free ricky williams!!!

April 26, 2006 at 12:42 pm | Posted in brian, football (american) | 7 Comments

if you only watched nfl live (which seems to be on everytime i turn on espn during the day) you’d think marijuana is worse than heroine, maybe even worse than murder. in other words, nfl live’s take on marijuana use is more hardlined than those goverment sponsored anti-drug commercials that try and link marijuana use to terrorism (which is so stupid; i mean the pot i buy is grown right here in utah).

ricky williams is this guy knows what i’m talking about’s favorite football player. there’s not even a close second. (mike vick may have constituted a distant second if it wasn’t for him spreading sti’s–you might be mike vick, but use a condom for god’s sake.) so when ricky williams fails another drug test which results in a year long suspension we get sad, but for more reasons than you think. we get sad not only because he won’t be playing all year (will football even be worth paying attention to?) but also because espn will have months of unfunny, unoriginal, and unfair jokes about ricky williams’ personal life. sean salisbury is the worst. he seems to hate ricky williams with such a passion. probably because ricky williams is a good football player while sean was a career backup. really sean can’t imagine someone loving something else more than football (except for maybe a great hand-job). this is funny because normal people (and normal football players) care about a lot of things more than football (and not just hand-jobs). sean usually prefaces his comments by saying that playing football is a privilege. privilege? it’s not like you accidently end up in the nfl–you get drafted because of all the hard work you put in. this would be a privilege: giving sean salisbury a hand-job while he breaks down fantasy football.

aaron has already shown that ricky’s recent failed drug test is due to his holistic training (in other words, it’s bullshit that he got suspended), but i want to take this one step further and defend ricky’s pot-smoking past.

who cares if ricky williams smokes pot? it seems like a safe and effective way to deal with his anxiety and his chronic pain (caused by football). why is smoking pot worthy of suspension, but domestic abuse is no big deal? in the nfl, you can get drunk and slap around your wife/girlfriend and still be a model player, but smoking pot exhibits a weak character. smoking pot is a victimless crime (unless you drive while you’re stoned).

finally, this failed drug test is bullshit. it’s obvious the nfl can’t handle ricky williams beard.

related: jamal lewis was set up by the heat and chris anderson should be reinstated into the nba.

this is b.s. man, i’m going to talk to dr. worm

April 26, 2006 at 10:02 am | Posted in aaron d.w., football (american) | 1 Comment

ricky williams will be suspended for the entire 2006 nfl football season. this is sad news for everyone, especially ricky williams fans. let me sum up ricky’s career without doing any research.

ricky williamscoming out of university of texas, mike dikta (coach of the n.o. saints) traded all his picks away to get ricky williams 5th overall in the 1999 draft. he played three years for the saints. then the dolphins traded like a million picks to get him. it was totally worth it since he ran for like 1800 yards or something. he tested positive for marijuana use 3 times during his time in miami. he came out and admitted to smoking pot to help with the pain of carrying the ball nearly 400 times per season and to help with his social anxiety disorder. he faced a four-game suspension to begin the 2004 season, but he decided to retire instead. he liked football, but he was sick of the nfl. (who wouldn’t be?) so he spent the first part of the next year travelling the world. then he enrolled in a holistic medicine school in california. he also moved in with some guy that he met at radio shack. (i wish i would’ve been at radio shack that day. then we could’ve been roomates.) after the year, nick saban, the new coach of the miami dolphins, tried to get ricky to come back to football. he decided to do it. so he drove his old jeep cherokee from california to florida. he apologized to his teammates and his fans if they were upset at him, but he said that he didn’t regret his decision to take the year to do something other than football. everyone on the team said that he was a positive influence and a hard worker. coach saban loved him.

anyways, a few months ago, ricky failed a 4th drug test. this one wasn’t for marijuana. he tested positive for an undisclosed substance. there seems to be hints that he was actually just using holistic medicines and that he tested positive because whatever combination he was using tested the same as an illegal substance. he appealed to the nfl, but they said no way. and now he’s suspended for an entire year. i seriously think it’s because his beard is so awesome. and because he quit football, so they’re trying to get him back. or something. or maybe it’s because when dikta drafted him he wore a wedding dress for a photo shoot.

usa basketball

April 19, 2006 at 11:13 am | Posted in aaron d.w., basketball | 8 Comments

does anyone remember in the olympics 2 years ago when the u.s.a. basketball team got the bronze medal and everyone was disappointed? well, since then usabasketball has supposedly gotten serious about bringing the gold medal back to north america (minus mexico and canada). there was a lot of anticipation as to who they would get to organize the team, coach the team, and play for the team. i would like to talk about some of their decisions.

they picked mike krzyzewski to coach the team. he’s the coach for duke university. duke is supposed to be way awesome every year (and they sort of are), but they didn’t even make it to the final four this year. but if you want to talk about the march madness bracket, i’m probably in the group of the 10 people you would least want to discuss it with. i got last place in every group i filled out a bracket in. except one. i beat the person who left everything blank. so i guess that’s second-to-last. anyways, i personally think coach k (as he’s (un)affectionately called) is sort of a jerk, but i also think the idea of getting a college coach is a good one — mostly because in college you see a lot of different teams who run a lot of different offenses and defenses. in the 2004 olympics, i think the biggest problem was that larry brown tried to run his same offense against european teams. that’s a problem because in europe they can play zone defense and in the nba you can’t. but larry brown is so cool and so good that he doesn’t need to modify his offense when he plays against other national teams. so i think it’s smart that they’re getting a college coach who has more experience against zone defenses.

the players selected to try out for the usabasketball team are: Carmelo Anthony, Gilbert Arenas, Shane Battier, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Bruce Bowen, Elton Brand, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Antawn Jamison, Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Brad Miller, Adam Morrison, Lamar Odom, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, J.J. Redick, Michael Redd, Luke Ridnour, Amaré Stoudemire, and Dwyane Wade. i think a lot of the selections are really great. but where’s allen iverson? nowhere to be found.

i recently caught up with mr. jerry colangelo, who headed the selection process. here is the transcription of the interview.

me: hey jerry colangelo, why didn’t you guys get allen iverson? i mean, he’s having the best year of his career. he’s shooting a good percentage, he’s averaging 33 points, 7.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game (2nd in scoring, 8th in assists,and 7th in steals). last year, larry brown (who i dislike and possibly hate) said that iverson had a better year than his mvp year. well, this year he’s playing even better. are you guys blind?

colangelo: When you look at what we were looking for at any particular position on this team and the components and the composition of this team, we needed some distributors. That’s not to say Iverson is not a distributor. He’s a great scorer; he’s one of the great all-time scorers in the league. But we have seven of the top eight scorers in the NBA presently on this roster and you need someone to distribute the ball. It has to come from the point guard. So, our job description kind of fit the mold of a few other players. Age was another consideration as we look at where we are today, what the ages of the players are today and where they’ll be in just a couple of years. So, if you build a team, as Coach K said earlier, around two or three or four core players, if you will, offensively, then you need people who compliment them in different ways -role players, shooters, defenders, athleticism and distributors. It’s not as much as to why he wasn’t selected, it’s why we selected who we did. That’s no discredit to Allen at all or for other big name players. It was not an all-star team that was selected. It wasn’t the top 10, 15 or 20 players playing in the NBA. It was trying to build a team that had the composition that we were looking for.

me: isn’t there a standing invitation for shaq to join the team? is shaq allowed to join the team if he asks to?

colangelo: He is because his presence would be huge and I need that in more ways than one, Because of respect for who he is and what he could bring to the international game for us he has an open invitation.

me: so that sort of throws out your age excuse, right? i mean, shaq’s older than iverson and is slowing down a lot this year. meanwhile, iverson seems to be getting better. not that he won’t eventually slow down some, but seriously, you say shaq can join the team at any time and then you try to say that iverson’s too old. that’s b.s. jerry. and that thing about needing a distributor. ridnour is a distributor. chris paul is mostly. but billups? have you seen that guy play? he hucks up 3’s any chance he gets. iverson is at least as good a distributor as chauncey billups. probably better. not to mention that iverson was one of the bright spots of 2004’s team. he didn’t play his best basketball, but no one on that team did. (i blame larry brown.) besides, remember how no one wanted to play because they were scared of terrorist attacks? iverson didn’t even hesitate in accepting in 2004. he played hard every game. he didn’t cry his eyes out. i remember somebody who did — carmelo anthony. he cried about his playing time, even though he missed his first 10 shots and shot 25% for the whole tournament. but carmelo crying about stuff doesn’t really surprise me. look at his first 2 years at denver. he was a letdown because he just wanted to shoot all the time and then they benched him. he finally started playing better this year, but he’s still too selfish to be a team player. so they’re proably going to regret inviting him and his crying. back to iverson. all the criticism about not being a team player doesn’t make very much sense to me. who does he have on his team? chris webber? that guy can’t jump. korver? he doesn’t play defense. iguodala is sweet. who has iverson had on his team in the past? keith van horn, theo ratliff, eric snow, dikembe mutombo, etc. of course he scores a lot. well, i thought that maybe we should look at his all star stats to get a good idea about how he would play if surrounded by superstars. in five all-star games (excluding that year when t-mac went nuts and 2006), he shot 45.7% from the field and 83.9% from the free throw line to score 20.8 points per game, and he averaged 3 rebounds, 8.4 assists, and 3.2 steals per game. besides, look how great he looks all the time. (for more on that, see “on picking a favorite player.”) why wouldn’t you want iverson on your team? i think you made a serious mistake, mr. colangelo.
i can see three possibilities for you guys snubbing him. i think it’s a combination of them all. but i think the second is the biggest. you can tell me what you think afterwards.
reason#1: i speculate larry brown probably talked bad about iverson when you were asking about him. i think brown did this to put the blame of losing on the players, which he has repeatedly done since 2004. he’s always said things about how none of the players played with any heart. he’s always put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the players in the olympics and he’s never had to take any crap for not being able to implement an offense that works. so it was probably just part of his cover-up to say that iverson wasn’t a team player.
reason#2: iverson has a reebok contract. not a single member of the team has a reebok contract. 4 players have adidas contracts and i don’t know who sponsors chris bosh, but every other player (except college kids who can’t have endorsements) is sponsored by nike. 15 players with nike contracts and 1 player with a converse contract (nike owns converse). you might think that this is easily explained by the fact that nike simply sponsors more players than reebok or adidas. that makes sense. but guess what happened 3 days before they announced the list of players who would be invited to try out for the olympic team? usabasketball and nike signed a multiyear deal making nike the exclusive apparel outfitter of the usa basketball team. this (non)coincidence isn’t so easily explained. you had some pressure on you to pick players sponsored by nike. tell me it’s not true, jerry, i dare you.
reason#3: iverson is too hip hop for usa basketball to embrace him. you and coach kraoiwerz probably agree with stern that they need to change the image of basketball in the united states by giving it more of a corporate look. (for more on that, read brian’s “of course the nba dress code is racist.”) well, i think you guys blew it. seriously. bruce bowen? are you kidding?

badminton got me an ‘A’

April 18, 2006 at 9:47 am | Posted in becky, misc | 11 Comments

Ever since I was badminton champion of my high school (fine, of my jr. year Fit For Life class), I’ve become a connossieur of the sport (when I say connossieur, I mean I just looked up a bunch of stuff about 10 minutes ago). Badminton is one of the greater sports because it’s origins date back at least 2000 years. What other sport has ancestors with names like “Battledore” and my personal favorite “Shuttlecock”?

When first researching the sport, I came to the conclusion that Badminton must be a game at which women are more competent. From 1949 to 1967 the US won 23 World Individual Championships–12 of those being women’s singles and 8 women’s doubles. But with further reading, I became aware that it wasn’t a women’s sport at all–it’s an Asian’s sport. In 1992 when Badminton made it’s full-medal debut at the Barcelona Olympics, all of the top honors went to Asian countries. This may explain how I became Badminton Champion of my Junior year Fit For Life class (my partner was Phillipino). Either way, I got an A. Here are a few other things I learned about Badminton:

1. Badminton became more popular in the 1930s when several Hollywood personalities including James Cagney, Bette Davis, Boris Karloff, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, and Douglas Fairbanks became avid players (Boris Karloff somehow makes the sport totally legit for me).

Tangent–Reasons I like Boris Karloff:

  1. He was Frankenstein
  2. He’s pretty much something creepy in everything he’s done
  3. He was in a movie called “The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini”

2. The only place listed to play Badminton in Utah is at the University of Utah.
3. Raju Rai has been athlete of the year for three years running. Hopefully he/she can make it four.

Ring Them Wedding Bells

April 17, 2006 at 10:07 pm | Posted in football (american), whitney | 5 Comments

Today my dad called me and told me he has found me a husband. Apparently The Deseret News ran an article today about some dude named Tom Pace that plays for the Utah Blaze. My father enthusiastically informed me that Tom (they are already on a first name basis) plays in a punk band and went on an LDS mission. “Here is someone we both can like!” (the poor guy – my dad, not Tom…I’d be a total catch – he knows that as soon as I graduate I’m a lost spinster-headed cause, and with so many girls in the family, he’s getting desperate for some testosterone.)
We looked up his picture on The Blaze website, and my dad seemed even more enthused by the fact that he has that unfortunate professional football player’s syndrom (if you can call The Blaze professional…seeing as I know nothing of football, I’m in the dark as to whether Tom’s football status should even impress me at all) where their neck is somehow bigger than their heads. I don’t want to break my dad’s heart, but I can’t help commenting on Tom’s ridiculously bright Wallace and Gromit style smile.
My dad is so super stoked on the idea of a son-in-law to watch football with that he has already planned our daddy-daughter date up to the Meet and Greet the players have to participate in after the game. “He has a CD sold in Deseret Book!” I complain. “GOOD! You like music!” my dad retorts. He seems to think that the minute I ask for the boy’s autograph, we will fall in love and have athletic little babies that will make up for my couch-potato, kung-fu-movie-watching, disappointing ways. The last husband he found for me was a track star for BYU. Luckily, this sports star was married within the month (as is common in this crazy city I like to call Provo). Unluckily, he has brothers.

I would also like to mention that tomorrow is my last day of racquetball, and that no matter how motivated I get I must remember that I am just not cut out for the silly competition forced in co-ed PE classes.

what team(s) should i root for: episode ii

April 17, 2006 at 12:03 pm | Posted in brian, misc | 3 Comments

in the next few episodes of what team(s) should i root for, i intend to explore some of the lesser known (and lesser used) reasons for picking favorite sports teams. these episodes will be less focused and more exploratory than episode i. while episode i provided justification for liking teams for average sports fans, these next few episodes will focus on justifications for for the writers and readers of this guy knows what i’m talking about, in other words, (non)sports fans.

a couple notes before i get started: (1) i will be looking at team identities (team names, team colors, team histories) as reasons for loving (and hating) specific teams; (2) i will limit my discussion to professional sports teams simply because there are too many college teams to consider, however, the same general ideas expressed in these episodes can be exported to picking favorite college teams; (3) i’m looking specifically at the professional sports teams of the nba, nfl and mlb because i don’t care for hockey and soccer team names exist in such a different category (soccer clubs often don’t have nicknames and the color of their jersey’s aren’t limited by arbitrary team colors–in short, soccer clubs are so much cooler that you can justify loving nearly any soccer club based on their team name and uniforms).

so, what makes a good team nickname? it seems that when teams choose nicknames, they often look for tough sounding nicknames like scary animals. while this is bad in and of itself, it’s worse when teams use a tough sounding nickname that also is an aliteration of the team’s city name (like the jacksonville jaguars or the tennessee titans). however, there are a couple of aliterated team names that i like: the philadelphia phillies and the buffalo bills. the phillies because what is a phillie (or is it a philly)? without doing any research (i have my research assistants working on future stories) i’d guess that you get the name phillie from philadelphia. while i think that’s a pretty good name, the buffalo bills are even better because the name has nothing to do with the city of buffalo (or even with buffalos despite the fact that a buffalo is on their helmets); it’s just a reference to buffalo bill. maybe that guy is from buffalo (if he even existed), but i doubt it. so the name is primarily a joke. a joke name totally undermines the tough name syndrome. a professional franchise with a joke name: what could be funnier?

both of those team names are good because they relied on nonsensical nicknames. other teams that probably fall into this category would include (again based on no research) the cleveland browns (who also go as far as to have no mascot or even identifying marker [unless orange is an identifying marker]), the brooklyn/los angeles dodgers and the texas rangers (who have the added bonus of being linked to chuck norris through walker, texas ranger).

this story is based on true events

April 13, 2006 at 1:07 pm | Posted in basketball, brian, misc | 2 Comments

i saw carlos boozer shopping at the smith’s in the avenues. he shopped alone (no entourage?) covering most of his face with the hood of his sweatshirt. to hide his identity, but it’s difficult if not impossible for an african-american who is nearly seven feet tall to blend in at the smith’s in the avenues. (maybe if he wore a patagonia jacket–wait, that would only work at wild oats.) he gave me a brief head-nod followed by a “hey,” probably because i was staring. realizing that i’d never have another chance at this, i talked to him.

“mr. boozer?”
“yeah?”
“is it true that you know prince?”
“yeah.”
“do you think you could get him to sign this for me?” i pulled my copy of Prince’s self-titled record out of my shopping cart.
“no.”

the true events the story is based on:
(1) my friend andy did see a jazz player at the same smith’s. the jazz player was memo okur, but he did have his hood pulled over his head. and okur did say hey to him.
(2) carlos boozer really does know prince. prince recently stayed at one of boozer’s homes.
(3) gavin really does have the self-titled prince lp.

what team(s) should i root for: episode i

April 11, 2006 at 12:51 pm | Posted in brian, misc | 2 Comments

this is the first post, in a series of posts, that will explore the methods used by a sports fan for establishing what team(s) she roots for and which team(s) she roots against. in doing so, i am hoping that the this guy knows what i’m talking about family (which includes, but is not limited to the writers and readers of this blog) will be self-aware and self-critical of the reasons they choose to root for the teams that they do. in this first installment, i will be looking at the most obvious reasons a sports fan would use for picking her favorite team(s).

geography
most sports fans root for teams near them. this makes sense for a number of reasons: pride in one’s city, developing a common language among neighbors and co-workers, access to infomation about the teams (both in temrs of media coverage as well as having the option of physically attending games) and family tradition, to name a few. this seems an appropriate reason for rooting for a specific team. there are, however, a couple of possible problems with rooting for the home team. when tied up in the minute issues of the home team, you may miss exciting players and/or trends in other cities. also, with most of your neighbors and co-workers rooting for the same team, it’s easy to slip into a group think mentality that may impact your ability to view the home team, as well as other teams, objectively.

players
aaron’s piece gives some guidelines for choosing favorite players. once you’ve chosen your favorite players, it’s only natural to cheer for the teams those players play for. this way of choosing your favorite teams seems pretty solid. actually, it’s only as solid as your reasons for liking the players that you like.

nostalgia
many sports fans choose teams to like when they’re young and then just stick with it. for instance, the first football game i ever remember watching was the super bowl where chicago beat new england. after that, my favorite football team was the bears. today, i still find myself rooting for the bears for no other reason than because i liked them as a kid. well, that and because their color scheme is pretty cool. but since i’ve been able to identify my nostalgia as the source of my like, i’ve been able to reevaluate the bears. now i like them because of their color scheme.

bandwagoning
many sports fans use their sports teams as supplements to their fragile egos. in these cases, they tend to choose teams who do reasonably well year after year so they can identify with their teams winning ways. i used to live with a kid like this. his favorite team was the 49ers back when the 49ers were good. each week he’d talk about how awesome he was because the team he rooted for, the 49ers, continued to win, while the bears, my favorite team at the time, contiued to lose. this was proof that he was a better human being than i was. and while he was probably correct about being a better human being, it wasn’t because he liked the 49ers.

tattoos…advertising, or just lame pictures in ink?

April 9, 2006 at 7:34 pm | Posted in becky, misc | 18 Comments

We’ve heard (on here) the discussion about the endless merging of sports and advertising–how the super bowl is no longer about football, but about commercials, and how the NBA views success as marketability rather than how good the athletics actually are. Well, now it’s being taken a step further. A few years ago, I read (or heard) something online (or somewhere) an interview with Dakkan Abbe, president of Fifty Rubies Marketing in New York. He/she had come up with the idea of using basketball players as human billboards, by placing temporary tattoos on their arms. Is it possible that this has already started? I submit that it has. I think a large number of NBA players have already started tattooing themselves as another way to earn the almighty sponsor’s dollar. I have included 5 examples as concrete evidence that should substantiate my argument.


A lot of people assume this is the Kenyon Martin’s kid. Well, it’s not. It’s the Gerber baby. Not the food baby. It’s for another Gerber line–Gerber Childrenswear, Inc. Notice the hat.


This tattoo on Rasheed Wallace is an ad for the King Tut Exhibit. This is a good sponsor to be aligned with. The exhibit has been around for years (centuries), and travels all over the world. Currently it’s showing in Florida, but will be in LA next month.


This skull tattoo of Allen Iverson’s is the new logo for the U.S. Army. In an effort not to look like total pussies next to the Marines, they’ve come up with this new skull logo to look a little more baddass.


You may have seen Mike Bibby’s tattoos and thought he’d joined the Church, but you’d be wrong. He’s actually just the new spokesperson for Deseret Book, who is trying to branch out to a broader market.


This last tat is an advertisement for the muchly anticipated movie Snakes On A Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson, to be released this fall. Initially destined to become a B-movie flop, the film has gained unprecedented internet buzz, which this player (who i don’t know) obviously bought into. Hopefully the buzz will carry the sales of movie paraphernalia before the movie actually comes out (and totally sucks), so this guy’s advertising doesn’t go to waste.

I thought it was bad that I couldn’t look at any inch of an NBA arena without seeing ads, but now I can’t even look at the players without being told what to watch/do/eat/buy/listen to/etc. I blame ESPN.

Baseball Cards Are Worth More Than You Think

April 7, 2006 at 4:15 pm | Posted in baseball, fight | 4 Comments

I decided to do some investigative reporting on baseball cards. Why do I get the feeling baseball cards are the only reason baseball became a National treasure. EBay, April 6, 2006. I searched ‘baseball card’ I changed the price to list the highest amount first and on top with 31 bids “1914 Cracker Jack CHRISTY MATHEWSON #88” at Thirty-One Thousand Dollars. I, as a young lad, was a brainwashed child with high hopes of hitting the big money with a rare find baseball card. I wasted hundreds of my hard earned paper route money to buy one pack after another for what? I was born in 1979 and started collecting cards when I was 9, making it 1988, the highest bid on EBay ‘baseball card 1988’ is $51, with One bid. So you can see my disappointment since all my cards can’t be worth $51 a piece. Baseball ripped me off. I strongly believe that baseball cards sold that sport. Think about it, back before they televised games people were buying/trading/selling cards. You could even go as far to say that George Lucas is not a genius, he just stole his merchandising ideas for Star Wars from baseball. Baseball is only popular because of merchandising. Baseball is stupid. Baseball is dumb. Baseball is not fun.

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