maybe she can host it next year

February 28, 2007 at 2:54 am | Posted in aaron d.w., basketball, brian | 1 Comment

if you asked me 2 weeks ago (or any other time in the last 5 years) what i’d rather watch between the nba’s all-star game and the oscars, i wouldn’t have even hesitated in picking the all-star game. that was before i knew that kobe bryant can ruin an all-star game even more than ellen degeneres can save the oscars. it was obvious from the start of the game that kobe just wanted to win the mvp award. every time he got the ball he just isolated and shot. which is what i do when we play video game basketball against brian. so maybe i shouldn’t be so harsh. but i do lose a lot in our seasons. i can be pretty good, but i lose all the time because i just try to do kobe imitations with keyon dooling. i think dooling is the biggest secret in nba live. in 2005 tj ford was, but dooling has been sweet for like 3 straight years. back to kobe–what a ball-hog. it’s funny because this season they’re talking about how kobe’s really taking his game to “another level.” he’s supposedly buying into phil jackson’s system and trusting his teammates. his scoring is down and his team’s wins are up. and this is supposed to be when everyone says how much like michael jordan he is. i think the biggest thing kobe and jordan have in common is that they have and had teammates (lamar odom and scottie pippen) that are better than they are. so this year is supposed to be kobe’s breakout year where he realizes that it takes team play to win games. and then he has his most selfish all-star outing to date. i hope so bad that they miss the playoffs.

did you hear scottie pippen is maybe coming back? he’s no morten andersen but he’s pretty old. and pretty cool. i hope he signs with the jazz.

seriously though, ellen was so funny on sunday. i thought her opening monologue was great. i’ve decided that i like her style a lot and for the first time in my life i didn’t think it was a waste of time to watch the oscars. i wish she was the host of everything. especially the nba all-star game. she could’ve made so many great jokes.

but what if i didn’t even watch the nba all-star game? i did watch the celebrity all-star game. that was a joke. i think half of the celebrities participtaing had never even touched a basketball in their lives’. was the all-star game that bad?

aaron’s right about keyon dooling and tj ford. i remember the day i discovered that tj ford was the best basketball player in nba live 2005. aaron and i played a playoff series between the bucks and the magic. aaron would go t-mac crazy having lazy-eye score from anywhere on the court even when he was triple-teamed. to prove that i was a better nba live player i tried a similar strategy with tj ford. since tj ford can’t make a jump shot to save his life in nba live, i just took it to the hole every series and adjusted-shot my way to victory. ford averaged over 45 points and 7 assists a game. probably the best individual performance in a playoff series in history.

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Derek and A-Rod–in One Act

February 22, 2007 at 4:21 am | Posted in baseball, sherpa, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

364523_arod-jeter-040527.jpg

This is my last A-rod and DJ post I swear.  However, I found this little gem, and I couldn’t help but sharing.  I present “Joe Torre’s come and gone” a One act play starring Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.  Enjoy.

Continue Reading Derek and A-Rod–in One Act…

Wait, Sleepovers?

February 21, 2007 at 1:14 am | Posted in baseball, sherpa | 4 Comments

I’m a Yankee fan.  I’ve been a Yankees fan since the womb, and now that I’m an adult, on my own and away from my sports obsessed family, I can say honestly that I follow baseball (the AL East and the Yanks) the most.  That being said A-Rod is more of a thorn in my side as a Yank fan than a rose. This latest acknowledgement that he and DJ (Jeter) aren’t getting along?  Well, everyone knew that, and honesty is refreshing..but check out the quote–tell me he’s trying to make a joke–or an analogy, or even a metaphor….. 

On the first day of his fourth season with the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez finally acknowledged his relationship with Derek Jeter has cooled. After insisting for three years that they remained close, Rodriguez said it was “important” to him to publicly confirm what others have said since he joined the team.
“The reality is there’s been a change in the relationship over 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us,” Rodriguez said. “You go from sleeping over at somebody’s house five days a week, and now you don’t sleep over. It’s just not that big of a deal.”

From USA Today

What(!) a Homo(?)

February 17, 2007 at 9:08 am | Posted in basketball, whitney | 2 Comments

I guess one of us should write something on Amaechi being gay all of a sudden, and I figure that someone might as well be me. I am, admittedly, no basketball expert (though I used to know a hell of a lot about the Jazz. Is Hornasec still around?) but I think I’m probably the resident gay expert on the site since I once had a gay roommate who introduced me to all his gaywad friends and I recently went to dinner with a table of lesbians – one being a gypsy.

Okay. So he’s gay. And if we take a look at the various statistics on homosexuality, at least every other professional team has a gay teammate. Talk of “we can’t trust him if he didn’t tell us!” strikes me as the most ridiculous argument you could come up with. Never having been on a professional sports team I might not completely understand, but there are a lot of things I don’t tell my film crew about my personal life and we survive. They can still count on me for a decent wardrobe/script supervision/craft services. So and so once had a kid and he won’t pay child support despite the fact that he earns millions. Would not knowing this information affect whether or not you can pull off a terrific double play? I submit that it will not. (A revolutionary statement, I’m sure)

No, I don’t want dudes in my locker room. I don’t want people who might (implausible) be sexually attracted to me taking showers with me. Okay. I guess I understand that argument….if I didn’t see you every night giving interviews in a towel, naked people roaming two lockers away. Some of those reporters are women. Explain yourself.

And I love how Tim Hardaway got himself into trouble by being a total homophobe, as though he has a right to be so. All over talk radio they’re comparing his statements to other statesments on mortality. As though “I hate gays” is just like saying “I hate child molestors” or “I hate terrorists.” My dad made a good point about these hate mongerers being so twisted that in their minds these homos are just as bad morally as a child molestor. So maybe the right approach is a kind of education. But doesn’t it seem really obvious that being gay involves the individual consent of two adults whereas child molestation…doesn’t? Tim Hardaway is the biggest idiot since that woman manager that hated black people.

This is a pretty worn out subject and I have no new insights, but since I don’t spend much time listening to talk radio, the news is very new to me. And distressing. This Don’t Ask Don’t Tell stuff is getting fairly ridiculous when every single person that comes on the radio – be he Michael Jordan, his personal assistant, or his waterboy – is asked what they think of Amaechi as though it is any of their business. Some might argue that Amaechi is making it our business by using it as such a publicity stunt. But isn’t publicity exactly what professional sports needs on this issue when no one has come out before retirement?

i gotta pick a charity by this weekend

February 16, 2007 at 8:08 am | Posted in aaron d.w., basketball | 3 Comments

yesterday was crazy. i started out the day by reading brian’s article (and i agree with becky that it’s the best article to date) and finished off the day watching a lot of worthless television. but the stuff i watched was nuts. first, on sportscenter they did this anniversary piece about jason mcelwain. you might remember that he was that autistic basketball team manager for a high school called greece athena in rochester, new york, who got to play for 4 minutes and hit 6 out of 10 three pointers tying a school record and inspiring autistic kids world-wide. i think they hired the makers of the testaments to edit their piece together. or else the ones who made it are big fans of the score to the testaments and decided to either rip it off or do their best (worst) impression. it had music that was both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. it had camera shots of jason with the sun behind his head. it had touching scenes of his classmates hoisting him up and congratulating him (probably the first time that they even talked to him). it had letters from parents of autistic kids who like basketball. it had phrases like “reach for the stars” and “the sky is the limit” which, if you think about it, are somewhat contradictory. it was sweet, to say the least. watch the original game footage from a year ago right here. or you can watch the espn piece called j mac – a hoop dream, heralded by the person on who uploaded it onto youtube as “the best piece on this amazing story.”

on the subject of team names, i gotta say that greece athena is a good name for a high school. even better than this one i saw in DC called school without walls high school. i knew it was called that because it said that on the wall above the entrance.

later, after i left nathan’s house (he has cable, i don’t), i was watching tv and grading homework. i was flipping around and found charles barkley on jay leno, neither of which i like even a little bit. maybe i sort of like charles barkley, but jay leno is unfunnier than john madden and bill walton combined. anyways, he was talking about how he made this “wise crack” about one of the refs the other night and how the ref then challenged him to a race. they’re going to race down a basketball court and back. (i wouldn’t be surprised if barkley puts a million dollars on the race under a secret identity. but his gambling habits don’t qualify as a gambling problem because he can afford it.) sir charles was talking about how he might be a fat-ass, but that other guy is 67. to paraphrase: “i don’t believe he’s run in 20 years, even as a ref. 67? 67? he’s 67. there’s no way possible i lose to a 67-year-old. 67?! i don’t think a 50-year-old could beat me, so no way can someone beat me who’s 67. i’m not worried at all. the loser has to donate $50,000 to the winner’s favorite charity, so the only thing i gotta worry about is how i gotta pick a charity by this weekend.” i assume he means that he’s going to pick the first charity on some list that he’s never looked at before. then he told this story about how he ran down the hallway on super bowl weekend at his hotel to practice and pulled his hamstring. “i guess the only thing that made the super bowl good was i won money.”

then i watched this golf channel for like 15 minutes. they were playing this face-off from like 1940 or something. it was pretty cool, but i still flipped to other channels in between. which is how i caught david hasselhoff on the late late show with some weird guy i’ve never seen. d. hass (as i call him) is apparently in the producers and there was like a million germans who came to see him opening night. so they were talking about germany and why he’s such a big hit there. it turns out it was a total fluke. he released his “music” album in 1989 and was touring germany. there was some song about freedom on his album and he just happened to play it in east germany the week the wall came down. brian told me he saw this dirk nowitzki interview where dirk said that he learned english by listening to hasselhoff albums. we thought he was joking for sure, and now the joke finally makes sense. d. hass isn’t even german! but apparently he ended the cold war with his music.

the evolution of the raptors

February 14, 2007 at 4:20 am | Posted in basketball, brian | 8 Comments

this morning i found an email in my inbox from an unknown address. i figured at best it could be junk mail and at worst a virus. i opened it, read it and realized the only thing to do was to copy and paste it to this blog. here it is in its entirety:

“i’ll skip the “dear brian” stuff since i know you think such formalities are pointless in emails. how do i know this? because i’m you, except in the future. 12-years in the future to be exact. so it’s 2019 and you (i) are (am) 40. can you believe it? sometimes i can’t. you’re probably wondering how time-traveling emails work. well, i can’t help you there. all i know is that when i was your age i got an email from my future self. actually i received this exact email. i saved it and waited 12-years to send it to past self since that’s the way it ended up coming to me. so technically, i never wrote this email. and possibly none of us ever did (and by us i mean me and you and the brian that sent me this email and the brian you’ll send this email to and so on to infinity). it turns out we were right about time: everything has already happened and nothing will ever be other than it is. (future aaron wants me to put in a joke related to the phrasing of the first clause of the last sentence. he thinks his past self will love it; i think it’s stupid. but here it is: tell your sister, you were right . . . about time-travel.) i don’t know how this email time-travels; i just know it does. it might be like that movie we never saw, the lake house, except that you can’t send an email to me, and, as far as i know, i’ll never send another email to you.

here’s what i need to tell you about the future: the toronto raptors have finally changed their name. twice, actually. first to the toronto archaeopteryx then to the toronto birds. exactly the way you and fight hoped. pretty cool, huh. but that’s all i can tell you. or at least that’s all that has ever been in this email and i don’t feel good about changing it. i worry that changing the contents of this email may ruin the entire universe. so i guess i’ll see you in the future. or rather, i guess you’ll be me in the future. just don’t kill yourself before you send this email to your past self. just kidding, i already know you don’t.

p.s. remember how text messaging is all the rage? we are so far past that now.”

it’s so weird getting this email now. fight and i watched part of a raptors game last week and agreed that the raptors really need to get a new nickname. we figured it would be best if the nickname evolved from raptor to archaeopteryx and finally to the birds. it looks like we’ll be right.

but maybe you don’t think the raptors is a bad nickname. i think it sucks and here’s why:

have you ever seen that movie jurassic park? why does dr. alan grant (sam neill) wear that scarf around his neck? do all paleontologists wear scarfs? is he trendsetting? or is it a metaphor like the scarf represents the split between his heart and mind, a split he encourages because he’s a scientist and can’t be concerned with unrational things like feelings but throughout the entire movie the split is weakened as he learns to love and care for those kids just like how the scarf becomes looser and looser around his neck? this last possibility works well with the general theme of the movie: scientific progress unconcerned with moral implications leads to disaster.

when i was a kid i thought dinosaurs were so cool especially since there was less gravity back then which meant that all those dinosaurs could jump so high. imagine a t-rex leaping 50 ft into the air to snag a flying pterodactyl. before jurassic park was even a book, nobody talked about raptors. among my acquaintances the t-rex was the coolest, triceratops were pretty cool because even though they were herbivores they could still gore the hell out of anything including t-rexes, stegosauri were ok thanks to those plates on their back and brontosaurs were lame. no one even knew raptors existed. then that movie came out and it was like raptors were the only dinosaur.

i would never hate on anyone for loving different extinct creatures than me, but the raptors portrayed in jurassic park are a fraud. real raptors were only like 2ft tall, they used their claws to slash throats rather than stomachs and were not as intelligent as dolphins or primates but they probably were as smart as tigers. so the raptors everyone loves never existed. these fake dinosaurs are a slap in the face to all those real dinosaurs whose sacrifices made our way of life possible.

but it wasn’t just 10 year old kids who caught raptor fever after the success of jurassic park; it was everyone. pretty soon raptors were everywhere. there were raptor lunch-boxes, raptor license plate covers, raptor coffee mugs, raptor’s claws (they essentially replaced rabbit’s feet) and don’t forget the raptor slap (a kind of high-five were you make a raptor claw with your hand). all of it based on a lie.

so when toronto acquired an nba expansion team they named it the raptors complete with a stupid cartoon dinosaur logo. naturally they sucked. over the years they’ve moved away from that cartoon raptor. now their jerseys are maroonish and their logo is a raptor claw grabbing a basketball. still dumb but an improvement. with their logo improvement came an improvement in play. this year they’re first place in their division for the first time ever. it seems obvious that if toronto wants to move from a playoff team to a contender they need to continually improve on their nickname. adapting the logo is no longer going to be enough; the raptors need to evolve to a new nickname. but how did the real raptors evolve?

many paleontologists and amateur paleontologist (myself included) think that raptors evolved into birds. if you’re doubting the jump from dinosaur to bird, let me introduce you to one of the links: the archaeopteryx. the archaeopteryx was probably a transitional species between dinosaurs and birds. it has has wings and feathers like a bird but teeth and claws at the end of it’s wings like a dinosaur. plus it’s skeletal remains look great.

in other words, it’s the perfect next step for toronto’s basketball team. since the raptor nickname was chosen due to the raptor-fever caused by jurassic park and since jurassic park posits the dinosaur to bird evolutionary hypothesis it’s a perfect move. not only that the toronto archaeoptryx would increase the nba’s fanbase. i know 13 people who don’t care about the nba but would instantly be fans of any team named archaeoptryx. later toronto could evolve their nickname to the birds. this nickname would be appropriate both from an evolutionary perspective as well as form a cinematic one. the raptors are derived from speilberg’s jurassic park while the birds reminds one of hitchcock’s the birds. both movies have tedious story lines that end up not mattering cause there are all these awesome scene where animals rock the shit and both movies undermine the notion that humanity can and/or should try and subdue nature.

it looks like the future is gonna be great.

Barbaro vs. Mr. Ed: youth in eyes, duh

February 9, 2007 at 2:29 am | Posted in lee, misc | Leave a comment

I don’t really care that Barbaro died last week.  In a way, I was kind of glad.  I like animals and animal abuse disturbs me (I even did a stint as a vegetarian.  I don’t know how much it counts, though, because all I did was substitute meat in my diet with doughnuts.  Whatever.  I was doing it for the cause.), but I got tired of hearing about him taking turns for the worse followed by a turn for the better.  I started to wonder if I even wanted him alive, as it seemed they were just causing him months of pain by keeping  him alive.  And why were they going to so much effort and spending so much money to keep him alive?  So he could become a professional fornicator.

Horse racing is jacked.

But the Commercials Were Pretty Disappointing

February 9, 2007 at 1:28 am | Posted in football (american), whitney | 1 Comment

Even though they represent the same things and consist of mainly the same activities, I enjoy the Super Bowl way more than Thanksgiving. For one thing, the occassional uncle and grandfather will show up, but it’s nothing compare to the cousins-under-six fest that makes up the screaming-that-they-would-rather-have-ham-and-take-those-purple-things-out-of-the-salad Thanksgiving crowd. Two months later, come Super Bowl Sunday, we’re ready to celebrate some psuedo-America Pride while stuffing our faces with food that isn’t necessarily good for us, minus all the pretensious bullshit. To me, the Super Bowl represents something far more American than pretending we’re thankful for anything but a chance to sit on our asses and eat dip. I’m the black sheep in my mostly overweight but insanely active family because no matter how hard I try, I really just don’t care at all about football (as evidenced by my previous posts), but I join them for the Super Bowl.

I used to think it was because of the food. Contrary to rational thought, we never have junk food in our house, so growing up this was one of the only days we could indulge on things like Ruffles, seven layer bean dip (even though olives are so sick), and red vines. OMG. That shit’s great. (In similar fashion, my roommate’s family eats shrimp cocktail every year and even though they hate football, they look forward to this ritual). But this year, we didn’t have time to make it to the grocery store after our trip to the cabin, so in order to avoid walking more than 50 paces on the Sabbath, my mom desparately whipped up some Crystal Light lemonade and dried apricots and called that junk food?

But I watched the entire game. My sister wanted me to help her film her high school morning announcements and I threw a little fit about getting back in time for kickoff. (worth it, actually)

I’ve decided that this is because of my 20-something desparation for tradition and ritual. I don’t participate in much of that. I don’t wrap my Christmas presents, or wear green on St. Patrick’s, or do the whole church thing, but I love Saturday morning bowling, and evening trips past five other gas stations to get soda at the Chev. Pulled out of all other family ritual, I like grabbing onto something distinctly American and participating in the frenzy. Yes, Prince was sort of silly and played cover songs and oh man is he a tiny little guy, but, as a country, we can eat that shit up. Not because it’s necessarily entertaining or excellent or anything like that, but because of ritual. The Super Bowl seems to have an aspect of carnival, as players are permitted to slam into each other, dance after touchdowns, and kind of make fools of themselves, and the rest of us can dress up in ridiculous costumes and forget about our jobs and school and whatever. Of course, we do this while sitting in rigid class structures, but…whatever. I like it. That’s all.

this is a superbowl report

February 9, 2007 at 12:08 am | Posted in brian, football (american) | 2 Comments

i picked up a hitchhiker the night before the superbowl. here’s how it happened, i think:

i went to see dr.octogan/kool keith/black elvis at the urban lounge. i arrived at 10 pm but soon realized i’d be sitting (and by sitting i mean standing) through nearly two hours of local producer/mc acts before dr. octagon. under normal circumstances, i can handle this. many of these local producer/mc acts nurse a kind of chip-on-my-shoulder mentality as a way of keeping it real, i guess. while this can be a bit annoying, i can’t really blame them. with authenticity playing such an important role in underground hip hop, what else is a white kid from utah trying to rap going to do? plus, they occasionally have some interesting beats. but saturday night there were like a billion people at urban lounge and i instantly hated most of them. this triggered an anxiety attack. luckily, with the stamp on my hand assuring reentry, i left.

a 40-something guy with a ratty hair and beard drank a soda on the sidewalk near my car.

“hey! could i get a lift?”

“where to?”

“state street and 200 south.”

state street was only 4 blocks away; we were already on 200 south. like most americans, i initially suspect all possible hitchhikers of wanting to murder me. but i know that’s bullshit. i think movie producers created a fear of hitchhikers by making movies about murderous hitchhikers so they’ll be able to continuously put out new movies about murderous hitchhikers. is that a tautology? regardless, i think it’s true. isn’t there a movie about a murderous and even torturous hitchhiker in theaters right now? if there’s one thing i hate, it’s hollywood trying to tell me what to believe. (like thanks to jaws–which is a movie i like–i’m supposed to think that sharks are determined to hunt and kill all humans. i guess fish and sea lions and penguins just don’t do it for the anymore. related: after the release of jaws, shark poaching skyrocketed leaving many shark species on the endangered species list. i hate spielberg for a lot of reasons, but this is probably number 1. this or his love affair with john williams who single-handedly ruined movie scores or how everyone copies his washed-out color correction style.) so i pick up hitchhikers to protest hitchhiker movies.

back to my story:

“i can give you a lift.”

the problem i do have with hitchhikers is i never know what to talk about. thankfully, my hitchhiker solved this problem.

“are you drunk?”

“i don’t think so.”

“good.”

i felt weird asking if he was drunk. with that topic of conversation run dry i began to panic. what else could we talk about? again, my hitchhiker came to the rescue.

“who do you think is going to win the superbowl?”

“i don’t know. who do you think?”

“indy’s got a pretty good team. i think the bears are going to have a hard time stopping manning.”

“yeah, i think chicago’s defense isn’t nearly as good without brown.”

“you can drop me off here.”

i drop him off.

“thanks for the ride.”

“no problem.”

complete success. in your face hollywood. that guy didn’t once try to murder me. and his superbowl prediction was spot on.

i should have known the best prediction about the superbowl would come from a drunk hitchhiker. it’s so obvious. but i was blinded by my own past predictions. by getting over half of my past predictions correct, i incorrectly assumed that my predictions had an effect on the outcome of games i predicted about.

you’re probably like, “how cares?” well, i care. not listeneing to my hitchhiker cost me 7 (u.s.) dollars. here’s how:

like clif and his crew, i also bet on not only the outcome of the entire game but also on the outcome of events within the game–the coin-flip, the winner of each quarter, how many tds devin hester would have, how often phil simms would contradict himself, how many commercials would exploit black history month given that the two head-coaches were african-american, where peyton manning would be gong after the superbowl (surprisingly none of us guessed disneyworld) and so on. actually we only bet on the coin-flip, who would win each quarter and who would win the game with our guesses at the score being a possible tie-breaker. whoever won the most of these bets would win our superbowl super-pot consisting of 7 (u.s.) dollars (one dollar contributed by the seven of us competing). i bet on the bears (27-24) and lost. i would have bet on the colts winning the entire game and possibly won the pot if i would have understood my hitchhiker experience for what it was: a sign from god. if the nfl is the new american religion (which i think it is with all the games are played on sunday in stadiums that are as awe-inspiring as cathedrals due to the sheer size and spectacle and there’s concrete way to separate the winners from the losers just like in christianity the believers will be separated from the unbelievers during the rapture), the best football prophets will be the john the baptist types–people on the margins of our society like my hitchhiker friend.

but this year i finally got the superbowl. the superbowl is all about excess. you eat too much, you drink too much, you waste too much time watching tv, you watch way too many shitty commercials which cost way too much to air, you sit through a halftime show that’s too long (even though prince was probably the best haltime perfprmer ever) and you care too much about a pointless football game simply because that’s what everyone does.

is it worth the tivo space?

February 9, 2007 at 12:03 am | Posted in fespn, football (american), pillowtalk | 1 Comment

ok, i’ll follow the trend and talk about that game last sunday. I haven’t watched it (yet). I had to work that evening so i didn’t get to watch the video feed. i did have my cell phone programmed so that it would tell me the play by play breakdown of the sporting action, but missed all (most) of the hype. it appeared to be a pretty boring game from that vantage, so my question is: is it worth (re)watching with the video feed? I’ve gathered some info from the other faithful bloggers, and i am still in a quandry. I have the whole game recorded and waiting on my tivo, but it’s hogging some precious memory space. I’m running the risk of missing out on some sweet Iron Chef action, or even…. vishnu forbid… prisonbreak. it’s a possibility that I might not be able to get around to watching it until the weekend. So I seek your advice. Also a few more questions from a non viewer:

1- It was rainy right? so why wasn’t there mud? I heard that there wasn’t any mud at all. was it satan’s influence on the game? it just seems so unnatural.

2- who (if anyone) wanted to do prince? I hear that he was having a sexy fun time.

3- did the commentators even tell any remotely funny jokes during the game?

and 4- why hasn’t any of the writers commented on the “beard comb-over” commercial? it’s been all the rave on the radio here lately.

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