Sunday, January 27, 2008

NBA All-Star Reserves, One Man's Opinion

The NBA All Star Game takes place in a just a few weeks in the ever rebuilding city of New Orleans. We all know about last year's well publicized long weekend in Vegas, highlighted by an NFL player named after a video game encouraging a member of his entourage to fire semi-automatic weapons into a strip club when the strippers would not give him back the money he threw on stage ... at a place where the performers' primary form of income comes from people throwing money on stage. Go figure.

Now if I were David Stern and I wanted to keep it conservative this year so as to avoid any chance that something bad could happen, I might have looked at some sleepy midwestern cities to host this year's game. Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and ... uh ... Indianapolis come to mind. So naturally this year's game will be in the one city where sex, booze, crime and gambling are just as prevalent as (if not moreso than) Vegas -- New Orleans! Awesome! What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to give you my opinion on who the reserves for the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams should be. The starters have already been chosen by the fans and, in case you haven't read a sports page or visited a sports website in the last week, it goes like this:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

GUARD -
DWYANE WADE, Miami
GUARD - JASON KIDD, New Jersey
FORWARD - KEVIN GARNETT, Boston
FORWARD - LEBRON JAMES, Cleveland
CENTER - DWIGHT HOWARD, Orlando

WESTERN CONFERENCE


GUARD - KOBE BRYANT, Los Angeles Lakers
GUARD - ALLEN IVERSON, Denver
FORWARD - CARMELO ANTHONY, Denver
FORWARD - TIM DUNCAN, San Antonio
CENTER - YAO MING, Houston

Before I give you my take on who the reserves should be, a word or two on the starters. I don't have a big problem with any of these selections being a part of the All-Star rosters. The only one I would say is a marginal call is Jason Kidd whose shooting percentage has dropped so low that if I'm an opponent, my face lights up with orgasmic glee if I see him squaring up to shoot. He probably still deserves a spot on the team, but I wouldn't have him starting (and you could make a strong case to leave him off the team altogether for Jose Calderon; who would have believed that in October?)

As for the rest of the starters, I love Dwyane Wade as a player, but a starter on the All-Star team from a team who has lost 15 in a row (and counting)? Eh, whatever. And I'd have put in one of the true point guards in the West (Nash, Paul) over A.I., but that's nitpicking. The rest looks fine to me.

Ok, now onto my picks to round out the other seven spots on each team. In case you don't know the selection process the NBA uses for the All-Star reserves, it goes like this: Each coach is asked to fill out a ballot for seven reserves in their conference. They are not allowed to select players from their own team, and they must choose two guards, two forwards, a center, and two "wild card" spots. The positions of the players on a coach's ballot don't have to line up exactly with what position a player was on the fans' All-Star ballot; in other words, if a coach has to stretch the definition of a player's postion so we get the "best seven reserves", then so be it. (i.e. calling Chris Bosh a center so we don't have to see Ziggy Ilgauskas trudging up and down the floor on February 17) Also, it's asked that the coaches rate their selections 1 through 7 so as to assign a point value to each pick.

So with that in mind, I will now pretend I am the coach of the New York Knicks and I will fill out my ballot. (Why the Knicks? Well, it's the one team where I know I am in no danger of snubbing someone because they are "on my own team". Also, I think making me the coach of the Knicks is an immediate upgrade to their current situation. Actually, making my son's dachsund the coach of the Knicks is an immediate upgrade to their current situation.)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

GUARDS - CHAUNCEY BILLUPS, Detroit; RICHARD HAMILTON, Detroit. Billups is a no brainer. A late bloomer who just signed a big contract extension in the off season, he's one of those rare breeds who got the big money and has actually improved in nearly every statistic. And just check out his +/- rating on 82games.com to see how valuable he is to the Pistons (+9 higher than the next Piston). It was a coin flipper for me between Hamilton and Ray Allen for the other guard spot. I went with Hamilton because at this stage in his career, Allen is mostly a long range jump shooter (a damned good one, don't get me wrong) while Hamilton can beat you in different ways, whether it's catch-and-shoot, that little curl into the lane, or in transition. He is constantly moving, and end to end he is one of the fastest players in the league.


FORWARDS - CARON BUTLER, Washington; ANTAWN JAMISON, Washington. It's almost impossible to take one of these guys and not take the other. Fortunately, the East is thin enough this year and both of these guys are deserving, so doing so shouldn't spark too much debate. The fact of the matter is when Gilbert Arenas went down with his injury early in the season, most everyone wrote off the Wizards as a lottery team. But Jamison and Butler would have none of that. The Wizards are safely in the playoff mix, and playing much better defense than last season. Butler is arguably the top small forward in the league behind LeBron, and Jamison (20 and 10 guy who can go inside or outside on you) has one of the most versatile floor games of any power forward in the league.

CENTER - CHRIS BOSH, Toronto. I'm taking creative license here and calling Bosh a center. Either we do that, or we vote in Zydrunas Ilgauskas and watch him comically try to keep up with all of these thoroughbreds. Admittedly, it would give Yao someone to talk to while the rest of the guys on the floor zip past him at warp speed. (Now that conversation would be a youtube moment for sure.) As for Bosh, he deserves to be on the team based on the strength of this video alone:



Indeed, it is free to vote for you, Chris! I've seen enough, you've got my vote!

WILD CARDS - PAUL PIERCE, Boston; JOSH SMITH, Atlanta. With all of the hype over Garnett and Allen making their way to Boston, it's easy to forget the one guy out of the Big Three who was already there. Pierce has been rejuvenated this year and can still beat you in a variety of ways -- posting up, in transition, or from three. Smith is one of the top young talents you may have never seen play. He's dealt with some attitude issues in his first couple years in the league, and it helps his chances of making the team that the East is not nearly as deep in talent as the West, but this kid's game is explosive. In addition to putting up 18 a game on the offensive end, he's second in the league in blocked shots and 11th in steals. For those of you who are into the Hollinger stats thing, he actually rates ahead of guys like Jamison and Shawn Marion at the power forward position. And in case you're wondering how well he'd fit into the whole "alley oop every other play" thing that the All Star Game typically turns/degenerates into, well here you go ....


TOUGHEST OMISSIONS:
  • RAY ALLEN, Boston - Although my guess is he'd want to rest his ankles and feet for the weekend anyway
  • JOSE CALDERON, Toronto - There's a reason Toronto hasn't skipped a beat with T.J. Ford out nearly the whole season; probably deserves Kidd's spot on the roster
  • RICHARD JEFFERSON, New Jersey - Also probably more deserving than Kidd, although admittedly the All-Star Game is tailor-made for Kidd's passing skills

WESTERN CONFERENCE

GUARDS - CHRIS PAUL, New Orleans; STEVE NASH, Phoenix. Along with LeBron and Kobe, no two players are more valuable to their respective teams than these two. Paul is my league MVP for the first half of the season. To have this New Orleans team at the top of the Western Conference was unthinkable at the beginning of the season, and every time I find myself waiting for the six game losing streak, they seem to rattle off four or five more wins. As for Nash, the Suns record without him the last few years speaks for itself. Not only does he take good players like Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and (to a lesser extent) Leandro Barbosa and make them borderline great, but he takes average players like Boris Diaw and Raja Bell and makes them vital parts of the offense with his distribution skills. Paul and Nash are the two easiest reserve picks.

FORWARDS - AMARE STOUDEMIRE, Phoenix; DIRK NOWITSKI, Dallas. Next to Nash, Stoudemire is the most indispensable piece on that talented Phoenix team because of the inside presence he brings (and how little of that they actually have on that team behind him). Plus, he's the one guy to fully recover from microfracture knee surgery and not run like he has a club foot, so bonus points there. At the other forward slot, it came down to Nowitski and Carlos Boozer, and while Dirk is not quite performing at the MVP levels he's been at the last few years, he's still one of the toughest matchups in the league because of his outside shooting and his nearly unstoppable fadeaway jumper. Boozer has been a double-double machine, so he's deserving, but the tie goes to the guy who didn't screw over a blind man who trusted him. Sorry Boozer.

CENTER - MARCUS CAMBY, Denver. One underrated subplot to this season has been the rebirth of the center position in the NBA, particularly out west. Seriously, look at the names at the "center" position on the All-Star ballot. They range from nearly great (Yao, Stoudamire) to very good (Camby, Kaman) to vastly improved (Chandler) to vital cogs (Okur, Miller) to young lions (Jefferson, Biedrins). And we get Greg Oden next year! So why Camby for the All-Star team? Well, he's leading the Western conference in rebounding and blocked shots, and while Camby doesn't do much except collect garbage on the offensive end, the fact is Dennis Rodman made multiple All-Star teams by being the best in the league at rebounding and defending. So should Camby this season.

WILD CARDS - BARON DAVIS, Golden State; BRANDON ROY, Portland. It pains me not to put Manu Ginobili on this All-Star team because of everything he does for the Spurs, but there's just no way I can (a) talk myself into lying and calling him a forward (and thereby booting Nowitiski) or (b) keep Davis or Roy off this team. Baron Davis is to Golden State what Steve Nash is to Phoenix. He's the heartbeat of the team, the guy who dictates the pace, and the guy who takes all of the big shots. He's strong enough to take smaller guards into the low block, and quick enough to take most others off the dribble. He's without peer at the point guard position when it comes to finishing a fast break or a drive to the hole, and is strong enough to where if he doesn't finish he usually gets to the line. As for Roy, he might be the most important player to arrive in Portland since they drafted Michael Jordan in 1984 .... oh wait, never mind. Seriously, it's not a reach to say he's the most important Blazer since Bill Walton. This is a franchise that had lost all public goodwill because they kept signing and drafting bad character guys, to the point where it almost appeared as though they intentionally were trying to put together a cast for some sort of strange prison flick about really tall criminals. They finally got rid of the last of the bad apples last summer when they traded Zach Randolph to New York for Channing Frye and the right to pay Steve Francis $30M to go home. They drafted Greg Oden, who was promptly diagnosed with a bad knee. The team appeared headed for another lottery season, yet somehow with a lineup that includes Steve Blake at point guard, Joel Przybilla at center, and Martell Webster at the three, Roy has this team in line to make the playoffs. We'll see if they can sustain it for 82 games. I say they can't, just not enough talent. But the fact that they are in the mix this deep into the season is a testament to the precocious Roy's leadership skills and his clutch shooting. Roy is also leading the Blazers in assists, which as a two guard tells you he doesn't have anyone even moderately decent at the point setting him up, he's having to make it happen for himself and set up his teammates. He's having to do it on his own, not unlike the role Tracy McGrady plays for the Rockets (although the next time Przybilla is confused for Yao will be the first). Basically, the West better brace itself because Roy-Oden will be Kobe-Shaq circa 2000-2002 within the next five years. Once the window has closed on Duncan, Nash, Nowitiski, Yao/T-Mac, and Kobe. And that day is coming ....

TOUGHEST OMISSIONS:
  • MANU GINOBILI, San Antonio - I still reserve the right to change my mind and boot Nowitski off the team in favor of the stone cold killa' from Argentina.
  • CARLOS BOOZER, Utah - Tough omission from a numbers standpoint, but he screwed over Gordon Gund and he went to Duke, so he gets the sucker punch in the junk
  • DAVID WEST, New Orleans - Overshadowed by Paul, maybe the most underrated player in the West
  • RUDY GAY, Memphis - Just mentioning him because he will be going to this game someday and probably soon ... and the Rockets traded the pick Memphis used to draft him for Shane Battier. I'm just sayin' ....

Cushman Punks Maguire, PART TWO

Let's rewind to last week on this here blog and reset the now infamous Tom Cruise Scientology video, which consists of mostly nonsensical rambling about a bunch of answers he has and how he (and other Scientologists) sees the world a whole lot differently than others do. For the record, I do not debate the latter point -- I don't know many people whose views of the dawn of time involve spaceships and laser guns. For those who missed the video, here's a refresher ...



While that video is enough to ruin almost anything Tom Cruise has ever done, I still haven't let it ruin "Jerry Maguire" for me. Maybe it's Cuba Gooding, Jr's five-star performance as Rod Tidwell, maybe it's the football scenes (which except for Tidwell's end zone celebration are surprisingly realistsic), I still like this movie even with the Scientologist rocking the lead role and the ever annoying Renee Zellweger playing his female love interest.

If you were a fan of the Maguire character, one of the true stomach-turning scenes was when hotshot QB Frank Cushman (played by Jerry O'Connell) and his overly involved father decided to sign papers with Bob Sugar (played by Jay Mohr as only Jay Mohr could play it) because Jerry was in the lobby "with the black fella". Cushman punked Maguire and punked him badly.

Fast forward to 2008. Cruise is making Scientology brainwashing videos, and O'Connell is at it again! This time, strangely enough, I find myself rooting for Cushman. No Cushlash here ...



BRAVO!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Stone Cold Bloggin', 1/25/08

QUESTION: What do you get when you cross a ridiculously self-indulgent event like the Mike and Mike Roast with a somewhat horse-faced ESPN host and a full bottle of vodka?

ANSWER: A whole lotta f-bomb laced vitriol for Notre Dame, a one week suspension, and lots of public ridicule.

Dana Jacobson was suspended by ESPN last week for a drunken tirade that included the words "F--- NOTRE DAME! ... F--- TOUCHDOWN JESUS! ... F--- JESUS!" Naturally, this raised the ire of pretty much everyone outside of USC and Michigan fans (who all wholeheartedly agree with her even if they contend that they don't ... I know better ... liars!!) My favorite parts of this whole fiasco:

(1) ESPN actually came up with an idea (the Mike and Mike Roast) that was executed even more poorly than "Who's Now?"

(2) Jacobson's apology, which included this doozy:
"I am sorry. My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words. I also deeply regret the embarrassment I've caused ESPN and Mike and Mike."
Yeah, because the last thing that Mike and Mike would ever do is get near anything that would embarrass them ...


No, not at all ....


Ok, now some time wasters for those of you who are looking to either extend your weekend or work your way back into the job slowly on a Monday ...

LINKS
  • Check out the automatic complaint letter generator, a real time saver! [Scott Pakin]
  • Some riff-raff found their way onto the Big East coaches' conference call this week. Uh oh ... [Awful Announcing]
  • Amazing story about Dax Crum, a one-handed college basketball player. [The Big Lead]
  • The 1972 Dolphins are a bunch of delusional old men ... it's now confirmed. [FoxSports]
  • A comprehensive list of all of the things that made Dr. David Bruce Banner "hulk out" on "The Incredible Hulk". Informative. [KennethJohnson]
  • The Cubs marketing department needs to do some more research. [Deadspin]
  • Mike Adamle of American Gladiators fame is going to be joining the WWE as a backstage announcer. Kick his ass, Mean Gene! That's YOUR gig!! [411mania.com]
  • When someone puts together a list of reasons to hate the Utah Jazz? Well, count me in! [The Dream Shake]
VIDEOS

Got this one from Deadspin, this might be the worst (and by worst, I mean best) athlete car endorsement commercial of all-time ....



I mean, Papelbon is close ....



Ah, who am I kidding? NOBODY beats the DC area athletes pimping Eastern Motors!!



And speaking of horrible advertisements, let's take a trip in the WAY BACK machine and check out a young George Costanza gallivanting around the streets of some happy city and telling us about the McDLT ....



I guess that's an improvement over the original McDonald's commercials. And people wonder why kids are afraid of clowns ...



Enough with the ad's. Now a public service announcement. Kids, DO NOT try this at home!!



Had this one sent to me by no fewer than a couple dozen listeners. The downfall of the Cowboys. Very funny ....

This is Sly Stallone's Mother, Jackie ....
























I sure hope that when I'm 86 years old, I look that good.

Signed,
Carrot Top



1560 THE GAME MEETS SOUTH PARK

OH MY GOD!!! THEY KILLED GRANATO!!!


I'm BACK! .... with a short post ... literally.

I want to first apologize for the infrequency of posts in the last few days. Between a trip to the great white North (Chicago), a 39th birthday, and that little show that I do, I've been jam packed. The good news is that I have a ton of items to post and will do so in the next 24 hours.

The first one I wanted to get onto the blog was this story about a fraternity at Northwestern University (or the "University of Northwestern", as Coach Holtz calls it) that is under disciplinary review for booking a midget wrestling group called the Half Pint Brawlers for a rush event.

The Delta Upsilon fraternity is facing sanctions up to and including its complete annihilation for violating the university's hazing policy which clearly states that the term hazing means:

"any action taken or situation created, whether on or off university premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule for the purpose of affiliation with a group, team, club, or their organization."

Yeah, that's hazing all right. Thing is the people experiencing the discomfort and ridicule were getting paid to do so and (I'm pretty sure) are not members of the Delta Upsilon frat. In fact, if you ask the little guys, they had a freaking BLAST!!
One of the performers from Half Pint Brawlers, "Puppet the Psycho Dwarf," wrote in an e-mail to The Daily that the show was booked about one month ago.

"Little Justice (another performer) and myself had a great time at the event," he wrote. "The kids really seemed to enjoy the show."
The whole thing is exacerbated by the fact that Dean Wormer had these guys on double secret probation before this whole thing started. (SEVEN YEARS OF COLLEGE DOWN THE DRAIN!!!)

Personally, I'm a huge fan of midgets. Midgets are on the short list of things that always -- and I mean, ALWAYS -- make any situation they are inserted into automatically better. (For the record, I would include pizza, chicks in thongs, and honey roasted nuts on that list as well.) And they are ALWAYS funny; I'm talking laugh out loud, can't miss funny. The only other thing you can say that about is Claymation characters.

But don't just take my word for it .... see for yourself!



And if you think I'm getting Puppet booked for my show next week ... well, then you know me too well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

See! It's Harder Than It Looks!

My career path is not a normal one. I spent fifteen somewhat successful years in the corporate world before finally realizing that my calling in life was to make wisecracks on the radio about Rafer Alston, Eli Manning, and vasectomies. I was fortunate enough to find someone (God bless you, John Granato!) who agreed that this was my calling. A new radio station is born and - VOILA! - the dream is alive! Because I was handed the keys to a drive time radio show (actually one set of keys, John Harris has the other set), I think people assume that getting on a microphone and spewing a coherent thought or two is pretty easy. To those people, I give you the following video of Tom from Huntington University as a cautionary tale .... (granted, this video is TV and not radio, but you get my point)



[Video courtesy of Awful Announcing.]

Somewhere, Brian Collins of Ball State University feels vindicated ...



Worth mentioning, Ball State and Huntington are 59 miles apart. Must be in the Indiana water.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tom Cruise Has All The Answers .... Somewhere

Below you will find the much discussed Tom Cruise Scientology video. Take a look, then read on .... (NOTE: One hour after I made this post, the video below was pulled from Youtube. Best I can do at this point is tell you to click here, sit back and be enightened.)



For fear that it might elicit a knock on my door followed by three of his people coming into my domicile and smashing my computer to pieces (and handing me a defamation lawsuit), I am not going to say anything derogatory about Cruise or Scientology. I find Tom Cruise to be very lucid and clear in this video about his vision for Scientology and the answers to all of the worlds problems -- so much so that the next time I am in a meeting, I am just going to respond to everything with "but I KNOW .... but I KNOW" and then others in the meeting will know that I can personally solve all of their problems and eliminate their character flaws. Done and done.

Also, I find Scientology and its teachings to be fascinating and logical, in particular anything involving Xenu and meteorites and the end of the world. My posting of a General Zod video from "Superman 2" in this blog entry is mere coincidence.



KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kenny Mayne as AJ Soprano

I will be the first to say that I hate pretty much everything about NFL Countdown on ESPN. From the fabricated debates to Emmitt murdering the English language to Chris Berman himself, I have no use for it. Not even Hammerin' Hank Goldberg's picks. I mean, if I want to go 40% on my picks, I'll just keep doin' what I'm doin'. But I will admit that I like Kenny Mayne, one of the few at the WWL with actual comedic timing and a self-deprecating sense of humor. This past Sunday gave us this outstanding spoof of the "Sopranos" series finale starring Kenny Mayne and Cowboys assistant Tony Sporano. (ROMO ALERT: There will be a Tony Romo sighting in this video. Let's have some fun and blame the Cowboys losing on Romo deciding to do this bit. The Jessica stuff is sooooo December 2007.)




And now your basis of comparison ....



And for the record, I think Tony died. If you don't believe me, read this.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kenny George - part Wookiee, part Muresan

Say hello to Kenny George. He is a 7-foot, 9-inch center on the UNC-Asheville basketball team. He recently started playing basketball again after a three year hiatus, and he wears size 26 shoes which were used as fishing boats while he took time off from playing hoops. He dunks without leaving the floor, blocks shots with his armpit, and grabs fighter jets out of the air with his bare hands.























I think if Gheorghe Muresan and Laurence Fishburne were to procreate, they would spawn Kenny George. He might even be part Wookiee.

One person who is NOT scared of George .... Psycho T, Tyler Hansbrough ....


Was 1560 The Game Represented at the Clemens Presser?

HELL YEAH WE WERE ...














Sorry, I didn't have time to photoshop deadly lasers shooting out of Clemens eyes straight through Richard Justice's sternum.

Monday, January 7, 2008

You and Me and this EAR makes THREE!

And we have a winner! Red Raider Rick wins the 1560 THE GAME t-shirt by emailing me this beauty of Roger Clemens and his third ear!


On a related note, I mentioned in the previous post that I would be inclined to believe the first guy to flinch and take the other guy to court. Well, Roger won that race this morning, filing a defamation suit against Brian McNamee. Congrats to Roger on his first bold move of this battle. We'll see if McNamee still pushes forward with a countersuit. Oh the DRAMA!!!

T-minus 4 hours until today's high tea and krumpets with the media, and then it's off to Congress for Steroidpalooza on January 16th!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Roger on 60 Minutes: My Take

Ever since it was announced several days ago that Roger Clemens would be appearing on "60 Minutes" to address the allegations in the Mitchell Report, my contention has been that the only way the interview would be considered a success for Roger would be if he did two things -- (1) address at least some of the specific allegations of Brian McNamee (like the ones with dates and places), and not just give us the blanket "I never took steroids" and (2) tell us specifically why we shouldn't believe Brian McNamee. I mean, according to Roger, as lies go McNamee is telling some whoppers. Under oath, no less! So if this guy's character is so questionable, Roger, give us SOMETHING from your decade-plus of knowing Brian McNamee that would help us connect the dots from "I didn't do steroids" to "Here's why McNamee's lying". He fibbed on a reply to jury duty ... he skipped out on a bar tab ... he knows all the words to "Mmm Bop" by Hanson but won't admit it. Something. ANYTHING.

So if you saw the interview on "60 Minutes" tonight, you know that Roger graded out thusly on each of my two assignments for him:

(1) D-
(2) F-

There were specific things that Roger said in the interview that would and did perturb me, regardless of whether or not I believe he is innocent (and we'll get to that shortly). Here they are (my thoughts are preceded by SP - yes, very creative, I know):

"CLEMENS: I'm angry that that what I've done for the game of baseball and the personal, in my private life, what I've done that I I don't get the benefit of the doubt The stuff that's being said, it's ridiculous. It's hogwash for people to even assume this. 24, 25 years Mike. You'd think I'd get an inch of respect. An inch. How, how can you prove your innocence?"

SP: I am very uncomfortable with (if not insulted by) the insinuation that someone's performance on the field and good works off the field (of which Roger has many in both categories) should automatically exonerate them from accusation of any wrongdoing when the fact of the matter is there has been enough innuendo and now testimony, along with the circumstantial evidence of body types and durability, to at least wonder if Roger has been using anything at any point in his career. To me, this defense (or complaint) from Roger is a variation of the "Do you know who I am?" defense that athletes will use when getting pulled over for a traffic violation. "He won 354 games, he's been very generous with his time and money, therefore he is above reproach when it comes to the use of performance enhancing drugs even though there is testimony from a guy who trained with him for ten years and even though Roger's body type since leaving Boston has always raised at least some suspicion in an era where many of the stars DO use steroids." To me, the accomplishments/charitable works are mutually exclusive from the allegations.

"CLEMENS: And if if if I have these needles and these steroids and all these drugs, what, where did I get ‘em. Where is the person out there gave ‘em to me? Please, please come forward."

SP: This was the most ridiculous thing that Roger said in the interview. Distributing steroids is illegal and punishable with serious fines and prison time. So we're supposed to believe that because no one has come forward, admitted a felony, and said "I gave Roger Clemens steroids", then there's no way he could have taken them? I should've used this one back in high school when my mom caught me with beer on my breath. "Where is the person that bought me the beer, Mom? Huh? Please, please come forward."

"WALLACE : Why would Brian McNamee want to betray you?

CLEMENS: I don't know. I'm so upset about it, how I treated this man and took care of him.

WALLACE: I imagine he's watching the two of us right now, wouldn't you?

CLEMENS: I hope he is.

WALLACE: Okay. Anything you want to tell him."

SP: Ok, here it is ... your big chance, Roger. Time to take down Brian McNamee. Time to take him down to Chinatown ....

"CLEMENS: Yeah. I treated him fairly. I treated him as great as anybody else. I helped him out!"

SP: Huh? That's it? This guy, according to you, Roger, is LYING and accusing you of unthinkable cheating. He is personally denying you of your legacy. And that's it?!?

"CLEMENS: My body never changed. If he's putting that stuff up in my body, if what he's saying which is totally false, if he's doing that to me, I should have a third ear coming out of my forehead. I should be pulling tractors with my teeth."

SP: Awesome hyperbole from Roger. If you take steroids like wrestlers from the WWE, you end up with a third ear or pulling tractors with your teeth (or giving nonsensical interviews like this). Nobody is accusing Roger of taking steroids in monstrous amounts or even long cycles. There was a very specific number of injections mentioned in the Mitchell Report, and I'm no doctor but I think that number is far from the amount that would qualify Roger as a "freak". That said, I'll send a 1560 THE GAME t-shirt to the first person to email me a photoshopped JPEG of Roger Clemens with a third ear growing out of his forehead. I would think there has to be one out there by now.

"TRACK: BUT HE DID ASK CLEMENS FOR A FAVOR JUST A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE MITCHELL REPORT CAME OUT.

CLEMENS: He emails me and asks me where all the good fishing equipment is down at Cabo that I bought so he can go fishing. Thank you very much. I said, Have a good time, go fishing. Doesn't say a word that you, that you know I'm fixing to bury you with all these accusations and what do we do about it. Didn't say a word about it. That's what pisses me off."

SP: Holy shit, if this is true, Brian McNamee has cajones the size of church bells. Are you kidding me? See now if I were Roger, I'd have honed in on this. He'd have at least gotten the sympathy of the male population out there because that shit just completely violates the guy code which states specifically in Section 2, paragraph (a) "Thou shalt not ask to use one's fishing equipment in Cabo if thou art about to trash one's Hall of Fame baseball career with accusations of steroid use". Honestly, if Roger had just used this as his character assassination on McNamee, and said "I know what Brian McNamee said, Mike, but honestly how can you believe a guy who would ask to borrow your fishing gear after accusing you of steroid use and not even having the decency to tell you about it?!?" I seriously think 90% of the guys in the United States would've been nodding along like "Yeah, no shit! Fuck you, McNamee!! RAT FUCK!!!" Upon further review, I revise my grade of Roger's Brian McNamee character assassination from an F- to a solid D for at least bringing up this story. He should've stuck with it longer, though. If the interview was twenty minutes long, he should've focused on this "fishing gear" story for eighteen of them.

"WALLACE: What, hold, what did McNamee gain by lying?

CLEMENS: Evidently not going to jail."

SP: McNamee committed perjury to stay OUT of jail? My head is spinning. I guess I need to go commit some felonies to make sure I don't wind up in the clink. Honey, pass me that plate with all of the white powder on it, and get my bookie on the phone .... thanks. Now let's go beat up some old people!!

"WALLACE Why would Brian McNamee tell the truth about Andy Pettitte and lie about you?

CLEMENS: Andy's case is totally is, is totally separate. I was shocked to learn about Andy's situation. Had no idea about it."

SP: Actually, Andy's case is not totally separate from yours. Let's take inventory:

  1. You are both named in the Mitchell Report.
  2. You have the same trainer (who happens to be the same accuser)
  3. You've played for the same teams the last decade.
  4. You work out together.
  5. You eat together.
  6. You seemingly don't make a move career-wise without mentioning Andy, to the point where it feels almost uncomfortable discussing it.
  7. He is your best friend in baseball.
But you had no idea what Andy was doing. Ok then.

"WALLACE And never anabolic steroids?

CLEMENS Never.

WALLACE Swear?

CLEMENS Swear."

SP: I've checked the Swear Handbook and because Roger didn't pinky swear or swear on anyone's soul or grave, this swear is not valid. So I still have my doubts about his innocence .... I mean, if it were a pinky swear I'd be ready to send Brian McNamee up Shit's Creek. I mean, it's a fucking PINKY swear. But just "Swear"? Weak.

Roger went on to discuss the concept of being "guilty until proven innocent" in the United States (which is actually very true), then considered the possibility of taking a lie detector test, and finally wrapped up the interview by retiring for the fourth time in his career.

For the sake of baseball, I'd like to believe Roger Clemens, although I think the era we are in right now is so tainted that to start dissecting everyone's legacies and who may or may not have used something becomes mind numbing and frankly isn't a lot of fun. I'm at the point now where, when it comes to Clemens and McNamee, I'm ready to believe whoever decides to flinch first and take the other guy to court. Seemingly that would be the person who least fears putting his hand on the Bible and speaking truthfully (or perjuring themselves, which Barry Bonds has proven is always a possibility). And it's been said over and over again, but bears mentioning, if Roger is so innocent, then why did he wait so long to speak up? (one of about 20 questions that Mike Wallace failed to ask that should've been asked)

So to be continued, I guess ...

Roger gets one more public forum here in Houston tomorrow before going to Congress on January 16, assuming he can break free from his golf commitments. For Roger's sake, he better hope the people asking him the questions tomorrow throw him some softballs like Gilbert did ...



Somehow, I don't think they're going to ...

Jai Eugene Likes the Tangy Zip of Miracle Whip

The BCS Title Game is a little like the Super Bowl in that part of the gamesmanship centers around handling the media day and all of the idle time. LSU CB Jai Eugene spent part of media day preaching about the construction of a sandwich, and I have to say he is damn good, maybe the best preaching since Reverend Brown in "Coming to America". Yet another example of why the SEC is faster/hipper/cooler/stronger/mo' super dee duper than the Big 10.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Stu Nahan, 1926 - 2007

Lost amidst all of the bowl hoopla, NFL playoffs and general holiday business, last week we lost a true American treasure. Retired sportscaster Stu Nahan passed away at age 81. Some of you may live in Boston and you grew up on Johnny Most; perhaps you grew up in Chicago and find Harry Caray to be the quintessential sports voice. Me? I grew up on Rocky, and therefore Stu Nahan's voice resonates as "big game" to me (or "big fight", as it were).

You can have your "Giants win the pennant!!" or "Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!". Me, I will take "What started out as a joke has turned into a disaster" any day of the week (from Creed-Drago at the MGM in Rocky IV, by the way). He called all of the big fights that mattered to me growing up -- Creed-Balboa I, Creed-Balboa II, Balboa-Lang I, Balboa-Lang II, Creed-Drago. (I'm still bitter USA Network didn't send him to Russia for Balboa-Drago, but that may have been Stu's decision.) His calls of the fights are as synonymous with the Rocky movies as Mickey's inspirational screaming, Paulie's butchering of the English language, or the audience's desire for snipers to take out Adrienne.

Nahan lost his battle with lymphoma on December 26, 2007. His survivors include his widow, Sandy; children Kathy, Mark and Kevin from a previous marriage; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

In lieu of a ten bell salute, I leave you with video of Stu's finest performance outside of the Rocky saga. The riveting Spicoli interview from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Rest in peace, Stu Nahan. Hopefully, St. Peter gave you as kick ass of a jacket as the network did in this interview ...

"Blondestar in an emergency, this is Sean ... "

Just when we thought that most blonde jokes were played out, we now have blonde jokes in video format to make fun of our aesthetically pleasing, dim witted, golden haired friends ...

video

C'mon .. it IS Todd Collins, ya know

That SMACK you hear is the collective slapping of the forehead of people who took the Redskins +3 today against the Seahawks, and the thought going through their collective heads is "Sweet Jesus, what the hell was I thinking betting on TODD FREAKING COLLINS?!?! On the ROAD?!? IN SEATTLE?!?!" For a while it looked like the 36-year old career backup might engineer yet another improbable Redskins victory. But in the end, after going up 14-13, Collins apparently decided to have some of whatever Matt Hasselbeck was drinking for the first 52 minutes of the game and he turned back into Todd Collins, Career Scrub. Kudos to the 'Skins for even making the playoffs after the death of Sean Taylor and the season-ending injury to Jason Campbell (although I can't imagine Campbell playing better than Collins did during the month of December).

I would like to thank Collins for spoon feeding the Seahawks two meaningless touchdowns on INT returns. The 35-14 Seahawk win now looks a lot easier on paper than it actually was and just might keep the spread in Green Bay under 7 next weekend. And if that is the case, I will be donating blood, plasma, and any other donate-able bodily fluids this week in order to be in the strongest possible cash position to pound said Packers -7 (or whatever the spread is). Fact is Hasselbeck looked like a basket case for 52 minutes of that game; I don't think the doctor prescribes trips to Green Bay to cure whatever afflicts Hasselbeck.

Stone Cold Bloggin', 1/5/08

First, I want to thank the crew from the Hugging Harold Reynolds blog for organizing and including the Sports Kolache in the NFL Playoffs Fantasy Football contest, where twenty blogs and highly acclaimed blog dwellers will battle for the most illustrious piece of hardware in our business .... seen below ....
For what it's worth, my favorite blog name amongst the competitors? The Lazy Eye of Stuart Scott. If you're looking to start a blog and come up with a catchy name, there's your benchmark.

As Todd Collins runs for his life in Seattle, here are a few time wasters of the link and video variety to get you through this January weekend ...

LINKS
  • Wizard of Odds contends something that I've espoused all season -- the SEC is good but not the monster everyone thinks it is. [Wizard of Odds]
  • A list of Pat Summerall's announcing screw-ups from Tuesday's Cotton Bowl. Get comfy. [Kansas City Star]
  • A most excellent divorce story that yields this shocker -- South Florida football players cheat! No way! Nick Saban must feel vindicated. [Every Day Should Be Saturday]
  • And while we're talking about South Florida, here's a link to some pics of a USF cheerleader's Myspace exploits. Gotta love Myspace. [Busted Coverage]
  • I liked the Kyle Korver trade for the Utah Jazz. I think he's just the type of spot up shooter they need to open things up for Boozer inside. There's a Sixers fan (presumably) who's not as psyched about the deal. HILARIOUS VIDEO ALERT. [Awful Announcing]
  • A very helpful flow chart if you are deciding whether or not to eat bacon. [Beer or Kid]
  • An Erin Andrews tribute that makes mine look like child's play. [Barstool Sports]
  • Worst hairstyles in movies (although I think they were a little hard on the Padme-Leia mother-daughter combo). [Yahoo]
  • Speaking of the Skywalker family, if any of you know where I can buy one of these Vader heads, let me know ... because, you know, the Force is strong in my family and shit. [Imperial Holocron]
  • Top 25 Sexiest Athletes of 2007. HOT CHICK ALERT. Although no Sue Bird on the list does detract from their credibility. [Coed Magazine]
VIDEOS

Thanks to the good folks at the My Meat on Your Grill tailgater at Texans games, I'd like to think that Harris and I are out in front of this "Beer Pong is the sport of the new millenium" trend. Here is a video about the World Series of Beer Pong ...

Next, I'm sure that most of you have seen this bone-jarring, teeth-dislodging hit on the Titans' Chris Henry by Darrell Reid of the Colts ....



I'm hoping that maybe this video of rugby hits (NOTE: NO PADS) will make Chris Henry and his family feel a little bit better ....



If they ever decide to do a Sesame Street movie with actual people playing the part of Muppets, this video should sew up the campaign for Pesci and DeNiro as Ernie and Bert, respectively ....




Staying with the mob theme, and in honor of Robert Loggia's 78th birthday this week, here is a recap of the Paulie vs Feech Lawn Wars from 2004 on the Sopranos ....


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tuna Era Begins in Miami

The Bill Parcells Era is underway in Miami, and the Tuna has begun the necessary deconstruction that will proceed the reconstruction of this once proud franchise (and frankly, if anyone has caught Mercury Morris' act in the last few months, you might argue too proud franchise). Like any good builder, Tuna is going to be required to tear down the entire infrastructure of this 1-15 crack house before building the 10 bedroom palatial estate. Therefore, exit Randy Mueller as GM and exit Cam Cameron as head coach.

Cam Cameron's ouster makes his act at last year's Dolphin draft party all the more laughable. Remember his unveiling of the Ted Ginn, Jr. selection?



If I may transcribe (my comments in italics):

CAM: "Good afternoon everybody! Hey, we gotta get that thumb to go this direction ... [gives thumbs up sign to fans presumably giving the thumbs down sign]"

(Uh Cam, those aren't thumbs they're raising at you .... )

"Let me tell you about the young man we just drafted .... he's a young man named Ted Ginn, Jr., and we drafted the Ginn family. I've known this family for over ten years. I've watched this young man for a long time."

("We drafted the Ginn family" has got to be one of the most underrated idiotic quotes of all time. You drafted the Ginn family? Really Cam? So what is Ginn, Sr's 40 time? Can Ted Ginn's aunt bring the heat off the edge? How well does his 9 year old cousin run between the tackles? I've been a Steeler fan my whole life and I can honestly say that I don't even care if the guys the Steelers draft even have families. Yeesh, it took this long to fire this guy? He should've been capped on draft day!)

"You're gonna be thrilled every time you watch him as a punt returner, because he's gonna be a great returner for us."

(Yep, they spent the 9th overall pick on a return specialist. To Ginn's credit, he was 29th in kickoff return average and 6th in punt return average. YAY!!!!)

"Ted Ginn and his family will give us everything they have, I promise you that...."

(At this point it was getting tough to transcribe amidst the chants of "BRADY! BRADY! BRADY!" but I think Cameron was once again selling us on Ginn's family, perhaps even mentioning Ted's grandmother's lasagna and having movie night over at Ted's house.)

"I would say this, we're gonna put together a draft class....that's gonna make you proud."

(John Beck ... Lorenzo Booker ... and a couple guys from Hawaii ... awesome.)

So the Cameron Era is over. We raise our glasses to the near perfection of 1-15 and turn our attention to the future. Who will the Tuna select to fill Cameron's microscopic shoes? Well, I'll leave this one to the no-nonsense reporting of Kige Ramsey/Youtube Sports ....




Yeah, yeah I know Kige said "Tony Soprano". Many of the comments below his video indicate he meant "Tony Sparano" of the Cowboys. I beg to differ. I think he did mean Tony Soprano, and that when he said "Maurice Carthon" he meant to say "Michael Corleone". Kige is a visionary who likely sees some value in having fictitious mobsters run the Dolphins. Let's face it, it can't be any worse than Cam Cameron.