Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sometimes These Things Write Themselves

From Reader JSon:

George Karl, defending the Nugget’s decision to trade for convicted rapist Ruben Patterson:

"Early in our history, a lot of people came to this country who had a lot of problems and they came here because they wanted a second chance and a second opportunity," he said. "And, fortunately, our country has sustained that.”

It’s like George and Ruben read the “Give us your poor and hungry” inscription from Lady Liberty….and then decided to rape her.

George Karl went on to say “I like Ruben Patterson. I think the people (in Denver) should give him an opportunity to see if they like him, too." And that’s only fair. Really, the only people who don’t like him are the 16 year olds he paid to be his babysitters, forced into a bathroom and sexually victimized.

Yeah, I don't see why Denver fans would be upset. Sure, Ruben Patterson may have attempted to rape a teenager back in Seattle, but it's not like Colorado has any experience with NBA players forcing themselves on a teenage girl they trap in a room. Oh wait...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cleaning Up the Weekend Mess

I can't even focus right now. I hired a housekeeper because the Lounge is in serious danger of being closed down for health code violations. She just showed up at the door and she is CUTE. Ya know, you grow up watching Cinemax movies and "We Got it Made" and you dream about one day having a hot maid, but you never truly believe it. Then one day you open the door, and a stacked, young Polish girl appears with a smile and a mop. Moments like these restore my faith in the world.

So you'll have to excuse me if I'm a bit distracted while recapping yesterday's sports action. I'm really just doing this so that I have an excuse to be in this room. Thank you for collaborating with me in this ploy, although I can't promise that anything that follows will be worth reading (of course that hasn't stopped any of my readers before).

Indiana finished out their home season by beating Michigan State on senior night and put themselves into bubble territory. Unfortunately, no students rushed the court, as I had the Tivo record button ready just in case Mike Davis assaulted one of the Hoosier "faithful" who helped orchestrate his dismissal. In another upset, Alabama beat the Florida Gators, who have now joined UCLA, West Virginia, and Oklahoma as ranked teams that can absolutley kill your NCAA brackets if you advance them to far with your picks. In both the Indiana and Alabama upsets, the home crowd taunted the losing team with the chant of "over-rated." This is a familiar chant to any college basketball fan, but it's one that I've always had issues with. I know that after beating a ranked team, there's the desire to taunt the opposition, and I have no problem with that at all. In fact, I embrace it. But to me the "Over-rated" chant doesn't send the message that "We just whipped you. We're a bunch of B.A.M.F.s." Instead when I hear "overrated," it's like the crowd is saying, "You guys can't be that good of a team if WE just beat you." It's an indictment on the home team sucking as much as it is the visitor. Unfortunately a cheer of "You-Might-Be-Ballers-But-We'll-Still-Beat-You-Down" doesn't fit as easily into a rhythmic clap. So until there's a suitable replacement, I'll just try to accept "over-rated" as its equivalent...

As opposed to the inconsistent Florida Gators, Lorenzo Romar's Washington Huskies appear to be peaking at just the right time. They had two major statement games in beating down Stanford and Cal over the weekend and now look poised to do some damage in March. The Huskies may not have the complete roster that they did last year, but they have one thing that every team needs to advance deep into the tournament- a money player who can carry his team. Anytime Washington needs a bucket, they can count on Brandon Roy to deliver. Even when he's having a cold shooting night, Roy's got the ability to get to the free throw line and get his points that way. I really thought Washington would struggle against teams with good big men, but the way they handled Cal impressed me. Although, I must be willing to concede that the Bears are one of those teams that look a lot better on paper than on a basketball court. When they're on the court, an "over-rated" chant would be quite appropriate...

Stanford may have won this weekend, but there's zero chance they're getting a NCAA bid, as any committee members watching the game would have fallen asleep long before the 39-37 score was made final...

In the ESPN studio, Steve Lavin was breaking down different teams' chances to get into the tournament and then advance into the Sweet 16 once they were there. The host of the show (I forget which ESPN talking head was hosting) asked Steve Lavin how he did on day two of the NCAAs. "Five and Oh," Lavin replied. "But what's that get you? The pink slip!" Of course he failed to mention that in many of those Sweet 16 years, he was coaching Final Four talent...

I watched a little bit of the combine while playing some Texas Hold 'em at Party Poker yesterday. Just another wild Sunday night at the Lounge. I hope most of you had something better to do last night (even if it was to count the number of times Jerry Rice mentioned the Super Bowl while begging for attention on "Dancing With the Stars"), than watch the combine; so allow me to recap the action for you:
-If the NFL Network's Mike Mayock has anything to say about it, Jay Cutler will be the next Brett Favre. Not that he'll necessarily throw for 30,000 yards and get a Super Bowl ring, but that he will be excused by the lovestruck media for any mistake he ever makes. The guy hasn't completed an NFL pass and Mayock already has a giant stiffy for him. At the combine, Cutler would repeatedly overthrow his receiver, and each time Mayock would say something along the lines of, "Look at that cannon of an arm. That ball gets to you in a hurry. I love this kid." Now all I need is to see Cutler flip an underhanded pass from five yards beyond the line of scrimmage because "he just wants to win and never gives up on a play" and I'll be convinced that he's the second coming of #4.

-The guy that looked best in a tank top and a pair of shorts was Florida receiver Chad Jackson. He is chiseled like a younger version of Terrell Owens, although I doubt that Jackson has a statue of his own torso in his foyet. Unlike T.O., Jackson should be getting a nice signing bonus this season. No reports on if his workout regiment includes crunches on his driveway...

-Marcus Vick had two false starts before finally running a clean 40 yard dash on his third attempt. Even when all he's asked to do is run in a straight line, Vick still finds a way to cheat!

-Butch Davis was in studio with Rich Eisen and the entire time had a look on his face which said, "How did it all come to this? Isn't somebody going to hire me to coach?" Maybe he and Steve Lavin can get together for happy hour each week at Maloney's in Westwood, throw back a few beers, and laugh when the Bruins get knocked out of the tourney and Cleveland loses a game in which they're outcoached by Brian freaking Billick...

I'd recap some more, but I think the housekeeper just stole something off of the nightstand. Oh well, I probably wasn't going to need it anyway...

Big Hurt Feelings

Frank Thomas and Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams got into a war of words over the weekend. Frank Thomas started the battle by playing the not-so-original claim that he was disrespected.
"I've got a lot of respect for Jerry Reinsdorf, I do. But I really thought, the relationship we had over the last 16 years, he would have picked up the phone to say, 'Big guy, we're moving forward. We're going somewhere different. We don't know your situation or what's going to happen.' I can live with that, I really can," Thomas said.
"But treating me like some passing-by-player. I've got no respect for that."

Ken Williams fired back with the heavy artillery:
"He's an idiot. He's selfish. That's why we don't miss him,"

"We don't miss him, by the way," Williams said. "If you go out there and ask any one of my players or staff members, we don't miss him."

"We don't miss his attitude. We don't miss the whining. We don't miss it. Good riddance. See you later."

"He brought us to this point. So, OK, you want to play this game? You've got it. You got it. He's the Oakland A's problem right now."

I get the feeling that they don't miss him much in Chicago...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Punch Drunk

Just a sampling from a very busy day in sports while I watch to see if Fernando Vargas becomes the first boxer to actually have his eye explode on live tv...

Unfortunately, the Bobcats/Suns game was nowhere near my radar today, and so I never once flipped over to see any the scoring frenzy from Phoenix. I should have known better since Phoenix basketball is some of the most entertaining in the league. They're the Indianapolis Colts of the NBA. But like the Colts, fans can expect Phoenix basketball to come to an end in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Some of the statistical highlights of this game:
Charlotte scored 74 points in the first half.
The two teams combined for 257 points in regulation.
Shawn Marion scored 31 points and snagged 24 rebounds.
Phoenix scored 40 points in the 3rd quarter alone.
Point guard Raymond Felton scored 31 points (most by a rookie this season) while only dishing out 3 assists.

Bernie Bickerstaff summed it up best by saying, "Seventy-four points at the half -- that's like being at the South Pole for us."
Actually, I have no idea what that means. Maybe Bernie's saying that he had no clue what the hell was going on. In that case, I suppose it would be like being at the South Pole for Bernie...or the North Pole...or anywhere in-between...

The San Diego State Aztecs secured at least a tie for the regular season title in the Mountain West by defeating New Mexico, 73-66. Brandon Heath led the Aztecs with 32 points, including eight 3-pt shots. The Lobos have a forward named Joel Box (pictured) who looks like Alex Rodriguez, but with an extra 50 pounds. He started out on fire, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the first 15 minutes of the game. But just like A-Rod, he fell apart down the stretch, scoring only 3 points in the decisive second half. No word on who Box will be representing in the WBC...

Friday night, Creighton beat St. Louis University 11-2 in college baseball. Reliever Pat Venditte pitched a perfect 7th for Creighton and hasn't given up an earned run yet this year. What makes Venditte remarkable is that he's a switch-pitcher. In the same outing, he will throw both left-handed and right-handed depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing hitter. This act alone qualifies Venditte as the most exciting thing ever to happen in Omaha, Nebraska...

Michelle Wie already has over $8 million in endorsements from Nike, Sony, and Omega, but Saturday she earned her first paycheck from actually playing golf. Her 3rd place finish in the Fields Open netted her $73,227. Not a bad weekend in Hawaii for a 16 year-old girl. ESPN writer was so enthralled by the performances of teenagers Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie, that now he wants to get them drunk.

Pressel is hard not to like. She barrels through her swing like Lee Trevino, barks at her ball in flight, and waves her club in frustration even after good shots. She's the kind of player you want to have a beer with -- in four years, of course.
Wie? She was the finest of wines Saturday, smooth and memorable and finishing crisply.

Hey, I make inappropriate comments about girls a decade younger than me too. I'd also like to see Natalie Gulbis win a tournament just in the hopes that she'll jump in a pond and come out nice and wet. Maybe there's a spot for me at espn.com yet...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Make the Room Stop Spinning

I never knew it was possible to have a hangover without drinking alcohol, but that's just how I feel this morning after going 0-2-1 on my picks and then getting my ass handed to me at Party Poker last night. Unfortunately, Gatorade and a multivitamin aren't going to do much to replenish either of those offshore accounts. But on the plus side, at least I don't have any dried puke to clean up this time.

Perhaps a little of the hair of the dog that bit me will do the trick. The Clippers are 2.5 point favorites against the Lakers tonight. The Clippers have beaten the Lakers in three of their last four meetings, with the loss coming in their most recent game in which Kobe went for 50. So, if the Clips can hold Kobe in the mid-40s, they should cover. Phil Jackson has said he's going to give Andrew Bynum some more playing time, which if true, should mean a huge performance from Elton Brand. I'm going to go ahead and lay the points with a very small wager.

By the way, if you were a superstar high school basketball player in the days before the NBA age minimum, and you were planning on skipping college and jumping straight to the pros, wouldn't you spend most of your time in class doodling your signature while daydreaming of spending your money? Judging by this autograph, it appears that Andrew Bynum has barely learned how to draw the first two letter of the alphabet. But, I guess you don't much time for learning cursive when you're busy enhancing your MySpace page.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chasing a Fantasy

I've been spending far too many hours lately in pursuit of the American Dream. Not that crazy American Dream of starting with nothing, working hard, and building your way to respectability; but rather the modern American Dream of having everything handed to you despite doing absolutely nothing to earn it.

The Bad Beat jackpot at PartyPoker has climbed up to over $355,000. To actually obtain that jackpot, you have to have a hand of four 8's or better be beaten, and both players have to use both hole cards. The loser of the hand gets 35% of the jackpot (~125k), the winner gets 17.5% (62k), and all the other players at the table split an "envy" jackpot of 17.5% (about 8k/player at a 10 handed table). The remaining 30% is used to re-seed the jackpot.

Now I know the odds of actually hitting this scenario are infinitesimal- heck I can play every night and go a couple weeks before I even make any sort of quads, nevermind then having them beaten. And yet, I'm uncontrollably drawn to these sorts of tables, much in the same way that I'll be buying tickets for the $212 million Megamillions draw this Friday. So if the updates are sparse in the next few days, it's because I've got three bad beat tables of $3/$6 hold 'em and I'm playing waaaay too many suited connectors. Feel free to stop by and tell me to get back to "work" on the blog- my ID at Party is "dbruin." Oh and if you're joining for the first time, feel free to use the banner on the right to access the download, or the bonus code, "insomniac" when you open your account. Yes, I know it's a shameless plug, but I've got to make up for these poker losses somehow.

Pac 10 Parlay

The college regular season is heading to a close, which means sadly there are only a few more betting weeks left before the crapshoot that is March Madness. Right now, my bankroll is looking very N.I.T., but a late push here can make all the difference.

California -2 at Washington State. Coming off a really bad loss to Arizona State and with Washington on the horizon, this is a pretty big game for the Bears as a three game losing streak is not a way to win friends with the selection committee. Leon Powe should take control early and put Washington State coach Dick Bennett in a really bad mood. Oh wait, he's always in a bad mood. Nevertheless, I think this will be one of those games where Cal actually plays with some focus and fools some people into believing they're a really good team.

Stanford +9 at Washington. After losing at home to the Wildcats, Stanford knows that they need to run the table and go deep into the Pac 10 tourney if they want any hope at an invitation to the big dance. That dream could come to an end very quickly as the Huskies will be seeking payback for a giveaway loss at Stanford earlier in the season. Washington has been winning of late, but they haven't been blowing people out. I think that trend continues tonight as they win a close game, something like 75-71. In other prop bets: over/under on points for Brandon Roy- 18; over/under on the BAC for the Stanford tree- .18. I like the over on both.

Oregon State +15.5 at UCLA. Since the Olympics are coming to a close, I'll go ahead and evaluate this game with an Olympics' metaphor. With the grind it out style of play that Ben Howland has chosen for UCLA, it would take a gold medal performance for the Bruins to beat anyone by 16 or more. Like fellow Westwood native Sasha Cohen, I expect UCLA to earn a silver tonight, winning the game by around seven or so. The invitation for a long, soothing massage in consolation for the silver, however, is extended only to Ms. Cohen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mesmerized by the Sit Spin

I think NBC skating analyst Dick Button summed it up best for every guy watching figure skating as Sasha Cohen grabbed her ankle, brought it up over her head and then spun around at a dizzying speed:
"I don't know about you, but I found myself through the very last seconds just holding my breath saying 'Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Don't lose it. Hold it.'"
I hear ya, Dick. Personally, I just try to think about baseball. Although it also would have worked to imagine Irina Slutskaya's face. Yikes. Watching her compete is inspiring Disney execs to greenlight a script about a teenage boy who tries to realize his olympic dream by pretending he's a girl.

Meanwhile, NBC has to be kicking itself for not hyping Tanith Belbin and Sasha Cohen earlier in the Olympic coverage. They could have opened each night with footage of Tanith and Sasha contorting themselves in ways usually only seen in underground comic books. Instead they opted to turn Bode Miller into the 2006 version of Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson and are being beaten in the ratings by Paula Abdul and a bunch of William Hung wannabes. Well done.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ice, Ice, Baby

I spent my Monday night watching ice dancing. There, I admitted it. Granted, my only motivation for doing so was to ogle Canadian-American Tanith Belbin (estimated date of Playboy pictorial: 2011), but still I felt a little bit, well, out of my element while watching it. In fact, I could be watching a skating Tanith Belbin wrap her ankles behind her ears while having sex with Swedish sisters and eating a steak sandwich, and the whole thing would still be a little gay. Um, not that there's anything wrong with that. But dammit, Belbin's legs and arse are such a sight to behold that I'm willing to face whatever stigma comes my way for watching ice dancing if it gives me another glimpse of Tanith in tights. Besides, she skated the shit out of that muthafucka! Nope, still gay...

The Vixens On Ice tour continues tomorrow as Sasha Cohen makes her 2006 debut. Not only will I be watching figure skating two nights in a row, I'm going to be tivo-ing that bad boy. Judge me all you want, I don't care...

I could buy a copy of the DVD, "Johnny Weir: Flames on Ice," put it on a continual loop, and I'd still have my manhood more intact than the Syracuse University student body. After the Orangemen beat a struggling West Virginia team 60-58 in a sloppy game, the SU students rushed the court. There is a certain protocol for rushing the court. If the game clinches a conference title or your team wins on a 50 foot heave, you can rush the court. If you're a mid-major or perennial cellar dwellar and you've just beaten the #1 team in the nation, then storm away. But when your school is just a few years removed from a national title and you beat the mighty Mountaineers of West Virginia to possibly sneak into the NCAA tourney, act like you've been there before. Act like you expected to win the game. Say what you will about Duke, but I'm willing to bet that the Cameron Crazies have never rushed the court after beating Florida State in the middle of the season...

However the Orangekids running onto the court was not the stupidest move of the day. That honor would go to the LA Clippers, who just signed gold medal winner Vin Baker to a contract. Vinny, who was last seen sampling the wine menu for his Connecticut Fish House, will now be asked to provide some meat for the Clippers front line. My guess is the closest he'll ever get to a double-double is at In-and-Out...tho he can be counted on to drop a few forties from time to time.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

This Entry Sponsored by Rogaine

Sorry for the lack of updates this weekend. I was watching the Florida/Arkansas game Saturday and I realized that my hairline was following the exact same pattern as Billy Donovan's. Having that glimpse into my widow peaked future, I spent the remainder of the weekend doing what any other guy in my position would do- drinking heavily and flirting with Hooters girls. I did catch a lil' bit of sports when I wasn't staring at the orange hot pants at the drink station. Here's what I remember...

Sometimes the symmetry in sports is a beautiful thing to behold. A week ago, Eddie Sutton blew a .22 on his breathalizer test, leading to a likely retirement. Today, JameSon Curry scored 22 points as Oklahoma State upset Texas and won one for Eddie.

At halftime of the NBA all-star game, Tracy McGrady explained that he's going through some personal problems, but that he would use this game as an "escape goat." Possible jokes on this one:
a) David Stern immediately sought to raise the NBA age minimum from 19 to 21.
b) So *that's* what McGrady turns into at the end of his Adidas fantasy commercial.
c) Tracy figured that he's used up everything else as an excuse already, and all that was left was an exhibition game that noone cared about.
d) none of the above. Nothing is funnier than the comment itself.
I'm going with "d."

I know March is still a few weeks away, but here's something to remember when it comes time to fill out your brackets. Don't advance any Pac-10 teams beyond the sweet 16. After the top two teams in the league, UCLA and Cal, put up some dud performances against weak opponents, it's pretty apparent that the teams in this league lack the focus and firepower to do any real damage in the NCAA tournament.

I forgot to watch and/or Tivo it, but sentimental favorite Nate Robinson won the dunk contest Saturday night. Among the highlights was Nate pulling Emmanuel Lewis out from the stands and dunking over him. Wait..that was Spud Webb? My bad.

Speaking of jams, reports out of Miami are that Ricky Williams is jammin' again. He better hope that Tags like jammin' too, or he's going to be given a year to complete his holistic medicine schooling. Don't be too mad at Ricky tho. I hear he just uses pot as an escape goat.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Surf Report

It's a bit of a dead time for me right now. NBA all-star weekend is rather joyless for me, Sasha Cohen doesn't skate until Tuesday, and the simulated sex on Cinemax is so bad right now, I think my dick is closer to Beverly Lynne's cooch than the dude on screen with her. (Of course, I am humping my tv, so perhaps I'm being unfair in this statement.) In the interim, I'm just killing time playing $3/6 Hold 'Em at Full Tilt Poker while surfing the net. Here are a few things that seem interesting at 1:30 in the morning...

John Clayton is reporting that the San Diego Chargers won't be playing tag with Drew Brees this year. I still think they'll get a long term deal worked out, but things are starting to get a little spicier. With a very weak QB free agent pool, there will be a lot of interest in Brees around the league if he becomes available. This depite the fact that at this moment he can't actually throw a football, which from what I remember from my time in the Joe Theisman school of analysis is an important part of being a quarterback in the National Football League...

Trying to capitalize on the last morsels of Bettis-mania, some guy is selling his unopened jar of Jerome Bettis peanut butter. Because when I think of old tubs of goo, the first name that comes to mind is Jerome Bettis. The jar was manufactured in 1998 and expired in 2001, but the owner kept this Steeler keepsake in his home anyway... right beside his Terry Bradshaw autographed copy of Cannonball Run and the Immaculate Reception condoms...

Reports are that Nick Lachey has filed for spousal support from Jessica Simpson in response to her divorce petition. Unfortunately this means that it's highly unlikely that Nick has video footage of Jessica's platamapuss that he could sell to the public.

Daniel Gross of Slate reports that there is a blogging bubble which will soon be bursting. If he's right, then my 5 cent google clicks may soon be coming to an end. That's ok tho- I've saved my nickel, so I can go over to Bratislava and open my own hotel. (First person to identify the movie reference gets a free month's membership to the Lounge.)

Alright, my flush draws are getting expensive, and the skinemax flick is over; so it's time to call it a night. Tomorrow, there's UConn/West Virginia, Georgetown/Villanova, and Arizona/Stanford on the board. UConn and Nova are playing for #1 seeds, Stanford is undefeated in conference play at home, and Lute is on the brink of strangling one of his own players. Should be fun.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


One of my pet peeves in basketball is flopping. I know it's become a part of the game these days, but I absolutely hate it. But when I'm laying 1-2 odds on a game, I'll take what I can get. Tonight, Washington ballers Justin Dentmon, Bobby Jones, and Jamaal Williams were flopping around like the salmon in July. By the middle of the second half, the ball boys had traded in their towels for shovels to get all the bodies off the floor. But the strategy worked, as Dentmon was able to pick up a huge phantom charge on Oregon's Malik Hairston to lead the Huskies to a 75-72 victory. In what was a rare accurate prediction from me, Washington had a chance to match the four point spread to close the game, but Dentmon missed one of his final two free throws. This is now two consecutive games in which the Huskies were favored by four, but won by three.

Luckily, my conservative money line strategy paid off. I shall now celebrate with a nice dinner. For some reason, I'm craving sushi...

(in other news: not all the dawgs had their day...Georgetown just dropped a low scoring game to Marquette, 57-51.)

Doggin' It

I've got one sports bet workin' today:

Washington ML -190 at Oregon (5:30 pst, FSNW).The Huskies have appeared to right the ship and are playing like the Pac 10 leader I thought they would be. The spread on this game is only four points, but the game is at the copycat Pit; so there's a good chance that a Husky could be distracted by an Oregon cheerleader and miss a few free throws. So just to be safe, I'll go money line on this game. As the septogenarian who turned down my proposal to work for him would say, "Just Win, Baby."

In other Pac-10 action, Arizona is a 3pt underdog at Cal (7:30 PST, FOXB). The 15-9 Wildcats, realizing that this trip to northern California could have big NCAA implications, have activated Chris Rodgers for the game. This despite being kicked off the team three weeks ago for undisclosed reasons. Lute Olson did not provide any details with his reinstatement. I guess he was able to do or undo whatever he did or didn't do to get kicked off the team. Either that, or Lute has decided that integrity isn't as important as keeping his NCAA tournament streak alive...

Nate Has Embraced the Blazers Way

Thanks to reader JSon for this email:

Coach Nate McMillan's reaction to Sebastian Telfair bringing a loaded gun onto a plane:

"I think it was smart of him to not carry it around, so he left it on the plane," coach Nate McMillan said. "The thing he should have done is, we have security with us, and make them aware of the situation. It's a mistake that all of us can learn from."

It’s the “all of us can learn from” part that’s got me confused. Is he actually saying: “Well, we all carry loaded weapons when we fly – heck I got an uzi on me right now. But we should let security know what we’re packing, y’know, just so they have a chance to compete. We always outgun those muthafuckas”

It also just validates that ‘smart’ is a relative term.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Talkin' Beisbol.

According to his agent, it appears that Sammy Sosa is headed for retirement. No comment has been made by Sosa himself, as he has apparently now forgotten how to speak Spanish as well as English. Slammin' Sammy is now Silent Sammy. The man, who along with McGwire and Ripken helped "save the game" in 1998, now prefers to fade off quietly into that good night and take his .221 batting average with him. It will be interesting to see what Sosa's final legacy is. Will he be remembered as the only player to have three 60+ home run seasons, or will he be remembered as the guy whose bat exploded with cork, flipped out when Rick Riley challenged him to pee in a cup, and then lost his mojo as soon as major league baseball began stringent steroid testing? You can probably guess where I fall on this one. With Sosa, McGwire and Palmeiro now out of the game, that leaves Barry Bonds as the last remaining high-profile juiced (allegedly) record-holding player.

We should get an up-close and personal view of Bonds' 2006 season, as ESPN will be following Barry around all year for an installment of its documentary, "The Season." It should make for some riveting televison: Here's Barry hanging out in his Bel Air house with some actors he hired to be his friends. Here's Barry getting his hats resized. Here's Barry in the flaxseed section of GNC. Good times for all. This is also fantastic news for Nikolai Bonds, as the only time he ever gets to see his dad is when pops needs his son as a prop for the tv cameras. Possible jerseys in which we'll see Nikolai adorned this year include: (most likely) Gale Sayers, Earl Campbell, Willie Mays; (least likely) Babe Ruth, Jason Giambi, Jeff Kent....

In other baseball news, the Angels signed Jeff Weaver to a one year contract worth a guaranteed $8.3 million with another $600,000 in possible incentives. The incentives are for starts and innings pitched. A more appropriate incentive for Weaver would have been something along the lines of: give up fewer than 3 runs in an inning afer a teammate makes an error- 50k; refuse to blame the umpire's strike zone for a loss- 100k. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when a "performance" bonus can be achieved merely by participating in the game, regardless of productivity. Being able to throw a 90 mph fastball has become the equivalent of being 6'10" in basketball- no matter what else you can or can't do, someone will always be willing to pay for your services...

Finally, while the Mets may have lost Anna Benson, they have found a very suitable replacement in Melissa Lima.
(Note: further research indicates that Jose Lima and Melissa have divorced. I guess some wives get bent out of shape when their husband gives another woman herpes. Regardless, the pic stays!)

Thank You Sir May I Have Another?!

My directv programming choices at this moment:

channel 242 (USA): Men's olympic hockey: USA vs Latvia
channel 292 (Disney Toons): Kim Possible
channel 254 (AMC): National Lampoon's Animal House
channel 544 (TMCE): Hardbodies 2

I'm sorry to report that there will be no olympic hockey updates in the Lounge today.

El Piso No Es Un Baño

I just spent the last 4 hours engaged in a political debate on an internet message board.

I will now spend the remainder of the afternoon trying to teach my dog to speak Spanish. It can't be any less productive.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Beach Combing

There was a time when this was one of the most anticipated days of the year. It was a simpler time- a time before Maxim, FHM, Stuff and Razor magazine. A time when men of all ages gathered together side by side at 7-Elevens and bookstores across the nation.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue hits newstands today to little more than a collective yawn. The cover features eight of SI's past cover models, and airbrushing be damned, the 42 year-old Elle Macpherson looks great.

I think just for old time's sake, I'll go ahead and store this year's issue under my mattress.

Jibber Jabber

Quick recaps while I drink a few nightcaps:

Watching women's curling on the USA Network should give PTA moms everywhere hope that they too could one day be an Olympic athlete. As I write this, the Canadian women are kicking the United States' asses up and down the ice. If any good can come from this, it's that it will inspire American women to embrace the Olympic spirit and pick up a broom and put it to work around the house in preparation for 2010...

Villanova went nuts from 3 pt land in the 2nd half and beat Connecticut at home 69-64. UConn guard Marcus Williams scored 12 points, dished 5 assists, and tallied 3 steals- a basketball, a warm-up jersey, and a television camera...

Olympic Look-alike: Figure skater Emily Hughes and American Pie actress Alysson Hannigan. "This one time at skate camp..."

The Reds signed Adam Dunn to a two year $18.5 million contract. Last year, Dunn hit .247 with 40 homers and 168 strikeouts. 18.5 mil...somewhere in middle America, Rob Deer and Dave Kingman's heads just exploded...

Ok, it must be getting late because American curler Cassie Johnson is starting to look cute to me...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Olympic Slumber

Curling is eliminating the "insomniac" element from the Insomniac's Lounge. Last night, the USA network had live Olympic coverage starting at midnight, however they started their coverage with curling. I was asleep by 12:03. I know it's supposed to be a popular sport, but I just can't get into shuffleboard on ice. Any game that can be practiced on a Carnival Cruise is not one that I can take seriously as an Olympic event.

Btw, as I type this, MSNBC is testing just how badly anyone wants to watch the Olympics by broadcasting a Women's Ice Hockey matchup between Finland and Switzerland. It might be time for my mid-morning nap...

The Olympics and NBC are missing out on a great sponsoring partnership with their late-night coverage. Somewhere around 1 am, there should be a commercial along the lines of: "It's 1 am and you're watching two guys in tights sweep ice. You need help. You need...Lunesta."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

'Skiing is partying, partying is skiing'

I tried to watch the olympics last night, but then as I was flipping channels during a commercial, I noticed that the 1991 classic Ski School was on cable. So while men in tights were skating in a large circle against a clock on NBC, women were taking their tights off on a ski slope on TMC. Ski School also had more drama, as Johnny had to ski The Dome to try to save the mountain for the partygoers. But in-between nude scenes and bad jokes, I was able to catch a little bit of the games. A quick recap:

Chad Hedrick won the gold in the men's 5000m speed skating event. Afterwards, he told Melissa Stark that he credited his dead grandmother for watching over him as he skated. Minutes later, olympians everywhere were using their collection of $10 birthday checks to order hits on their grandmothers...

Norwegian Kari Traa (pictured) won the silver in the women's moguls. Kari Traa is my favorite athlete of the games thus far. Not just because she's hot, but also because she told a reporter, "Beer is healthy. It has lots of B vitamins." Sadly, this is her last olympic games. Maybe she can open a ski school...

UCLA alum Michelle Kwan had to pull out of the games. She said it was because of injury, but I have my suspicions that she was just growing tired of Scott Hamilton stalking her. While I know NBC will never do this, hopefully the focus will shift on who is competing, Sasha Cohen, rather than who isn't there...

In other news, Pac-10 referees called the UCLA/Washington matchup with the tenacity of a chaperone at a junior high dance. All touching was strictly ferboten. In a game with 53 total personal fouls, free throw shooting was the difference. UCLA was 19-29 (65%). Washington went 28-34 (82%) and held on to win, 70-67.

As I type this, Canada is beating Russia 12-0 in women's hockey on CNBC. Defensewoman Carla MacLeod scored the 12th goal for the Canadian team which was meaningless for everyone except those who were using Rick Tocchet's line of Canada -11...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Odd Couple

I apologize for being a little late with this post, but Brian Williams' Olympic coverage had me so depressed I couldn't get out of bed. For some reason, NBC decided to pair news anchor Williams with sports anchor Bob Costas during the introduction of each nation's athletes, which led to exchanges along the lines of this:

Costas: And here come the delegates from Iran- not a country that immediately comes to mind when you think about the winter Olympics.

Williams: But it is perhaps the first country that comes to mind when you think of world threats. Their president has called for the destruction of Israel, they're close to getting the nuclear bomb, and we'd probably be at war with them right now if the United States had any troops remaining that weren't fighting in Iraq in Afghanistan.

Costas: Next up is Ireland- land of shamrocks, leprechauns, and Guinness beer.

Williams: And also the site of a terrible civil war and one of the worst famines in the history of Europe.

Costas: Here is the one athlete representing Kenya. A cross country skier who was so touched by the gesture of a fellow competitor at the 2002 winter games that he later named his first born son after him.

Williams: Did you know that 23% of the Kenyan population makes less than a $1 a day?

Costas: I guess that makes him a dollar menu guy.

Williams: I'd like to take this opportunity to remind viewers that we're all destined to die someday. And for many of us, that day may be soon...

It went on like that for hours. It's bad enough that by the end of each Olympic ceremonies I usually feel like an idiot because there are about a dozen countries participating that I didn't even know existed; but now Brian Williams has taken it upon himself to remind me of all the atrocities in the world. Maybe NBC's strategy is to put the viewers in such a deep depression that they won't have the energy to press the remote control? Thanks guys.

Friday, February 10, 2006

C'Mon Baby Light My Fire

A few thoughts while I scour the internet to find a country where scotch and eggs is an acceptable breakfast...

The winter Olympics will finally get underway tonight with the opening ceremonies from Torino. For the next two weeks, NBC is going to show athletes you've never heard of competing in events you'll never care about. But the opening ceremonies, with each country parading its athletes in a circle for hours and hours, gives you some faces to root for. Better said, it gives you some *hot* faces to root for. So while I normally wouldn't tune in for any women's slalom, halfpipe, or figure skating events under other circumstances, I will tune in to see Tina Maze, Gretchen Bleiler, or the uber-flexible Sasha Cohen display their athleticism. It's a lesson the WNBA should consider...

In the Pac-10 last night:
What happens when a former Pittsburgh head coach matches up against a former Wisconsin head coach? Final score: UCLA 50, Washington St. 30. That's right, 30 points for the entire game (and 12 at the half) scored by the Cougars. As a Pac-10 fan, I'm not used to seeing defense being played for 40 full minutes, and I'm having a lot of trouble adjusting...

Nice job by the Huskies- stepping on USC early and never letting them into the game. Final score: Washington 87, USC 73. Now that's what a Pac-10 score is supposed to look like. Twice as many points scored in the Huskies game as the Bruins game. It should be an interesting match up of styles Saturday when UCLA goes to Seattle. I'm projecting the early line to be Washington by 4...

If you decide to actually go out tonight rather than make mental advances on the U.S. Skeleton team, here's something to watch for. If you let your girlfriend choose the night's events, and she wants to watch a movie and picks "Curious George"- and then later that night she call you "daddy" in bed, well, that's a pretty good warning sign that there may be a few issues lurking. Or maybe you're dating a stripper and you already knew that...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I Might Be the Next Raiders Head Coach

Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino have pulled themselves out of consideration for the Los Angeles Raiders of Oakland head coaching job. The list of interviewees now includes Whisenhunt, Petrino, Mike Martz, Al Saunders, and Rod Marinelli, all of whom have decided that there were better ways to spend a football season than answering to the whims of a senile man who's stuck in the 70's.

So Big Al, that just leaves you and me, baby. I'm more than happy to have a sideline view of NFL football (and the Raiderettes) while reading your handbook on the Commitment to Excellence. You want me to wear a jogging suit on the sidelines? Just tell me whether we're going with metallic or velour. Want to call my headset on every play and demand a go route? Well, Mount Up, cuz here we go...although I won't massage Randy Moss' hamstring when he feels a twinge on the second play of the game. Hey, you can even call me Coach Madden, and I'll say "Boom" and "Whap" throughout every practice. It can be 1976 all over again.

Of course, I'm going to need at least 1.5 mil for these services. I may be a whippin' boy, but I'm a whippin' boy with a price.

That Laffy Raffy

There's an excellent article/blog by Buster Olney on ESPN.com that details the career paths of Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro. The article is found here. Unfortunately, it's an Insider only column, which is very unfortunate, as I think it's a very enlightening piece that should be read by the masses. For that reason, I am going to be unethical and reprint it without permission. However to be fair, ESPN has my permission to take anything I write and reprint it on their site- just give me the byline:

We are a week away from pitchers and catchers reporting, and Rafael Palmeiro still doesn't have a job. It could be that his career is over, and an arc of the Steroid Era that began at Mississippi State more than two decades ago is now complete.

Will Clark and Palmeiro were teammates at Mississippi State. In the spring of 1985, Clark was the star prospect, while Palmeiro was highly regarded -- but not in the same way as Clark. A major league scout filed these reports in early May of that year.

About Clark, he wrote, in blocked handwriting: "Has all the tools. Powerful stroke -- makes contact." Clark received a power rating of 8 at that time. About Palmeiro, the same scout reported: "Continues to generate great bat speed and make contact. Line drive power -- ball jumps off the bat." Palmeiro received a power rating of 6.

A month or so later, a scout with the same team wrote this about Clark: "Home run type stroke. Upper deck type of power." And he gave him a power rating of 9 -- very good. The first scout saw Palmeiro a second time, and again rated his power at a 6 -- high average. "Graceful, laid-back type player, but do not mistake this for laziness!" the scout wrote. "Quiet type with fragile ego. Type who cannot be screamed at. Very important to get off on right foot in pro ball."

Clark was taken second overall, by the Giants. The Cubs picked Palmeiro late in the first round, at No. 22.
And Palmeiro was a good player right away. He batted .276 in 84 games in 1987, and in his first full season, in 1988, Palmeiro hit .307, with eight homers, five triples, 41 doubles, and 124 singles.

His old college teammate? Clark was a bona fide star immediately. Four months older than Palmeiro, he broke into the big leagues with a home run in his first at-bat, against Nolan Ryan. In 1987, Clark clubbed 35 homers, 29 doubles, five triples and drove in 91 runs, with a .308 batting average. He would quickly become the face of the Giants franchise, hitting his 150th career homer in 1992, when he turned 28. In the same summer, Palmeiro was still shy of his 100th career homer.

But Clark had started to show signs of wear and tear. And suddenly, in the summer of 1993, Palmeiro went from being a good power hitter to something very different, hammering 37 home runs. It was his first full season as a teammate of Jose Canseco.

Both Clark and Palmeiro became eligible for free agency after the 1993 season, and Orioles executives wanted to sign Clark. But new owner Peter Angelos vetoed that deal because of concerns about whether Clark's body would break down, and he signed Palmeiro instead. By then, Palmeiro was open about how frustrated he was with the attention Clark received; he had always been lost in Clark's shadow. His jealousy of Clark was an open secret.

As the former teammates each moved beyond his 30th birthday, they were changing places. Palmeiro was either approaching or surpassing 40 homers every year, while Clark was going through a regression that had once been fairly typical. The nagging injuries reduced his playing time: At age 32, he managed just 117 games; the next year, 110. He was having a hard time staying healthy, but Palmeiro and some of Clark's other generational peers were generating staggering production.

Clark had a nice, if unspectacular, finish to his career, wrapping up at age 36, a typical career path -- Jackie Robinson played his last game at 37, while Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle each retired at 36. In Clark's final season, he batted .319 with 21 homers and 70 RBI in 2000. In Clark's last summer, Palmeiro blasted 39 homers and drove in 120 runs. It was as if he was ageless, compared to his college teammate.

Clark closed a very good career with 2,176 hits and 284 homers. Palmeiro, however, was destined to hit 169 homers after Clark retired, including his 500th homer in 2003, his 550th homer near the end of 2004.

Palmeiro had Hall of Fame numbers. His college teammate, once considered to be more talented, more dynamic -- and once even a markedly better major league hitter -- wasn't a serious Hall of Fame candidate. His respectable numbers have been obliterated by Palmeiro and others in their generation.

In July of 2005, Palmeiro picked up his 3,000th career hit, but observers said at the time they found him to be strangely subdued.

As it turned out, his appeal for a positive steroid test was being heard -- and a couple of weeks later, the appeal was denied. And Palmeiro became the most prominent player ever to be suspended for steroid use.

When Clark was asked in a radio interview what he would say to Palmeiro, his response was blunt: Partner, you got caught. Their careers, and their relationship, could be the prism through which we could view the entire steroid era.

I hope that enough of the truth is out about Palmeiro that he won't be in the Hall of Fame, although I'm sure there will be plenty of writers who will say, "you can't ignore the numbers." But if you were to just judge Palmeiro's career up to the point where he met Canseco, he pales in comparison to Will Clark, Steve Garvey, and Don Mattingly, none of whom are in the Hall. Raffy should be on the outside, looking in. Maybe he can set up a table next to Pete Rose and autograph copies of his book detailng the evils of a B-12 shot.

M&M Returns to 8 Mile

Mike Martz stopped dancing with Matt Millen and agreed to contract terms to become the new offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions. I'm not sure if this hiring will be enough for Millen to save his job, but I can be certain that it will have at least two effects. Rod Marinelli will be the first head coach to install a rear-view mirror on his headset so he can keep an eye on Martz at all times; and under delusions that he can put up Warner/Bulger numbers, fantasy owners everywhere will make Joey Harrington the most overpaid player in their league.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

All Good Things...

My season-best NBA winning streak comes to an end...at 2 games.

Cuban Comes Out Smoking

Let's see if I can make some more money:

Minnesota -2 vs Cleveland. The Cavs just aren't the same team on the road and are 3-11 ATS as the underdog. The Wolves seem to have found a nice up-tempo style that suits all of their new players. After their win against Phoenix, they should have a lil' confidence brewing. Call this a momentum play. Although anyone that's seen my Ameritrade account knows that momentum plays haven't exactly been working for me lately.

Also in NBA news, Mark Cuban layed down some Steinbrenner-esque smack on the Zenned one. Anyone else surprised that Cuban didn't say he "pwned" Phil? Hopefully Phil will respond by telling Cuban to "count the rings, bitch" and then give him a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to digest.

If you're still looking for a Valentine's Day gift, this site has some good stuff. Unfortunately, the stripper is not included.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Believe the Hype

All of the Dean Dome was decked out in full Smurf gear for another Smurfy classic between Duke and North Carolina. The Heels rallied from 17 down in the 2nd half, led by some big 3 point shots by Reyshawn Terry, to take the lead, and the arena was rejoicing. But then JJ Redick started dropping bombs and the joy quickly turned to terror. For an animated reenactment of the game, click the video link on this page.

Some other quick notes on the game:

Dick Vitale must have a heavy overstock of gear to sell, because he used the phrase "diaper dandy" 14 times during the game. Dick, it might have been kinda cute the first time I heard it 20 years ago, but it's time to move on...

Another chapter for the pro-Duke Vitalogy: Vitale praises the officials for an 'excellent call' on a goaltending whistle after Shelden Williams shot fell off the rim. Replays then show that the North Carolina defender never touched the ball.

Could someone tell Doris Burke that the expression is "guts of a burglar" and not "stomach of a robber?" I know it seems like it's the same, but really, it's not.

Thank you to the director for repeatedly showing the perky blonde Smurfette in braces jumping up and down in the stands. She was 18, right? I mean I feel bad enough for the thoughts I was having about her. I just hope they weren't, well, illegal.

You Know, Sports and Stuff

Tying up a few loose ends while I watch Eurotrip for the 300th time on cable and await tonight's Duke/UNC matchup...

Despite the warnings of the evils of nepotism provided by Don Nelson Jr, Joey Meyer, Jim Harrick Jr, and Joe Buck, Georgetown appears to have rediscovered its magic with John Thompson III. I grew up a Hoyas hater in the mid-80s, but now they are one of my favorite teams to watch. They are team-oriented on offense and fundamentally sound on defense. I'm sure John Jr. Jr. makes daddy proud, except he hasn't learned how to bully the officials yet...

After losing to Washington State over the weekend, Washington's basketball team should be feeling a little bit of pressure going into this upcoming weekend when they host USC and UCLA. With Stanford and Cal on the rise, if the Huskies they don't win at least one of those games, then the Huskies might go from top 25 to NIT in a hurry...

The TWolves beat the Suns last night on a game ending block by Kevin Garnett. The Wolves are 2nd in the league with 6.2 blocks per game. The top 10 teams in blocks are: LA Clippers, TWolves, Utah, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Denver, Boston, Portland, San Antonio&Phoenix (tie). The bottom 10 teams in blocks are: Toronto, New Jersey, Sacramento, Seattle, Milwaukee, New York, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, Washington. Notice a trend here? Most of the winning teams aren't stepping in to take charges- they go for the blocked shot. Sliding under a player that's driving to the hoop sends the message that the team is inviting its opponent to literally run over its ass, whereas blocking a shot is an act of aggression and intimidation. It appears the latter attitude is more conducive to winning. Either that, or I'm full of crap and it's just that having a legit big man is part of the winning model...

Steve Hutchinson and Shaun Alexander are both free agents for the Seahawks. Signing Hutchinson has to be the top priority. If the Cardinals or some other team gives Alexander a huge offer, the 'Hawks should thank him for his services and let him walk. Alexander's best asset is his vision, but if a hole isn't there, he's not going to make any space for himself. Personally, I think Seattle should let him walk regardless, but if he shows a willingness to sign for the Seahawks for less than he can get on the open market, then I suppose that it makes sense to keep the known quantity rather than draft someone like Brian Calhoun, Maurice Drew or Jerome Harrison- although Harrison would be an intriguing home-state pick...

John Clayton had the best post-Super Bowl comment. In a radio interview, he said the Steelers' victory in Super Bowl 40 gives hope to 49ers fans, because Pittsburgh was able to take home the Lombardi trophy with their QB looking like Alex Smith...

And just because it's been stuck in my head for the last month-
Scotty doesn't know
That Fiona and me
Do it in my van every Sunday.

She tells him she's in church,
but she doesn't go.
Still, she's on her knees and...

Scotty doesn't know
Scotty doesn't know

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Case of the Mondays

I'll try to speed up a slow sports' day with a little bit of gambling on tonight's NBA action:

Minnesota +9.5 at Phoenix. The Suns invite teams to go on a scoring-fest for 48 minutes, and I expect Ricky Davis, KG, and Marcus Banks to oblige. Unless Steve Nash is hung over from a Super Bowl party, Phoenix should still win the game at home, but a score of 112-106 wouldn't surprise me.

Denver at Golden State over 201.5. I'll be honest- I haven't been following either of these teams in recent weeks. I'm strictly taking this over based on the history of these two teams. The last time they met, the final score was 118-112. While I don't expect 230 points to be scored, I do think this will be an up-and-down game, allowing both teams to get into triple digits.

Thank You, Full Throttle

I was making the five hour drive home alone along the grapevine in the middle of the night; and somewhere between slamming my last energy drink and hallucinating that there was an old man sitting next to me, I realized where I made my mistake in coding for the archives when I transferred to my new server. The links have now been fixed, and the archives are good-to-go. Sadly, I will have to manually recode every image link if I want the pics to reappear in the older postings, and I am far too lazy to do that. However, all of the text detailing my useless ramblings, erroneous gambling picks, and excessive references to bestiality is now back to share with the world. And what a richer world it is indeed.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dr. Detroit

The Steelers made the plays when they needed to and earned the right to call themselves Super Bowl champs. The flip side is that this game was the least impressive performance by a Super Bowl champion since the Giants beat the Bills in the Scott Norwood game, and was a conspiracy theorist's wet dream. But at least now the big story from the two weeks of Super Bowl hype is complete: Tommy Maddox is now the only player in football to win an XFL and NFL championship.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Everyone Loves a Block Party

As long as I'm here, I might as well mention last night's Timberwolves/Trailblazers game. Hopefully, most people had something better to do on a Friday night, but anyone that caught this game saw some of the most entertaining action of the NBA season. Kevin Garnett set a team record by going 12 for 13 from the field (tho he didn't take any shots in the last, decisive five minutes of the game) and Zach Randolph made some clutch shots to win it. But what made this game so remarkable was the play of the post defenders. A very unfortunate trend in the NBA over the last few years has been the propensity of defenders to react to any drive by stepping in to take a charge. Call it the Vlade effect. Also unfortunate is that unless it's an obvious block, the referees will invariably call the charge. So now anytime someone like Andre Miller drives to the hole, you can expect a defender like Jason Collins to step in front and flop to the floor.

But last night, Theo Ratliff, KG, and Eddie Griffin went old skool. Whenever somebody went to the hole, those guys went for the swat. By the end of the game, fans courtside were able to hear the phrase, "Get that shit out of here" 19 times! Now that's how you f*cking play defense. Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Bill Russell, who never took a charge in their lives, would have been proud.

Smells Funny in the Cantonese Kitchen

Ok, I had to find a pc to write a quick post about the Hall of Fame selections. Troy Aikman, Reggie White, John Madden, Warren Moon, Harry Carson, and Rayfield Wright are all bound for Canton this fall. Michael Irvin did not make the cut.

The message here is clear- if you're a top flight athlete, it's fine with the selection committee if you beat your wife or insult every minority on the face of the planet. But get caught with a blunt in your possession, and that is a sin that offers no forgiveness.

Or maybe the voters just thought if they voted Irvin in they'd never be able to erase this pic (right) from their minds...

Road Trip

I'll be out of town for this Super Bowl weekend, so the Lounge will likely be closed until Monday. In the meantime, check out the blow-by-blow blog of the Super Bowl over at Deadspin.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Quitting is Habit Forming

Three months after resigning as pitching coach of the Texas Rangers to take a front office position with the organization, Orel Hershiser has quit again (registration required), this time to accept a job as an analyst at ESPN. Hershiser (whose record-breaking 59th consecutive scoreless inning was probably the most historic sporting event I've witnessed in person) was unavailable for comment. Had he been available for comment, he probably would have said something along the lines of, "I've seen ESPN give prominent airtime to Sean Salisbury and Steve Phillips, and they don't know a darn thing. Just give me a year over there, and I'll be running the whole show. Or I'll just quit again. It's 50-50 really."

...In related news, a google image search of "Oral" instead of "Orel" will produce drastically different results than originally desired. The really weird part is that it's a combination of oral sex pics mixed with images of oral cancer. It's a stark warning that after receiving a mind-blowing hummer, you should resist the urge to light up a cigarette.

Gonna Take a Bus Ride

I have picked against the Steelers in every game of the playoffs, and lost handily each time. For the sake of completion, I had every intention of picking against the Steelers again for Super Bowl 40. But then I began to change my mind once I started looking at some of the Super Bowl props:

Matt Hasselbeck passing yards: over/under 240. I think the under looks good here. Aside from one pass by Carson Palmer, the QBs have been very shaky against the Steelers defense. Polamalu and Porter have been very effective at disrupting the rhythm and confidence of each QB they've faced- Kitna, Manning, and Plummer. Why should I believe that Hasselbeck will be able to avoid a similar fate?

Shaun Alexander rushing yards: over/under 90.5. Until the Carolina game, article after article was being written questioning Alexander's ability to perform in an important game. So now that he finally broke out against the Panthers, does that mean all of his problems are behind him? Plus Maurice Morris will probably be given a fair share of carries himself, as Holmgren will surely want to mix it up a bit.

So, if I don't think that Hasselbeck will throw for more than 240, and I'm equally skeptical that Alexander will rush for more than 90, then how can I possibly pick them to win the game? Pit probably has the edge in special teams, and each defense is equally adept at forcing turnovers, so that aspect is a wash. So I'm breaking my own personal trend, and going with Tommy Maddox's championship experience and the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Super Bowl prediction: Pittsburgh 28, Seattle 17.

(And yes, if you're a Seahawks fan, you should be out celebrating right now based on my track record in these playoffs.)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Surreal Life

Former child actress Jodie Sweetin, best known as the girl on Full House who wasn't related to Kirk Cameron and didn't look like a mun-chee-chee, admitted in an interview with ABC that she used to be addicted to methamphetamine. She was using everyday until an intervention was staged by her former Full House castmates, including Bob Saget, the Olsen Twins and John Stamos. Dave Coulier was there too, but since he's on Fox's Skating w/ the Stars, which is a ripoff of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, he's dead to the Disney family and isn't mentioned in the story.

John Stamos was at the intervention with a film crew as we has taping his yet to be picked up documentary, "Stamos in Progress." The Lounge was fortunate enough to obtain a transcript of the events.

Stamos: Jodie, we need to talk. We just read in the tabloids that you were on a bender for three days.

Saget: I used to suck dick for coke! Now that's an addiction. You ever suck some dick for meth?

Mary-Kate: Oooh yeah, that's fun. Have you tried that yet, Jodie? You'll love it!

Coulier (in voice of Popeye): Well blow me down! Ahhgagagaga....

Stamos: Guys, you're not helping! How am I going to sell this documentary if we don't have a breakthough here?!

Saget: Maybe if someone gets hit in the nuts, I can do a special edition of America's Funniest Home Videos?

Mary-Kate: I don't get it, Jodie. How come you're not, like, super skinny? When I was using Tom Brady's Visa card to cut up lines, I was totallly thin. It rocked!

Jodie: Um, guys?

Saget: Right. Right. We're here to talk about Jodie.

Dave Coulier (as Bullwinkle): This time for sure!

Stamos: Ok Jodie (tilting face towards camera), we care about you and we're here for you. We think you need some help.

Jodie: Guys, I don't have a drug problem.

Mary-Kate: No offense Jodie, but I don't think people are going to buy that you're anorexic.

Jodie: No, really, I don't have a problem. I want to act again.

Stamos, Mary-Kate, Saget: Ohhhhh.

Coulier (as Fozzy Bear): Aaaaaahhh.

Jodie: Nobody was going to give me a role just because I'm a former child star. But if I was a former child star that had a drug problem, *now * I'm newsworthy. I just saw that HBO special a few years ago, "Crank," and figured that was the "it" drug to be hooked on.

Stamos: Oh Jodie, I'm so proud.

Jodie: So....does anyone have any projects in the works that they could get me in on?


Coulier: Hey Fox is thinking about doing "Celebrity Enemas" next season.

Saget: Mine! Mine! Mine!

Mary-Kate: Well, in about six months, I'm going to need to release a "stolen" sex tape if I still want to be a celebrity. You could be in that if you want.

Jodie: Thanks, MK, you're the best!

(group hug).

Super Bowl Jiggle

Still undecided about where to watch the Super Bowl this weekend? The Hooters Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas will have its grand opening this Friday. Judging from this pic, there will be a decent assortment of talent:

I'm all for Hooters expanding their brand anywhere they can- casinos, coffee houses, churches, whatever. But by Vegas standards, Hooters is actually rather tame when compared to the cocktail waitress outfits at Venetian, Rio, or if you want to be seedy, Imperial Palace.

I guess there's only way to find out if the Hooters casino is worth visiting....Road Trip!

Damn that Groups Button

The public relations manager for the Golden State Warriors was fired Wednesday for inadvertently sending out a racially insensitive e-mail titled "Ghetto Prom" to the team's entire media distribution list. Eric Govan, the No. 3 person on the Warriors' media relations staff, sent the e-mail featuring 17 photos, many depicting scantily clad black people in formal attire and commentary on the outfits. The e-mail went to dozens of newspaper reporters, columnists and sports editors, as well as television and radio stations.

Oops. As soon, as the email went out, Govan realized that he'd accidentally selected his entire address book instead of just the guy in the office he throws back a few beers with at lunch. He immediately sent out an apology email, but of course it was too late.

Of course he should be fired, since he's a PR guy and all, but at the same time I feel for the guy. We've all received inappropriate emails that we've laughed at privately but could only share with a few people. This pic for example was sent to me from a work email. One misclick, and the sender would be fooked. So I guess I'm just saying this should be a cautionary tale to take care when forwarding the next time you open your inbox and find a pic of someone throwing up while having sex, a pic that you know you shouldn't laugh at, or a scene so violent it burns itself in your brain for days.

Or maybe this is just a wake up call to me that I need to start making some friends that aren't psychopaths.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Next, They'll Beat Down the Local Special Olympics Team

Epiphanny Prince is a senior at Murry Bergtraum High School. She is also a guard on the girl's basketball team. Wednesday night, she scored 113 points in a game, which I hear tell is some sort of record. The final score of the game was Murry Bergtraum 137, Brandeis 32.


Hey coach, you think you might want to call off the full-court press, asshole?! I don't know if anyone reading this has ever watched a girls' high school basketball game; but if you have, you know that oftentimes of the 5 girls on the court for one team, four of them are incapable of dribbling without looking at the ball. Additionally, many of these girls don't yet have the ability to put much zip on anything other than a two handed chest pass. So if you have a few quick girls, you can run a full court press and pretty much assure that the ball will never cross half court. Unfortunately, in every district, there is always one school where the coach is pissed because his own basketball career was shortened by injury. Then to make matters worse, his children were all daughters, so he was unable to live vicariously through a son. So he uses his girl's basketball team as a way to vent all of his life's frustrations. He runs a full court press defense at all times, even if they're up 100 points in the 4th quarter. He keeps the starters in for every minute of the game, and he chews them out anytime they miss a shot. It's not about teamwork or sportsmanship. It's about self-loathing and rage. Way to go, coach Ed Grezinsky. Can you imagine a coach pulling this stunt in a real sport? There would be a full-scale brawl.

The AP article tries to provide a little context for Prince's 113 points:
"The NBA record is 100 points in a game by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962."
How is this in any way relevant? I once scored 115 points with random white guy in a game of "Double Dribble" on my old Super Nintendo (I was deadly from the corner). That's about as close to scoring 100 points in an NBA game as some girl doing it on her high school team. Where's my entry in the record books, dammit!

Brilliant Parody

I don't care what your political inclinations are- this is freaking hilarious. And a wee bit scary.

Video and Code Provided by Disloyal.org

In Need of Slump-Buster

Nobody's going to care about this, but I need to vent, and it's 2:30 in the morning, so this seems like as good as space as any. But I'm warning you now, you might as well click away from this page, because these are precious moments of your life that you won't get back...

I bought MVP 06 NCAA Baseball for the XBox the other day because it was getting good reviews and I couldn't resist the temptation to play as the Long Beach State Dirtbags. In this game, EA Sports has utilized the right analog stick for the batting mechanism. You pull back on the stick to shift your weight to your back foot and then push forward to swing. You also use the left analog stick to control swinging inside or outside and the shoulder buttons to control a powered versus a controlled swing. A bit complicated, but once you get the rhythm down, it shouldn't be too difficult, right? Well, it turns out I absolutely suck at the game. I mean really, really suck. The first game I played, I went the entire game without hitting the ball out of the infield. To top it off, the right stick is used in throwing the ball as well, which leads to plenty of errors on defense. After three innings, I was trailing 28-0 and had 10 errors. As Mike Patrick says during the game, "Ho-lee Cow!"

With practice, I've improved my defense, but I still can't hit for shit. It's so depressing. I've never sucked at a sports video game before- especially not when just playing against the freaking computer! Is this the death knell to what remains of my youth? Should I just take up bridge and lawn bowling now?

And I think this is beginning to have a domino effect on other areas of my life as well. For example, Pimlico is currently shut down because there is an outbreak of horse herpes, and I don't have a joke for it. Horse herpes! I suppose it's apropos that I'm tossed a softball of a story and am forced to meekly tap it back to the mound...