Given the political leanings of Linda McMahon, on the surface there’s something ironic about the WWE dragging Dutch Mantel out of seclusion to play the part of Jack Swagger’s anti-immigration mentor, “Uncle” Zeb Colter. Then again, given the tens of millions Vince flushed down the toilet during Linda’s failed senatorial bids, perhaps this is the chairman’s subtle revenge against the Tea Party for not embracing his wife’s candidacy with nearly enough zeal to get the job done.
More likely, Mantel’s politicized brand of promo-cutting is an effective backstory for the microphone-challenged Swagger, not to mention a great way to reposition Alberto Del Rio. Alas, for the freeze-dried food hoarders at Alex Jones’ InfoWars (and scribe Paul Joseph Watson in particular) Mantel’s schtick is tantamount to “the divide and conquer tactic of cultural subversion to manufacture racial division and to characterize the Tea Party, conservatives, libertarians, opponents of uncontrolled illegal immigration and constitutionalists as racist, extremist radicals who should be pushed to the fringes of the political discourse.” Yeah, because we’ve never heard anyone with a megaphone on the street corner who sounds nearly as crazy.
During Swagger’s match, commentators Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler joked that Swagger and Colter had received “fan mail” from conservative radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones.
Twitter users reacted with outrage, slamming the WWE for “crapping all over the Tea Party” by “promoting a Racist, immigrant hating Tea Party character vs a Mexican wrestler.”
Now the demonization runs so deep that it’s even being bolstered by WWE wrestling.
The fact that WWE is owned by Vince and Linda McMahon, who are part of the Republican establishment, also tells us a lot about how grass roots conservatives and libertarians are viewed by those near the top of the power structure.
McRae will play Billy Randolph, who doesn’t appear to be the guy actually digging the graves and exacting his own form of justice.
Save the snide jokes about the Royals being a horror show on their own the last few years, because here’s the synopsis of the movie, which is scheduled to be released this year:
“A vigilante serial killer is stalking, killing and burying those he has judged guilty and anyone in this corrupt town could be next! Murder, Mayhem, Blood, Deception & NO way out are a few ways to describe this disturbing new heart pounding thrill ride.”
Other cast members apparently include Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of Guns N’ Roses, a couple of former “Survivor” contestants, and Gregg Valentino (above), who was on TLC’s “The Man Whose Arms Exploded.”
A virtual high five / raised glass tonight ito filmmaker Seth Pomeroy, whose years of hard graft (and listening to self-important bozos pontificate on ’90′s rock) have resulted in a documentary as thoughtful/necessary as it was highly anticipated. “Couldn’t You Wait? : The Story Of Silkworm” is available today for the insanely reasonable price of $5, though if you’re a fan of the band the deluxe versions w/ a plethora of live footage are also a great deal. Best of all, the producers can guarantee — in writing, I believe — there’s not one moment of commentary from Henry Rollins.
(DISCLAIMER : on multiple occasions, I was one of the persons responsible for pimping these talented young men. That the experience wasn’t always lucrative for any of the parties concerned is of little consequence — i am very confident their body of work beats the fuck out of yours, and I write those words knowing full well just how many former State Fair Lollapalooza main stage performers routinely stumble across this blog while googling their own names).
Best band, best guys. Music documentaries usually leave me cold but I’m very happy this one was made.
Yeah, that’s great if he’s taking karate to protect himself. I don’t know. The only thing I remember is, didn’t he chase — he needs to go get with Jesse Owens or somebody on his speed, I think. He chased some dude around the spring training site one time, didn’t he, or something?… He’d have to stand in line. I think there was about three guys on the Yankees that wanted a piece of me more than (he) did. He’d probably have to get in line. But in all seriousness, he’s a — I’ve gotten to know him at golf events. Todd Zeile, another good guy, and Robin Ventura — I’ve been friends with him. Some of these guys, once you get to know some of them, they’re fine. But, like I said, there was no intent there. And Mike’s a good hitter and I think he hit every breaking ball I threw to him and he hit them hard. But he’s not the first power hitter who’s got me. So, we had some good times. But, yeah, somebody just texted me the Cliffs Notes of it, so we thought that was pretty good.”
We really appreciated the PTI shoutout on Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” this week. We’re also fond of Blake’s hair. And by “fond” we mean “insanely jealous.”
There’s absolutely nothing I can write that can mitigate the horror of the above pair of basic cable fixtures being mashed up. I suppose we’ll just have thank the higher or lower power of our choice that “Listen Up” is no longer on television.
Milwall make the short trip to Kenilworth Road for tomorrow’s 5th Round FA Cup clash with Luton Town, an occasion that forces some to recall the 1985 6th round tie between the two clubs that led to violent scenes on the pitch, in the stands and on the streets that help to earn the hosts an eventual expulsion from the Football League. As the Guardian’s Sean Ingle puts it, “a fatality was the only thing missing from the roll call of ultraviolence” (“Luton’s stadium was stripped, houses and cars smashed, and the image of the national game – already bruised by a battery of hooligan incidents – given another going over.”)
Brian Swain, who reported on more than 2,000 matches for the Luton News across four decades, says that no part of the ground was safe. “The violence spilled everywhere,” he says. “The police were trying to clear the main stand – getting us innocents to safety – and they asked us to leave the press box. But I was sat there with a bloody good story on my hands so I stayed on.”
At half-time, with Luton 1-0 up after a 31st-minute goal from Brian Stein (the eventual score), Pleat spoke to the referee. “He said: ‘Look, don’t worry, I’ll make sure we’ll finish it’ – and he was magnificent,” says Pleat. “Somehow he finished that game. By the end policemen who had survived the earlier fighting were standing on the touchline, so when a ball went out it literally bounced off them and came back into play. The whole evening was nasty, vicious and surreal.”
At the final whistle, the players raced to the tunnel, but the fans weren’t far behind. And so began the worst violence of the night, with seats being thrown like spears and police fleeing before counter-attacking. Astonishingly, only 47 people went to hospital with injuries, while there were just 31 arrests, a figure that included several Chelsea and West Ham fans.
As the Times reported two days later: “One miscreant was seen by his parents, stunned as they watched television, throwing a seat at the police after the game had ended. Usually he goes to Chelsea. When he returned home, he found that his bedding had been thrown outside and was told that ‘if he behaved like an animal, he might as well sleep like one’.”
“This team [stinks] so bad you guys want John Wall to be someone he will never be.” So declared onetime super agent David Falk in a series of explosive comments published by the Washington Post’s Mike Wise earlier today in which the Wizards’ PG was thoroughly eviscerated (“he doesn’t have a feel for the game…John Wall will never be good as Kyrie Irving was in his first week in the NBA”).
“Falk picked an odd time to drop an anvil on a third-year player who’s been tearing it up lately,” wrote Wise, hours before Falk — perhaps realizing his meltdown might not play well with prospective clients —- issued the following apology :
Sunday evening, I engaged in a friendly banter with Mike Wise about a column he wad written. Our discussion was repartee, two fans going at it about a variety of different topics.
My decision to knowingly allow this discussion to be aired publicly was a mistake. It reflected poor professional judgment.
Therefore, I want to publicly apologize to both Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld for publicly expressing opinions that better judgment should have kept private.
I also want to publicly apologize to John Wall. I hope he either ignores my comments completely or tacks them up on his locker and uses them as motivation. Ultimately, whether or not he becomes an elite NBA player will have far more to do with his dedication and commitment than the opinions of critics, professional or amateur.
I have lived in Washington for more than 40 years and I am rooting for Ted to make the Wizards a championship team.
Flyers prospect Nick Cousins (C) — certainly leading the OHL in scoring with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds — was charged (along with two teammates) with sexual assualt last August. The Philadelphia Daily News’ Frank Seravalli details the alleged offense thusly, “Cousins and two teammates were arrested on Aug. 25 for having sexual intercourse with an unnamed woman, known to the players, against her will. Prosecutors have not dropped the charges, which are still pending in court. Cousins attended counseling before being reinstated by the Greyhounds.” So with that recent incident firmly in mind, Servavalli quizzed Flyers director of player development Ian Laperriere (above) about Cousins’ progress in the months since.
“At the pro level, teams expect you to be an adult and act like one,” Laperriere said. “He’s got a good heart . . . Let’s be honest, stuff like that has been happening forever. You can’t get away with anything now. He can’t put himself in those situations.
“He’s been in trouble with this stuff, but hopefully that’s all going to go away. Part of my job is telling him that he needs to learn from that. You need to be careful what you’re doing. All of our prospects need to learn from his situation.”
Because so many of CSTB’s readers are passive-aggressive types who’ve struggled mightily to find the right way to end a doomed relationship, your friends at the New York Mets have picked this special day to do all the heavy lifting for you.
Had Piazza agreed to an interview this week, I would love to have had the opportunity to ask him about his back and the timing and disappearance of his acne. But the guy who just published an $800,000 book, isn’t doing interviews.
Why should he care about book sales? He got his money. The publisher, on the other hand, should care for the same reason, but neither Mr. Simon nor Mr. Schuster wants to ruffle Piazza’s feathers, you know, the ones left from the steroids.
I know from experience that when I write about Piazza and steroids, especially the acne part, I can expect to be inundated with a torrent of e-mail responses from Piazza’s zealous fans. There’s never enough time to answer all of the e-mail so I decided I would try something different. I am going to reply to reader mail before I receive it. A writer friend suggested I could call it not my response but my presponse. So here is my presponse:
I know that you don’t agree with my view; in fact, I know that it offends you. But I calls ‘em the way I sees ‘em. You certainly are entitled to your opinion, and I don’t begrudge you your opinion. But you are not objective, and you are willingly blind to whatever your hero might have done. If he cheated, he cheated, and he deserves whatever negative consequence that befalls him. If you want to ignore the acne and make excuses for it and invent reasons for its sudden disappearance, please feel free to engage in any fantasy you desire.
It’s entirely appropriate The Boz hailed the XX’s Austin’s gig as “takes U 2 the abyss of ur consciousness”, because those are the exact same words Pauline Kael used to describe his most famous cinematic triumph.
Mets owner Fred Wilpon has kept a low profile of late, respectfully not wishing overshadow the star power of new acquisition Shawn Marcum. However, once surrounded by reporters earlier today in St. Lucie, Wilpon did an excellent job of stressing that simply because his ballclub couldn’t seal the deal with Michael Bourn (or any other free agent of consequence), the near-term financial future of the Amazins’ is not something we should worry our little heads over. The ever skeptical Howard Megdal of Capital New York considered Wilpon’s insistence that “it’s all in the rear view mirror…the family is great shape” (HAVE YOU SEEN JEFF WILPON’S ABS?) and helpfully points out that…Fred might be totally full of shit.
According to public Uniform Commercial Code filings, the following people had outstanding debt as of Monday, February 11, 2013: Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz (Fred’s brother-in-law and fellow partner in Sterling Equities), Judith Wilpon (Fred’s wife), Richard Wilpon (Fred’s brother), The Fred Wilpon Family Trust, The Fred Wilpon 2003 Descendants Trust, and numerous other Wilpon and Katz family members.
That’s beside the point, really: it is a pair of enormous debts against a pair of Sterling Equities’ holdings that have caused ownership to dedicate available resources toward servicing that debt annually, and whose principal is coming due. (The Mets declined to comment on whether Wilpon’s comments applied to either of those debts.)
U.C.C. filings confirm that the $320 million debt due against the team in June 2014 is an active debt. And Wilpon and his partners already owed $450 million against their 65 percent ownership stake in S.N.Y., due in 2015. Their latest loan, an additional $160 million secured in December, added to that total.
For Sterling to be debt-free, Wilpon and his partners, less than two months after borrowing $160 million to help pay, among other things, day-to-day expenses, will have needed to come into possession of more than $900 million to take care of these two debts alone. Merely refinancing, or convincing lenders to push the due date back, wouldn’t make them debt-free, according to any reasonable understanding of the term.
The fall is a precipitous one for Ordway even by the volatile standards of the radio business. The former Celtics radio broadcaster was the ringleader of “The Big Show” until he was paired with Holley two years ago. Ordway signed a five-year contract worth a reported $1 million per year in January 2009, but there were out-clauses if certain ratings benchmarks weren’t met.
In September 2009, Entercom, WEEI’s parent company, cut his salary in half after the program failed to finish among the top three stations in the Boston market for a particular demographic in a specific number of consecutive Arbitron books. As recently as this past spring, the program had strong ratings, finishing second in the men 25-54 demo, a spot ahead of The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Massarotti” program.
But in the fall, The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Massarotti” was first (9.1) while WEEI’s “Ordway and Holley’’ show was fifth (5.2).
The irony is that Michael Felger got his big break as one of the rotating co-hosts on “The Big Show.” Now, it appears he and Tony Massarotti have helped bring down Ordway, with Mike Salk (WEEI’s replacement for Ordway), who worked with Felger at 890, now coming back to challenge him.
Were it not for the fact he’s a little long in the tooth, Dutton would have a real shot. He’s excelled in roles both serious and schlocky, and while he wouldn’t mean dick at the box office, I’m sure he’d add genuine gravitas to any Dorner biopic.
3) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (25-1)
Any filmmaker hoping to go the action-adventure route with the Dorner story could do worse than enlist the services of Johnson. Who could resist The People’s Elbow vs. the LAPD? In reality, probably Johnson, who might not be eager to embrace a heel turn far more complex than anything he’s tackled in the squared circle or on the big screen.
2) Seth Gilliam (5-1)
Were it not for his lack of mainstream name recognition, Gilliam might already have this part in his back pocket. He’s played a cop (Ellis Carver in “The Wire”) and his performance as nutcase corrections officer-turned-convict Clayton Hughes in “Oz” could be an audtion reel all by itself.
There’s few things that matter less to me than the Olympic Games, except for perhaps WRESTLING in the Olympic Games. That predictable bit of editorial bigotry aside, today’s news that the International Olympic Committee plans to eliminate wrestling from the competition starting in 2020, has brought real, genuine tears to my eyes.
Though a couple of dudes in singlets rolling around on the ground is not my personal cup of tea, I do have some grudging respect for this particular art form. For starters, were it not for Greco-Roman Wrestling, we’d not have experienced the advent of Apartment Wrestling. Almost as importantly, amateur wrestling, dull though it may be, has proven to be an excellent stepping stone for such pro wresting legends as Brock Lesner, Kurt Angle, Jack Brisco, Gorilla Monsoon, Sheik Adnan Al-Kaisey, and last but not least, perhaps the greatest living Nebraskan Who Pretended to Be German, Baron Von Raschke.
(CSTB’s original mascot / copy editor emeritus Jack, forever grateful no one has forced him to listen to Josh Grobhan)
New York Yankees club President Randy Levine is no stranger to CSTB readers, either for his tireless efforts to keep NYC consumers well informed, or his work as a sickening apologist for a craven, greedy bunch of motherfuckersoccasionalguest contributions to this very blog. On Tuesday, Newsday and the AP revealed a softer side to the baseball executive, reporting Levine has entered one of his four labrador retrievers in the annual Westminster Kennel Club competition at Madison Square Garden.
Wearing a Yankees dog collar, and falling asleep on a pinstriped blanket while listening to Josh Groban songs, Mitch is among 54 Labs in the show (golden retrievers lead with 61). By the way, the Yankees in their century-plus history have never had a player named Mitch.
“He’s like Derek Jeter. Very calm,” Levine said.
Frequently a spectator at this show, Levine is eager to participate this time.
“This is Mitch’s first time. Let him get his paws wet,” he said. “I’m excited. It’s like a playoff game for me. It’s Westminster, it’s the whole environment.”
Lest anyone believe opposition to Bruce Ratner’s Barclays Center has fallen by the wayside since the arena’s opening last Autumn, poet Yasiin Bey — better known as MC/thespian Mos Def — has tackled the subject with the critical “On.center.stadium.status”. On Sunday, Bey spoke with New York Magazine’s Amos Barshad about his gripes with the Atlantic Yard project (“people lost their homes, people lost their businesses…the Drake lyric, ‘money over everything’? I just don’t agree with that as a business process or a worldview or anything.”)
Where’d you write “On.center.stadium.status.”?
I wrote that in New Orleans, on the day they were having the opening for Barclays. People were calling me and asking, “Are you gonna be there, are you gonna be there?“ And it just kind of came to me, rather quickly. I have been what some people might call an opponent to the stadium. I think the word opponent has many meanings. I was concerned about what the stadium’s presence in the community might do. I was concerned.
About what, exactly? I saw one thing that was kind of a telling sign. I was on DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush, probably two months ago, and at the intersection I saw these not-quite-so-young men, in standing traffic, trying to sell bootleg Rolling Stones T-shirts. [Laughs] I thought, “This is the trickle-down economic effect of Barclays in the neighborhood?” I didn’t think of it as a positive.
I’d told Marty Markowitz, “Why don’t you just put it in Coney Island? You got the Brooklyn Cyclones, you got people coming from Jersey, Long Island, whatever. You go to Yankee Stadium — it ain’t in Soho. Get on the GW or whatever, the Van Wyck and you go to Yankee Stadium, you go to Shea.” Nah. They wanted it right there on On and Poppin’ Boulevard. But it’s already on and popping there!
And you know, for Barclays, they kind of got it on a song. They got the naming rights for a couple hundred mill and they get prime real estate on the exit and entry of the most populous borough in New York City. You’re talking about over the course of the year, millions of people passing through that corridor, and just psychologically, seeing Barclays when they leave and when they come home.
As usual, Bibby was in the stands for this sectional game. He was arguing with the refs until he was forced to leave with a police escort, thereby creating quite the memorable moment – for all the wrong reasons.
Our free advice? During games, Mike Bibby should act just like his #10 jersey that hangs on the wall of the Shadow Mountain gymnasium. Not make a sound. Simply watch. Be the strong silent type of parental unit.
The Miami Marlins’ Winter Warmup (formerly Fan Fest) took place over the weekend, an affair the Palm Beach Post’s Tom D’Angelo described as “sparsely attended” (kind of like a Marlins game). Team President David Samson sat atop several Dade-County Yellow Pages to declare to D’Angelo that the ballclub isn’t for sale (despite reports of Jeb Bush making a bid), promising “We love Miami. We love this ballpark.” Alas, the feeling might not be mutual.
Samson said he had “nothing but pleasant reaction” from the fans he encountered Saturday. But he apparently didn’t see the handful of protestors.
Gary Cooper and Jorge Hidalgo of Miami wore custom-made matching protest shirts that read “Marlins need a new owner!” on the back.>
“We love our Marlins,” Cooper said. “We just hate Jeffrey Loria.”
Don Chase, a lawyer from Fort Lauderdale, wore a Blue Jays cap to protest the Marlins’ controversial November trade that sent Johnson, Jose Reyes and three other players to Toronto.
“I’m supporting the Marlins North,” Chase said. “We need to trade the owner.”
Just a handful of people were in line about 20 minutes before the ticket windows opened.
“One fan at a time,” Samson said when asked how the team will win back the fans.