12.15.13

FiveThirtyEight-ing the Absurd ‘Space Jam’ Agate [AUDIO]

Posted in Basketball, Cinema, Statistical Analysis at 2:53 am by

In light of Yahoo!’s Onion-ish “30×30” on the best interspecies game ever played (sans Air Bud: Golden Receiver, of course), but also to Porky Piggyback on REGRESSING/Harvard’s “Compiling The Absurd Box Score For Space Jam; Or, Shawn Bradley Sucked Against Cartoons, Too” . . .

Now, as per Ms. Meyer’s robots, I’ve gotten statistically jiggy with some NFL roti before. And re: the roundball, here’s XII on my fave WNBA team. (Cf. If you want to know if Amanda Lear really is a transsexual after all, there’s always this one I did for Jerry Thackray, too.)

Those being done, I started cooking Mike, Bugs, L-O-L-A, Daffy and Taz’s 1s and Os in both a scatter and a gauge plot. But then that Heisman perp walk started, and, well, there’s a chart somewhere out there that shows how many hours of lives were lost on that Gothamist boondoggle. And anyways, I seriously wanted to make this one less GL interactive, more Wayback Machine–as, like Jameis’ innocence tomorrow, may we never forget pre-Hanes ‘stache MJ.

“Even better,” you ask, Mr. Snowden Silver?

Proving that Russia was still spying on all space activity well after Reagan told Herr Hasselhoff to, quote, “tare down The Wall,” a source in the then NSA has shared the following audio transcript:

[N.B. The ex-adgate for the Birmingham Barons did NOT want this leaked!]

In the end, Disney may well do as Disney indeed does, but aspera ad astra R. Sylvester Kelly’s WB hit, I, too, believe these numbers fly for themselves.

Yes, especially for the bench. No threes and no frees, no boards nor blocks…no problem.

09.10.12

Even With RG III, V Reasons The Redskins Won’t Win Another I

Posted in Gridiron, non-sporting journalism at 4:47 pm by

Yes, bro, I saw his stats. And yet, like the bookends above who trekked down to that other Chocolate City, I just had to get these off my chest—post-haste. Having immigrated to the Beltway well before The Shanahan Epoch, I’m quite sure you’ll ‘nawimean.’ Regardless, by the time Uncle Tupelo sings “The Trolley Song” this Sunday in St. Louis, these walking clown questions will have lost a lot more than their shirts. With Obama on the road, Strasburg on borrowed time and the Wizards still on-schedule, it’s been a cruel, cruel summer in the District; to wit, I shudder to kick any dog when it’s down. Then again, it’s crueler to be kind to a fan base that proudly counts Mark May as one of its 80 Greatest.

I. First and foremost, Danny M. Snyder is a litigious loser, ostentatious liar and, through his own ironically anti-Semitic machinations, brought about an early end not only to Jack Kent Cooke, but also Dick fuggin’ Clark.

II. Beard Award-winning restaurateur (thx b 2 Guy Fieri!), No. 7 Joe Theismann hasn’t been able to twinkle standing up since that legging at RFK c/o LT.

III. Somehow, Steve Spurrier—the Skins’ fifth new H.B.C. in ten years at the time—proved waaay too classy for a front office quarantined from the Metro out there in Ashburn, Virginia. To this day, Lyndon LaRouche can’t even believe that one…and he lives in Leesburg!

IV. Meanwhile, just up 495, Modell’s Colts Ravens convinced Barry Levinson to make a film about a buncha band geeks. But here in the reclaimed swampland that is Hollywood-for-ugly-people, the Redskins couldn’t even bribe Brando for a cameo in the Lifetime® Original™ of Harjo, et al. v. Pro-Football, Inc.

V. Finally, because they cannot stop for death, well, just have a look-see. (Even worse for this poor soul, though: Valerie Solanas—the Queen Bitch, herself—lies not two stones over.)

08.14.12

American* Cities with Major** Franchises That Have Yet to Host… THE REAL WORLD

Posted in City Planning, olympics, USA! USA! at 3:35 pm by

It’s all over, London…everything but the shouting of the manic street preacher (as seen here, taking a breather, outside what’s left of the Grand Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles.)

Re-LULZing at Peter Schooff’s reprint re: unrecognized Olympic dives got me a thinkin’—albeit tangentially—about cities where the sportin’ life is King Creosote. More germane to Bob Costas, however, I looked at those places with MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA teams that have never won a bid to host the Summer Olympiad. I then cross-referenced with the metropolises the late Mary-Ellis Bunim (and, to be fair, Frank Murray) had not yet picked to profile seven strangers who dispense with pleasantries in favor of the besottedly authentic.

Finally, seeing as how every list in our era of ‘roids and vampire dope is bound to leave at least a few asterisks for posterity, well, I felt compelled to provide the same.

Imagine there’s no heaven, indeed.

Presently:
***DALLAS-Fort Worth, Texas (Rangers, Stars, Cowboys, Mavericks)
****DETROIT, Mich. (Tigers, Red Wings, Lions, Pistons)
MINNEAPOLIS-St. Paul, Minn. (Twins, Wild, Vikings, Timberwolves)
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Diamondbacks, Coyotes, Cardinals, Suns)

In the past:
CLEVELAND, Ohio (Indians, Barons, Browns, Cavaliers)
Kansas City, Mo. (Royals, Scouts, Chiefs, Kings)
*****ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Cardinals, Blues, Cardinals [NFL], Hawks [see ATLANTA])
*****ATLANTA, Ga. (Braves, Flames AND Thrashers, Falcons, Hawks)

* No offense Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, Raptors, the Buffalo Bills at Rogers Centre, Canadiens, Canucks or the entire CFL.
** If indeed the ABA ever counted as a ‘major,’ PITTSBURGH, Penn. (Pirates, Penguins, Steelers, Pipers-cum-Condors).
** Ibid, too, for the World Hockey Association, HOUSTON, Texas (Astros, Aeros [though, technically, now an AHL team], Texans, Rockets).
*** Also has FC DALLAS—an MLS charter club, no less.
**** DETROIT Shock (WNBA) R.I.P.
***** ST. LOUIS and ATLANTA have hosted the Summer Olympics: 1904 and 1996, respectively.

(N.B. Mike “The Miz” Mizanin [The Real World: Back to New York] is, in fact, the WWE’s reigning Intercontinental Champion. He was born in Parma, Ohio—CLEVELAND’s largest suburb.)

07.27.12

The Olympics’ Greatest Hits

Posted in decomposing composers, Gymnastics, History's Great Hook-Ups, olympics, record collector disease at 5:37 pm by

The date is Friday, July 27, 2012. The time? 3:50 pm, EST. So, by my watch, the Games of the XXX Olympiad will open in about 10 minutes. I, for one, will not be watching. No, so long as this playlist takes on water, I’ll be watching something—anything—else. (The Orioles on MASN, HD maybe?) Duran or no Duran, whatever Danny Boyle decides there in Hype Park, here’s hoping I hear about one of these tomorrow morning:

“Barcelona”
Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé

Britain’s best Tanzanian rocker always had a penchant for drama and spectacle. So it made all kinds of sense for him to team up with the Barcelona-born Caballé for what was supposed to be the ’92 Summer Olympics theme. Unbeknownst to most, Mercury had contracted AIDS, and only a few hours after telling the world, he was dead at 45. And while Caballé did perform the sweeping, now bittersweet tune at the opening ceremony (with a terribly canned Mercury dubbed in, no less), it was officially replaced with some overwrought Andrew Lloyd Webber barf by Sarah Brightman and José Carreras for the closing of the games. The BBC, though, would have none of this disrespect and latent homophobia; they used Merc & Monty’s number throughout its coverage that summer.

Hymnen (Region III)
Karlheinz Stockhausen

A hallmark of electronic music—and perhaps the high-water mark of the late composer’s purely electro oeuvre—Hymnen takes as its main source material some 40 of the world’s national anthems and manipulates, maneuvers and massages them into one, two-hour “music of all countries and races.” A utopian conceit à la Milton, Hesse or James Hilton, Stockhausen divided his vision into four sections or regions, and according to his admittedly idiosyncratic directions, only “Region III” may be listened to separately. Dedicated to American iconoclast John Cage, “The Star Spangled Banner” is thus featured prominently here alongside Spain’s lyric-less “La Marcha Real,” as well as an entirely synthetic construction of the then USSR’s state hymn.

“Nadia’s Theme”
Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr.

Okay, stay with me here: Barry and Perry were nominated for a ’71 Grammy with a score that featured the tune “Cotton’s Dream” from Stanley Kramer’s film of Glendon Swarthout’s novel, Bless the Beasts and Children. (The Carpenters got nominated for an Oscar for the theme song proper.) Two years later, Botkin recast his and De Vorzon’s melody for a brand new half-hour CBS soap opera—a little show called The Young and The Restless. Three years later still, the 1976 Montreal Olympics are in full swing, and a 14-year-old Romanian by the name of Nadia Comaneci becomes the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10. ABC’s Wild World of Sports begins airing montages of the lithe and nimble lil’ Commie accompanied by Botkin’s rehashing. A&M Records renames and re-releases the song as a single, fails to credit De Vorzon and is sued by him for nearly a quarter-of-a-million bicentennial dollars. A decade later, David Hasselhoff nearly kills the ditty on his album Lovin’ Feelings, while Mary J. Blige finishes the job in 2002.

06.06.12

@DINOCOSTA Proves He’s No “Catcher”

Posted in Baseball, Dino Costa, Hate Fuck Radio, Professional Wrestling at 8:00 am by

The fans at Saturday’s Rochester Red Wings game may not have known what was coming.

But if they knew anything about Dino “Mad Dog” Costa, perhaps it wasn’t much of a surprise when he took a bite out of the first pitch in the Red Wings’ game against Columbus.

A noted fad dieter, Costa took the mound at Frontier Field — the New York home of the Twins’ Class AAA team — munching on a baseball before lobbing its remnants to Rochester infielder Sean Burroughs.

“Given his wild, unpredictable reputation for chewing up the English language and causing havoc over the course of his short broadcasting career, I had a pretty good idea that something was going to happen to that baseball,” said Nick Sciarratta, the Red Wings’ director of corporate development. “I could tell by the way he looked at it as soon as we gave it to him that he had something from ‘Bad Teacher‘ in mind when he was out there.”

The pride of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Costa was in Rochester this past weekend to take part in a sports card and eugenics show put on by David Duke. As part of his visit, Costa — a self-professed expert on minor league baseball — made a stop at the park to gingerly throw out the first pitch, charge for autographs and snap Twitpics with his 3,731 listeners followers.

It was his mawing of that baseball, though, that will forever stick with those at Saturday’s International League game. After all, some things you just can’t un-see.

“It got a reaction from the crowd,” Sciarratta said.

With Costa having skyrocketed from entry-level broadcaster to Sirius/XM personality all before the tender age of 40, his latest stunt certainly begs the question: Was the ball a fake, too?

“We had these little softer balls that we toss into the crowd during the seventh-inning stretch,” Sciarratta said. “[Costa] took one look at it and said, ‘No, I want a real man’s ball.’ ”

To be expected from anyone who’s seen Dino Costa eat, the Red Wings lost to the Clippers 1-0.

03.21.12

16 Songs Besides “One Shining Moment” the NCAA Should Give the Ol’ College Try

Posted in College Spurts, Gambling, Hate Fuck Radio at 9:36 am by

#1. “Court and Spark,” Joni Mitchell
#16. “Win in the End (Theme from Teen Wolf),” Mark Safan /
“Roundball Rock (NCAA on CBS remix),” John Tesh
#8. “Ides of March,” Iron Maiden
#9. “Spheres of Madness,” Decapitated
#5. “Basketball Jones,” Cheech & Chong
#12. “The Time We Beat Clemson,” Jerry Clower
#4. anything off Shaq Fu: Da Return
#13. Alabama, “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)”
#6. “Map Ref. 41°N 93°W,” Wire
#11. “Carry Me Ohio” Sun Kil Moon
#3. Kansas, “Bells of Saint James”
#14. absolutely nothing from Ron Artest’s My World
#7. “Dark Horse,” George Harrison
#10. “Cinderella,” Britney Spears
#2. “Chapel Hill,” Sonic Youth
#15. “Taking My Ball,” Eminem

02.02.12

Detroit Almost Won That Time

Posted in Gridiron at 10:41 am by

That Sunday afternoon in Arrowhead was a fluke. A contingency, really. How else would a last-place, 0.429 team vanquish the best squad in the NFC North?if not the best in the league, herself? Well, at that time, anyways.

Now, I’m all for dispensing dap where dap’s indeed due. Ryan Succop, my very much relevant homeboy from our days chasing Dietzel at USC (est. 1801), sailed one through a 32-yard berth to give the Chiefs that game. He didn’t always do that as a Gamecock.

11 seconds later, and each shareholder in the Green Bay franchise had been Madoff-ed. The hype was over, the dream deferred. In short, Goliath had fallen; Ockham’s proof that maybe, just maybe, T. ‘Dick’ Tebow’s deity does exist in the god-forsaken world of pro football.

Make no mistake, that didn’t happen again (in the regular season, that is). If for nothing more than Christopher Hitchens was still breathing then.

It sure as cheeseballs didn’t happen Xmas night at Lambeau. Nor on NBC. True, Daaa Bears had Mr. Laguna Beach takin’ snaps, but alas, that’s the only hand they had. A baker’s touchdowns, while a cute, perhaps even quasi-respectable stat going in, didn’t amount to a crock o’ beans under however many tackles Desmond Bishop ended up with.

No, the last real test for Murph & Mike’s Packers came on New Year’s Day. The Lions were in second place then, 1-1 with the lights out, which is how any NFL fan worth his liver was watching a one o’clock kickoff then.

Obviously, the Detroit Lions did not best the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, January 1, 2012. (With the former’s leading receiver named after Calvin ‘K’ Johnson, how twee they?) We all saw what happened?in front of our mothers, no less?the first time these two met back at Ford’s. As per usual, one ‘Bob Richie’ was to blame.

As I said before, Week 15 in Kansas City was a goof?a chance occurrence, à la Owl Creek Bridge. To be sure, it did not happen again.

But what if it did? I mean, Detroit almost fuggin’ won. 45-41. Wouldn’t that’ve been something? I’m imagining Oneida Street East lit up like Atlanta-Fulton County in the time of Sherman. And it’s all fondue, brah.

Thus, I’ve taken to re-penning just but a few lyrics of that classic holocaust tune, “We Almost Lost Detroit”? care of the late Gil Scott-Heron’s 1977 Arista album, Bridges. After all, Scott-Heron, himself, took both title and tale from John G. Fuller’s Reader’s Digest pulp. Re-make/re-model, I always say.

A cautionary history of Fermi 1, the nation’s first commercial breeder reactor, Scott-Heron’s fissile machine was shut down in 1966 after a nuclear meltdown nearly consumed the 313. It took four laborious years to bring the reactor up to code, nevertheless, its resulting performance proved poorer than Hank Williams, Jr.’s choice of words.

“It stands out on a hill, like a creature from another time. It inspires the rookies’ questions?’what’s that?’?for their agents as they ride. But no one stopped to think about the Packers, or how they would survive, and we almost lost to Detroit this time. How would we ever get over nearly losing our stride?

Just eight hours from Detroit stands a giant frozen tundra. It thaws each night as the city sleeps?ready for the huddle. But no one stopped to think about the Packers, or how they would survive, and we almost lost to Detroit this time. How would we ever get over, over nearly losing our stride?

The leapers of Brown County had, sure enough, disaster on their minds. And what would Vince Lombardi say, if he was still alive? That when it comes to Rodgers’ safety, defense wins out every time. And we almost lost to Detroit this time, this time.”

How would we ever get over nearly losing our pride? You see, we almost lost to Detroit that time.”

A scant two years later, Fermi’s core was dismantled, the reactor decommissioned. To wit, much like the Lions’ defense went against the fourth-best passing team, ultimately, Detroit’s efforts at a neutron economy had failed. Automobiles it was, then:

Of course, when it comes to the final fate of athletics in the great city of Detroit, Michigan, all bets are off once Fielder the Younger squeezes into that Tigers uni. Here, then, is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s woeful take on this tune.