Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is There Such a Thing As Too Many Cheerleader Pics?

Let's see. I'm heading out for another long weekend in Vegas. What could I possibly post that will appease my readers until then?

Beginning today, the UCLA Bruins basketball team has a very important and difficult road trip in the state of Arizona. It's important because they likely need to win out in the Pac-10 if they want any chance of a #1 seed; and it's difficult not only because they'll be facing two Arizona teams that are fighting for their tournament lives, but also because the Bruins will have to take the court without the support of these girls:





Enjoy your weekend all.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Whither Goest Blackballed Barry?

The first pitches of live spring training games have been thrown, and still Barry Bonds finds himself without a team. Right now, his agent Jeff Borris is traveling from park to park and hoping to sell someone on Barry's still potent stick. It's like he's filming a BangBus movie and trying to see what GM he can persuade to get into the van. Unfortunately for Bonds, so far he has no takers despite the fact that even at age 43, he still got on base 48% of the time he stepped to the plate; and it's now Roger Clemens and not him that's the performance enhancing villain du jour. But as the season gets closer and teams realize that their lineup isn't the machine they'd envisioned in the winter meetings, Bonds should start getting more consideration. Even then, his options will be limited. Here is a look at possible destinations for Barry, listed from least to most likely, by my own guesstimation:

San Diego Padres
Reasons to sign: Right now, the Padres projected left fielder is either Scott Hairston or Chase Headley, who hasn't played in the outfield since college. Bonds has hit more home runs against the Padres than any other team, so maybe there's something about the San Diego parks that bring out the best in him. Tijuana is just a 15 minute drive from the park, making the acquisition of steroids, ephedra, HGH, viagra, etc. a breeze.
Reasons not to sign: While San Diego fans are known to be laid back, Barry Bonds has been one of the few players to elicit actual hatred from the home crowd. San Diegans won't start rooting for Barry just because he's wearing a Padres jersey.
Verdict: Padres fans would rather see an adopted golden retreiver from Petco in left field than Barry Bonds. If Kevin Towers were to sign Bonds, it would likely be his last move as GM.

Texas Rangers
Reasons to sign: According to Sportsline, the Rangers will once again go with Frank Catalanotto at DH and bat him 9th. Ninth...for the designated hitter? Rangers Ballpark is a launching pad in the summertime, and Bonds could give some much needed pop to a relatively anemic lineup. Sammy Sosa played for the Rangers last year, so fans are already accustomed to being asked to cheer for a player who's assumed to have used performance enhancing drugs.
Reasons not to sign: If Bonds were to sign with the Rangers, it would mean that he wouldn't get the chance to face Rangers' pitching.
Verdict: To me, this move seems to make a lot of sense, which means there's no way Tom Hicks will ever do it.

Oakland A's
Reasons to sign: Right now, the A's have a triple A team playing in a crappy stadium, and there is no reason that anyone would want to watch them play. With Bonds, the A's could tap into his Bay Area fan base. In going from San Francisco to Oakland, Bonds would save a ton on shipping costs for his Barcalounger.
Reasons not to sign: Even with an incentive-laden contract, Bonds would still cost money, and the A's are loathe to spend more than minor league money. If attendance plummets further this season, the A's can always just tarp off another section of seats to give the appearance of a denser crowd.
Verdict: Even though Bonds excels in Beane's much coveted metric of on base percentage, the A's appear content to just enjoy profits through revenue sharing without worrying about such nonsense as fielding a winning team.

Japanese League
Reasons to sign: Already passed Hank Aaron, now it's time to go after Sadaharu Oh. Yen is performing well against the dollar of late. Japanese women are already used to seeing guys with tiny testicles.
Reasons not to sign: In Japan, when you ask for "the cream," they hand you a bukakke video. In the Japanese league, you actually have to hustle.
Verdict: Not as clazy as it sounds.

Tampa Bay Rays (nee Devil Rays)
Reasons to sign: For the Rays, it sure would be nice if fans came to a game other than when the Red Sox or Yankees were in town. Bonds could buy booze for all the kids on the roster. Florida has no income tax, meaning one fewer risk for investigation into tax evasion. Pedro Gomez already has a retirement home in Florida, so that works out nicely for him.
Reasons not to sign: If ESPN starts showing up to Tampa Bay games, someone might notice that in an effort to cut costs, the Rays have been dressing up little leaguers, throwing them out on the field, and paying them in jolly ranchers.
Verdict: What have they got to lose? It's not like either party had any dignity to begin with.

So I guess it comes down to Tampa Bay and Japan for Barry. Neither really qualifies as Major League Baseball and they both play in hideous domed stadiums. Both are known for having great strip clubs, but only in Japan can you get a girl dressed up like your favorite anime character. Advantage: Japan. Sayonara, Barry.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Can Look at a Car's Headlights And Tell You Exactly Which Way It's Coming.

Earlier today, the Auto Club 500 was postponed after 87 laps and continual rain delays. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods defeated Stewart Cink to win the Match Play championship. Neither event is really of particular interest to me, but it does give me the segue to post some footage from this classic routine:

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Bruce Pearl Would Like to Run the Spread Offense With Erin Andrews

March is right around the corner and this is usually the time of year that serious contenders for the NCAA championship start playing their best basketball in preparation for the tournament. However more than anything, this past week has exposed flaws in all of this year's favorites to win the title. Fortunately for these teams, recent history- as illustrated by Florida the last two seasons- has shown that losses in late February can be overcome. Nonetheless, if these hopeful champions want to realize their dreams, they all have something to work on over the next few weeks.

A few observations from the day in hoops:

I've never seen a John Calipari practice, but I can only assume he runs it like one long pickup game. That's the only way I can explain that Memphis' entire offensive scheme seems to be "whoever has the ball- try to take your guy off the dribble." Granted, their guards are quick enough that it's not the worst strategy; but once they encounter a team that plays good interior help defense, they're in trouble. The other problem with playing like it's a pickup game is that there aren't any free throws on the playground, and it looks like the Tigers don't want to shoot any in regular games either. Memphis is still in line to get a #1 seed, but if I were a fan of any of the teams ranked #5-8 right now, I'd really be hoping my team was given the #2 seed in the Tigers bracket.

UCLA managed to rally to win today, but they have some red flags of their own on offense. Namely, their outside shooting has completely abandoned them. Josh Shipp is now in an 0 for 20 slump from beyond the arc and looks very hesitant with the ball in his hands. Combine that with what have been some very stagnant offensive sets (From the first team, at least. Lorenzo Mata-Real has actually provided a lot of energy and motion for the team recently) and you've got a team that struggles to score in the halfcourt game. Fortunately for the Bruins, they force a lot of turnovers to get points in transition and Kevin Love is able to sell contact to get to the free throw line. Still, if they want to return to the Final Four, somebody (ideally Shipp, but otherwise Westbrook) is going to have to become a viable threat from outside.

Speaking of Love, he looked very lethargic throughout the game today. Actually, he looked downright sleepy. I don't know if he was out at a karaoke bar with Maarty Leunen all night or what, but he certainly wasn't in any condition to be on a basketball court. At one point in the first half, he took a hit under the basket and stayed on the floor for an extended period of time. I don't think he was hurt either. I'm pretty sure he was taking a nap.

The Pac-10 has been spending the last month trumpeting themselves as the best conference in the country, but I want to dispel that myth right now. For one, Washington State, Arizona State, and Oregon are all playing a worse brand of basketball now than they were a month ago. But more importantly, you can't be the best conference in basketball if you have the worst officiating in basketball; and this season, the zebras have established a new low. Trying to figure out how a Pac-10 official is going to call any given play is like trying to guess where the Plinko chip is going to land in Price is Right.

With all of the coaches, players, and fans yelling at you for every perceived mistake, I never understood why anyone would want to be a referee- unless maybe you hated basketball players growing up and this was your way to get revenge. It seems like such a thankless job. But then I learned today about one of the fringe benefits of being an official- reach arounds with nubile, young cheerleaders:


Combine that with the fact that you can be utterly incompetent and still never get fired, and maybe it's not that bad of a gig afterall...

Wendy Nix was working the sidelines for ESPN during the Indiana mutiny at Northwestern, which I think is a good assignment for her, as she is "Midwestern hot." I can't really figure her look out. She's either a former big girl who lost a lot of weight or she's a former skinny girl who's now on the precipice of getting big- kind of like a one-time beauty pageant contestant when she becomes a housewife...

As for the Hoosiers, it looks like it is not only his players but also his coaches who are distraught about Kelvin Sampson's dismissal. At this point, it's hard to imagine Indiana being able to put it together and make a deep run into the tournament. I think their only hope might be if Kelvin Sampson puts on a disguise and coaches from the stands, a la Bobby Valentine for the Mets back in the day.

I didn't see the Kansas/Oklahoma State game, but just judging by the box score, it looks like the only reason Kansas lost is because they let a 5'11" guard go to the line 18 times. I'm not sure how that happens, but in a season that features guards such as Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, Darren Collison, Jerryd Bayless, Russell Westbrook, and DJ Augustin, there are plenty of reasons for Jayhawks fans to be nervous about another early exit in March.

So now Tennessee is the new number one team in the land. It's a ranking they've certainly earned by winning at Memphis, and their victory today was even more impressive when you consider that Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl was more focused on penetrating Erin Andrews' defense than that of Memphis. I know Tennessee is known for their hound dogs, but let's take it down a notch, ok Bruce? You're coming off greasier than that bronzing cream you rub on your body before each game. Here's a snippet from one of their encounters today. Check out the Berman eyes he gives her:



I do kind of like the role reversal tho. Usually it's the ESPN personalities who are drooling over the coaches. Maybe it's time for coaches to return the favor.

Just don't pull that stunt with Erin Andrews while Brent Musburger is calling the game or he'll whoop your ass.

(photo from The Big Lead)

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Finally a Video Game That's Fundamentally Sound

I got next.



(HT: Deadspin)

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Hook 'Em Horny

I was just looking over my stats, and I'd like to say a quick Howdy to all the visitors coming from the University of Texas rivals.com message board this morning. Let's see- what could be attracting people from a college message board? I don't seem to recall giving my insight on offensive line recruits out of north Texas District 9-5A just yet. I know my 2006 Sun Bowl coverage was riveting, but that's pretty old news. Ah hell, I reckon you just stopped by for the cheerleader pics.

Hope you like what you see. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

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The Nightcap, Lohan Edition: Some Like It Hot. Some Like It Used

It looks like after an extended period of longing and hope, Mark Cuban will finally get the guy he wanted, Jason Kidd, on his squad. While Kidd will certainly be able to contribute to the Mavaricks, I have a feeling his play in Dallas will be a bit like the series of topless photos Lindsay Lohan took in tribute to Marilyn Monroe: Some flashes of brilliance, but definitely showing the wear and tear from some rough years, and certainly paling in comparison to the original.

(And yes, I know that my attempt to come up with a metaphor to justify including a Lohan picture was even more transparent than the cloth Lindsay is holding in front of her. But in my defense....boobs.)

In other drug user news: Eric Gagne gave a vague apology to his Milwaukee teammates for "a distraction that shouldn't be taking place." And he's right- there's no reason at all why anyone should have signed Gagne and his batting practice fastball to a major league contract.

Andy Pettitte also spent the day apologizing to anyone who's ever watched a baseball game, C-SPAN, or the 700 club. He also said that the scrutiny and criticism that he and Roger Clemens have received should serve as a deterrent to other athletes who might be considering using performance enhancing drugs, as nobody would want to go through what Roger and he did. Pettitte then excused himself so he could cash his $600,000 biweekly check from the Yankees.

The Angels' Francisco Rodriguez is upset with the organization for refusing to offer him a lucrative, long-term contract and has insinuated that he will leave the team at the end of the 2008 season. He hasn't stated which teams he'd be interested in going to, but one would suspect that he would seek out teams with white undersides to their caps, so as to better conceal any illegal substances he may be using.

Finally, Curt Schilling has said that he is undergoing rehab treatment for his ailing shoulder and there's still a chance he could pitch this year. In fact, he's so confident that he'll make a dramatic return late in the season that he's already prepared a bloody jersey to wear for the occasion.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Nobody Puts USC Song Girls In a Corner

Sunday night, I paid my first visit to the Galen Center, the newish (built in late 2006) basketball facility for the USC Trojans which is located just a few urine-soaked blocks from the main campus. Wearing UCLA blue to the game, there were a few things I knew to expect. I knew that I'd be booed and cursed at by USC students (I was, although it wasn't excessively vulgar at all); and I knew that if the Bruins were to win, Trojan fans would immediately invoke the recent history of the football programs (they did). But one thing I wasn't prepared for was the aural assault that was Petros Papadakis as the PA announcer.

For those that don't live in Southern California, here's the best way I can describe Petros. Remember when Tony Siragusa was on Hard Knocks and in preparation for a career outside of football, Goose tried to portray himself as the fat, fun-loving court jester- only he wasn't really that funny, so instead he was just loud and obnoxious? Well try to imagine that rather than getting a tv gig where he could receive some training, Siragusa was instead given a sports radio talk show where the more obnoxious he was, the more airtime he would be given. That's Petros Papadakis; and for some reason USC has decided to give him a microphone for a captive USC audience. It's absolutely brutal. By the end of the game, I wanted to borrow a gun from one of the SC fans, blow my brains out, and leave a note beside me which read, "Whoever finds this, please pick up the gun and empty the chamber into my head so that my ears can never be raped again." C'mon Southern Cal. The voice of your basketball program is a mindless, witless blowhard. Even I think you deserve better.

As for the game itself- while Tim Floyd may be a brilliant defensive tactician, he leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to player development. The Trojans only substituted one player out (Jefferson) the entire game, leaving the other four to play all 40 minutes of the game. I know SC was down an injured player, but there had to be somebody on that bench who could steal a few minutes of rest for the starters. No wonder the Trojans finished the game with more turnovers (22) than field goals (20). I'm just surprised that nobody vomited on the ball.

If the Bruins want to make it back to the Final Four, somebody is going to have to find their outside shot. In their last four games, the Bruins are 7 for 44 from beyond the arc. Josh Shipp has missed his last 15 attempts at three pointers. Lately, their most potent long range shooter has been center/forward Kevin Love. Fortunately, the team's next games are at home vs the worst team in the conference, Oregon State and a team that plays pretty loose defense, Oregon. If they're ever going to find their shooting touch, it should be against these schools.

This was the first year in which the visiting team's cheerleaders, dance team and band didn't make the trip for the rivalry games as financial greed (initiated by UCLA) has taken priority over tradition. One would have guessed that this would at least mean more floor time for the USC Song girls during timeouts, but instead the marketing experts at the Galen Center opted to use that time to promote SC alum Will Ferrell's new movie, "Semi-Pro." There was a trailer for the movie on the jumbotron, the dance team performed to one of the songs from the movie, and fans were given cardboard cutouts of Will Ferrell's face to wave around during free throws. Either SC is really proud of their prodigal son or they're getting some points on the back end of the movie. I'm guessing it's the latter. Meanwhile, the Song Girls spent most of the timeouts prancing in a corner behind the baseline. That's inexcusable.

Matt Leinart was sitting courtside at the game, and surprisingly, he was with his son Cole and his baby momma, Brynn Cameron. They all appeared to be happy, which must mean that Matt's child support check had just cleared.

While I think the architects of the Galen Center got a few things wrong, being in a new building was a stark reminder of how outdated Pauley Pavilion has become. There's really no excuse for one of the top basketball programs in the country to be playing in a building that offers neither the intimacy nor the amenities of these newer facilities. Actually, the Galen Center doesn't offer much in the way of intimacy either. It's a rather sterile, concrete structure in which the students were screwed over by being put behind the backboard. Worst of all, the seating was designed in such a way that you feel removed from the action on the court and feel much more like a distant observer than an active participant. For example, my seats were in row 14 behind the backboard opposite the SC students, and yet I was so far from center court that I had to take an Ansel Adams landscape approach to the photos I took. That is, if Ansel Adams was a horny old man instead of some dude that just liked nature. Well, judge for yourself:



















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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Reggie Miller Is All About Releasing on the Titty

I've got to hand it to NBA analysts- it seems like every game, I learn something new from them. Hubie Brown breaks down the Xs and Os of the game. Bill Walton teaches the viewer about world history and ancient civilizations. Tonight (after rewinding a few times to confirm that I actually heard what I thought I heard), I discovered during the 3-point contest that Reggie Miller's expertise is in dissecting the anatomy of the basketball court:



I've played a few pickup games in my life, and I'm pretty sure that this isn't really a term used on the playground- so where did Reggie learn it? My guess is that when Reggie Miller was younger, it was his sister Cheryl that taught him how to shoot three pointers. At the time, a young Reggie wasn't yet strong enough to release the ball from over his head, and so Cheryl instructed him to "shoot from the titty," and they just happened to be standing down by the baseline at the time.

But if Reggie's right, then I assume that it would follow that: getting trapped in the corner would be known as "squeezing the titty;" missing a potential game-winning shot from that spot would be "tough titties;" and of course a shot from the baseline which rattles around before going in must be known simply as a "motorboat."

The NBA...Where "Titty" Happens.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Nightcap

Girls basketball recap: Earlier this evening, with Rutgers head coach Vivian Stringer looking snappy in a pink suit and her team wearing uniforms of the same color to promote breast cancer awareness, the Scarlett Knight appeared headed to an upset victory over the Lady Vols, but some suspicious timekeeping resulted in a bitter defeat for the team in the pink shoes.

Men's basketball recap: Villanova wanted to do their part to raise awareness of breast cancer, but rather than wear pink, they chose to shoot the ball as if they were a girls basketball team, going 4 for 31 from the field in the 2nd half. Still, the Wildcats were in a position to send the game into position to send the game into overtime until referee Bob Donato called this foul in the back court with 0.1 seconds on the clock:



It was a horrendous call, but perhaps Donato was just trying to spare the viewing public from five more minutes of unwatchable basketball.

On a related note, here's the introductory piece to a synopsis of a NCAA tournament game in 2000 between North Carolina and Tennessee, composed by Sports Illustrated writer, Alexander Wolff:

There's a kind of voyeuristic pleasure in watching a ref who has whistled a really, really bad call. A call that you know is wrong, I know is wrong, and every soul in the building knows is wrong, except for the pitiable chump in the piebald pullover who made it.

The ref being discussed here is none other than one Robert Donato.

Who knows- maybe Donato is sick of living on the east coast and figures that if he makes enough high profile, egregious errors then he'll be a lock to get a job as part of a Pac-10 crew.

Meanwhile, Bill McCabe, the Pac 10's coordinator of officiating, has ruled that firing a ball off an opponent's face at point blank range is a perfectly acceptable way of avoiding a five second call. My first reaction to this decision was that McCabe was obviously a spineless idiot whose fear of extending the controversy by handing down any sort of punishment (or even warnings) would lead to an injury or brawl during a game when a similar strategy is employed. But it turns out that in his spare time, Mr. McCabe also owns a medical equipment distribution company. I'm guessing sales on protective masks are down this year, and this would provide a quick boost. Very shrewd, Mr. McCabe. Very shrewd, indeed.

UCLA was considering appealing this ruling to the NCAA, but fortunately was able to negotiate a deal. The Bruins will publicly support the decision that it was just a "player doing what was necessary to win," and in exchange, the NCAA will never make the Bruins play a tournament game in Hec Edmunson Pavilion, the home of the Washington Huskies and a perennial house of horrors for the Bruins.

In football news, the Washington Post is reporting that the Redskins are interested in making a trade for Chad Johnson. If that deal goes through, it would be a great move for Ocho Cinco. Johnson sees himself as a future hall of famer, and the recent induction of Art Monk has shown that the Redskins are capable of getting good, but not great wide receivers into the hall if they put in their time.

The Dolphins have cut quarterback Trent Green as part of their process of cleaning house. The good news for fans of Green is that he wasn't upset by the move at all since he didn't even remember that he was a quarterback for the Dolphins. The bad news is that Green was only two more head traumas away from being giving a job as a lead analyst for ESPN.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

It's Going To Take More Than a Severed Jugular To Keep Richard Zednik Down

The image to the right was captured by a Deadspin reader who was watching the Panthers/Sabres game Sunday night when Panthers player Richard Zednik's neck was sliced by the errant skate of teammate Olli Jokinen. It chillingly depicts what a person looks like when they fear they're about to die. Actually, that look of terror is pretty similar to what I look like when I wake up each morning and realize that I'm still alive, and my life is exactly the same as the day before.

Thankfully, Zednik survived this impromptu attempt at completing The Iron Lotus and is now in stable condition. If this were any other sport, I'd assume that Zednik is at least out for the year. But since it's hockey, who knows? Maybe he'll be playing tomorrow.

This is the second time that such a chilling incident has occurred in an NHL game. In 1989, Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk had his jugular sliced by a skate in the middle of a game. He also was able to skate off the ice under his own power, which is absolutely incredible considering how he looked moments after the accident (warning: extremely graphic).

In youth hockey, players are required to wear a neck guard, and I wouldn't be surprised if a similar initiative is taken in the NHL. Heck, after seeing these images, I might even get one for myself, and I don't even play hockey. But an exploding beer bottle, a low-flying bird, or a stripper with long fingernails could all spell trouble. It's a dangerous world out there.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Note To Self: No Matter How Hard Life Gets, There's Always Gambling

I'm rolling out to Vegas for the weekend, where along with the usual delights of the city, I'll be catching a Norm MacDonald performance. So when I return, don't be surprised if there are frequent references to "dirty, dirty whores," or if I go on a gambling binge and disappear for awhile.

In other words, it will be business as usual here at the Lounge.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Presenting a Slice of History, With OJ Simpson

Over the last few months, I've been an unabashed critic of the Fanhouse's Michael David Smith, and perhaps I've been a bit unfair. Sure, he assaults his readers with a daily avalanche of filler in order to boost his post count. And yeah, I guess an honest assessment would reveal that he's devoid of anything even remotely resembling an interesting writing style. I suppose it's true that his sycophantic behavior towards anyone even peripherally related to the NFL Network or ESPN undermines his overall credibility (although he did call Sean Salisbury a big meanie earlier today). And now that you mention it, yes he does look like your stereotypical child molester, although that's not entirely his fault.

But I do have to give credit where credit is due; and when it comes to research skills, MDS is without parallel in the world of quasi-independent blogs. Today while scouring the internet, he discovered this clip from a 1992 NFL broadcast on NBC, in which Brett Favre relieved an injured Don Majkowski and led the Packers to a 4th qtr, come from behind victory. Your NBC studio consists of Bob Costas, Buddy Ryan, and famed USC running back, OJ Simpson. I should warn you, viewing this clip could be a bit disconcerting:



Looking at that clip with the perspective of the present day was weird, wasn't it? It was almost like viewing a broadcast from an alternate universe. I mean those analysts in the studio were actually analyzing the game of football. Safety had to go with the tight end down the middle in the cover two? The corner needs to funnel the receiver to the inside? What the hell is that?! I want to hear about about a player's grit and determination. I want to hear about "big time players making big time plays." I want to hear about Brett Favre just being Brett Favre. Don't try to make me think. Don't you know that I never played in the NFL, so I couldn't possibly understand?

If he was still willing to give such incisive commentary, I'd rather have OJ Simpson in an NFL studio today than Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, or Jerome Bettis. But unfortunately, we're going to be stuck with guys like Shannon Sharpe, who are more interested in being a cut-up than an analyst. OJ would never stoop to such levels.

Although if I remember correctly, this broadcast wasn't entirely focused on breaking down the X's and O's of the game. In the next segment, OJ Simpson presented his "Worst Person in the World" award to "that dude who's been sleeping with my wife," which obviously inspired some devoted Simpson fan to take care of the problem himself. And now we're stuck with Emmitt Smith trying to learn the English language on live TV. It's all so tragic.

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So This Is What Can Happen With Consistent Effort?

Last night, it was revealed that the lead author ("Ken Tremendous") of one my favorite blogs, Fire Joe Morgan, is actually Michael Schur, a former SNL writer and presently striking writer for The Office.

Dammit, this is depressing. I hate when talented blogger types are also motivated, industrious, successful people. I prefer to think of them all as I view myself- lazy, undisciplined, yet moderately creative types who would be successful if only they ever got their act together.

You'd think that perhaps such a revelation would get me to concetrate (sic) my efforts to expand my readership beyond friends, fellow bloggers, and oversexed, voracious masturbators (there may be some overlap in those categories), but so far, all it's done is make me crack open a few beers with lunch....oh, and search my hard drive for a picture of Jenna Fischer's butt. So there's that.

(Also: Props to this diligent blogger who had already deduced KT's real identity months ago. Impressive work. Maybe for their next piece of detective work, they can figure out who stole the identity of Eli Manning over the last two months.)

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Oh, But For a Fleeting Glimpse of Erin Andrews

A few people have hit me up with emails asking me if I took any pictures of Erin Andrews while I was at the UCLA vs Arizona game. Well, yes I did, but unfortunately, the vast majority of the photos came out blurry. Very disappointing. I would take a shot with everything seemingly in focus, but then when reviewing the photo on my display, it would be a giant blur. Eventually, I began to wonder if ESPN was somehow jamming the autofocus on my camera. Later, I was comforted by the words of Mitch Hedberg, and it was speculated that maybe Erin Andrews is actually blurry in real life. Like Bigfoot.



But after the game, I just happened to stumble across the ESPN production truck (hey if you leave a security gate open, people are going to wonder what's on the other side). Ms. Andrews was kind enough to pose for a quick picture with me (I've cropped myself out of that one for your benefit), and this time she was in focus, but covered in shadows. That girl's a chameleon I tell you! No wonder fellow reptilian, Steve Lavin, is so enamored with her.

Here are the few photos that made the cut:


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Is It Too Late to Teach Shaq the Sky Hook?

The overall reaction to the pending trade which would send Shaquille O'Neal to the Phoenix Suns has been one of bewilderment. The 35 year-old O'Neal would not seem to fit in with the running, quick-strike approach of the Suns offense. However, history has shown that such a combination can still lead to championships. Here are how Shaquille O'Neal's numbers this season (all career lows) compare to another former dominant center as he was approaching the end of his career on an up-tempo team:

Shaquille O'Neal, (age 35):
28.6 mins, 14.2 pts, 7.8 rebounds, 58.1% FG, 1.66 blocks

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1987-88, age 40)
:
28.9 mins, 14.6 pts, 6.0 rebounds, 53.2% FG, 1.15 blocks

The Lakers won their third championship in four years that season.

During the end of the Jabbar era, the Lakers would always look to run the fast break first, and only when an opportunity didn't materialize would Jabbar make his way down the court for the offensive set. Now maybe Steve Nash isn't Magic Johnson, but I could see the Suns functioning in the same way, with Diaw, Bell, and Stoudemire running on the break ahead of Nash- and Shaq jogging out to midcourt to see what develops.

Now just give Barbosa some really high socks and Sean Marks some taped up, black-rimmed glasses and the title is theirs.

Besides, there are plenty of reasons to think that Shaq will be able to turn up his game for one more run once he actually takes the court.

-He doesn't usually start playing hard until March, anyway.

-This will give Shaq one more opportunity to screw over the Lakers.

-Phoenix is one of the porn capitals of the United States, and nothing energizes Shaq like shutting down pornographers (or bashing down the doors of innocent citizens..same difference.)

-He'll be 2,300 miles away from his estranged wife, with whom he's going through divorce proceedings. If that doesn't make you feel like a new man, nothing will.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tiki Barber Tucks Tail Between Legs, Conducts Interviews

Watching this video, I imagine Tiki had to be thinking the entire time: "NBC had to send me to cover this game? Really? Anyone watching the Today show at 7 am on a Monday doesn't care about the Super Bowl anyway. Couldn't you have sent Triumph the Insult Comic Dog instead?"

Meanwhile, his teammates are for the most part being understated in their answers so as not to rub in the fact that Tiki abandoned this team, but you know they're going to break out into laughter the moment the cameras are turned off.

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The Action in Pauley Pavilion is a Joy to Behold

I've been going to UCLA basketball games for many years, and I can't remember a weekend series where the team has looked so dominant. In sweeping the Arizona schools, their play was efficient, unselfish, and unyielding. In short, they looked like a team of championship caliber.

Fittingly, the UCLA dance team was equally spectacular during the Arizona series. While always an exhibit of beauty and athleticism, this crew brought an energy and sex appeal that assured the crowd that there would be no downtime during timeouts. Fortunately, I had my camera to document the action on display:






















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Monday, February 04, 2008

Something I Ate Gave Me Visions of Elijah. Now I Finally Understand How Some of That Crazy Stuff Got in the Old Testament

Talk about bad timing- late Saturday night, out of nowhere, I came down with some sort of 24 hour illness that totally wiped me out and had on a seesaw of nausea and drifting off into a coma for the entire day Sunday. So instead of attending a Super Bowl party, I ended up watching the game from bed while sipping Gatorade and being grateful that we live in a day and age when a person can pause live TV for emergency sprints to the bathroom. Good times. I'm still not sure what caused it, although earlier Saturday night, I did have an ever-so-brief encounter with Erin Andrews, and she did seem pretty tired herself. And while we didn't exchange any bodily fluids, I did sense some sort of connection between us. Unfortunately, the connection wasn't strong enough to prevent her from pulling free from my grasp.

By the end of the day Sunday, my illness was affecting me to the point where I began hallucinating. At one point, I even thought I saw the Giants win the Super Bowl and Eli Manning named MVP. Crazy, I know.

A few other observations from Sunday that may or may not be true:

Jordin Sparks looked really nervous prior to performing the national anthem, considering that it appeared she had lip-synched the entire thing. Maybe they had trouble with her track skipping during rehearsals? Or it could be that the Giants were planning on using her as a linebacker and she couldn't remember all the blitzing schemes.

It all became moot with a Giants victory, but I have to say that at no point watching the game did I ever feel like I was watching one of the greatest teams of all time. Well, that's not entirely true. When Troy Aikman made his pregame locker room speech, I was reminded what an all-time great team looks like.

With the Patriots' loss, Tom Brady's name is now removed from the list of quarterbacks to start and win multiple Super Bowls without losing a single one. That club is now reduced to: Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett, Joe Montana, and Troy Aikman.

While Tom Brady is still certainly a lock for the Hall of Fame, this game basically destroyed the chances of another hopeful, and he didn't even play in the game. Tiki Barber, I'm sorry, but any grandiose speech that you may have been planning will have to be reserved for Al Roker.

People are ripping on Bill Belichick for leaving the game early, noting that it displayed a lack of grace, class, or dignity. But I think it was an illustration of just how dedicated to the game coach Belichick really is. Obviously, he was just trying to get an early start on next year's film study.

Was there really a commercial featuring Mickey Rooney and Rosie O'Donnell (ching chong, ching chong Salesgenie.com" as panda bears? I'm not the most politically correct person, but I think that could have been interpreted as demeaning by some. Although it could have been much worse. I heard the original version of the commercial had some monkeys walk in with the pandas yelling at them, "Hurry up and buy!"

Apparently, that wasn't the only commercial that offended people. This is an actual comment left by a Yahoo! reader on MJD's sports blog:
"PULL DORITOS AD

As a parent I will tell you this: that ad is unacceptable and I plan to voice that opinion in as many forums and venues possible including to the FTC and my Congressman. To have to watch that violence displayed so casually and for it to continue like that unstopped is so far from acceptable by anyones' standards that I am beyond upset. But I have the energy, and resources to hold them accountable. How does behaivor like that displayed in that ad get approve?. Well,its about time someone(Doritos) is held accountable legally and in the court of public opinion. Mistake......big mistake on Doritos part. I'm so sick of tolerating these decisions by their board of directors. Period.
Email: rqbisp@yahoo.com"

Here's the ad in question if you need a refresher:


At first, I thought this was an unbelievable overreaction to the "mouse trap" ad, but then I remembered that I was scarred by something similar when I was younger- except instead of a giant mouse, it was my wrestling coach; and instead of a bag of Doritos being taken, it was my virgin ass. So on second thought, you fight the good fight rqbisp@yahoo.com!

Ok, I can't end this post with the story of the first time I was anally raped. That just isn't fair to my readers. So instead, here's some behind the scenes footage from Adriana Lima's Victoria's Secret Super Bowl ad:

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