Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bang, Zoom, Right in the Bissinger

I wasn't around to view the carnage that took place on the bloodbath that was CostasNow (A.K.A The Apocalypse) - I was at Shea, shivering in the upper deck, watching the Mets' bullpen piss away a lead. And I most certainly would have posted something earlier (or, recently, more frequently) if my laptop hadn't decided to come down with a nasty case of chlamydia.

Overall, though, there's very little I can say that hasn't already been said. It was a sad, forgettable, pathetic display by someone whose work I've enjoyed in the past, but will never give an ounce of my attention to in the future.

As many have already pointed out, Mr. Bissinger attacked the crude and vulgar nature of blogs by using an abundant mix of crude and vulgar language. He seems to think that bloggers, without twenty or thirty years' worth of experience (and properly acquired, laminated media credentials), lack the ability to poetically describe a sporting event or ruminate on the subtleties of a perfectly executed 6-4-3 double play. We are cretins, intellectual invalids, Net Neanderthals, the Keyboard Cops of sports. We are incapable of thoughtful, passionate, lyrical, well-written prose or analysis.

We are scum.

You know what? You're right.


Fuck you for assuming to know how I, an educated, employed man (with a Journalism degree from Colorado State, by the way) living on his own 2,000 miles away from either of his parents' basements, choose to get my information.

Fuck you for thinking that I'm not smart enough to recognize satire when I see it, whimsy when I see it, damn good writing when I see it, or good reporting when I see it.

Fuck you for being an inconsiderate asshole.

Lastly, and probably most egregiously, FUCK YOU for being a grown man and going by the name "Buzz." There's only two Buzzes I recognize, and they're both spacemen: one of them is real, the other - not so much. Until you walk on the moon or get animated by Pixar, you shall be referred to as "H.G." What might that stand for? Glad you asked.

Hasty Generalizations
-Horsecock Gobbler
-Hermaphrodite Groper
-Habitual Gonorrhea
-Hirsute Gonads
-Hostile Glare
-Hypothetically Ghostwritten
-Honestly Gay
-Harsh Gerontocracy
-Harebrained Gesticulations
-Half-wit Geriatric
-Hell Goblin
-Honky Gringo (ed. note - as am I, natch)
-Hilariously Gauche
-Hillbilly Gangbang
-Historical Garbage
Homely GILSKU (Guy I'd Like to Stab with a Kitchen Utensil)
-Horribly Gutless
-Hugging Gentrification
Hell-bent Gossipmonger
-Hiding Genuineness
-Holding Grudges
-Hairy Gunt
-Heritage Grates
-Humility Gone
-Hot-shit Gerbil-fucker
-Hyperventilating Gasbag
-Humongous Grouch
-Hallucinating Geezer
-HBO's Goon
-Harmless Guttersnipe
-Hackneyed Gibberish
-Hobbit Gizz
-Hideous Growth
-Hobo Gagger
-Holy GodIwannahookhisnutstoacarbatteryandseeifhegetsaBuzz

That's all I could come up with (without spending six hours on

Got your own? Let's hear 'em.

Oh, and lastly, Mr. Bissinger: eat a boatload of cock.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Playoff (Real) Talk

As per my first round questions, here's the rundown:

Washington hasn't been standing up to LeBron. Nope. Not at all. Calling LeBron Jesus in this series is celebrating Christmas for it's true meaning and not admitting you just wanted presents. Oh, but instead, let us gaze upon the real Jesus-- Chris Paul. He is making the Mavericks his bitch and subsequently making Jason Kidd look old, tired, scared AND disinterested depending on the play:

Posting Paul up-- Disinterested. Nothing but cross-court passes to semi-open shooters of which the length of the Hornets can rattle on closeouts.

Guarding Paul at the beginning of the game: Old. Jason Terry is now, seemingly, the primary defender after the first time Kidd gets beaten.

Guarding Paul at the end of the game: Tired. He's nowhere to be found-- hanging around in case there has to be a double-team, but even then, can't Josh Howard handle it, Coach?

Fourth Quarter: Scared. He knows he hasn't got it.

In fact, the youth on the Mavericks (AKA Brandon Bass) seemed to be the only non-timid factor in the second half. Let's get home and then we'll see. MOTHERFUCKERS, IT'S THE PLAYOFFS. Kidd, get some fire, for fuck's sake. Big guys, block Tyson Chandler the fuck out. Someone act like you know how to run at Peja when he getes open and someone, SOMEONE at least feign to move CP3 away from the middle of the lane at some point. Then again, if it means New Orleans moves on, and I was right? Fuck it, Dallas, let it be.

Marinating on the other points, AI and Melo are, in fact a force. the rest of the team have to be the defensive stoppers. Tonight will be telling, becuase it ain't like the Lakers are stopping anyone either.

Which brings me to a great point-- who exactly thinks this team can win a championship without defense? The Spurs will murder this team in the post, slaughter them at the point and have been hitting every crucial three against a Suns team that has thrown everything at them. I don't know, man. Unless they show me something they haven't yet, I got my doubts.

Oh, and FUCK. The Spurs maybe CAN repeat. Suns need game three and need it to be a 10-15 point game. Confidence, you know?

So, rundown the previous four points:
Mavs ain't clicking.
Spurs look repeatable.
Melo and AI are a force on an iffy team.
Replace LeBron with CP3 until next series.

This could all change, of course. God, I love the playoffs.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ideas on the NBA Playoffs (round one).

Ah, the NBA playoffs. As I was telling a work-buddy and avid pro-ball enthusiast, this may be the best playoff year since 1986. Might be. That hinges on a few crucial ideas. I'll be revisiting them as they come to fruition.

1) The Mavericks are actually clicking. Yes, they destroyed some teams at the end and the post-injury Dirk has been intense and fear-worthy. The big question (to me) is, whether they can beat the Hornets four times. The hybrid Mavs, half-running/half-set, are going to have to adjust to Chris Paul more than the Hornets adjusting to Jason Kidd. Can anyone guard him? Are they going to be able to close the lanes with deflections or close the post without getting beat by a good cutting team?

The Mavs are playing well on offense, sure, but they have problems with good point guards. Kidd can't defend Paul, so Terry and Howard will have to limit his options once he penetrates. If they can do that fairly effectively, we got a seven-game series on our hands.

2) LeBron James is Jesus Christ. If this is true and he can single-handedly win a round in the playoffs AND challenge the Celtics with the worst fourth-seed in recent history (all of this without throwing in the towel with Kobe-style frustration), then the East will be much more interesting than people think. Philly is playing well enough to steal one in Detroit, LeBron is putting up the best non-MVP numbers I can think of and Boston is going to be scrutinized on every play the make or don't make.

The most interesting thing about the East? Cleveland is just as good as they were last year. Seriously. This was the Finals team. LeBron is still there, folks. Hughes was hurt against San Antonio and still jacked up tons of shots and Mike Davis (my least favorite coach in this league) was too stupid to replace him with Daniel Gibson. Instead, he played them both. Take Hughes' shots away, give them more Boobie, and place better rebounders/defenders in over Gooden. This is not a great team. It's not. However, it is LeBron's team. And he is great. Great enough to beat the Pistons down last year and scary, considering I'm a Celts fan. They will beat the Wizards if they don't turn the ball over a ton and then LeBron gets a chance to tame the giant. Oh shit.

3) The Spurs cannot repeat. If the Suns beat them up (a la the Red Sox losing to the Yankees but baseball fans knowing the Yanks had no chance in the next round) and they still advance, the next round will be even harder. They can be exposed. The trick is whether or not Nash, Amare and Shaq are enough to do it. Shaq has to contend with Timmy, Udoka AND Kurt Thomas. He's older, slower and less likely to dominate in big games and the one problem no one seems to talk about? A lost step for the Spurs was made up in shrewdness when they picked up another big body before the trading deadline. Bowen, Thomas, Udoka, and Duncan are defenders. Last year, in a championship year, they had one less body to handle the big guys.

This is the thing: this series will come down to guardplay. Shaq vs. the corps of bodies, Timmy versus Amare-- all secondary to the fact that someone, ANYONE has to stop the guards for San Antonio. Nash is a worthless defender-- as has been chronicled-- and Raja Bell is only one man. Manu and Tony Parker will run wild. If the Suns don't find some toughness at the point or some deflections once the guards penetrate, they aren't going to make it to seven games.

That said, if the Spurs make a repeat appearance in the Finals, this will be a playoffs of complaint rather than a celebration of good basketball at a peak time.

Melo and AI are going to be a force whether they play defense or not. People are fully asleep on the idea that the Nuggets are a tough out. Allen Iverson hasn't been in the playoffs in years, Melo has something to forget about, and these guys can SCORE. They have shooters, slashers and a machine at the two-guard who is just as hungry (if not hungrier) than any one of the three Celtic superstars.

No, I don't think the Nuggets can beat the Lakers, but I do think they can steal one or two at home and extend the series. Lamar Odom, an injured Bynum and a Kobe less than a year removed from a temper-tantrum that alienated him further from NBA fans (somehow) do not a champion make-- until next year, maybe. Yeah, they'll carve up the Nuggets for 115-120 a night, but it's possible that they will give up 116-121 at least twice.

I mean think about it: the Suns are playing the Spurs IN THE FIRST ROUND. The Nuggets-Lakers series could see 900 points scored in five games if Melo is allowed by law to drive to the games. The Hornets could be one of the best young teams in history and they have to play a team that has the most to prove (alongside the Suns) in this entire playoffs (yeah, I said it). The Celtics are fielding the hungriest team in NBA history with a statistically perfect defense. LeBron is lurking about. Kobe is too.

And on top of it all, AGENT ZERO IS BACK. YYYYYYYEEEEESSSSSSSSS. Get ready. This is gonna be awesome.

East picks (R1 only):
Cleveland in six.
Orlando in six.
Detroit in five.
Boston in four.

West picks (R1 only):
San Antonio in seven.
New Orleans in seven.
Utah in six.
Los Angeles in six.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Open Letter To Carmelo Anthony



Phony Gwynn

Thursday, April 10, 2008

All-Time Fast-Break team.

(EDIT: 6th man included.)

Today at workjob number one, I got into a discussion about the all-time greats and run-first basketball. My friend Laurence asked for my all-time fast-breakbasketball team members-- one that was capable of winning games and was aesthetically pleasing to my love of basketball. I'll share his first and then mine (with explanations and team analysis).

First off, though, this post came at the brink of a must-win game for the eighth seed in the West. I know it's baseball season and all and I have allegiances to my favorite team of all time (oh to be .500 for the Yanks series), but I could't help but get pumped for the Warriors-Nuggets. No, they didn't play good defense and no, neither of them have seen an off-balance shot they don't like, but think of the offensive talent level in this game: Iverson, "Ran"thony, the Baron, Cap'n Jack, Monta (my newest favorite player in the universe not named Garnett) and the rebound machine that is Andris Biedrins.

The difference in this game (to me) will be the fact that these teams are outstanding offensive rebounding teams. I tried to emulate this on my "points" team. While I enjoyed the game, I was covertly thinking of how badly I'd like to see my fantasy fast-break team play together.

Now, to the point. The only rules here are: starters and a sixth man, you should assume each of these players is in their prime no matter when they played, defense is no matter and we decided to put together two different squads no matter how good the picks were. Also, he got to pick first, so I didn't get Jordan or Magic.

Laurence's team: Isaiah Thomas (PG), Akeem (before the H) (C), Clyde Drexler (F), Magic (SG), Worthy (PF), Gervin (6).

My team:

Steve Nash (PG)-- No one runs the point on a run-first team like him. No one. I'm dead serious. I considered a ton of point guards from Cousy to Isaiah as well, but Nash is the man I want running a fast-break team throughout history forever (other than Magic-- fucking second pick). This makes the rest of the team click.

Amare Stoudamire (PF)-- Sticking with the new kids here, I love the unselfish nature of Amare on the break, the monstrousness in the short-half-court set and the offensive rebounds galore. Everything about this man is scoring in bunches if Nash and he are on a good level. To be sure, he is one of the greatest running power forwards the game has seen. Ever.

Wilt Chamberlain (C)-- He scored 100 in a game. 100. Points. He can run, he passes to cutters well, and he always finished. How much better can you get?

Dominique Wilkins (SF)-- Here's where I will get slaughtered, probably. Think about it, though. He slashes, he fills lanes and he has speed and power. He finished well. He was always a guy that got good separation for quick shots. Here's the thing-- he's a cutter. He always found the basket
and knew how to score when he got there-- with or without the ball. On top of all of that, he could handle the ball at any point. Putting him and Nash together put towo certified ballhandlers in charge of a break and two guys that could find separation all over the floor.

Earl Monroe (SG)-- At first I considered Pete Maravich for a purely stylistic understanding of fast break basketball, but "The Pearl" stood out. In the films I have seen of him (most recently in "Black Magic," which was awesome), he was a pure passer, shooter and an amazing runner. He wasn;'t the fastest man on the court, but he got to his slots quickly on the break and had moves unthinkable.

Adrian Dantley (6th Man)-- Is there a need to explain this? He's a genius who deserved a championship. A hall-of-fame player with the word RUN written all over him.

Monroe, being the final piece of my starting squad, brings it all together. You have three ball-handlers, two rebounders, a scorer at center, a monster power forward, a pass-first point guard who can shoot the three lights-out, and my favorite shooting guard of all-time. Monroe is the intangibles guard-- he has the flash when necessary, the ability to hit the midrange jumper at will and the overall mentality of the best player on the court at any given moment. 'Nique starts to struggle or lags off and Monroe picks up the slack. He can trail or lead the break, has a good entry pass for the bigs inside and knows how to get tot he open spots if the quick score doesn't come. He's the guy I was most proud of picking.

What about your all-time fast-break team? Let's get some commentary, people.

Next up? All-defense team.

Monday, April 07, 2008

NL Central Preview

(Editor's Note: This brilliant post is crafted by the elegant and insatiable Camp Tiger Claw, a co-author at the brilliant Walk Off Walk.)

Outsourcing is bad for the American working class but it's one of hell of a deal for bloggers, aint it? Case in point: this post. Trying to figure out what's going to happen this year in the NL Central is about as easy as trying to figure out why people watch CBS sitcoms. So if you're one of the squirrelly bastards that runs this website and you can't figure out the division, you just outsource it. You end up looking generous, giving up space on your site, AND you don't have to do the dirty work of trying to figure out which of these teams isn't entirely awful. Luckily I've seen enough of the USA's expansive midsection to know a thing or two about the teams in question. So here I am, here's my story, and here's your 2008 Central. What a country.

Milwaukee Brewers

The team with the best young talent, and the closest proximity to The Life Source (where they make High Life) is always going to get the nod from me. You know about Braun, Hall, Hardy and Fielder, but let me tell you a little something about Manny Parra. Manny Parra secured the fifth starter spot on this team, and I've witnessed his magic.

Early last year I was delivering a bunch of discarded VCRs to a home electronics chop shop in Round Rock, Texas. The entire time I was worried about Smokey getting a whiff of my phony plates (I'd made them on a pirated copy of PrisonShop™). When I pulled into Round Rock I was ready for mucho cerveza and a woman that didn't ask many questions. What I found instead was a fiesta of epic proportions. You see, Young Mr. Parra had just pitched a perfect game for the hometown team, and according to local tradition was carried into the square on the Sherrif's personal donkey. There on the abandoned gallows (that dated back to the last War of Mexican Aggression), over an adoring crowd stood Parra singing the most beautiful version of Hungry Eyes I'd ever heard. Is this kid ready for the big time? I think I just answered that question. Expect big things.

The bullpen could be shaky if Gagne doesn't turn things around (unless you trust Turnbow), and Davy Lopes is a questionable helmsmen. All that being said this is a weak division and youthful mashing and persistence will take the day. Record: 88-74, Out in the NLDS.

Chicago Cubs

You know what's funny about the Cubs? Absolutely nothing. Not sure if you've heard yet, but this is the 100th anniversary of their last World Series title. It will only be mentioned about 70,000 more times this year regarding a 2008 Chicago team that's pretty unexceptional. Kosuke Fukudome had a great first week and may be the brightest spot of the season. I wasn't so sure that would be the case when I picked him up at the airport upon his arrival from Japan.

I was fast asleep on my friend Domingo's kitchen floor after another late night at Marie's Riptide Lounge. Domingo peeked his head into the kitchen disturbing my 100 proof slumber. "Psst. It's the Mayor, he wants to talk to you." With eyes still closed I reached for the cordless phone. Mayor Daley was bellowing on the other end. He seemed out of breath and I could tell he was calling me during his predawn jog. "The chauffeur flaked out on us. I need you to get your ass over to O'Hare and pick up this new Jap outfielder." He hung up without waiting for a response. Pulling on a sweatshirt and a pair of whiskey soaked jeans, I took the keys to Domingo's Camry and sped to pick up Fukudome. He stood outside the American Airlines terminal with his translator, Mr. Satuko. A wordless nod out the windshield indicated that I was their ride. Fukudome sat in the front seat holding a half eaten Cinnabon. The entire way to his hotel he wept and repeated the same Japanese phrase, while over my shoulder Mr. Satuko translated each utterance of "I'm so far from home."

Anyway, there's still too much riding on the arms of Lilly, Hill and Wood for my liking, and their sluggers haven't gotten any younger. Record 84-78

Houston Astros

Let's forget the pretense. Put away your party gown because I'm not dancing. I've got a big problem with the Astros heavy hitting, future All-Star catching prospect, J. R. Towles, and I don't care who knows it.

Listen, Towles. I know you snuck into my uncle's yard and dug into his secret piston box and stole a bunch of pistons for that car you were rebuilding. Those were his pistons. If you want pistons you need to work for them like my great-grandpa did when he came here from Greece. YOU ARE A PISTON STEALING SON OF A FUCK, YOU FUCK.

The Astros finish third because they hit but can't really pitch, while the teams below them can barely hit and barely pitch. Record 80-82

Cincinnati Reds

Toothpicks ready! Gladiators ready! It's year one of Reds fans Quantum Leaping into the bodies of 2003 Cubs Fans. Whee! This reminds me of that time I ran into Reds prospect Jay Bruce with nothing but a tiring literary premise and a nasty headache.

It's 2006 and I'm in an airplane hanger holding a cold steak against a black eye. I never got a clear look at my chicano assailant but to this day I could mark him by the clickity clack of his spurs. The blood from the steak mixed with the pomade in my hair to create an intoxicating gauze clouding my sight. I couldn't summon the guts to stand up, and decided that if i was going to die next to this gasless, 2 seater bush plane, then so be it. I was tired of the road and the government agents. Just then a piercing whistle rained down from above. It was an old lady with steely grey hair and piercing blue eyes. Without a word she lowered a handmade rope constructed out of old purses. The purses were tied together and wound around an elaborate pulley system. They led out a window, but that was as far as I could follow. As soon as I grabbed on she turned and hollered "Verplaats waardeloos mannen" (which I later learned was Dutch for "move you worthless bums"). I was lifted into the rafters and out through the window. Lowered into the bed of a pickup truck i was handed a bowl of chili by a man named Bay Juice. The old woman, looking back from the cab of the truck nodded and said, "You will soon know his given name." I felt safe.

Lots of young upside on this team, but they got the wrong guy runnin' the show. Fourth place in this division is like fifth in any other. Record 79-83

St. Louis Cardinals

All the feel good, first week on a tear, Rick Ankiel mojo aint gonna salvage a team that can't pitch. Just ask my mother:


Remember that time when you were twelve and you made that fake mustache, borrowed your fathers sheepskin coat, and held that taxi driver at knifepoint? You got all the way to the border before the pigs put those spikes in the road. When they maced you and pulled you out you kept screaming "Take me to St. Louis, you God denying cocksuckers! I wanna see the Arch! Take me to St. Loooooooouis!!!" I gotta tell you baby, that was really fucking weird and we almost gave you up for adoption. The social workers said at your age it would do more harm then good. They said it would be like putting a ballplayer with a history of mental problems on a team with a recent history of tragedy and no chance of finishing higher than fourth in division. So, we kept you and everything has turned out okay!

Your father left,


This team has the worst rotation I've ever seen in my entire life as a baseball fan. Record: 71-91

Pittsburgh Pirates

One time I had to stay at a hotel in Pittsburgh.

Record: 68-94