With apologies to Ric Flair for the above headline, it seems tomorrow night’s scheduled South Brunswick (NJ) High versus Sayerville game has been called off following the arrest of the latter’s defense coordinator. From NJ.com’s Barry Amaral :
Charles Garcia, a South Plainfield resident, was arrested and charged with possession of steroids, testosterone and syringes after he was pulled over in Bridgewater last week, according to the report, which cited a criminal complaint in Superior Court in Somerville.
Garcia did not respond to requests for comment from NJ Advance Media.
Sayreville High cancelled the game, but did not explain why. The game, between the two Middlesex County football powerhouses, was scheduled for tonight. The freshman game today and junior varsity game on Monday were also cancelled.
“While we understand that this action causes great disappointment for the Sayreville community and that there’s going to be a curiosity to want to know more information, at this time we’ve been advised that it’s just not in the best interest of the students or the district to share more information,” board vice president Beth DePinto previously said.
Tickets for Inspire Pro’s Battle Wars this Sunday night — featuring a plethora of visiting superstars from Chikara Pro are in short supply but still available here.
Former Yankee SS Derek Jeter, whose glittering big league career was littered with uninteresting, noncommittal replies to media inquiries, has announced he’ll be the front man for an internet publishing venture, “The Player’s Tribune”, which the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir reports will feature, “first-person accounts, videos, podcasts, photographs and polls on the site.” Kind of like most other sports sites, only without those pesky journalists (and their qualifications) throwing their ugly biases into the mix!
“I realize I’ve been guarded,” Jeter wrote. “I learned early on in New York, the toughest media environment in sports, that just because a reporter asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer. I attribute much of my success in New York to my ability to understand and avoid unnecessary distractions.
“I do think fans deserve more than ‘no comments’ or ‘I don’t knows.’ Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me. I’m not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions.
“We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend.”
The New York Post’s Julia Marsh reports a former ING broker claims he was ejected, arrested and eventually lost his job over taunting Knicks F Carmelo Anthony last January. Anthony, who yesterday called himself the NBA’s “most underrated” superstar, must be pleased to know he’s stayed with an organization that values his feelings/concentation above the paying customers’ free expression.
Anthony Rotondi said he was within his rights to yell, “Carmelo, you stink!” during the final minute after the Knicks squandered a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons last January.
The Knicks eked out a 89-85 win, but the financial broker from Brooklyn didn’t get to see the victory.
Security guards removed him from his fourth-row seats behind the basket, where he was watching the game with his supervisor and two clients.
Then, the MSG employees tossed him out and had him arrested for interfering with the Jan. 7 game.
A Knicks fan told The Post that Rotondi said “Carmelo you f—ing suck!” Two other fans flagged down security, who then removed Rotondi to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Word to the wise — unless you’re retired or independently wealthy, you might wanna zip it when and if you have the misfortune of seeing The Straight Shot perform.
…or a hetero/Juggalo equivalent.
“Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), Maccabi USA, Maccabi World Union, and Maccabi Tel-Aviv will host a VIP reception before the Brooklyn Nets take on the Israeli and European hoops champions Maccabi Tel-Aviv in their first pre-season game on Tuesday, Oct. 7,” read the press release at Jewish Political News & Updates earlier this month (“the VIP reception will pay special tribute to Israeli soldiers wounded in the recent IDF Operation Protective Edge and, at the same time, to the Guest of Honor, NBA Hall of Famer, Dolph Schayes, 86, the only Jewish player to be selected as one of the 50 all-time NBA best”). Lest you think an event honoring IDF Operation Protective Edge is no big deal at a major North American sporting event, The Nation’s Dave Zirin warns, “the specter of a pro-Palestinian protest at an Israeli sporting event” is coming to Brooklyn.
I spoke to Tsvia Thier, an Israeli citizen now living in New York, who plans to be a part of whatever protest assembles outside the Barclays Center on October 7th. She said to me, “Israel dropped thousands of pounds of weapons on Gaza. More than 2,000 people died. More than 500 children were killed. There has been no justice for this. We cannot allow for these games to go forward without bearing witness…as if these criminal acts did not just take place. Our memories cannot be that short.” Thier was on her way to a meeting of the group Jewish Voice for Peace to raise plans to protest when I spoke with her.
The NBA has made no announcements to signal any effort to bring a Palestinian basketball team to the United States, despite the league’s popularity in both the West Bank and Gaza. The absence of an invitation is somewhat understandable, because, if international soccer is any guide, even if invited the players probably would not be able to attend. Surrounded by armed checkpoints, attempting to journey to the United States would be a frustrating if not fruitless act. Commissioner Adam Silver, who acted with great moral clarity during the Donald Sterling debacle, should make it his mission to invite a Palestine club team to the United States, and apply pressure to make it a reality. It would be a sign that he is willing to do what so many will not: recognize the humanity of the Palestinian people. He should also tell Maccabi that they will be delinking these NBA preseason games from Friends of the IDF
Friday, a caller asked why Derek Jeter wore No. 2. Francesa gave a windy, condescending, expert answer: The Yankees always have given single-digit numbers to those projected for greatness.
You know why you never before knew that? Because it’s Francesa-fabricated bunk. In fact — and thanks to reader Brian Murphy for No. 2 research — between Bobby Murcer and Jeter, the Yankees issued No. 2 to Tim Foli (1984), Dale Berra (1985) and Wayne Tolleson (1986-90). All played for the Yankees after extensive careers with other teams.
Francesa, who never admits an error — in his case that would be admitting that he falsifies facts, that he’s full of it — won’t make good on this. Why should he? The tape’s lost. And either way, he’s so much better than us. – Phil Mushnick, New York Post, September 29, 2014
Much as I hate to take issue with Phil, it should be noted the Yankees have yet to award number 62 to any member of the major league roster since Joba Chamberlain’s departure for Detroit. That is, with the exception of Austin Romine, who’s changed numbers 4 times in 3 seasons because the club can’t decide which all-time great they’re modeling him after!
Newly acquired Hornets SG Lance Stephenson, “wants to do more than just play basketball,” writes the Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Jones, pointing out that Stephenson’s cover of Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga” is not entirely faithful to the original :
Stephenson took the beat to the song and says in four hours he came up with his lyrics. He stripped Shmurda’s lyrics of misogyny and gun violence and replaced them with rhymes about his basketball talents, endorsements for his And 1 shoe company, reminiscing about watching Allen Iverson, his excitement to play with Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and more.
“Brooklyn-bred now I’m out in N.C.,” the end of the song’s first verse goes. “Me and Kemba in the backcourt n—as as dead meat/Pops held me, down kept me out the streets/They wonder how the rose grew up out the concrete…
“I’ve been ballin’ hard since like the fifth grade/Watching A.I. gettin’ 40 with the French braids/Love Indiana, I’m gonna miss some good days/Charlotte Hornet, M.J. that’s a new way.”
The song uses the N-word nine times, down 13 from the original song. Although the word is commonly used in rap as well as in many professional sports team’s locker rooms that are predominantly African-American, Stephenson said he was cognizant of the message it might send to kids who view him as a role model.
This week he released the music video, which includes him driving a Rolls Royce, wearing a retro Larry Johnson jersey and doing a dance he created called the Born Ready Dance. He blanked out the nine times he used the N-word, acknowleding its offense to others.
Gertrude Stein once famously said of Oakland, CA, “there’s no there there.” Conversely, teams merely securing an entry into a one-game playoff for further marbles are often advised to “act like you’ve been there before”. So this might explain some of the confusing scenes that took place above.
Incredibly, this weekend marks the final games prior to retirement for another active New York player that probably shouldn’t have been in the lineup nearly as often this season. Congrats on a nice, 18-year career, Mets OF/PH Bobby Abreu, who also holds the high honor of being the subject of one of the most visited/regurgitated CSTB posts of all-time. From July 6, 2007, “We Have No Reason To Believe Michael Kay Placed The Following Advertisement”:
On the bright side, at least somebody is doing something to ease tensions between Venezuela and the United States.
Looking for a ‘Bobby Abreu type’ ass – 30 (Upper East Side)
I don’t know how they do things in Thunder Bay, but in Amarillo TX you don’t insult a young child’s artistic chops, and you certainly don’t diss Terry Funk. Though Hannibal’s been doing exactly that for the last two years.
One of the great orators of the modern age unburdened himself last night after the Giants clinched an NL Wild Card berth. Can you imagine how (fucking) excited Pence would be if San Francisco had actually won the division?
(photo by Autumn Spadaro Cali, l-r : Ussery, Steen, Vandever)
Flesh Lights – ‘Free Yourself’ (12XU 069-1) In Stores November 4.
Guitarist/vocalist Max Vandever and cousin Elissa Ussery (drums/vocals) migrated from San Antonio and began their assault on Austin’s live music dumps in 2008 playing as a duo under ill-advised names including but not limited to Candle Shop & The Psychic Reader, Dead Ledger and Carousel Images. After poaching bassist/vocalist Jeremy Steen from an early lineup of The Gospel Truth, the newly dubbed Flesh Lights (this name being approved by a focus group — A PERVERTED FOCUS GROUP), the trio quickly became a fixture on whatever you-got-songs-in-my-punk / you-got-punk-in-my-songs circuit that began to coalesce around the alleged live music capital. A pile of records soon followed ; 7”’s for Twistworthy and Super Secret, a killer debut album for the former imprint in the form of 2012’s ‘Muscle Pop’, this past summer’s “No Longer” single, etc. There’s also a 2013 national tour at the behest of The Hive which briefly elevated The Flesh Lights from subterranean spots to the sort of rooms that have bouncers who lift weights, but feel free to consider that an aberration (until The Hives come back, HINT HINT)
Pretty early on, this trio established themselves as being songcraft devotees without much self-consciousness (and that’s not meant to be an allusion to Steen’s brief projectile vomiting streak). And while those of us who bought ‘Muscle Pop’ consider it a bona fide classic, LP #2, ‘Free Yourself’ functions as so much more than a sequel ; the band claim they told producer Evan Kleinecke to make it sound like ‘Heaven Tonight’, but they could’ve thrown in the Exploding Hearts, Dictators, Only Ones or Teenage Fanclub while they were at it. Fortunately, they didn’t — he’s being paid by the hour.
I could go on about Vandever’s ridiculous development as a guitarist, about how following this band onstage is a great way to look super feeble, but I trust a good looking, super intelligent person like yourself to eventually figure it out. Because I hate hyperbole with every bone in my body (in yours, too!), I’m dead fucking serious when I say the best things about living in America right now are universal health care, the advent of driverless automobiles and the Flesh Lights. Not necessarily in that order.
Kevin Niemann’s B— F— inspired stickers hailing the 2014 Orioles’ pennant chase are available from Accidental Guest.
Most sensible persons under the age of a thousand don’t wanna hear about how awesome things were in downtown NYC in the late ’80′s / early ’90′s. For one thing, not everything was awesome. For another, there’s actual real-life-shit happening right now all over the place that’s also worth obsessing over. But if you’ll allow me a brief bit of looking-back-indulgence, I consider myself crazy fortunate to have known so many amazing people from that era. And it never ceases to amaze me how many of those same persons have made colossal artistic strides (in more than one medium) in the decades since.
Letha Rodman Melchior was one such person. I got to know her back in the days when my not-entirely competent band was fortunate to play several times with her far more accomplished Ruby Falls ; she without question had the kind of soul + creative mind combo that made everyone in her orbit incredibly happy to share her company.
Years later, after I’d left New York and before she’d relocated to North Carolina, Letha did the virtual elbow-in-the-ribs thing on me concerning the musical output of husband/collaborator Dan, whom at the time I was barely familiar with. People love to throw words like “prolific” or “adventurous” around (ok, maybe they don’t actually love the throwing of “adventurous” but they do it anyway) but none of that is ample warning for the dizzying amount of musical terrain he’s covered. I’ve got a shelf full of Dan’s recordings and there’s awesome surprises on every one of them.
Later still, Letha’s own works as a visual and sound artist began to emerge and no diss to Ruby Falls (whom I loved) is intended when I say she’d honed her respective crafts to a staggering degree.
Letha passed away yesterday after a cancer fight she chronicled with incredible courage, grace and wit. For those familiar with her work, the loss is big. For her family and friends, it’s incalculable. My thoughts today are with everyone who knew her and cared about her.
(donations to Letha’s health care expenses can be made here)
(addendum : though the fundraiser linked to above appears to be down at the moment —- and I’ll post a new link when or if one’s available — there’s a November 9 benefit at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade featuring a host of Letha’s New York friends and former bandmates including Versus, Antietam, the Thalia Zedek Band, the Rogers Sisters and Cynthia Nelson)
Darko Milanic stepped down as Sturm Graz manager over the weekend after having been poached by Leeds United. The latter’s owner, Italian businessman Massimo Cellino expressed great enthusiasm over the acquisition, with the following quotes culled by The Guardian :
The Leeds owner confirmed the former Slovenia international and “very cool guy”as the club’s manager. “Yes, we agreed a two-year deal,” Cellino told Sky Sports News. “He’s just arrived today. We’ve been waiting for him about 15 days. I don’t know [why I’ve chosen him]. The coaches are like watermelons. You find out about them when you open them. His particularly qualities? He’s good-looking, what can I tell you?
“He was a very good counterattacking defender with Partizan Belgrade and Sturm Graz, and a good coach with Maribor for four years and took the club to the Champions League and Europa League, and he made it good as player and coach and he likes the Premier League.
“He gave up his place in the Premier League in Austria to come to the Championship with Leeds, and we hope that the club in Leeds is a good chance for him to have a good team and an important club to run, so he can make us proud. He does not talk much and is very pragmatic. I like him. He is a very cool guy.”
…and with the NBA regular season more than a month away, is this really that big a deal? The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir reports Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons has been suspended by ESPN after daring the network to do exact that.
On a podcast on Grantland, the sports site owned by ESPN, Simmons sharply criticized Goodell’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case and called him a liar.
“I just think not enough is being made out of the fact that they knew about the tape and they knew what was on it,” Simmons said. “Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar. I’m just saying it. He is lying. I think that dude is lying. If you put him up on a lie detector test that guy would fail.
“And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.”
Simmons challenged ESPN to discipline him for his words: “You leave me alone. The commissioner is a liar, and I get to talk about that on my podcast.”
In a statement about the suspension, ESPN said: “Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards. We have worked hard to ensure that our recent N.F.L. coverage has met that criteria. Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks.”
Elsewhere, it’s being reported that Simmons is barred from Twitter as well, which should come as a serious blow to those hoping to generate positive coverage for the Cassette Store Day 21sd Anniversary edition of the Counting Crows’ ‘August & Everything After’.
Earlier this year, Ghanian rapper Theophilus Tagoe aka Castro de Destroyer, disappeared after a jet ski outing at a resort in Ada, Ghana. Tagoe and his girlfriend were presumed drowned, though their bodies were never recovered, and there’s apparently been enough wild speculation surrounding the role of Ghana international striker Asamoah Gyan in their disappearance that the former Sunderland star issued a long statement via his lawyers yesterday, as The Guardian reports :
The declaration, recited by lawer Kissi Agyabeng, attacked the media for “wild allegations and rumours … ranging from the absurd – of the imputation of criminality to [Gyan] in the sense that he either murdered Castro or had him kidnapped – and ending with the ludicrous – that he sacrificed him spiritually to enhance his career.
“We have been silent while these wild allegations and rumours have been peddled in the media. We have been silent not because we are concealing anything or that we do not feel the need to fully state what, from our reckoning, had happened in Ada. We have been silent because we did not want to interfere with police investigations.
“In our painful silence, we have been totally dismayed by the fact that the platform was provided for the peddling of these wild and ludicrous allegations and rumours against us. Those to whom the platform was provided offered no evidence whatsoever to back their statements. And indeed, the allegation of spiritual sacrifice can by no stretch of the imagination be propped up.”
The statement added: “We take the opportunity and state without the slightest doubt in our minds that we are not blamable for the disappearance of Castro and Janet Bandu. We had no hand in that occurrence. We have no moral or legal culpability whatsoever. None of us rode out into the open estuary with Castro and Janet Bandu. Castro rode out there on his own volition and none of us have the slightest idea as to what happened to them.
Years ago, I recall Seton Hall University’s campus radio station, WSOU, being one of the few eastern U.S. college broadcasters to largely eschew alternative/underground/indie rock/whatever programming in favor of a mostly metal programming slate. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that WSOU’s license holder, a Roman Catholic institute of higher learning, might be at odds with many of the themes and sentiments expressed, but apparently such contradictions have come up in conversation a few times. WFMU and Dangerous Minds both published the following earlier this week :
Though it’s nice to see that Kilslug spinoff Upside Down Cross have made the big time (sort of), how are WSOU brass thoroughly unfamiliar with Adolf Satan?
…the sport, as touted by John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobbler in Cameron Crowe’s “Say Anything”, being kickboxing. Ball Don’t Lie’s Dan Devine ably translates the following press release from NBA Serbia concerning the latest career segue for former #2 overall NBA draft pick Darko Milicic :
The top-ranked Serb in the history of the NBA draft, Darko Milicic, will officially become a kickboxer on Wednesday at the Falkensteiner Hotel in Belgrade, when he will officially sign a contract with the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO).
Milicic will sign a contract with Barbara Falsoni, director of WAKO PRO, who will also announce the famous basketball player’s first kickboxing match.
For the last year and a half, Milicic has not played basketball, but only done individual training and various strength and conditioning programs. There is no doubt he will have a lot of work to do to find his way around in the ring. However, he is not the first Serbian basketball player to dedicate himself to combat sports. Before he did it, so did Igor Rakocevic, former captain of Red Star Belgrad
British heavyweight Tyson Fury takes his 16-0 record into a rematch with Dereck Chisora in 12 days, yet it was the promotional campaign for the pair’s first bout last June that left Fury £15,000 poorer after the British Boxing Board of Control got done with him. As you’ll see from the clip above, on Monday, Fury was taking no chances whatsoever.
In Monday’s issue of New York Magazine, soon-retiring Yankees SS Derek Jeter touches on a number of topics with the publication’s Chris Smith including but not limited to politics (he voted for Obama), his new book imprint (Jeter Publishing), the media (they ask lots of “boring questions”) and Alex Rodriguez (see above!). Jeter was a tad more effusive, however, in denying the long-standing rumor he’s presented any number of one-night-stands with parting gifts before they begin their walk(s) of shame to the subway.
The Post once claimed that after sleeping with women, Jeter would leave a gift basket of signed memorabilia in the car taking the “conquest” home. He’s avoided commenting on the item for three years. But he’s still annoyed. “Like I’m giving them signed baseballs and pictures of myself on the way out! Who comes up with a story like that?” He laughs, incredulous. “It said the reason people found out was because I gave the same girl the same basket and I had forgotten I’d given her one—like there are so many people coming through I forgot!” Even if Jeter were cheesy enough to have handed out souvenirs, he’s far too careful to have made that kind of mistake.
As opposed to who, this guy?
…only because Bristol U. has served up another easy target. From Phil Mushnick’s column for Sunday’s New York Post :
ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Destroying Sports, spent days making “Woe is us” over Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy — just to name a few. Yet Thursday, as its special guest on “First Take,” it welcomed the vulgar, N-wording, love-my-Glocks, trash-my-women, ain’t-I-great, ganged-up rapper Jadakiss.
Jadakiss, real name Jason Phillips, is straight out of rapper central casting — he even has been arrested twice for gun possession. But not even after 10 days filled with national angst and calamity over the lawlessness among athletes — as seen, heard and discussed on ESPN — could move ESPN off its good-for-business, cross-promotional embracement of hardcore, criminal rappers.
Maybe next week “First Take” could invite the cops who have dealt with Jadakiss and his crew in Yonkers.
Why let the lack of a felony conviction get in the way of branding an artist, nay, an entire genre, criminal? Are Jadakiss’ alleged offenses against the community any greater than Skip Bayless’ crimes against common sense?
To paraphrase that great man of letters, Bart Scott, CAN’T WAIT.