06.30.14

If Dave Lombardo’s Not Starting, I’m Not Departing

Posted in Football, World Cup 2014 at 10:38 pm by

(image culled from Metal Sucks.net, though it failed to lift the spirits of Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi)

Going Above & Beyond To Keep Lance Stephenson In The Fold

Posted in Basketball, Cinema at 6:35 pm by

The Indianapolis Star’s Candace Buckner fails to mention, however, that the movie “produced in Lance Stephenson’s honor” is a shot-for-shot remake of this classic.  The Pacers were gonna opt for this one, but Larry Bird thought it was a little too hard to improve on the original

06.29.14

Australia’s NRL : Forever Scolding Bubblers

Posted in Rugby at 5:04 pm by

(if Carney’s rugby career is over, there’s always food blogging)

With apologies to West Ham United (if not Michael Jackson) for the above headline, some you might recall a Vice item from earlier this month that alleged the practice of urinating into one’s own mouth, dubbed “bubbling”, was a full-blown craze within the Australian skating community. Earlier today, Deadspin reported that Cronulla Sharks halfback/fullback Todd Carney’s 5 year contract with the NRL side was terminated after a photo of the 28 year-old pissing into his own wide open mouth was circulated via social media. In the view of Sydney Morning Herald columnist Brad Walter, Carney was a pissing ticking time-bomb waiting to go off :

Throughout his career, officials, coaches and teammates at the Raiders, Roosters and Sharks have stood by the talented playmaker and each time he has let them down.

No other club is again likely to do so after a string of misdemeanours that include drink driving and driving while disqualified after a police chase in Canberra, allegedly urinating on the head and neck of another patron at an ACT bar, damaging a vehicle he jumped on in Goulburn, another drink driving charge at the Roosters and breaching a player-enforced alcohol ban that led to his sacking from the club.

As a result, Carney has been banned from his home town of Goulburn for a year, warned by a judge that he would go to jail if he was convicted by another court, sacked from the Raiders and Roosters, deregistered by the NRL and banned from playing Super League in England because of his criminal offences.

It is understood he did not upload the photo circulating on social media but Carney has already been linked to a bizarre apparent craze known as ‘‘bubbling’’. It is a story that will travel around the world in the same way as John Hopoate’s finger poking antics and Joel Monaghan’s simulated sex act with a dog.

TTU CB’s 2014 Season Ends Before It Begins

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 3:15 pm by

Earlier this year, USA Today declared Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury, “the coolest coach in college football”. Hopefully he can use some of that street cred in the future to recruit a cornerback who doesn’t hit women. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Sarah Rafique and Don Williams report Nigel Bithel II, a Red Raider freshman, managed to assault and injure another TTU student-athlete, in this case, one far more accomplished, during a pickup basketball game yesterday :

Bethel reportedly punched Lady Red Raider G Amber Battle in the face, breaking a bone, the A-J has learned.

Blayne Beal, a Tech spokesman, confirmed there was an incident between two student athletes Saturday afternoon at the recreation center. Beal said campus officials are gathering information from both parties.

Tech women’s basketball coach Candi Whitaker said she was unable to comment Saturday evening.

Following the incident, Battle posted to Twitter, “Pray for me y’all.” She later posted, “Thank y’all for the calls, texts and visits.”

From a Lubbock location Saturday evening, a Twitter account under the name Nigel Bethel II had a post that said, “Trouble always seems to find me … “

Vacarrao : Kidd’s Power Play Is Nothing If Not In Character

Posted in Basketball at 2:23 pm by

The morning after his NY Post colleague Tim Bontemps detailed the stunning developments that have Nets head coach Jason Kidd most likely leaving to take over Milwaukee’s basketball operations — after attempts to torpedo Billy King apparently came up short —the Post’s Mike Vacarro has a laundry list of ethical issues concerning Kidd to raise, but not before declaring Brooklyn’s better off without him (“their chances improve exponentially if they’re coached by any of a dozen legit candidates”)

Kidd’s been doing this since his freshman year at Cal, when he led a mutiny that wound up costing Lou Campanelli his job with 10 games left in the season.

And never were his Machiavellian methods more on display then the evening of Dec. 5, 2007, when, unhappy with the Nets’ unwillingness to trade him or extend his contract, he conducted a one-man job action, calling in sick and missing a game against the Knicks at the Meadowlands when the only thing wrong with him was a sour attitude.

Kidd was a genius player, and none of his clubhouse-lawyering and coach-killing will ever change that. But his off-court conniving is every bit as much a part of who he is, who he always has been, as his on-court brilliance. The Nets, of all teams, knew that as well as anybody, and hired him anyway last summer.

And then, in case anyone forgot, he chased a reluctant Lawrence Frank for weeks to be his top aide, demanded that the Nets make him the top-paid assistant in the league…then exiled him about 15 minutes into the season.

06.28.14

Revealed : The Secrets Of Match Manipulation (Some Of ‘Em, Anyway)

Posted in Football, World Cup 2014 at 9:47 pm by

Earlier this week, UK terrestrial broadcaster Channel 4 premiered “Dispatches : How To Fix A Football Match”, a collaboration with The Telegraph that purported to blow the lid off gambling-influenced soccer fraud, with content including but not limited to, “the conviction of match fixers who tried to infiltrate the English game and those offering to help fix a match involving a team competing in the World Cup.” The Independent’s Andrew Tong was somewhat less than blown away, writing, “they say that match-fixing is a bad thing, but frankly it may be the only way the England football team will ever win a major tournament .”

It was a shocking programme. One man claimed to have fixed five friendlies before the last World Cup in South Africa by suggesting to the country’s federation that he would pay all the fees and expenses of the referees and linesmen. Hmm, nothing dodgy about that at all.

But that was just the start: we heard of matches with no fans; games involving fake national teams; fixing entire tournaments at Under-18 level with the gangs shouting instructions to the players from the stands; and even betting on games that simply didn’t exist even though a stadium would be hired and a commentary team commissioned.

Strangely, however, the idea of pundits talking a load of old nonsense about nothing in particular sounds quite familiar.

Joe Gibbs On Washington’s Nickname Flap : What’s The Big Deal?

Posted in Gridiron, Racism Corner at 8:02 pm by

(possibly the wrong Joe Gibbs — research dept. is checking on this)

When I try to come up with a name of a respected public figure who probably travels in the most culturally diverse social circles, almost without hesitation the name of former Washington head coach-turned-NASCAR maven Joe Gibbs comes up. Because who would know more about cultural sensitivity than NFL players, coaches and stock car drivers and fans? On Saturday, Gibbs explained to a writer from the AP that the ongoing angst over Daniel Snyder’s refusal to change the team name stemmed from…well, he’s not quite sure. It seems there can’t possibly be another side to the issue!

Asked about the controversy before the NASCAR race Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and racing team owner defended the Redskins name.

“Never once did I hear anybody ever say anything negative about the name Redskins,” Gibbs said about his time with the team. “It was always prideful, it was courage involved. We have a song, ‘Hail to the Redskins,’ and so everything, everything about that name has been positive for me and my past.”

Holmes To Tigers’ Dickerson & Price : Get Off The Air

Posted in Baseball, Sports Radio at 4:01 pm by

(if you’re thinking this post was just a cheap excuse to post the above song…you’re totally right)

Detroit Athletic Co.’s Dan Holmes compares the experience of listening to Tigers radio broadcasters Dan Dickerson and Jim Price to “someone invading a hole in my head and inflicting pain…it’s brutal.”   While crediting the former with “a very good voice”, Holmes considers the typical Detroit broadcast  to be “Dickerson telling you what he knows about baseball while he occasionally interjects the pitches and what happens on the field.” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

Dickerson: There’s a grounder, the throw across and it pulls the first baseman. Martinez is out. No, now he’s being called safe. [LOOOONG PAUSE] That ball was hit to Beltre and he threw the ball high and wide and it was dropped by Pena. Martinez is safe on an error.

What was he watching? How does he not tell us WHERE the groundball was hit immediately, and what happened at first CORRECTLY the first time? It’s radio, you can pause a millisecond and wait to see what the umpire at first calls. Instead, Dickerson just uses his verbal shorthand and fails to call the play correctly the first time. He does this usually once every few games. He actually does.

If I could have a three wishes, I’d use two of them in the typical way (revenge against my enemies and all-encompassing wealth and power), but the third, the third wish, I’d use that to give Dan Dickerson the gift of description. He really has no idea how to describe something in an explicit way, which is really THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF HIS JOB. he’s like pone of those annoying friends who starts conversations in the middle of a story and expects us to understand what the hell he’s talking about.

There’s a drive and he dives and it’s caught out there deep on the warning track. what a play!

WHERE was that drive and WHO hit it? And WHO caught it WHERE? And HOW many guys were on base?!? And what’s the score?

[Driving off the road into a ditch]

06.27.14

Mushnick : Mex’s Macho Act Is Wearing Thin

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 1:04 pm by

Like most persons with ears, even when the on-field product sucks (which is the majority of the time), I find the repartee between Mets TV voices Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez to be reliably effervescent, even if Keith occasionally seems the more impatient of the three (or the least tolerant of female trainers in the dugout). During last Sunday’s SNY telecast of a matinee in Miami, Hernandez’ reaction to a photograph of Padres reliever Alex Torres — the first pitcher to don a bulky, newly designed cap with a protective liner — raised the ire of New York Post sports media critic Phil Mushnick, who likened the sneering to that of “a schoolyard bully”.

Yes, Torres looked odd. Yet, clearly, if he were determined to diminish the chances of a fractured skull or brain injury from a line drive to the side of his head, his head, if not his cap, was on straight.

Well, Hernandez took a macho, style-over-function stance, mocking Torres for looking “absurd.” (The same was heard when batting helmets arrived, then grew larger until they included earflaps and would be worn by base coaches.)

He wasn’t done. He suggested Torres and anyone who would wear such a thing is a coward: “If you’re scared, get a dog.”

Ugh! Either Hernandez was unaware of the dozens of annual, all-levels episodes that have pitchers rushed to hospitals — some with permanent neurological damage — or such episodes have not yet left an impression on him.

In Torres’ case, last year with the Rays, he replaced Alex Cobb after Cobb was nailed in the head with a line drive. After Saturday’s game, Torres recalled he still could hear the crack against Cobb’s head — and Torres was in the bullpen. “I’m glad he’s alive.”

06.26.14

Ghana’s Slight Distraction

Posted in Football, World Cup 2014 at 10:21 pm by

Despite losing to Germany earlier today on a 55th minute strike by Thomas Müller, the US Men’s National Team advanced to the 2014 World Cup knockout stages by virtue of a 2nd place finish in Group G that was sealed with Ghana’s 2-1 defeat to Portugal at Estádio Nacional. The latter result came on the heels of the Ghana Football Federation’s last second delivery of some $3 million dollars to the team, a payment that might not have happened nearly so fast had training not been boycotted two days earlier. From the Guardian’s Stuart James :

For coach James Appiah, the stand-off could not have happened at a worse time. “Every coach wouldn’t love to be in this situation where players are requesting monies, considering the fact you are playing a very important game,” he said. “For the past two days I’ve had sleepless nights, I can’t even close my eyes. These things are normally sorted out before the competition, you can’t keep telling the players the money will come. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself in that situation, trying to cope with it. The good thing is the president of the country will step in.”

Appiah would not disclose how much exactly the Ghana squad were demanding – “The players would kill me if I revealed it,” he said, laughing – but he defended their stance. “It’s not about being paid reward for anything, it’s got to do with an appearance fee, which I think every country pays its players, not just Ghana. It’s a right.”

Asked why the players could not have the money transferred electronically, Appiah said: “The practice in Ghana has always been to pay players in cash. Some players have not got accounts in Ghana. The system in Africa is totally different to Europe. You need to consider those factors. I’m not saying that it is the best way. But we are coming from different areas and you need to understand how it works.”

Guest Editorial : Austin Is A Wonderful Place And Luke Winkie (If That Is His Real Name) Could Not Be More Wrong

Posted in Austin, Free Expression, non-sporting journalism, Norman Wanklord, Tourism at 7:03 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, Austin music blogger / fledgling independent label operator Norman Wanklord takes a break from his own unique brand of trenchant analysis and hard-hitting commentary to grace the pages of CSTB with, well, even more trenchant analysis and hard-hitting commentary. Upon Vice’s publication of “REASONS WHY AUSTIN IS THE WORST PLACE EVER” by noted urban planning expert Luke Winkie, Mr. Wanklord politely asked….well, actually, he begged for equal time – GC)

It’s hard for me to understand why some people who have the opportunity to bring the Austin community together, a chance to foster a greater understanding and sense of harmony, instead choose to hurt others with their elitist attitude and “I’m so fucking cool” bullshit. But enough about this blog — I hear the Pavement back catalog sales aren’t what they used to be, so perhaps it will disappear, soon.

(if Austin sucks so bad, why do artists this good looking keep moving here? Answer me that, Mr. Vice Column Person)

Instead, I’d like to turn my attention to local journalist Luke Winkie, who today took to the pages of my very favorite website (after this one) to blast the people of Austin, TX as a group of smug, insincere creeps with no greater purpose beyond novelty-drink guzzling and making fun of people who are trying to make something of themselves. Certainly, I can relate to some of Luke’s claims — no one knows better than me what it is like to sacrifice for the greater good only to be roundly ridiculed. But there’s a number of cruel, destructive arguments of his that I wish to refute. Or repudiate. Or refudiate.

“Nobody Has a Clue What His or Her Job Is”

I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. When I’m not posting several dozen Soundcloud links a day, I’m teaching kids at one of Austin’s wonderful schools. If it weren’t for people like me, your future leaders would grow up with zero knowledge of the Declaration Of Independence, how many states there are in Canada and which was the best song on Belaire’s “Exploding Impacting”.

“Everyone Hates the Festivals That Pay Their Rent”

WHAAAT? Did Luke not read our comprehensive coverage of the Austin Psych Fest? Were my previews of cutting-edge talent playing SXSW some kind of secret that no one on the UT campus could access? What about the time Best Coast played Chaos In Tejas and I was the first to applaud that particular event finally booking a band I’d heard of? I LOVE FESTIVALS, and when I eventually organize my own, this entire beautiful city is invited. Except for Luke! But you won’t need an invitation because I’m not a fucking elitist!

“Barton Springs Is a Giant Toilet”

I’m sorry, but Luke’s copy-editor at Vice has let him down. I’m pretty sure that was supposed to read, “Beerland Is A Giant Toilet”.

“Emo’s Sucked”

“This awful little club had some of the best shows in the whole city, which means you were at risk of catching hepatitis every weekend.”

I guess even a smug San Diego-transplant looking to make a name for himself can’t be wrong all of the time. But why fixate on the negative, Luke? Emo’s closed years ago. Now we’ve got terrific, clean venues like Holy Mountain, Metal & Lace, the Swan Dive, etc., and like me, they’re totally committed to musical diversity and the highest standards in hygiene. In fact, we co-hosted a terrific show at Holy Mountain just last Friday that featured a number of well-groomed performers strumming guitars no harder than you’d handle a new born kitten. And unlike a new born kitten, the entire event was thoroughly germ free. No hepatitis, not even the slightest hint that sexual congress might’ve occurred anywhere in the entire world, let alone Austin.

But would Luke Winkie know the first thing about this? Of course not. He was too busy writing a hatchet job about the city that’s given him so many great opportunities.

Anyhow, I’d love to go on, but I’ve got a meeting with the parents of a kid who was caught spray-painting “fucktarded” on the side of my car (and that doesn’t even make sense, right?). The bad news is, he’s suspended from school. The good news is, he’s just been offered a column with Vice.

SEE, I CAN BE FUNNY TOO.

Thanks for your time, and keep on rockin’

06.25.14

Reports Of 10 More Years Of Raw Sewage Might Be Premature

Posted in Baseball at 11:59 pm by

While it was widely reported Wednesday that the A’s had signed a 10 year lease extension at the oft-ridiculed O.co Coliseum, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carolyn Jones writes there’s not actually a done deal  :

Mayor Jean Quan said any celebration is premature, as the A’s – as recently as Tuesday night – gave the Authority a counter-offer that officials have not reviewed in depth.

“We are still negotiating, so were surprised by the announcement of an agreement,” she said. “We plan to meet (Thursday), continue negotiations, and hope there will be an agreement soon.”

Fans had mixed reactions on Wednesday. The A’s – who have the best record in baseball and won their division the past two years – deserve a permanent home, not an endless series of lease extensions, said Garth Kimball of Baseball Oakland, a fan group dedicated to keeping the A’s in Oakland.

“Lew Wolff has been trying to get them a permanent stadium since 2003. Here it is 2014 and we’re still talking about it,” he said. “I think people just want this resolved once and for all. We want the A’s to stay in Oakland, period.”

The Precise Moment When Matt Cain Decided He’d Had Just About Enough Of Tim Lincecum’s Mustache

Posted in Baseball at 10:35 pm by

Congrats to SF starter Tim Lincecum on his 2nd career no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.   Hopes are high he might someday accomplish a similar feat against a Major League lineup.

06.24.14

CSTB Greatest Hits : You’re Not The Boss Of Me – Scott Kazmir’s Blatant Disrepect For Springsteen, Leiter

Posted in Baseball at 10:38 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : Earlier tonight, the New York Mets chased their former prospect, LHP Scott Kazmir en route to a 10-1 victory over the AL West leading Oakland A’s. Kazmir, famously swapped for Victor Zambrano in one of the worst trades in Mets history, allegedly ran afoul of veteran teammates while preparing for the 2004 season in Port St. Lucie, most prominently, starting pitcher Al Leiter. Said incident is recalled in this post from July 9, 2006 – GC)

Tomorrow’s sports pages will be filled with accounts of Chien-Ming Wang’s tremendous performance against Tampa Bay. As though that were the most important storyline.

Though the Yankees’ 5-1 win helped the Bombers keep pace with Boston in the AL East, I’d rather focus on things far more crucial. The issue of respect. Feelings. Defering to a veteran. Knowing one’s place in the pecking order.

You might not agree with his politics, you might wish his final year in a Mets uniform saw him reach 100 pitches in less than 3 innings per start. But you’ve got to acknowledge that Al Leiter has always been a quality individual.

After everything Leiter has done for baseball, if not the city of New York, was it asking so much that he be allowed to play the music of Bruce Springsteen on the clubhouse boombox during Spring Training 2004? Is there something inherently wrong with Leiter misinterpreting the Boss’ populist themes for some kind of ultra-patriotic anthems? If there were, you’d have to lock up much of the Tri-State Area.

So how was Leiter supposed to react, when that young punk Scott Kazmir arrogantly strode into the Port St. Lucie clubhouse and snapped Leiter’s ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ CD into pieces, and then replaced it in the player with Solger’s “Raping Dead Nuns”?

I know how I’d have reacted. I’d have used every bit of influence I’d build up through years of golfing and glad-handing to have that little creep shipped off to the baseball equivalent of Siberia at the earliest possible opportunity.

Al, if you’re reading this, not all Mets fans hold a grudge. Kazmir lost tonight, a game he might’ve won with any sort of top-flight team with a ten-figure payroll playing behind him. Sure, he’s going to the All-Star Game on Tuesday, and soon, he’ll be making enough money to have the members of Solger reunite at his 23rd birthday party. But for tonight, he’s a loser.

This Saturday In Austin : Great Bill, Great Cause, And Hey, You’re Great, Too

Posted in Austin, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 10:20 pm by

As most of you know, from time to time, I like to make fun of my adopted hometown. But the fact of the matter is, whenever I’ve been in hot water, the good people of Austin, TX have been awfully quick to help out.  Whether it was my Toblerone addiction house burning down or needing to have my eyeballs replaced after seeing the Venus Illuminato’s appearance on “Good Day Austin”, my friends and neighbors have always been there for me.

Now, however, it’s time to ignore my problems (for one night only, please) and focus on the situation facing  Hex Dispensers bassist Rebecca Whitely.  In the Autumn of 2013, she underwent a medical procedure that her insurance carrier has declined to cover. On Saturday, June 28 at Red 7, a bunch of Whitley’s friends including the reunited Sugar Shack, Simple Circuit, Bangaar and Houston’s amazing Weird Party are playing a fund raiser that’ll hopefully make a dent in the outstanding bills.

If you can’t attend,  the ‘Phantominom-VGS’ EP by Espectrostatic aka Whitley’s bandmate, Hex Dispensers guitarist/vocalist Alex Cuervo, is still available via Bandcamp, with all proceeds going towards said medical expenses.

Dwyer’s Defense Of LeBron’s Opt Out

Posted in Basketball at 8:32 pm by

Of LeBron James’ announcement early Tuesday that he’s opting out of his Miami contract to become an unrestricted free agent — and potentially leaving money on the table in the process —- Ball Don’t Lie’s Kelly Dwyer takes a tact slightly opposite that of Heat President Pat Riley, writing, “he’s not less of a man, or with less of a legacy, for wanting to go work with other All-Stars.”

He’s afforded the same rights we all are, to pick amongst employers that want to pay for our services. To turn up our nose at LeBron James choosing to wear yet another NBA uniform, and I apologize for being haughty, is borderline un-American. And you don’t want to be some kind of damned Bolshevik, do ya?

Bill Russell was traded to a team with Bob Cousy already on board, in the same draft that gifted his Celtics Tom Heinsohn and K.C. Jones. Jerry West joined a team with Elgin Baylor on it. Wilt Chamberlain was traded twice and even tried to switch leagues toward the end of his career. An obscenely lucky amount of cap maneuvering and outright theft helped place Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish on the same team. Magic Johnson was drafted to a team that already featured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and he retired from that team (the second time) just months before it acquired Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, players that were originally members of the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets, respectively. Tim Duncan has always had a fabulous supporting cast.

The outlier here is Michael Jordan, who had to wait for years for the All-Stars (four in total, at various times either with or without MJ, in Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, B.J. Armstrong, and Dennis Rodman) to find their roles around him. And even before his father’s tragic murder in 1993, Jordan was outwardly talking about an early retirement while dragging his legs to three straight Finals appearances.

James has now done four in a row, and he’s tired. And he needs help. And it seems odd that some basketball fans would prefer him to play things out like Allen Iverson, who has but one NBA Finals game win to his credit, and an overtime squeaker at that.

“He understands that this is a team game, and that even the greatest need help,” Dwyer muses, “why this is an anathema to people is beyond me.”  While I’d not question James’ work ethic or his devotion to the game, I can totally get why this is an anathema to people.  Those who’ve grown up buying into the concept/cult/whatever of T-E-A-M struggle with James’ agenda continuing to be about, well, himself.  As opposed to a jersey (he wasn’t born wearing) or a city (he’s lived in for all of 4 years).  In prior generations, there’d be an expectation that a franchise’s millions + fan adoration would = some loyalty.  But that’s a quaint notion in 2014.  You’re invited to download LeBron’s smartphone app — as opposed to say, a Miami Heat app that prominently features LeBron James.

It’s not enough that LeBron James is the greatest active basketball player on the planet.  Some would like to see him be a leader as well. After a discouraging defeat to San Antonio, said leadership might come in a number of ways ; LeBron guaranteeing the Heat will return to the finals in 2015.  LeBron inviting teammates to a summer-long boot camp with hot tub/karaoke bonding at the end of the day!  LeBron attending Heat Summer League games and taking rookies and scrubs under his wing!

I know, corny shit. James isn’t gonna turn into Tim Duncan simply because you wish the best player was also the classiest. And it’s equally hysterical to vilify a player who prioritizes winning above money.  The rub is, it’s about his victories, not a team’s.  And if you’re a bigger fan of a team than any single player, this takes some getting used to.

06.23.14

Ronay : When Will England Be A Country The National Team Can Be Proud Of?

Posted in Football, World Cup 2014 at 11:58 pm by

While the finger-pointing is in full steam following England’s inauspicious showing in Brazil, the Guardian’s Barney Ronay won’t hear of making the national team’s stars apologize to their long-suffering fans. “It is we – the public, empowered component parts of a society that continues to produce game but under-skilled footballers – who should be apologising, both to the players and to each other,” argues Ronay. “To demand an apology for this from the current group of players seems a bit like raising a child without teaching it to cook and then demanding that child hurl itself at our feet in contrition at the age of 18 for being unable to bake the perfect soufflé.”

Quite frankly there is a decent case for doing it properly, for the government to step in and organise special camps in parks and open spaces where members of the public can queue to file past Fraser Forster and Gary Cahill to apologise personally for the playing field sales, for the lack of proper public facilities, the absence of artificial pitches, all enacted by successive local and national governments. Lads, Roy – we’re sorry. This is, in part, why you aren’t better at all this.

Perhaps a million-signature petition could be delivered to Jack Wilshere’s house apologising for the disorientating effects of early overexposure, from too much concussive big-game football, a gruelling celebrity culture, to vast windfalls of disorientating lucre offered at an early age.

Maybe Gary Barlow could record a charity song to raise money for a memorial in Maidstone town centre apologising to Chris Smalling for all those people – yes, us – who used to yell on the touchline and tell him to get rid and who applauded whenever he sent it long into the channels because big, son, big, it’s got to go big.

 

Looks Pretty Legit

Posted in record collector disease, The Marketplace at 7:19 pm by

Unfortunately, there’s no Craigslist category for “Gullible People Who Like Unloading Valuable Shit”

Happy Birthday, Alan Vega

Posted in History's Not Happening, New York, New York, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 7:14 pm by

Today marks the 76th birthday of American treasure Boruch Alan Bermowitz aka Alan Vega. I can only hope that when I’m his age, I don’t have to put up with internet jerks bringing up stuff I did 37 years ago instead of sending a card or a gift, like a civilized person.

06.22.14

Suck On This America : Thanks To Doug Hart, Your World Cup Is OVER

Posted in Football, World Cup 2014 at 7:36 pm by

(this is what Clint Dempsey looks like when he’s having an epiphany)

DATELINE  MANAUS BRAZIL :

Despite being just one draw away from advancing in the 2014 World Cup, the entire US Men’s National Team has announced they’re quitting the tournament.

“Giving up the last second goal to Portugal was disappointing
, sure,” explained captain Clint Dempsey, “but when we learned that Doug Hart didn’t give a shit about America or soccer, that’s when we looked at each other and realized this is a complete waste of time.”

“Right now, we could be getting high, beating off or working on harsh noise tapes,” Dempsey complained to a roomful of stunned international sports media. . “Instead, we’re explaining ourselves to a bunch of assholes who wouldn’t know a 4-4-2 from a Front 242. Who sucked, by the way.”

06.21.14

St. Paul Saints To NCAA’s Emmert : Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Sarcasm?

Posted in Baseball, College Spurts at 9:22 pm by

“To convert college sports into professional sports would be tantamount to converting it into minor league sports,” claimed NCAA President Mark Emmeret earlier this week while testifying in former UCLA hoops star Ed O’Bannon’s antitrust suit against his organization. “We know that in the U.S. minor league sports aren’t very successful either for fan support or for the fan experience,” claimed Emmeret, though the independent league St. Paul Saints — the same folks who brought you the Senator Larry Craig bobblefoot — had their own pithy response in press release fashion :

ST. PAUL, MN (June 20, 2014) – Since 1993 the St. Paul Saints have provided fans with no memories, tons of depressing times and promotions that have fallen flat. As a matter of fact, no one outside of the Midway area has ever heard of the ballclub. The Saints, will continue their sad existence as they attempt to give fans “the worst experience” in the franchise’s history in hopes of gaining no support from their fans.

On Monday, August 18 the Saints will open their gates, but instead of charging their regular prices of $14 for infield reserved tickets, $9 for outfield reserved and $6 for general admission prices will be $70 for infield reserved, $45 for outfield reserved and $30 for general admission. For those die-hard Saints fans that have been around since the very first season they will receive a scholarship to enter the game for free. However, the scholarships will be taken away from certain fans if they aren’t cheering loud enough after each inning. Fans will also be given the NCAA rule book and must follow each and every regulation or they will not be allowed in.

The Saints are well known for their ushertainers, actors and actresses in character that interacts with fans throughout the game. The Nerd, Karaoke With A Real Japanese Guy, The Chef and the entire ushertainer team will be asked to stay home.

The Saints food and beverage department will serve a limited amount of meals and fans can only consume a restricted amount. Fans can consume bagels with butter, but are not allowed to add cream cheese, pasta will cost $3.83 and crab legs will be on hand.

Finally the Saints reserve the right to use all their fans name and likeness on the video board, in marketing materials and for commercial use, but no fan will be compensated.

For more information please contact the Saints automated answering machine at 651-644-6659.

06.20.14

Massarotti To Riley : You’re Full Of Shit

Posted in Basketball at 8:46 pm by

Presumably, you caught Heat President Pat Riley on television Friday, strongly hinting that LeBron James would go down in history as a coward if he chose to opt out of Miami (“you have to stay together and find the guts…you don’t find the first door and run out of it”).  Considering the events surrounding James’ exit from Cleveland, the Boston Globe’s Tony Massarotti writes, “Dear Riles: You are a hypocritical fraud.”

You were a terrific coach, remain an excellent executive, would be an asset for any team, including the Celtics, who might ever want to hire you. But on this one, especially, you are as phony as a polyester suit. During James’ final five years in Cleveland, the Cavaliers won more games than any team in the NBA Eastern Conference. They went 9-5 in playoff series and made a trip to the finals. The people in Cleveland appealed to James the same way you are appealing now – please stay, LeBron, and please finish what you started – though they did so in a far more whiny, pathetic and shameless manner.

You? You are smarter, at least. You appealed to James’ manhood, which is a clever little trick. It’s just as transparent and superficial as the people to whom the Heat sell tickets. LeBron has never been about fighting the fight, Riles. He has never been about digging in. He is about LeBron, about the business of King James, and the fact that you have now resorted to essentially calling him a chicken confirms just how desperate and scared you are.

Attaboy, Riles. Change the argument to fit your needs.

Be Careful When You Utter “Anyone But Corgan”

Posted in Baseball at 7:25 pm by

As seen at today’s Pirates/Cubs tilt.  You might think I’m exaggerating but it really feels like everytime I attend a game at Wrigley, the WGN booth is invaded by either James Belushi, Billy Corgan or Tom Fucking Morello.  I don’t need any karmic payback for past misdeeds, I’m a Mets fan, remember?

06.19.14

Taking It To The (Bad) Streets WIth Freebird Michael Hayes

Posted in Professional Wrestling, Rock Und Roll at 9:04 pm by

(l-r : Hayes, Gordy, Roberts)

“I remember Nick Gulas suggested we were on marijuana pills,” Michael “P.S.” Hayes tells Canoe Sports’ Marshall Ward, the “we” in this case being the trio of Hayes, Buddy Roberts and the late Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy. Collectively known as The Fabulous Freebirds, their southern rock affectations not only presented a stark contrast to the toothy goodness of the (doomed) Von Erich clan, but also presented Hayes with a memorable, if brief recording career, one highlighted by the video below.

Recently honored with the Cauliflower Alley’s Lou Thesz Award (and noting the irony — there’s not many stylistic similarities between himself and Thesz), Hayes spoke with Ward about attempts to revive his musical sideline :

Historian and writer Steve Johnson said his friend Dr. Tom Prichard calls you the David Lee Roth of wrestling — in a complimentary manner — as sort of the entrepreneur who created opportunities where none existed. Is that a reasonable analogy?

Yeah, it is. It really is. I kind of fancied myself that same way a long time ago. And speaking of Dr. Tom, I have known Dr. Tom for a long time and he’s a great guy. A funny guy, he’s got a little weird sense of humour, but if you know him he’s a really a good guy.

And speaking of music, I’ve got a new CD coming out probably in the next month or so with some really new tunes that I’m really proud of. I’m not releasing this thinking, well, I’ll be at the Grammys in February (laughs). I don’t give a damn about going to the Grammys. I give a damn about releasing these great tunes, and writing a song and expressing it, and letting people hear it.

Two of the songs are probably as polar opposite as possible, and I think they both have a lot of potential. One is called “Why Can’t the Children Pray in School” and the other is called “I’m Gonna Drink ‘Til You Start Looking Good.” So I mean, that’s what makes me tick, it’s not just one element, it’s all the elements of life, and I’m really happy to be above ground and still swinging the bat.

What The Well Dressed Monarchist / Francesa Fan Is Wearing This Summer

Posted in Fashion, New York, New York, Sports Radio at 5:44 pm by

Whether you’re planning on making the scene in Midtown Manhattan, Money Earnin’ Mount Vernon, the mean gentrified streets of Williamsburg or on the front steps of Lake Como’s Bar A this summer, you’re gonna want to look your best. And if you can’t afford to do so, you might want to settle for this t-shirt salute to Mike Zaun’s inspired take on what New York’s Number One might’ve sounded like in 1776.