Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Apparently, the Super Bowl is Already Over

At least, according to the Boston Globe.

Funny, there's no picture yet. Gotta find that image of Tom Brady where the confetti is hitting him juuuuuuuuuuuust right.

I have friends that are Pats fans, and I may even watch the game with them. But if I'm a New York Giant, and I saw this ... whoo boy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Enjoy This.

From the always fantastic omgtru.com, here's a video that is both captivating and brilliant.

Enjoy, before everyone in the goddamned world goes insane for it.

I mean, it's Barkley AND it's sweet nerd culture. All is right with the world.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ECPP 2: The Reckoning

So, the last time the Deadspin folk got together, I, uh... damn. Not good. This time was a bit more low-key, yet no less fun. Again, I lost composure, blacked out a bit; yelled at children, danced with fake flappers. 'Twas all in good fun. Seton Hall-Louisville was surprisingly watchable, the new faces were fantastically funny and, as per the norm, people took a lot of pictures of Adam trying to make me look as homosexual as possible. Such is life.

To all involved, thanks again for a great time in paradise (read: Newark, New Jersey). From the fight on the PATH train to the drunk Brit telling me he was a millionaire and then refusing to buy shots for the bar (I got Sambuca out of it), it was a night that lived in infamousnesses.

Now, on to the PICKSHURES (mostly Phony's camera; the one of me screaming/the one with me and Pete Jayhawk are Peter Cavan's. Thanks, Pete.):


Friday, January 18, 2008

A Day of Light Amongst Current Darkness

50 degrees. Mid-afternoon. After I bought a new basketball, I traveled the subway to Long Island City. On the way, I realized three things:

1) Men and lesbians: carrying a basketball is as effective a tool to get women to notice you as a puppy or a baby. Try it sometime. Carry a basketball and watch their reaction. I got more smiles than Pryor's prime, no shit, and from women that normally pay no attention to me.

2) Everyone thinks, somewhere in the recesses of their soul, that they are a sports star. When regular subway riders see someone with a ball under their arm, the immediate reaction is not unlike a wife seeing her husband in front of tools: "You know how to use that thing?" Yeah, I do.

3) I don't know shit about the V/E trains. Thought I did. Ended up in Manhattan trying to get to LIC. Who knew? I imagined filled courts-- beautiful day-- and visions of fucking around to attain a triple-double danced in my head.

In any event, I arrived at the empty courts at 4:15: an hour until darkness would end my day. I began warming up: jeans, hoodie over long sleeve shirt, armband tight around my forearm. Hit some simple banks in close, moved back with little success, clang-clang, more bricks than the bible's got psalms. A plague of bricks, my people suffering.

So, off came the jeans. then the hoodie, then the Celtics cap. Hook shots were falling, jumpers missing their mark. Skateboarders crashed while sliding over walls. The night before I was drunk and sad. Each clang of the metal backboard was a large-scale realization of conceptual self. The basketball I dropped 40 bucks on is a step toward spiritual peace. I'm not a happy man. Each shot was a reflective masterpiece: airballs, banks, runners, each one a step toward a pinpoint understanding of my faults. Each time the ball crashed through the net was a reaffirmation of my loneliness, an admission of my inevitable death.

I could have died on the court-- collapsed like Hank Gathers or Reggie Lewis and counted the blessing and sins of my life like a smoker calculating how many cigarettes he/she has for a night at the bar. I would have passed away with my faculties intact, the ball rolling slowly toward the wall until it had no place else to roam. Alas, I did not die. I continued to shoot. OK, hit a nice jumper from the elbow, missed two from a spot I used to know like I knew the contours of my first car. Stop and pop, cross over-- I forget how alone I am the world, all the rejection and loss of the past three years, all the complications of self-awareness. A shot rims out, don't let it go out of bounds, long jumper no good, long rebound, take it in, layup no good, follow is good.

There is no score, there is only the sun setting behind me where the water sends cold wind. The skateboarders are trickling away, passers-by coming from the grocery store looking over a lone, maniacal madman talking to himself, settling himself down. I am a genius in the dusk. The ball is overfull, but getting softer and less alien in my hand. Popped one from the free-throw line. I am to blame for everything, am responsible for everything-- I am enabler and a good friend to no one. I am a tycoon with underwhelming clothes. Finish hard the rim, adjust the shot. Adjustments.

It's getting pretty dark; the skaters are gone. The people passing by are walking faster as the cold gets bitter. My extremities are getting harder to use. Keep shooting, wind playing with the long shots, move in. You are alone because you drive people away. You don't have a direction. Good from the far corner. That felt right like arms embracing for a long period of time. Everyone seems to love you. The ball is light in the left and rolling, rolling away.

Finish up the night; barely visible hoop. Finish with the right, five layups. Finish with the left, five layups. Free-throw. Missed it so I start over. So it goes for fifteen more minutes. Drilling into myself the way I want it: I am not capable of putting all together.

The sun is gone, and I am cold when I finally hit my eleven in a row. Smiling, nodding contentedly, I leave the court and realize that basketball is perfection for me. The Earth takes the ball's rotation, the moon is above me as perfect round white as the splash of the net, the constant pounding of the cement like my heart beat and this might have been the best day of my life.

In summation: I think I am ready to write about basketball. Never thought I could before. Maybe I am ready now.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rube Waddell Weighs In On The Steroid Issue

It's been ninet-- hey, do you got any Gin? How 'bout some scotch? Just pour it into this cup here. Lookit it, how shiny she is. Where's your glass? What? Nah, c'mon - you gotta have a pull or three. There ya go. Atta boy.

Now where were - that's right, the steroids. Well I'll be greener than grass in a churchyard, I can't see how these boys put that shit in their bodies. Ain't got no respect for themselves. I remember I was facing Cap Anson, that pretty boy sonuvabitch, and he was crowdin' that plate somethin' fierce, so I's puts one right up in his nostrils, and he yells at me, he yells 'Rube, you no-good head-huntin' drunk, you so much as graze the wool on my ass and I'll come out there and beat you like the rotten sour dog that you are.' I got 'im, though. That big curve ball. He weren't a could touch that thing.

Like I said, it's been ninety-seven years or so since I was on that mound. Feeling that ball in my hand. Just ... winding up like a cat lookin' to pounce, the fans' eyes on ya, through ya, and eight other men on yer side, and it's just a wave of everything all through ya, in through the mouth, and down and rumblin' in yer stomach and just kickin' to shit all that you got to be a man, just twirlin' ya's up like a barber pole, just turnin' and turnin' and turnin'...

What? Aww hell, I ain't cryin'. Got some dirt in my eye. You gonna fill this up or am I gonna hafta find Billy Martin and squeeze it outta him? There it is.

Then ... sure, these boys. How much do they make now? Really? That much, huh? For one year? Well I'll be damned. And they still gotta go and ruin it. Got all the damn money in the world, you could just buy a damn island in the South Specific and just go there, frolic with the monkeys, couldn't ya? How many coconuts does a couple million smackaroos buy? Well why dontcha? It buys a whole damn lot of 'em, that's for sure.

Me, I made $800 in ought-two. I never even saw most of it. They had to give half of it to my wife, and I got dollar bills here and there. Hell, they bought me pocket chains and moonshine. I didn't mind too much one way or the other.

Let's bring out the big boys. Got any Jack Daniel's? Any Old Crow? Hell, you could serve me some paint thinner and turpentine and I'd be grateful like a whore in prison. What's that? Ice? Son, the nice part of me wants to pat ya on the head, but the ballplayer in me wants to stomp yer testes with my spikes. Don't need no ice here, myboy. Make it neat.

Speakin' of, do these boys put 'ice' in these steroids? Thin 'em out some? They don't, huh. Well, fuck 'em anyway. Fuck 'em right in the ass where they's stickin' those pills.

I believe it was 1907 when I w-- now just what in tarnation is that Gawd-awful racket? What? That's what a fire truck sounds like nowadays? Son of a bitch - I see it! Glossy and red! Fire truck! Fire truck! FIRE TRUCK FIRE TRUCK FIRE TRUCK!

[runs out door]

Monday, January 14, 2008

Column Like I See 'Em: Super Blow

The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs is over, and frankly, it was a damn good one. Out of the four games, three were exceptional, and the one that wasn't at least had a super-pissed off Mother Nature. And that's always fun.

What we know is this: for this year, at least, we have again been spared what would be the most over-hyped, over-played, over-saturated, over-covered, overbearing event in the history of sports - a Super Bowl in which the Manning brothers square off against one another.

On the Monday after the conference championships, we would get the basics: older brother Peyton shuns father's Ole Miss legacy to Volunteer it alone, sets all kinds of records. Oh, they happen to win the National Championship the year after he leaves. Hmm. Regardless, Peyton goes on to Indy, where he again puts up huge numbers, only to fail spectacularly in the playoffs - until last year, when he exorcises his Nor'Easter demons, then beats a team with a man nicknamed "Sex Cannon" at the helm. Younger brother Elisha, who is obviously not the talent of his elder sibling, follows in his father's Rebel footsteps, and trips. Repeatedly. He refuses to play for a mid-market-sized team with a stacked roster in order to play in a plus-sized market with a mediocre roster. He trips. Repeatedly. Finally, summoning the Squash Succubus, his failures succumb to his skills (sorta).

On Tuesday we'd get a recap of their extensive endorsement deals - Double Stuf, anyone? - and endless repeats of the ESPN commercial where the Mannings visit the set. On Wednesday we'd get Zapruder film of them playing catch in the backyard in New Orleans as junior high prodigies. On Thursday we'd get awkward interviews with their father, Archie, and their mother, Olivia, giving bullshit answers about how they'll roshambo to see which one wears which son's jersey during the game. On Friday we'd get a quick recap of Peyton hosting SNL, and maybe even a bit by Kenny Mayne about how eldest bro Cooper was a talented receiver but unfortunately had the spinal canal of a canary. On Saturday we'd get a heart-warming look at how the Mannings helped the people of New Orleans in the days and weeks and months following Hurricane Katrina, and how they continue to help rebuild their hometown.

And then - and only then - would they maybe start to talk football. And there's a whole 'nother week of that!

Unless you have a deep, deep rooting interest in one or both of those teams - or perhaps you're a sadist, and own an extensive collection of leather, chains, whips, torture devices, etc. - then you can see how this scenario needs to be avoided at all costs.

But there are still four other possible match-ups, and all will present their own storylines that will be absolutely, positively, point-blankedly driven to the ground.

The inevitable: New England vs. Green Bay
Actually, this one might even be worse than the Manning Bowl (just kidding). Despite the ever-abiding man-love that every journalist from Honolulu to Hanoi showers upon Brett Favre, the fervent fellatio thrown the Dreamboat's way may be even worse. Throwing for 50 touchdowns and winning a near-unanimous MVP award will do that. Still, the "will he or won't he?" talk regarding Favre's impending-on hold-impending-not true retirement will get mega-old, mega-fast. And despite his solid career, Favre is 1-1 in Super Bowls. That one win? Oh yeah!

The bias continues: New England vs. New York
This has to be the second-likeliest only because the Patriots look unbeatable, and the Giants D is playing out of their mind. Expect the Boston vs. New York angle to get turned on its head, with many references to the Yankees and Red Sox (and their dramatic 2003 and 2004 ALCS battles, no doubt) sprinkled in. Also, did you know Bill Belichick used to coach the Giants' defense in the 80s? Did you? Oh, you did. That's right. I can also imagine side-by-side comparisons of Randy Moss and Plaxico Burress - but done in a cheap, suspended-animation rotate-the-players-360 degrees-type of way. By the end of the two weeks, there won't be anything "New" about this - unless you're one of the eight people on the planet who don't know the Pats are gunning for a perfect season.

MarmaFavre: San Diego vs. Green Bay
Many thanks to Big Daddy Drew for dubbing Philip Rivers "Marmalard." Anyway, this is probably the least-interesting potential match-up, story-wise. They'll talk about Favre. A lot.

The trade: San Diego vs. New York
It's mentioned above, but you remember: the Chargers had the first pick in the 2004 NFL draft, and Eli Manning informed them he did not like warm weather and bikini-clad women and tough intra-conference opponents. So the Chargers selected him and traded him to the Giants for the Giants' choice three picks later (Rivers), their third-round pick in that draft, and a first- and fifth-round pick in 2005. The rest, as it's wrote, is history. Albeit boring history that will be talked about, explored, analyzed, discussed, graphed, mapped-out, dissected and thoroughly detailed so much you'll want to cut away your frontal lobe with a nail-clipper file. Anyway, this is the least-likeliest option, as both road teams winning (especially one as hobbled with injuries as the Chargers) in the conference championship is pretty rare.

These are your choices, America. One of them is about to come true - and then shoved relentlessly down your throat. Luckily there will be, at most, only one Manning involved. No Double Stuf-ing necessary.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Reading Between the Lines

Earlier tonight the Nuggets beat the 76ers in Denver 109-96. Allen Iverson was his usual, brilliant self: 38 points, eight dimes, and back-to-back three-pointers to break a 62-all tie in the third.

Afterward, AI had some nice things to say about the Philadelphia organization.

Here are his quotes, courtesy of the AP, and what he was really thinking when he said them.

"I'm just happy we got the win. Like I said, it's just another basketball game, we went through that whole song and dance last year when they came in here. It wasn't any big deal to me. I just wanted to contribute."

I'd a rather eat a dead dog's ass than lose to these bitches like we did last year after I got traded. I told Melo I was bouts ta stick my dick AND a couple logs a summer sausage right up LaLa's ass if he ain't came through. Buncha Macarena-lovin' muthafuckers. Shit, I'm the fucking Charleston, Mashed Potato and the Twist up in this mafuck.

"They've got a lot of talent on that team. They've got a lot of guys that can do things, and they've got a lot of guys that care, guys with pride."

Yeah, guys that can do things - like Reggie Evans, that ball-grabbing queerbag. And have you seen Calvin Booth? Bitch look like a black version of the deformed giant in Big Fish. Shit, at least they got rid of that Ashton Kutcher-lookin' mafucker. But, yeah, those Sixers got some pride - they proud to be the only team in the league dumb enough to think Shavlik Randolph can ball.

"I'm pretty sure they want to prove they can win without me."

They fired Billy King, right?

"It could be easy for those guys to lay down. After I left, they could have just laid down."

They gettin' fucked either way. Layin' down, standing up, bent over the scorer's table - shit, you name it, they gettin' filled up like Kim Kardashian at the Saints' Christmas party.

"I just wish them well. ... I just want to see things get better for them."


Shit, I gotta run. I TiVo'd the season premiere of The Wire. Omar's my boy! ... You say he's what? Fa real? Ahh, fuck him then. It's all about Snoop! ... No shit? Snoop is a she? Muthafucka!