11.30.12

Conflict Resolution, Kevin Slaten-Style

Posted in Racism Corner, Sports Radio at 11:08 pm by

(from 2008 – The Shroud Of Kevin Slaten Toast)

St. Louis sport talk fixture Kevin Slaten has made the CSTB ‘s Rogue’s Gallery a few times before , however, based on recent events, he might finally have assembled enough of a curriculum vitae to be considered for a weeknight spot on Mad Dog Radio.  Slaten was removed from his KFNS afternoon show 15 days ago after declaring racism was responsible for Barack Obama’s overwhelming support amongst African-Americans (“the next time someone tells me that the black voters are not bigoted, stick it in the trash can because black voters are bigoted — ninety-three percent (of the black vote went) for Obama, six percent for (Mitt) Romney — you’re bigots,’’). At the time,  the circumstances surrounding Slaten’s exit were described as, “volatile”, but a Friday report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Holleman provides greater detail.

The alleged incident occurred when Slaten was told by officials at the sports radio station they would no longer broadcast his show. Slaten was an independent contractor for the station, whose studios are at 8045 Big Bend Boulevard in Webster Groves.

According to Lt. Andy Miller of the Webster Groves police, police responded to a “keep the peace” call from the station about 2 p.m. Nov. 12. Miller said the complaint alleges that “after (Slaten’s) termination of employment, there was a flare of tempers that led to verbal threats, profane language, and the allegation that (KFNS technical director Scott Stout) was spit on.”

Miller said that if convicted, Slaten faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He added that convictions on such charges often require that the defendant attend anger management classes.

The Paper Of Record Recognizes The Greatness Of The Schmoozer

Posted in New York, New York, Sports Radio at 9:28 pm by

On more than one occasion during CSTB’s near decade of operation, I’ve attempted to pay homage to WFAN veteran Steve Somers, whose Captain Midnight routine has aged like fine wine over the last quarter century. In stark contrast to the bellowing narcissist who follows Somers’ former WFAN colleague Chris Russo, Somers remains the consummate entertainer. The inspired banter between Somers and a revolving cast of night-owls, Mets/Knicks/Rangers/Yankees/Jets/Giants obsessives and other sports degenerates represents an oasis amidst the generic sports yack pontificating that WFAN popularized if not pioneered.  On Friday, the New York Times’ Charles McGrath paid homage to the San Francisco native, calling Somers’ cadence and methodology, “ideally suited to the nighttime.”

Somers likes to say that he and his listeners are a family, and even in the passionate, eccentric and highly opinionated world of sports radio, his family is an unusual and capacious one. Its members include, or included, such beloved regulars as Doris from Rego Park, stuttering and coughing but phoning in faithfully, and Jerome from Manhattan, whose sputtering, apoplectic anti-Yankee rants caused Somers to play the “Twilight Zone” theme while a voice said: “His is a dimension of sight, of sound, but of no mind. There’s a rubber room up ahead. You’re entering the Jerome Zone.” But Somers’s fans also include the critic Gene Shalit, the actors Charles Grodin and Tony Roberts, the comedian Steven Wright and, most famously, Jerry Seinfeld, who calls in as Jerry from Queens, though in fact he comes from Massapequa.

They admire Somers’s wit and intelligence, the little set pieces he delivers at the beginning of each show, full of wordplay and alliteration. Somers writes them out beforehand on yellow legal pads, capitalizing most of the nouns, adjectives and verbs as a scribe might if copying a royal proclamation. He writes for the ear, not the eye, Somers says. A meditation on the theme of Alex Rodriguez’s collapse last fall looked like this: “The Lightning Rod only Wants to Be happy, and knows it’s very Simple to Be happy, But it’s very Difficult for Him to Be Simple. The Yankees Haven’t Been Doing Much, and Doing Nothing is Very Hard to Do, Because You Never Know when You’re Finished.”

When David Stern Is Done Coaching The Spurs, Maybe He’d Like To Try On The Coyote Suit?

Posted in Basketball at 7:12 pm by

Of Gregg Popovich’s decision to send Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green home rather than face Miami last night, the Miami Herald’s Joseph Goodman called it “an embarrassment”. Sirius/XM’s Chris Russo spent the better part of two shows howling about Popovich’s disrespect for a league that had made him rich and suggested earlier today that Tim Duncan was lazier than Michael Jordan or Larry Bird (after which, Russo — he of the $3 million salary — left his program an hour early). That a San Antonio columnist would stand up for Popovich is hardly a shock, but the Express-News’ Buck Harvey is entirely on the mark in stating “David Stern can’t tell Popovich who to play and when to play them, anymore than he can dictate minutes.”

Stern said he wanted to “apologize to all NBA fans,” and that was a start. Someone needed to be contrite about a schedule that matched the most rested vs. the most tired for a national television audience. But Stern has never apologized for a crushing schedule. He cares about marketing and television, which is why he decided to get into the business of coaching Thursday night.

Gregg Popovich has gutted his roster before on behalf of the larger goal, and those who have disagreed with him in the past still have an argument. Other teams face similar schedule pinches, after all, and they have kept playing.

Then there’s the point that Popovich has made in the past and did again Thursday. “If I was taking my 6-year-old son or daughter to the game,” he said, “I’d want him or her to see everybody. And if they weren’t there, I’d be disappointed. So I understand that perspective.” But he quickly added he hopes others would see his perspective, too, that it’s his job to take care of his team. And that’s why he reacted as he did. “It’s pretty logical,” he said.

Popovich has also been consistent over the years, and now Stern isn’t. He will fine the Spurs not because of what they did, but when they did it. On TNT.

Lost amidst some of the debate is that the 9-man Spurs, sans their superstars, nearly beat the defending champs on their home court. Next time this happens, if Pop sends Matt Bonner home on a commercial flight, you’ll know for certain he’s tanking.

Is Russell Martin’s New Deal Bad Enough To Make Pirates Fans Forget Derek Bell?

Posted in Baseball at 3:06 am by

I realize we’re talking historic levels of ill-advised, but keep in mind free agent C Russell Martin’s 2-year, $17 million pact with the Pirates is the most they’ve lavished on a free agent in the club’s existence.  More annoyingly, as the Pittsburgh Tribune’s Dejan Kovacevic notes, Martin simply isn’t very good, calling the former Yankee catcher’s acquisition, “an overpriced desperation move that’s going to hurt the in more ways than one.”

Martin batted .211/.311.403 last season for the Yankees, despite playing at a hitter-friendly ballpark, and he experienced a sixth consecutive year of offensive decline. He batted 18 points lower than Clint Barmes, just five points better than Rod Barajas.

To point out that Martin is a defensive upgrade over Barajas is an insult to the concept of upgrades. Martin is good, not great, behind the plate. Barajas was good at game-calling and receiving, horrific at throwing out baserunners.

11.29.12

Miami Residents Weirdly Resistant To The Star Power of Tom Koehler

Posted in Baseball, Natural Disasters at 5:55 pm by

Marlins reliever Tom Koehler — he of the glittering MLB resume that consists of a whopping 13.1 innings in a Miami uniform — has organized a “Pitch For Relief” baseball camp to raise funds for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. As of Tuesday night, only 5 persons had signed up for the camp, and Koehler tells the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi he suspects local sentiment towards the salary-dumping Marlins has something to do with the modest response. As opposed to, y’know, hardly anyone knowing or caring who Tom Koehler is. (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“I don’t know if people are really that aggravated that they’re going to take it to that extent. It’s a shame if they are,’’ said Koehler, who made eight appearances for the Marlins after a September call-up from Class AAA New Orleans.

“Hopefully people realize they have an opportunity to do something really good for a lot of people. There are people up in the Northeast, it’s winter now, so it’s cold and they’re still without power.’’

Outfielder Juan Pierre and retired All-Star Jeff Conine are among the instructors.

The Secret To Kwame Brown’s (Relative) Success – Vastly Reduced Expectations

Posted in Basketball at 4:44 pm by

Sixers C Kwame Brown has won praise of late from Doug Collins for the former’s solid contributions, though not everyone is sold on the former no. 1 overall pick. “He hasn’t actually done so much as blown his nose since he got to Philly…Kwame has the highest gravitational pull of any human I’ve ever seen play basketball. There’s a Space Jam-sized magnet underneath him at all times, yanking him to the floor”, bemoans Liberty Ballers’ Michael Levin). Undeterred by such criticism is Brown himself, embracing his role player status and telling the Philadelphia Daily News’ John N. Mitchell, “You don’t survive 12 years” in the NBA worrying about such things.

“I realized that I had outlived guys that were high picks. There were 50th picks that came in that were just solid. So I just modeled myself after the guys with longevity, and that’s what I wanted to do. To be in this business, you’ve got to know your role and what you want to do.

Forget a pick. Forget expectations. You’ve just got to go out and do a job.”

If There’s A Barry M. Bloom Byline…

Posted in Baseball at 1:16 pm by

…you know it’s time for the Sultan Of Surly to devour marshmallows disguised as questions.  Barry Bonds (above, left) seems a longshot for first ballot election to the Baseball Hall Of Fame, but you won’t catch the game’s all-time HR leader begging for forgiveness. “I want to be part of Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame, but I don’t want to be part of the kind of Hall of Fame that’s based on voters’ beliefs and assumptions,” asserts Bonds, not even mentioning that Bloom gives an excellent foot massage.  From MLB.com :

“I don’t even know how to explain it. The world has become so negative,” Bonds said. “One day, I’ll be able to say things the right way. But it’s tough when you have so many people out there who don’t want to turn the page and want to be angry at you forever. I don’t understand why it continues on. What am I doing wrong?

“I can sit here and say, ‘You know what? Baseball is great. I love it.’ I can sit here and say in a very kind way that I’m sorry about the way things ended. I can sit here and say that I respect the Hall of Fame, which I do. But I don’t understand all the controversy we’re having about it. For what reason? What’s there to be gained by all of this? What’s the point?”

“If you believe I’m a bad person, if you believe I’m a drug person, then I don’t need to be a part of it. If you don’t want to put me in for those reasons then that’s fine. No worries. I’m OK with it. If you want to put me in for what I did as a player, that would be great. I’d love to be in there with everyone else who deserves it.”

11.28.12

Non-Metallic K.O. On Marvin Miller’s Legacy

Posted in Baseball, Dino Costa, The Marketplace at 10:50 pm by

Listeners to Dino Costa‘s Tuesday evening Mad Dog Radio program heard the self-obsessed host holler, “good riddance” while noting the passing of former Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Marvin Miller.  Miller, The Yonkers Cowboy declared, was the individual most responsible for baseball’s obscene ticket prices, competitive imbalance and destruction of a grand old game he presumably held dear when Charles Comiskey owned a team. There’s some deep hypocrisy in Costa railing against free agency during the same week he’s openly lobbying for /fantasizing about an HBO TV gig,  much as the charge that free agency has ‘ruined” professional sports is laughably simplistic.  Since the advent of free agency, it’s not only players and owners who’ve prospered ; the entire sports media industry has grown exponentially.  I don’t mean to speak ill of the recently deceased, but you could make a case that were it not for the efforts of Marvin Miller, the likes of Chris Russo and Dino Costa would have to do something else to earn a living.

While the union-hating Costa clings to the knee-jerk notion that higher player salaries have damaged baseball, Keith Olbermann prefers to trade in facts.

You can argue that the pendulum Marvin unleashed from its artificial restraint has swung too far to the other side (and you’d be wrong – who is about to sign a six billion dollar contract? The new Dodgers owners, or Evan Longoria?) You can argue that what Marvin wrought has destroyed competitive balance and especially the small markets (and you’d be wrong – in the 18 seasons before his ascent, the Yankees had won 15 pennants and the Dodgers had won nine, and the team then in Kansas City had finished last or in the bottom four 13 times). You can argue that the freedom Marvin enabled has destroyed the continuity of players and made the one-team player nearly extinct (and you’d be wrong – there are 41 Hall of Famers who played for only one team, and a disproportionate number, 11, are from the Free Agent era. The only thing that’s changed is that the players can now initiate their own jarring relocation, not just the owners).

Marvin Miller’s original goal as the head of the players’ union was freedom – to eliminate the nonsensical conclusion (improbably upheld by the Supreme Court) that because baseball players “played,” their bosses were not truly running interstate commerce. And thus, a 17-year old kid who signed a one-year contract with, say, the Philadelphia Phillies, was actually signing a 25-year contract. Each “one-year” agreement had a proviso allowing the owners to “renew” the contract for another year. And in the renewal year, the proviso re-set, and the contract could be “renewed” again.

It wasn’t actually slavery, but it sure as hell wasn’t freedom.

Carefoot Tells The Raptors, “I’m Done Caring”

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 7:24 pm by

“I used to fantasize about how cool it would be to write about the exquisite relief of the Raptors finally winning an NBA championship,” mused Raptorblog’s Scott Carefoot in last Friday’s farewell post.  “I now recognize what a sad and unrealistic fantasy that was.”  Departing after a decade in order to take a full time position supervising The Hockey News and Decor At Home (presumably the latter is a busier beat these days), Carefoot (above) tells The Star’s Raju Mudhar, “ I really do feel nothing walking away from it.”

“I’m looking forward to being a sports fan again,” he said during a phone interview on Monday. “I started it as a way to break into sports media and in my own convoluted way I ended up doing that, so I’m not going to continue punishing myself by covering that team.”

Carefoot says he will still peek in on the team occasionally, as opposed to living and dying with it.

“I’m not saying I’m completely boycotting the Raptors, what I’ll do is pay attention to the score, and if it looks like it’s a close game in the fourth quarter, and I’m near at TV, I’ll turn it on, but I’m not going to invest all the time I’ve spent watching an entire game and writing about it any more. Because they don’t deserve it, and they don’t deserve it from fans any more.”

Branch : Kaepernick Is Less Likely To Spend Time On His Back

Posted in Gridiron at 5:42 pm by

Of today’s announcement that Colin Kaepernick will remain San Francisco’s starting QB, despite Alex Smith (above) having recovered from his recent concussion, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh simply called the move, “going with the hot hand”.  Putting aside for a moment whether or not Smith should’ve pretended his brains weren’t scrambled, the SF Chronicle’s Eric Branch points out there’s some statistical reason beyond Harbaugh’s faith in momentum.

In terms your toddler could understand, the 49ers have fewer really bad plays – and more really good plays – with Kaepernick at the controls, which is a nod to the second-year quarterback’s strong arm and fast feet.

In his two starts, Kaepernick has been sacked just once, despite being under constant pressure Sunday against the Saints. In contrast, Smith was sacked 22 times in his eight full games this season. In addtion, Kaepernick had 10 pass completions of 20 yards or more in his two starts. In his eight full games, Smith had 22.

Tight end Delanie Walker acknowledged Kaepernick is more willing to throw risky passes downfield, which is perfectly acceptable since Kaepernick has also thrown just one interception in two starts.

“That’s just Kaep being young so he takes more chances,” Walker said. “Alex is the more ready quarterback, controlling the offense, making sure we get another down. Kaep, he will take a chance and go for the big play.”

11.27.12

Sharp : Ship Stompy Suh Somewhere Else

Posted in Gridiron at 11:11 pm by

Lions LB Ndamukong Suh escaped league censure for his 2nd annual Thanksgiving attempted-maiming of an opponent, in this case, Texans QB Matt Schaub, but that’s not enough to satisfy the Detroit Free Press’ Drew Shap, who calls the Nebraska grad, “annoyingly arrogant and capricious.” And he likes to step on necks, too!


Only Suh can properly describe his intent on the Schaub kick, but the man’s lost his last benefit of the doubt. I don’t believe he said to himself while flipping to the ground “Hmmm, might this be an opportune time to kick a quarterback in his junk?” Last time, I checked Suh wasn’t a ninja. But I do believe Suh deliberately and angrily initiated a clearly non-football act, justifying in his mind that wherever his cleats met Schaub, so be it.

Suh’s actions aren’t a big deal in relation to the bruising collisions contributing to concussions and neck “stingers.” But his kick did nothing to lessen the perception that he’s no more than a dirty player who thinks he can get away with this stupidity. That won’t work in an NFL now obsessed with purveying a public image that it’s committed to policing extraneous football violence. It’s worried about future lawsuits from former players.

But it hasn’t helped the Lions that they’re perceived as thinking they’re above the law — whether it’s a coach throwing a challenge flag when the rules said he couldn’t or a defensive tackle throwing a kick where he shouldn’t have.

The New York Mets Public Relations Dept. : Overzealous Or Simply Full Of Shit?

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down at 9:16 pm by

So what are we to make of the New York Daily News’ Andy Martino claiming the Mets have offered David Wright a 7-year extension, “well in excess of $100 million”, followed some hours later by Wright pouring cold water on the report? It would hardly be the first time in recent memory the club’s version of events differed from that of a player or his agent. And the timing is certainly fortuitous, with Metsradamus deeming it “absolutely hysterical”, that said offer created a mild stir less than a day after the Rays locked up Evan Longoria.

Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t think that the Mets just started putting together offers Monday afternoon. But I do think it’s funny that this gets leaked the day after Longoria happens. And I realize that I come off as a conspiracy theorist here. But think about how much the Mets have based their decisions on fan reaction and public relations, and then tell me that it isn’t at least a little bit possible that the Mets organization intentionally floated this red herring.

Red herring or not, I hope this does lead to something significant. Preferably a press conference re-introducing David Wright as the face of the franchise until his retirement. If it leads to a rejection and a subsequent trade, so be it. It’s better than what seems to be the Mets usual course of action, which is to do nothing and then bemoan outside circumstances and convince us that they gave it the ol’ college try. So forgive me for being a pessimist until there’s a resolution.

Andray Blatche Is Not Quite Finished Talking About The Past

Posted in Basketball, Sports Radio at 4:45 pm by

Nets F Andray Blatche seems to be taking a little too much pleasure in the plight of his former employer, the Washington Wizards. 106.7 The Fan’s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier couldn’t help but notice Blatche’s poorly veiled shots at the Wizards, and invited God’s Gift To Lazy Bloggers to answer such not-loaded-at-all questions like, “what do you think your legacy was in Washington?”

Blatche vs. Kushner, Rouhier (MP3)

11.26.12

The Slouch’s Bold Alternative To Maryland’s Big Ten Entry

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Gridiron, poker, The Marketplace at 10:27 pm by

As you’ve probably read elsewhere, Rutgers and Maryland recently agreed to leave the Big East and ACC respectively, enticed by the television riches of the Big Ten. Acknowledging the Terrapins’ windfall (as well as a likely violation of the Maryland Open Meetings act), the Washington Post’s Norman Chad (above) argues, “it’s preferable for a great university not to have Division I athletics.”

Remarkably, Spelman College in Atlanta just made this very decision, announcing its withdrawal from Division III intercollegiate athletics. “Hoping to replace organized sports for the few with fitness for all,” as the New York Times put it, Spelman determined it made little sense to spend $1 million annually on 80 student-athletes when it could redirect time and money to the physical welfare of the entire 2,100-student body.

I realize my College Park brethren — who refuse to rise and revolt against the athletic industrial complex that rules the day — will reject this option. So I have a more pragmatic proposal that keeps Maryland in the ACC and solves the fiscal crisis:

Open a casino on campus!

(You don’t even have to recruit “student-gamblers” — they’re already there.) Maryland voters just approved Las Vegas-style table-games gambling. Replace vending machines with slot machines and library tables with blackjack tables, and we’re talking a new weight room for the football team within 18 months!!!

At a minimum, I’d open a card room in the student union. Heck, the gent who just won the World Series of Poker Main Event, Greg Merson, briefly went to Maryland. So let’s break ground on the Greg Merson Poker Room — of course, first I’d make him come back to College Park and complete his degree.

Stay Dead, Oscar Wilde : Noah, Gooden In Chops-Busting Overdrive

Posted in Basketball, twitter twatter at 5:39 pm by

How did the NBA’s leading lights manage to feud before the advent of Twitter?  Imagine what Tim Thomas could’ve accomplished had said social networking platform existed in his prime?  With the Bucks visiting the Bulls tonight, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley quotes from the burgeoning pissing matching between Joakim Noah (above, right) and Drew Gooden :

It started on Sunday, when Gooden tweeted out “Just made it to Chicago. Bulls tomorrow payback’s a b—-.’’

Noah then fired back: “Quit clownin and eat your food goodybagz.’’

Then it was Gooden’s turn, as he tweeted to Noah, “Heard you eating @PGChangs tonight. Don’t get the chopsticks tangled in your wig.’’

“What’s the story behind that? He wants a Twitter war so I gave him a Twitter war,’’ Noah explained after afternoon shoot-around on Monday.

Then he let the cat out of the bag.

“Nah, I love that guy, man. That’s my guy,’’ Noah said of Gooden, who has been inactive anyway. “That’s my best friend, man. Yeah, my best friend.’’

The Sun’s Zurawik Has Many Doubts About Dan Fouts

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 5:00 pm by

The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Zurawik had a tough time coping with CBS’ coverage of yesterday’s Ravens/Chargers tilt, not simply because the former Tiffany Network missed the opening kickoff, but mostly due to the commentary analyst Dan Fouts, described by Zurawik as “a gasbag who often makes predictions only hoping he’s right because they are not based on insight or knowledge” Of Fouts’ insights during Baltimore’s 16-13 OT victory, Zurawki notes, “he proved to be a worse analyst than Dan Dierdorf, something I thought I would never live to see. And if I did live to see it, would not survive.”

With five minutes and 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Flacco hit Torrey Smith for what looked like a key first down. But there was a flag on the play.

As the referees discussed it, Fouts first told viewers, “Not good for this San Diego team. It looks like it’s going to be on San Diego.”

Then, the folks in the production truck must have said something, because a few seconds later, he said, “They may call pass interference on the Ravens.”

As the delay continued, the fans started to boo.

“The fans are booing now, but they’re going to be clapping real soon.” And then after a brief pause, he added, “I hope.”

The actual call: unnecessary roughness on Boldin.

So, let’s see, he was wrong on the Chargers being penalized, and he was wrong on the nature of the penalty on the Ravens. This is how you fail a multiple-guess test.

 

11.25.12

Fireman Ed’s Persona – The Latest Collateral Damage From Mark Sanchez’ Ineptitude

Posted in Gridiron, Mob Behavior at 11:33 pm by

Jets superfan Ed Anazalone, aka “Fireman Ed”, tells the readers of NY’s Metro freebie that he’s hanging up the fire helmet “because confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common.” Who’d have thought a Browning Nagle throwback would have ever been the better sartorial choice?

This is an indication of how society has lost and is continuing to lose respect for one another. The stadium has become divided because of the quarterback controversy as well. The fact that I chose to wear a Mark Sanchez jersey this year and that fans think I am on the payroll — which is an outright lie — have made these confrontations more frequent. Whether it’s in the stands, the bathroom or the parking lot, these confrontations are happening on a consistent basis.

Although I can “hold my own,” I do not want to lose my temper and make a stupid mistake. I have a responsibility to the families and kids that enjoy the game and Fireman Ed.

(Mike) Tramp(s) Like Us, Baby We Were Born To Wear Tin Foil Hats

Posted in Rock Und Roll, Total Fucking Terror at 2:29 pm by

If the American public can tolerate 9/11 Truther tirades from analysts ranging from Rashard Mendenhall to Dino Costa, what’s stopping former White Lion frontman Mike Tramp from weighing in?  Hot Metal’s Steve Mascord was the lucky recipient of correspondence from the Danish vocalist who declares, “I have 250 books on the subject and every DVD ever released and I firmly believe those two planes did not bring down the Twin Towers.”

“That can’t be answered in a short email as I head to bed,” Tramp wrote, upon being asked what brought down the World Trade Center.

“But I can put it this way, it wasn’t the two planes, and there are 100?s of organizations of scientist, architects, and pilots for the truth of 9/11 that says it can’t be done.

“Another thing is very few people knows that at 5pm in the evening, 10 hours after the two towers came down. A third building (world trade center 7) a 47 story building came down in 9 seconds in free fall, and no plane ever hit that.

“Only when you start reading the books and get the facts can you form your own opinion, I can’t do that for you.”

The New York Post – Where Diverse Baseball Opinions Flourish…

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 2:07 pm by

….either that, or Davidoff and Vacarro’s editor took the weekend off.

11.24.12

Dino Costa’s Favorite Sports Commish Continues His Love Affair With Fans, Players

Posted in Free Expression, Hockey, twitter twatter at 8:16 pm by

Granted, the likes of Stern, Selig and Goodell have no shortage of detractors.  But in light of Sirius/XM’s Dino Costa reminding his culturally-challenged listeners of his deep love and respect for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on an almost daily basis, let’s consider the following ;

1) In what other major sport has a player felt comfortable enough, even momentarily, encouraging a fan to wish death upon his profession’s chief executive?
2) if Bettman is going to persist in publicizing the cancellation of events fans were actually looking forward to, can he at least pull the plug on something no one in their right mind would attend, especially if Jay Mohr was MC’ing?

 

North Of The Border, The Stampedes Don’t Get Any Smarter

Posted in Going To The Zoo, Gridiron at 7:41 pm by

…and I’m not referring to Burton Cummings’ planned appearance at the Grey Cup.  Rather, the Royal Yorke Hotel succumbed to the high pressure tactics of Calgary Stampeders fans hoping to invade their lobby with Marty The Horse (not to be confused with the recently expired U.S. mob boss Matty “The Horse” Ianniello, who probably wasn’t a big CFL fan.

11.23.12

Jay-Z’s Legion Of Haters, Strangely Silent On The NFL’s Tacit Endorsement Of Kid Rock

Posted in Gridiron, Hip Hop, non-sporting journalism, politics, Racism Corner, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 7:36 pm by

Romeo, MI native Robert Ritchie aka Kid Rock provided halftime entertainment during the Lions’ annual Thanksgiving matinee yesterday, his rendition of “Detroit, Michigan” managing to namecheck Bob Seger, Marvin Gaye, Eminem, Rosa Parks and George Clinton in a song unlikely to remind anyone of their musical or cultural achievements.

A week prior to Ritchie’s nationally televised appearance, he was the subject of a rather exhaustive profile penned by the New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh (“Badass American : No One Has More Fun Than Kid Rock)”, that touched on subjects including but not limited to the subject’s musical roots (“Ritchie was both impressed and peeved when he saw the Beastie Boys for the first time at Joe Louis Arena — he had convinced himself he was the only white person who knew how to rap”), the state of the industry (“he thinks Radiohead’s music is ‘fuckin’ garbage’ but marvels at the loyalty and tolerance of their fan base”) and most tellingly, his public endorsement of the failed Romney/Ryan GOP presidential ticket (“I think they go too far with some of that pro-life stuff. I just want some nerds watching my money.”)  For all of the article’s attempts to portray Ritchie as an inclusive, if dopey crowd-pleaser (“in his view, there’s no reason that a self-proclaimed redneck who waves the Confederate flag shouldn’t embrace his local N.A.A.C.P. branch”), there’s one passage that stand in stark contrast.

“I don’t give a fuck if gay people get married, Ritchie says. (Although he also says, not entirely in jest, “I don’t love anybody who acts like a fuckin’ faggot.”)

Presumably, space limitations prevented Sanneh from asking Kid Rock just what exactly constitutes acting like a fucking faggot. But given the remark appeared in a national publication well in advance of the Thanksgiving Day appearance, it’s worth asking why such a statement escaped the notice of the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick or Sirius/XM yackster Justin Termine, each of whom have taken issue with Jay-Z’s ultra-prominent role in connection with the Brooklyn Nets. Granted, Kid Rock doesn’t own a piece  of the Lions (even a tiny share), but if there’s any evidence Mushnick, Termine, the NFL or Fox asked the douchebag icon rap-rock-country crossover artist to explain or apologize for his comments, I’ve yet to see it.

Perhaps Phil Mushnick isn’t a regular reader of The New Yorker. Maybe Justin Termine hasn’t learned how to read. I mean, I’d like to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. But I think it is very fair to presume that if for instance, Jay-Z told an interviewer, “I don’t love anybody who acts like a fuckin’ faggot” in 2012, he’d be taking some serious heat, and quite possibly the NBA or the Nets would be keen to disassociate themselves from him. It seems there’s no such embarrassment for the NFL or the Detroit Lions. Or any obligation on the part of Jay-Z’s most fervent critics to hold a Romney endorser who parties with Jim Schwartz up to similar scrutiny.

Q: What Do Antoine Walker & Imelda Marcos Have In Common?

Posted in Basketball, Fashion, The Marketplace at 3:29 pm by

Besides, y’know, being utterly incapable of guarding Corazon Aquino?  Perhaps it would be their shared love of exotic footwear, however it is unlikely the widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos shared ‘Toine’s particular fetish for white tennis shoes, as evidence by a series of eBay auctions designed to bolster Walker’s troubled financial status.

The Fiver On The End Of Mark Hughes’ Reign Of Error In W12

Posted in Football at 2:20 pm by

With the oft-traveled Harry Redknapp poised to take over, perhaps as soon as this weekend, Queens Park Rangers — winless in EPL competition this season — fired manager Mark Hughes early Friday.  While Hughes presided over QPR’s narrow escape from relegation last spring, he’s been unable to accomplish much of late, despite ownership giving him, in the words of The Guardian’s Scott Murray, “a blank sheet of paper only to create a folly so staggeringly unfit for purpose that even the designers of Portmeirion village might have raised one or two questions about its everyday practicality.”

Hughes has been sacked by QPR, where he’d spent the last few months purchasing several big-name stars, such as Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero, then deploying them randomly about the pitch with the help of a complicated selection system featuring a hat, several scraps of paper, another long strip of paper, some tacks and a big drawing of a donkey with no tail on it yet. It’d not been working that well, truth be told, to the point that Granero was openly witnessed ignoring tactical instruction during last weekend’s thunderingly inept home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton, a result that has eventually done for the hapless manager. “Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the board of directors with very little choice but to make a change,” a club apparatchik parroted this afternoon, as Hughes was sent skittering down South Africa Road on his backside, those amply padded buttocks which helped him shield the ball so well from defenders once again coming to good use.

All this upheaval, brouhaha and emotional tumult comes on the eve of QPR’s trip to Old Trafford, where home side Manchester United are almost as adept at scoring goals as the Rangers are at letting them in. Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will be the fall guys in charge of this particular rout, although the day might not be a total write-off for the Rs, with it looking very likely that ‘Arry Redknapp will be analysing the team from the stands having agreed to become their new boss. It’ll also be the first game at Old Trafford since the unveiling of a new statue of Sir Alex Ferguson, and this might get them thinking. Fergie was, after all, installed as United manager after a buffoon got sacked in the wake of a shellacking at the hands of Southampton. A wondrous omen for Redknapp, then? Probably not, actually, it’s tenuous nonsense, with the 65-year-old Redknapp highly unlikely to win 27 trophies in a 26-year spell at Loftus Road. But QPR fans have had it rough of late, so let’s not rule it out completely. Leave them something to cling to.

11.22.12

Nov. 22, 2012 : A New Candidate For Mark Sanchez’ Career Highlight Emerges

Posted in Gridiron at 10:59 pm by

Full credit to embattled Jets QB Mark Sanchez, shown above, running straight into the hindquarters of Brandon Moore.  The former is already likely to be the laughing stock of this holiday weekend, but compared to NFL sanctioned “entertainment” provided today by the likes of Kid Rock, Kenny Chesney and Lenny Kravitz, Sanchez was downright dignified.