints Thursday night (“these aren’t soldiers, they’re baseball players”). Kovacevic’s low opinion of the Pirates’ player development strategy seems to be shared by whoever in the organization leaked an email composed by Assistant General Manager Kyle Stark that was sent to Pittsburgh’s minor league coaches and managers.

“So what do we need to get done in the second half?” Stark opens the email.

He then stresses developing “boys into men” for the purpose of reaching the majors, listing three points: “Dream and be creative like a Hippie. Have the discipline and perseverance of a Boy Scout. Be crazy and take risks like the Hells Angels.”

Yeah, those Hells Angels. The famous motorcycle club that is listed as an organized crime syndicate by the U.S. Department of Justice. The one that poses “a criminal threat” in 27 nations because of drug trafficking, theft, money laundering, extortion, assault and homicide.

More Stark: “The biggest impact we can have is developing more Hells Angels. We are really good at working before games. We excel at developing Boy Scouts. However, men play in the Big Leagues and that requires the reckless abandon of a Hells Angel. They’re not consumed or swayed by what others think. They sell out to their purpose and live life fully and in-the-moment (‘this pitch’).”

The nonsense goes on for several paragraphs, including this cultish creepiness: “At the end of the day, the Hells Angels are fiercely loyal to each other. … They love each other. Are our players bound by brotherhood? Are we bound by brotherhood?”

And this: “We must get out of our comfort zones and flex our own Hells Angel muscle. We must be extreme in our commitment to these ideas. This is ultimately about developing a mentality and a culture where this becomes our identity. A culture of risk and less control is unsettling for us control freaks!”


Kris Humphries : Certain To Dispel Notions He’s A Mere Reality TV Star (With His Next Reality TV Gig)

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down at 11:16 pm by

Following the disastrous performance that followed the Marlins’ appearance on Showtime’s “The Franchise” and the Dolphins’ ill-advised decision to participate in HBO’s “Hard Knocks” comes confirmation NBA TV will feature the Brooklyn Nets on the 2012 edition of “The Association”.  Flashing the sort of analytical prowess not seen since a young Jackie Harvey brought his skills to The Onion,  From Russia With Dunk’s Johan Mars is overcome with excitement.

This show will give us an inside look at the players and coaches, and we will probably get a chance to see some funny moments in the locker room. I am most excited to see coach Avery Johnson’s pump-up speeches and Deron Williams’s leadership abilities. I also want to see some of the more comical aspects of the show. Brook Lopez is a prankster and we may see some of his jokes. He seems perfect for this show. Kris Humphries is a famous person in the media because of his relationship with Kim Kardashian, and this will be his chance to prove to everyone that he is not just some reality star. Marshon Brooks and Tyshawn Taylor are young guys who probably have never even dreamed of being on a show like this. I will be interested to see how they act around the cameras.

Hey, if you ask Jerry Sloan, it doesn’t get much more comical than Deron Williams’ “leadership abilities”.

In Honor Of The Mets’ Official/Inevitable Elimination From Postseason Contention….

Posted in Baseball at 10:43 pm by

Image courtesy of Oh The Pain Of Being A Mets Fan, presumably not maintained by Joe Benigno-Gazingo.