making a (sporting) difference

July 29, 2006 at 2:19 pm | Posted in brian, misc | 5 Comments

with the growing success of this guy knows what i’m talking about it’s time we (this includes both the writers and readers of this guy knows what i’m talking about as well as the writers and readers friends and/or associates) started making a real difference in the way sports are percieved. i feel like we’re off to a good start–defending the so-called indefensible (zidane, bonds and t.o.), rethinking our reasons for the loving the teams we love, highlighting the sports and players blacklisted from espn (specifically football [soccer] and ricky williams)–but it’s time to take it to the next level.

so, it’s time we created our own fittest athletes list (i’m using fit the same way the streets and ali g do: fit = hot). what i need from you (writers, readers, friends and/or associates) is nominations. after we have a sufficent number of worthy nominations, we’ll have have a vote for the fittest athlete.

to get things started, here are some of my nominations (if you want to see what they look like, i suggest googling their names):
christiano ronaldo
rapheal nadal
allen iverson
steve nash
tj ford
ricky williams (but only with a beard)
david beckham
shaq
andy roddick
rasheed wallace
johnny “jesus” damon (in other words, pre-yankees)
leandrino barbosa

i’ll add more later. feel free to add your own by either (a) leaving the names in the comment section, (b) emailing me at spacequest2@gmail.com or (c) writing your own atricle arguing for your fittest athletes.

BBs with B.B.

July 23, 2006 at 10:42 pm | Posted in misc, whitney | 8 Comments

This weekend I went on a short camping trip with my friend Brittany and was introduced to a sport called “shooting a BB gun at cans.” Turns out, I’ve finally found my niche in the sports world. While Brittany proceeded to pretty much suck ass at shooting the can (in the moment I was a very encouraging friend and said things like “that one was close” and “better luck next time, Tiger.” But I was thinking “wow. She totally sucks ass,” which is totally weird because her initials are BB so she should probably rock at BB guns.) I ruled at hitting my target. I’m contemplating the idea of becoming an assassin. However, I’m lacking a few essentials: 1) an awesome outfit. I need something vinyl-y and black, probably tight and maybe with a lot of invisible pockets for storing creative weapons. 2) stealth. Let’s just say that I creak a lot of boards. 3) A weapon that would cause more damage than a BB gun. That thing was tearing the aluminum can apart, but I think it might not cause enough damage in a gun-for-hire situation. 4) a lack of morals. I’d like to be choosy about who I kill and who I let live, but there’s probably not so high a demand for assassins these days and I got to take the work I can get. If this means picking off a starving African orphan infant with autism, that’s just the way it’s got to be.

After Brittany and I tore up the can to sufficient degrees, we gathered wild flowers and made princess crowns. I totally sucked ass at that and Brittany ruled, so I guess we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

(Brittany just called me – furious – and wants me to admit that she didn’t really suck all that much ass and that she was actually pretty good but that I was still really really bad at crown making and she was a pro and so on. She’s contemplating serious retaliation.)

In Defense of T.O.

July 23, 2006 at 12:44 pm | Posted in clif, football (american) | Leave a comment

For those of you who haven’t paid any attention to the National Football League over the last year and a half, let me introduce you to Terrell Owens. T.O., as he has so cleverly been dubbed, is one of the leagues top wide receivers. Part of being a receiver is being a jack-ass–I believe it’s in the job description–and Owens is the biggest.

Here are some facts(actually, more like evidence): In just over two years, Owens has seriously damaged three franchises (San Francisco, Baltimore and Philadelphia), seriously insulted two quarterbacks (Garcia and McNabb) and seriously worked out during a press conference (sit-ups in his driveway after being suspended from the Eagles…seriously). In the process, he has become the villain of the league, hated by fans nationwide and subjected to endless articles by enraged sports writers.

So, the league must hate this guy, right? I doubt it. In the era of steroids and headbutts (see articles below) T.O.’s transgressions are relatively mild. If the NFL PR department’s biggest worries are the antics of a selfish receiver, they can breathe easy. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are encouraging his actions. Not directly, of course, but through media direction.

Here are some more facts: In the past two drafts, the Cinicinnati Bengals have taken five players who have been arrested no fewer than eight times for such things as spousal abuse, assault, robbery, vandalism, drugs and so on (plus, I just found this). This story was featured on sports sites for about a day until T.O. came out and said he was misquoted in his autobiography. Owens regains the spotlight. Funny, but convenient. Just when a real problem rears it’s head, in steps Owens to attract all the negative attention to himself. Now, let’s get some perspective. Terrell is a terrible teammate (and person, probably), but he’s never committed a serious crime (that’s been reported). So, if the league isn’t pushing the T.O. story, then he must’ve insulted each and every writer to have earned such ire.

Terrell Owens is a douche-bag, there’s no way around it. But is he the Darth Vader (as I believe he stated is his reputation in his book) of football? I guess that depends on your perspective. He is, after all, a “role model for America’s youth.” And you could certainly say he’s teaching children such negative traits as showing off (remember the sit-ups?) and blaming their problems on others (and the book?) Or, you could say he’s encouraging physical fitness and creative expression. Perspective.

lion-heart, i love you

July 21, 2006 at 11:40 am | Posted in aaron d.w., basketball | 2 Comments

i went to the rocky mountain revue yesterday. it’s a summer league that’s put on by the utah jazz. first and second year nba players from about 8 teams play their little hearts out at salt lake community college every day for about a week.salim stoudamire so greg and i went to see the jazz-hawks game last night. i wanted to go mostly because salim stoudamire plays on the hawks. some of you might remember him from when he played on arizona and others of you might remember him as lion-heart, aka 20-20, from the greatest video game basketball season ever played. don’t be sad, brian. salim came in second place in the mvp voting.

anyways, we got to the game just in time for the introductions. i was on the edge of my seat until they failed to mention his name. i soon realized that he wasn’t there. i thought for sure that it was a wasted trip to s.l.c.c. until i heard some of the things that people around me were saying. i started asking around for a pen so that i could keep notes. the girl behind me said she might have one in her purse. after she found it she said, “who knows what’s in a woman’s purse?” to which someone replied, “probably tampons.” i hurried and wrote that down so i wouldn’t forget. soon after, an ad for dr. phil came over the loudspeaker and the 9 year-old next to me yelled, “yay dr. phil!” maybe this wasn’t going to be such a bad game after all. after the first quarter the jazz bear started passing around basketballs to whoever was cheering the most. he gave his last ball to a boy in a wheelchair. i was sure he was doing it to win me over because he heard about my encounter with the real salt lake mascot a few weeks before. i thought, “i can still hate you, jazz bear, even if you give the last ball to a differently-abled kid.” then someone said, “what’s he going to do with it anyways? probably just drool on it.”

the second quarter was well under way and atlanta called a time-out. the jazz bear was coming our direction with this tube that shoots out advertisements. i thought that he was probably coming up to fight me (maybe he and the real salt lake lion are friends?), but then he just shot out a bunch of flyers into the crowd. greg yelled out, “it’s pornography!” we then proceeded to make jokes about araujo, the new center for the jazz, by saying things like: “go back to provo,” or “go back to brasil,” or “why don’t you get a tattoo of that shot you just made.” he totally deserved it, too, since he clapped his hands after every single play that he was sort of involved in. (i just got really sad thinking about the jazz without ostertag. it’s a horrible world where araujo tries to replace ostertag.)

so half-time finally arrived and i started getting (un)excited because they were going to do that thing where they have cute little kids put on adult size uniforms and shoes and then they have to run down the court and make a layup and then the kid that does it first gets to kiss the jazz bear or something and then their parents are really proud of them and then they get to go out for ice cream after the game. there was some lady down there talking to both the kids. we decided that it was probably their mother and that she was saying, “just do your best. whichever one of you wins is the one that i love more.” when that was over they started in on the halftime music selection, which i think really matches the hip hop lifestyle of ballers: brittany spears, eye of the tiger, that’s the way (uh huh, uh huh) i like it (uh huh, uh huh), etc. the “best” one that they played was a rock version of “the bear necessities” from jungle book while the jazz bear ran around giving bj’s to sponsors. at the end of half-time, the girl that i borrowed the pen from told this story to her grandparents, “some guy down there looked at my wrist and asked if i got my bracelet from tiffany’s. i said yes and he said that being a jeweler, he notices when something comes from tiffany’s.”

we spent the rest of the game coming up with nicknames for players. there was a gentleman with the last name edwards, so we kept calling him blue edwards. then a second edwards came on court and so we named him blue edwards ii (pronounced blue edwards the second). there was a guy named bozeman that i switched back and forth between calling him losman and bozemanzadeh. the best one i came up with was that there was this gentleman playing named powell, so i was calling him lake powell. when he shot the ball, greg yelled out, “drain it, lake powell.”

also, there was this idiot named violette. greg thought he was like the next karl malone or something, but i thought he was more like the next pat tillman.

not bad, for a game without lion-heart playing.

MLB should ban everything

July 20, 2006 at 11:31 am | Posted in baseball, pillowtalk | Leave a comment


With all the hype and hysteria flying around the sports world about the situation Mr. Bonds finds himself in, I’ve realized that a good resolution for any future mishaps such as this, would be for MLB to ban everything.

I think the first step they should take would be to ban any and all weightlifting and personal training. What’s the number one physical stimulant most athletes use to enhance their playing ability and endurance? Exercise. The game would be more pure if the players would rely on their genetic programming and pure natural bodies and abilities. No mucking things up with exercise and training. It’s an unfair advantage over those who do let nature run it’s natural course. How would the officials monitor this ban? Easy, if you begin to see any rippling muscles, or above average playing ability… they will know that there has been an infraction!

I know a lot of baseball “fans” are upset with Barry because he’s hitting lots of home runs, and may eventually pass up old Hank Aaron. They say that he’s giving himself an unfair advantage that Hank didn’t have. So what? The air was a lot more clean back when Hank played the game. The baseball didn’t have to travel through as much crud in the air. Hank didn’t have the pressure of Universe wide exposure, and loud “music” and advertisements in his face while trying to play the game. He didn’t have to worry about his endorsement deals falling through if his batting average dropped. The worry of islamic terrorists flying a plane into the stadium while he was playing never occured to him. Like him or hate him, Bonds does what he can to get the job done. So let him play, drop the possible indictment for perjury, and stop hasseling him (seriously, now they’re going after him for possible tax evasion?)!

There’s risks involved in any form of personal enhancement. If players want to alter their physical makeup using steroids, they are risking alot… why not allow them to take the risks if it produces better performance? If other athletes want to compete they will just have to find a way to keep up! Isn’t that what “sport” is all about? Doing anything you can to be the best possible player??

move over fatty, there’s a new ronaldo in town

July 17, 2006 at 3:59 am | Posted in brian, football (soccer) | Leave a comment

outside of the us, one of the big stories leading up to this year’s world cup was the fitness of ronaldo. it was generally agreed that he showed up to the world cup out of his usual shape. many (football) talking heads and (football) fans had given him the nickname of fatty (or in spanish, gordito) because he’d put on a few (or more than a few) pounds. many wondered how he’d compete in this year’s world cup: would he be, like the last world cup, incredible or would he even be able to take shots on goal with all his excess fat? then he scored like seven goals even though brazil was eliminated early. even though he now holds the record for career goals in a world cup history, i fear his gordito nickname may still stick.

many are worried that the name ronaldo will no longer be associated with breathtaking play but with overweight football players. not me. this is because this year’s world cup opened my eyes to a new ronaldo–a younger, hipper and slimmer ronaldo who can still dazzle football fans with his stunning footwork and ability to dominate matches. this new ronaldo? portugal’s christiano ronaldo.

i know this ronaldo has a lot of haters, but seriously, just look at the guy. not only is he the best looking football player in the world (move over david beckham) but he’s probably the best looking guy in the world (move over cillian murphy). and he’s pretty incredible with the ball. i was going to link to video highlights of ronaldo, but i have no idea how. only aaron knows how to that stuff. so i promise that sometime in the near future i’ll put up a link to ronaldo highlights. right now, the picture alone will have to do it for you (it does it for me).

the sweetest thing

July 15, 2006 at 11:23 am | Posted in aaron d.w., football (soccer) | 5 Comments

i was at jon littledike’s house and he said, “that head-butt was the sweetest thing i’ve ever seen,” and i’m starting to agree with him. perhaps you didn’t follow the world cup final very closely and you missed the fact that zinedine zidane, the best french player and one of the best midfielders ever, head-butted marco materazzi in the chest around the 110th minute of the world cup final match. the main ref didn’t see it and neither did the line judges, but the 4th judge claims to have witnessed it. i personally believed that he just looked at video footage of it. here’s a good view of it in case you missed it. zidane has the best joke right before it happens, too. materazzi was holding his shirt and zidane said, according to the transcript, “if you want my shirt, i’ll give it to you after the game.”

according to reports, materazzi issued racial slurs of some sort. some reports say that he called zidane a terrorist (because he’s a muslim anti-racist from algeria) and others say that he insulted zidane’s mother and/or sister. it’s not really surprising that it happened. materazzi has been known to heckle players involved in anti-racist campaigns and zidane has been known to react violently in high pressure games (like the 1998 world cup final).

is this incident just a manifestation of the larger problem of racism in football? brian mentioned in an earlier post that european football has suffered numerous instances of racism and dave zirin from edgeofsports.com wrote a great article about the zidane-materazzi encounter. so the only thing i would like to add is that espn is probably racist. in their coverage they briefly mentioned zidane’s accusation of being insulted and followed up with a quote from materazzi, “I never called him a terrorist : I am not that educated and I have no idea what would an islamic terrorist be.” they treated the quote as if it was the definitive version of what happened and indirectly suggested that zidane was a liar. i’m not excusing zidane. people get upset and they do things that they don’t plan on doing. zidane apologized to the fans and the children for getting thrown out but said, “I don’t regret anything that happened…because that would mean (Materazzi) was right to say all that.”

my initial reaction to the whole thing was that i couldn’t believe zidane would do that in his last match as a professional football player. i couldn’t believe he would get himself thrown out right before penalty kicks. i couldn’t believe that he could head-butt that hard. and then i was sad that he did it. but now, after thinking about it for awhile, i think it’s pretty gutsy to head-butt someone in the world cup final. with that much at stake, it’s impressive that zidane was willing to take the red card and ejection from the match. it makes the stand that zidane took even bigger. so i agree with jon: that head-butt was the sweetest thing i’ve ever seen.

put on your game face

July 10, 2006 at 5:32 pm | Posted in becky, misc | Leave a comment

We all have different ways of expressing our excitement about sports. Over the years I have become a sports (non)professional photographer. Instead of focusing on the games or players, though, I have focused on the fans. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from my portfolio. I feel i’ve really captured these fan’s excitement for whatever sporting event they may have been attending, watching, or participating in.


L’Amour

July 10, 2006 at 12:23 am | Posted in football (soccer), whitney | 6 Comments

So, basically all I want to say is that I am probably in love with Raymond Domenech. If we are talking about the best World Cup hair he might take the so-called cake. Those stylish glasses. That snazzy suit. He stole my heart.

Also, a pressing question on my mind: headbutts. Cool or uncool? Those insufferable American announcers seemed to suggest that no, head butts are “unclassy” or “ugly,” but I tend to think that there is something very classy and beautiful about head butts if you are a football player. Anyone else will take a swing at you, but a World Cup Football Athlete will drive his abnormally large head into your chest. Bitchin’.

living a world cup life

July 8, 2006 at 4:54 pm | Posted in aaron d.w., football (soccer) | 2 Comments

the world cup seems so far away from us. that’s because it is. it’s in germany. and we’re not. but it seems far away for other reasons besides just geographical ones. it seems far away because not very many people in america seem to care about the world cup. it seems far away because espn does a horrible job covering it. it seems far away because the best announcers speak spanish. on sunday, while the world minus america is watching the world cup, i’ll be doing more than just watching it. i’ll be trying to bring the world cup closer to home. since we can’t go to germany we have to bring germany to us. and i’m not talking about rebuilding the berlin wall along the mexico border. i’m talking about getting world cup haircuts. today brian and i played two video game football matches. in the first match i got blown out and it’s because his star player had a blonde stripe dyed on the top of his head. the second game i won because brian wasn’t trying. the point is that you need a world cup haircut to accomplish world cup things. the world cup happens every four years, but we can make every day a world cup day. we are in a position to always keep the world cup in our hearts and in our hair. are you going to the grocery store today? why not do it with a world cup haircut? are you going rollerskating? do it with a world cup attitude. are you getting your pictures taken? get them taken with little kids that you don’t know. live a world cup life. you won’t be sorry.

are you wondering what a world cup haircut is? it’s up to you. world cup haircuts are about doing whatever you want with your hair. i’ve documented myself and some of my friends with our idea of what a world cup haircut might be. i was going to try to take the picture of a gentleman that i saw in fred meyer when i was in portland last month, but then i thought he might think it was rude if i went up to him and asked, “hey, is that a world cup haircut and can i take your picture?” i regret backing out. because if i hadn’t, i’d not only have one more picture to post, but i’d have a picture of the best world cup haircut that i’ve seen. i tried to make up for it by asking this kid if i could take a picture of his hat.

send us a picture of your world cup hairstyle or lifestyle!

brian = mohawkgavin goes all out for portugal gamesmatt — great cook, better soccer fan

this kid actually wentpig-tailskatie p. watching world cup

shoelace headbandclif watching socceradam loves soccer and he knows the girl that sent me an anonymous love letter

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