01.31.14

WIng Bowl ’14 : In Which An Arena Full Of Men Stare At Matt Stairs

Posted in Baseball, Beer, Food at 8:54 pm by

(pic and twitter screen grab courtesy The 700 Level)

Sincere congrats to Nebraskan mom Molly Schuyler, whose consumption of 337 chicken wings earlier today at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center set a Wing Bowl record.  Though Ms. Schuyler still stands a small chance of being overshadowed in the sporting pantheon this weekend by such minor figures as Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson, she deserves massive credit for not only capturing the 22nd Wing Bowl title, but also for generating more internet traffic than Matt Stairs, shown above engaging in public conduct unbecoming a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Introducing The Least Likely Toy To End Up Under The Dino Costa Family Tree Next Xmas

Posted in Cinema at 4:32 pm by

(YouTube link courtesy Joe Gross).

The Dissolve’s Noel Murray
considers the ficticious Ramjack Toy Co. a neat bit of film criticism, albeit decades late, accusing “Cruising” director William Friedkin of “trivializing a gay subculture,” and “(making) gayness itself into a cartoonish villain.”

He’s not entirely out to lunch, but you might also say that any film featuring a roomful of people (of any gender) dancing wildly to Willy DeVille has no claims to believability.

01.30.14

Nizhny Novgorod Exec To Luke Babbitt : Thanks For The (Deeply Offensive) English Lesson

Posted in Basketball at 7:35 pm by

(not actually Luke Babbitt)

The services of former Blazer F Luke Babbit are coveted by the New Orleans Pelicans.  Trouble is, he signed in the offseason with Russian club Nizhny Novgorod, and they’re not impressed with attempts thus far to buy Babbitt out of the deal.  From Eurohoops’Lefteris Moutis :

In a brief interview of Sergei Panov, former Russian national team player and general manager of Nizhny, which was reproduced in the official site of the team, it’s clear that Nizhny at this point will not let Babbitt return to the NBA. As Panov said: “They made us an offer, which didn’t satisfied us. Now we will negotiate through agents, attorneys and lawyers. I learned some new English words after this incident like ‘spit in the face’ and ‘shit on your soul’”.

At this point, if Nizhny and the Russian basketball federation refuse to send the letter of clearance of Babbitt to the States, he will not be able to sign anywhere else until the end of the season according to the FIBA-NBA agreement.

Rockets GM Morey : When It Comes To Wasting Top Draft Picks, I’m #1

Posted in Basketball at 12:07 pm by

Houston Rockets general manager Darryl Morey submitted to a question and answer session with season ticket holders last Friday, and touched on a number of subjects including but not limited to the fate of C Omar Asik, the Rockets’ playoff chances and his decision to select F Royce White (above) with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft. On the matter of White, Clutch Fans.net provides this excerpt from Morey’s comments :

“I take some sort of pride that you could argue that Royce White is the worst first-round pick ever. He’s the only one that never played a minute in the NBA that wasn’t just a foreign guy staying in Europe. It just shows we swing for the fence.”

Though it’s hard to argue that Morey shouldn’t have opted for White, this might be ultimate diss to Kwame Brown (if not LaRue Martin).

01.29.14

The Schmoozer Goes MIA, Richard Neer Copes By Oversharing

Posted in New York, New York, Sports Radio at 10:04 pm by

I realize that Richard’s a big Springsteen fan, but there’s a time and place for emulating the Boss’ never-ending memory-lane-banter. The occasion of Steve Somers being trapped in an elevator is NOT IT.

(Water-Dunkin’) Deion Sanders : Doing His Best To Take The Heat Off Michael Grimm

Posted in Gridiron, Sports TV at 5:07 pm by

Bad news for anyone hoping Seahawks CB Richard Sherman would provide any Super Bowl Media Day fireworks ; instead, it was a retired defensive back, the NFL Network’s Deion Sanders, who provided the day’s sole memorable moment after going toe to toe with….a Meadowlands publicist?



The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman
reports that Giants PR rep Pat Hanlon (above) ran afoul of Sanders after the former’s sneering response to Rich Eisen congratulating the latter on landing an interview with the reclusive Marshawn Lynch :

“Prime got him,” Hanlon said smiling. “Hey, they said Prime didn’t tackle anybody (when he played). Well, he just ‘tackled’ Marshawn Lynch… Sorry to bring that up. I’m a Giant.” While Hanlon was delivering the word, Faulk — who was taking this whole Lynch thing way too seriously — glared at the PR man.

“I’m about to go into Beast Mode (on Hanlon). Name one game when you didn’t see me (make tackles) — especially against the Giants. Show me the tape,” Sanders seethed. “See, I get offended when people say that.”

“When I think about you, I think about you breaking (kicker) Brad Daluiso’s leg (in 1999) returning a kickoff,” Hanlon said.

“Let’s not get off the subject,” Sanders shot back. “Name me one game… One game when you ever saw me cost my team anything? That (Deion Sanders) hit reel is 59 minutes long. If you want to be the last minute on that hit reel, you can.”

“We can replay the tape,” Hanlon said. “I didn’t say you didn’t tackle. I said THEY said you didn’t tackle.”

“Good, that’s a good way to get out of it,” Sanders said sarcastically. “Well done. That’s a good answer.”

(Probably) Coming To A PA Courtroom : The People Vs. Jimmy Snuka

Posted in Professional Wrestling, Sports Journalism, The Law at 2:31 pm by

Last June, The Allentown Morning-Call successfully revived the cold case of  the death Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s paramour, Nancy Argentino, who perished in 1983 under what could diplomatically be called suspicious circumstances.  On Tuesday, the paper’s Adam Clark and Kevin Amerman reported a grand jury would investigate Argentino’s demise, with Lehigh County District Attorty Jim Martin, “reaching further into the past for an indictment than he ever has before.”

Martin’s announcement comes seven months after he assigned a chief deputy to take a “fresh look” at the cold case. That decision to re-examine the case came less than three weeks after The Morning Call published an investigation raising questions about Argentino’s death and revealing a never-before-seen autopsy report that labeled the case a homicide.

Snuka, now 70 and living in Waterford Township, N.J., originally told at least five people, including the responding police officer, he shoved Argentino earlier that day, causing her to fall and hit her head, according to police interviews obtained by The Morning Call. He later told police those five people misunderstood him, and said Argentino slipped and hit her head when they stopped along the highway to urinate.

Argentino, of Brooklyn, N.Y., died May 11, 1983, at Lehigh Valley Hospital of traumatic brain injuries consistent with a moving head hitting a stationary object, according to the autopsy.

Autopsy findings show Argentino suffered more than two dozen cuts and bruises — a possible sign of “mate abuse” — on her head, ear, chin, arms, hands, back, buttocks, legs and feet.

Snuka could not be reached for comment Tuesday. In his 2012 autobiography, he maintained his innocence and said Argentino’s death ruined his life.

“Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true,” he wrote. “This has been very hard on me and very hard on my family. To this day, I get nasty notes and threats. It hurts. I never hit Nancy or threatened her.”

Irvin Mushnick, who investigated the story for an (unpublished) 1992 Village Voice piece notes in today’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, “as so often happens with celebrity suspects and nobody victims, Snuka skated accountability at the time. But not before Vince McMahon rushed back down from Connecticut, carrying a briefcase (as Snuka himself would describe the scene, without evident self-awareness, in his 2012 autobiography).”

01.28.14

LaLa : Reports Of My Private Parts Being Compared To A Popular Breakfast Cereal Were Highly Erroneous

Posted in Basketball, Love And Basketball at 7:13 pm by

It’s been quite a week for former MTV fixture / Carmelo Anthony spouse LaLa Vazquez, who yesterday made sports headlines with the claim her husband is unlikely to leave the Knicks after exploring free agency this summer. On Tuesday, Mrs. Anthony’s debut tome, “The Love Playbook” hit bookstores, and addressed the rather public disagreement between her husband and former Celtics agitator Kevin Garnett that received so much scrutiny roughly a year ago. Excerpts courtesy the New York Post’s Marc Berman :

“I wasn’t ever going to bring up the Honey Nut Cheerios incident again. But, since I’m writing this book, I might as well set the record straight for good,’’ LaLa wrote in her book “The Love Playbook’’ released Tuesday. “Kevin Garnett in fact had never said that I tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. I tried to figure out how this big lie was turned into a media firestorm. I still can’t answer that one. … Melo and Kevin are cool today. And now it’s nothing but a faint memory.’’

“I did notice during the game Melo and Kevin were jawing a lot at each other,’’ she wrote. “But that’s basketball, the heat of the game. I really didn’t think anything of it. But when Melo went to have words with him, I knew it had to be more than an in-game beef.

“I asked Melo about it and all he said was that Kevin said things you shouldn’t say to a person you have a friendship with or respect for. [Melo] told him, ‘I’m not some rookie. We’ve been in this league a while together so don’t treat me the way you’d treat a rookie.’ I’m sure the words were a little stronger than that but that was the gist of what Melo said back to Kevin.’’

The New York Times.com’s Unmoderated Comments – Making YouTube’s Look Pretty Good By Comparison

Posted in Free Expression, Rock Und Roll at 4:54 pm by

Anne New York City  :
What is the procedure for deciding which musicians get to use this column to promote their songs and albums for free? I mean I learned nothing from this except that some guy with a fake/joke Korean name was a Led Zeppelin fan (along with 100 million other people) and recorded an album that references one of their songs. Why are you even tagging this “Led Zeppelin.” – “The Song Remains the Same (and Kind of Blue)”, Mark Kozelek, NY Times, 1/28/14

01.27.14

Carlos Zambrano’s Temper Knows No Off-Season

Posted in Baseball at 9:34 pm by

Though he’s since issued an apology for coming off the bench to instigate a major brawl during Saturday’s Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional final, let’s try to keep an open mind about this. No sane person can condone an interloper entering the field of play to cause mayhem, but at least Big Z wasn’t dressed as garishly for the occasion as Greg Anthony.

WFAN’s Carton : A Self-Appointed Member Of The Special People Club

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Radio at 4:48 pm by

With full apologies (from me, anyway) to Todd Soldonz, the following SB XLVIII Media Week quotes come courtesy of Newsday’s Neil Best :

“It’s like if you let the animals in a zoo all come out of their cages at the same time and videotaped it and there was one dead yak that they all had to go after to eat. That’s what Radio Row is like,” said WFAN’s Craig Carton.

Carton spoke from the relative calm of M&M’s World several blocks away, part of a deal the station struck with the candy company to originate its three most prominent shows from there all week.

In addition to the financial benefits, the hope is that whatever guests are lost to not being in the center of the action, others will appreciate the solitude. (Bonus: free M&Ms!)

“It’s good for the guests that come by; it’s a sense of normalcy,” Carton said. “They’re not being attacked by 17 or 18 radio producers. It’s special and we’re special, so we should be broadcasting from a special place.”

01.26.14

America’s Least Anticipated Sporting Event Meets The Least Ambitious Recipe Of All-Time

Posted in Food, Gridiron at 7:47 pm by

(not even the inexplicable appearance of Sam Elliot can brighten the moods of Brandon Marshall and Jerry Rice, stuck spending their Sunday night doing the only thing worse than watching “House Of Lies”)

(EDITOR’S NOTE : the following was first posted on February 8, 2004. Since our archives from year one are on the fritz — and have been for way too long — you’ll just have to take my word for it. No one in their right mind would boast of republishing this recipe on an annual basis for 10 fucking  years if it weren’t true – GC).

Excuse me for having to spell this one out for our European readers. Pro Bowl Sunday is a BIG event for Americans. All over the country, families come together for Pro Bowl Parties. Advertisers pay hundreds of dollars to televise commercials featuring their newest products. Each year on Pro Bowl Sunday, battered womens’ shelters report the number of victims admitted to their care decreases by two percent, testament to the calming nature of the contest . If the NBA All-Star Game is, in the words of Michael Wilbon, Black Thanksgiving, then the Pro Bowl is sort of like Yom Kippur for Gambling Degenerates & Football Obsessives of All Races.

In this household, the Pro Bowl’s importance is matched only by that of the NHL Skills Competition (skate-sharpening, carrying Eric Lindros off the ice) and the entire NASCAR calendar. And with that in mind, here is CSTB’s Award Winning Pro Bowl Chili Recipe :

Ingredients :
750 g of Sainsbury Lean Minced Beef

1 jar of Uncle Ben’s Hot Chili
simmer the minced beef in a wok or non-combustible container until brown.

drain the fat in a colander.

remove half the beef and serve to CSTB’s Proofreader (allow some 20 minutes for cooling or you’ll be very very sorry)

put the other half of the beef back in the wok, add the contents of the Uncle Ben’s jar.

go watch NFL Countdown for 30 minutes

serve over a bed of white rice (if you don’t have any white rice, you can always try to cut the taste by swallowing without chewing)

Serves 1 – possibly two if you can get anyone to come over to your house for the Pro Bowl.

01.25.14

The Budding Robin Fickers Of Yorkshire Can Rest Easy : Karl Colley’s Been Removed From Circulation

Posted in Football at 10:53 pm by

I’ve always wanted to republish the words, “incidents of this nature shall not be tolerated at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds”, and while non-league Goole AFC paid host today to an melee that wasn’t quite The Malice At The Palace, at least it occurred on the 19th anniversary of Eric Cantona’s attempts to merge top-flight soccer with Kung Fu Fighting. From the Guardian :

(Goole captain) Karl Colley, 30, was sent off in their Evo-Stik South game with Coalville at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds. As he left the field, video footage showed him make three attempts to confront a dissenting fan in the stand, appearing to throw a punch at him on the second occasion.

The FA said it would look into the incident, while Goole’s response has already been made with Colley told he will not play for them again.

“Straight after the game he was sacked,” said the Goole secretary, Andrew Morris, after a game that Coalville won 3-0. “This is a shame because we’re just a group of volunteers. It’s disgusting and embarrassing.”

A statement on Goole’s website backed up what Morris said, adding: “After the deplorable incident at today’s game we can confirm that the player responsible has been released.

“We apologise to each and every supporter at the game today and whilst as a club, we can’t legislate for incidents of this nature, we will not tolerate them from anyone.”

Thanks To Carmelo Anthony, I Have Now Morphed Into Phil Mushnick

Posted in Basketball at 12:18 pm by

At least once, usually more often during a calendar year, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick will note some individual triple digit scoring achievement in a men’s or women’s lower division collegiate or high school contest, often replete with obituaries for sportsmanship, common sense, perspective, etc.

Phil’s more akin to a locked groove than a broken record, but either way, I’m none too pleased at circumstances that have essentially turned me into The Bearded Conscience Of All Things Sporty & Sports Media.  To wit, New York F Carmelo Anthony dropped 62 points on an hopelessly overmatched Charlotte Bobcats squad last night at MSG, setting a new all-time scoring record for both the Knicks and the venue.  Melo, who seemed physically spent by the time of his 4th quarter benching, seemingly had the ball in his hands for the length of every Knicks possession — yeah, I know, what else is new (other than most of his shots going in) — a scenario Mike Breen found more thrilling than any playoff game I’ve heard him work for a national network.

It cannot be debated that Anthony is a prodigious scorer and on a handful of occasions, capable of putting a rather confused team on his back.  In this instance, however, the outpouring of joy over routing a team with a 19-26 record seems a tad misplaced, unless of course, your goal going into the 2013-14 season was to beat Charlotte for the 8th seed.

I’ll not suggest there’s anything easy about scoring 60 + against a professional opponent (or in this case, the Bobcats). Nor was Anthony’s performance unworthy of recognition.  But what was the purpose for trading 4 fucking starters bringing Melo to New York?  Was it James Dolan’s hope the former Baltimore product would lead the Knicks deep into the postseason, or was this all about the glorification/sucking up to a potential free agent who might end up with fewer rings than Darko Milicic when all is said and done?

As historic moments at MSG are concerned, this was somewhere above Kings Of Leon headlining the room and substantially below Willis Reed taking the floor in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals.  Heck, I’d argue this wasn’t even Carmelo Anthony’s most memorable night at the Garden.  But full credit to Mike Woodson for getting what oughta be his most attractive piece of trade bait out of the game before suffering further fatigue or injury  — Terry Collins thought Anthony deserved a shot at 70.

01.24.14

The Greatest Lakers (& Knicks)-Baiting Song To Ever Attempt To Rhyme “Van Horn” With “Martin”

Posted in Basketball, Hip Hop, History's Great Hook-Ups at 6:35 pm by

“THE NETS ARE BACK / JASON KIDD’S AN ACROBAT”.

Marking the New Jersey News’ 2002 trip to the NBA Finals, the above revision of Khia‘s rather explicit “My Neck, My Back” comes courtesy of Comedy Minus One‘s Jon Solomon, who demands, “100K views or bust”. At least that many, Jon.

Hypothermia Is No Laughing Matter

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, Weather at 11:02 am by

This is what happens when Jeff Wilpon is too busy working on Julian Casablancas Night to notice MR. MET IS POUNDING ON THE DOOR TO GET INSIDE.

01.23.14

Mangan : Hate The Tanaka Deal? It’ll Look Worse In 4 Years

Posted in Baseball at 5:46 pm by

Assuming you’re not merely viewing things thru the prism what a huge bummer it is for the Cubs, it would be slightly hysterical to claim the Yankees’ signing of RHP Masahiro Tanaka to a 7-year, $155 million is an even worse investment than the recent truckload of cash foisted upon the oft-injured Jacoby Ellsbury. But not so crazy, however, to point out (as The Read Zone’s Brian Mangan has done) that Tanaka has the right to bail on the contract after 4 years (“essentially, the Yankees just signed Tanaka to a four year, $108 million deal with a unilateral player option for 3 more years at $67 million”)

If Tanaka is excellent, then he will opt-out after four years like Alex Rodriguez did and demand an enormous and expensive extension. If Tanaka is bad, the Yankees will have paid him the second-richest deal in history and gotten no return, and Tanaka will be entitled to a three year, $67 million extension for nothing. It’s a deal with limited upside and $108 million downside.

A lot of Yankee fan friends are telling me that the money doesn’t matter – which is a fine argument to make, even if I don’t believe that it’s true. If so, disregard this article because there is no reason to analyze the value of the deal.

However, if money doesn’t matter, then why don’t the Yankees have Robinson Cano locked up so that he could finish his career as a Yankee? Robinson Cano posted wins above replacement (WAR) of 6.4, 5.3, 7.7, and 6.0 over the last four years, and the Yankees let him walk because they didn’t want to pay him $24 million per year over the next ten years (and remember, $24 million in 2023 is significantly less than $24 million today).

Is Tanaka going to be better than Cano? Unlikely. And even if Tanaka turns out to be better than Cano, the Yankees will be losing him in four years anyway (or be required to sign him to an onerous extension).

Please Refrain From Calling Marlins Prez David Samson A Total Scumbag…

Posted in Baseball at 2:51 pm by

…because it’s downright unfair. To prophylactic manufacturers, that is. At least they serve some sort of purpose.

Miami Marlins exec David Samson (above) has been a CSTB fixture for several years, whether for his penis-pump advocacy, personal fitness regiment or running interference for the worst owner in professional sports south of James Dolan. On Thursday, however, Samson managed to hit a new low when New Times’ Kyle Munzenrieder clipped the following excerpt from Samson’s biography for the upcoming season of CBS’ “Survivor” :

When asked what his “personal claim to fame” was, he replied, “Got local government in Miami to contribute over 350 million dollars to a new baseball park during the recession.”

It’s like not only does he know he’s a total asshole, but he’s proud of it.

To put that in perspective, the man was president of team when they won the 2003 World Series. And yet, he’s more proud of the fact that he screwed over taxpayers than he is leading a team to the summit.

Samson also says that one of his strengths is “leading without actually being a leader.”

01.22.14

In Which Jay Mariotti Accomplishes The Near Impossible : Generating Sympathy For The Sports Putz

Posted in Sports Journalism at 10:24 pm by

‘Tis one thing to question Grantland editor Bill Simmons’ handling of Caleb Hannen’s much-pilloried “Dr. V’s Magical Putter” ; Simmons himself has apologized, and while I found said apology a little too self-serving for comfort, it would be the stretch of the century to claim the incident proves Simmons is unfit to preside over the website.  But that’s exactly the sort of reach attempted by former ESPN fixture-turned-inconsequential troll Jay Mariotti (above), who likens Simmons’ rise to mainstream stardom to something’s that’s “ruined the sports media industry in too many ways to count”.

Why is a career fanboy making critical decisions about a difficult story involving suicide and a transgender person? Why was Bill Simmons in this position to begin with? Shouldn’t he have been back in Boston, wearing a Celtics throwback jersey and screaming from the cheap seats that Doc Rivers quit on the team?

Simmons doesn’t write well, doesn’t do TV well and really doesn’t do much of anything but schmooze the right people. At ESPN, any guy off the street — myself included, I suppose — could do a few shows and become a star, based simply on the network’s massive clout and reach. But at some point, there has to be a redeeming value to a personality. And don’t tell me about page views, unique visitors and Twitter followers — the biggest ongoing scam in the web media is how people buy and fabricate numbers, in some cases by the hundreds of thousands. Ignore numbers.

Bill Simmons, BS for short, is the product of a network so big that it can make media sensations out of hubcaps. Now that he has become a liability to that network, expect him any day back in the Garden with his Celtics jersey.

Because I am a reasonable person, I think there’s at least a one percent chance Mariotti’s editorial was motivated by something other than professional jealousy. Prior to Mariotti burning bridges in Chicago and getting bounced from television after a domestic violence incident, he had ample access to ESPN resources yet somehow found mass popularity elusive. He also found likeability somewhat elusive.

And yes, let’s ignore page views, visitors and Twitter followers. Because Jay has none to speak of.

Really, the nicest thing you can say about Mariotti’s myriad attempts at reinvention since leaving ESPN is that is he’s not nearly as delusional as Dino Costa. But given his brief tenure at the since shuttered AOL Fanhouse, it’s the height of hypocrisy to read his moaning about, “web entrepreneurs with no conscience about accountability”.

No one who’s read CSTB since inception will confuse me with a Bill Simmons apologist. But to compare Grantland to those who trade in “stalking famous athletes and media people and publishing blatant lies, blind items, dick and vagina photos”, is to essentially admit you have to fucking idea what you’re talking about. Again.

Allums : Dr. V’s Story Wasn’t The First TIme ESPN’s Handled Trangenderism Poorly

Posted in Basketball, Golf, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 2:47 pm by

While Grantland’s Caleb Hannan continues to take it on the chin for his posthumous outing of Essay Anne Vanderbilt, former George Washington University guard Kye Allums — the first openly transgender hoopster in D1 history —argues the Bill Simmons-helmed website, “had more than enough golf content to respect Dr. V’s wishes by focusing on the science behind her invention.” From The Nation, Jan. 22 :

In 2010, I found out that ESPN would be airing a segment about me, including private information about my past. After hearing about the segment, I wrote to the reporter. “It has just been brought to my attention that ESPN…will be using old pictures and videos of me from when I was younger. I am not okay with this. Reason being, we live in a world that does not understand what it means to be transgender,” I wrote. “Every time I see a transgender person in the media, their stories are always centered around their appearance/physical transition. Being transgender is more than a physical appearance. Being transgender is being all of who I am, and that includes keeping certain things from my life private. Please remove the personal information before it airs.”

Like Dr. V, my request was denied. There was nothing I could do. During the week the segment aired, I thought working my campus job would be a great way to get my mind off of the nightmare and escape my escalating feelings of depression. Wrong. I was constantly reminded by everyone that personal pieces of me were out on display for anyone to see. Every time someone said “congratulations,” or “I loved your story,” it moved me that much closer to the edge. Until one day I was there.

It was towards the end of that week. I still hadn’t seen my ESPN piece, and I wasn’t planning on watching it, until I did. I was flipping through the channels when I saw my face. I stopped and watched. Within the first ten seconds they shared my old name. My heart sank. Following that were old videos and photos, but worse still was the panel of “Kye” experts discussing my life as a transgender athlete, and how it’s impacting women’s basketball. I wanted to end my life, and I would have had it not been for the support of my girlfriend and close friends at the time. They saved me.

01.21.14

Leigh Steinberg’s Big Bombshell : Full Complicity In Fucking Up Ryan Leaf’s Career, Life

Posted in Gridiron at 9:14 pm by

That Leigh Steinberg was at various times right smack in the middle of deals that altered the shape of the NFL is not the biggest stretch in the world ; after all, Steinberg — allegedly the inspiration for Cameron Crowe’s “Jerry Maguire” —- was once synonymous with uber-agent the way Scott Boras or Drew Rosenhaus came to be in later years.  But prior to the publication of Steinberg’s tell-all, “The Agent”, it’s never been suggested that he personally encouraged bust-of-the-century Ryan Leaf (above)to torpedo his own draft stock with the team sitting on the #1 pick. The following excerpts are culled from USA Today :

I told Ryan it would do no good to approach Colts GM Jim Irsay. Irsay saw the sport the same way he viewed his other passion, rock ’n’ roll. Just as musicians tended to be a bit eccentric, so did football players, and that did not stop him from drafting Jeff George or trading for Eric Dickerson. “Leigh,” he used to say, “it’s about the freaking talent.” If someone is that gifted, in Irsay’s opinion, you simply find a way to deal with his personality.

“If you go to the combine,” I told Ryan, “but fail to show up for a meeting with (Indianapolis head coach Jim) Mora, that should do it. Jim is a real prideful person who has a tendency to explode. I am not recommending you do this, but if you are desperate to go to San Diego, this is the way.”

Ryan approved, but I first cleared the idea with Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard, lest San Diego also question my client’s reliability. Beathard went along with the ruse. If he’d had a problem, Ryan would’ve shown up for his meeting with Mora.

Once Ryan was a no-show, Mora, as anticipated, went ballistic. I defended my player, naturally, dismissing the coach’s response as another Mora meltdown. As I’d anticipated, Ryan was criticized, but the plan achieved its purpose. The Colts took Peyton Manning. Something tells me the folks in Indianapolis have never regretted that decision.

Destruction Unit : Excessive In Many Ways, Save For Their Required Creature Comforts

Posted in Food, Rock Und Roll at 4:49 pm by


On the road, anyway. Some folks could take a tip or two.

01.20.14

Praise For C’s Olynyk Indirectly Calls Into The Question The Welfare Of Metal Church (And Whether Or Not They Have League Pass)

Posted in Basketball, Hip Hop, The World Of Entertainment at 9:09 pm by

Boston PF/C Kelly Olynyk’s strong showing in Friday night’s home loss to the Lakers apparently caught the attention of MC/thespian powerhouse Sir Mix-A-Lot, which not only struck the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett as newsworthy….but me, too!

After the rookie’s 25-point, seven-assist game against the Lakers, Mix (we call him Mix) tweeted, “Hey @BillWalton does @KellyOlynyk remind you of anybody? Long hair, smart player, fundamentally sound. .?.?. I’m just saying.”

“It’s pretty cool,” Olynyk said yesterday. “I mean, you don’t realize all the people that are noticing you. It’s kind of interesting — especially from a guy like him where you’ve heard a lot of his music. It’s pretty cool.”

The Meanest Stuff Anyone’s Ever Said About Peter Gammons (Without Mentioning Buffalo Tom Or Butt-Tweeting)

Posted in Baseball, Hockey, Sports Journalism, twitter twatter at 12:24 pm by

“Peter Gammons actually has an impressive resume,” says The Canadian Press’ John Chidley-Hill, reminding his readers the former Boston Globe/ESPN baseball analyst is, y’know, a Hall Of Famer and then some.  For those primarily concerned with hockey, however, Gammons  (above, middle) is presently best known as the elderly gent who in the wake of Saturday’s Canucks/Flames megabrawl, tweeted ”Calgary and Vancouver reiterated why the NHL is a minor sport.”  Participants and those who cover said minor sport didn’t take kindly to views of the continent’s last remaining Letters To Cleo fan, as Chidley-Hill details :

“(at)pgammo says the guy who makes his living off the dirtiest sport in the world other then maybe cycling,” said professional hockey player Mike Commodore, a native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., who currently plays in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. The 11-year veteran of the NHL added the hashtag .beatitpeter to his tweet.

Less than 30 minutes later, Commodore tweeted at Gammons a second time, again referring to MLB’s struggles to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs: “(at)pgammo , help us out with your infinite wisdom scoops, would a good solid 25 year HGH/doping era turn hockey into a “major” sport?”

Erik Johnson, a defenceman for the Colorado Avalanche, replied to Gammons with a picture of the sold-out Michigan Stadium, filled with over 100,000 fans to watch the Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1.

The caption “No one cares about hockey” was superimposed over the image.

Larry Brooks, a New York Post sportswriter renowned for his arguments with Tortorella when the coach was with the Rangers, also criticized Gammons.

“Dont know about that. No one called baseball a minor sport when Carlos Quentin charged mound and broke Zach Greinke’s collarbone,” said Brooks.

Tomlinson : Defending Richard Sherman’s Right To Scare The Shit Out Of Erin Andrews

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 12:01 pm by

It’s not as though last night’s NFC Championship game between San Francisco and hosts Seattle was an uninteresting affair unworthy of analysis (or in some quarters, celebration). But can you remember the last time a game of such magnitude, of such ferocity on both sides, was nearly overshadowed by a 25 second postgame interview?  To be more specific, the shy and retiring Seahawks CB Richard Sherman went thermonuclear on Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews (aka America’s Sweetheart For Dudes With Super Generic Standards), and within seconds, sports scribes and civilians alike lit up the modern Algonquin roundtable that is Twitter with comments ranging from calling Sherman unclassy to well, much, much worse.

In short, there were no shortage of hysterical responses to Sherman’s hysterical response. After the dust has cleared, Forbes’ Tommy Tomlinson resisted the urge to quip, “Bart Scott thinks Richard Sherman oughta dial it down”, instead suggesting, “if you stick a microphone in a football player’s face seconds after he made a huge play to send his team to the Super Bowl, you shouldn’t be surprised if he’s a little amped up.”

Ninety-nine percent of on-field interviews are boring and useless. The TV networks do them anyway for the 1 percent of the time they get a moment like Richard Sherman.

As a reporter and writer, that raw emotion — whatever form it takes — is exactly what I hope for. That’s why media people fight for access to locker rooms. After players and coaches cool off, most of them turn into Crash Davis, reading from the book of cliches.

But we — the media, and fans in general — don’t know what we want. We rip athletes for giving us boring quotes. But if they say what they actually feel, we rip them for spouting off or showing a lack of class.

It’s like we want them to be thinking, Well, that was a fine contest, and jolly good that we won. Which NO athlete is EVER thinking.

As a side note: Richard Sherman also called out Skip Bayless on Bayless’ own show, which trumps pretty much anything bad that Richard Sherman has done in his life.