The Day The Gawking Died

Posted in non-sporting journalism at 10:04 pm by

Though my prophecy of Knobbs & Sags as co-editors of Deadspin will not come to fruition, it seems Peter Thiel’s revenge boner aka financing of Hulk Hogan’s successful suit against Gawker Media and publisher Nick Denton has resulted in Gawker.com ceasing publication next week.

Unless you’re an avid reader of CSTB (all 3 of you, you’re probably unaware that I’ve wasted thousands of hours on jabs aimed in the direction of Denton and his various properties, most notably Deadspin and founder/former editor Will Leitch in particular). Leitch’s ethical lapses, sickening cronyism and narrow/duller-than-dishwater worldview aside, I’ve no special animus reserved for the many talented persons who’ve been employed by Denton over the years. Though I cannot say for certain what great public good was accomplished by publishing a sex tape of Hulk Hogan’s carnal escapes with Mrs. Bubba The Love Sponge, such items did not constitute the majority of what Gawker brought to the table each day. Maybe not even 40%.

Make no mistake, Peter Thiel, far from bringing back civility to journalism, is a vivid reminder of what happens in the real world when you piss off someone with more money than God. And while I don’t believe Thiel’s private life is something Gawker’s readers were entitled to know about, his recent participation at the RNC puts everything into a different context. Of course Thiel considers arguments over bathroom access to be a distraction — unlike most of the transgender persons in this country, Thiel can afford to buy the building and go to the bathroom in whatever room he wishes. He could buy your house right now and piss in the kitchen sink.

That’s essentially what he’s done in this instance. By paying $10 million for Hulk Hogan’s legal fees, Thiel’s pretty much taking a giant dump on Denton and A.J. Daulerio (the former Gawker/Deadspin editor taunted by Jay Mariotti, who somehow believes the latter’s financial woes make him less accomplished than a guy who brags about eating dim sum with Flea), squashing ‘em like bugs simply because he can. This is a guy with an anti-democracy, buy-his-way-to-immortality agenda, and he’s a-ok with ruining lives and careers.

Had Gawker gone down the tubes because the public and advertisers were uninterested, that’s another matter. Things like that happen in the marketplace, and shall continue to. But keep in mind, the next outlet to run afoul of Thiel could well be one with even fewer resources at their disposal than Gawker. That won’t simply have a chilling effect on whether or not to run with hidden camera footage of Hogan’s bass audition for Metallica, but perhaps will result in spiking a story about Thiel trying to colonize Mars (or Oakland).


Somebody Just Won The Prank Battle Of Bucharest

Posted in Football at 10:09 pm by

Prior to Tuesday’s Champions League tie with Manchester City, Steau Bucharest fans unveiled a tifo. Only problem is, it read “Doar Dinamo Bucuresti”, or, if you prefer, “Only Dinamo Bucharest”. From 101 Great Goals’ Dov Rawson :

Dinamo fans, posing as professionals, called up Steaua and offered their services to help prepare a tifo ahead of their Champions League first leg knockout match.

They were clearly given complete responsibility by the Steaua board and managed to get the Steaua fans to hold a tifo in homage to Dinamo.

To top it off, Steaua were then humiliated by Sergio Aguero & co on the pitch, losing 5-0 in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier.

WaPo’s Steinberg : Papelbon’s Trump Fixation Hastened His Departure

Posted in Baseball at 9:52 pm by

Supplanted as Nats closer by the recently acquired Mark Melancon, universally despised reliever Jonathan Papelbon was released by Washington on Monday, putting an end to a tumultuous tenure in the nation’s capitol that included last fall’s on-camera attempt to strangle teammate Bryce Harper. The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg explains that the boorish behavior exhibited by Papelpon in public might’ve been exceeded in private :

Maybe players don’t, or shouldn’t, care whether the home fans like them. If a Nationals player did care, though, he probably wouldn’t have wanted to wear a T-shirt reading “Obama can’t ban these guns” to his let’s-make-amends spring training news conference. Nor would he have, on multiple occasions, played a political anthem while reporters were inside the Nats clubhouse.

The ditty was called “Vote For Trump,” and it included promises that “the wall will get built by Mexico” and that Trump would “bring back country [and] get rid of rap,” also noting that “if you don’t like it you can all just kiss our ass.”

Should fans judge athletes on their political beliefs? Probably not, unless you’ve given up on the idea of sports-as-escapism. Should fans judge athletes on the lyrics of their personal musical choices? That’s a terrible idea, too, unless your goal is to be forever miserable. You could argue that there’s courage in standing for your political beliefs even when they won’t play well in your home stadium — and my impression is that the Nats’ fan base leans more left than right.

But it all contributed to the impression that Papelbon wasn’t particularly interested in reversing his local unpopularity. It’s an impression that didn’t change after he lost his closer role and was shown sunning himself in the bullpen late in a recent game. Maybe that was silly, too, but it all felt like a man completely indifferent to salvaging his reputation in the stands.


Cubs To A/V Dept. : Next Time, Dig Up Some Rectal Hygienics

Posted in "Sickie Wifebeater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Baseball at 11:32 am by

From the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan :

The Cubs are preparing to discipline the Wrigley Field DJ who played an inappropriate song after Aroldis Chapman’s appearance during Sunday night’s game.

The ’90s song, “Smack My Bitch Up” by the English band the Prodigy, came on the PA system after Chapman left the mound in the top of the ninth inning.

Chapman served a 30-game suspension with the Yankees this year after an alleged domestic violence incident in which Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight bullets in his garage. Chapman was not arrested and no charges were filed.

A source said the DJ would be disciplined for what the team said was accidental timing, and a statement would be released later today.

Another Important Message From The Entertainment Division Of Cumbucket Media : Coming Septmber 16, The Gospel Truth’s ‘Jealous Fires’

Posted in 12XU, Austin, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 10:51 am by


The Gospel Truth’s 3rd record and 2nd full length takes ideas & sounds cleverly sketched out on 2013’s ‘A Lonely Man Does Foolish Things’ and opens ‘em up wide screen to the point where the quartet’s range is running neck-and-neck with their imagination. Expertly recorded by Ian Rundell (Spray Paint, Empty Markets, Xetas), ‘Jealous Fires’ is a brooding, kinetic masterpiece, one that makes a very strong case for vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Mark Tonucci’s unique take on the human condition.


(photo by Julie Bishop)

There’s vague echoes of some exceptional moments in rock history (Suicide, the Bad Seeds, ‘Transformer’) but there’s no contemporaries with The Gospel Truth’s ability to fuse such unvarnished explorations of mind, soul & spirit to a musical accompaniment nearly as explosive. In bassist David Petro and drummer Brandon Crowe, Tonucci’s got one of underground rock’s more inventive rhythm sections ; in guitarist Patrick Travis, a player whose flair and stylistic range makes a mockery of, well, anyone who’d settle for calling this band post-punk.

All four of these guys have logged considerable time in other Austin bands you most likely know and love ; Mark in the improv jazz quartet Art Acevedo and as the frequent saxophone fixture in troubadour John Wesley Coleman’s live band, David on guitar/vocals for 12XU labelmates Xetas, bass for Art Acevedo, Brandon’s past tenure in When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth and recent work alongside Quin Galavis in False Idol, or Patrick’s drumming for The Golden Boys…but suffice to say, The Gospel Truth SOUND ZILCH LIKE ANY OF THE ABOVE and said backgrounds only serve to point out the fellas in question are all-over-the-musical-map in a very good way.

Since 12XU is legally bound to mention The Scientists at least once every band bio this quarter, the 8 originals on ‘Jealous Fires’ are augmented by a blistering cover of “Set It On Fire”.

Preorder at 12XU.bigcartel.com


Gang Green’s Cromartie To Mom : Hit The Bricks

Posted in Gridiron at 9:31 pm by

Jets CB Antonio Cromartie is somewhat infamous for his difficulty remembering the names of his many children, however, he’s no slouch when it comes to keeping track of rent arrears amassed by the person who brought him into the world.  TMZ reports that Cromartie is attempting to kick his own mother to the curb, banishing her from a Florida home he purchased in 2007.

TMZ Sports spoke with Cromartie’s little sister, LaQuinta Gardner … who says their mother was served with an eviction notice on Thursday and the family is pissed.

Gardner claims … Cromartie bought the house and paid for everything for years — but the gravy train stopped in February when he asked his mother to pay the $700 per month mortgage bill.

We’re told the mother refused — insisting Cro, who’s made millions in his career, should pay since the house was supposed to be a gift.

Both sides dug in … culminating in the eviction papers, which say Cro’s mother needs to be out by August 15th … UNLESS she forks over a check for $2,310 in back payment.
Gardner says she has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her mother.


Jackson : Unlike The Coach I Shitcanned, Today’s Players Are Unfocused Jerks

Posted in Basketball at 4:47 pm by

If you had at any presumed the dismissal of Knicks head coach  Derek Fisher was in any way related to his zipper issues and/or endless feud with Matt Barnes, Knicks president Phil Jackson would like to assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. In a wide ranging chat with Today’s Fast Break’s Charley Rosen, Jackson instead infers it really comes to something along the lines of a (wait for it ) millennial mindset :

“Almost from the start, this was a difficult time for Derek. Derek did have a situation that took some focus away from his coaching during the preseason, but I never doubted that his focus was on coaching the team. A divorce and coast-to-coast move with children does put pressure on a person’s life, but that’s the NBA. However, Derek did move the team forward. He was dedicated and he worked hard. The players hustled and, for the most part, stayed as positive as was possible. And Derek did manage to survive last season and to deal with the heavy pressure of the constant losing, which is probably more intense in New York than in any other NBA city.”

“Because Derek was still in a player’s mindset, he’d talk to the guys about diet, how to approach shootarounds, the importance of gameday naps, of game preparation, and of being ready for the practices that are called the day after games. He was training individuals, which was really in tune with the so-called millennials, young people and young players who are primarily interested in themselves. In the NBA, these young guys are concerned with what playing for whatever team they’re on can do for them. Can playing in New York or Boston or LA or wherever add 10K followers to my Twitter account? Will the local media get me lucrative endorsements? What do I have to concentrate on to get a better contract?”


Daily Beast Editor : I’m Not A Gay Olympian, I Just Play One On The Internet For Clicks & Laughs

Posted in non-sporting journalism, olympics, Rio 2016, Sports Journalism at 5:25 pm by


Thursday’s (since-edited), “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping” by The Daily Beast’s Nico Hines promises the sensational (“armed with a range of dating and hookup apps—Bumble, Grindr, Jack’d, and Tinder—your distinctly non-Olympian correspondent had scored three dates in the first hour,”), but the author fails to comprehend the real-life consequences for those he’s mocking, as The Advocate’s Daniel Reynolds details :

In a piece titled “This Daily Beast Grindr Stunt Is Sleazy, Dangerous, and Wildly Unethical,” Slate LGBT issues writer Mark Joseph Stern branded it “a uniquely disgusting and irresponsible entry into the tired genre” of “Grindr-baiting,” a practice in which journalists engage with Grindr users for editorial reasons that differ with the app’s intent.

What makes Hines’s piece uniquely “dangerous,” Stern pointed out, is that the original version provided details like nationality and physical descriptions that could be used to out an athlete — a dangerous prospect indeed for competitors from anti-LGBT nations.

The Daily Beast has since revised the article to omit descriptions of athletes that might reveal their identity. A look at the URL suggests the title has also been changed. It is currently “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping,” while the HTML reads, “i-got-three-grindr-dates-in-an-hour-in-the-olympic-village.html.”


Inspire Pro’s Keith Lee : Bringing Frank Talk About Annihilation To The Local Morning News

Posted in Austin, Professional Wrestling at 8:07 pm by

When not lighting up the small screen for Sinclair Broadcasting’s Ring Of Honor as part of an imposing tag team with Shane Taylor, Inspire Pro Champion Keith Lee occasionally finds himself the toast of breakfast chat TV.

Sunday night, Lee will be working alongside Ricky Starks in a tag match against Davey Vega and Tim Storm, as Inspire Pro debuts at a new venue, West Anderson Lane’s Red Oak Ballroom. Bell time is 5:30pm and tickets are a ridiculously cheap $15.


Wishing You All A Very Happy National Book Lovers Day

Posted in Literary Titans at 9:22 pm by