Friday, June 30, 2006

Boy Scout

Why does Maruizio Gheradini work so hard for the Euroleage? He does it for the kids, obviously.

In an odd description of his first encounter with a then-16 Andrea Barnagni, euroleague exec Maurizio Gherardini says:

"Immediately, I was surprised by, how you say, his athleticism. I was surprised my how smooth he was. He could move. It was then, the flirting began."

Ok. That's a little weird. The article continues:

For almost eight months, Gherardini offered and Bargnani declined. He said no. His parents said no. The push continued.

No means no. But some loves cannot be denied.
"You have to see him," said Gherardini, his eyes lighting up. "You won't believe it until you see him. You have no idea no strong he is. You have no idea how smooth he is. He is not a kid anymore. Now he is not afraid.”

Now I'm officially creeped out. The article doesn't mention it, but I suspect he also gave Bargnani wine and took shirtless pictures of him in his bicycle shop.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Skinny

I was having server problems all day, so no draft recap from me today. Besides, the Mighty MJD has an absolutely hysterical 'live chat' transcript that I can't compete with anyway. Plus, there's this in-depth analysis from reader JSon:

"An interesting factoid on the Seattle centers (Saer Sene, Johan Petro and Robert Swift): if
you combine their ages, take their average weight and height and then divide
that by projected playtime...they all really suck."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I am a Warrior, Bang Bang

I can't imagine there are many Golden State Warriors fans out there, but this is still pretty interesting. Dave Pawson, a Warriors season ticket holder, was upset that the Warriors raised ticket prices despite a very disappointing season. So he wrote a scathing letter to the team. To his surprise, Warriors president Robert Rowell responded and invited the ticket holder to a face-to-face meeting, during which, Rowell was remarkably straight forward. Here are Pawson's accounts of the meeting.

That Other Football

So, I've watched about 15 minutes of the world's most popular sport- and it's the first 15 minutes of soccer that I've seen since the last world cup. That, however, won't deter me from acting like I'm an expert on the game. I think I've figured out how to fix the sport so that it will be more palatable to the Amercian viewer, which I'm sure is real high on FIFA's priority list. Actually, I've got two different plans- one of which is drastic, while the other is more subtle.

Drastic measure- Switch ball from round to oblong. Allow the use of hands and tackling. Get rid of the goaltender and switch the entire baseline to an "end zone." Upon reaching this endzone, a team is awarded six points.

That one probably won't fly. So here are a few alternative measures.

1) Revise offsides. I absolutely hate the offsides trap. A defenseman should not be awarded for allowing an opponent to outrun him. Getting behind the defense should be a prelude to some action, not a violation. At the same time, I can understand why there needs to be some rules in place to prevent outright cherry-picking. There's another sport out there that has an offsides regulation that still allows for aggressive offensive play. Unfortunately, it's a sport that nobody watches and so this adaptation has gone unnoticed. It's called hockey. Soccer could borrow from hockey and put some chalk down 30 yards beyond each goal creating attacking zones. A team would be required to be "onside" upon entering the zone, but as long the ball stayed within the zone, then players could roam as they wanted.

2) Reduce diving. It's true that basketball remains popular despite flopping, but the difference is that basketball games have 180+ points scored in each game. So one flop, while pivotal, won't in itself determine the outcome of a game. But when soccer games routinely end 1-0, then flopping becomes a viable strategy. As much as I hate to do it, I think soccer should introduce instant replay into soccer for any play that is ruled as either a red card or a penalty kick. Blatant flopping should result in a yellow card for the flopper.

3) Bring back the Golden Goal. I can't imagine that it's all that satisfying to play 120 minutes of soccer and then have the final outcome decided by penalty kicks. The analogy has been made before that it would be like playing 53 minutes of basketball and then opt to settle the game with a free throw shooting contest (although looking at what Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitski did with free throws in the Finals, maybe that is what happened). If a soccer match is tied, teams should play 30 minute periods until somebody scores a goal. I don't care if that means players are being forced to kick the ball through puddles of vomit, the players and the fans deserve a meaningful victory.

4) Dedicate a camera to the painted hotties in the stands. Actually, you can ignore the other three suggestions and just stick to this one, and I'll watch. Especially if it's a Sweden vs Brazil showdown.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Franchise Relocation

Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm in the process of moving this week, so things are a bit hectic. After one year of being "that smart ass in the Bay area," I will soon be "that smart ass in the Los Angeles area." All of this is part of my master plan of gradually moving south until I become the first sports blogger to write from a Tijuana prison.

I'll also be without a tv for most of the week, which will be a bit of a culture shock. Any sports viewing will have to be by way of bars. I of course will not be bringing my laptop in with me to any sports bars because you never know where Ricky Manning might be hanging out that night.

In the meantime, by way of apology, here's a pic of April Scott, who will be playing Daisy Duke in the much anticipated video "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning," where all of those great Hazzard county mysteries will finally be answered...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Day in the Sun...or the Mall

Right now, ESPN is showing some Paintball league match and ESPN2 is showing The Ultimate Obstacle Course Challenge.

My advice is to earn some points with the wife/girlfriend/significant other and spend the day out with her (or him, if I haven't scared away all the female readers...)

Update to come late tonight...

Friday, June 23, 2006


I'm tired of always going negative with my sports commentary, so here is an ADIDAS ad campaign that gives me good feelings all over...

There's a clearer version of the commercial here that I wasn't able to embed.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Expert Commentary

The New York Knicks have officially announced that Larry Brown will be fired and Isiah Thomas will take over as head coach.

(wheezing...attempting to catch breath)

Musings On Bud Selig's Scrotum

I think we've all learned today that it's not acceptable to call Jay Mariotti "fag." However I will call Bud Selig a eunuch if he doesn't come down with some sort of fine and/or suspension for Ozzie Guillen within the next 24 hours. Selig, who has a legacy of spinelessness, needs to take a moment to step out of his lab where he's trying to devise a test for HGH and show some semblance of leadership in regards to what his league represents and tolerates. I know that if David Stern were running major league baseball, he would have already fined Guillen at least 100k and mandated to his umpires that the strike zone be squeezed on White Sox starters for the next 10 days. Selig, on the other hand, will likely release a statement saying how he is disturbed by Guillen's comments and he is creating a task force to investigate cultural sensitivity within the league.

(By the way, if you haven't read Guillen's pseudo-apology, you can check it out here. To paraphrase, he basically says, "I shouldn't have used the word 'fag.' But Marrioti's a fag." He then showed a ticket stub from a Culture Club concert in 1985 and told everyone to kiss his Venezuelan ass. )

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

SoBe Nightcap

Tonight's NightCap is brought to you by Adrenaline Rush energy drink and Full Tilt Poker (link at right), where after 600 hands of no-limit hold 'em, the world becomes a blur. It was a good session tho, and some quick math tells me that I'm only an additional 1,249 consecutive identical sessions from winning as much money as it costs Mark Cuban to say "Fuck" to a reporter.

-NBA Championship Rings: Kevin Garnett- 0. Ray Allen- 0. Steve Nash- 0. Jason Kapono- 1.

-Kapono becomes the 3rd player from the 2003 NBA draft to get a championship ring, joining Darko Milicic and this other guy you may have heard of, Dwyane Wade.

-Wade had 21 free throws in Game 6, compared to the Mavericks 23 free throw attempts as a team. You would have thought that at some point, Avery Johnson would have told his team to stop fouling Wade. But they just wouldn't listen- especially not Dirk Nowitski who made the unforgivable error of getting his solar plexus in the way of Wade's right jab, sending Wade to the line for a couple key free throws late in the game.

-Yes, Jason Terry was fouled by Gary Payton on his 3 pt attempt at the end of the game. But you have to know that a ref isn't going to call a touch foul at a key moment in a Finals game unless it's either undeniably blatant, or there are exactly 1.9 seconds left in the game and your nickname is "The Flash." I'm sorry, but those are the rules.

-Despite some spotty officiating in the series, the Mavericks have noone to blame but themselves for the loss. Too many times this team settled for one-on-one basketball and forced jumpers. Neither Terry nor Josh Howard could hit a shot in the 2nd half. In fact, only Marquis Daniels looked comfortable in the 4th quarter. Some credit goes to Miami's defense of course, but the Mavs looked like a very tight team to me tonight.

-The rims were tight in Game 6 as well. The two teams combined to go 7-40 from the 3 pt line. Among those bricks, Antoine Walker was 0-6, Jason Williams was 1-7, and Jason Terry was 2-11. How bad is 7-40? It's even worse than Shaq's free throw percentage for the playoffs.

-Does anyone in Miami realize that the Marlins have now won 9 in a row and are only six games back in the wild card hunt? If you need another indicator of how quick the Marlins management is to get rid of talent before it becomes too expensive, Tuesday Dontrelle Willis became the all-time franchise leader in wins...with 50.

-I wonder if Riley trademarked "15 Strong" the way he did "Threepeat?" Perhaps Riles was originally going to go with the more appropriate "12 strong and 3 DNPs," but then he became worried about paying for the additional letters on a tshirt?

-Finally, Shaq called Dan Patrick over to remind the world that Riley is the best coach he ever had, Dwyane Wade is the best guard he ever played with, and Mitch Kupchak has syphillis.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mysterious Ways

In a recent interview, TE Kellen Winslow Jr. rationalized his bust of a career thus far by saying, "God put me in this place for a reason."

Despite some claims that I made after 72 hours in Vegas, it turns out that I am not God. But if I were God, I'd probably put athletes in places like after school programs for local underprivileged kids. Or perhaps I'd use some divine intervention to make sure they always had a condom in their wallets during road trips. But I suppose there's a far greater master plan than I'm aware of. That's why for some reason, God chose instead to put Kellen Winslow on a motorcycle and started doing wheelies.

Maybe the reason is that God hates Browns fans? It certainly would explain the Earnest Byner fumble, Bill Belichick being mediocre as their coach, and Art Modell moving the team a few years before the team was Super Bowl bound.

It's just a theory.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Avery's Only Victory

Since a pretty good NBA game was undermined by some WWE-style officiating (really, you can drive into a triple-team and still get bailed out by a touch foul?), the postgame ended up providing the best genuine entertainment. In case you missed it...

I can't get enough of this clip. Seeing how quickly this Dallas reporter collapses under Avery's pressure, you can understand why Josh Howard called his panicked timeout after Wade's first free throw.

And somewhere, David Stern is smiling, knowing that not only did he screw over Mark Cuban, but his dream of the NBA being an international game is fully realized- there were reporters from Israel, Germany...and Minnesota!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Tonight's nightcap is brought to you by Jack Daniels on the rocks. Because that's what Frank drank. And Frank had lots o' threeways...

-I know you aren't going to believe this, but I saw this with my own two eyes, so I know it's true. Last night, Grady Little's Dodgers held a one run lead in the 8th inning with starter Derek Lowe on the mound. With Lowe giving up a few walks and hits, and clearly laboring- and with both a righty and lefty ready in the pen- Little elected to stick with his starter with the bases loaded and two outs rather than go to a fresh arm. Lowe responded by giving up a two run double to surrender the lead in a game the Dodgers would eventually lose. Later, Pedro Martinez called to offer Lowe his condolences...and a lucky midget.

-In a one run game, Frank Robinson ordered his reliever to intentionally walk Jason Giambi in the 8th inning in order to face Alex Rodriguez in a clutch situation. ARod responded by flying out meekly to right field. While Rodriguez may have failed his team, he can at least take comfort in knowing he provided additional fodder for a Bill Simmons article...if he decides to write again.

-Great moments in Tim McCarver. "Sushi lovers know that Toro is a delicacy. It comes from the underbelly of the tuna. In baseball, the underbelly is middle relief and it's anything but a delicacy. That's Toro, not Torre." (Note: I'm paraphrasing, so I might be off on a couple of words. I was pretty stunned after hearing that.) Play-by-play announcer Thom Brenneman responded by saying, "What the f*ck are you talking about, you senile old man?!?!" Ok, maybe he didn't say it, but the rest of the listening audience did.

-Speaking of fish, the Marlins have won 7 games in a row to climb into a virtual tie with Atlanta for fourth place in the NL East. Owner Jeffrey Loria has demanded to know which players are responsible for this winning streak so he can immediately trade them.

-I know I'm a few weeks late, but can everyone please make a little room aboard the Matt Kemp bandwagon for me? I got a chance to see him play in person, and that kid can flat-out rake the ball. (I'm not sure I know what "flat-out rake" means, but if it means hit the ball hard; then yeah, that's what Matt Kemp does.)

-Finally in basketball news, Arron Afflalo decided to return to UCLA for his junior season after his research showed him that the average NBDL salary is $35,000.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Pop Quiz

A few questions to ponder while hiding from your bookie after last night's Dallas debacle. (By the way- the best place to hide from a bookie? The Olive Garden)

After Randy Johnson missed on an inside pitch to Eduardo Perez, Joe Torre was suspended for one game. Now it's hard to imagine that Torre actually took his finger out of his nose and ordered a veteran like the Unit to protect his catcher. Johnson had to know on his own to honor the "code." So what should MLB's response be to Ozzie Guillen, who not only ordered his pitcher to hit Blalock, but demoted the pitcher who failed to do so, and said that killing a guy is the "right" way to play the game? I say a ten game suspension sends a good message. But given Bud Selig's weak backbone, I'll predict that no suspension will be handed out.

Can you imagine a fender bender between Ozzie Guillen and Bob Knight? The rage that would ensue as they argued who was at fault would be apocalyptic. That would be the greatest moment ever caught on tape. I imagine a fight to the death, ending when Guillen snaps an antenna off of one of the cars and stabs a bright red Knight through the jugular.

Which was the emptier statement released yesterday- Ben Roethlisberger's apology or Bud Selig's intolerance for HGH? While the apology may have conveyed some of Roethlisberger's feelings, I can't believe he had a hand in writing a single word of his statement. (Can you imagine Big Ben actually uttering the words "lifted by your prayers?") Meanwhile, Selig vows to eradicate HGH from the game, but has no means of testing for the substance whatsoever. Strong words, Bud.

Finally, which would be the bigger shocker- Keith Van Horn stepping up for a suspended Jerry Stackhouse and dropping 23 points and 8 rebounds or Alex Rodriguez getting a clutch extra base hit with two outs in the late innings of a close game?


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Speed Needs No Translation

As a tribute to the opening of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," and because I'm once again short on time, here's a speed round recap of the world of sports (and by world, I mean US, and not hockey):

Fast Lane: A's pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested for driving 120 mph in his ferrari and suspicion of drunken driving at 3:30 am Wednesday morning. Loaiza's defense will be that a speed gun has never been able to register above 88 mph on him before, so they must have the wrong guy. Starting the year with a 1-3 record and 6.89 era, this arrest might be the best contribution he could make for the A's if it gives them any opportunity to void a portion of his 3 year, $21 million contract.

Fast and Tight: In New York, Randy Johnson was ejected for a high and inside pitch that didn't hit Eduardo Perez. Meanwhile, White Sox rookie pitcher Sean Tracy is reportedly going to be demoted to the minors for failing to follow manager Ozzie Guillen's orders and hit Rangers' slugger Hank Blalock. After throwing two pitches inside that missed Blalock, Tracy induced Blalock to ground out. Guillen pulled Tracy from the game and went ballistic in the dugout. While being sent to the minors is certainly an unpleasant punishment, it could have been worse for Tracy. He could have been traded to the Royals.

Fastball Flurry: In the same Rangers/White Sox game, Texas starter Vicente Padilla went old school on Guillen's lineup. Really old school. Like 1st grade, little league, old school. The first pitch he threw in the game was a fastball. So was the one after that. And so were the next 48 pitches he threw. For those with a hangover, that would make 50 consecutive fastballs to start the game. Despite being unable to go number two, Padilla shutout out the White Sox. No wonder Ozzie Guillen was in such a bad mood.

Fasttrack to Success: The Dodgers called up prospect Chad Billingsley and he will make his major league debut tonight versus the Padres. Dodgers fans haven't been this excited about a homegrown pitching prospect since Edwin Jackson and Darren Dreifort! Oops.

Fast Hook: When Angels starter Bartolo Colon comes off of the DL, there is a possibility that the team will return Jered Weaver to the minors. All Weaver has done since being called up is win four consecutive games and post a 1.37 ERA. If Jered does in fact get sent down, it will be in part because his brother Jeff (3-9, 6.15 ERA) is being granted a spot in the rotation because of the $8+ mil he is making. The Angels would serve themselves well to look up to their neighbors to the north and recall when the Dodgers had both Ramon and Pedro Martinez on their squad and opted to keep Ramon while demoting, and later trading, Pedro Martinez. I will give the Angels a little credit tho and say that Bill Stoneman isn't dumb enough to actually trade Jered. But, the Marlins and A's might want to get on the phone and offer Willis and Zito respectively. Ya know, just in case.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Need a Hero

I wish I could make a legitimate post right now, but I've got a busy day ahead of me. I'm assisting on the surgery to transplant the Superman tattoo from Shaq to Dwyane Wade. It's kind of like the cinematic classic "Face/Off," only, um, without the whole face part.

Enjoy your Wednesday. Actual updates will be coming this evening.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Head Cases

So, I'm back from Vegas, and I was prepared to go into detail about all of the stupid, irresponsible things I did over the extended weekend. But then Ben Roethlisberger had to go riding his Suzuki without a helmet or license, JJ Redick couldn't avoid a DWI, and my thunder has been stolen. Suddenly, the hookers at Mandalay Bay who thought we were Arena League players or my taking on the role of "grandma wingman" and chatting up a 70 year old woman while my friend worked on her granddaughter doesn't seem so special.

A few notes from both athlete's incidents:

Rumors are that at a Durham bar last night, JJ Redick took 18 shots, however only 3 of them actually managed to sink in his mouth. The .11 he blew during his sobriety test, while over the legal limit, didn't even surpass the paltry .16 he shot against LSU in his final NCAA game. When asked for comment, teammates described Redick's actions as "a shocker." Coach K was unavailable for comment, as he prefers not to emerge from his coffin until after the harsh summer months are over.

The driver of the car that hit Roethlisberger was identified as Martha Fleishman, a 62 year old woman from Pittsburgh, ending speculation that Big Ben was actually hit by Tommy Maddox's mother. Roethlisberger was hit by a Chrysler New Yorker, which makes it the first thing wearing a "New York" emblem to hit an AFC QB in three years. The Jets are now considering signing Fleishman to a 3 year, $25 million contract. When witnesses approached Roethlisberger on the scene of the accident, he was conscious but dazed and unable to say anything other than, "Are you a Fathead?"

The best line from the Big Ben story comes from The Hater Nation: "NFL linesman Mark Hittner initially ruled that Roethlisberger’s head had not crossed the windshield, but the official changed his mind as he drew closer to the accident and as Roethlisberger had some extra time to crawl into the windshield."

Nice job, NFL Adam.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Truly Useless Rambling

I have no idea what happened today in sports, but here's a recap of day 1 in Vegas.

Oftentimes on the way to Vegas, you'll find yourself on a flight with an athlete or two who's prepared to gamble away more in a weekend than you'll earn in a year. One friend that I was meeting was sharing an airplane with Robert Horry and Corey Maggette. I wasn't quite so lucky. I found myself sitting next to a female coach for the Cal-Berkeley women's softball team. I suppose it would have been a good opportunity to conduct an interview for the blog. Unfortunately, the only question I could think of was, "whose vagina tastes the best?" And well, that just didn't seem appropriate.

Elsewhere in Vegas...

Strip club report: Crazy Horse 2. Talent level was average. Good mixture of body types and ethnicities, but very few exceptional girls. One question tho- once you hit age 30, isn't it probably time to ditch the "I'm a student paying my way through college" line?

Gambling report: Craps- lost. Blackjack- lost bigger. Poker- easy winnings (honestly, the easiest table I've ever sat at in a casino. I'd like to think it means I've gotten skilled with my game, but I think these guys were just really, really bad. Question to self- why do I bother wasting my time at blackjack and craps tables?

Casino talent report: Hard Rock was like the NBA all-star game. Cleavage and super-mini skirts everywhere. Luxor was a D-league game. Suprisingly, there wasn't much happening at Mandalay Bay, however I'm reserving judgement until I check out the pool midday.

Note to girl bending over at the Hard Rock craps table: thanks for reminding me why I play craps rather than nickel and diming it with the degenerate poker players.

I just got a phone call. It's 4:43 in the morning, and the person calling had no thoughts that I might be asleep. And he was right.

So I'm heading back down to the casino floor now. I didn't realize how much I missed this town...

Friday, June 09, 2006


Tonight's nightcap is brought to you by Shiner Bock. Because cheap beer has feelings too.

-The Mighty MJD has a dead-on analysis of game 1 of the NBA Finals. Miami fans should be very concerned that their team effectively shut down Dirk Nowitski and Josh Howard, slowed the tempo of the game, and yet the Heat still lost by 10. Terrell Owens, by the way, need only be half concerned.

-I'm sure leading up to the game, both coaches were telling their team that they would have to play hungry. That message certainly made its way to the Dallas Mavericks cheerleaders locker room as those dancers looked like they hadn't eaten in a week. Ladies, I appreciate the dedication, but it is ok to mix in a cheeseburger from time to time.

-A few weeks ago, I decided to wait until football season before investing in an HDTV. After seeing Hubie Brown in the pregame show, that looks like one of the smartest decisions I've ever made. (I feel like I'm stealing this joke. If so, I apologize. However tonight, I was genuinely frightened by the talking skeleton that goes by the name Hubie.)

-The Portland Trailblazers appear to be coming up for sale in the near future. The estimated value of the franchise and the arena is approximately $300 million. Having failed in my previous bid to buy the Atlanta Braves, I'm now going to focus on the Trailblazers. I only need roughly 15 billion GoogleAd clicks and the team is mine. My first act as owner? Find a doctor that can diagnose my entire squad as having glaucoma so the next time they're caught with marijuana, it will be medicinal.

-The NCAA will no longer accept transcripts from so called "diploma mills," such as University High School in Miami, which promises students an opportunity to earn a diploma in a few weeks. Uni High is just like any other high school, although it does lack a few of the amenities of a traditional school- such as classrooms, instructors, or supervisors. Upon hearing this news, Larry Coker, Bobby Bowden, and Urban Meyer immediately began transferring their recruits to the more reputable Escuela Para Jugadores in Guadalajara.

-Scheduling note: I'm heading out to Vegas this Friday night. As a result, updates may be a bit sparse this weekend. But I do know better than to leave a hooker alone in my room, so I will have a little bit of time for a posting or two while the ladies gather their things. (And if my wife is reading this- of course it's just a joke. No really, it is.) I wonder what the odds are that I'll run into Charles Barkley at a club this weekend? I'm saying even money. Wish me luck. Hopefully I'll win enough to cover my server fees, and then you won't have to read about me whining about the fact that noone ever bothers to click a link when they stop by. Hey, one can dream, can't they?

Expanding My Horizons

My baby takes the morning train.
He works from 9 to 5 and then,
he takes another home again
to find me...watching the Manchester United football team! The best freakin' team in all the land! Whoo-hoo!.

(Probably only one person that reads this blog will get that...oh well...mi scusi.)

The World Cup is right around the corner, and so I feel a sense of obligation to provide some sort of preview. The problem is that I don't follow soccer at all. I just never got into the game. The low scoring doesn't bother me, but flopping and offsides traps are the antithesis of why I enjoy watching and competing in sports. So, my soccer knowledge is pretty minimal, having been limited to what information I have gathered from watching movies or playing FIFA on the 3DO and Dreamcast. (For those that missed the six months it was in the stores, the Panasonic 3DO was a video game console in the mid-90s.) However I'm skeptical that in actual soccer, you can score by using a lob instead of a shot and watch the goalie just stare at it because he thinks it's a pass. I'm pretty sure real soccer players are slightly smarter than the AI of a 10 year old video game.

Since I don't have any real analysis for the games, here are a few numbers you can throw around the water cooler.

$6 million- The bonus that the Polish Federation has promised its national team's players if it manages to win the World Cup.
40,000- Estimated number of sex workers who will be in Germany to provide services to fans and tourists.
$70- Entry fee to Artemis (warning: link is not even close to safe for work), a four story megabrothel in Berlin, featuring a pool, three saunas, two pools....and a bunch of whores.
$50- Estimated cost of an average encounter with a prostitute in Germany.
120,000- Number of "encounters"- equivalent to three times with every hooker in Berlin- the Polish National Team could purchase if it wins the World Cup.
1,235- Number of times I had to resist the temptation to make an easy joke about a Polish guy buying a hooker.

Coincidentally, a soccer ball and the herpes virus capsid have the same shape (an icosahedron.) Oh, and I apologize if in the course of throwing these statistics around the water cooler, you are called in by your boss and immediately fired for sexual harrassment. But hey, at least it will give you some more time to watch that riveting World Cup action!

(note: not that I ever really need an excuse to post a picture of the lovely Alessandra Ambrosio, but I should mention that she is wearing a Manchester United scarf in the picture above. Don't believe me? Check out this pic. Or this one.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

This is Your Brain on Sports

Just because it's summer break for many universities across the nation doesn't mean that school rivalries are given time off. Sure, there isn't football, basketball, or women's water polo to establish supremacy between two schools, but there is still competition between athletes. In Los Angeles, crosstown rivals UCLA and USC are in the midst of a battle to determine which school's athletes can be the biggest fools.

At USC, they're going the more traditional route. Trojan guard Gabe Pruitt was declared academically ineligible for the fall semester, which equates to the first third of the basketball season. Head coach Tim Floyd announced that he was "very disappointed in Gabe." Coach has every reason to be disappointed, or even shocked. How do you become academically ineligible at the University of Southern California? Was Kenny Mayne his ballroom dancing tutor? I wasn't even aware that they had a grading policy at USC. I always thought that once your checks cleared, you matriculated to the next series of classes.

UCLA student athletes appear to have actually attended classes, however they never learned any critical reasoning. Bruin point guard Jordan Farmar is currently at an NBA predraft camp where he is hoping to solidify a spot in the first round of the draft, lineup a guaranteed contract, and forego his final two years of college. While at the camp, he was asked about the decisions of Florida underclassmen Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer to stay in school despite having an opportunity to be drafted high this June. Farmar responded, "It shows that money isn't everything. They're having fun and enjoying their teammates, and that's what it's all about." Farmar then proceeded to work on his jumpshot so that he could abandon his teammates and get his hands on some money. Sounds to me like it's all about hypocrisy.

Not letting the undergrads have all the fun, UCLA alum (I can't remember if he actually went back and got his degree, but I'm not doing research at 3 am) Tommy Maddox thought he'd take a shot at slapping logic in the face in discussing his immediate future. After auditioning for just about every NFL team and told "thanks, but we'll go w/ the Div III QB instead," reality has begun to set in, and Maddox is realizing that a forced retirement is imminent. Fortunately, Maddox has rationalized a retirement as being good for his family, saying, "my daughter's in junior high now, so she wants to be in one place." So that's nice- Tommy Gun, family man, is making a decision to end his NFL career so that his family can have some stability in their lives. That's very admirable. So what's next for Maddox? Well, it appears that the XFL MVP wants to become a professional golfer. "I'm excited," Maddox said. "It's been good. I played in a couple of events in Texas and almost qualified for the Nelson. I've got a couple of Nationwide Tour [stops] coming up." I'll admit that I'm not a golf afficionado, but I have a suspicion that a "Nationwide Tour" doesn't stay in one place. Something in the name makes me think that it may involve a series of travelling to different places around the country. I hope Maddox at least thinks to send his daughter a postcard.

So it was two very different tactics taken by the student-athletes. USC's Gabe Pruitt was more direct in displaying his lack of intelligence, whereas the Bruin representatives elected to insult everyone else's intelligence. Either way, all participants ended up looking like fools. There were no winners here, but I'm going to give the nod to UCLA. It was a more creative approach, and well, the Bruins have to beat USC at something this year, right?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Is Jason Sure He Was Using it Correctly?

Jason Grimsley was arrested recently by federal investigators while receiving a shipment on his back porch which contained Human Growth Hormone from an unnamed source. Once apprehended by agents, Grimsley appears to have broken 'the code' in order to save 'the ass' and proceeded to list anyone who's ever taken a steroid, amphetamine, or venti latte. This affidavit (registration required) is filled with names of alleged steroid/HGH users; however all of the names within the document are blacked out. Until the time comes when the actual names are "leaked," this document will at least provide a nice template for a MLB version of Mad-Libs that will allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Here's an example:

Q: Grimsley stated that _____, a former employee of the __________ and personal fitness trainer to several Major League Baseball players, once referred him to an amphetamine source. Grimsley stated that after this referral, he secured amphetamines, anabolic steroids, and human growth hormone from _______ referred source.

Although Grimsley has never referred anyone to the source he got from _______, Grimsley stated that he is sure that "boatloads" of players in baseball use this same source.
A: Greg Anderson, San Francisco Giants, ?, BALCO.

...or, if you're a Bonds' apologist, you could say the answer is: "the tooth fairy", "lollipop guild", "hallucinated", "Willy Wonka."

Fun for kids of all ages.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mount Up

While the MLB draft makes some pseudo-headlines today, there are some actual great, young, big league pitchers going today. Today's games include these possible future stars: Francisco Liriano, Felix Hernandez, Scott Kazmir, Cole Hamels, Jake Peavy, and Josh Johnson.

If I were a MLB/ESPN marketing guy, I'd probably have some sort of "The Future is Now" tag going for today's games. But I'm not. I'm just a guy with a blog and way too much time on my hands this Tuesday. Nevertheless, it's a great day to have the Extra Innings package on DirecTv. Unfortunately, the Red Sox and Yankees are playing today, so tonight on Sportscenter, there won't be room in Stu Scott's flow for anything other than the Yankees' Wang.

Draft Dodging

So I tried watching the MLB amateur draft live on, and I was even prepared to live blog it this morning. But I had to stop after just a few minutes upon realizing that I was in the midst of an incredibly depressing sports' experience, and that there were more productive ways to spend my day- like volunteering at a local soup kitchen or masturbating to The View. Pretty much anything would be an improvement over watching hours of streaming video about players I've never heard of broadcast from what looked like a public access television set. The major difference between the MLB draft and the upcoming NBA draft is that while I haven't heard of some of the guys in the NBA draft either, there's at least a good chance that in the near future, I will be familiar with them. As for Padres' first round draft pick third basemen Matthew Antonelli, it's quite possible that I'll never actually see him play- unless I somehow find myself in Mobile and want to catch a BayBears game. And honestly, if I do somehow end up in Mobile, Alabama, I've probably got more things to worry about than finding the local baseball diamond.

So I apologize, but you're on your own if you'd like to find analysis of today's draft. Now if you'll excuse me, Meredith Vieira is giving me that special look again.


No matter what happens with Terrell Owens in Dallas, Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells can take comfort in knowing that Owens will not be the biggest idiot on their roster. The Cowboys made sure of that this offseason when they signed Mike Vanderjagt to be their kicker. Yesterday, Vanderjagt validated that dynamic when he was asked about his shank against the Steelers in last year's playoffs.

"Michael Jordan missed game-winning jump shots, Tiger Woods missed putts. Does that mean they're not as good as you think they are?" Vanderjagt said.

"I'm the best kicker in the history of the game regardless of whether I missed my last kick or not, and that's the way I look at it."

Someone needs to let the liquored up kicker know that the Gatorade commercial with Jordan missing against the Cavs is a fake. Also, the reason that Jordan and Woods are as good as we think they are is because in addition to missing in a few big moments, they also actually came through in some rather memorable clutch situations. That's something that the best kicker in the history of the game has yet to do. For the record, the last clutch kick Vanderjagt actually made was Dec 26, 2004 when, after Manning drove the team down to the Chargers 13, Money Mike nailed a game winning 30 yard FG in overtime. Not exactly Vinatieri in the snow against the Raiders, but at least it keeps his resume from being blank.

I think Vanderjagt just got a little confused when he heard everyone calling him a goat and he thought they were calling him G.O.A.T. It could happen to anyone. Well, not anyone...but certainly to a bumbling idiot.

Update on the updating situation.

I've been out of commission the last few days. But I'll be back in commission (or is it recommissioned?) soon.

Actually, I'm just really bummed that I didn't get my Jim Bob Cooter entry in before Deadspin this morning. That was a goldmine.

Outdated, mildly amusing updates are coming this afternoon. I'm sure you can't wait.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Boo Boo

Thanks to The Oracle for this:

Asked about a Yogi Berra quote Pat Riley had taped to his locker for motivation, Udonis Haslem said (apparently in all sincerity), "He gave us a Yogi Bear quote. I can't remember what it was, but he said it was something from Yogi Bear. To be honest, I don't even know too much about Yogi Bear. How old is that cartoon? I know a little about it, but not much.''

Although in all fairness to Udonis, the cartoon is smarter than your average bear, while the baller is dumber than your average corpse. Riley probably would have gotten more insight from the cartoon bear.

In related dumb comment news, JJ Redick had the following self-evaluation: "I'm not going to drive and dunk on a 7-footer. I probably won't dunk on a breakaway. I think I can do some things."

Unconfirmed reports indicate he went on to say "I probably can't dribble the ball without bouncing it off my foot, and can't move laterally. I'm a bed-wetter. I periodically punch my coach for no reason. I like to follow teammates home from clubs when they're with a woman and preach to them about Jesus. But if you want someone to hit a set shot from 3 with no one in his face, I'm your man. Well me or Quincy Douby. Or Steve Novak. Or Damir Markota. Maybe Nick Fazekas. I suppose you could just coax Hubert Davis or Steve Kerr out of'd probably be cheaper. Has anyone heard from Casey Jacobson lately?

Friday, June 02, 2006

C'mon Mom, You're Ruining My Rep.

Reporters somehow found Tim Thomas after game 5 in the locker room for an interview. I was shocked because when I watched the game, it seemed like he'd disappeared from the arena at the end of the 3rd quarter. Anyway, here's what he had to say about his exchange with Dirk Nowitski that ended with both players getting technicals and Tim Thomas blowing a kiss to Nowitski.

"Where I'm from, if I got punked by him, I'd never be able to go back. That was definitely not going to happen."

Well don't worry, Timmay. One more loss, and you will get to go back home again with your head held high- knowing that although you lost, you kept your rep. The rep of a man that wants to kiss another man.