|Grow Some Hair Already|
Their sport, um, sucks.
And if you really, really love to watch and root for these borderline pre-pubescents...
You, well, might have other problems.
Problems that I, for one, am very glad not to have...
|Grow Some Hair Already|
Posted by DMtShooter at 12:11 AM
|I Must Think Harder, Harder, Harder|
Posted by DMtShooter at 12:03 AM
10) When the highlight of your month as a team is breaking even in Toronto, that's not a good month
9) Perhaps Robinson Cano was right after all
8) Somehow, releasing Jonathan Sanchez didn't make everything all better
7) Now might be the time to make an offer to the Jonathan Broxton owner in your fantasy league
6) Just in case you were wondering, Bruce Chen is still in the league, which pretty much explains three of the losses
5) The really remarkable thing about this month is that they didn't even play any particularly hot, or good, teams
4) This is proof that well-regarded young talent does not have to translate into winning baseball teams
3) In case you were wondering just how they've managed this, the 5.69 ERA in a pitcher's era kind of explains things
2) Royal Fan, assuming he can still be said to exist, might not want to be Trusting The Plan much longer
1) Seeing how they've won six whole games, it is something of a shock that this is their worst July
Posted by DMtShooter at 10:52 PM
Posted by DMtShooter at 2:56 AM
Posted by DMtShooter at 2:22 AM
No, seriously: dude said that he does this. And here's... the rest of the story.
10) He's from Arkansas, where this is considered foreplay
9) Most cows do not have lawyers
8) Takes this whole notion of having a posse literally
7) It's surprisingly good practice for handling the media
6) Wants to become Packer Fan's favorite player ever
5) It sounds a lot more sober than it's other name, cow tipping
4) Really wants some misguided PETA attention
3) Thinks this is the best way to get in Jermichael Finley's concussive head to take away snaps
2) Feels that the cows' relative intellect and spontaneity makes them suitable substitutes for Detroit's collection of repeat offenders
1) The cows seem to like it when he dresses them in spandex, oils them up, and gives them fairly unrealistic back stories
Posted by DMtShooter at 1:16 AM
First... what do you expect the current athletes to say? "No, sorry, we suck. We'll be just thrilled if we get a medal in this thing. I mean, have you seen Spain? They have Gasols. PLURAL. Not just one, two! No way we can overcome that. And even if we do, Argentina is just laying in wait, with Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and a bench full of crazy Spanish-German hybrids from the escaped Nazi scientists eugenics dreams. I don't like our chances. Plus, we all hate each other so, so much, and have such me-first egos, we'd be lucky to beat a gritty high school team. And by gritty, I mean white."
Secondly... if the current team can't beat the 1992 version, that means the sport is in decline, and we should all stop watching it. Right, OG Team? We should just tune in to your rerun games and stay loyal to guys who no longer play. Since the epoch, the zenith, the absolute pinnacle of hoop was achieved when Charles Barkley shoved some scrawny scrub from the sub-Sahara. (Oh, and by the way? Mythologizing a team that rolled like tanks over cavalry is the surest sign yet that history is written by the victors' geishas. At the time, I remember being bored to tears by their games, and a little embarrassed for the opponents. And not being alone in that assessment.)
Third... the current players have better equipment. Better shoes. Better diets, more money, more court time, with 24/7/365 hoop since about the time that they could walk. They also draw in players from six continents, and they are good enough to play in the NBA, rather than just in their own countries.
Other than a greater tendency to thug it up, hit mid-range jumpers, why, beyond the irresistible tendency to lionize guys who can't miss any more shots since they don't play anymore, should the 1992 team be better? (Um, because they had better bigs. But the simple fact is that the '12 team will play James at power, and he'd be fine there in any era.)
Fourth and final, can't we all agree that a greater percentage of Americans today are rooting for the US team to lose? Half of the country or more still hates LeBron James; nearly everyone hates Carmelo Anthony. (No one remembers that John Stockton was a dirtbag, Karl Malone a redneck, Charles Barkley was vilified at the time, and Larry Bird hated everywhere but Boston; once they put on the flag, that all washed away.)
Older people want Pride to Goeth Before A Fall. If they lose, it's the only way to get a game with actual drama; plus, you get to see angry millionaires pointing fingers at each other, which is always good fun. Oh, and isn't Coach K at the helm of this ship? If it weren't for the presence of Andre Iguodala on this ship, I'd be totally down with the US going down, really. Anyway with me on this?
Posted by DMtShooter at 7:09 PM
Posted by DMtShooter at 9:10 PM
The new Giants' tight end expressed his hate for his old team in a recent interview with the New York media. What has led to such ill will?
10) Threw sand in his face the last time he saw them, just when he was totally going to get the pinfall
9) Jason Witten kept being better than him despite the overwhelming drawback of being older and whiter
8) Someone told him that the reason the last three Giants TEs are gone is because they didn't hate the Cowboys enough
7) Hasn't gotten the memo that, with one playoff win in this century, the Cowboys are more worthy of pity than hate
6) Constant late season collapses made him take comfort in food, glorious food, so Dallas was totally responsible for him becoming such a lard ass over the years
5) Eli Manning mentioned that he prioritizes targets based on the level of Cowboy Hatred, because after taking the Manning family lead in Super Bowl rings, he's just full of good humor
4) Cowboys kept playing him, game after game, just to make his time between touchdowns longer
3) Dallas only let him go to New York if the Giants absolutely promised to ride him hard in training camp
2) Had to come up with something for the media, or they'd right about his Terrible, Terrible Secret
1) Jerruh Jones kept calling Marcellus and daring him to say "What" again
Posted by DMtShooter at 7:24 PM
|Nearly Free To A Better Home|
Posted by DMtShooter at 10:53 PM
12) Elaborate payback for hitting Bryce Harper
11) As much as he might like going home to pitch, unfortunately that can only happen while playing for the Padres
10) When you have an aging club with few solid players under 30, are buried in the division and wildcard race in late July, and have a farm system that hasn't done much in five years, locking into another $144 million in salary just comes naturally
9) Cole really thinks he can break the club's all-time pitching records, since he's never actually looked those up
8) So long as Mike Vick is in town, his wife is making sure they aren't leaving, so as to prevent any relapse
7) Ruben Amaro Jr.'s willingness to overpay is just too much fun to live without
6) Cole's convinced that the last four games are going to change everything for 2012, that the team is going to make a run for the ages, and that Charlie Manuel's accent is just for show
5) Whenever you can lock down a guy with an injury history, only one 15-win year, and only one year with a sub 3-ERA to the second-biggest contract in baseball, you have to do it
4) It's not as if the fans haven't paid (and paid, and paid) for top-shelf talent, seeing how the yard has been sold out for, like, freaking ever
3) Amaro thinks that now that Hamels makes more than Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, maybe that will light a fire under both of their asses
2) Team needed one guy that the fans could feel good about making a jersey purchase about
1) Hamels knew that if he just signed this deal, the team's fans would finally, once and for all, have his back and support him in good times and in bad
Posted by DMtShooter at 10:11 PM
|Pick Your Hand Of Inaccurate QB|
Posted by DMtShooter at 2:07 AM
Now available on DVD, it's Bobcat Goldthwait's impassioned screed over how the country has gone to hell in a handbasket, and while it's a mighty big straw man, you can't say he's wrong for, well, anything.
The plot is basically a more comedic version of "Breaking Bad", where the beaten-down and broken-down protagonist is divorced, overweight, fired without cause and driven to suicidal urges after getting a diagnosis... but instead of acting to destroy himself, he decides instead to start ridding America if its worst elements. After he offs the embodiment of what he considers to be the reason why his young daughter is turning out badly, he meets up with a kindred spirit in nihilism
Goldthwait is, of course, the one-time spiritual twin of the comedy boom with Sam Kinison, and the glee in which he sets up his pinatas is palpable, along wit his subversion of action movie paradigms. Kills aren't clean, the tone isn't consistent or obvious, and he's damn lucky that his murder spree in a movie theater scene happened (a) in a mostly missed indie movie, and (b) before Aurora. He also coaxes good performances out of Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr, and while the speeches get a bit thick, it's still reasonably good fun... despite the fact that the film's morals quickly kind of collapse on itself, and the lack of budget is too easily apparent in too many scenes with too few extras, and the most lax police work ever for a killing spree with a stolen muscle car.
Oh, and a fair amount of this absolutely qualifies as aging lefty porn, assuming your aging lefty porn tastes comes with a side order of justifiable homicide, and a not inconsiderable amount of distaste for your own nation. I don't want to violate any spoiler protocol here, but obvious targets are taken down.
Anyway, if you've in the mood for the logical follow-up to "Natural Born Killers", only with a lot less over the top editing or repugnance, and with an actual conscience, give it a spin. It's dark, fun, worthwhile, and maybe even has a good message. And, even, ending...
Posted by DMtShooter at 1:04 AM
|And you'll keep doing that for years...|
Posted by DMtShooter at 1:29 AM
10) Finally, the team will be well-known in Japan
9) Consid- ering how right field plays in the Bronx, he might finally become a power threat (he has slugged nearly .500 there to date)
8) There is no truth to the rumor that the Mariners would only do this deal provided they didn't get back Fat Broken Michael Pineda
7) If New York is really, really lucky, he'll be half the player Brett Gardner was
6) You have to admire the Mariners for sticking the needle into their loyal fans by trading him now, rather than after the series with New York is over
5) Nick Swisher just became the second least intelligible member of the Yankee outfield
4) Now that he's been traded to New York, Ichiro actually has a chance to go to the Hall of Fame
3) New York only made the trade because of Ichiro's solid career numbers against those terrifying Oakland A's
2) His .288 OBP for 2012 might make the Yankees reconsider, you know, moving Derek Jeter out of the leadoff spot for him
1) This is really going to depress the Mariners' remaining fan, which is a real shame, because people in Seattle are always so upbeat and cheerful
Posted by DMtShooter at 9:06 PM
Posted by DMtShooter at 1:03 AM
Posted by DMtShooter at 12:12 AM
Feel better, British Open Flameout! I'm sure you'll laugh about this some day. Just like, well, the rest of us...
10) This meltdown was a lot more understandable than Jean Van Der Velde's 18th hole for the ages
9) Ernie Els would have just nuked him in a playoff anyway
8) No one really remembers who falls apart in majors
7) If he decides to never play this course again, no one will blame him
6) No one is going to think those belly long putters should be made illegal any more
5) He still got, you know, paid
4) This is going to make him a lot more memorable than if he, you know, actually won the thing
3) He's certain to learn from this and use it in the future, which sounds a lot better until you think about what exactly he's learned
2) He's going to have a lot of consolations from other sad losers
1) Els is a friend, so that makes this all OK, really
Posted by DMtShooter at 11:39 PM
Tonight at my personal poker palace of horrors (Parx, the massive action heavy room in Bensalem, PA that probably deals more hands than any other place in PA, and will host a World Poker Tour event in a few weeks)...
My best enabler and I walked back into hell. (How hellish is Parx for me? I've played there seven times now, and four of those times, I've been completely felted, most times with speed. If you add up every game and casino I play at, you'd see small to sizable wins in most venues... and then a massive hole labeled Parx. Yes, it's that bad.)
Tonight, we sat at the same table, played for about three hours, shared some laughs, left with money and didn't feel like we were, well, violated without lube. We are even looking forward to going back, and that's the first time I can ever say that about the place.
The game we played.
See, Parx is filled with $5/$10 players who troll the $1/$2 tables. They raise pre-flop with air and 10X blind raises. You'd think that shoving is an option, but they take coin flips with abandon, and usually win. You can just also call with solid cards, wondering why it's so damned difficult to see a flop here. Then, you hit top pair and feel good about life, especially with no flushes or straights on the board... only to see that Aggro Boys hit bottom random two pair, and now has a wildly large share of your chips. Over and over and over again. I know it seems mathematically impossible, but that's what happens. You buy in for your stack that's half to a third of theirs, and eventually, it's all over in their stack. It's about as much fun as surgery.
So rather than keep doing the thing that was driving us crazy, making us think that poker had passed us by, or that we needed to find some heretofore unknown Dime / Quarter game where the trolls had stacks that resembled ours...
We played $4/$8 limit hold'em instead.
I'll take you through one hand in particular for how much better it was. Under the gun, I have pocket nines. In NL at Parx, I know I'd have two options. Limp and watch an over the top raise and call, which would result in calling for too much money, since an all-in would get called down by the big stacks because sucking out on the river is more fun than playing good cards. Then the flop would miss my pairs, and then I'd either lose all of my chips calling down bets all the way to the river, or I'd just throw them away on any kind of pressure. It's just funsies.
Tonight, I just limped with them. And appreciated the lack of a re-raise, the third nine in the window, and raking in the $75+ pot. But the game is good even while you are losing, as I made a series of great folds to avoid losing my stack.
You see, limit isn't dull, or weak, or just for nits, or whatever you might imagine. It certainly allows for more drawing hands, but if you play a lot of them, you'll get hammered for it, just like in no limit.
And no matter what kind of game you are playing, it helps like hell when you get hit with the deck, which was happening for the better part of an hour. I recommend that a lot.
So if you find yourself becoming alienated by the way the game is being played now, or just find yourself taking it in the face from a room....
Try limit. Bluff less. Play fewer hands. And feel like a poker player again...
Posted by DMtShooter at 2:13 AM
|Buy stock in companies that make yellow tape|
Posted by DMtShooter at 2:30 AM
Tonight in Oakland, Brandon Moss laced a ball to right, scoring Yoenis Cespedes with the game winner, and earning the first baseman a dogpile of rowdy Athletics. It's my bizarre team's 10th walk off win of the year -- that leads the majors -- and Moss became the 10th different Athletic to take the happy abuse. Something's happening here, and I can't deny it: I'm getting totally sucked into this totally unexpected month of from nowhere fun. The A's are now 12-2 in July, the best team in MLB in the month, and if you saw any of this coming, you are a complete and utter liar.
Cespedes is now 6 for 8 in two games against the Yankees, showing the full arsenal of stinging bat work, a plus arm and genuine wheels; the tools are just off the charts right now. Josh Reddick went 3 for 5 and gunned down a man on the basepaths. Tommy Milone was Glavine-esque in his soft tossing lefty mastery, going 7 innings on 6 hits, no walks, and 10 whiffs (good grief). Only two Yankee long balls off the usually solid A's bullpen kept him from the win, and only a lot of RISP failure and Ivan Nova dancing kept this one close enough for Milone to lose the win. My team looked a lot better than the Bombers tonight, and just when it seemed like the Yanks were going to play their Old Jedi Mind Tricks to steal the win, the A's pulled out the ninth inning magic to take their second straight game. In the six game homestand against the best that the AL has to offer (Texas and NYY), in the games that will decide whether the A's will sell off assets or try to make the playoffs... well, they look freaking awesome. With rookie starting pitchers, with a bottom of the order that would not intimidate a Little League team, and with an offense that was historically awful earlier in the year. Oh, and it's the second straight one-run win against the Yanks. Fun!
How freaky is this? Even the mistakes are working out. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh and two out, A's manager Bob Melvin didn't bring in righty masher Chris Carter, the de facto platoon partner for Moss, to go against tough lefty Boone Logan. At the time, I thought it was a mistake; playing conservatively for defense against a team that's more likely to hit home runs than any other team in the majors. Logan got Moss to whiff looking, and made him look as bad as you might think in the process, and the Yankees went long twice to tie it after that. So it was, of course, Moss with the game winner in the bottom of the ninth. That kind of thing only happens when your team is ridiculously hot , and when everything is going your way.
Will it last? Hell if I know, and even if it does, the stretch run schedule is all kinds of road murderous; you'd have to think that there are better candidates to take the second wild-card berth, and with the club still 6.5 off the pace in the West, the fake playoff is the only hope for post-season ticket sales. The only logical move is to listen to both buy and sell offers, keeping in mind that True Contention is, as always with this franchise, 2-3 years away.
But what the hell fun is that?
Posted by DMtShooter at 1:43 AM
|Call Me When They Form Voltron|
Posted by DMtShooter at 12:10 AM
10) Huge free agent signings always end 37-year Stanley Cup droughts
9) Helps make sure that the hatred of the team spreads to the American South
8) Franchise's eternal goal is to be more like Minnesota (who signed fellow Predator Ryan Suter a few weeks ago)
7) Signing a big name defensemen always fixes the shaky goalie problem
6) Let's just say they really aren't confident about Chris Pronger's long-term recovery chances
5) Thanks to the tireless efforts and wallets of the team's gullible fans, have the cash to spend, so what the hell
4) Believe that if you're going to pay a king's ransom for a player, might as well be for one that might fix your power play offense, too
3) It sounds like a lot, but not when you realize that they are going to play him at least 30 minutes a game, sign an autograph for every ticket holder at every game, work post-game concessions and drive the Zamboni
2) Makes everyone forget losing out on Suter, Zach Parise, Matt Carle and Jaromir Jagr, and the fact that I can list all four of those names is making the blog's four hockey fans more than a little giddy that I'm finally starting to care about hockey again (as if)
1) Signing a Canadian Olympic hero always gives the Flyers an extra thrill, since their Cup win over the Canadians back in the '70s might have been the worst thing to ever happen to that country
Posted by DMtShooter at 9:41 PM
|Full Bodied Protection|
Posted by DMtShooter at 11:38 PM
When the movie "Snakes On A Plane" opened, the Five Tool Ninja and I were dangerously interested in seeing it, and needed to see it in a theater. We knew the movie was going to be a steaming piece of cheese, and were completely OK with that. We wanted to see it in a place where the audience spoke to the screen and added to the experience, and we got that. It was, frankly, one of the more fun movies that I've gone to see in some time.
In planning our trip, , the Ninja and I went deep into the online content that was generated by the world around the movie; the song parodies, the Samuel L. Jackson hype exercises, the blog posts. And since both of us are prone to speculating about absurd things that we have neither the time nor the stomach to do, we talked about camping out at the theater to see it. (I've never done that, not even for concert tickets, and seeing how I'm on the wrong side of 40, probably never will.)
We imagined this as an absurdist exercise; two guys, dressed in snake costumes, singing folk parody songs on acoustic guitars as the world passed us by to see, well, frankly better movies. The idea of a campout for a movie with no line just seems like something that should happen, maybe for viral video or a skitcom, and there's also something immensely appealing about seeing whether we could recruit others to the weird cause. Plus, there's the very real added bonus of seeing how much we could embarrass our kids, since our kids are old enough to want to be embarrassed about anything we do as dads. I, for one, feel like it's my duty to make their future therapy sessions interesting. ("Your father camped out for movies that had no line. How does that make you feel?")
Which leads me to the news that there are actual students of the actual Penn State University who are... camping out to keep watch over the Joe Paterno statue, lest anything, you know, bad might happen to it. As was hinted at by a recent airplane ad.
Now, it's not too many people just yet, and it doesn't really have anything to do with anything light or fun or silly... but absurd? Um, hells yeah. Let's recap:
Children are going to camp out to protect the inanimate statue...
Honoring a man who helped to cover up...
the sexual abuse of children.
And given the way that Penn State and its denizens have identified with Paterno over the years, and how these things always attract an end game of people who just won't smell the coffee, no matter how much it's poured on them...
Well, they won't be alone.
Can someone at least make some lovely signs stating why they are protesting, or sing some wildly inappropriate songs?
Posted by DMtShooter at 11:10 PM
|It's Mug Shot Season. No, Wabbit Season!|
Posted by DMtShooter at 12:21 AM
12) Wanted to make all of those people who own his jersey or merch feel like true, long-time Knicks fans, which is to say, the biggest chumps in the Association
11) Really didn't care much for his game, what with all of the passing, scoring, hope and excitement
10) New York area teams can never compete with the money thrown around by these Texas maniacs
9) Couldn't match the memories Lin had of never playing and getting cut by the Rockets before
8) Would rather see how much of an international phenomenon they can make out of Ray Felton
7) Knicks' owner Jim Dolan was in danger of becoming liked by someone who is not paid to like Jim Dolan
6) The Knicks didn't need Lin to get curb stomped in the first round of the playoffs last year, and they won't need him to get curb stomped in the first round of the playoffs this year, either
5) By refusing to comply with this huge contract, Knicks' management will be able to keep ticket prices at the low, low, low rate that New York fans have always truly appreciated
4) Letitng Lin go may be a PR disaster, but it's not as if New York basketball fans have some other option, with a brand new arena, splashy swag and new free agents, to potentially steal them away from this glorious franchise, with its rich history of playoff success
3) Matching Houston's offer sheet would have just been disastrous to the Knicks' cap and luxury tax situation, and the organization has decided that it's high time to start actually giving a damn about that
2) Now that the Knicks have Jason Kidd behind the wheel, everything's going to be on the straight and narrow path to sober personnel decisions at the point guard position
1) Seriously did not fit in with the rest of the team's talent, in that Lin is young, getting better, actually tries hard, cares about winning, and isn't ready to get his coach fired if his touches go down
Posted by DMtShooter at 11:52 PM
|Marshawn provides many mug shots to choose from|
Posted by DMtShooter at 12:17 AM
|Let He Who Is Without Rage Brandish The First Firearm|
Posted by DMtShooter at 11:30 PM
Here's a fun little baseball story that will escape the attention of, well, everyone: the Oakland A's are an honest to goodness wild card contender.
The most punchless punchers in all of Puncherdom, the team that put the boring in unbelievably boring, the collection of dead-eyed weaklings and walk-free OBA losers... have put together a 9 wins in 10 games streak, with offense from the not to be ignored Yoenis Cespedes, and power to spare from past suspects like Chris Caster, Jonny Gomes and Seth Smith.
And of course we need to take this with the shaker of salt that is a three-game sweep of the Twins, the fact that the A's generally do better in the second half when teams with more pedigree than sense give up, and young guys who don't wear down and are just thrilled to be getting MLB per diem rise to the fore. Oakland's been very good at not giving up when it might make sense to; that's how you get on that 75 to 82 win teeter-totter to nowhere, and even after all of that hotness, the record is just 46-43. The division is still an 8 games out pipe dream, and the only reason they are within sniffing distance is the watered-down second wildcard. There's really only three teams that you can consider out of the American League race (Kansas City, Seattle and Minnesota); by the same standard, 7 teams are that far out in the NL. Anyway.
This is still a bad hitting team, of course, but being a bad hitting team has been true ever since the good time Moneyball teams ended, and at least they aren't last in runs, OBA or slugging anymore. They still somehow hit .228 while being over .500, which is plainly impossible, but the park has a lot to do with that as well; it's a nice staff, but certainly not the 4th best in baseball. But the single biggest difference is that first base is no longer making you think that maybe the pitcher should hit instead. Chris Carter's 5 HRs in 26 ABs is one more than Kila Ka'aihue managed in 102 more AB, and 4 more than Daric Freaking Barton, who really can just go play his trade in some other country by now. Some country where pitchers need encouragement.
I guess the thing that's actually providing most of the gold in this fools' green and gold parade is the simple fact that they are actually hitting for some power now. Josh Reddick has been that rarest of A's -- fantasy relevant -- with his 20. Cespedes has 11 in 212 ABs, and while I still think he's got holes in his swing that you could emigrate in, there's no denying that he's been fun to watch. Moss is at 11 HRs in 90 ABs - yowza! -- and the poor man's power platter of Jonny Gomes and Seth Smith are both into double digits as well. It's been a long time since you can say this, but there is some actual threat in the lineup now, and you don't just auto-stream pitchers against them.
Will it last? Well, of course not: this is the team that revenue sharing forgot, after all, and with Texas and New York coming to town this week, the party could end with a disquieting thud, followed up by the cheers of expat Yankee Fan enjoying the economy of their de facto home game. After that is the not nearly as soft as you might imagine roadie to Toronto and Baltimore to end the month. But if they can somehow get out of July with hope and good feelings intact, that would be two straight months of pretty good baseball, and an above .500 record for a team that dropped 9 in a row in late May while looking like the saddest waste of a credible pitching staff that ever walked the earth. For a fan base that's barely got a pulse, in a situation where everyone is just punching the clock until a new yard is produced, it could be a lot worse.
Posted by DMtShooter at 11:08 PM
That's the end quote from the NY Times piece on the Freeh report, and I know I'm a week late and many dollars short on this, but...
Um, why should this assessment be limited to the Penn State program?
Yes, the PSU program spent decades looking the other way as a child predator had his way with a spiraling number of victims. And that's awful on every level, not the least of which is that it strikes at the core of twin taboos of American society - sexual aggression against children (easily visualized, of course, as the audience's own kids), and homosexuality as a communicable practice. Not just one-time damage, as it were. Yes, indeedy, I'm going there.
But this is just the ice that's above the surface, folks. There's loads more underneath. And yes, perhaps a few years of college ball with relatively light schedules and not as much off-season work and generally smaller and slower athletes means that the long-term concussive damage isn't as big of a deal here... or, well, um, maybe not. Certainly the money that's being made off the players isn't being distributed equally, and certainly the human abuses on an individual program level are so rife that scandal is seen more like inclement weather than true crime.
I guess the point is this:
All sports, at some level, are timewaste and vice and gambling and sexism and violence, and we accept that because there's also good in the mix, and watching people excel and fail under duress is what human drama is all about.
Football ramps it up much higher, because the long-time players of it are obscenely compensated, but have the life expectancy of drug lords. (Forgive me, "Breaking Bad" season premiere happened tonight. I'm in Full Heisenberg mode here.)
College football goes even further because 99% of the players are at their last point before the kill floor, the last go-around until it all ends and they have to find some other dream to chase down. One that doesn't involve, well, being paid like a drug lord.
College football programs take advantage of this. Always have, always will. And the act corrupts any other good the programs might do, create conditions of venality and secrecy and culpability that make Sandusky-style coverups and victimization...
Well, I don't want to say the rule, because I have no evidence of this being the rule, and I don't want to imagine that there are dozens of other reprobates plying their disease on children, from coast to coast and at every level.
But if there were...
Would anyone really be surprised?
Posted by DMtShooter at 12:03 AM
Posted by DMtShooter at 3:13 AM
I want to be positive about my Sixers, I really do. And then things like this last week happens, and I wonder what the point is, really...
Item 1: Amnesty for Elton Brand.
Now, in and of itself, getting out of EB's contract, and away from a 33-year-old 6'-9" F/C is something of a benefit. Brand's best offensive move is a mid-range jumper that doesn't go down often enough to justify more than 8 to 10 shots per game, and while he's an effective shot blocker and willing defender, that doesn't exactly make him a shutdown guy, or someone deserving a big deal. He tries real hard, plays pretty smart and will move the ball on offense, but all of that seems like something you should be able to find in freely available talent and/or coach up out of your younger guys, especially when your best on the court asset seems to be the coach that gets similar and better work out of your young bigs. Brand's departure should also give us all the final opportunity we need to determine why Thad Young shouldn't start, and that's probably all to the good, too.
But still, it rankles to lose a rotation guy for no better reason than he made too much money, rather than, you know, an actual basketball decision. If Brand is your worst starter or your first big off the bench, you might have a very good team, and in the right situation (Miami?), he could easily have gotten a ring and been overrated for his contributions. The only thing that keeps Brand from being as beloved as a Nick Collison or a Udonis Haslem by his local fan base is his pre-injury monster contract, paid out when he was a top 10 option who had just dragged a Clippers team deep into the playoffs after a Sisyphean slog. Usually, it's the Clippers' big FA signings that get hurt, rather than the other way around.
As Brand is healthy now, he was fast fodder on the amnesty wire, with the curious choice of Dallas gobbling him up. On a team that suddenly doesn't have Jason Kidd, Brand is going to lack for consistent touches next to Dirk Nowitzki, and have to make the more than wide open looks he's going to get. He'll help them reach another playoff, but he won't help them avoid another first round exit, and since he comes off the books in 2013, he won't hurt their doomed attempts to bring in a big FA signing of their own.
In and of itself, getting away from EB's contract and giving away value is sour but understandable... until word comes out today that the club has
Item #2: Imported vagabond C and eternal Michael Jordan draft-whiff Kwame Brown to town.
With Brown, the Sixers have a total savant platoon to ride with Spencer Hawes, and yet another reason to wonder whether the front office is on something that isn't prescribed by a reputable physician. Brown's developed a reputation as a defensive stopper in the past few years, mostly because he's (a) still in the league for some reason, (b) athletic enough to be a blown pick so many years ago, and (c) fairly enthusiastic about committing fouls.
But the problem with having him in your rotation is that basketball does not allow for subs on the fly. Brown has to play half of the time on offense, the same way that Hawes has to spend half of his time on defense. We're also all assuming that Kwame is healthy after his latest flameout in Golden State, and that if he is healthy, that he's retained enough of that trademark athleticism to hold some value on defense.
Let's ignore the lifetime of poor play. Or, well, not. Brown being any use at all... is not a really good bet.
But what *is* a really good bet is this: Lavoy Allen will lose minutes to Brown. So will Nicola Vuvevic, who had more than a few moments of promise last year in his rookie campaign. Arnett Moultrie, the #1 pick that they gave up future considerations to the Heat for, just saw his likely minutes go down, maybe all the way to the D League.
And while none of those guys is assured to have a better or longer career than Brown or Hawes, they all offer more in the way of potential. Brown's is long gone, and Hawes' visible lack of heart tells you all you need to know about his future, and the future of any team that gives him minutes.
I don't know if any team in the Association is better off having Brown around, let alone one that needs to develop star-level talent out of their bench guys to have any real chance of replicating last year's Final 8 finish. And there's also this: if the team really thinks that the town's basketball fans are going to give Kwame a long leash, they are smoking something. Something good.
So, um, welcome to town, Kwame. Rent, don't buy. See if you can coach up Allen and Vook to make your stay short and restful. And if you do all of that, I'll be happy to consider you an upgrade over Tony Battie for the role of big man who never plays, and get on board for your post-career future as a rah-rah assistant coach and instructor.
Jordan will overpay you for all of that, right?
Posted by DMtShooter at 2:29 AM