02.28.13

Remembering Flushing’s #1 Proponent Of The New Weird America Movement

Posted in Baseball, History's Not Happening at 9:15 pm by

In light of the San Diego Padres holding an archery competition yesterday (hey, it beats war games with Randy Myers), now might be an opportune time to call former Mets starter Matt Ginter, who along with being snubbed by The Wire in favor of the No Neck Blues Band paving the way for many would-be Mumfords, touted the benefits of HARDCORE BOW & ARROW ACTION in a big league clubhouse some 9 years ago. From the New York Times’ Lee Jenkins (June 12, 2004)

On the first day that Ginter asked teammates if it was all right to play a hunting video in the clubhouse, Steve Trachsel sidled up next to him. He also tags along when Ginter goes shopping for hunting supplies or camouflage.

”You get him talking about that stuff,” Trachsel said, ”and he’ll go on forever.”

With Ginter’s arrival, the Mets’ pitching coach, Rick Peterson, has developed an interest in archery. Ginter has been hunting deer with his bow and arrows since he was 15, and he has developed such keen marksmanship that he can split a deck of cards with an arrow. Ginter told Peterson that when shooting an arrow, he always focuses on a spot no larger than a nickel. But when throwing a baseball, he aims at a much larger target.

He is making an impact on the Mets, who view him with amusement and delight. Closer Braden Looper calls Ginter ”our country boy,” and compares him to the Clampetts, the family from ”The Beverly Hillbillies.” Catcher Vance Wilson calls him ”our redneck,” but he insists he is using the term endearingly. When reliever David Weathers wants instant entertainment, he summons Ginter to review an episode of ”Hee-Haw.’

Ayanbadejo & Kluwe – Not Merely Supporting Marriage Equality, But Forcing Sportswriters To Brush Up On Their Latin

Posted in Gridiron, The Law at 8:29 pm by

On the same day SF’s Vernon Davis told “SportsCenter” viewers that he’d certainly ask Manti Te’o about his sexuality were he an NFL general manager —- and a day after Sirius/XM’s Dino Costa opened his broadcast mocking those who consider homophobia prevalent (ie. Dino’s not “afraid” of homosexuals, he simply “disagrees with their lifestyle”) —- Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo and Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (above) have filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, voicing their opposition to California’s anti-same sex marriage Proposition 8.  From the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebeic :

“If the court reverses the Ninth Circuit, many professional athletes will take their cues from that,” said the brief, according to reports. “And that will cause a ripple effect as even more people follow their role models, their leaders, their heroes. Those against same-sex marriage? They will use it as yet another tool to support their preconceived idea that gay Americans, who pay their taxes, serve in our military, and by every measure of societal participation are superior neighbors and citizens, are instead second class members of society. That they do not deserve the same rights as everyone else. That separate can be equal.

“The amici hope that our support for marriage equality here will matter — both with the Court and with people looking for confirmation that it is okay to treat other good people as equals. We know for a certainty that this Court’s decision truly will matter, and in a tremendous way for many people’s lives.”

02.27.13

The Artist Formerly Known As GorillaBeas Wants You To Know He Doesn’t Carry A Purse

Posted in Basketball, Fashion, The Marketplace at 8:04 pm by

After signing with Phoenix as a free agent last Summer, F Michael Beasley had a rather curious yard sale at his previous Minneapolis home (“B-Easy’s B-zarre Garage Sale, 8/20/12).  At the time, Fox Sports North’s Joan Nisen wondered, “Why does Michael Beasley need a copy of the Physicians’ Desk Reference? Or a book of Ingmar Bergman screenplays? Or giant glass grapes? What use does Beasley have for a floral headboard? Why does he love tasseled pillows so much? Whose handbags are those?”  Speaking today with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda, the former T-Wolves star insists it’s just stuff someone else left laying around.

Beasley sold some of his belongings last summer in an estate sale at the Orono home he rented during his two seasons in Minnesota. It made news nationally for its eclectic mix of items.

A lot of that stuff wasn’t mine, like purses and earrings and stuff,” he said, referring to a company he hired for the sale that brought other items into the house. “That kind of messed up my street cred. I’m a gangster on the street. I had some stuff that wouldn’t fit into my house here, so we just sold it. A lot of the furniture was mine. The dresses and purses? Not mine.”

The NFL Makes It Crystal Clear : “Do You Like Gladiator Movies?” Cannot Be Asked During The Combine

Posted in Gridiron at 4:09 pm by

Days after PFT’s Mike Florio predicted Manti Te’o's sexual orientation would be an actual topic at the NFL Combine, a player not nearly as well known claims a team asked similar questions during an interview earlier this week. From NFL.com’s Greg Rosenthal :

“They ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Are you married? Do you like girls?’ Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether,” TE Nick Kasa told ESPN Radio Denver Tuesday, via ProFootballTalk.

It sounds more than weird. It’s embarrassing. I could imagine folks in the league office reading this and cringing, so I reached out to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

“Like all employers, our teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws,” he said in a statement. “It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process.

“In addition, there are specific protections in our Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation. We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine. Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline.”

The Paper Of Record’s Curiously Low Benchmark For “Rock Star”

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Rock Und Roll at 12:15 pm by

The New York Times’ “Frequent Flier” — an often amusing guest editorial in the paper’s business section penned by a wide variety of heavy travelers — featured the headline, “Even A Rock Star Has To Be Careful” this past Tuesday.   If you were thinking this week’s author might be, for instance, Blues Saraceno or Sully Erna, prepare to be deeply disappointed, as the Times has scrapped the very bottom of the state fair circuit barrel in soliciting Foreigner’s hired hand vocalist, Kelly Hansen.

Sometimes people recognize me. But what generally happens is if we’re traveling in a group, passengers might start to talk among themselves, wondering who we are. That’s kind of fun because usually they know all of our songs.

If I’m traveling alone, I don’t mind talking to seatmates, but I’d sooner just enjoy the flight. If someone asks me what I do, I generally reply, “I’m in music.” But if they ask what band, I say Foreigner. Either people break into a smile, or they say, “You mean, Foreigner, Foreigner?” I always want to say, “No, the other Foreigner.” But I don’t.

A lot of times the crew knows who we are, and word spreads that way. There was one flight where the attendants must have told the pilots. A little while into the flight, the pilots came over the P.A. system, and they just started singing a medley of Foreigner songs, including “Feels Like The First Time” and “Hot Blooded.” Everyone got a good laugh. I wasn’t worried about my day job. I thought as singers they made great pilots.

OK, I’m calling bullshit on this “sometimes people recognize me”. I will bet you $10 that unless that unless Hansen is flying with someone unlucky enough to have caught his performance at The Boat Show or a supermarket opening the day prior, there’s no fucking way he’s getting recognized. And if there’s a look of disbelief from fellow passengers upon learning he’s ostensibly a member of Foreigner, who can blame them?

The simple fact of the matter is that for the vast majority of the public, Foreigner will forever be associated with the dulcet tones and dynamic stage presence of Lou Gramm (shown above) . To pretend otherwise is duplicitous, delusional and another blow to The Gray Lady’s journalistic integrity.

On the bright side, there’s every chance the paper will feature a survey of the nation’s truck stops penned by Ron Reyes Ripper Owens.

WSC’s Anderson To Rangers Fans : Lay Off The Pope, Focus On Green

Posted in Football, Mob Behavior at 12:59 am by

Rangers’ 3-1 win at Berwick last Saturday in Scotland’s Third Division  was marred by what one published report referred to as “sectarian singing by a small section of the Rangers fans in the capacity crowd.”  Leaving less to the imagination, When Saturday Comes’ Alex Anderson claims the traveling fans, “sang about ‘Fenian blood’”, paedophilia and co-commentator Craig Burley’s wife.”

It’s pertinent that the catalogue of paedophilia songs – aimed initially at the heavy police attention (“Why don’t you go and catch a paedo?”) then extended to Jock Stein, Celtic and the Catholic church – ended when Rangers produced the one pleasing move in the entire game, scoring on the stroke of half-time.

Boredom and identity crises are classic drivers of anti-social behaviour but the most valid mitigation for what went on at Berwick was sat in the directors’ box opposite Shielfield’s cowshed covered enclosure. Chief executive Charles Green, the appointed representative of the new company running Rangers, has engaged in a sustained campaign of blaming everyone else for our current position. There’s no structure to his public ranting; the only consistency has been to take the most embittered voices as representative of the entire fan base. He’s threatened to take the club out of Scotland, blamed their exclusion from the SPL on bigotry and last week he claimed he would quit the club if chairman Malcolm Murray didn’t resign.

Rangers fans says that those mocking our financial implosion of last summer are “obsessed”. However, six different songs about child abuse in five minutes demonstrate a far more sinister obsession. As the tabloids often demonstrate, there is a thin line between condemning paedophilia and celebrating it. Rangers fans who feel the need to attack the Vatican can safely stand down – there are enough people, better qualified and far more invested, currently on the case. And it’s not just in Rome where an institution enduring a year of setbacks could do with a change of leader.

02.26.13

Mike Francesa Cannot Make Love To The Camera If He’s Cockblocked By A Producer

Posted in Sports Radio, Sports TV at 10:01 pm by

I am already regretting the above headline (but not nearly enough to come up with an alternative).   And in fairness to WFAN’s late afternoon host, he would hardly be the first broadcasting icon to lose his composure in the workplace.

Niagara Editorialist : Buehrle’s Parenting Skills Are The Pits

Posted in Baseball, Dogs, Parental Responsibility at 5:58 pm by

When veteran hurler Mark Buehrle was traded from the salary-dumping Marlins to the aspirational Blue Jays last Autumn, it was widely noted that a pit bull ban in Ontario would impact the Buehrle family.  With Buehrle having recently announced his wife and children will stay in St. Louis with the family dog while he relocates to Toronto for half the year, the Niagara-Gazette’s Mark Confer protests, “he shouldn’t allow his reason and humanity to be influenced by modern society’s strange love affair with animals in which they’ve gone from being a part of the household to a part of the family (it’s something akin to mainstream anthropomorphism)”.

I see his residency decision quite differently than they did. Whereas they see him as some sort of hero, I see him as a well-intentioned but ultimately bad parent. I love animals, but I love humans a lot more. To me, the real family – mother, son, and daughter – should take precedence over Slater.

Being an absentee father in order to cater to a dog isn’t touching. It’s touched. What sort of father would not want to spend his days with his 5-year old son and 3-year old daughter? Their youth is short-lived and precious. These are the days and years in which they are so cute (more so than any dog ever could be) and their brains and hearts soak up so much information and love. They need their dad to help provide that intellectual and emotional nourishment. Having him 800 miles away – in another country, no less – will do them no good. Sure, his ballplayer’s income will give them all the material goods that they’ll ever need or want, but, for 6 or 7 months out of the year they’ll be without the possession which they need the most – their father.

Suppose Buehrle plays out the rest of his career in Toronto. He’s only 33 and is still a darn good pitcher (he sports a 3.82 lifetime ERA), so it wouldn’t be out of the question for him to play another 7 years in the Bigs, especially for a rejuvenated Blue Jays organization (to which he’s obligated to at least three seasons). Will he continue to maintain the great divide between himself and his kin over that period? I hope not. By then, his kids will be 12 and 10. That’s a good portion of their childhood to throw away.

Of course, Ontario’s draconian laws against pit bulls might not be the only reason a ballplayer might seek to avoid his family for half the year. Hopefully Confer can hold every other Major Leaguer who spends time apart from his offspring up to similar scrutiny, even if there’s no chance to take a shot or several at dog lovers.

02.25.13

Dowbiggin’s Wrath For Grapes : Cherry’s Drug Rant Was Wrong, Dopey

Posted in Hockey, Sports TV at 11:03 pm by

Over the years, CBC hockey commentator / fashion-plate Don Cherry’s been accused of xenophobia, homophobia and perhaps worst of all, giving Craig Sager a sartorial role model to aspire to. During Saturday’s edition of “Coach’s Corner”, Cherry added to his laundry list of offenses, turning a blind eye to hockey’s drug issues (of all things — fast forward to about 6 minutes in), earning the ire of frequent Globe & Mail critic Bruce Dowbiggin.

We’ve been down this road before. Many times. And it’s always wrong. Inconvenient for Cherry’s narrative, hockey’s drug problem is as recent as the accidental overdose from Derek Boogaard in 2011. Regrettably, the league’s rehab department has no shortage of clients. And the NHL has done no drug testing in the postseason or off-season, the period when players would most likely be juicing.

So the drug claim is specious. As well, there are thousands of great role models in other sports, men who are a credit to their families and community. As it is every time he trots it out for public viewing, Cherry’s argument is as flimsy as his own NHL career.

The issue is not Cherry’s accuracy, however. That horse left the barn decades ago. The issue is the integrity of CBC. In the hours following Cherry’s jeremiad there was no attempt by anyone on the network to clear the record. Starting with a mute Ron MacLean on Coach’s Corner, a succession of so-called experts on the network declined to correct Cherry’s patently false comments about drugs in hockey.

The New York Mets & Amway – A Collision Between 2 Crooked, Sinking Ships

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 7:27 pm by

Under what possible circumstances would an MLB franchise in the nation’s no. 1 market be compelled to sell storefront space at their own ballpark to a company that recently settled a class action lawsuit over pseudo-pyramid scheme practices?  When the team in question is the New York Mets — no stranger to such associations — and they’ve learned they cannot turn erect an Indian casino next door, well, Shawn Marcum’s paycheck isn’t going to grow on trees. Or in the words of Capital New York’s Howard Megdal, after providing unprecedented hospitality to Amway, the Mets “seem to have made the calculation that whatever money they’re getting from the deal trumps any cosmetic problems that might stem from the association.”

Amway is a multilevel marketing opportunity, to use the euphemism, or a pyramid scheme, to use the terminology of its critics. Individuals sign up as “Independent Business Owners”, or I.B.O.s, to sell an array of Amway products, buying them up front while simultaneously recruiting others to join Amway as well.

The Federal Trade Commission differentiates between legitimate MLMs and pyramid schemes using a set of criteria that came into being in part because of complaints about Amway going back decades. The most basic requirement is that participants sell a reasonable percentage of the products to outsiders, meaning the company is not subsisting primarily on new backers buying in to pay the old backers.

When a class-action lawsuit against Amway’s now-defunct North American distribution arm, Quixtar, asserted that products were almost always sold to the next level of distributors, that Amway participants were asked to pay exorbitant up-front costs, that well over 99 percent of Amway participants lost money and that any effort to recoup losses were only possible in an expensive arbitration process, a judge allowed the lawsuit to go forward, calling the Amway contract stipluations “a weapon to harass … and ultimately bankrupt their opponents.” A year later, Amway settled the suit for $155 million.

Amway’s troubles aren’t over; there’s been renewed focus on MLMs of late, with Herbalife, a company operating using Amway’s business model, declared a pyramid scheme in a European court last year.

The company revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating it. The Federal Trade Commission recently shut down Fortune High-Tech Marketing, another MLM, in January.

Happy 64th Birthday, Ric Flair

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 2:22 pm by

On this happy occasion, at least we get to see the Nature Boy doing what he loves most ; avoiding process servers greeting his loyal fans.

02.24.13

Mushnick : Twitter Pissing Matches Are A Gateway To Gunplay

Posted in Gridiron, social crusaders, Sports Journalism, twitter twatter at 4:56 pm by

The ongoing Twitter feud between Seattle’s Robert Sherman and the Jets’ easily offended Darrelle Revis is in the words of the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick, “a pathetic boast and putdown-filled dialogue, one that reveals both to be stuck somewhere deep in both childhood and a dangerous neighborhood.” Though that summation is not completely out to lunch, Phil would have you believe that every Twitter entanglement (or at least those between highly paid athletes who in this instance, don’t happen to be white) is a prelude to murder.

Yep, someone dissed someone and now two all-pros are acting as if they’re auditioning for the leads in an updated, Glock-inclusive reprisal of West Side Story. Problem is, they’re both too self-smitten to be embarrassed.

“My season stats looking like Revis career stats,” Sherman, a Stanford man, posted on Twitter as part of a sustained self-promotional campaign loaded with conceit and gratuitous insults of Revis.

“I never seen a man before run his mouth like [a] girl,” Revis, a University of Pittsburgh man counter-tweeted. “This dude just steady putting my name in his mouth to get notoriety.”

This is the kind of dirty-look, bad-ass challenge dialogue now commonly found in junior high lunchrooms, high school hallways, among gang-bangers, gangsta rappers and, increasingly, young professional athletes straight out of our colleges.

And increasingly such mindless garbage-talk and stare-downs are followed by the appearance of guns, from which is followed the appearance of blood and then body bags, followed by the explanation by the homicide detectives that the whole thing began with nothing more nefarious than perceived “disrespect.”

Curiously, while Phil seems to have it in for the Twitter medium, he neglected to mention that Sherman took his campaign to the NFL Network’s “NFL AM” show on Thursday morning. Though I’m not willing to embrace the Mushnick POV in this instance (ie. Guns Don’t Kill People, Twitter Kills People), if he wants to campaign for the abolition of all cable sports talk shows, I might finally find myself taking his side.

Loria To Miami : Have Some Faith In A Proven Winner (ie. Me)

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 4:09 pm by

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria purchased full page ads in 3 Southern Florida newspapers Sunday, and it is sort of amazing to you consider the region has that many daily print publications left.   Though New Times was on the outside looking in of this advertising windfall, Loria’s gesture accomplished two important goals :

1) reminding the public that no matter how big a failure the 2012 Marlins were, he’s still got more money than Fred Wilpon
2) having earned the biggest fluke World Series trophy in modern history, who would know more about winning on the cheap.

LETTER TO OUR FANS

        It’s no secret that last season was not our best — actually it was one of our worst. In large part, our performance on the field stunk and something needed to be done. As a result of some bold moves, many grabbed hold of our tough yet necessary decision only to unleash a vicious cycle of negativity. As the owner of the ballclub, the buck stops with me and I take my share of the blame where it’s due. However, many of the things being said about us are simply not true. I’ve sat by quietly and allowed this to continue. Now it’s time for me to respond to our most important constituents, the fans who love the game of baseball.

        THE ROSTER

        Losing is unacceptable to me. It’s incumbant upon us to take swift action and make bold moves when there are glaring problems. The controversial trade we made with the Toronto Blue Jays was approved by Commissioner Bud Selig and has been almost universally celebrated by baseball experts outside of Miami for its value. We hope, with an open mind, our community can reflect on the fact that we had one of the worst records in baseball. Acquiring high-profile players just didn’t work, and nearly everyone on our team underperformed as compared to their career numbers. Our plan for the year ahead is to leverage our young talent and create a homegrown roster of long-term players who can win. In fact, objective experts have credited us with going from the 28th ranked Minor League system in baseball to the 5th best during this period. Of the Top 100 Minor Leaguers rated by MLB Network, we have six — tied for the most of any team in the league. We’ll evaluate this roster and possibly bring in additional talent based on our assessment of what we need. The very same naysayers who are currently skeptical once attacked us for bringing Pudge Rodriguez to the Marlins in 2003. More than any other, that move contributed to our World Series Championship.

      THE BALLPARK

      The ballpark issue has been repeatedly reported incorrectly and there are some very negative accustations being thrown around. It ain’t true, folks. Those who have attacked us are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. The majority of public funding came from hotel taxes, the burden of which is incurred by tourists who are visiting our city, NOT the resident taxpayers. The Marlins organization also agreed to contribute $161.2 million toward the ballpark, plus the cost of the garage complex. In addition, the Marlins receive no operating subsidy from local government funding. The ballpark required that all debt service is paid by existing revenue. Furthermore, many are attacking the County’s method of financing for its contribution, but the Marlins had nothing at all to do with that. The fact is, with your help, we built Marlins Park, a crown jewel in our beautiful Miami skyline, which has won over twenty design and architecture awards and will help make us a premiere ballclub moving forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Probably Not Coming To Kickstarter Anytime Soon : “Let’s Save Ace Frehley’s House”

Posted in Real Estate at 3:29 pm by

I apologize to Yo La Tengo for the above headline.  The Journal News’ Ernie Garcia reports former Kiss guitarist / best-selling author Ace Frehley has been accused of mortgage firm U.S. Bank National Association of not making payments on his Yorktown, NY in nearly two years.

In its Feb. 15 foreclosure filing, the bank asked the court to order a sale of the home to pay for the outstanding principal of $703,581.48 plus interest, late charges and other expenses.

Frehley, 61, borrowed the money in 2006 for the one-family home at 1347 Spring Valley Road that sits on 3.01 acres. The 2,441-square-foot house has two floors, three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

According to Yorktown records, Jendell Productions bought the home on Nov. 17, 2000, for $650,000. The company then transferred ownership to Frehley in 2004 for no money.

Jendell is the name of the fictional home planet for Frehley’s extraterrestrial “Spaceman” stage character, who wore silver face paint and black lipstick.

02.23.13

Smiling Jeff Francouer Would LIke To Thank You For The Constructive Criticism

Posted in Baseball at 8:10 pm by

“I went back and watched some film and you know what? I did. I don’t think my legs were where they needed to be last year. I don’t think I was strong enough. I took a step back and said, ‘You know what? They’re right.’ ” So confesses Royals OF Jeff Francoeur (above, right) to the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton, with the latter figuring that if he’s dubbed a horrible human being baseball’s worst everyday outfielder, “I want to take that criticism, accept it and let it drive me to be a better baseball player.”   So if you’re planning on abusive 2am phone calls or keying Francoeur’s car, rest assured, “”I don’t take it as, ‘This person hates me.’ If he’s a true fan, he’s going to want me to have a good year to help this team win.” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

“The criticism this offseason when we traded Wil Myers – why the heck did we do that? – I sit there and say, ‘As a fan, looking from the outside, I’d lead that criticism.’ For fans, looking from the outside, I don’t blame them,” he said.

“I had a terrible year. Last year was so disappointing for me in so many different ways. First, obviously, the team and the way we performed after having expectations. Then myself. I just never did it. Never.”

Francoeur is vowing a big comeback year after sabermetricians – and fans – dubbed him the worst everyday player in baseball.

“I’m at that age, 29, where I should be getting into my prime. Not going the other way. That has fueled me and driven me a lot this off season, and it’s been a good drive.”

02.22.13

Happy 63rd Birthday To Dr. J., High Flying Thespian

Posted in Basketball, Cinema at 8:08 pm by

With all due respect to J Mascis and Marcus Camby Black Francis, Julius Erving. remains the most beloved UMass product of the modern era. In spite of this, it should be said that the above excerpt from “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh” reveals the good Doctor to be the cheapest date of all time.

Szczerbiak : Pissing In Our Mouths And Telling Us It’s The Official Beer Of Madison Square Garden

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 3:27 pm by

Based on his Knicks postgame autopsies this season, I am very hesitant to call former Timberwolves star-turned MSG mouthpiece Wally Szczerbiak the worst pro basketball analyst on television. Mostly because I’m starting to think he’s the worst sports analyst in any medium. After the Knicks were routed Wednesday night by the host Pacers, Szczerbiak demonstrated that his range is not merely limited to empty platitudes and painfully banal observations. He’s also adept at being an apologist for a team phoning it it. From the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman

At Woodson’s postgame press conference, Tina Cervasio, MSG’s Knicks reporter, immediately asked the coach about his pregame “sense of urgency” comment. “(Are you) shocked you didn’t see it?” she asked.

Woodson said he was very shocked. “I thought we had a good practice (Tuesday) before coming to Indiana,” Woodson said. “Nothing carried over.”

That “good practice” line was heard often at Rex Ryan press conferences this season. The media mocked it. So far, Woodson has steered clear of Ryansville, especially with guys such as MSG studio analyst Wally Szczerbiak running interference for him. After saying he didn’t know “how many excuses” you could make following the Indiana fiasco, Szczerbiak made one, saying the Knicks were operating with an All-Star break hangover.

“Some players (were) on vacation, some guys had a lot of stuff going on at the break,” he said. “Tyson and Melo went down to Houston, had to travel back, practiced and came here.”

Even Woodson wouldn’t buy that excuse.

Alleged Inventor Of The Wrap Sandwich Finds Another Sports Job

Posted in Baseball, College Spurts at 2:52 pm by

The Connecticut Post reports that former Stamford, CT director of public safety Bobby Valentine will soon be named the new Athletic Director at Sacred Heart University. While SHU’s choice will no doubt be ridiculed in some quarters, I prefer to dwell on the positive. For starters, at least they didn’t hire Isiah Thomas. And perhaps Bobby V’s new career path can serve as a crowbar for a former associate? Now would the perfect time for SHU’s WHRT to reach out to the suddenly-unemployed Glenn Ordway.

02.21.13

Welcome The Once & Future Phony Tough Guy To Broadway

Posted in Basketball at 9:29 pm by

A day after blown being blown out in Indianapolis, the New York Knicks signed 13-year professional veteran Kenyon Martin to a ten day contract in the hopes the former Nets/Nuggets F can compensate, if only slightly, for the unavailability of fellow senior citizens Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby.

Martin, rumored to be on the Knicks radar for some time, will probably find that few fans at MSG recall the following dispute during the 2004 Easter Conference playoffs, when Knicks F Tim Thomas took exception to K-Mart’s flying elbows. From ESPN.com, 4/22/04 :

Thomas saved his most caustic comments for Martin, repeatedly calling him “fugazy” — a slang term for fake used in the mafia movie “Donnie Brasco.”

“Just knowing his character, he’s a fugazy guy. I read a comment that Jason Richardson said nobody wants to mess with a pit bull, but I’ve never seen a pit bull who picks and chooses who he wants to bite,” Thomas said.

“He’s fugazy as far as the whole tough guy role. You get techs and you get fines and that makes you tough? Because your game is wild and crazy, that makes you tough? When a scuffle breaks out, you have 13 guys that can protect you. When it’s you and someone else, what happens then?

“Somebody call Don King and hook it up for us.”

Does San Jose Really Want An MLB Team That Trades In Such Dubious Imagery?

Posted in Baseball at 8:03 pm by

Major League Baseball issued guidelines to Oakland A’s ownership earlier today for a possible move to San Jose, CA.  Putting the San Francisco Giants’ territorial rights aside for a moment, it remains to be seen if San Jose will welcome the franchise with open arms after Decibel Magazine dubbed the A’s, “The Most Metal Team In Baseball”.

The above image was circulated this morning by MLB.com, and I am sure I’m not the only person who finds it as disturbing as it confusing. Given the allusions to the occult, church-burning and drop-d tuning (especially drop-d tuning) it is imperative that Billy Beane — a close personal friend of that great patriot, the late Johnny Ramone — make some sort of public statement about exactly what the A’s believe, when they started believing in, and how much can we expect them to believe in it during the dog days of August.

On the bright side, Bartolo Colon (3rd from left) appears to be in the best shape of his career.

Dear Publishers Of The Generic Lunchmeat Times – Fuck Off

Posted in Blogged Down, Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 3:25 pm by

Hello Gerard Cosloy,

I’m not sure if you are aware that The Deli will be present in Austin during SXSW with a printed pocket issue – you can see the 2012 edition here.
We wanted to let you know that we have added your showcase/party to our “Best Unofficial Shows” section!
The Deli is a NYC based magazine and blog that features underground/up-and-coming musicians.  We have a quarterly issue that centers around NYC musicians, and a yearly issue on SXSW which we distribute in Austin during the festival.

Since your show is featured, we hope that you will allow us to distribute our (free) magazine at your show.
Please let us know, and see you in March!

Dear Sir or Madam,

Much as I respect your right to freely assemble and exercise your First Amendment chops, I’m gonna have to pass on this one.  Yours is a commercial endeavor, not unlike that of CSTB (except for the part about this one not sucking).  This blog and the bands participating are going to great expense to put on this free show — we’re not spending money to help you promote your staggeringly undistinguished operation.  The very fact you’d even ask shows colossal ignorance and blatant disrespect for what we’re trying to achieve here.  Would the makers of Cheetos request permission to hand out free bags of their toxic product in front of the Doritos Jacked Tower?   Would Keystone Light attempt to hijack an event sponsored by Michelob Ultra?   Do representatives of British Knights creep around in the shadows during events at House Of Vans?  I THINK NOT.

hoping your SXSW is as boring as your site,
G.C.


Full Credit To Derek Erdman – I Can’t Remember What A Dishwalla Shirt Looks Like, Either

Posted in Modern Art, Rock Und Roll at 1:57 am by

above by the unstoppable Derek Erdman, via The Stranger

02.20.13

Look On The Bright Side – At Least FAU Didn’t Sell Stadium Naming Rights To Citibank

Posted in College Spurts, The Marketplace at 11:19 pm by

Florida Atlantic University announced yesterday they’d signed a naming rights agreement worth some $6 million for the school’s new football stadium with Geo Group, the private firm that manages an immigration detention center in nearby Pompano Beach. While school President Mary Jane Saunder called the deal, “a true representation of The GEO Group’s incredible generosity to FAU and the community it serves,” not every member of that community was thrilled, as the Miami Herald’s Brenda Medina points out.

“The fact that they are locking up people of color and immigrants like my parents is shameful,” said 22-year-old Noor Fawzy, a political science student at FAU whose parents are Palestinian immigrant. “We don’t want our university to be associated with an entity that is being investigated for human rights abuses.”

Besides the United States, GEO Group also has private prisons in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia, where in 2003 it lost a contract after evidence was found that children detained in its facilities suffered cruel treatments, The New York Times reported in 2011. The company, which controls thousands of beds in private prisons and is worth almost $3 billion, is now in the middle of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit about mistreatment of prisoners.

BTC has recently been in the midst of controversies after activists and people detained in the place denounced irregularities. Some complained to the media that they weren’t getting the proper medical care while others argued that they have been detained for lengthy periods of time at BTC despite meeting the qualifications to be eligible for prosecutorial discretion offered by the Obama administration.

Philly Mag Scribe Attempts To Reason With The Unreasonable

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Leave No Child Unbeaten, Sports Journalism at 8:58 pm by

When a Pulitzer-winning investigative female journalist  — in this case, ex-Patriot News/current CNN contributor Sara Ganim, she of the diligent pursuit of convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky —- is harassed by a group of profane, misogynist Joe Paterno apologists, what’s the right response?  Ignoring the creeps?  Calling them by name out publicly?  Or, if you’re Philly Mag’s Joel Mathis, you pen an open letter to Ganim’s abusers, suggesting that such grotesque attacks are bad for the school.

Let’s put aside how incredibly tedious, tiresome and unavoidable the “Paterno truther” brigade has become for anyone who dares write (or even tweet) credulously about the downfall of Saint JoePa. What even the truthers should understand is this: Fighting back against Paterno’s critics by using sexually demeaning and degrading language is really not the best way to demonstrate that you have your priorities in the right place when a sex abuse scandal—and the ease with which it was overlooked—is at the heart of the whole neverending mess in the first place.

You don’t have a ton of credibility, truthers, except with each other. You reduce it further every time you call Ganim a “bitch” or suggest she’s been sleeping around. And you reduce it when you keep your silence in the face of such misogyny, just because you don’t like Ganim and her work. All of which will actively short-circuit a renaissance for Paterno’s memory, or Penn State itself.

02.19.13

Indianapolis Residents : Colin Cowherd Can Read Your (Racist) Minds

Posted in Basketball, Sports Radio at 10:23 pm by

(if you’re not doing your part to pay this man’s salary, maybe you’re a racist. Or maybe not. SO HARD TO TELL)

Putting aside the the creepier aspects of Colin Cowherd’s morning pontifications for ESPN Radio (ie. his boner for Courtney Love),  the host is an unlikely advocate for the entertainment value of an NBA regular season game.  He’s also one of the last persons in sports media who ought to feel comfortable calling analyzing someone else’s racial sensibilities.  But both of those things are exactly what happened earlier today.  From The Indy Channel.com’s Jenna Kool :

ESPN sports talk host Colin Cowherd said Tuesday that race is to blame for low attendance figures for the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers, 32-21 on the season, have been at or near the bottom of NBA attendance figures for several years as the team’s on-court performance languished.

Now that the team’s performance has rebounded, Cowherd said on his nationally syndicated show that there is no excuse for lagging attendance figures.

“You’re holding an organization to a standard that happens because of race. There’s no other explanation why people don’t go to Pacers games,” Cowherd said.

“Nobody’s saying everybody in Indianapolis is racist. Nobody is saying Indianapolis won’t support African-American athletes,” Cowherd said. “What we’re saying is Indianapolis punishes the Pacers more than they punish the Colts for indiscretions off the field or off the court, and a lot of that is racial.”

“The Pacers are fantastic, have been for several years, nobody goes to the games,” Cowherd said. “Your tickets are reasonably priced. Your team is outstanding. The locker room is full of good guys.”

While Cowherd seems to be a little mixed up (ie. Pacers fans have an allegedly race-based grudge against the team, yet “nobody is saying Indianapolis won’t support African-American athletes” —- is this a racial bias or evidence the NFL has leapfrogged the NBA in popularity in what used to be considered a hoops hotbed?), he’s got a funny notion of what constitutes “reasonably prices”.   While there’s plenty of upper tier tickets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the $15-$37 range, when was the last time Colin Cowherd paid his own money to attend a sporting event with lousy seats?  For the tickets that might actually afford a person with average eyesight a chance to ID a player sans binoculars, seats are a slightly less bargain-basement $101-$153 (and we’re hardly talking courtside).   For persons who aren’t being paid six figures a year to make shit up off the top of their pointy heads, $101 might seem like a very high price to pay to bask in the star power of the Hansbrough Brothers.