Thursday, May 22, 2008

Details From The Less Common Version Of The Dream Where I Win The Lottery

When the NBA draft lottery was announced, I told myself that I'd resist the temptation to join the masses with a mock draft. But like Charles Barkley saying he wouldn't gamble, I knew it wouldn't last long.

Rather than an actual prediction, which would be just as inaccurate as any of the other online experts, here instead are my selections, as I would make them if I were the GM of each team.

1. Chicago, Derrick Rose, PG
Looking at what Chris Paul has done for New Orleans, it would be tough to resist an electric, game-changing point guard like Rose. Giving the ball to Rose is like having another coach on the team. Or in Chicago's case, it's like actually having a coach on the team. Now if only they could find a team desperate enough to take Kirk Hinrich's contract.

2. Miami, Michael Beasley, PF
If Shawn Marion elects to stay- and I think he will once he realizes nobody will give him a big contract- then the triumvirate of Wade, Marion, and Beasley might be able to replace the Phoenix Suns as the team that can score a ton of points but not defend a soul. At least for two or three weeks until Wade is injured again, at which time, they'll just stink.

3. Minnesota, Jerryd Bayless, PG
The TWolves already have Randy Foye at point, but I don't think you can afford to pass up on a guy that can fill the statsheet like Bayless does. He caught a bit of the injury bug at Arizona, and you hope it doesn't follow him to the pros. Bayless will remind Minnesota fans of the Stephon Marbury days. That may not sound great, but these days, they'll take it.

4. Oklahoma City, OJ Mayo, PG/SG
It's awfully tempting to go with Brook Lopez here. Afterall, someone's got to get the rebound while Durant keeps chucking up shots. Lopez would look great next to Robert Swift, Saer Sene, and Johan Petro. But Mayo would be an interesting addition, as Mayo, Durant, and Green would be a very athletic nucleus to build on. Now if only someone could find a way to get Durant to play closer to the basket.

5. Memphis, Kevin Love, PF
Love is a bit of a reach here, but I'm making this pick solely for the entertainment value. Imagine all of the tv highlights and blog features your team would get everytime a tandem of fans was spotted in the stands wearing these jerseys:

It beats the current state of anonymity.

6. New York, Anthony Randolph, PF
Mike D'Antoni says he'll adjust his offense to his personnel, but I'm not buyin' it. Looking at the remaing players for the best player to fit his high octane, high energy system and the guys that stand out to me are Randolph, Chase Budinger and Russell Westbrook. Since Randolph has the size, I'll give the edge to him. He's not as strong as Amare Stoudamire, but he could fill that role, while Eddy Curry takes the Shaq role of oversized stiff clogging up the lane.

7. Los Angeles Clippers, Eric Gordon, PG/SG
With Shaun Levingston having more question marks than The Riddler, the Clippers need to address their backcourt. Gordon may not be a true point guard, but with Maggette's status an uncertainty, I'd pick someone with Gordon's range over the next best true point guard, DJ Augustin.

8. Milwaukee Bucks, Danilo Gallinari, PF
If I'm the GM for Milwaukee, my main goal is to try to get my team relocated, hopefully to Seattle to replace the displaced Sonics. What better way to accomplish that than to follow up a 1st rd pick of a player from China that none of my fans had seen before with a player from Italy that none of my fans have seen before? I'll be able to print up those travel plans to Seattle by the All-Star break.

9. Charlotte Bobcats, Brook Lopez, C
The Lopez slide finally comes to an end, and Charlotte gets a relative steal at #9 and a viable replacement for Okafor should the Bobcats decide to let him go. Now I just have to talk Michael Jordan into letting the team keep Lopez...assuming I'm able to find Jordan anywhere near team headquarters this summer.

10. New Jersey Nets, DJ Augustin, PG
Devin Harris is a decent player, but Augustin is a far more electric point guard. He's already played with a big time scorer in Kevin Durant, so he should adjust easily to playing alongside Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. (Note: I'm making this pick assuming that Marreese Speights is available at #21, but if Speights starts climbing other teams' boards, I consider pulling the trigger for him early at this slot.)

11. Indiana Pacers, Chase Budinger, SG/SF
With the city still reeling from the Ron Artest incident, I have to go with the best white player available. Then I can print out my season ticket forms with a photo of Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, and Budinger and the message, "It's safe to come back now." I'm not saying it's right, but is Indiana.

12. Sacramento Kings, Russell Westbrook PG/SG
Ok, if I were really the GM for the Kings, I'd probably be blitzed out of my mind at The Palms and forget that draft day had even arrived. But assuming someone dragged me away from the casino or Playboy club long enough to call in my pick, it would be for the super athletic, but inconsistent shooting Westbrook. Lucky for me, my fans had six years of Mike Bibby, so they're used to a point guard hitting around 37% from 3 pt land.

13. Portland Trailblazers, Donte Green- TRADE
The only player that could make this roster is point guard, and they are all gone. So I package this pick with a player or three and try to pry Jose Calderon from Toronto. Otherwise, I might have to pull a Phoenix and just sell the pick for cash.

14. Golden State, DeAndre Jordan, C
Value pick here. Besides, I know I might be losing Don Nelson, Baron Davis, Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus, or Monta Ellis soon, so the style might change. The new coach might actually want a big man on the floor at some point, and right now, my only option is Adonal Foyle. That's not going to work. Koufos is another option here, but Jordan has more upside. Oh how we GMs love the upside.

I'm going to stop here. As you can see by my picks, I would most likely only be a GM of a team that was in the lottery. Any readers can feel free to leave their thoughts in the comments section. Any owners looking for someone to hire as a fall guy can email me directly.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Manchester and Chelsea Deadlocked In A Pitcher's Duel

I'm not really much of a soccer fan, but I'm trying to give this Manchester United v Chelsea match a shot. I'm admittedly having some trouble getting into it, but I think it's because unlike everyone in attendance, I'm sober. I need to rectify that situation.

But hey, at least I've got the Manchester United song down:


Monday, May 19, 2008

Sorry If I Won't Drink The ESPN Kool-Aid

I know bloggers have a reputation for always being negative, but I have to ask the question anyway- how are people possibly calling yesterday's Cavs v Celtics game one of the greatest game 7s of all time, including references to the Bird/'Nique game of 1988? Sure, Lebron and Pierce had a nice duel in the 4th quarter that kept things interesting. But from my perspective, it seemed like one team was in control the entire game, with the trailing team making one last desperate rally at the end. In other words, it was like just about every other NBA game you'll watch. If that Celtics game was great, then you've got to put Game 6 of the Jazz/Lakers series in the time capsule too, as Utah had a chance to tie at the end.

It looks like The Oracle called it in the live blog/chat yesterday. This game was similar to this year's Super Bowl. Pretty boring first half, but as long as there was a compelling finish, it would be called one of the greatest of all time. Granted the stakes weren't quite the same, but the reaction is similar.

Speaking of the live blog, we'll give it another shot tonight. Feel free to stop on by and leave a "Woooooooo" or two.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

We Are All Witnesses To The Boston Three Party Where Win Or Go Home Happens. Or Something.

This is the spot for my live blog. The opening spot for my live blog.
This is the box that you'll watch, while you read my ramblings.
We're almost to the part where I start my typing,
Then we'll watch "Insomniac's Lounge Live Blog."

That was the spot for Insomniac's Lounge Live Blog

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The Only Thing Less Exciting Than Eastern Conference Basketball Is Liveblogging It

Game 7 of the Cavs/Celtics series starts in about nine hours. Assuming I'm awake, I'll be live-blogging the event along with NBA expert "The Oracle." I'd like to pretend that I'm doing this as a sign of my recommitment to the site. But in actuality, it was 105 degrees yesterday and should be around the same Sunday, so there's no way that I'm leaving my air conditioned home before sunset anyway.

If you're in a similar homebound predicament, feel free to tune in. Oops, I think I might have just infringed on the WNBA's marketing campaign for this season.

(photo via Flickr)

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Big Brown's Batter Is Better Than Your Batter

If you were to go to your local sperm bank and make a contribution, you could make yourself a cool 50 bucks- a hundred if none of your filthy diseases show up on subsequent tests. It's not a fortune, but still not a bad payout for seven minutes of work. And yet it pales in comparison to what Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown is getting for his liquid gold.

According to AOL's Michael David Smith (pictured), via NBC, horse cock aficionado Three Chimneys Farm has agreed to pay $50 million for the rights to Big Brown's sploogus equus. It's not that bad of a gamble, as horse owners are already lining up to whore out their fillies for a dose of the skeet that's oh so sweet. It's speculated that if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown, his goo will command the highest price in the history of the jism trade market. That is unless of course, Big Brown breaks down in the Belmont, in which case the only sticky he'll be able to produce will be marketed by Elmer's.

If Big Brown were to fall victim to the type of deadly horse injury that occurs twice a day on a racetrack somewhere in the United States, Three Chimney Farms would actually be fine, as insurance would cover that foreseeable happenstance. The greater gamble comes with the fact that while Big Brown may be undefeated, his victories have always been aided by Winstrol. In fact, Big Brown has been doped up by his trainer so frequently and for so long, nobody really knows what the horse looks like without steroids coursing through his veins. Perhaps he's like Barry Bonds and would still be a stellar performer without it. But what if it turns out that TCF shelled out 50 mil for the rights to Brady Anderson's seed? Ask the Brady Anderson groupy how well that has worked out for her.

Big Brown of course is named after UPS- a major client of the mob front trucking business run by Big Brown co-owner, Paul Pompa Jr. For the 50 mil payout, Three Chimney Farms could have chosen to purchase approximately 700,000 shares of UPS on the NYSE instead of the rights to jerk off a horse. I think it says a lot about the current economy that the much wiser investment is in semen.

The lesson in all of this story, obviously, is that horse racing is a beautiful and majestic sport to be respected and revered by all.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

3 AM Brainstorming. A Devil Of A Plan.

A little over a week ago, ASU eliminated their cheerleaders (while keeping the dance team) in an effort to streamline the spirit squad and band team. Then Tuesday, the athletic department eliminated men's wrestling, tennis, and swimming because they are sports which do not generate any revenue. Meanwhile, women's water polo is permitted to stick around courtesy of Title IX, despite not generating any revenue itself.

I don't have anything against water polo, per se. It's essentially the west coast's equivalent of lacrosse. But I do think it's time for the girls' sports to start finding a way to produce some of their own income, and I think I have the solution. Next year, the ASU athletic department should comprise the women's water polo team entirely with former ASU cheerleaders! For your benefit, I took two minutes with free software to simulate the results of such a symbiosis:

Throw in some very liberal useage of the underwater cam and the CBS College Sports channel might finally have a program that someone would be willing to watch.

It's Getting Harder and Harder To Cover These Up

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with former Patriots gonzo video proprietor Matt Walsh early Tuesday to discuss allegations that the Patriots had a long history of illegally taping opponents' signals during games. After the meeting, Goodell held a press conference, which went basically like this:

Whew, that is a relief. Now if only Goodell could teach those techniques to NCAA president Myles Brand, who is being forced by the OJ Mayo story that won't go away to address the shamockery that is the concept of the student-athlete in big time sports.

To me, the most noteworthy aspect of the OJ Mayo allegations is the complete and utter lack of surprise elicited by the news. Not because it's USC or because of Mayo's past in particular, but more so because this is simply the state of intercollegiate basketball today. The name that surfaced happened to have been Mayo, but the reaction would have been the same had it been any of the other "one and done" players who were instead alleged to have accepted illegal benefits during their few months on a college campus. (Perhaps Kevin Love would have been a tad more surprising, but only because his family was already wealthy and so the temptation would not have been as great to take the money, and he would have had the resources to cover up any extra cash that fell his way.)

It's interesting that even tho this NCAA investigation is in its early stages, virtually no one in the media has criticized general public's rush to judgment. This is because most fans expect college basketball players to be getting cash under the table; and despite this rally of righteous indignation, we accept and tacitly endorse it. And so does Myles Brand, as long as his organization doesn't become so tarnished that ESPN and CBS stop their deliveries of dump trucks full of cash in exchange for television rights.


If fans truly want to embrace the concept of the student-athlete, then they're best option would be to follow sports that don't generate large revenues- sports like tennis, swimming, and wrestling. Unfortunately, that option is no longer available at Arizona State University. In the equivalent move of going in Friday afternoon to tell someone they're fired, ASU athletic director Lisa Love waited until her campus was a ghost town before making the announcement that the university of 50,000+ students would be eliminating those three men's sports from the athletic department. Love cited a lack of funding, although the cuts will only save about $1 million, or roughly a third of the $3 million she spent in buying out football coaches Dirk Koetter and Dennis Erickson from their respective contracts at ASU and Idaho. (Which may have been a sound financial move. Time will bear that out.)

Here's a quote from Lisa Love in 2005 when she was hired to replace AD Gene Smith (who has done an exceptional job in the same role at Ohio State):
"I know what it takes to build a champion. Acknowledging the importance of fundraising, student achievement while complying with the appropriate rules, and the pursuit of winning championships are all key factors to having a successful athletic program. Having been involved with a competitor of Arizona State University (USC), I am well-aware of the talented people who work in the Athletic Department and the tradition they bring to this university’s sports program."

So, how'd that fund raising go? Oh, and the wrestling program is (was) one of the most storied within the ASU athletic department, which in addition to winning a national title has actually (for better or worse) prepared quite a few individuals for a career in mixed martial arts. But hey, at least women's water polo (founded in 2002) is still alive. Thank you, Title IX!

(Normally, this is the portion of my rambling where I might rail against women's water polo as being more appropriate as a club sport than funded by the athletic department. But lately, it's the only sport where UCLA can win a championship, so hell yes, w. water polo is legit. I don't care if the head coach does wear flip flops pool side!)

AD Love alluded to the possibility that swimming, tennis, or wrestling could possibly be resurrected under the right conditions. I think those conditions had something to do with monkeys flying out of her butt.

Here's an idea. Find the agency that's funding James Harden's visit to ASU (note: I have no evidence that Harden is illegally receiving anything at ASU, except the fact that he is good at playing basketball) and ask them to sponsor an endowment to the athletic department in exchange for encouraging athletes to sign with them whenever it is socially acceptable for them to come out of the financial closet. It's a win-win.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Win A Chance To Do It Big With Joakim Noah. All Day. All Night.

You might not know what he's talkin' about. Starwood might not know what he's talkin' about. But his boys...his boys know.

Those who stay in Westins or Sheratons for business travel, vacations, or illicit affairs (tho if you're in the last category, you're overpaying. Motel 6 works fine for that) are given an opportunity to use their accumulated travel points to bid on "once in a lifetime" events. One of the items up for bid is a private basketball clinic with Joakim Noah. Starwood has the details:

Jump for a rare chance to shoot hoops with Chicago superstar Joakim Noah. Better bring your game, because you and nine friends could hit the court with Joakim for a private basketball clinic. Then put your knowledge and skills to the test with a shoot-around or pickup game following the clinic. We suggest you pick #13 for your team first.

This event would be better if one of your nine friends happened to be Ben Wallace and you got to watch them settle the score with each other. But even if Big Ben isn't your best bud, it's still not a bad prize. Not only do you learn a little bit about basketball, like "it's a lot easier to win when you've got Al Horford in the low block with you," but much like a clinic with coach K, you're not just learning about basketball. You're learning about life. During a day with Joakim you'll be given so much more. Hopefully, it isn't herpes. But perhaps, dancing lessons?

Then if things are really going well, sometime during the game, Joakim might be willing to give you a piggyback ride:

And hey, maybe during the clinic, you can teach Noah how to hit a jumper outside of 12 feet. Accomplish that miraculous feat, and you just might walk out of the clinic as the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls.

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Jesus Thinks It Would Be Best If Larry Miller Didn't Watch His Jazz Get Swept

This Sunday at 12:30 pst, the Utah Jazz will host the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth, and quite possibly last, game of their series. During that time, Jazz owner and Latter Day Saint Larry Miller and I will have something in common. Neither of us will be watching the game. Larry Miller won't be in his courtside seat because he will be out on the road contemplating his spirituality, whereas I will be out having brunch with my mother in-law. Advantage: Miller.

This development is nothing new, (although it has been a few years since it's been an issue) as Miller has chosen for quite some time not to attend home playoff games on Sundays, believing that non-spiritual activities should be avoided that day. If that's how Miller believes he should honor his faith, then that's fine. We live in a society where we're free to follow the teachings of Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, Jesus, or anyone else who had a way with words. (And if I published blog posts more often, perhaps I'd have a few followers of my own.) I just wish that if Larry Miller really believed in not performing non-spiritual activities on Sundays, that he went all the way through with it. While he might not be attending the game, as an owner, he is still conducting business and profiting on the Lord's day.

If Larry Miller were really committed to his religion, then game tickets on Sundays should be free and beer should be sold at cost. That's some spiritual enlightenment that everyone can support. Well, except for any Mormons in attendance who couldn't actually drink the beer. In their consideration, root beer will be a quarter.

Also, I'd advise Larry Miller to avoid attending game 3 tonight too. Sure it's a Friday night, but if he felt compelled to ban Brokeback Mountain from his movie theaters because its content offended his religious sensibilities, then he's really going to be offended by what he sees on the court tonight. If the first two games of this series are any indicator, then Kobe Bryant is going to treat Matt Harpring like a starstruck room service attendant who stays for an extra tip. I've never actually read the Book of Mormon, but I'm pretty sure it says somewhere in the Book of Nephi that thou shalt not enter heaven through the back door. Or something like that.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tim Tebow Has Never Been Happier Than We Had a Filipino Boy's Penis In His Hands

Most college students spend their spring break in beach cities, drinking, partying, and having pictures taken that will eventually resurface on the internet. Florida QB Tim Tebow is not your ordinary college student. He spent his spring break touring impoverished villages in the Philippines as part of his family's "Gain Salvation, Lose Your Foreskin" missionary work.

More than 250 people underwent medical and dental procedures, some of them from "Dr. Tebow," who has no formal surgical training.

"The first time, it was nerve-racking," he said. "Hands were shaking a little bit. I mean, I'm cutting somebody. You can't do those kinds of things in the United States. But those people really needed the surgeries. We needed to help them."...

Tebow helped with the last few circumcisions, growing more comfortable with each one.

"I got a kick watching him," Bob Tebow said. "He did a great job, and he didn't look really nervous. I wouldn't let him cut on me, but he did well and helped where there was a need."

I wouldn't let him cut on me...but some poor, foreign kids? Why the hell not? I'm a little disappointed that Tebow even had to use a scalpel. I would have thought that the Heisman winner would have only needed to scowl at the penises and the foreskin would have leapt off in fright.

Making the boys more presentable for future work in porn wasn't the only task at hand for the mission. After locals heard a brief Christian sermon, they were given a physical, had any cysts or rotten teeth removed, and were given needed much medical supplies. The demand for their services was so great that the mission had to turn away roughly 50 people at sundown. By the end of the day, most villagers returned home a little healthier, not quite as heatheny, and just little less sheathed than when they arrived.

Just another remarkable performance for the growing legend that is Tim Tebow.

(H/T: Wizard of Odds)

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Bloggers Can Fact Check, Afterall

Here is the word I received from ASU athletics. I was hoping for some more specific information, but this nebulous clarification will have to suffice:

Thank you for your email regarding our cheer program. We want to clarify the changes we have made.

We are not eliminating our cheer program. We are strengthening our presentation. Our game experience is centered around several organizations that help create our in game environment. We have decided to combine the strengths of these organizations under one central leadership group thereby creating a unified spirit squad. This will help to enhance the communication and coordination of these entities. By practicing together, sharing common goals, and increasing communication, we will be enhancing the game experience for our fans. We hope that our current members will tryout for our spirit squad.

The focus of our program is on the fan experience at athletic events. We have also been concerned with safety issues that have been well documented throughout the NCAA over the past few years. Our spirit squad will continue to promote school spirit, perform and support the athletic programs at Arizona State University, and interact with the Sun Devil community. We appreciate the enthusiasm and contributions of our past and present cheer squad members. We look forward to the contributions of future members.

Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts to us. We hope this clarifies our reasons and motivations for these decisions.


Arizona State University Athletics


Sun Devil Girls Punished For Being Too Devilish?

I'm getting ready for a weekend getaway for San Diego. After writing two entire posts this week, I think I'm deserving of a break.

My previous weekend roadtrip was to the Phoenix/Tempe area- home of spring baseball, about a half dozen Hooters, and the Arizona State cheer team. Or maybe not. According to some reports, the cheer squad might be in the process of being disbanded, possibly as retribution (tho I'm skeptical) for some photos that surfaced on the internet.(HT: With Leather):

I like how this was the lead story for the nine o'clock news- and they showed every picture in the "controversial" photoset. Gotta love Fox. Also, it's hard to tell if cheer is being eliminated altogether or just being restructured. If the new team is being modeled after the SC Song Girls (Contrary to anchor John Hook's words, UCLA does have both a cheer and a dance squad, which features more elaborate choreography and costuming than SC. But he is right that they look good in their uniforms.), it won't be the worst possible development.

It's also interesting that one cheerleader describes The Dirty as "insignificant," but then goes on to describe it as a way to "ruin people's lives." Very astute. Usually, it takes about ten years out of college before you realize that your life being ruined really isn't that significant afterall.

I'm trying to get some clarification from some people within ASU, but it's a Friday on a college campus; so I don't expect anyone to be awake before noon.