Sunday, August 29, 2004



 Posterized in Spanish.... Just like 1992..."Hey Ma...get a picture of me and the American!"


 If basketball were war, we'd be giving Argentina the US Pacific coast up to Cascadia. It sucks. It was a buzzkill that made a death in the family look like a fat snout full of cocaine. In it's wake, two important questions emerge:

- Is US basketball superiority a myth?

- What can be done to keep us from getting spanked like newborns at the Olympics?

   The first question can't be answered by pointing to Manu Ginobili's new neckpiece. I mean, take that Argentina team and put them in the NBA. 20 wins, maybe? Hell, send their best 11 to Charlotte, and teach Okafor some Spanish. They'll get smoked like a Garcia....

   This loss of stature has spawned some ugly rumors. The first one is that certain Dream Teamers are being investigated in relation to a possible fix. A prominent offshore betting facility has been implicated. I'd hate to slander anyone, but if you are on a return flight from Grenada and you meet a "Phil Iverson" might want to rifle through his carry-on luggage if he falls asleep...he just may have some of Uncle Al's new money.

   The even better rumor involves a friendly pre-semifinal bet between Spurs Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. Argentina's victory will force Duncan to wear pantyhose for the Spurs' first regular season game. He'd better be the Big Stoic.

   US basketball has fallen this far. The next batch we send to the Big O may beat the rest of the field like mouthy stepchildren, and we may win a hundred straight games. Or they could get battered like chicken.

  This loss may be a fluke. This squad had many holes that even amateurs like myself can point them out- no shooters, no hatchet men, no role players, no defensive stopper. If the right people pick the team, we could stomp a mudhole in pretty much anyone. We have that kind of talent here, if the elite aren't scared to show. Kobe and KG go in 2010, and we whip the Argentinans like a government mule.

   The second question can be answered independently of the first one. The first thing to look into is the differences between the NBA and FIBA games. Do we have the clout to force them to play it our way? I doubt it. It would be nice to alter their sports, from time to time. I'd introduce NHL-style fistfighting to Gymnsatics, and allow pentathletes to shoot at each other.

   Would the NBA adopt the trapezoid lane, the zone, and all that goes with it? The big loser there would be Shaq, who would be forced to set up further out. Those slasher/scorers would also suffer- TMac, Vinsanity, Kobe, Carmello and their ilk would have a tougher time getting their shots. Still, we'd have a team that is better prepared for the international game.

   The NBA dropped the zone to increase scoring. The lane is kept at its' present size to provide fans with an inside game. Would they suffer without these fixtures? Aside from Shaq Fu, there is no dominating inside scorer working our NBA. If there's ever a time to do it, it's now.

   Lots of hassle involved, there. Imagine 100000000 American schools having to repaint their courts. Imagine Shaq trying to develop a Skyhook. Imagine Ray Allen as MVP. Imagine 5 or 10 NBA coaches who require translators. We'd be screwing with the basics of the game in a manner very much like having a Black Santa- we'd be bending the fundamental presentation of the sport.

   Even then, we'd have problems. The NBA season runs right up to the Olympic season, and any team assembled would have little time to train as a team. There would be a long learning curve as the Yanks adapt to the new game.

    There's the option of assembling teams with no other purpose than representing the US in international competition. These guys would be non-NBA, and would compete in whatever tournaments served to create that Argentina squad. This team could have several faces:

- The Recently Retired Guy Team

 Imagine if Nike, Gatorade, Budweiser, AOL, Pepsi and so forth kicked in enough sponsorship to convince elder NBA guys to play a barnstorming schedule against the world's finest. Base the team in Hawaii, and trot out this lineup:

G- Jordan, Miller(coughretirecough)

G- Stockton, Kerr, Hardaway

F- Malone, Barkley, Rodman

F- Magic, Pippen

C- Robinson, Mourning


   Sure, they'd be old, but they would be playing an easy schedule. We could re-stock the team every 4 years, before the World Championships. 2010 might have Shaq, Webber, Hill, Kidd and Jordan's last hurrah. As goofy as it sounds, we'd have a sweet talent pool, and they'd do it if Nike paid out enough ca-a-ash. Everybody has a price.


- The  Prison/Drug Suspension Team

   Accompanied at all times by shotgun-wielding state troopers, Kobe Bryant, Roy Tarpley, Gin Baker, Jayson Williams and the boys get a chance to gain amnesty by bringing home a gold medal. Sort of like The Dirty Dozen, minus the Nazis and with more marijuana. Ricky Williams has the size and speed to cover those pesky Argentinians as they come off screens. OJ can coach, and they are sent to Afghanistan if they lose.


- The Globetrotters or the And One tour teams.

   We'd lose, but everyone would think we were cool again. The Globies even have the Look down already. I bet Yao Ming would fall for the ball-on-a-string trick time and time again.


- The Lotteryed

   Select the Olympic team from teams that are eliminated from the NBA playoffs. If the NBA cooperates with an earlier end to the Olympic year seasons, the team could have a month off before starting 2-a-days in mid-May. Here's a rough draft of a lineup:

G- McGrady, Carter, Iverson, Allen, Arenas

F- James, Boozer, Brand, Maggette, Marion

C- Stoudemire, Dampier, Curry

   Not much better than the Bronze Agers, but they'd have time to train. If a kick-ass #1 overall draft pick is available, he can be the 12th man. If Utah's foreign stars had knocked Denver out of the dance, they could add Carmello, Camby or Miller.

 - The No Soup For You Team

  A Nike-funded GM appraoches players left unemployed afterthe final cuts. This team would trade talent for a lengthy gelling period. If they get smoked by Andorra, the NBA can wash their hands of them.

- The Play For US Citizenship Team

  Instead of wasting time worrying, we could just steal the best international players right before the Olympics. If the Defense Department would play along by stirring up trouble in certain nations around 2007 or so, we could be a player. A nice Russia/Lithuania border incident would cause Baltic talent to split like two aces, and China may be too crowded for Mr. Ming.

I can see why Genghis Khan never went East...

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Mia Culpa..Justifying the Soccer Mom

   With all the blood doping, inept judging, and disappointing Dream Teams souring these Olympics, I must say that I had the pleasure of watching the US Woman's soccer team go out and put the toe to yet another Gold Medal.

   I hope you all got to see this Machine in action. For most of the 1990s, it was Our field- the others were just playing on it. They got Norwayed and Sydneyed in 2000, so the 2004 gold medal was somewhat of a vindication for some people who were getting called "old" in several different languages. They won't be there the next time we Olympicize, and we will own less Gold because of it. 

   Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain- these are names that get heard even in non-soccer circles. Mia even got herself a shortstop hubby(the female equivalent of taking Brandy to your prom) with miggidy-millions to spend on her. That happens when you dominate a sport for over a decade. America isn't supposed to win's the complete sports focus of a realm that spans continents. We're the Punk kids, the White Trash...and we tore through Europe, Asia and anyone else who wanted some. We were like General Patton, but with better legs.

   When speaking to the men he would send howling for blood into Europe on D-Day, Patton reminded them that "America loves a winner." While the girls kept feeling the love after Sydney, they have been around long enough to know that they are playing a fringe sport that is a decade of medal-less teams away from Team Handball status.

  Instead, they justified the Soccer Mom. A few generations of S'Moms have reared a progeny unsurpassed at kicking ball and taking names. All those inept kids running amok after a ball on the village green have gone from virtual arrivistes in the sport to being the straw that stirs the drink. You just know the Europeans can't stand it. That's the best part.

   Best Part II is that the soccer medal is sort of a Reverse Dream Team....only here, we've figured out their sport. It takes about twenty years, at least in the case of a huge, rich suburban/urban/rural nation with a nifty ethnic mix. For Europeans, it seems like a 100 year plan, with much less imported least judging by (coughmen'scough)hoops.

   Soccer began to rise in Yankee prominence when legendary Brazilian star Pele (everybody's screaming Mayday ... cause Ren is  kicking like Pele) signed to play in a US professional league in 1975. Millions of American kids began to play the sport, although professional soccer has yet to really catch on. For all that divides us, American whites and blacks are united in rarely finding occasion to say "I can't make it Thursday...I gotta see that Soccer game on TV."

   Still, the sport exploded in American Suburbia. Kids were ushered to the field every weekend, and the Soccer Mom evolved. By the 1990s, we ruled the least from the female perspective.

   The gang that seized the Gold today was a unit that may have been enjoying their Last Hurrah. They are going their separate ways, and a totally unfamiliar group will defend the Gold in China. They have a lot of kicking to do before the equal the bunch who rode off into a Golden sunset today.

Don't tear your shirt off,'s been done.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Filling Some Seats

   One of the fun things about watching the Olympics is looking at all the empty seats. They literally can't give the tickets away- everyone from Greece is running a (Insert Your Town Name Here) House of Pizza, I guess. Maybe they're all guarding Macedonia's border. Either way, I've seen more poeple at Hug A Leper day in Calcutta. If this was a high school party, somebody would desperately need to make a beer run.

   Maybe terrorism scared everyone away. Maybe the Greco(Grecian?) economy is so bad, no one can afford to ditch work. Or maybe, just maybe....nobody gives a damn.

   Nothing personal. These athletes train their whole lives for this moment. I always feel badly when I look at some poor pentathlete or swimmer. The corporate American entertainment machine refuses to allow team handball and their ilk to thrive. The NBA, NFL and MLB collude to keep the other sports- like Prone Shooting- down. Or...maybe nobody gives a damn.

   Rulon Gardner walked into Sydney in 2000 and defeated the most dominant man in ANY sport, the fearsome Russian Alexander Karelin. He's an aw-shucks kid from a farm, and he is the epitome of courage- he's fighting with 9 toes, and a pin in his wrist. Still, he's about the 50th most famous wrestler in the world, trailing The Rock, Stone Cold, Triple H, and the splendidly curvy Dawn Marie, among others. He probably meets people who don't believe he's a wrestler because they haven't seen him on Smackdown ©.

   Because nobody gives a damn.

   Can you see some poor Spartan trying to scalp tickets to this crap? " them curling tickets here, y'all..."

   What they need to do is liven these games up- pronto. I'm just one girl, but I have a few ideas. Let's throw these sports out there in China, 2008:


- One on One Basketball

   People probably made the same noise you just made reading "One on One Basketball" when someone suggested "Beach Volleyball." Yet Beach Volleyball gets on TV, and it seemed like people not related to the participants actually showed up for last night's game.

I like it, myself. US kids can't play fundamental ball? Bring Yuri out onto our court, and we'll see how the skills serve him. No double screens to hide behind here.

   Think of the American tryouts. Think of the Egos involved. Iverson, Jordan, TMac...with the spotlight allllll to themselves. No meddlesome Larry Brown trying to put his stamp on the game. No goofy trapezoid lane. No biased European refs. There is the potential for great drama, as well. Hell, imagine the joy if some Lithuanian kid manages to steal a game from Kobe in 2008?


- NFL Football

   Europeans, without American intervention, beat themselves into starving ruin every 50 years or so. Then we come along with a Marshall Plan, and everyone gets fed. Simply put, we know what they need more than they do. What they need is NFL football. I'd even go so far as renaming the sport to avoid putting off the soccer fans. It could only fatten NFL purses.

   Including football in the Olympics might actually spell the end of modern warfare- it's no coincidence that there hasn't been a Civil War in the United States since we founded the NFL.


- Knockout

   Medal contenders walk through the crowd in disguise, trying to score one-punch knockouts on random fans. This will either draw the fans to the games in droves, or empty the stadium completely.



Dodge Ball

   As goofy as this sounds, I can make it sell. We just have to replace the squishy red ball with large stones. I can already see a Dodger on the SI cover, stepping over the body of a comrade to dent the dome of some hapless Romanian.

It is very hard to relate to an Olympic sprinter/gymnast/equestrian/whatever. They live this cloistered life of training, they are usually soaked with reknown, and they are usually quite far removed from Joe Six Pack or Mary Motherofthree.

But every American who went to public school has been on the wrong end of the Dodgeball. Africans, Europeans and Asians, while they may have had no exposure to the sport, can relate to the feeling a Dodger would have when the lines have pressed forward and they are unarmed in the face of an onrushing adversary.



   In order to draw in the viewers, the selection process will be unique, here. Countries will simply send their Miss Universe candidate to the China games. The Gold Medal round will be conducted in a big vat of Jell-O © brand instant pudding. If Mills Lane can be revived, he may be the only man who can keep the combatants in order.

Now, while we might be better served sending Gail Kim or Mighty Molly to China, I really think Shannen Doherty is the one we want over there. She will embody the attitude a catfighter should have, and I would not be at all surprised to see several Doherty imitators at the 2012 games in Las Vegas.

Rulon the Roost

   Wrestler Rulon Gardner continues his comeback. This is the dude who knocked off the fearsome Russian Alexander Karelin(undefeated from 1987-2000) in Sydney. He has to win tomorrow to advance, and he faces a guy I wouldn't touch with a six foot pole, Marek Milkowski or something...oh wait- he is a six foot Pole.

   I have a certain affinity for Rulon, and it has nothing to do with wrestling, or the fact that we were both raised in rural environments. Rulon and I both share a distinct trait- we're accident prone.

   I have broken an arm, a leg(twice), a thumb, and several thousand nails during my sporty days. I tore my ACL, which was more painful than childbirth. I got knocked out in a soccer game. I've been kicked in the stomach, and puked on the field afterwards. I've wrecked a car or two. I've even lost a few catfights. I look like the epitome of luck and grace next to Mr. Gardner, though.

   While nursing a staph infection in 1996, Rulon discovered he was late for a weigh-in. He hustled down to the scales, but he was 22 seconds too late- a time he could have easily whittled if he wasn't limping.

   In 2002, he drove his snowmobile into a snow covered lake. In Wyoming. It gets cold in Wyoming. He was out in that cold for 17 hours, and developed severe frostbite (read "To Build A Fire" by Jack London if you ever want a good shiver-based provided at end of article) on/in his toes. He had to have one amputated, which causes balance problems- especially in wrestling. That was just the start.

   In 2004, he drove his motorcycle into a car(wrestlers never tend to be the smarterest), while he wasn't wearing a helmet. He credits a wrestling move- the front dive roll- with saving his bacon. He walked away with cuts and bruises.

   Then, he heard I was pregnant, and he rushed to injure himself and keep the title of Gold Medal Clutz. He proceeded to dislocate his wrist playing basketball(keep working, kid...that's the sport I tore the ACL playing). None of the above are keeping him from Athens, though.

   Gotta love the attitude. This may be the one man in the world who is safer fighting 300 pound Russians than he is when relaxing at home. He could hurt himself meditating.


I've been attracted to you for years, big man......


go here, and negotiate to "To Build A Fire"

Monday, August 23, 2004

We'll be seeing you again, boys....

   One of the tough things about losing that Olympic hoop game to Lithuania was the aftermath. Ever since then, I've been taking a lot of lip from Lithuanians I see around town. One uppity son of a gun, your average Lithuanian. A vile, Vilnius vagabond...a boisterous Baltic barbarian....a slovenly Slavic scallywag....a recently Russian reprobate.

   OK...they did nothing wrong. I only know one Lithuanian- the chef at the Montillio Bravo is Boston- and he came here fleeing Panzers. He's been American a lot longer than I have, and he's a wonderful man who would slide a family of orphans the occasional dinner for 10, delivered personally. He can't be blamed for this affront to our national happiness.

   It's hard not to root for them, actually. There's only 3.5 million of them, and they just knocked off a Superpower. 3.5 million isn't that big a talent pool. It would be an economy model US state. Take everyone in Oregon, mash them into Kentucky, and you'll have the right population density of the people who just Kicked Our Ass. They have less black people than a KKK rally. They have worn gold and stood on a higher platform than Americans before. It boggles the mind.

   While both the proximity to Poland and the dehumanizing Soviet sports machine must be considered, this Baltic Connecticut has a consistently dominant basketball program that is almost demographically inexplicable. Somehow, they have gained Blue Eyed Soul. It's not an East Europe thing, either...when has Latvia or Bulgaria threatened us?

   That Jascivivicoikililisus kid couldn't seem to miss the other day. At the end of the game, the paint was dominated by a man with a name that sounds sort of like Saukauskus, and nothing at all like Duncan or Okafor. Imagine sports talk radio over there? "I think Streptobacillicus is way better in the paint than Michelobius." No wonder the Russians got tired of them..."Go arrest Khrystalnachtivivicus"

   What they need is someone like And One to go over there and give everybody cool names. Hell, I'll do it for less money, and I bet we speak a common language. Feel free to throw a few more in the Comments section:

"Schmegmus the Magnificent"

"Ali Oop"

"Wild Bill Malficivicus"

"The Slavicizer"

"Big Dick Dangler"

"Sir Slamius of Threepointlandia"

"The Duke of Dunk"

"Das Posterizer"

The Coup Brothers, "D'etat" and "Deville"

"The Last Communist"

   As long as they keep winning, we could sell a lot of jerseys.

   I suppose I should work my way to a point, and time is fleeting. They say the gap has narrowed, and they are probably right. Still, the US is in medal contention, and while they can be had, they can also stomp a mudhole in anyone in the tournament- even those Baltic SOBs who were so puffed up last Saturday.

   Lithuania played a collapsed zone that took Duncan out of the scoring. They shot those tee-ball three pointers off screens. They hit their more numerous free throws. They stayed tough and rallied while the US got shook and forgot how to shoot. They played the game of their lives against the highest level of talent they could find. They earned a win, and until someone beats them, they are the class of the tournament.

   Still, they ain't got the gold yet.

   On the other side, the US has a bunch of physical talent that plays together poorly. While I always thought that the reason for sending pros to the Big O was that the Soviets were beating up our college kids, we have a lot of people here who would be underclassmen in college on the team as we speak. The last full-time zones Lebron faced were manned by high school kids. They have weak fundamentals, and they are scorers/not/shooters....and almost impotent against a zone.

   Still, they have athleticism every other team can only envy. They play in the big league, with the long 3 and the emphasis on inside play. Any of them could erupt and throw in 30 points. They have inside power and shot blockers. They can press, run, sky, and handle- almost to a man.

   Larry Brown has a few weeks to teach Carmello, Lebron, Wade, Boozer, Jefferson, Okafor and the boys all the stuff that an NBA player picks up gradually over the course of a 15 year NBA career. In 1992, he could have gotten away with street ball- although that team was a solid veteran bunch from the NBA's Golden Era. Those days are past. We're in a dogfight now, and we're already bleeding.

   If he gets it done, no one will give him credit. If he fails, he has disgraced his People. No one older than Bamm-Bamm is going to accept his "Carmello-isn't-buying-in" excuse if we get de-medalized in Athens. He needs to pull off an Austerlitz that makes beating Shaq and Kobe look like pinning your kid sister. I would not be at all surprised if Brown's head suddenly exploded, from accumulated tension.

   We start the Real games now, and it is time to get Serious. With any luck, we'll run into those Lithuanians again, and we'll get a chance at redemption. The only way these boys can leave Greece with any honor at all is to be looking down on everyone from the top of the medal stand...

"Looks like we're still the best, suckers...see you in China"

Whipping more Angolans than the MPLA....

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Blue eyed soul

My husband has daughter #1 at his mother's. The Newbie is sound asleep. The dog has been walked. I have nothing at all to do but watch Team USA hoop it up against those nefarious Lithuanians.

Now that the US doesn't get folks shook anymore, the Olympic basketball games are suddenly dramatic. This one- a 5 point US lead after a halftime-beating 3- is a gem. The Lith came out strong, then the US went on a run. Now, the Lith is making a comeback of their own. Some guy named Moskalivovic (I made it up, but it sounds almost nothing like that) just got called the "Scottie Pippen of the Balkans."

I have enjoyed these Olympics. Watching Larry, Magic, and Jordan abuse a bunch of scared Africans and Asians did nothing for me. Those games were conducted at Pro Bowl intensity, and they had the drama of an hourglass. I'm as American as the rest of you- once we get past that "born in France" part- but watching us smoke Angola did nothing for me.

Now, every game is a heart attack. The US team has the cohesion of a team assembled last month, which they are. They are also fairly young, and are playing a different game. The low post is further away, taking away the post up abilities of the US wing players. The 3 point line is a long step back from the free throw line. The value of the Role Player, the Jump Shooter, the Hatchet Man and the Defensive Guard have never been more brilliantly illustrated than they have been by their absence on this US team.

Unrelated, but I thought Billy Crystal was being interviewed until I looked up...Dear God, it was Richard Jefferson.

The US now has more drama than Osama, and enough tension to make Carmello call his Momma.  We could lose any game, to anyone. Tremendous.

That's right. Tremendous. Bring it on, you slovenly Slavic dogs. And those overpopuated fellows from the East can step up next. I  must add that those Canadians have been getting awful mouthy lately, as well. They know where to look, and we aren't hard to find.

The gap has narrowed, the drama has returned, and the games are no longer easy. I love it. I say this even as the US turns into the shook team, scared to shoot from the outside. Even as the Slav is the one juking, scoring, blocking shots, and winning, I'm pleased. Looking at the hard-working, fundamentally sound team from the Baltic mini-country as they go after the arrogant millionaires, it's hard to root against them.

So we blew a game. We blew a few games. We have to beat Angola to advance. The Olympics just got a little less boring. Those games are serious now, and I couldn't be happier. We may even lose the Gold, but the future is bright. The Olympic basketball tournament is forever a dogfight now, and that always ends up being better viewing.

 Click for Large Photo

Sad to see Duncan being the 2nd best #13 on the court, but c'est la vie....

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Assume the Position

After their arrest last week, Ryan Maxwell (left) and Josh Saltzman skateboarded at Showroom Auto Sales in Whitman yesterday.


   Whitman, Massachusetts is a fairly small town. It has to combine with neighboring Hanson to field a high school football team. Whitman is a town away from Monponsett, and I can assure you that nothing is going on there.....until this sleepy suburb managed to command national attention recently, when they shackled and arrested a pair of 12 year old kids for skateboarding.

   Yes, it's those two shown in the photo above. They were cuffed for Disturbing the Peace, which is Gendarmese for "skating in front of their houses." Sure, they look like punks, and maybe a little time in the Brockton jail will smarten them up a bit- but you'd think that the local 5-0 would have some more pressing matter to be pursuing.

   I mean, be serious. These kids are exercising. Hell, when I was 12, I had already smoked pot, and wasn't 4 months away from...well, that's a whole other post. Let's just say that there are a lot of worse ways to kill time in a boring bedroom suburb. These kids were exercising, for Christ's sake.

   Deserved or not, skateboarders have that Bad Element rap that usually isn't associated with athletes that operate outside of pool halls. They conglomerate- you see one, you see the whole tribe. Where kids gather in groups, trouble often follows. It tends to be sort of pre-teen trouble- theft, vandalism, littering- instead of AK-47 fire and crack sales.

   I can recall feeling an unexplained chill in the air, and imagined the gaze of Tony Hawk settling on this ancient corner of America. Sure enough, that day I saw Mr. Hawk (I hear his dad's name is "Mike") on CNN, offering what seems to be the sane solution to the problem- build a skate park.

   Get every business that is whining about kids skating in their parking lots, have them kick in some cash, and build a skate park on the outskirts of town. Everybody's happy. The kids get a place to skate. The local merchants do some Good, and don't have kids doing nose grinds on their customers' Lincolns. Some local contractor gets the job, and the economy is stimulated. The cops are freed from this slap in the face that doing their duty entails. Tony Hawk can go back to being 25 years too old for his sport.

   Even if you think skateboarders are punks who deserve to be in Brockton's court with the serious people, you should look askew at this case. Those skateboarders were just the 2004 version of your grandfather's stickball game. They are the distant cousin of Wayne and Garth having to move the goal when the car comes down their street. Had my sisters and I been conducting our 1980s Hopscotch Wars in Whitman instead of Duxbury, we'd be in the court with people who Kill.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Smell The Glove!


Awwwwww...isn't he cute when he's animated?



A Quick Laugh

I was having a tough day, today. I look awful, I'm fat, and I have this imminent date with pain approaching. I'm too round to really move around much, and it was getting to me. I was sitting around feeling bad for myself.

Then...someone sent me this clip....and I felt much, much better.

Much better, indeed.

If you never saw this clip, the basic story is that a reporter named Jim Rome was taunting former Rams quarterback Jim Everett. Everett had a soft reputation, and Rome had taken to calling him "Chrissy," after the tennis player.

You'll notice that Rome rarely has guests in the studio these days, and he runs most of his lip at men who are speaking to him through a video feed.

Here's why....enjoy.

Attached File  chris_or_jim.mpeg




I may as well hunt for clips here. Hook a Smurf up with these clips, and I'll make you famous:

- Randy Johnson killing that poor bird

- Dr. D pimp-slapping John Stossel

- Red Auerbach walking out on the court during a fight and calling Moses Malone a "big schvatzer"

- The woman who climbed into an English boxing ring to hit her son's opponent with her shoe.

- The Mariah Carey/Mira Sorvino catfight on the set of Wisegals.

- ODB interrupting the Grammy Awards...there's no father to his style 

- Chuck Zito and Jean-Claude Van Damme's Scores fight

- Sharon Stone's husband being attacked by a Komodo Dragon

- Tonya Harding's KO loss to Amy Johnson

- anything else in this vein


I have begun to reap the benefits....big thanks to Callahan for the hookup....

and thanks to



Howard Stern fan fools ESPN sccreeners:



Randy Johnson's Audobon Society commercial:


220 pounds of girl suplexed by a Yamaha


Eating contest melee

KUTV: Eating Contest Turns Into Brawl Outside 2News Studios 


Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Pep Talk

Anyone who uses "Nightmare Team" to describe any Dream Team should be horse-whipped. Maybe they suck, maybe they don't, but that phrase is tired.

I think I'm absolutely alone here, but I was delighted when Team USA took that pre-Olympic whipping from the Italians. It wasn't because Italians, as Eddie Murphy once said, do not fear American blacks. "Yo, get me some Juju Beans"....

Am I rooting against Team USA? Of course not. I could live in several countries if I wanted to, but I like the USA best. The reason? We kick the most ass.

After we were allowed to let go of Italy's sleeve, the maturation process began. Hopefully, we saw the first baby step today, as Team USA squeaked by the Germans on an Iverson prayer.

Before we examine the team, let's shake a finger at the NBA stars who turned down the call of their country. America has been very good to Shaq, TMac, KG, and others. Air Jordan can't be that busy, and may have enjoyed the challenge this time around. The least they could do is put on the colors and represent.

Security? Don't you think those poor souls defending this country in Iraq and Afghanistan have security issues? You're supposed to be Heroes. Ted Williams would call you all words I can't put here. Grow a set, and heed the call. Your country needs you....and is Miami really that much safer than Athens?

Kobe is excused...this time. Anyone else who turned down the call has less courage than Mia Friggin' Hamm.

The team we actually have over there is good...but young. Methinks USA Basketball is trying to get a little international seasoning for a few guys they hope to go to again in Beijing. Look to see LeBron, Carmello, Wade, and the other young'uns turning up at the next several Olympics.

Larry Brown knows what he's doing. He will analyze these early games, and try to get it into the kids' heads that this isn't a playground game. They'll have to play like a college team.

The Interational game has unique facets that work against the NBA players. It has that funky trapezoid lane. It has a closer 3 point shot. Players can inbound the ball without having a ref touch it first- watch LeBron get burned for a layup on that when he kvetches about some offensive foul call. Big men can't set up directly under the basket, due to that goofy lane they use. It is a game designed to have mid-size guys jump shooting.

The advantages Team USA brings to the table is in individual physical talent. Marbury and Iverson can break down a zone with their street ball stuff. Other countries- who indeed have fine players- lack these kind of NYC street points. Having AI become captain was a good move, even if he sleeps through practice here and there. The man plays with heart, and he will fire up the other Colonials. Marbury may be trying to sell a few shoes during this Olympiad, but he has the same Ghetto Pass a lot of other team's guards don't have. Wade, and LeBron in certain situations, are able to run point.

Duncan should be watching Bill Russell tapes- inside D, rebound, outlet pass, again and again. He could score a lot in this series, but it will be harder to get inside points. He has a nice mid-range jumper, and he can get it off on any European.


Okafor, Boozer, and Stoudemire should be watching the Russell tapes with him, because they will have more difficulty scoring in this game. They must establish an inside presence, especially on D. Marion is the emergency power forward. Larry Brown will, before the series is over, mistakenly call Boozer "KG" in the way that cheating spouses call out the wrong name in bed. He wishes Das Boozer was someone else, I'm sure.

The wing players may also get called "Kobe," "TMac," or "Rip," once in a while. That sound you just heard was Jefferson maxing out the "How much respect a can guy get for being in the Finals twice" machine. He's a fine player, but we can produce better.

Marion and Odom will have the most difficulty of any USA players in adjusting their NBA game to this level, but they can also excel if used properly. Carmello is a pure scorer, and will come in handy if his shot is dropping. Wade can shift between guard spots, and plays like a Doberman- he'll be tough to keep off the court.

LeBron gets his own paragraph, and it has nothing to do with him being the youngest guy we've put out there since Spencer Haywood. LeBron is capable of playing bothguard spots, and small forward. He should never start, because he can be thrown into any hole. Like Carmello, he'd better have his shot together.

Brown needs an offense that can break zones, and a defense centered around Duncan. None of that NBA isolation stuff will work here. AI has to penetrate, and the big men need to make quick cuts to the hoop. But the most important thing is for those wing men to make the outside shot. That is how games are won over there, and it is also how reputations are lost.

They got spanked early, and they nearly got spanked today. The celebration you saw after the Germany game was just like any other NBA game-winner. The gap is closing, and the rules favor the Bad Guys. They're in for a real fight, and I'm glad they figured it out in an exhibition game.




Goofy Baseball Cards

While failing to paste that Billy Ripken baseball card, I stumbled onto a cool site, which I plundered for this article.

These are among the worst pictures ever taken of a human. Topps ©, Fleer © and Upper Deck © provided most of the cards, and I'll try to credit any others I use without permission.


John Kruk sat on his hand by accident...




2 sport guys...



Not that bad a shot, but Uke was a righty.....every now and then they do a reverse image shot, either by accident, or for the Hell of it.

Zip that fly, Hoss...


Boys will be boys...and chickens will be chickens.



Separating Job and Hobby....


I ain't battin' against nobody named "Big Unit"


Had these men killed their hairdressers, no jury would have convicted them.


A guy with those cheeks doesn't need a goofy bat.


This was the only AOL-acceptable photo taken of "Mammary Lane" night at Riverfront Stadium. 


Now, I'm gonna wet ya!


Not a lot of people know this, but Howard could throw a football through a mailbox at 70 yards. He merely chose to dominate a separate aspect of the game.


Griffey is such a cute lil' man/child, I want to cuddle him and spend his millions.


Damn, they moved the fences back again...



This is Jose Canseco's 2004 Miami Department of Public Works card.


Attire optional....


Notice Pedro putting the Bunny Ears on this poor soul.

will clark

My Second Job series by Topps


A play on his Wizard of Oz nickname...had this been made during the Osbourne's show reign, Smith would have been photographed in a chair drinking whiskey, and yelling at Sharon.



Men not to be fudged with...


Speak Softly....


Nothing like getting beaten up on a baseball card by someone who pitched to Yaz.


This picture was used as evidence in Clemens' assault trial.


I'm gonna kill my agent....


Annie Leibowitz did a series of cards for Upper Deck in 1993.

My God, Magnum....


Slide, slide, slippity slide....


1 ball, center pocket.