11.24.12

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.

Battier Vs. Dunleavy : Perhaps History’s Dullest War Of Words

Posted in Basketball at 5:19 pm by

Miami F / karaoke enthusiast Shane Battier claims he there’s no one in the NBA who could challenge him at “Jeopardy”.  Bucks F Mike Dunleavy (above) begs to differ, telling Fox Sports’ Chris Thomasson, “He’s a religion major. I’m a history major, and I’ve read a lot of books. I’ve read a lot of stuff.’’  Yes, I’m sure you’re right up there with this guy.

I don’t know if he could beat Duke players,’’ said Dunleavy, a Milwaukee forward who had 16 points and four rebounds to Battier’s no points and seven boards in a 113-106 overtime loss to the Heat. “He probably could beat everybody else. I don’t think he could beat me. … I think what he meant to say is (Battier) can beat any player in the NBA besides any who went to Duke. I think Grant (Hill, also a Duke alum) could give him a run for his money.’’

“Michael knows better,’’ Battier said. “I’m a little disappointed in him saying that. … I’m ready any time, any place. Tell Dunleavy, tell Grant Hill, you know where to find me. Home or away, I don’t care. He’s a smart guy,’’ Battier said of Dunleavy. “He’s bright. He’s not going to get blown out of the water. But where I get him is in culture. Pop culture. Edge: Battier. I have a pulse of the people that most NBA players lack. Grant would be very good, but with pop culture and random factoids, I got him.’’

11.21.12

Shea Hillenbrand’s Post-Baseball Attitude Adjustment

Posted in Baseball at 11:51 pm by

After losing skipper John Farrell to Boston, Toronto rehired former manager John Gibbons earlier this week, a slightly surprising move given the later’s highly publicized tifts with Shea Hillenbrand (above, left) and Ted Lilly. Hillenbrand, a onetime CSTB fixture / object of ridicule, tells the Toronto Star’s Brendan Kennedy that he’s no longer demonizing Gibbons.

“I think he handled the situation that we had very professionally and I didn’t handle it professionally at all,” said the father of three, who owns a ranch in Arizona and devotes most of his time these days to a foundation that uses baseball and animals to teach life lessons to at-risk youth.

“All I know is that during my time with him he was a really good manager and I think he did a really good job with what he had.”

Ironically, what Hillenbrand said made Gibbons such a great manager was how approachable and accessible he was. “I think John’s going to be a great addition to that ball club and he’s a great guy.”

Division III Ballhogs Rest Assured, Kobe Has Your Back

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 10:44 pm by

Reporter: Kobe, a college kid scored 138 points tonight and took over 100 shots …

Bryant: “Really? Wow. That’s impressive. That’s crazy. I don’t care what level you’re at. Scoring 138 points is pretty insane. How many 3s did he shoot? He must have been wearing the Mambas, man. Only Mambas have no conscious to shoot the ball like that.”

Reporter: If you did that, would people be celebrating you?

Bryant: “Would people be celebrating me if I scored 138 points? You know how it is, some people would, some people wouldn’t. They can all kiss my a– as I’m sure he feels the same way. If you score 138 points, you kind of have a license to tell people to f— off.” –  Dave McMenamin, Sulia.com

Consciousness, conscience, it’s all good. And full credit to Kobe for not saying, “who knew Paul Westhead Mike D’Antoni was coaching in Iowa?

Buehrle : Loria & Co. Are Liars

Posted in Baseball at 6:28 pm by

The thrill of being dumped on a contender might be outweighed by having to uproot a family (or abandon an important member) for P Mark Buerhle, who has reacted angrily to his widely-ridiculed trade to Toronto. The Sun-Sentinel’s Mike Bernadino provides excerpts from a written statement issued by the former Marlins starter  and his agent, Jeff Berry.

“I’m upset with how things turned out in Miami,” Buehrle said. “Just like the fans in South Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I’m putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career.”

Marlins baseball czar Larry Beinfest, asked directly on a Monday conference call about reports of “verbal assurances” given to Reyes and Buehrle, said those didn’t come from him and were nothing he was privvy to.

“Throughout the recruiting process, the Marlins made repeated assurances about their long-term commitment to Mark and his family and their long-term commitment to building a winning tradition of Marlins baseball in the new stadium. This was demonstrated by their already completed signings of Ozzie, Heath Bell and Jose Reyes.

“At the same time, given the Marlins’ history, we were all certainly aware of and voiced concern about the lack of no-trade protection. This is unquestionably a business, and signing with the Marlins was a calculated risk. Mark held up his end of the bargain; unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the Marlins.”

11.20.12

Guy Who No Longer Stands To Inherit A Baseball Team : Trading Wright, Dickey Isn’t The Mets’ (Immediate) Plan

Posted in Baseball at 10:03 pm by

Calling recent reports that extensions for David Wright and R.A. Dickey are less than likely, “”some misconception in the marketplace about what’s going on,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon told reporters Tuesday at a charity event that shopping either star isn’t the club’s intent.  For now, anyway, as Newsday’s Marc Carig transcribes :

“(Signing both to extensions is) the first preference; that has been the first preference,” Wilpon said. “Second preference is probably keep them and have them play out the season. Third preference would be to trade them. They’re both very important to the franchise, they’re both fan favorites, so we’d like to keep it that way.”

Wilpon declined to elaborate on why he believes trades are the least desirable option.

“We’re dealing in hypothetical now,” he said. “So I don’t want to go there. In terms of right now, the process is ongoing, and we want to get something done.”

The Mets exercised options to pay Wright $16 million and Dickey $5 million. But both are free agents after 2013, and if the Mets hang on to them only to let them walk, they’d be left with only draft picks as compensation.