Saturday, June 30, 2007
George Plimpton was a pretty interesting guy. Editor in chief of The Paris Review, sports writer, actor and video game hawker. Hey, we've all got our price, right? Well, I hope Plimpton's price was pretty high for pimping this travesty. As some of you may not recall, because you hadn't even been born yet, Plimpton hawked the Intellivision game system for a period of time in the early 80's, and man are these commercials something else. He was known as "Mr. Intellivision" and appeared in a few bizarre ads with ET star Henry Thomas. Check out this one for Intellivision baseball (Henry Thomas not included).
As Plimpton says during the ad, "Which of these games is the closest thing to the real thing?"
Despite the close up of the sprites, I'll go out on a limb and say neither.
Intellivision's Major League Baseball also had no fly balls, despite the sound effects. Everything hit was a ground ball. George, are you kidding me? No fly balls?
Intellivision's main competitor was Atari, and watching Plimpton compare Atari games to Intellivision games is like comparing diarrhea to crap. One's a little more solid than the other, but not by much.
For even more fun, check out the thrilling basketball video game comparison. For the Atari version, it's literally a one-legged stickman throwing a square at a large vertical rectangle. [Side note: Atari Basketball was featured in the the movie Airplane. The air traffic controllers were playing it.] It really is like playing real basketball - if you lived in a land of squares and rectangles.
J-Rich stuck with the Warriors through thick and thin - more often thin. It's too bad that after this season, where he finally got to taste the playoffs and lit Dallas up, he's now been cast aside. He'll always be a Bay Area legend, and one of the best dunkers I've ever seen.
Here is a video of the top 10 between the legs dunks ever. Richardson has two of them. Dwyermaker and I still believe that the #2 dunk on this list is the greatest dunk we've ever seen. Better than Vince Carter's dunks.
Three main problems with this plan. First, you have to buy low and sell high. Everyone is knocking JRich's defense, aggressiveness, shooting, etc right now, but the fact is that nobody except Warriors fans have watched him play until the last 4 months consistently. This is the first season that JRich had to deal with nagging injuries and it effected his play so people weren't seeing what Warriors fans have been watching over the past 5 years. So essentially the value we got for JRich is not what it would have been one year ago when he averaged 23 ppg or after an injury free season next year. So the last thing you do at this point is trade JRich or Ellis (who had rough playoffs and nobody got to see what HE did over the past year and a half), if anyone you trade Baron Davis who was arguably the best player in the playoffs last year, is a constant injury risk, at the absolute peak value he will ever be at moving forward, and he's not getting any younger.
Second, if you want to build a team to win a championship you need at least one year to gel. Look at all the recent Championship teams over the past 20 years, the only teams that got shoe-horned in were the Heat and arguable the Bulls the second year after Jordan's return. And even these teams needed to lose in tough situations to learn how to win it all so you are looking at earliest possible scenario this working out to improve the Warriors as 2009, probably more like 2010. By then, Baron Davis and KG will be on their last legs, meanwhile I can only imagine what Monta Ellis, JRich and the rest of the sacrificial Warriors' lambs will be doing for other teams in the league.
Third problem, other than Davis and KG, who else is going to make this a Championship team? SJax is definitely a piece of the puzzzle, but who else? Every other Championship team has had a number of proven veterans, up-and-coming players, and various character/role players that have helped out and the Warriors would be about 4 guns too short here. So what's the point in trading away essentially a Finals caliber team just to have a re-adjustment period where there isn't time to get everyone straight before it all falls down? If you're going to make a strategic move for a few years down the line, fine. But, if you're just going to play race the clock, sacrificing the future when the weapons aren't in place behind the top 2-3 guys, what's the point?
All I can say to wrap this up is I hope I'm dead wrong about everything I just said. Nothing would make me happier than looking back in 2 years or 10 years and saying, "damn, that column was crap. Thank God Mullin is running this team and not me. Even Stephen A. Smith saw this from a better view than I did. Hallelujah!" Only time will tell...
Say Hey gives us insight on the Warriors interesting draft picks and moves. [Say Hey]
This is a very good post on steroids/HGH users in the pros I meant to put up earlier this week, but forgot about. My bad, it was a hectic week. [Uwe Blog]
Greg Oden apparently never learned how to spell. [Full Court NBA]
Nor did fans of Daequan Cook. [Winning the Turnover Battle]
Dan Patrick on the Price is Right? [SPORTSbyBROOKS]
Roman Colon has more than just a team suspension now for his clubhouse fracas. [Lion in Oil]
Remember the days of Slip n' Slide? I sure as hell do, and I have the scars to prove it. Well, someone created a Slip n' Slide Championships. Lots and lots of cut red stomachs, just like the good 'ol days. [Deuce of Davenport]
Some of you may remember that when Yao Ming entered the NBA in 2002, Charles Barkley was pretty hard on him. Sir Charles once said that he would kiss Kenny Smith's ass if Yao scored 19 points in his entire first season.
Well, this video is years late, but it's an absolute winner. China got pissed - real pissed - at Barkley. So what did they do? They made a Manga cartoon mocking the hell out of him. Which I guess is better than winding up in a Chinese prison.
The site, chinayao.com, no longer exists, so this video, complete with unnecessary Kenny Smith commentary is all we got. It's still worth it though to see a Manga-ized version of Sir Charles on his knees throwing rose pedals at Yao.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I was talking with a couple friends about this trade earlier and we were trying to figure out when a project player with a questionable work ethic/drive has EVER turned into a strong NBA player. We couldn't think of one. You can come up with a list of players who were supposed to be too small for their position, too slow, bad jumper, questionable background, etc. These problems are associated with certain players every year and they are consistently overcome by superior players who have a strong work ethic and drive. This is the thing about Wright that scares me, I just don't see it panning out and to trade a consistently improving, hard-working, inspiring player like JRich is hard to fathom.
One thing that is clear in my mind after this trade is that Stephen A. Smith has a mental disability. Saying the Warriors fleeced the Bobcats on this is just ridiculous. I like how even the ESPN poll had 51% of people saying the Bobcats got a better deal on the trade and then he continues to go off like this trade was Adonal Foyle for Brandan Wright. Since when is a player who's an established star and considered a very strong #5 pick considered a poor trade for a totally unproven #8 pick? And this Michael Jordan fellow, how would he ever know how to judge the value of a proven shooting guard in the NBA? Clearly Stephen A. is a superior judge of talent! How could all be so silly! Stephen A. Smith represents everything that's wrong with sports broadcasting and sports journalism today. The theory that the more confidently and louder you say something, no matter what it is is superior to actually supporting your arguments and having some rational basis is absolutely killing sports journalism.
And I loved Stephen A's argument that the 2003 draft was deeper than this draft. Dude, Chris Kaman went #6 in that draft out of Central Michigan. You're telling me that Kaman was a deeper pick than Corey Brewer at #7? Or even Julian Wright and Al Thornton at #13 and 14? And if he was so sure Wade and Bosh were going to be superstars he should be scouting right now because I saw both those guys play repeatedly in college and had NO idea they would end up being this good. I doubt many NBA franchises knew this either otherwise trading up for Wade at #5 would have been worth pretty much anyone in the league at that point and nobody did it. Damn, I can't believe I just spent two paragraphs going off on that fool...
I do like the Belinelli pick, I marked him down as my Tony Parker Award for potentially stellar late 1st round pick this year, but other than that I'm not too thrilled about how the franchise went today...
So in other words, Rose should have been gray as a mule and "sort of out of shape" by the early 80s. If it weren't for Grecian, he would have played older and might not haved reached Ty Cobb's hits record.
Is he sure about that? He looked pretty damn old when he reached that record, gray hair or not.
I play a lot of pool, but I have yet to hit a shot like this. In fact, God has yet to hit a shot like this. [Deuce of Davenport]
If you're black, Disney World doesn't want you, even if you're the son of a Disney manager. [SPORTSbyBROOKS]
We need J-Rich to stay a Warrior. [Say Hey]
Michael Jordan made a dumb decision once on June 27. [Full Court NBA]
The Hawks new uniforms SUCK. [Just Call Me Juice]
Marat Safin is a cheapskate, just like me. [Lion in Oil]
If you're not familiar with Beep Baseball (also known as blind baseball), let Deadspin refresh you. But it's been improved on, and what makes this new version even better is it comes from Italy! Uh, ok. Sweet. Anyway, instead of swinging at a beeping ball coming at you - which must have caused some major problems - you now get to hold the ball in your hand and swing for the fences. That at least helps even the playing field a bit, right? Well, at least until the ball is in play, then things get a bit more complicated than the old Beep Baseball rules, which just required you to gain possession of the ball while someone was off of a base to record an out. Here are the new rules:
Each team consists of five blind players, one sighted player and one defensive assistant. The sighted defensive player and the defensive assistant also serve as base coaches at second and third base when their team comes to bat.
The defensive field of play is the area beyond the line between second and third base.
And here's the fun one - Second base is the base of origin for the defense. All defensive eliminations are recorded at second base.
Yikes, so now you're having blind people throw to a base they can't see? I guess you just throw the ball in the general vicinity of wherever you think second base is, even if that happens to be the parking lot. I think more improvements may be necessary before this sport hits the big time.
Blind people, you deserve better than this.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
That's right, you've got to love France, where bureaucratic bullshit trumps common sense. According to the Ligue de Football Professional charter, you can't coach if you're over 65. The League's commissioners even voted 3-2 to void Roux's contract with RC Lens because he's now 68.
In adhering to French tradition, RC Lens is bitching and moaning to no end, and Roux will probably get reinstated at some point. But this got us thinking about how would the American sports landscape be changed if coaches had to stop coaching by the time they hit 66 years of age.
It would probably look a lot different.
The best example of how it would be changed is actually not Joe Paterno, but instead Bobby Bowden. Bowden has won a national championship and EIGHT conference championships since turning 66. It's hard to imagine Florida St. having much more success without 'ol Bowden at the helm.
Paul "Bear" Bryant also made it clear that you can win at an advanced age. He won the National Championship at age 65, then repeated again at age 66.
Don Nelson also came out of retirement to lead the Warriors to a first round upset of the Mavs in this year's playoffs. He was 67. As a serious Warriors fan, I honestly have to say that no one aside from Nelson could have done that except maybe Mike D'Antoni. And I know any serious NBA fan would agree with me. And to top it all off, Nelson still pounds beers like a champ.
Paterno is yet another good example, having gone undeafeted in 1994 when he was over 66 (even though Penn St. finished #2 in that year's polls) and he's won two conference championships since turning 66. In fact, Paterno has coached for 14 years since turning 66. He even won coach of the year in 2005, when he was nearly 80 years old.
Eddie Robinson of Grambling, a College Football Hall of Fame coach, also coached for 12 years after turning 66.
Felipe Alou was coaxed out of retirement to manage after he was 65, and he lead the always mercurial Giants to the playoffs in 2003 despite being nearly 70.
And last but not least, Hubie Brown did two full years of service as the Grizzlies head coach when he was hovering around 70. And one of those years he went 50-32 and led the Grizz to the playoffs for the first time in team history.
There's no question that coaching is a difficult task as one gets older. And there's even an argument that Penn St. probably should have replaced Paterno by now (even though he won coach of the year in 2005). But for the few who excel at it, why force them to retire? There aren't many people who would have had more success than Bryant, Nelson or Bowden with their teams, even though they could all be my grandfather.
Let me first say this Quiksilver video is fake. But it's a damn good fake. It involves explosives, surfing and Copenhagen. Or three things I dearly love.
So if you see anyone throwing dynamite into ponds anytime in the near future, it's because of this ad. I might try this if I ever move away from California.
Daequan Cook is having an NBA Draft party at a Holiday Inn that's open to the public. He realizes he may not get picked until the second round, right? [Winning the Turnover Battle]
That pitcher who found the rock quarry worth $2 billion wants to go to Japan. How about you retire to vast riches instead. [The Feed]
Lion in Oil has an interview with ESPN's Scouts Inc. Keith Law. I'll be honest, I have no clue who he is. [Lion in Oil]
Meatball is a great name for a gerbil. [Say Hey]
It's never too early for college basketball rankings. [Just Call Me Juice]
That has to hurt something fierce. [Deuce of Davenport]
Posh Spice as a cheerleader? Man I hope not. By the way, can someone feed her for God's sake? [Our Book of Scrap]
LeBron says he'll play for Team USA. [Sons of Sam Malone]
I'm tired from a day of extreme wheelchairing. Peace.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Inaugural 100% Injury Rate NBA Mock Draft (Warriors Picks plus the Lottery)
Let's kick it off with the most important picks of the draft, as it is every year, each pick for the Warriors
18. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS - Tiago Splitter
- A few years ago I would have been scared because of the Todd Fuller situation (old story, but yes I believe his GPA in college was officially higher than his PPG in the NBA AND he was picked before Kobe AND everyone saw this coming... but we're Warriors fans, that would be like reminding us we could have had TMac as well but took Adonal Foyle instead, please). But now we have a New Jack front office that has been doing much better in the draft department drafting some New Jack players (See Monta, Arenas, Biedrins, JRich) and trading for an official Cash Money Brotha in Stephen Jackson. So while one might be inclined to fear that we would go with Jason Smith or Josh McRoberts here, I have a feeling that Splitter will still be around, he has a great name, and did we mention he's Brazilian? After Nene and Barbosa, if I see a Brazilian player on the board vs 2 normal white dudes from the U.S., are you kidding me? And how many people in the Bay Area would pay to watch Tiago's first club-going experience in SF with everyone's favorite Latvian Andris Biedrins? I rest my case.
30. Taurean Green - Golden State Warriors
- If Green is still on the board - if the playoffs showed anything, the Warriors need a legit back-up point behind Baron because Monta is looking more and more like a SG and we need a poised back-up to fill in quick. With Green's background playing in huge games in Florida he would be a steal at 30 and reminds me of when Arenas slipped to the Warriors coming out of a stacked UofA program where Jefferson and even Jason Gardner and Michael Wright outshined him at times. With programs like that UofA team (with Loren Woods also) and the UF team that Green comes out of with Noah, Horford, and Brewer, it can be hard to really tell who is going to be a strong NBA player separate from the other 3 or 4 players. I think Jefferson's success surprised a lot of people and Arenas' definitely did, and I'm guessing that one of the big 3 from UF is going to be a total bust and that Green is actually going to be a better player than people would expect. Time will tell, but I'm hoping the Warriors keep their run of absolutely ridiculous 2nd Round picks going and nab Green with this pick.
1. Greg Oden - Portland
- No brainer, sealed it in the Tournament with two of the sickest blocks and one of the most ridiculous missed dunks I've seen in a while.
2. Kevin Durant - Seattle
- Ridiculous that he goes #2 in any draft, what he can do at 6'10 is insane and everyone seems to forget KD was 4th in the nation in rebounds (!!!)
3. Al Horford - Atlanta
- Can't miss player, at worst he's significantly better than Udonis Haslem (fellow UF alum) who is a strong starting power forward in the league and at best his ceiling is what, Malone but with Championship credentials? Not bad.
4. Corey Brewer - Memphis
- Perhaps not directly addressing a need, but Brewer is the 3rd or 4th best player in this draft from what I've seen and players with his defensive ability, clutch performing, and athleticism do not come around that often. He may look like a lot of other 6-8 SG/SF around these days, but Brewer is special and Memphis should not pass him up.
5. Joakim Noah - Boston
- Not the flashiest pick possible here and there is definite limit to Noah's potential, but again a player with his drive, intangibles, and athleticism at 6'11 just does not come around often. I see him as a Shane Battier player who never puts up the numbers one would expect from a #5 pick but everywhere he goes teams just start winning.
6. Brandan Wright - Milwaukee
- I don't think Milwaukee can pass up Wright's potential at 6 and even though it doesn't fill a need, I'm betting they re-sign Williams at the point (no guarantee Conley is EVER going to be better than him) and a Villanueva, Bogut, Wright, front-court option with Redd at the 2 has gotta get some wins in the East.
7. Jeff Green - Minnesota
- Regardless of whether KG is gone or not, Green is going to be a strong player in the league and can do a lot at 6'9.
8. Julian Wright - Charlotte
- Why Wright has been slipping in others' mock drafts is beyond me. In a normal draft he should be a Top 5 pick and even at 8 is a great pick.
9. Spencer Hawes - Chicago
- I'm not sold on Hawes at all having watched him play a couple times at UW and sometimes mistaking him for some back up white center, but if anything this seems to fill a potential need area for Chicago and if he ends up strong could make the Bulls very very dangerous for the next 10 years.
10. Mike Conley - Sacramento
- Bibby is getting older and Conley needs time where he doesn't have a spotlight on him so he can develop an NBA game. Could be good for both team and player here.
11. Acie Law - Atlanta
- Atlanta will probably have a slight panic attack if Conley ends up going at 10, but Law is going to be an excellent pro and probably my favorite player in the draft (one of those guys I will be checking up on in 10 years even if he's playing in Europe somehere).
12. Yi Jianlian - Philly
- I probably would have put him higher but watching his extended milk commercial from China stressed me out so much he had to fall a few spots. Could be the Chinese Dirk, but I'm guessing not...
13. Al Thonton - New Orleans
- Everyone seems to be saying Nick Young here, but if Thornton's around they should take him because Peja has a fork sticking out of his back the size of Croatia so they're gonna need a 2 and a 3 very soon.
We're, uh, just going to throw this out there for you. It's the extreme sport none of us ever saw coming. Extreme wheelchairing, complete with grinds, air, horrific wipeouts and backflips. We're not responsible for your comments.
1. The island of Niihau, Hawaii.
2. Three F-14 fighter jets.
3. Eight Bugatti Type 41 Royale Cars. Unfortunately only 6 are in existence.
4. Almost 100 Honus Wagner baseball cards.
5. Two and a half Bombardier Global Express XRS Executive jets.
6. We could have transferred one and a half Zinedine Zidane's to the team.
7. 31,500 pairs of APO Jeans.
8. 252 Action Comics #1 comic books.
9. More than 180,000 of Cuba's best cigars.
10. More than 5,000 18 carat gold Gameboys.
I think I would have preferred to see the Giants with two F-14's and a slightly less expensive pitcher. But that's just me.
[We just learned this appeared on With Leather a long time ago, but enjoy it anyway, it's been a while]
Ice skating has a problem in the US. It doesn't reach a broad enough market. Unless you're female or gay you don't watch it. So how can we improve it to bring it to the sports-watching masses?
Well, what if instead of being on the ice, we were on the highway. And instead of doing a double salchow, we slid on pavement at 40 mph. And just for fun, we switched skates with sandals.
Wait, this sport already exists?
Yes, yes it does. It's called sandal surfing. You get on the highway, open your car door, hang on to the door, and skid on your sandals at 40+ mph. Yes, that's right, I said SANDALS.
There's certainly a lot more riding on each trick, like someone's life. That'd get me watching.
By the way, this underground sport comes to us courtesy of Saudi Arabia. Makes me sleep well at night knowing we get oil from these guys.
[Video courtesy of Home Run Derby]
I went to college in Massachusetts and lived in Boston for a year. And the most important thing I learned during that time was that Red Sox fans are psychotic. And by psychotic I mean they'll chug a glass of mustard for $35. Why? Like George Mallory said: Because it's there.
If you try hard enough, you can also do this. The trick is not thinking rationally, just like Red Sox fans.
This is a must read. Athlete sponsored cereals (with pics) that you probably never ate. [Deuce of Davenport]
Which teams in the majors currently employ the most steroid/HGH users? [Say Hey]
Some breakout ballplayers to pay attention to. [The Feed]
Since Larry Hughes sucks, who will play Robin to LeBron's Batman? [Full Court NBA]
Atlanta sure doesn't look like it wants to resign Andruw Jones after this season. [Larry Brown Sports]
Pics of Tiger's new kid. Will she eventually be as hot as Natalie Gulbis? Probably not, but she'll probably win a lot more tournaments on the LPGA Tour. [Sons of Sam Malone]
I'm off to Oregon to get a feel for how the Oden/Durant hysteria is sweeping the state. I'll also be hunting for Sasquatch.
Monday, June 25, 2007
This is a continuation of our hunt for weird extreme sports because it's sort of a slow day. This one may be even more bizarre than extreme pogo sticking.
Some days I sit around and think to myself, what would be the most interesting way to hurt myself, and I always come to the same conclusion: combine skateboarding with unicycling. It's all the fun of the circus combined with horrible cement related injuries.
I mean, what could be more insane than grinding a rail on a unicycle, right? (Is that even possible?)
Well, it seems I was beaten to the punch. There's a small - very small - group of individuals who have taken unicycling to the extreme and haven't looked back. Some of the stuff they do is pretty extreme. But they're on unicycles, so I really can't take them seriously. They should all be wearing clown suits.
If you're in Michigan at the end of July, you can watch them compete. Or you can just laugh at them.
There's gotta be something wrong with the world when a pogo stick, a toy once used almost exclusively by 3-year-olds, goes extreme. But that's exactly what's happening these days.
Some very bored people decided to create super pogo sticks that can do things like hop cars or do backflips. And the chicks DIG this shit. Or at least the video seems to suggest that. I think the jury's still out on that one.
Man, we have way too much free time in this country.
Jr. Griffey passed McGwire, but I still feel he hasn't quite lived up to his potential. These guys, on the other, have never even come close to reaching their potential. [Winning the Turnover Battle]
The KSK crew has pics of KoolAid Maroney's car. Most excellent. [KSK]
The Israeli Baseball League has started. For some reason they only play 7-innings. [Lion in Oil]
Johnny Damon, not working out so well for the Yanks. [Just Call Me Juice]
Michael Andretti has one hot wife. Also the hottest sports wife/girlfriend tournament continues. The winner is in your hands, although regrettably not literally. [Our Book of Scrap]
Un grande victory for the U.S. Landon Donovan, however, is probably still gay. [Deadspin]
Buehrle might go to the Sox. [Sons of Sam Malone]
A little dead out there for an early Monday morning. I guess that's what you get when the only sport going on is baseball.
Your Left Coast linkologist,
Griffey has been notorious for not staying in shape during his career and doing next to nothing in the offseason to improve his game. This was ok for most of his career, seeing as he blessed with being insanely talented. But Father Time caught up to Griffey real fast because he was so lackadaisical about staying in shape. Jerry Rice he was not. And it's now been quite a while since Griffey was actually a very good player.
Everyone expected Griffey to be the guy to break Hank Aaron's record and become the greatest player of his generation. But that didn't exactly happen. Instead it was Bonds who took over that role, despite the steroid cloud.
I applaud Griffey for not having used steroids, but at the same time I actually have some respect for Bonds as well. Even though Bonds used illegal means to get where he is, he made a commitment that he wanted to try and be the greatest player to ever play the game.
I don't think we ever saw that same commitment from Jr.
I'm not saying Jr. should have used steroids at all, I just wish he'd worked a little harder. If he had, we might have the greatest matchup in American sports history right now. A clean player and a dirty player racing to reach Aaron's remarkable record.
Yep, it's NBA Draft week, which means it's time to check out weird foreign commercials for future NBA stars (or flops). Here's Yi Jianlian in an intensely dramatic and confusing Chinese commercial for milk. Don't worry if you don't speak Chinese. I'm not sure this commercial would make any more sense if they were speaking English anyway. My favorite part is the girl playing the violin that doesn't exist.
I believe the message of the ad is: girls like milk. Or something like that.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Curt Schilling - Appeared on the show in 2006 and faced off against "Malcolm in the Middle" actress Jane Kaczmarek and "Desperate Housewives" actor Doug Savant. Schilling froze up when he rang in to identify "The San Francisco Treat," which of course is Rice-a-Roni. Schilling also scored a fat goose egg for the entire game after getting the Final Jeopardy question wrong.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Appeared twice, won both times.
Reggie Jackson - Lost to Kareem.
Martina Navratilova - Also smoked by Kareem.
Brandi Chastain - Won and then proceeded to tear off her shirt (later half may not be true).
Charles Barkley - Faced off against Martha Stewart and Survivor host Jeff Probst. Barkley didn't manage to answer a question until late in the second round. "Charles, you knew that -- don't be shy," Trebek admonished him. "Unless I know for sure, I ain't touchin' nothin'," the former basketball player responded.
Mike Piazza - Appeared on the show twice. Won in 2001 when facing Jane Krakowski of "Ally McBeal" and Kevin Sorbo "Hercules." I'm sure you remember both of them extremely well.
Shannon Sharpe - Appeared on the show as a guest once, but then, I shit you not, also appeared on Jeopardy as a contestant. We can't find any video but we know for a fact he was a contestant. If anyone can find this tape, please make 8 million copies immediately.
Carl Lewis - Unsure how he did, but hopefully he did better at Jeopardy than he did singing the national anthem.
Reggie White - Unsure. Probably got every answer on Latinos wrong.
And now why don't you try your luck at some Jeopardy questions brought to you by some NFL players.
He showed up at the Beaver County correctional facility and spoke with 124 inmates.
What on earth a pro football QB is even doing in a place like southern Utah is beyond me. Even if you put a gun to my head you couldn't get me to go to southern Utah. Brees isn't Mormon from what I know, and he certainly has no connections to anyone in the prison's area.
Beyond random, but a nice gesture. I'm sure all the inmates will take his advice, except for Pacman Jones.
Even though I'm a West Coast guy, I've done two tours in DC. And one of the best things about DC is the Eastern Motors commercials (I also love the Jonathan Ogden Gebco Insurance ad). The Deuce brings us the acting skills of Ray Lewis in some of these new tilts from Eastern Motors. [Deuce of Davenport]
Chipper and Smoltz are feuding, and Bobby Cox is of course getting ejected. [Sons of Sam Malone]
A chance to see Morneau bust his lung again. [Lion in Oil]
Ump Brian Knight is going to have some serious problems at his performance review. [Awful Announcing]
And we wrote some junk on how baseball has no integrity. That post is below.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Whether people want to admit it or not, baseball is by far the most scandal-plagued sport in American history. The scandals have included everything from performance enhancing drugs to gambling to actual drugs. So we're going to go back in time and take a look at the worst scandals in MLB history, which include names such as Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Willie Mays and Willie Stargell.
1887 - Four players of the Louisville Greys were found to have thrown games in exchange for bribes from gamblers. All four were suspended by the Greys, and later by the National League. The team folded after the 1887 season.
1908 - There was an attempt to bribe the head umpire before a one-game playoff to decide the National League Championship between the Cubs and Giants. The bribe was to help the Giants win the championship and was reportedly done by the team's physician. The umpire didn't bite and the physician was banned for life from baseball (the Giants lost the game by the way). More recent research suggests that the bribe was orchestrated by Hall of Fame Giants manager and player John McGraw.
1914 - The powerful Philadelphia Athletics get swept in four games by the less than impressive Boston Braves. Rumors persist that the A's threw the series since team owner Connie Mack was notoriously stingy.
1917 - New York Giants lose to the White Sox in the World Series. Strong suspicions the Giants threw the series.
1918 - Cubs lose to the Red Sox in the World Series. Strong suspicions the Cubs threw the series.
1919 - Black Sox scandal where the White Sox lose to the Cincinnati Reds. Eight White Sox players, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, are banned for life from the game for taking bribes to throw the series.
1921 - Hal Chase, considered one of the best first basemen of the early 20th century game, is banned for life from baseball. Chase won $40,000 in 1919 - he was playing for the Giants at the time - by betting on the Reds to beat the White Sox in the World Series. Winning $40,000 in 1919 would be the equivalent of winning over $510,000 today.
1926 - After retiring, pitcher Dutch Leonard produces letters that implicate Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker in throwing a game back in 1917. Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis meets secretly with the men and clears them of any wrongdoing. However, both men, who were player/managers at the time, left their teams and never managed again.
1947 - Dodgers manager Leo Durocher suspended for the entire 1947 season for having fraternized with known gamblers.
1985 - Pirates players Dave Parker, Dale Berra, Rod Scurry, Lee Mazzilli and John Milner are summoned before a Pittsburgh grand jury for their links to cocaine. Keith Hernandez, Tim Raines and Lonnie Smith were also summoned. This led to the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials. During the trials Milner said he had received amphetamines from both Willie Mays and Willie Stargell during his playing days. Milner also said he bought two grams of coke in the bathroom stalls of Three Rivers Stadium for $200 during a game against the Astros in 1980. Raines admitted he kept cocaine in his back pocket during games and frequently snorted during games as well. Even Kevin Koch who was Pirate Parot, the team's mascot, was implicated for buying cocaine for players and introducing players to drug dealers. 11 active players ultimately faced harsh penalties for cocaine abuse.
1991 - Pete Rose banned from entrance to the Hall of Fame for betting on baseball. According to the Dowd Report, Rose bet on 52 Reds games in 1987 at a minimum of $10,000 a day.
2005-2007 - Steroid investigations find multiple players either used or are likely to have used steroids. Prominent names include Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi.
So in other words, if you look back on baseball as a whole, integrity has never really been a part of the game. And probably even more interesting is that the steroid uproar is probably one of the more minor scandals that has faced baseball during its long history.
A look back at the hideous kicks of some NBA superstars. Kobe's look like an alien blob. [Doberman on the Diamond]
This is the real reason why the Mavs lost to the Warriors in the playoffs. [Deuce of Davenport]
A reporter got fired for digging up dirt on the Hoover High head coach (of MTV Two-a-Days fame/infamy). [Sons of Sam Malone]
More on that 38-year-old track coach who married the 16-year-old girl. How in the hell is this even legal? [The Feed]
Twin Texans cheerleaders. Nice. Very Nice. [KSK]
A guest Cubs fan on the Juice vents about the Barrett trade. [Just Call Me Juice]
To our Bay Area crew, your Giants round-up [Say Hey] and your A's round-up [Say Hey]. You can probably just skip the Giants one, they suck.
I use the term epic for only truly awesome events. And this, my friends, is one epic backboard shattering dunk. [100% Injury Rate]
Friday, June 22, 2007
If you aren't one of the thousands of people who has already seen this, then here you go. It's Chris Berman as a blue-faced sports announcer in a Sesame Street sketch promoting exercise. Something Berman isn't real familiar with.
The muppet looks a lot like Berman, except it isn't fat, sweating or eating its own boogers.
And who the hell is this Baby Bear? Where's Snuffleupagus? Probably doing smack.
We thought the reason the Mavs lost to the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs was because of BDizzle and his awesome unstoppable beard. I guess we were wrong. The real reason they lost is because they made shitty tv ads with Deion Sanders [via our compadres at Deuce of Davenport, who also found the video].
What makes this commercial even better is that Devin Harris raps in it. I may be white and Irish, but even I look more hardcore rapping than he does. As for Deion, well, he could really use some voice lessons.
With only baseball left to entertain us for the remainder of the summer, I find myself wondering why we ever got rid of Slamball. I actually liked this thing. Dwyermaker and I used to watch this blasphemy of a sport whenever it was on during the two summers of its existence. Plus it had a player nicknamed "The Ghetto Bird." We need to bring this sport back. How else is JamesOn Curry going to make any money this year? Oh, wait...
It's June and my Giants are already beyond awful. If this team had been assembled 10 years ago, it might have been really good. Only problem is Tim Lincecum would be in junior high. But is this the worst Giants team of the last 15 years? Apparently not. [Say Hey]
They've got some weird-ass Manga style NBA ads over in Asia. Super happy fun joy! [Deuce of Davenport]
Kenny Irons is into some weird stuff. And it involves midgets and luggage. [KSK]
Big men have a good championship track record in the NBA. That may change soon. God I hope it does, because I hate Tim Duncan. [Full Court NBA]
Great quick story about one of the lost boys of Sudan becoming an American citizen and competing in his first race. We wish him all the best. [Lion in Oil]
Who's worse, Pacman or the Bengals? [Bourbon for Breakfast]
Thursday, June 21, 2007
But it turns out that wasn't just any bear that Marinelli wrestled. It was Victor the Bear, the greatest wrestling bear who ever graced this earth. Although Marinelli is the head coach of the Lions - which may or may not be a well known job - and a Vietnam vet, he's not nearly as famous as Victor. Nor as distinguished.
Victor once appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. He also took on all comers during halftime at a 76ers game. And he was the main draw for a Pacers ABA game in the 70s. Marinelli is never going to appear on Letterman nor will he ever be the main draw for the Lions.
And man could this bear wrestle. Victor apparently had a career record of 2001-0-1. The one tie reportedly came against a pro football player who danced around the ring the whole time. Victor frequently took on pro wrestlers and once matched up against Rowdy Roddy Piper. He also beat Gary Hart in a steel cage match.
Marinelli, who wrestled Victor in 1966, seems to have caught Victor during the bear's minor league days. Anyway, the ass kicking Marinelli got from the bear probably pales in comparison to the beat down he's gotten while coaching the Lions. If Victor were still alive, maybe the Lions should have hired him.
And if you want to see Victor in action, here's a clip of him taking on a wrestler known as the Destroyer (who also provides the commentary). And if you think this is bizarre, wait until you see Victor's manager come out and take a swing at the Destroyer for illegally punching Victor. It's just like a Tyson fight, except Tyson is a bear and doesn't bite your ear off.
Apparently there's a dangerous game of chicken going on between Pacman and the Bengals, if you couldn't see that already. Except Pacman's playing the game at slightly higher stakes.
This story has been sitting under all our noses for as long as I can remember and yet somehow we all missed it. Everyone except for Bourbon for Breakfast, which has catalogued the competetive carnage.
I just hope this thing ends soon, otherwise with the way this thing is escalating, Pacman might soon have his finger on the button.
Horse hits man, man hits horse - with hilarious results! [Deuce of Davenport]
Those damn Canadians are gonna get their flag flown at Dodger Stadium. I'd want blood, but i'm a Giants fan, so make us proud, eh! [Lion in Oil]
Kevin Durant should go No. 1, even though he benches like a puny girl. [Full Court NBA]
Only in LA: Tim Floyd and the Paparazzi appear to be using the same recruiting methods. [Bourbon for Breakfast]
Remember that David Ortiz/Brian Urlacher badmitton ad? Well this is the real thing. [Say Hey] via [Fanhouse]
The Orioles really need some help. [Just Call me Juice]
Our man Dwyermaker gives you his take on finding the hidden gems in the NBA Draft [100% Injury Rate]
From your linkologist.
As I'm sure you're probably guessing, it doesn't go so well. Meanwhile, the fat PE teacher seems blissfully unaware of the hazing incident that just occured.
Also, if you look closely, you'll see when the camera pans that the high school mascot name is the Cavaliers. I think the Cavs felt a lot like this kid after they lost the NBA Finals. Not so good.
It's not just the great picks that everyone knows are going to work out (Lebron, Duncan, etc.) that make the draft great, my favorite part of the Draft are those picks who you can see a giant chip placed in their shoulder on draft day (Villaneuva, Josh Smith, Arenas) that you just know are going to kill it along with the shrewd Godfather-esque moves that net teams like the Jazz and the Spurs absolute ballers in the late first and second rounds consistently (Ginobili, Parker, Kirilenko, Boozer - are you kidding me!!). Seriously, those late first and second rounders have so profoundly shaped the NBA over the past few years that the NBA draft and the trades made involving the draft have shifted the power in the NBA far more than drafts in any other professional sport or free agency. Think of the 2nd generation of the NBA Championship Spurs focused on Ginobili (LATE 2nd round pick) and Parker (very late first round pick) playing off Duncan. How did they get those two guys? With amazing draft-day decisions. Before the end of Parker and Ginbobili's run these decisions will have netted the Spurs probably between 3-5 championships. With all the money teams throw at free agents, marketing, and everything else, you would think they'd wise up and start bidding on the top draft scouts like they were Lebron after declaring free agency.
The other part of the draft I absolutely love is the soap-opera drama involving emotionally troubled players like Theron Smith who was a 2:1 favorite to attempt suicide with a bottle of painkillers (unfortunately came through on that one), college players who you've been following for years that barely sneak into the 2nd round (let's call it the Toby Bailey element of the draft), and great players invited to the draft that somehow keep slipping for who-knows what reason (ie, Rashard Lewis). In honor of all of these great subplots to the NBA draft, let's introduce the inaugural 100% Injury Rate NBA Draftmas Awards: First, the Rashard Lewis Award (great player invited to draft that will slip way too far as everyone looks on as if he'd just been hit by a car); Second, the Theron Smith Award (player who you just know things are not going to end well for); Third, the Tony Parker Award (great pick that will go in the late first round); Fourth, the Gilbert Arenas Award (early Second Round pick that will kill it); Fifth, the Manu Ginobili Award (great late Second Round pick) and Sixth, the Toby Bailey Award (drafting of a strong but overrated college player who everyone knows is going nowhere in the NBA).
Rashard Lewis Award
- Goes to Acie Law: with Conley most likely going somwhere in the 4-10 range and Atlanta having clearly no ability to understand when they've been handed a great point guard in the draft (D. Williams, Paul) and rumored to be leaning to Crittenton out of GT, Law could drop into the later part of the first round and fulfill yet another part of his destiny as the next Sam Cassell.
Theron Smith Award
- JamesOn Curry: he may not get drafted but he's already been busted for dealing and that got him released from his North Carolina scholarship and unlike Georgetown where the Thompsons have a rep for helping players with troubled backgrounds (see Allen Iverson), the Suttons at OSU don't seem to have the same success (see Tony Allen).
- Runner-up: Sean Willians, Boston College
Tony Parker Award
- Marco Belinelli: another proven young European player with question marks who could easily turn into the savior of a franchise.
- Runner-ups: Morris Almond, Rice and Aaron Afflalo, UCLA
Gilbert Arenas Award
- Marcus Williams, Arizona: this is just a no-brainer pick. Proven scorer who played against excellent competition at UofA and for some odd reason has dropped in the draft over the last year because of inconsistency.
Manu Ginobli Award
- Taurean Green: both are lefties and both bring an unusual amount of big-game experience and clutch performances with them for their age and could end up being major contributors on Championship teams before their careers are over.
Toby Bailey Award
- Glen Davis: sorry Big Baby but 6'7 or 6'8 players need a bit more than a credit card vertical these days to hang in the NBA and it just ain't in the cards for you. Your consolation prize will be making millions of dollars playing in Europe, perhaps with a team such as FC Barcelona - and if anyone has ever visited and been on the beaches of Spain, I think we can all pick Glen Davis as the true winner of this years draft! Congratulations Glen Davis, if only we could all be so unlucky!
That's it for the Inaugural 100% Injury Rate NBA Draftmas Awards, hope you all enjoy the drama unfold as much as I do!!
WCK would like to add that he thinks Afflalo is total garbage. We shall see.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
And of course some people are not real happy about this. This is mostly because Sammy is so closely linked to steroids. Of course Bonds is as well, but pretty much anyone would tell you that even if Bonds hadn't done steroids he would have easily reached 600 home runs.
Already there's debate about whether or not Sosa should be admitted to the Hall of Fame.
And I don't understand this at all.
Whether baseball and the jackass writers that vote on the Hall of Fame care or not, they were in many ways equally responsible for letting the steriod era exist and thrive. Columnists couldn't get enough of McGwire and Sosa during the home run race. They wrote that the two men saved baseball and were changing the face of the game. Baseball looked the other way because it needed to be saved. Neither the writers nor baseball seemed to care about steroids, even though McGwire and Sosa looked like cartoon superheroes.
Then suddenly when steroids became an issue, the writers and baseball suddenly switched gears. This is bad, this is horrible, let's hang them from a tree. In other words, where can we find a scapegoat?
Even though I'm no fan of steroids, the Hall of Fame stance taken on McGwire and the questions currently being asked of Sosa are ridiculous.
Whether or not they did steroids is ultimately irrelevant. Sports is about entertainment. I was entertained when they hit 500-foot home runs. Most people were. We can look the other way, we do it all the time.
Now if you're going to get all high and mighty on me by saying, "No we can't. If we look the other way it'll hurt the integrity of the game," you can forget it. You watch the NFL every Sunday. There's a good chance more than half those guys are 'roided up, and we don't give a damn. Len Pasquarelli of ESPN recently wrote about how if he could start an NFL franchise with any one player, he would choose linebacker Shawne Merriman - and this was after Merriman had been suspended for using steroids. If Merriman were a baseball player, he'd now be a permanent pariah. Instead in football he went to the Pro Bowl.
There's no tangible difference between football and baseball from an entertainment standpoint. They're both businesses meant to entertain. During the steroids era, baseball saved itself - with the help of writers - by ignoring the writing on the wall. And it worked. Football's been ignoring the writing on the wall forever, which is one of the main reasons it's this country's most popular sport.
Regardless of how Sammy Sosa got to 600 home runs, he helped the sport, made it watchable, and most importantly, he entertained us. Isn't that enough? Besides, he's never even tested positive for steroids like Merriman did. And that should at least count for something.
While we're excited, and so will the 60 guys that are picked on draft day, every year people go undrafted for all sorts of interesting reasons. Like selling cocaine as a kid, or being deaf, or just flat out sucking. There are also plenty of guys who seem to stupidly believe they can cut it in the pros when they desperately need a few more years of college ball under their belts.
To help prepare you to recognize these guys, The Feed has compiled a list of players that seem to have had a serious brain cramp when they put their names into this year's NBA Draft. Our favorite is a draft expert talking about a guy coming out of junior college named Robert Earl Johnson.
- "I've heard of Robert Johnson and Robert Earl Keen" said the expert. "But I've never heard of Robert Earl Johnson, which probably isn't a good sign."
- “We would beat them,” he boasted.
“No disrespect to the guys back in the 80’s and the 70’s, but the guys now are so much better than those guys,” Horry said. “I don’t care what they say. If you look at old films, guys only went right. They turned and kept it in their right hand. Look at the things LeBron (James) can do, Tim (Duncan) can do, Tony (Parker) can do, Manu (Ginobili) can do. Little (Daniel) Gibson over there. There’s no way you can compare those guys. We watched what they did and expanded on that.”
So if you guys are so good, why haven't you repeated as champs yet, Rob?
He doesn't seem to have an answer for that one.
But his more infamous shooting episode, in which members of his entourage shot and paralyzed a bouncer at a Las Vegas strip club, well, things are starting to get real bad real fast.
The Pacman is now facing two counts of felony coercion. And interestingly, the shooting played no role in the charges. The felony coercion charges stem from the fact that Jones pretty much said he'd kill everyone in the strip club. And he bit a guy.
I know Pacman is a talented football player, but this is just getting out of control at this point. I'd be surprised if Goodell ever lets him back in the league after this.
If you thought robot camel jockeys were strange, just wait until you see a tuna shot put contest. [Deuce of Davenport]
Stephen Jackson will be free while Paris Hilton is in jail. All is right with the world. [Say Hey]
Those BYU kids are nothing but troublemakers. [Lion in Oil]
Anyone else pissed as hell about that stupid "win probability" stat showing up during College World Series games? Why yes, yes there is. [Just Call Me Juice]
PacMan get the BradyFan83 treatment. [Sons of Sam Malone]
And I hate to hype our own site, but when Baron Davis is freestylin' in his shoe closet, you gotta link it up. Otherwise his beard will kill me. [100% Injury Rate]
And if you're my age, you may remember him from the retarded Saturday morning TV show Hang Time. Let me tell you all one thing. There should be a law against Saturday morning TV shows with real people in them. I want cartoons on Saturday mornings. Nothing but cartoons. Not Reggie Theus. I'd like to give a nod to Deuce of Davenport for finding this great clip of Theus from his days as Coach Fuller on the show.
Congrats Sac-Town. Although personally, I would have taken Mr. Cooper.
Oh but that's right, Mr. Cooper never would have done that, since he once played for the Warriors.
This is Baron "Beard" Davis busting some rhymes with London rapper Mr. Drastick. How Davis knows a dude from north west London is beyond me, and why they're freestylin' in Baron's shoe closet also escapes me. But what do I know, I'm white. Anyway, Baron is one of the better basketball rappers I've heard - of course that isn't saying much. But he's not bad.
At least we know what the man could potentially do when he retires.
Baron's had a damn good run of late. Gotta be the beard.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
As you may or may not know, camel racing - known as the Sport of Sheiks - is huge in many of the Arab States, and Australia. Yes, Australia. I didn't even know they had camels in Australia.
Anyway, jockeys for a long time in camel racing have been children, sometimes as young as 5 or 6. Being a camel jockey is about the same as being a horse jockey in the US. Except you're younger, don't get paid, get less respect, are basically a slave and have no childhood. Sweet, where do I sign up? Although many Arab States continue to use kids, a few have phased them out for - wait for it - small whipping robots. Although it took a few years to get the robots right, since initially many fell off the camels, or, I shit you not, MELTED, they've recently been perfected to whip away at will. The robot even includes a speaker so verbal commands can be given to the camel. Thank you technology. The robot jockeys are also dressed up to look like minature people.
And if you think that's pretty crazy, it only gets more bizarre. Here's an interesting description from the Christian Science Monitor on how the races are conducted now.
- Races today – typically six miles long – feature parallel tracks. The camels – with robots dressed up in colorful cotton jerseys and jockey caps strapped on – run on the inside racetrack. And the sheikhs , owners, and trainers – piled into four-wheel drive vehicles – follow the races on an outside, paved lane, screeching instructions into the remote controls and pressing the "whip on behind" button like there was no tomorrow. [Here's the full article]
Both the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have phased out child jockeys and are now exclusively using robots, and I guess Kuwait is headed in that direction as well. In Australia, jockeys are usually women, and less emphasis is placed on weight than in Arab States. Interestingly, the robots have helped revitalize the sport. I assume this is because it's easier to cheer for a robot than a malnourished 6-year-old.
So naturally I'm wondering when our little robot friends will come to the US and give horse racing a boost. I know I'd be cheering for the mini-robot to whip his way past a human jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.
By the way, if you'd like to know more about the switch to robots in camel racing - and who doesn't - here's a more detailed news report.