03.31.16

For One Swindon F.C. Supporter, There’s Plenty Of Groaning In The Press Box

Posted in Football, Sports Journalism at 11:55 pm by

Lifelong Swindon Town fan Sam Morshead grew up to cover the club for the Swindon Advertiser and the Daily Mail ; in Thursday’s Guardian, he explains how this nasty sports journalism stuff has essentially ruined following The Robins (“following the 2013 takeover of the club, the boardroom has been dominated by hearsay, scandal, infighting and uncertainty…now the stroll to the stadium was just a walk to work”).

For months, embedded reporters had to handpick reality from make-believe on a daily basis. Many of us were fans and I felt envious of those who were not. Two warring owners threw loose accusations at one another with increasing regularity. Some allegations were made public and supporters had to watch their club tugged around like a scraggy rope in the High Court. My job was to watch the entire episode through a microscope, poring over the tiny details.

Had it been another industry or even another team in the Football League, it would have been fascinating. The stories at hand were the kind that journalists delight in – the intrigue, the dirt, the mystery – but this was my club. I wanted to look on it with childish enthusiasm and to be in the away end at Elland Road, jumping into a stranger’s arms as Charlie Austin scored the third goal in a 3-0 win. Instead, I was fielding questions about the insolvency history of Swindon’s majority shareholder

I miss having to restrain my emotions in the press box when Swindon score; recently they recovered from 3-1 down to beat Crewe 4-3 and I caught myself groaning about the resultant 91st-minute rewrite. I no longer walk into the concourse and feel at home; I’ve been banned, ostracised and accused of lying on multiple occasions by the current owner and now play the role of “unwanted guest number one” on matchdays.

Matt Barnes Isn’t Quite Finished Kicking Derek Fisher’s Ass

Posted in Basketball, The Internet at 8:22 pm by

Folks got the game so ass backwards these days you don't know who to trust!

A photo posted by matt_barnes9 (@matt_barnes9) on

Memphis’ Matt Barnes might be a cautionary tale of what happens when you just can’t let go of a grudge, but at least he’s committed to milking the situation as much as possible.

03.30.16

The Former Thunder Of The East Bay Recalls An Awkward Debut

Posted in Basketball, When Mascots Attack at 6:43 pm by

In the days before Steph Curry and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors were nothing short of a global pop culture phenomenon, the franchise’s ownership struggled to galvanize the attention of hoops casuals (losing nearly 300 games in 5 seasons, punctuated with Latrell Sprewell strangling P.J. Carelismo didn’t help). Displaced to San Jose for the 1996-97 season, the Warriors canned incumbent mascost Berserker (the David Yow theme didn’t really translate to Northern California) and replaced him with Thunder, in the form of gymnast/trampoline dunker Sadaki Fuller. Strolling down memory lane with the New York Times’ Scot Cacciola, Fuller explains the pitfalls of showing some initiative upon accepting the position :

Fuller felt obliged to help sell people on the team, he said, because the Warriors were not — how to put this mildly? — setting the region ablaze. He recalled running into the lobby of a bank near the team’s offices — in full costume, no less. That alone was a startling sight, and then Fuller opened his mouth and said, “This is a stickup!”

Nobody making a deposit that day recognized Thunder as an N.B.A. mascot. Most were under the impression that a less-than-sane person in a superhero outfit was attempting to rob the bank until Fuller backflipped out of the lobby while shouting, “Go Warriors!”

When Fuller returned to the team’s headquarters, he was met by several members of the team’s front office. They had received word of his marketing ploy.

“They were like, ‘Listen, it’s great that you’re doing everything with so much enthusiasm, but you can’t run into banks,’ ” Fuller said. “I was young. I didn’t get it.”

03.29.16

You Don’t Have To Be Throroughly Despicable To Work For Chuck’s Boots Owner Randy Markel…

Posted in Dino Costa, Hate Fuck Radio, Sports Radio at 6:54 pm by

… but it clearly doesn’t hurt. KFNS’ Dino Costa would have you believe he’s bulletproof. In defending the leap of faith made by boss/benefactor Randy Markel of Chuck’s Boots, Costa points out that Markel previously hired Michael Brown’s shooter, former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

However, at least one media outlet called said gig, “a dead end job” :


“When Daily Mail Online visited a pile of Confederate Flag bandanas lay on the counter by the till.”

“Chuck’s Boots owner Randy Markel did not return a message asking for comment.”

So all things considered, I do sorta see where Dino’s coming from. If Markel suffered little or no embarrassment from being associated with Darren Wilson (or selling Confederate paraphernalia), what possible harm can come from Costa preaching to a couple of hundred simpletons at 6am in the nation’s 21st media market?

That’s why it’s necessary for Bonkers to troll the planet with predictable clickbait like “keep sports radio all-male” (and if Costa is indeed, 590 The Fan’s Program Director, this is essentially an open admission that he’d use gender to determine hiring). He’s well aware that such calculated stunts are recirculated via outlets with far greater reach than he or Markel can muster. That somebody out there actually eats this shit up — possibly an parent quick to let their unfortunate kids know that gender determines the full extent of what they can or cannot do in this world — is of zero consequence to Bonkers. However much contempt he has for so-called liberals, he’s also demonstrated zero respect for his dopey acolytes or the unlucky communities he broadcasts to (you’ll note I’ve not said “broadcasts in” because while Screamo is happy to attend St. Louis Blues games, he’s yet to lower himself to actually residing in the town he claims to be saving).

In short, he’s as sickening, duplicitous and cynical a mercenary as you’ll find in media, sports or otherwise. In turn, Randy Markel seems to fancy himself some sort of guardian angel for people who’ve more than earned their pariah status.

More Details About Matt Harvey’s Pissing Problems Than You Were Probably Hoping For

Posted in Baseball, Pissing Problems at 6:13 pm by

As you’ve probably heard else, an overnight health scare of epic proportions for Matt Harvey turned out to be a mere bladder condition caused by the Mets starter’s heroic refusal to use the men’s toilets at Port St. Lucie’s Tradition Field until the state of Florida makes ‘em all gender neutral.  Since Harvey’s a quiet, unassuming guy who shuns the spotlight, Jay Horowitz came up with a crazy story about NYC’s most eligible bachelor simply holding it in too long, and regrettably, the Wall St. Journal’s Andrew Beaton bought it, hook, line and sinker.

“The main issue is I hold my urine in for too long instead of peeing regularly,” said Harvey, adding that he underwent a procedure to ensure everything was clear, and that he will indeed make his scheduled opening-day start in Kansas City.

There are many potential causes for blood in the urine said Dr. Ash Tewari, the Chair of Urology for the Mount Sinai Health System. They can start in many places—the urethra, prostate, bladder and kidneys—and may be triggered by an infection, stones, or in the unlikeliest of cases, some form of cancer.

Infection, said Dr. Tewari, is the most common reason for having a clot. And yes, holding it can be a factor: The longer the urine is in one’s system, the longer bacteria it contains has a chance to infect.

“Think about a pond versus a stream,” Dr. Tewari said. “A stream is less likely to have an infection, but a pond is more likely.”

03.28.16

Derrick Coleman Reacts To Syracuse Making The Final Four : When Whoop De Damn Do Won’t Quite Suffice

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts at 2:42 pm by

Houston We Have A Problem pic.twitter.com/ubYy6vHEGO

— Derrick Coleman (@44TheLegend) March 28, 2016

It’s probably just a matter of my memory being super shitty, but I do not recall D.C. being nearly this excited by any of his own victories as a professional.

03.27.16

There’s One Member Of The Basketball Hall Of Fame Who Speak WIth Authority About Flesh-Eating Low End

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 11:16 pm by

I’d like to presume this blog’s readership requires little introduction to Bill Walton, certainly one of the most dominant college basketball players in the game’s history, and an at times polarizing figure in post-Watergate America whose injury-plagued NBA tenure is agonizing to recount. In Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Sam Anderson takes the occasion of the publication of Walton’s “Back From the Dead: Searching for the Sound, Shining the Light and Throwing It Down” to quiz the self-proclaimed “most-injured athlete in the history of sports” on a variety of topics. For those who’ve followed Walton on and off-the-court, it will come as no surprise that the Grateful Dead figure strongly in Anderson’s excellent article.

Walton and I spent much of our time together in his car, listening to the Grateful Dead on our way to and from San Diego’s most scenic vistas. Walton knew every song that came on. Several times, he got excited because the music seemed to be speaking directly to us. Once, for instance, when we were talking about Larry Bird, the Dead sang the words “leader of the band,” and Walton said: “See, that’s exactly what Larry was: the leader of the band.” It became increasingly clear that the Grateful Dead was an omnipresent scripture rolling through Walton’s mind.

On our second morning together, driving downtown, Walton and I hit a particularly good patch of Dead. The jam grew and broke into multiple subjams, which wove themselves back together into something bigger and then bounced around. This made Walton genuinely happy. He turned the volume up, then turned it up some more, until the music was the only thing in the car. Even when we reached our destination, when Walton pulled to the curb and the valet-parking attendant came over to take the keys, Walton couldn’t bring himself to leave: The flow was too strong. Interrupting it would have been sacrilege, so he waved the parking attendant away and turned the music up even louder.

Walton and I sat there for several minutes, not moving, at the curb, inside the music. Occasionally, he would shout out some ecstatic explication —“That’s Phil Lesh on the bass, laying down that flesh-eating low end.” Or: “This is from 1968, before the band really even knew what it could do.” Hearing this song first thing in the morning, Walton decided, was a good omen. We would have a lucky day.

03.26.16

With Apologies To Genius.com, Let’s Annotate Jay Mariotti’s Final Examiner Column

Posted in Basketball at 7:33 pm by

Former Chicago Tribune / ESPN / AOL Fanhouse columnist Jay Mariotti lasted an entire year at the San Francisco Examiner, and while I neither have the time or stomach to calculate exactly how many times he mentioned eating dim sum with Anthony Kiedis, I can say that portions of last Monday’s (ahem) think-piece on the Golden State Warriors’ historic run were right up there some of Mariotti’s most ridiculed works.

Millennials live in the now. They don’t want to hear about tomorrow because they realize today is tenuous, having grown up when planes were crashing into the World Trade Center and social media began to sabotage lives.

Yes, you know, social media, where people circulate stories about sportswriters beating up their girlfriends and pleading guilty. Total life-destroying stuff.

What’s endearing about the Warriors is how they don’t hide their desire to establish history, yet do so in a way that doesn’t create resentment among opponents or the nation’s sports fans.

Yes, Spurs fans LOVE the Warriors. Not only are they rooting for Golden State to set the record, they’re praying San Antonio is victim no. 72! Such is the universal affection for all things Stef Curry!

In the algorithmic extravagaza known as Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, the latest postseason forecast came out Monday. The Warriors were given a 36 percent chance to win the NBA title. The Spurs were given a 37 percent chance.

There is always a doubter to quiet.

When you’ve hung with Anthony Kiedis and signed autographs for half of the fucking L.A.P.D. (who know a thing or two about famous men being set up), you can prognosticate all you want. Until then, well, SUCK IT NERD(S).

03.25.16

Bust Of The Millenium : It’s All Larry Brown’s Fault

Posted in Basketball at 9:22 pm by

OK, that’s not exactly what 2003 no. 2 overall pick Darko Milicic — last seen in this space making his sport of the future debut — had to say about a peripatetic, underachieving NBA career highlighted by being super-glued to the Pistons bench. With comments culled from Blic by Hoops Hype, Darko insists, “I don’t miss basketball. I live very well, thank God.”

“I thought as a kid that talent was God-given, but it’s not. God gives you talent and you should use that talent with the real meaning of that word. I was stubborn. Maybe being young had something to do with it. There was option then of going to the NBA or staying in Serbia because Hemofarm knew that if I went to NBA they would get more money than they would get if I went to some European club. Here you had poverty and money was there.”

“Their system is cruel and I don’t like it. If a young player doesn’t succeed, they don’t look after him. That sucks. You have players who are first or second in the draft that get a chance to play. I didnt get the chance. LBJ is a killer now, but he did get a chance in his first year, he could shoot from the stands if he wanted. I barely got the chance. I had that situation in Orlando where if I shoot from perimeter, my coach Hill would yell, “Pass to Howard.” In Detroit nothing went right. Larry Brown always told me to go near the basket. They offered me a $40 million, four-year contract in Orlando, and then their manager blows it off, out of nowehere. My manager told me he would deal with it. I said OK, but just not Memphis. Anywhere but there. And, of course, I went to Memphis. Then I got injured, didn’t play much.

“I can’t play with American players. They only talked about who dunked on whom, who crossed over whom. I was weird to them because I didn’t think that way.”

03.24.16

Two Years After The 2014 NFL Draft, Why Is Dino Costa’s Radio Station Obsessed With Discrediting Michael Sam?

Posted in Sports Radio at 6:41 pm by

>Considering that St. Louis no longer has an NFL franchise and we’re in the middle of spring training, March Madness, etc., right about now would seem a rather unusual time for the city’s 590 The Fan to fill the airwaves with discussion of the 2014 NFL Draft. But when you consider that KFNS’ newly ensconced program director, Dino Costa, has already gone on record expressing his dismay at having to witness former Missouri DT Michael Sam showing affection towards another man, a clearer picture emerges of the former’s agenda.

On Wednesday, Costa colleague Howard Blazer (above), citing imaginary unnamed sources, claimed the Rams only selected Sam in the seventh round as a payback to a public relations-minded NFL, in exchange for avoiding the subsequent training camp being documented by HBO’s pile-o’-distractions, “Hard Knocks”. Never mind that Sam’s only NFL training camp would’ve awfully tough for the premium cable channel to resist, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher insists that Blazer is, well, totally full of shit. The Los Angeles Times’ Gary Klein transcribes Fisher’s comments from Thursday morning’s “Mike & Mike” program (ESPN Radio) :

Fisher said the report regarding Sam was “absolutely absurd.”
“It’s 100% incorrect,” Fisher said. “I was really taken aback by those comments. It’s insulting, from my standpoint, as it relates to Michael.

“We had three seventh-round picks. We drafted Michael, he was the best player on the board. Who in their right mind would think that you give up a draft choice to avoid doing something like that, something that I think that would benefit the organization?”

The Rams cut Sam, who signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He left the team in 2015 for personal reasons.

“Michael worked so hard,” Fisher said. “He was the best player on the board.

“He worked so hard to try to make this football team. Obviously, we had a good defensive line. But really not fair to Michael because of all the hard work he put in as well.”