FYI: For the past few years, a photo of me frequently has appeared on the Internet — cut, paste, perpetuate. The Internet’s great, that way: It can run forever with whatever anyone chooses. One small problem with that widely distributed photo: It ain’t me. Oh, well. – Phil Mushnick, “Equal Time”, NY Post, 12/1/2013
“Cut, paste, perpetuate.” Does Phil have my number or what? In all seriousness, even though most of the photos of Phil that I’ve used over the years were knowingly taken from a rather disreputable Internet source (ie. the New York Post website), it never occurred to me they might not actually be Phil.
In the interests of actually chasing down a story like a real journalist, I’m proud to say that I’ve finally uncovered a genuine photograph of the real Phil Mushnick. I don’t know if he can forgive my past transgressions, but I do pledge that going forward, I’ll only use this picture :
The region’s 117th most influential record label presents a FREE holiday show featuring some out of town ringers, the DJ stylings of Johnny Vomitnoise and many of your friends doing the awkward Austin-people-in-winter-clothes thing. Full details after the jump : Read the rest of this entry »
All things considered, Ice Cube is taking being pipped to the post by Killdozer in rather good humor.
There was plenty of tension to go around during Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini’s postgame press conference after losing by 21 to Iowa at home. As you’ll see from the above clip, Pelini considers open speculation about his job status harmful to the team and holds the notorious, ferocious journalists of Lincoln, NE responsible for the disappointing results.
So if Pelini didn’t have enough problems already, now he’s dissing Deadspin by omission.
OK, that’s not really what embattled Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas said to a heckling Tromso supporter during Spurs’ 2-0 Europa League victory Thursday night. But the following story, culled from The Guardian’s David Hytner, suggests Villas-Boas might’ve been no match for Robin Ficker.
Villas-Boas snapped during the Tromso tie when he heard Reidar Stenersen Jr taunting him over his job prospects. Stenersen, a 29-year-old hairdresser who supports Manchester United, directed the chant at Villas-Boas in the early stages of the game. When he did it again at half-time and Villas-Boas pointed at him, he found himself removed by security.
Stenersen was told that he could return to watch the second half from the stand on the opposite side of the ground but he declined and retired to the pub.
“I first sung after five minutes that he would be ‘sacked in the morning’ and he looked at me,” Stenersen told the Norwegian newspaper Nordlys. “At the half-time whistle, when it was still 0-0 and I started the same song, he pointed at me and suddenly the security came and threw me out.
“I know he is under a lot of pressure so I think my words hit him, even though I am only a little guy in little Tromso. He was being a bit petulant. This is the same thing that can be sung by 60,000 at the Emirates Stadium or other grounds.”
Though the above clip is certainly up to NMA’s high standards, I cannot be alone in feeling disappointed Harvey Updyke Jr. was not immortalized in cartoon form.
Lest anyone think I’m simply relying on Ted DiBiase’s old gimmick for easy content this Thanksgiving, I prefer to consider this a helpful gesture towards my dear friend, Fred Wilpon. In the event the Mets are offered $500,000.00 in order to let Virgil throw out the first pitch Opening Day, they should be advised the money isn’t real (kind of like this stuff)
9-time Pro Bowl S Ed Reed was recently acquired by the Jets after being discarded by the Texans, and days before making his Gang Green debut in the Swamp, the likely Hall Of Famer offered a somewhat curious take on his new team’s chances against Miami, as the New York Post’s Brian Costello explains :
“That guy with the hard hat on, is he still here? What’s his name, Fireman Ed?” Reed said. “I need him getting the whole stadium crunked.”
“Fireman” Ed Anzalone quit a year ago after the Jets were humiliated on Thanksgiving by the Patriots 49-19 in the game famous for Mark Sanchez’s “buttfumble.” Anzalone stooped leading the “J-E-T-S” chant after that game.
Reed joked that maybe Anzalone would come back.
“He retired? I can’t believe it. We need to bring him out of retirement,” Reed said.
Costello is careful to point out the Jets are 4-1 at Met Life Stadium this season since Anzalone quit to do, well, whatever he fills his Sundays with. Hopefully something more dignified. But with that stat in mind, Reed clearly has no idea what he’s talking about ; what the Jets really need is a signed agreement confirming Fireman Ed is forever banned from the building, if not the entire state of New Jersey.
Brewers OF Ryan Braun emerged from exile Wednesday, taking part in a Miller Park charity food drive and answering some (but hardly all) questions about his state of mind and attempts to mend fences with the urine sample collector he so blatantly smeared. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Todd Rosiak :
“I have not made any payments to (Dino Laurenzi),” Braun said. “I’ve had some really productive and positive conversations with him. The Laurenzi family was actually gracious and kind enough to have my fiancée Larisa and I over to their house for dinner last night, and we had some really good conversation.
“We’ve made amends, and I think we’re both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us”
Braun was asked twice for more details about his dinner with Laurenzi.
“I’m not going to get into too many details other than to say it was an incredible experience,” he said. “It was extremely kind and gracious of them. They’re really special people and I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to go to their house and have a conversation in person.
“I wish that I could change it. I wish that I hadn’t said anything about him. I wish I knew more at the time I said what I said. But he was really a special person and his family was a special group of people.”
“7-4,2 game lead,5 to go with our injurIes n schedule is something we’d take 3 months ago/But the play n last 10 out of 12 quarters-ALARMING”
“In Golf you’re allowed 14 clubs..but if you’re playing with 9 clubs..U got to hood a 8 iron n hit like a 4 iron! Improvise n find a way!”
“Must find a way 2 win Division,no excuses,no explanations..hide weaknesses,accent strengthens/We gotta get our heads out of r butts-WAKE UP!”
“I didn’t break the bank,millions cash over cap/Load Brinks Truck,only to be hijacked n stormed on the way 2 stadium by machine gun MANIACS!”
“We’ll close ranks n stick together n BELIEVE! We’ll get it fixed n earn our Div/Camp Hats/Failure is not an option!! How Bad Do WE Want It!”
collected quotes from the November 26 Twitter feed of Indianpolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
While the State of Minnesota has successfully auctioned off the old Metrodome baggie, the ballpark’s tarp(s) are still available. If that tarp could talk, could you imagine what it might say? “I always regretted never having a chance to assault Vince Coleman.” “They told me I might get to meet Playboy Buddy Rose.”
I mean no disrespect whatsoever to Destruction Unit —-impressive as always this past Friday night at the North Door — when I suggest the band above made them seem positively new wave by comparison. Lots of people like new wave. Nothing wrong with that (and I stand in stark opposition to those who claim otherwise).
Houston’s Rusted Shut were sandwiched between Coma In Algiers and Vaz on Saturday night, marking their first Austin appearance (soundcloud’d above) since the release of their new ‘Rehab’ LP (Dull Knife). Because I hate hate hate hyperbole, I will simply say they are the greatest band in the world.
Jhonny Peralta signed a 4 year, $53 million contract with St. Louis over the weekend, not a bad result considering the shortstop missed 50 games following a suspension for his involvement with the Miami wellness clinic, Biogenesis. While some of Peralta’s peers are wondering whether existing penalties are enough of a deterrent, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak all but admitted Peralta is in the right place (ie. healthy and out of contract) at the right time (ie. see below). From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Gold :
“The shortstop market was one that was not deep in free agents,” Mozeliak said at a press conference this morning at Busch Stadium to discuss Peralta’s new four-year, $53-million deal with the Cardinals. “For us it was really focusing on someone who could hit from the right side, someone who was a steady defensive player, someone who had experience and could fit right in. …
“A lot of the things that factor into how you put a club together — character and makeup — are some things that we weigh into our decision-making,” Mozeliak said directly about the PED question. “But I think in his case he admitted what he did. He took responsibility for it. At this point in the game, there’s nothing that says he can’t go play or isn’t free to go sign with another club.
“I don’t think it’s the Cardinals responsibility necessarily to be the morality police on potentially future employment.”
Austin, TX was hit with overnight flash floods on the evening of October 31, and amongst those whose lives were messed with is our pal, Preston Maddox. Some of you know him from the Austin tech-metal powerhouse Bloody Knives and if you’ve spent any time with him at all, you know he’d be the first person to try and help someone else out of a jam.
Preston’s dwelling was insured, but not the contents — all of his stuff was destroyed.
There’s a benefit planned at Beerland for December 19 featuring The Dead Space, Eets Feats, Foreign Mothers, The Golden Ghetto, 10101, DJ Johnny Vomitnoise and free BBQ from Live Oak. but if you cannot attend, please give what you can. This is a miserable thing to go thru, but it’s way easier if your friends can help. If you’d like to assist but cannot attend, donations are being accepted here.
Of the Lakers signing G Kobe Bryant to a 2-year extension worth a reported $45.8 million — despite not having a played a minute of the current season — Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchak said, “it assures us that one of the best players in the world will remain a Laker, bringing us excellent play and excitement for years to come.” To which the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke notes, “he didn’t once mention a championship”. Careful not to describe the pact as, well, totally fucking insane, Sports Illustrated’s Rob Mahoney submits, “it’s a bit curious that the Lakers would consent to such a deal.”
This is an incredible amount of money to commit to a 35-year-old star still recovering from a career-altering injury, not to mention a considerable investment for a team badly in need of an overhaul. Signing Bryant to this extension doesn’t preclude the Lakers from making use of their still ample cap space, though it’s a millstone at the center of a roster that should probably be going through a more deliberate rebuild.
In avoiding that, the Lakers have set themselves up for a two-year diversion of Bryant tributes and semi-competitive play. Their brand now has its caretaker, which is crucial for the Lakers to continue making the kind of financial return they’re accustomed to. Yet in basketball terms, it’s hard to spin how Bryant making so much money could possibly be helpful to L.A.’s efforts to construct a new title contender.
Of Robinson Cano’s much publicized change in representation from Scott Boras to Jay-Z, The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo considers the free agent’s purported $310 million aspirations horribly misguided, claiming the second baseman “hasn’t done his image any favors”. “Maybe Jay-Z is trying to shape him into an off-the-field superstar,” muses Cafardo. “It’s troubling that Cano wanted that so badly. He could have had Boras negotiate the biggest deal of his career. Instead, Cano is leaving it up to an entertainment agency that knows nothing about baseball.” And even worse, he compares unfavorably to the gutty-gritty-lunchpail-toting Dustin Pedroia, whom the last time I checked, was not actually available on the open market and won’t be for a very long time.
Cano is being “marketed” as an entertainer as much as a ballplayer. Major league teams want ballplayers, not another pretty face who does commercials. Teams don’t care about that. They want to know their major investment in a player is going to mean 100 percent commitment to the field and the team.
That’s what Yankees president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman are committed to. So, when Levine says the Yankees have a Plan B, we believe him. The Yankees want Cano, but if he is being outlandish in his demands, then the Yankees are bigger than Cano. The team already has been burned by A-Rod’s deal, so they’re not about to get crazy with Cano.
While Dustin Pedroia left millions on the table with a team-friendly deal of eight years at $110 million, Cano isn’t twice the player (salary-wise) of Pedroia. Cano is also an excellent defender and hitter, with a better WAR than Pedroia, but worth more than twice the money?
And in this case, forget the sabermetrics. If you watch Pedroia every day, he’s an off-the-charts player doing things that can’t be quantified. If you could measure heart in dollars, Pedroia would be incredibly rich and Cano would pale in comparison, but the whole package?
“Pedroia is all baseball,” said one National League GM. “He wakes up, lives it, breathes it, wants it. I think Cano does too, but not to Pedroia’s extent. That shows up on the field. Cano is a great player, but of the two I’ll take Pedroia any day of the week.”
Kinda curious how many of those who’ve previously bemoaned the NBA’s oh-so-chummy vibe between players will react to Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins attempting to enlist teammate Isaiah Thomas in his Don’t Fraternize With Chris Paul uh, fraternity. In lieu of that, is there any chance we can see a buddy sit-com in which Cousins and Brian McCann play roommates who tell each other to “lighten up” about 25 times a day?
Roughly a year ago, former tech exec Andrew Paulson acquired the global licensing and marketing rights to FIDE aka the World Chess Federation, and has rather bold plans to turn the game into a mass market sensation via a number of nu-media initiatives. The New York Times’ Matt Richtel patiently considers Paulson’s life story, but still likens his spiel to “a guy selling beachfront property in Nebraska.”
“Do you realize there are more people in America who play chess than tennis and golf combined?” Mr. Paulson said minutes into our first conversation, in an enthusiastic burst that made it seem irrelevant whether chess is, in fact, more popular. “Who would’ve thought people would be watching golf on TV, and, yet, they are. And all of India is watching cricket on TV. The only thing more boring than cricket is golf!”
Mr. Paulson, who lives in London, has a good idea of what India is watching because he parked himself there for several months in advance of the chess world championship, which was decided on Friday in Chennai. The victor was Magnus Carlsen, a handsome and personable 22-year-old from Norway who made a Cosmopolitan magazine list of the sexiest men of 2013. To Mr. Paulson, Mr. Carlsen is “a sea change in the history of chess, who gives us the opportunity to reveal the individual of chess players rather than their introverted inscrutability.”
The thing is, although people are listening to Mr. Paulson — and it’s hard not to — they aren’t yet doing much buying. In fact, he turned to India in part because his initial efforts in Europe to gain corporate sponsorship didn’t take. He faces many obstacles, like a governing chess body widely considered to be strange (putting it kindly), some top chess players who think that his efforts to popularize the sport are lowbrow, and the fact that he is promoting slow-motion entertainment in a world of short attention spans.
While I’d like to thank Luis Tiant for so many hours of entertainment, especially during his 8 years pitching for the Red Sox, I am especially grateful to this commercial’s script author(s) for omitting any mention of “painting the corners”.
Given that Woody Allen’s tenure as a Knicks season ticket holder predates Cablevision’s ownership of the team, you might think the Academy Award winner would receive at least as much hospitality at MSG as say, Richard Grieco or Aldo Nova. However, according to New York Post gossip monger Richard Johnson, Woody’s been told in no uncertain terms that he’s persona non grata at the World’s Most Dysfunctional Area’s Suite 200 VIP. Could James Dolan be amongst those still holding a grudge over Allen’s split with Mia Farrow? Is the Straight Shot guitarist fed up with “Interiors”? As you’ve probably already guessed, it’s something far more petty.
“He got a call from someone at MSG saying they had bought the rights to air several of Woody’s movies on the MSG channel and wanted Woody to go on the air and talk about his movies or introduce them,” a Woody source told me.
“Woody said he would not be comfortable doing that. He has never done that for any show or network. They then said that this was a ‘reciprocal arrangement’ and that if Woody couldn’t go on TV for them, he should not eat in their VIP restaurant anymore. Woody said fine and thanked them for the many years he had enjoyed the space there.”
A Garden spokesman politely declined to comment but pointed out that Allen — unlike Spike Lee (who has worked on documentaries about the team) and Matthew Modine — has never done anything to help the team or Dolan’s youth charity, Garden of Dreams (of which Modine is a board member).
Perhaps today isn’t the most opportune time to hail the thoughtful work of ESPN ombudsman Robert Lipsyte, who undoubtedly will have to address the Phil Ball / Qatar junket subject in a future column. However, Lipsyte used Friday’s entry to tackle “Around The Horn” panelist Kevin Blackistone’s November 6 comments about Northwestern’s garish American flag uniforms and the playing of what the latter calls, “a war anthem”, aka “The Star Spangled Banner”. “Reprehensible” and “disrespectful” were amongst the viewer comments forwarded to Lipsyte, but it seems he’s not in agreement.
“I wish I could have fleshed it out, but I only had a few seconds,” Blackistone said. “I wouldn’t retract anything, but I wouldn’t have let the anthem overshadow the larger theme of the conflation of sports and militarism.”
Blackistone knew the question was coming. ATH producers meet daily at 8 a.m. to plan the show, then have a one-hour conference call with the panelists at 10:30 a.m. Blackistone not only had written previously about the partnership of the military and sports events but had devoted several class sessions to it. He had recently discussed in class the appropriateness of the national anthem as a game opener. He might have been too well-prepared on the subject for such a brief sound bite.
I thought Blackistone’s commentary deserved to be unpacked on ESPN, if not to classroom-hour length, at least in a column or in a few minutes on a program that could show other examples of sports and military collaboration, perhaps exploring how purported displays of patriotism might disguise service recruiting, politicking and commercialization. Is football good preparation for combat (an active officer recently said that in a discussion of the Army-Navy game)? How come so few pro athletes ever use those wondrous muscles to actually defend their country (even though, as Ombuddy Paul Gigliotti of Andover, Mass., pointed out, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski insists on calling quarterbacks “warriors”)?
OK, in fairness, that’s not exactly what budding Eric Crapton/Knicks owner James Dolan had to say about former club president/head coach Isiah Thomas in the former’s first non-Straight Shot EPK interview in 6 years. But close enough, as the following excerpt from Friday’s conversation with a rather defensive Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post reveals :
MV: For Knicks fans there’s one word that riles their passion more than any other: Isiah.
JD: Amazing, isn’t it?
MV: And you surely know the panic that ensues when a Glen Grunwald gets fired and people wonder, “Is Isiah coming back?”
JD: I can’t control what’s in other people’s minds. I can tell you that he’s a friend of mine. We speak, but not as often as we used to because he’s really involved in other things now. We’ll message back and forth once in a while. We used to talk a lot more often. He seems to be moving into another phase of his life, he’s not as basketball-centric, he’s doing a lot of charity work, he got his masters [in education, from Cal-Berkeley], he actually uses me to bounce business ideas off of …
MV: Do you still consult him, too, about basketball ideas?
JD: Not really. For Isiah, I don’t know that he’ll ever be able to work in New York. I just don’t know that he’ll ever get a fair shake, going forward in New York?
MV: Do you think that’s unfair? He did lose a lot of games here.
JD: He lost a lot of games! OK. Do I think he deserves another shot? Yeah. It just can’t be here. And I think he’s talented. I think he’s particularly talented at finding basketball talent. But I think he’s probably dismayed at this point. But I don’t see him coming back to New York. I couldn’t do that to him, and I couldn’t do that to the organization. He would probably do it as my friend but I couldn’t do it to him or his family. And you know what the press would do here. We’re interested in getting better and that situation would be such a distraction that it would actually hinder our ability to get better.
Actually, I don’t know what the press would do to him. If Mike Vaccaro is any way representative of the NY media, I’m not sure, for instance, that anyone would question the misplaced loyalty towards a former executive who cost the team more than $11 million dollars in an sexual harassment judgement.
Or at least claim commissions on. Wednesday night’s OT loss to Indiana dropped the Knicks to 3-8 and a share of last place in the NBA’s Atlantic Division alongside the equally disappointing Brooklyn Nets. Though the Jason Kidd Deathwatch would probably make for an equally pertinent column, CBS Sports’ Ken Berger is pretty certain New York head coach Mike Woodson is a goner, a move he predicts will result in, “company man Herb Williams becoming the interim coach and the drumbeat building in the background for John Calipari (above) to make his long-awaited return to the NBA.” Sorry, Patrick Ewing.
Since the Knicks doubled down on Carmelo Anthony and his representatives with Creative Artists Agency, the organization has been reshaped in CAA’s image. Woodson, assistant GM Allan Houston and player personnel director Mark Warkentien all are represented by the agency. In re-signing another CAA client this past summer, J.R. Smith, the Knicks threw his brother, Chris, a bone in the form of a guaranteed contract. Chris is now toiling in the D-League while taking up a roster spot at MSG.
The Knicks are all-in with CAA in ways that few of their rivals could even imagine. Days before training camp began, GM Glen Grunwald was pushed aside in favor of Steve Mills, who was brought back for a second tour of duty due to his institutional knowledge of the Garden and connections to the game’s power brokers — especially, William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, whose path to Garden influence was paved with the Anthony trade.
CAA, via Wesley, also represents a certain decorated college coach in Lexington, Ky. Given the path they’ve chosen, the Knicks can’t get any of the NBA-ready players on Kentucky’s roster, but they can get the coach — and are perhaps the only team positioned to pay Calipari what it would take. One league executive surmised that the bidding would start at $8 million a year.
“That’s what Wes will be pushing,” one of the executives said. “That’s what CAA will be pushing.”
Berger acknowledges that Coach Cal’s previous NBA stint (notice I didn’t say “professional tenure”) “was a debacle that swept him away in a toxic wave of paranoia”. However, given the skills of MSG security, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep Calipari away from any parking lot confrontations (partially because there’s nowhere to park at Penn Station)
(likely vantage point of my future nighttime gig, complete with SFW web content)
CSTB Ad revenue is down and as you’re all undoubtedly aware, the entire music industry is bankrupt (financially, too!). Under prior circumstances, I’d not have thought twice about being head-hunted for the job of Round Rock Express public address announcer, but I believe it was Rob Ford who recently said, “if a man don’t work, he don’t eat.” Or something about eating. Let’s review the local Pacific Coast League affiliate’s criteria for their mouthpiece-of-the-future, shall we?
Current Part-Time Postings:
2014 Public Address Announcer
The Round Rock Express is a Triple-A baseball team affiliated with the Texas Rangers competing in the Pacific Coast League. The Express is owned by Ryan-Sanders Baseball and will be entering its 15th season in 2014.
Position in the Corporate Structure:
The PA Announcer is the main voice of the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond. The PA Announcer works closely with the Production Coordinator and reports directly to the Director, Ballpark Entertainment within the Marketing Department. The PA Announcer is a part-time, game-day position with opportunities to work at Dell Diamond for non-game-day events.
Day-to-Day responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Strong vocal talent (THAT”S ME)
A unique and distinctive personality (SEE ABOVE)
Strong knowledge of baseball, including rules and positions (DEPT. DUH)
Ability to multi-task in a stressful environment (NO FUCKIN’ SWEAT)
Comfortable announcing to crowds of over 10,000 people on a microphone (I CAN GET ILLER THAN NAM / I KILL & BOMB)
Comfortable announcing complex names from a variety of ethnic backgrounds (NOW PITCHING, NUMBER 56, NEIL “THE AGITATOR” COTTS)
Able to attend all home Express baseball games and arrive 1hour before the gates open each game (ALL GAMES? WHAT IF THERE’S SOMEONE NON-SUCKY PLAYING ON TV?)
Available to attend appropriate pre-game meetings (PLEASE TELL ME THESE MEETINGS ARE HELD IN A MAJOR CITY, IE. NOT ROUND ROCK)
Receptive to both positive and negative feedback (I’M DOWN WITH HALF OF THAT)
Ability to be spontaneous and react quickly as appropriate (DEPENDS – WHAT”S THE SPEED SITUATION LIKE OUT THERE?)
Experienced work as a PA Announcer in collegiate or professional baseball is preferred (I’VE WORKED MORE GAMES IN MY HEAD THAN YOU’VE EVACUATED IN REAL LIFE)
The PA Announcer will be required to attend all 72 Round Rock Express home games, as well as any preseason exhibition game and any playoff games. This includes nights and weekends. (HOW WILL MY UNDERSTUDY EVER BREAK THRU THE GLASS CEILING IF YOU DON’T GIVE HIM OR HER A CHANCE?)
Does Shea Hillenbrand know that someone is biting his style?