12.27.12

Mike Francesa’s Impatience With Terrible Callers Knows No Holiday

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 7:37 pm by

Dear WFAN Listeners,

Given that you’re not nearly as wordly as afternoon deity Mike Francesa, consider the following a brief, albeit necessary tutorial for those wishing to waste Mike’s  valuable airtime :

Bernard Madoff and Fred Wilpon are two entirely different people.    One of them managed to crush the hopes and dreams of others thru acts of greed and dishonesty.  And the other is serving an 150 year year prison term.

12.26.12

Dan Marino’s Misleading Isotoner Gloves Commercials Ended Up Getting Scott Mitchell Hurt

Posted in Gridiron at 10:51 pm by

How many young, aspiring QB’s saw the above 1987 advertisement and thought to themselves, “man, if I ever make it to the National Football League, I’m placating the burly dudes on the offensive  line with cheap-ass Isotoner gloves for Christmas.” Hopefully not many more besides former Detroit starter Scott Mitchell, who last week was shocked to learn OT Lomas Brown once intentionally blew a blocking assignment in the hopes of his own teammate being knocked out of a game. PFT’s Mike Florio quizzed Mitchell about the incident (“for someone to just lay down like that, it’s unacceptable”) on Dan Patrick’s NBC Sports radio program earlier today :

“It just really hurt,” Mitchell said. “It was extremely disappointing. I’m really shocked by it, to be honest. Here’s a guy I’ve had in my house, I had a big dinner for the offensive linemen every year, he came to my house and ate dinner, I gave my offensive linemen gifts every year. For him to do that is just reprehensible, beyond words. It’s really disappointing, it really is painful. When you mess with my family, mess with my livelihood, mess with my health, it’s unacceptable. It’s B.S. I just wouldn’t do it to a teammate. I wouldn’t do it. If Lomas has a problem with me, come talk to me. To try to get someone hurt, it’s just mind-boggling.”

Mitchell suffered a broken finger on his passing hand when Brown allowed Packers defensive end Sean Jones to get a free shot at him in a 1994 game. That injury ended Mitchell’s season, and Mitchell noted that it could have been a lot worse than a broken finger.

Nic Anelka Is Really Making A Huge Effort (To Take The Heat Off Tracy McGrady)

Posted in Football at 8:10 pm by

While T-Mac insists his alleged dissatisfaction with basketball in China is a media creation, French striker Nicolas Anekla’s tenure with Shanghai Shenhua lasted just shy of one year.   While at least one club has described Anelka’s salary demands as onerous, When Saturday Comes’ Andrew Crawford provides some background on the former Arsenal / Chelsea star’s rough time in the Far East.

The team took the captain’s armband from the popular Yu Tao – who had been with Shenhua for over a decade – and gave it to their new star player instead. Once the season got underway it soon became apparent that things were not going to go well. Within four games, Shenhua’s newest captain had led a dressing room coup that ousted Jean Tigana from the dugout. Appointed player-manager for the subsequent game against Tianjin Teda, Anelka’s tactics were so bad that Shenhua got booed off the pitch at full-time as the visitors won in Shanghai for the first time in their history.

Prone to voicing his displeasure with the club during press conferences and occasionally threatening to retire, Anelka also missed several games due to “‘injuries” as a shareholder dispute resulted in unpaid wages and training ground strikes. Increasingly marginalised following the mid-season arrival of Didier Drogba in Shanghai, a disinterested Anelka would regularly drift out of position during games, much to the fury of local supporters. As the season went on Shenhua fans threw coins at him during a cup game while Chinese newspapers ran cartoons of Drogba carrying Anelka on his back.

All of this has been hard to take for the Shenhua fans, who saw 150 per cent increases in season tickets this year following promises that the team was going to win the league. Instead the Shanghai club, one of the oldest in China, is in freefall with a would-be saviour whose stubbornness weighed the team down for most of the season. Anelka has certainly left behind a legacy in Shanghai but not a lot of it is positive.

12.25.12

The NBA On Christmas Day – The Price Players Pay (For Being Obscenely Well-Paid)

Posted in Basketball, Merry Fucking Christmas, Religion at 9:40 pm by

Noting the NBA’s 5 Christmas day contests, the SF Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins claimed last week that commissioner David Stern (“who celebrates Hanukkah”), “has no real feel for Christmas in the first place.” Though Jenkins has yet to say he’s sorry for attaching a pair of ancient Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy quotes to his innuendo about the (Jewish) Commish, he has apologized for having “addressed the issue of David Stern’s faith in any manner”.  While considering the evolution of the NBA’s holiday showcase(s), the New York Times’ Harvey Araton is especially mindful of Jenkins’ week old item.

These days, it has become a sport within the sport to pillory Stern when he locks out players to cut their revenue or stands up for the legitimacy of the league’s TV contracts, which put luxury cars in their driveways. Can critics really have it both ways?

However clichéd or unfounded it was to degrade a man with Stern’s excellent credentials on many social causes of inclusiveness, no one should minimize the opinions of those who believe that Christmas is not a day for unencumbered commercialism, even if every day leading to it is.

But people do interpret and observe religion differently, and as Celtics Coach Doc Rivers noted, a fair number of folks “do work on Christmas.” Restaurants open. People go to the movies. In the long history of N.B.A. Christmas games, no one has been forced to attend or watch on television.

Other than Araton and his media colleagues. And the hot dog vendors. And ushers. I could go on, but I won’t.  As Araton alludes, the movie theatre owners of America have faced no barbs from Bruce Jenkins or his cinematic equivalents (presumably a few of those owners aren’t Jews).

A Christmas Message From The Biggest Bullshit Artist South Of David Howard

Posted in Basketball, Merry Fucking Christmas, twitter twatter at 3:09 pm by

I hope this current stretch doesn’t cost Avery Johnson his job.  And it would be a shame if anyone concluded D-Will is some sort of coach-killer. But most of all, I sincerely hope the former New Jersey Nets can somehow manage to fashion a team the Borough of Brooklyn Brett Yormark can be proud of.

12.24.12

WPRB’s Jon Solomon : The Man Behind An Xmas Tradition More Beloved Than Stan Van Gundy Losing A Holiday

Posted in Merry Fucking Christmas, Radio at 10:18 pm by

OK, well the latter tradition is on hold for a bit. But Jon Solomon‘s 24 hour Xmas Marathon is in progress on WPRB.  Along with the usual plethora of seasonal tunes, you’ll hear holiday tales from persons including but not limited to Jennifer O’Connor & Amy Bezunartea, Chris Brokaw, Joel RL Phelps and Mac McCaughan.

Live streaming by Ustream

Next Stop, Nowhere : Jack Klugman Gets Off (This Mortal Coil)

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The World Of Entertainment at 8:38 pm by

Jack Klugman, veteran actor and star of the TV-adaptation-of Neil Simon’s, “The Odd Couple”, and subsequently, “Quincy M.E.”, has passed away at the age of 90. Though his role as sportswriter Oscar Madison remains Klugman’s signature part, he unwittingly made major contributions to punk rock really-getting-it-wrong history  through the landmark “Quincy” episode, “Next Stop Nowhere”.

12.23.12

The Sacramento Bee Tackles The Mental Health Care Debate (As It Pretains To DeMarcus Cousins)

Posted in Basketball at 10:45 pm by

The Kings suspended DeMarcus Cousins indefinitely after the 3rd year C verbally abused head coach Keith Smart during intermission of Friday’s loss to the Clippers, an incident coming shortly on the heels of Cousins’ postgame confrontation with Spurs TV analyst Sean Elliot. In his relatively brief professional career, the undeniably talented Cousins has established a rep as a  head case (that’s the clinical term, right?), one the Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voison had previously argued wasn’t entirely deserved. In the wake of Friday’s incident, however, Voison warns, “you don’t have to be a psychiatrist to realize he needs counseling. He needs to be punished, true, but he also needs to be helped.”

The Kings should consider anything and everything: rehiring his former high school coach, Otis Hughley, who was added to the coaching staff as a baby sitter/personal handler during Cousins’ rookie season; taking a tip from Phil Jackson and having one of their mental health consultants maintain a more consistent and high-profile presence. And while neither teams nor the league can compel players to undergo counseling, the Kings successfully pressured Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) into anger management therapy during his days in Sacramento.

The Kings still don’t want to trade Cousins – and they shouldn’t – but something has to change. He has to change. Being tall and talented and wealthy doesn’t entitle him to be demeaning and unprofessional and at times downright combative. He needs answers, and clearly, he needs help.

Asked why he appeared so morose after his impressive performance in the Kings’ victory last week against the Warriors, Cousins shook his head. “I’m just dealing with a lot of things in my life right now,” he replied quietly.

Now he gets to sit and think about things for a while, and with an assist from the Kings, maybe he can find some answers.

Swansea City’s Ashley Williams : Provoking Mayhem And/Or Convenient Play Of An Action Swingers Classic

Posted in Football at 8:21 pm by

Between the Giants shitting the bed in Baltimore and Tim Tebow picking a hell of time to channel his inner Scottie Pippen, chances are slim this incident from today’s EPL clash between Swansea City and Manchester United will garner much play on the US highlights shows. Which is a shame, as it would afford an enterprising anchor guy or gal a chance to mention the above song’s author was mentored as a young lad by Shep Messing. There’s few names in punk or sports that sound nearly as filthy, so even if the story ends there with a resounding thud, at least there’s that.

Brooks : Bettman’s Blown It

Posted in Hockey at 5:55 pm by

While avowed labor union opponent Dino Costa has repeatedly praised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for his inflexibility during the league’s current suicide mission, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks is slightly more in touch with life on Planet Earth, declaring the game’s “Canceler-In-Chief” to be “the Igor Ulanov of pro sports commissioners.”

Bettman is willing to take the monumental risk of canceling yet another season as opposed to the meager rewards of limiting players to seven-year contracts and refusing transition rules that might cost NHL owners comparative pennies weighed against the cost of the second canceled season in the last eight years of his regime.

I would defy any owner to explain why the season should be canceled over the difference of one or three years in maximum contract lengths in the current proposals of the NHL and the NHLPA.

The league’s proposed contract term limits are meant to devalue free agency. The league acts as if players spent the seven seasons under the expired collective bargaining agreement fleeing small markets for big markets even as all available evidence contradicts the theory.

There is also the NHL’s take-it-or-leave-it refusal to accept transition rules regarding amnesty buyouts and the 2013-14 cap that would present clubs mechanisms with which to comply to the new CBA. Rather, the league seems intent on punishing teams that obeyed every rule in the book while spending money in attempting to build champions.