01.25.16

For Phil Mushnick, Taking Shots At Yoenis Cespedes Knows No Off-Season

Posted in Baseball, New York, New York, Sports Journalism at 1:12 am by

Mets fans should be pumped that the Mets have retained Yoenis Cespedes, a player so valued he quickly became expendable to three previous teams?Phil Mushnick, New York Post, January 25, 2016

Well, in a word (fuck) yes. Putting aside (!) Cespedes’ prodigious output for the Mets during the 2015 season’s final 55 games — an offensive tear so dramatic, some actually raised the notion of the outfielder’s MVP candidacy — there’s something deeply disconcerting about the innuendo here. If Cespedes is truly the uncoachable clubhouse cancer Mushnick and others in the media (none of whom, by pure coincidence, seem to be of Cuban descent) seem to suggest, why would the Mets dream of having him back, let alone at $25 million + for next season? Why would the Nationals, already praying Jonathan Papelbon is hit by a bus, offer a guaranteed 5 year deal to a player of such poor character?

Could it be that Cespedes’ teammates, managers, employers and people who’ve paid to watch him every day have a more informed opinion about what he really brings to the table, pro and con?

Mushnick would have you believe that on 3 separate occasions, other teams couldn’t wait to rid themselves of Cespedes. Never mind that that A’s flipped him for the highly coveted Jon Lester (or that their offensive production went straight into the toilet once Cespedes left town).

It would be a real shame if this was part of a creepy pattern, wouldn’t it?

01.24.16

Farewell To Archie Gouldie, Mongolia’s Greatest Export

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 12:13 pm by

OK, Alberta’s greatest export (or one of ‘em). Archie Gouldie, aka The Mongolian Stomper, passed away yesterday at the age of 71. A contemporary of Ronnie Garvin, Paul Orndorf, Billy Robinson and Jos Le Duc, Gouldie held the NWA Southeast Championship 11 times during his run in Tennessee.

01.23.16

February 6 : A Benefit For Sonny Vincent

Posted in Austin, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 5:45 pm by

It probably won’t come as a huge surprise to you that a man who has spent 40 + years writing and performing some of the most desperate, unhinged and genuinely menacing music in American rock history doesn’t have much of a safety net. But there you go ; a couple of weeks ago, Sonny Vincent (Testors) awoke to news his son, daughter-in-law and grandson had been horribly injured in a gas explosion. They’re in intensive care and Sonny’s not able to monitor their care without a helping hand from his friends around world.

Information about a February 6 Austin benefit can be found at this link. I know there’s other stuff happening that night, but some of those shows are the shortest of walks away. If you cannot attend, donations are being accepted here.

01.21.16

Cliff Robinson In “Headline Writes Itself” Stunner

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 5:07 pm by

The 2016 Cannabis Collaborative Conference kicks off February 3 in Portland, and former Trail Blazers’ fixture Cliff Robinson is one of the featured speakers.  Portland Business Journal’s Andy Giegerich writes that Robinson hopes to “rebrand” himself at the event, said rebranding being (of course), UNCLE SPLIFFY.

“It’s an opportunity for me to get out there and tell people a little bit about myself outside of basketball,” Robinson said. “People in Oregon know me as a basketball player, but I want to distill the stigma around cannabis, the misperception that athletes and cannabis are incompatible.”

In at least one sense, that’s spot on: Robinson agrees that football players or others who engage in contact sports might do well to treat themselves with cannabis as opposed to prescription painkillers.

“Cannabis is definitely a more positive alternative to pharmaceuticals at the end of the day,” he said. “Those are synthetics. I’m talking about something that’s natural that can bring the outcomes you’re looking for, be it for muscle tension or relaxation or preparedness. There are a whole lot of different things that are beneficial.”

While Robinson wouldn’t venture a guess as to how many NBA players use marijuana, it’s logical to assume the number is substantial.

“When you talk about guys playing on a professional level, there’s a lot of physical and mental stress that comes with that, and to have something available to you that has health benefits, I don’t see the issue with it myself.”

01.20.16

A Simple Plea To WFAN : Mike From Mahopac Is Ready For The Big Time

Posted in New York, New York, Radio at 10:57 pm by

WFAN host and ratings juggernaut Mike Francesa has been with the station since it’s 1987 inception ; he’s helmed the late afternoon drive slot since 1989, and while most of those years were working alongside Chris Russo, the former’s only solidified his grasp of the #1 spot since going solo. On Wednesday, Francesa announced he’d be leaving the airwaves at the end of 2017, leaving a gigantic hole in the NYC sports radio landscape. While the New York Post’s Brian Terranova advances the candidacy of fellow Murdoch employee Katie Nolan, the Daily News’ Bernie Augustine believes an uncanny Francesa impersonation by former WFAN producer Greg Giannotti might be criteria of some sort. Since both Augustine and Terranova predict the eventual return of Russo, wouldn’t it make sense for WFAN to consider a more economical option, particularly one from a motivated performer who won’t simply phone it in? Am I really the only person who wants to see Sour Shoes get the gig?

Free Damage Control Advice For A Veteran Austin Music Scribe

Posted in Austin, non-sporting journalism at 8:26 pm by

a) claim you left iPad at Strange Brew already logged in to Facebook
b) you misquoted yourself (h/t Charles Barkley)
c) simply forgot to write, “I’m 100% against all of this” at the very top of the post
d) lay very, very low until your guy at Life Or Death P.R. has had a full opportunity to review the above and formulate a plan.

01.19.16

Running Down The Road, Trying To Loosen My Load, I’ve Got Seven In-Jeopardy Public Figures On My Mind

Posted in Free Expression, Rock Und Roll at 10:25 pm by

(above : once upon a time, this kinda look would get you barred from walking within 200 feet of a public school. These days, you’d blend in just fine on the Hotel Vegas patio)

A number of people have taken considerable umbrage at jokes and/or disparaging comments aimed at an immensely popular singer-songwriter who passed away yesterday, some (though not all) opining that either you should STFU if you haven’t anything nice to say, or perhaps we could at least give the artist his due for being successful or tuneful or having entertained people with terrible taste.

I don’t know about you, but I love getting social media etiquette lessons, especially from a bunch of amateur shit-talkers, oversharers and persons who routinely either bore the fuck out of me or aren’t quite familiar with the word, “unsolicited”. So with that in mind, knowing there are any number of polarizing public figures who might shuffle off this mortal coil at any minute, I have prepared some damned-with-faint-praise responses you can cut and paste on your timeline when these deaths occur. No need to thank me, I do this purely out of love.

1) Donald Trump.
“Say what you will about his politics and boorish behavior, but his name was very easy to spell.”

2) Dick Cheney.
“Though he might have blood all over his hands, that’s really just an expression. In fact, his personal hygiene was better than average.”

3) Martin Shkreli (shanked in prison)
“Credit where due — his Thursday t-shirt was purchased from a fully licensed vendor.”

4) Bill Cosby
“Jello pudding pops are only 90 calories per serving”

5) R. Kelly
“Easily the most popular performer to have headlined a Pitchfork Music Festival.”

6) Lars Ulrich
“At least he made Dave Mustaine cry”

7) Dino Costa
(sorry, I’ve got nothing)

Mancini On Sarri’s Sorry Excuse For Trash Talk

Posted in Football at 9:38 pm by

Inter defeated Napoli, 2-0, Tuesday night, the former advancing to the Italian Cup semi-finals, but the match’s main talking point surrounds a confrontation between the clubs’ respective managers, Roberto Mancini and Maurizio Sarri.  From The Guardian’s Marcus Christensen :

“The confrontation on the touchline? You have to ask Sarri about that, he is a racist. People like him do not belong in football. He used racist words. I stood up to ask about the five minutes being added on and Sarri shouted ‘poof’ and ‘faggot’ at me. I would be proud to be that if he is what’s considered a man.”

“People like him should not be in football. He is 60 years old. The fourth official heard but didn’t say anything. He came to see me in the changing room to apologise but he should really be ashamed of himself.”

All Sarri had to say of the incident was “that he could not remember” what he said to Mancini and that “what is said on the pitch should stay on the pitch”.

01.18.16

A Stirring Testimonial For The Man Behind The March On Kenny Chesney’s Dressing Room

Posted in Gridiron, Racism Corner, Sports Journalism at 4:27 pm by

While much of the United States is marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day, SBN Nation’s PFT Commenter reminds us that, “there are still those out there among us who would disavow the teachings of Dr. King and allow racial intolerents to persist.” However, the author is referring to Eagles WR/country music fan Riley Cooper, “probably the most Martin-Luther-King-Jr- like of any NFL player.”

Riley didnt exactley have the easiest life leading up to his career. Coming from a background where as a white wide recever he was technicaly a minority being pressured into following more traditional paths like becoming homecoming king or quaterback. A country kid from the Clearwater whose more used to wake ‘n’ lake then wake ‘n’ bake was cast as a fish out of water at a Universty so street even their coaches office was a urban environment.

Dr. King would of forgiven Cooper the instant he said “sorry I said those words.” If you hold a grudge, the grudge actualy ends up holding you. In fact, Kings major problem with this whole ginned-up controversey would be the fact that the word is used as a exclusive tool to divide us instead of letting white people use it to demean minorties. Dr. Kings message, first and foremost, was “Racism is a WE problem” and before the healing can truly begin, I think both races need to acknowlege they had a part in Riley Coopers outburst.

King was locked up for his beliefs, and anyone who refuses to support Cooper for his redempton is figuratively spitting on “Notes from a Birmingham Jail.” You know folks I know another guy that wrote alot of his ideas down while he was in prison, and the real danger comes when people misuse everything they were trying to say in order to support there own selfish causes. Can you imagine trying to explain to MLK that his principles of Civil Disobedence laid the foundation for Terrell Owens to do sit ups in his driveway, or for DeAngelo Williams to continue to honor his familys history of breast cancer? He probably would of rather just stayed home and watch cartoons.

01.17.16

RIP Clarence Henry Reid AKA Blowfly

Posted in Hip Hop, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 2:39 pm by

Thanking this man for the music, the weirdness, the laughs and bringing the sleazy vibes far into his twilight years. There will be no all-star Carnegie Hall salute for Blowfly, no middle-of-the-night downtown Austin street sign changes (though David Blowfly Street does have a certain ring to it), heads of state will not mourn his passing. So do it yourself. Ring the bell ten times. Pour one (or several) out. Crank up “Shitting On The Dock Of The Bay” or “Who Did I Eat Last Night?”, “Electronic Pussy Sucker” or “The Vampire That Ate Miami” and pay homage to the late, great Clarence Reid.

01.14.16

Never Let It Be Said The Hooded Casanova Is Unwilling To Help The Media

Posted in Gridiron at 7:03 pm by

I cannot possibly understand why someone working under the supervision of man this warm, compassionate and considerate would ever find themselves using synthetic marijuana.

01.13.16

Welcoming The NFL To Hays County!

Posted in Gridiron, Real Estate, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 10:48 pm by

Not for the first time, the San Antonio market is being teased with the possibility of the Oakland Raiders relocating to somewhere nearby. On this occasion — in the wake of the NFL’s decision to allow the Rams (and possibly the Chargers) to take up tenancy in the proposed mega-complex planned for Inglewood, CA — we’re told that Mark Davis would consider San Marcos, TX for the site of a new, purpose-built Raiders venue. Putting aside for a moment the unlikelihood of Jerry Jones or Bob McNair allowing a competitor in the market, Texas’ 3rd NFL franchise is gonna need a nickname. And if you’ve seen Mark Davis’ haircut, you already know that guy cannot be trusted to make major decisions. Fortunately for all concerned, I’m here with a surplus of brilliant ideas.

1) San Marcos Outlet Shoppers

When you think San Marcos, you think bargains. Slightly dented Bose headphones. Mountains of unsold Nike crap. Stuff from Pottery Barn that’s still overpriced at 75% off. And if you’ve seen Mark Davis’ haircut, you know he loves bargains, too. Why not pay homage to the region’s number one, well, check that, sole cultural or economic highlight?

2) San Marcos Whiskey Rebels

With all due respect to Austin’s rich musical heritage (Bob Schneider, Comforter, TV Torso), San Marcos is the longtime home of Rancid Vat’s Whiskey Rebel. That fact alone makes it a mystery why a major sports franchise has yet to set up shop in this emerging market.

3) San Marcos Snake Farmers

OK, the notorious, badly-reviewed Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo is technically located in nearby New Braunfels. But being geographic LIARS never stopped the Giants or Jets, and most importantly KIDS LOVE SNAKES.

4) San Marcos Cougars

Who amongst us doesn’t have fond memories of ESPN’s gritty “Playmakers” series, most notably the exploits of characters like rookie RB Demetrius Harris, veteran QB Derek McConnell and closeted WR Thad Guerwicz? Here’s the plan : sign the entire cast (though with a wig and plastic surgery, Davis can play owner Gene Wilbanks) and simply pick up where the critically acclaimed first season left off. As is, the current Raiders aren’t likely to contend, and Texas State’s Bobcat Stadium has already been employed for scenes in TV’s “Friday Night Lights”. Ratings juggernaut + low overhead while construction costs on the Whiskey Rebeldome soar into the billions. You can thank me later (preferably with cash — don’t talk about free tickets, if this clusterfuck comes to pass no one in their right mind is going near I-35 on a Sunday).

01.12.16

Every Man Has His Price (And Yoenis Céspedes’ Is Probably Going To Get Much Lower)

Posted in Baseball at 9:53 pm by

Whether it’s a subpar postseason, continued grumbling about hustle or a number of other free agent outfielders making deals far earlier, it seems the market for Yoenis Céspedes might not be nearly robust enough to command the rumored $150 million, 6-year pact Roc Nation is demanding.  As SB Nation’s Marc Normandin sees it, “there just might be too many outfielders left for him to get that contract.”

The Mets and Tigers, who both had Cespedes in 2015, are waiting around to see if he can be signed for less than that. In the Mets’ case, the “less than that” likely means a total collapse of his market and options outside of a return to New York. For the Tigers, it probably means getting the money and years low enough that the side of the front office that isn’t enamored with re-signing Cespedes is placated. The Tigers are reportedly looking for “complementary” outfielders at present, so they don’t seem to feel forced into giving Cespedes exactly what he wants.

Cespedes will sign eventually, but with Justin Upton, Dexter Fowler and Gerardo Parra out there, as well as potential rebound candidates who will cost far less, the where and when remain in question. It’s also possible that, even outside of his own contract demands, Cespedes has to wait around for the Orioles to finish one way or another with Chris Davis, since Upton is their fallback option and Davis is the most expensive free agent remaining. We might be about a month out from spring training, but there is still a whole lot of offseason left as far as free agents go.

Total Catch Alert : How Can This Guy Still Be On The Market?

Posted in History's Great Hook-Ups at 5:49 pm by

In which one Atlanta bachelor proves that when it comes to wishful/delusional thinking, Romeo Rose is only battling for 2nd place.  From Craigslist :

1906ft2 – Live-in girlfriend / Live In girlfriend or WIFE wanted: Free rent AND (Free power, WIFI internet, cable, water & trash service.)

[WHAT I WANT]: I’m seeking a non-smoking female, size 14 or smaller [aka "under" size 16 unless you are tall and carry it well] “probably” under age 58, no taller than 5’10 [because I'm 5'10], who is drug, disease and drama free [Like I am], to share my nice 1967 brick ranch home with as my live-in girlfriend/lover and possibly be my wife later in 2016 if you want [not required]. To be clear, I am NOT looking for “just” a roommate. I’m looking for a Girlfriend/Lover/Wife/Life companion to do the following with: cuddle while watching movies, shop for groceries, cook, eat, trade massages/kisses, etc. You must NOT be an alcoholic, must NOT have unresolved felonies and NOT have a warrant out for your arrest. Other than that we can talk about your past issues BUT, you must be honest from day one! I’m a former Private Investigator so I “will” check you out. “Females” of any race will be considered but you must speak decent-to-good English. If your English is bad, we won’t work out. I’m NOT concerned about what kind of job you have [if any] at the time we meet [retired, self-employed, Sonic, T.J Maxx, unemployed, Walmart, or whatever]. You may even be on SSD or waiting on a Social Security Disability claim because of Anxiety, Depression, Fibromyalgia, OCD or whatever. I’m sorry but we all know what we want and I’m just stating my wants up front. Many guys have just as many preferences as me but they usually do not put them all in their ad.

[MAJOR BONUSES]: You’ll have the whole front bathroom to yourself. I’ll be in charge of all the laundry plus I will cook and/or prepare our food sometimes, or all the time if you can’t or don’t want to! You will not have to pay for rent, power, cable TV [I have all 8 HBO channels], WIFI internet, natural gas, garbage service or water. I have a Sam’s Club Membership too. If you do not have a car, we can get you one as I have 2 friends that own used car lots and a few others that work for new dealers that get trade-ins. If your credit is bad I can teach you how to rebuild it. If you have no credit score [aka thin credit] I can probably get you on the board in only two months with a 665+ score, which is “FAIR”. “GOOD” starts at 720 by the way.

[ABOUT ME]: I’m a 52 year old East Marietta, GA [Cobb County] homeowner. I listed myself as age 49 to get views from ladies that type in 49 or 50 as their max, because I look younger than my age plus more views increases my chances. I’m a straight Single White Male, 5’10″ tall, with no kids or pets. I have no tattoos or piercings but if you do that is fine. Mom died a few years ago and I’m now back in the house I grew up in. Considering that AND the facts that I’ve lived in Marietta all of my life, known and trust the neighbors for over 20+ years AND it is paid for, I never plan to move from my current home. So if you “never” plan to move from your place, even if we fall in love, we are not a match unfortunately. I own the house free and clear, in my name only, so I have no rent or mortgage payment. It’s a 3 bedroom with 2 full baths, full basement, double carport, central AC/heat and 2 driveways. It’s in a safe neighborhood 11 miles outside of the 285 perimeter at exit 267A [Canton Rd]. My house is fully furnished with 2 couches, 3 beds, washer & dryer and everything you need. I have a 42″ Vizio TV hung on the wall in the living room but I plan to upgrade this year to 65″ with 4K UHD, then the other will go in the bedroom. I have 2 microwaves in a nice white remodeled kitchen with a large fridge/freezer, TV, glass top stove and oven. You can have your own drawer and/or section of the fridge if you want. The back porch with a cement floor has been fully enclosed with carpet, paneling, a triple window, lights and a HVAC vent. It’s a nice room for a pool table, workout equipment, photography studio, massage tables, a large hot tub/jacuzzi or an office depending on what business you are in [if any] or what type of business you might want to start with me [if any]. Join me and let’s decide! I have no bed bugs, rodents, fleas or roaches by the way! The house is sealed up pretty tight and I spray around the outside once, sometimes twice a year. Even though I’m retired and do not work, I do have a stable income that I get by on since I only have 7 bills a month and I owe no money to any person, company or bank. I’m a blue jeans a sneakers kind of guy and NOT a slacks, coat and tie guy. I have no pets or kids, but I absolutely will “consider” women that have only 1 kid [no infants or toddlers] or 1 dog/cat that has to come with them. My backyard is fenced in. However, women without kids/pets go to the front of the line. I basically do not drink alcohol [2 drinks in 2015] but if you do that is ok, as long as you are not an alcoholic.

I’m caring, communicative, compassionate, considerate, dependable [but often late leaving the house a few minutes], detailed [in case you can not tell yet!], faithful, gentle, intelligent, kind, loyal, outspoken, reasonable, respectful, supportive, touchy-feely, trustworthy, understanding and witty. I know that trust AND proper communication are 2 of the biggest keys to any type of relationship so you won’t have to guess with me. I think 2 adults should talk things out sensibly when an issue comes up and never hang up the phone mad or go to bed angry. I go with a very low haircut [#1 guard/basically bald]. I’m not handsome but I’m not expecting gorgeous either so please do not be shy or timid. I like to buy my lady flowers, cards and gifts for no reason at all plus I never forget birthdays, Anniversaries or Valentine’s Day!

[SEX]: I’m NOT into cyber sex, phone sex or sexting to name just a few. I’m straight, not bisexual. I like cuddling, kissing and massages as foreplay. If you’re celibate then we are not a match. Ask me anything else you want to know and feel free to tell me your likes and dislikes. I use condoms even for oral, to avoid STDs. When I trust you and we decide to date exclusively I expect you to go get tested with me at my expense.

[RELIGION]: I’m a Christian, attended services regularly thru about age 18 and was baptized in May of 1974 [age 11]. I do pray every so often but do NOT know the Bible well and have NOT attended any services in several years. I believe in the 10 Commandments and doing the right thing. Many hypocrites are in the pews every Sunday and a person does not have to attend services to get to Heaven in my opinion. So, if you are very religious then we “might” not be a match.

[POLITICS]: I do not want to be considered Democrat or Republican. I consider myself an Independent that is Pro-Life and Pro-Gun [I've had a carry permit for 23+ years]. You can not get a carry permit if you are crazy, have a drug conviction, a felony or even a violent misdemeanor so that right there let’s you know I’m safe and sane. I’m not a member of the NRA and I do not hunt by the way. If you are pro-choice you are not ruled out. I “do” think abortion should be legal in cases of rape, incest and the mother’s health issues. I’m mostly conservative and lean mostly to the right but I do have “some” liberal viewpoints such as “rights for gays”. If you’re an Independent that leans to the left then that’s ok. If you’re a vocal liberal then we are “probably” not a match but we can be friends. My best male friend is a big Democrat by the way.

[ACTIVITIES]: FaceBook, YouTube, Music CDs, 70′s/80′s/90′s music & trivia, Google, 60′s & 70′s cars, billiards/pool, collecting trading cards, collecting car magazines, garage sales, walking, buying AND selling on ebay, FB or CL, cooking and home improvements.

[FAV MLB TEAMS] #1=Braves. #2=Pirates.
[FAV MUSIC] B-52′s / Cars / Def Lep / Dread Zeppelin / Frankie Valli / Gap Band / Joan Jett / Led Zeppelin / Lez Zeppelin / Lynyrd Skynyrd / Metal Elvis / No Doubt / RUN-D.M.C. / Van Halen
[FAV NASCAR DRIVERS] Ford people! I’m not into it that much really but I could be if you are.
[FAV NBA TEAMS] #1=Hawks. #2=Spurs.
[FAV NCAA TEAMS] #1=GA Bulldogs. #2=Oklahoma Sooners. #3=Duke. #4=Kennesaw St. Owls
[FAV NFL TEAMS] #1=Falcons. #2=Raiders. #3=Cowboys. #4=Steelers.

Dr. Phil says “Every relationship is a negotiation” and “Basically everything is negotiable”. So, let’s negotiate! Email me now :-)

This ad is updated regularly with new info and/or pictures. Last updated: Tuesday 01-12-15

 

01.11.16

Not For The First Time, New York’s Numbah One Has A Short-Term Memory Issue

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Radio at 9:42 pm by

WFAN listeners have a lot of nerve, holding Mike Francesa accountable for stuff he declared on-air a mere 24 hours earlier.

Kharpertian : What Part Of The Nets Are Fucked Do You Not Understand?

Posted in Basketball at 8:42 pm by

On Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets parted ways with head coach Lionel Hollins and general manager Billy King, the latter having presided over the Jason Kidd debacle, the diminished production of Joe Johnson, and well, a dizzying number of future draft picks committed to conference rivals. Of Hollins and King’s dismissals, The Brooklyn Game’s Devin Kharpertian finds himself quoting Derrick Coleman (“whoop de damn do”) while arguing, “the next day Mikhail Prokhorov (above, left) and his team — spearheaded by Dmitry Razumov, the primary conductor of the infamous Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade — takes responsibility for this mess will be the first day.” (“Between their lack of draft picks, cap space and talent, they cannot start anew, no matter how many names run through their front office and coaching ranks.”)

Those changes were inevitable, and necessary. But a sweeping change in organizational philosophy cannot move forward without the necessary pieces to enact that vision. They could hire a forward-thinking coach, but he’d implement a system with players unlikely to be in Brooklyn long-term. They could hire an excellent general manager, but he’d have to sell a sinking franchise to top free agents that have more appealing options elsewhere. With the Nets in basketball purgatory, dropping them in the middle of January don’t change that one iota, and leaves them ill-equipped to make moves at the trade deadline.

So yes. Celebrate the most recent casualties of what’s arguably the most disappointing era in sports history. It was well-deserved. But once the champagne stops flowing, you might remember that with six weeks until the trade deadline, the Nets have no general manager, no first-round draft pick, a lame-duck interim head coach, a mostly absentee owner, and a 10-27 record. The Nets could hire Lords Auerbach & Naismith themselves and they wouldn’t be able to climb out of this mess.

01.10.16

Trump : The NFL Isn’t Sufficiently Ruinous To Human Lives

Posted in Gridiron, politics at 8:00 pm by

Given Donald Trump’s prominent role in the demise of the USFL, who better to weigh in the state of the current NFL product? At a Reno, NV campaign stop Sunday, the GOP Presidential hopeful declared, “”Football has become soft, like our country has become soft…we’re going soft, just like the NFL, we’re going soft.” (“You used to see these tackles and it was incredible to watch. Now tackle — head-on-head tackle — 15-yard penalty…I don’t watch it. The referees, they all throw flags.”) While Shutdown Corner’s Jay Bugbee doesn’t quite accuse Trump of missing a great game, the former’s not quite certain the latter knows what he’s talking about.

Perhaps Trump didn’t see the plays in which Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and Cincinnati’s Giovanni Bernard were apparently knocked unconscious by hits to the head, their limbs flailing as they dropped to the turf like sacks of dropped dog food. Or perhaps he fixated on the regulation of those plays, rather than the human cost of them: “You used to see these tackles and it was incredible to watch. Now, tackle — head-on-head tackle — 15-yard penalty,” he said.

It’s a lament common to those who haven’t played football — the game’s gone soft, the old days were better, et cetera et cetera. It’s a lament that doesn’t hold a whole lot of weight when you consider the pain and suffering of hundreds of NFL players who gave their bodies, and in many cases their minds or even their lives, to play football.

Pacman Jones’ Trenchant Analysis Of Bengals’ Monumental Choke Job

Posted in Gridiron at 9:26 am by

Time considerations prevented Adam Jones from addressing Cincinnati’s giving the ball back back to Pittsburgh with the game otherwise wrapped up, then gifting the Steelers with perfect field position/new life via the attempted murder of Antonio Brown (WHO’D ALREADY DROPPED THE BALL). But full credit where due, Jones does know Joey Porter’s name without checking a smart phone.

01.08.16

An Albatross Grows In Brooklyn : DeMause On The Barclays Center

Posted in Basketball, Hockey, Real Estate, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 5:36 pm by

Having previously announced his intent to sell his shares in the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, Mikhail Prokhorov acquired Bruce Ratner’s remaining stakes in each last month, causing the Village Voice’s Neil DeMause to write, “it’s a good time to wonder exactly what the hell Ratner and Prokhorov got out of this arena that has turned a large swath of Brooklyn upside down for more than a decade now.”

Two years ago when it was revealed that despite being one of the top-selling arenas in the U.S. in its first year, the Barclays Center was still barely breaking even after paying off its construction debt, thanks to high operating costs and discounts being offered to performers to lure them to Brooklyn instead of one of the New York area’s many other arenas. (This will come as no surprise to professional arena managers, who note that it’s rare in these days of fewer touring acts and venue glut for an arena to turn even an operating profit, let alone pay off near-billion-dollar construction debts.) That seems to be even more the case now, and while the arrival of the Islanders this fall provides more guaranteed booked dates for 2015–’16, that’s not necessarily a good thing for the bottom line: More hockey means fewer nights available that the arena can be rented out for concerts, and the arena’s weird rent deal with the Islanders — the arena pays team owner Charles Wang a flat negative rent but keeps all ticket and other revenues — means that if ticket sales are slow, the arena could end up taking a loss on the NHL.

The purchase price on the last chunk of the arena valued it at slightly less than the construction cost, so while we don’t have access to Ratner’s bank statements, in all likelihood the developer is not quite breaking even on the money he poured into the arena itself. (Yes, he got a pile of public subsidies, but those were in the form of discounted land and tax breaks, so not anything he can actually put in the bank now that he doesn’t own the building.) He also got the development rights to a bunch of land where he can erect apartment towers, but that hasn’t been going all that smoothly, either, though at least a couple of buildings are now close to completion.

Prokhorov, meanwhile, has put in somewhere around $1 billion in order to own a historically awful NBA franchise, plus an arena that might just, if you squint, be able to break even.

01.07.16

Today’s Ethics Lesson For Young Journalists : Mariotti On Bonds Not Making The HOF By A Wide Enough Margin

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 10:32 pm by

Along with Wednesday’s news of Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza being elected to baseball’s Hall Of Fame came the predictable analysis surrounding such near-misses as David Eckstein Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines. For the SF Examiner’s Jay Mariotti, the only travesty greater than Barry Bonds’ as-yet-unsuccessful candidacy was that the Sultan Of Surly garnered 44.3% of the vote. How dare today’s baseball writers not even come close to honoring Barry Bonds!

Because a younger electorate wants to change the world when it should concentrate on changing its underwear, a movement is on to eventually induct Bonds and fellow juicer Roger Clemens into the Hall of Fame. Is Gov. Jerry Brown, that dubious liberator of Robert Downey Jr. and other felons, now running the Baseball Writers’ Association of America?

Not only is it another reason why the future of sports journalism is bleak, this development disregards the very adhesive that makes sporting competition worthy of our time and interest. That would be integrity, kids. When I was a young writer, I sat in press boxes and cringed as a chemically fueled Bonds shattered the all-time home run standard of the honorable Henry Aaron. I watched as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa staged a phony power duel, how Clemens huffed and puffed and pumped out those strikeouts and victories.

Especially bothersome Wednesday: Some respected veteran scribes have hopped on the Bonds train. I think they do it to avoid being mocked by younger writers, such as one who referred to former New York Times reporter Murray Chass as “an independent online codger” — one who achieved far more success than will the crafter of that lame characterization.

This isn’t about who’s a millennial and who’s a baby boomer and who is somewhere in between. This is about integrity.

What pray tell, did Mariotti do to clean up the game when he was a young (well, younger than today) writer? While he denounces the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa HR chase as “phony”, Chet Choppock recalls the columnist as “Sosa’s full time PR man.”

The Former Elijah Burke : 2016′s Best Argument For The Mute Button

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 8:56 pm by

Since many of you have jobs, families, need to get to bed before 4am, etc., I will not attempt to catalog all of the things that make TNA Impact borderline unwatchable (and for me, an exercise in masochism that any crap psychologist would have a field day with). But were such a list to be compiled, at the very top I would put the announce team of Josh Matthews and D’Angelo Dinero aka The Pope. The former seems to have maintained a job simply on the premise that a large percentage of the viewership either believe they’re listening to Michael Cole or consider Cole to be a standard bearer of some sort (kind of like Brett Michaels as a surrogate Vince Neil).

As for Dinero ; not since the heyday of former SportsChannel announcer Fran Healy have I endured a mouthpiece so devoid of insight or wit. Calling Dinero the worst announcer in wrestling is selling him short — he might be the least appealing public speaker anywhere on the planet. Consider this a public appeal for any wrestling promotion, big or small, to return Mr. Dinero to the squared circle as a member of their active roster. Though I doubt anyone is dying to see him return to competition, removing the microphone from his hands might be the best thing that could possibly happen to America’s 5th or 6th most popular wrestling show.

Farewell To Thespian Powerhouse Pat Harrington Jr.

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 6:37 pm by


A sad goodbye this evening to comic actor Pat Harrington Jr., who shuffled off this mortal coil today at the age of 86. Amongst Harrington’s most loved creations was the character of Dwayne Schneider on CBS’ “One Day At A Time”, a show that recalled a simpler time when a single mother of two had no qualms whatsoever about the building janitor visiting her and her teenage daughters at all hours of day.

01.06.16

STL Scribe To Kroenke : Go Fuck Yourself

Posted in Gridiron, The Marketplace at 5:16 pm by

Alright, that’s not exactly what the Riverfront Times’ Paul Friswold had to say about Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his scheme to relocate the franchise to Los Angeles. Kroenke characterizes staying in St. Louis as some sort of economic suicide pact, to which Friswold replies, “bold words coming from a man wearing a roofied caterpillar on his upper lip.”

Consider this, Stanley: Maybe is St. Louis is suffering economically because of you. The city (and the county) both pay $12 million a year in upkeep on the team’s current home, and both governments will continue to pay it for years to come. How much have you invested in St. Louis? Certainly your development company THF has built quite a few Wal-Mart anchored strip malls, but you do that with loads of our money.

And speaking of Wal-Mart, maybe St. Louis would be on sounder economical footing if your Wal-Mart heiress wife (who’s worth $4.4 billion in her own right) would pay her employees a living wage. It’s pretty easy to be economically viable when you use taxpayer money to build a business and then pay poverty wages to the employees.

I understand that moving the Rams isn’t personal for you: It’s all about making and hoarding money. No man who cared about anything other than money would walk around with that collection of fantasy fur hairpieces (but I wouldn’t put it past you that you’ve never bought a mirror, either).

An Important Message From The Live Entertainment Arm Of Cumbucket Media

Posted in Air Traffic Controllers, Austin, Internal Affairs, record collector disease at 3:09 pm by

I’m sincerely hoping you will consider taking a break from Free Week festivities to attend the monumental event above (tickets available here). Mostly because getting a chance to see Michael Morley and Christina Carter on the same night is kind of mind-blowing, but also because the North Door will have me washing dishes if we can’t get a couple dozen of you cheapskates to turn up.

I don’t even know if they’re still serving pizza at the North Door, but trust me, they’ll bring in dirty dishes from somewhere else, just to prove a point.

01.05.16

ESPN’s Public Editor : Not Your Obudsman (Or Your Bud, Man)

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, Sports TV at 6:13 pm by

New ensconced ESPN public editor Jim Brady may or may not follow in the footsteps of prior ombudsmen Le Anne Schreiber and Robert Lipsyte in holding his employer accountable for journalistic and/or ethical lapses, but for the time being, it seems he’s mostly toiling as the human complaint box.  While Brady tells ESPN.com he’s happy to hear from them via email, twitter or Facebook (not a Chaturbate enthusiast, it seems) it would appear he’s already grown weary with the lines of questioning :

Here a few examples out of what I’ve received:Why does ESPN.com require a Facebook account to comment?

Why can someone only cancel ESPN Insider by phone?

Why do readers have to watch a 15-second video pre-roll ad before a 10-second video clip?

Now that Grantland is gone, where should readers go to find the best long-form journalism produced by ESPN?

I’m not looking for takes on some of the larger issues I’ll soon be writing about — the demise of Grantland, ESPN’s coverage of Deflategate and its relationship with daily fantasy sports sites. I’ve received plenty of reader feedback on those issues.

TRANSLATION : YOU’RE WASTING MY TIME & DRIVING ME INSANE.