Wednesday, September 29, 2004

National Day of Mourning

   Looks like God needed to have someone's ass kicked. He hath called home the Big Bossman.

   Bossman had a real name("Ray Traylor") and a family, but that would actually require research. The Big Bossman was cool enough that one doesn't have to research his life to get a fat story.

   He was an actual prison guard in Cobb County, Georgia. This is one of those rock-breakin' prisons, and I'm sure BB savaged a few guests of the state who weren't digging his hole fast enough. Bossman was 6'6", 315, barrel-chested, and he didn't need stuntmen to toss people around.

   His WWF career was full of family fun. Here's what I can remember:

- He used to handcuff people to the ropes, and then beat them on the kidneys with a tonfa. He referred to this as "questioning".

- He killed Al Snow's dog, and then fed it to him.

- He interrogated Paul Wight's widowed mother, and extracted the fact that Big Show was a bastard child. "Big Show...You're nothing but a nasty bastard, and you're momma told me so."

- He secretly tied a chain to Big Show's father's casket, and dragged it away during the funeral with a station wagon.

- He gave Terri Runnels away during one of the few non-violent wrestling weddings ever (see Kane/Lita or Test/Stephanie for further details).

- Was so mean that he was booed with a cop gimmick after 9/11

   Simply put, they don't make them like the Big Bossman anymore. He was no pretty boy on an abs workout. I'm sure he could eat 7 steaks in a sitting. He was so Old School, he had the keys. I've watched wrestling since I was a child, and I cannot recall seeing him ever use a technical move. He ruled.

   You will be missed, Big Man.

   Reposez-vous, parce que votre travail ici est fini.

Dryyyyyyyyyyy Snitchin'

Snitches get stitches.

Loose lips sink ships.

I know nothing, Commandant.

I smell a rat.

Umm...that must have been like...other kids, or something.

A** so fat, she'd make the illest n****r dry snitch....

   Kobe Bryant earned his Ghetto Pass on the hardwood, not in the streets where a certain way of doing things exists. Kobe's talent and his family's wealth enabled him to avoid growing up in an environment where detectives frequently pop by to ask a few questions.

   A lot of cop movies involve some Dirty Harry-type sticking a howitzer down a  kid's throat to gain a confession, and that is indeed a good way of finding out what you want to know. Most cops work with more subtlety, though. They do so because sometimes a Kobe Bryant will let some details slip in a more relaxed conversation.

   According to the LA Times, Kobe admitted that Shaquille O'Neal had been able to pay girls off in "situations like these," and that he thought he could pay this girl to shut up. Perhaps he felt that Diesel had established a precedent, and that he could escape prosecution by using the police as an arbiter to his paying off the girl. Whatever he was thinking, he screwed Shaq Daddy like a Planet Hollywood waitress.

   Shaq now gets to answer those "Do you still beat your wife?" questions that any answer longer than "yes" or "no" is comparable to an admission of guilt....and Yes and No don't really do you much good, either.

    Rumors are like Curses, in that they are self-powered once they are set in motion. Shaq could be castrated like a eunuch, have paperwork from 1986 to prove it...and it doesn't matter. He's the Rebounding Rapist now...the 56% Shooting Scoundrel. He's Rape Diesel.

   Two questions come to mind, and neither one is pretty.

   Imagine being raped by Shaq??? Holy Mackerel! That's a 7'1", 350 pound man, and while I have never seen a nude shot, I assume that God has been good to him. Forget the body.....Shaq could split a girl's personality. What sheer, wanton horror. I'd be starting at $10 million, and I wouldn't stop crying till he broke $25 Milly. He'd pay. Hush Money is Money Well Spent, and it is Cheap At Any Price.

   Secondlyish, Kobe could be tried at the next Rucker Tournament, and be found Guilty of Dry Snitching. Marvin Barnes would suddenly materialize, and Kobe would lose his hops. He'd slowly blanch over the next few years, when he would be indistinguishable from Jeff Hornacek.

   Fans of Cultural Elitism will notice the difference between the nouveau riche rape antics of the Kobester and the way Trouble is smoothed over in families like the Kennedys, who have been rich longer.

   Ted dumps a woman into a hahhbah, and he's still in the Senate. Some people get paid, some people get intimidated, a few small-town cops get rolled over, you bring in a serious lawyer...and it's Business As Usual down at the ol' Hyannisport Compound. They teach you this sh*t in college, Kobe.

   Shaq understands. He could have been Shaq the Ripper for all we know, but his public image was a Pepsi-quaffing, rapping giant. That all changed when the LA Times got a hold of Kobe's statement. He's now the Low Post Lecher. He owes it all to his buddy in LA....and his buddy in his pants, but that's a Whole Other Post.



Yeah...that's the guy, Officer...


Sunday, September 19, 2004

Happy Birthday, Red!


   Red Auerbach turns 87 today. He is basketball's true Lord of the Rings. No one else is even close. Phil Jackson is a punk. Air Jordan is an arriviste. Jerry West has a lot of catching up to do. Red probably coached LeBron's grandfather.

   Red was a high school gym teacher, and was in the service for a while. Then he got into basketball, eventually ending up with the Celtics in 1950, after 4 years coaching Washington and Tri-Cities. He walked into Boston, set up shop, and then whipped everyone else around him.

   From 1956-1986, the Celtics won 16 titles...basically one overy other year, although they took 8 straight at one point. Red was a brilliant, innovative coach. He was a master motivator. No one could fade him.

   He wasn't tied to one player. He built a team around Cousy, then concocted a masterpiece when he angled to get Bill Russell. He added Heinsohns, Havliceks, Jones boys, Satches, Nelsons(when showing his retired Celtic number to the Warriors team he coached, Don Nelson swears that Mitch Richmond looked at him and said " played?"), Sharmans, Luscotoffs and whoever else he needed.

   When that bunch retired, he gets a Cowens, Jo Jo and Silas to play around Havlicek. When the wheels fall off that bunch, he builds the Bird team.

   Even as he aged, he owned the other front offices like Dolemite.


   The "Big Three" of Parish, McHale and Bird were all stolen from other teams. Parish and McHale were stolen from Golden State for Joe Barry Carroll and some dude who was out of the NBA in a contract. Bird was taken with a draft pick ganked from the Lakers for an aging Charlie Scott. DJ was traded for Rick Robey, straight up. Ainge was a second rounder. Cedric Maxwell was a small college steal, and was turned into Bill Walton when the time came.

   2 other monster draft picks- Len Bias and Reggie Lewis- died, and only their deaths kept the Celtics from being a Player in the 1990s, as well. Reggie was a 23rd pick scoring 20ppg, and Bias was a Beast. Alas...

   Red was sort of Florida-ized when Dick Pitino's ego came to town, and the Celtics have never recovered from it. Red works out of Washington these days, and Danny and Doc are worse for it. Both of them could use a bit of time bouncing on Arnold's knee, so to speak.


   In fact, they should assume The Legacy, whether they want it or not.

   D and D should both have involuntary surgery, where a radio transmitter is implanted into their craniums, near the frontal lobes. Red- who can still play Handball, and bangs down 4 or 5 Cubans a day- should be kept alive with huge amounts of amphetamines and stuff, and surrounded by TV screens showing NBA games and tapes of potential draftees.

   Red will control input into Ainge and Rivers' radio transmitters, and can speak directly into the skulls of each man whenever the urge to do so strikes him. The volume will be in direct proportion to Red's blood pressure. He can be either a fleeting thought, or a terrifying, involuntary bladder-releasing howl...depending on how upset he is at whoever Ainge is trading for.

   Had this device been in place when the Raef LaFrenz deal was made, Ainge's head would have exploded like a Daisy Cutter.


   I'd also look into the Occult- the village of Salem is just up the road- and see if there could be Mojo worked that would let Red haunt the Celtic offices after his passing. I'd also like to have him signed for a few paranormal Fleet Center appearances...but only when the occasion truly merits it....and I'd keep him away from the dance team.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


   The NHL has announced a lockout of the players for the 2004-2005 season. They will stay locked out until some severe differences can be ironed out between players and ownership. Hockey is on ice, folks.

   There will be ramifications that will touch even the Deepest South of us. People who pronounce it "hokey" will feel the effects. Even though it is the weak sister of "real" sports like football and golf, I will miss our Molsonic friends from the true Frozen Tundra.

   Here's a few things to look for as the lockout rages:

- An increase in the competitive spirit of local Ice Capades shows appears almost imminent. A lot of the NHL guys who never made the big dollars tend to be the cement head type, and they will need work. The Ice Capades may be the only possible work for a guy who has "skating" as his primary skill. This could get good when a couple of goons end up in the same chorus line, and some old rivalries rear their ugly heads. Maybe someone will finish the Job on Nancy Kerrigan.


- Look for amateur hockey leagues to experience a huge upswing in talent. This should be especially prevalent in the wealthier suburbs of NHL cities, where local club teams will suddenly have a talent pool of almost Rotisserie proportions. With player debt being a huge concern, one could suddenly see Eric Lindros playing in some of those games where they keep a keg on the bench...for the right price.

- FOX could make a show based entirely on Hockey Fights. A sort of tournament-based reality show, heavy on the Canada lifestyle/scenery....let's call it Drop The Gloves. Putting them all in the same house would be even better- imagine Tie Domi and Bob Probert(is he dead?) as roomies? Imagine the fights between American and Canadien goons, over things like bacon and Molson/Budweiser superiority? If we could work Chicks into it somehow, I could sell it.


- Encouraged by the name/brand recognition of NHL stars, Hollywood screenwriters begin to develop more parts for big, dumb, toothless Canucks. Mischa Barton will dump whoever she is dating on The OC, telling him she needs a guy with "a better plus/minus rating".....cue Joe Thornton.


- The 2008 Winter Olympics will feature the Modern Hockatholon, an endurance event featuring cross-country skating, stickhandling, checking, fist fights and slalom. It will culminate in a breakaway penalty shot.


- The wealthy suburb of Monponsett, Massachusetts will gain national prominence when several local millionaires recruit unemployed NHL stars to be the pawns in their nefarious Splash!!: The Fall Through The Pond Ice Game. Claude Lemieux will be missing until the spring thaw.


- There will be no shortage of "Before" guys for the "Before and After" shots in the new Crest magazine ads.


- Al-Queida invades, and despite all of our technology, the War is decided by North America's capacity to produce men who can skate really fast. The Muslim infantry is slaughtered by NorAm skaters in the Battle of Lake Erie, which is sort of a reverse Hattin. The city of Buffalo is spared, and the NorAm forces rally to smash the infidels.


- In 2005, the principal weapon used in Canadien bank robberies is a Hockey Stick, and 96% of the perps are wearing a Jason Vorhees mask.

- When the NHL returns, the black athlete will have surpassed the Canadian on the ice, and you won't see a white guy outside of the net again. Canadians will then get heavily into polo.


Sunday, September 12, 2004

Letters From My People

Dear Stacey,

I have my NFL fantasy draft this week. I play among a group of embittered neighbors, and we play for high stakes: each of us have put the titles of our homes into the mix as an ante. The losers will be homeless, while the winner will be a sort of real estate baron.

I personally plan to demolish the neighbor's houses if I win. I always wanted 100 acres to live on. If I lose, I will take my family to live on the Appalachian Trail- we'll be just like Grizzly Adams, but we'll rob an occasional 7-11. Either way, I get open space.

But I never think negative. That said, I was wondering if you had any opinions to offer me insofar as drafting strategy is concerned.

Thank you,

Phil A...Shiloh

   I'd do several things here, Phil. One thing does stand out from the pack, though:

   Get a junkie to run the ball for you.

   Let's face it, kids...the War On Drugs is a failure.

   We pump a ton of money into law enforcement- yet in many cities, it is easier to get heroin than it is to get a cop. We watch as people on drugs dominate the Olympics, smashing records that had stood for centuries. Selling drugs is a great way for a kid to learn about our economy- supply/demand, marketing, wholesale, credit and so forth.

   It doesn't matter. The War On Drugs is wrong, but it is still fact, and we only deal in fact here at High Above Courtside. But fact works both ways....

   The best runner in the NFL last year was arrested in a cocaine conspiracy. The second best one retired to smoke pot in Nepal. Other top backs have had drug problems, too. Better living through chemistry, as we say here. 

   Of course, Ricky is gone and Jamal will have to keep his nose clean (giggle), which should translate to a Marion Jones-like drop in productivity. Therefore, the thing to do is to try to find the best running back who hasn't been caught getting high yet.

   I work with a lot of kids who have dabbled in Alternative Consciousness. There are signs that would allow even an amateur to spot the most clever hophead- without personal interaction. I'd try to find a HB who has several of the traits I'm about to list, and ride him to Home Ownership.

   A) Physical appearance rarely lies. Red, droopy eyes, small burns in their clothing, marijuana leaf necklaces, powdered nostrils, needle marks, and hand-rolled cigarettes dangling from his lip may seem like Warning Signs to the arriviste, but they mean 1600 yards to me.

   B) The NFL, to my knowledge, allows no High School kids in. They also get few Europeans- I can only think of that Olshansky(?) kid from the Ukraine, and a few kickers. All but the true elite do 4 years of college.

   Even a Big High School like Miami (2 Miami first rounders- Sean Taylor and Vin Wilfork- scored a pasta-esque 10 on the Wonderlic intelligence test given at the NFL combines) must try to teach the Big Dummies something, for God's sake.

   Even a Cafeteria major would have to crack a book now and then...and would still pick up some Book Learning by Osmosis just by being in the classroom, even if his books were padlocked.

    That said, I'd try to keep a healthy eye on the Wonderlic scores that the NFL releases every year. While stupidity isn't directly related to drug use- Freud, Coleridge, Kennedy, Poe and many more people of science and letters liked to get Blessed- a kid who manages to be really stupid after 4 years of college should be raising flags like a Harbormaster.

   Any Wonderlic score below a 12 can be viewed as Heroic Stupidity, and would probably have required chemical assistance.


 C) Many NFL players supplement their income by doing autograph sessions/beauty contests/mall openings and the like. Others will turn out for charity events and golf tournaments.

   These people aren't Presidents, and have little physical need for bodyguards. It isn't that hard to get right next to Corey Dillon, LaDamiaDamialian Tomlinson, Fred Taylor, or whoever is on your List. Pay some money to a good cause, go to a $100 a plate dinner, and see if the air has a pungent stench around Mike Alstott, or see if glazed eyes and manic speech accompany a chance meeting with Marshall Faulk....and no, it doesn't count if You're the lit-up one. 

   D)  Call the GNC in every NFL city, alter your voice to a Southern Baritone, and ask if your P-B-OK urine test masking agent has come in yet. When they ask your name, reply "Clinton Portis," "Eddie George," "Shaun Alexander," or whatever HB you're considering drafting.

   I hope I have helped you. You gamble for High Stakes. While we at High Above Courtside do not condone gambling, we admire the spirit of the Gambler.



   Dear Smurf,

   I work at a hotel in my hometown. A few months ago, a professional basketball player was in town for knee surgery, and he stayed at our hotel. We were talking as he checked in, and he was really nice. He toldme I had "grandi seni," which I'm sure means something really nice in Italian.

   He called down to the desk later and asked for some "fresh." I went up to his room to see what he meant. We had a Sprite ©, and then he said he wanted to show me some Synchronized Swimming moves he was working on.

   One thing led to another, and...well, he served me like a butler. While I never said "no," I did use a sentence with "know" in it at one point.

   Does he owe me money?

   Thank, Smurfy!



   You've already said too much, Kate. Try to look traumatized, and hope for a dumb jury.


   Dear Thumper,

   If you had a few billion dollars, and could support a team in any market.....where would you choose to have a team....what sport would it be...and what would the uniform look like?

   Suckers gots to know!


   NFL....Montana Sasquatches....Fur Uniforms




Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Curses...foiled again

Curt Schilling

Oh we have 2 curses. If Pedro does a Chunky Soup commercial, we'd better hope the Celtics turn it around.

The Curse of the Bambino has left the Sox as the most famous cursed people in the world. 1918 was a longggggggggg time ago, and generations have come and gone without a Series win for the Old Towne Team.

The Sports Illustrated cover curse- cast to show the folly of sportswriting- basically occurs when SI features who they view as the hot team. Generally, whatever team they feature suddenly implodes. This is actually clever marketing. If the team they feature is beaten, they don't have the same cover 2 weeks in a row.

The Chunky Soup ad campaign has made losers out of Kurt Warner, Reggie White, Donovan McNabb and John Lynch. I have stated on these very pages my intent to personally prevent Tom Brady from doing one of these ads, and I am deadly serious.


Who else is cursed? Let's look at a few famous ones:


- Tecumseh's Curse

A son(most likely Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa) of a Shawnee chief defeated in the Battle of Tippecanoe, laid a curse on William Henry Harrison and any US President to follow. It works in 20 year cycles, and astrologers will tell you that it has something to do with the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn.

The Curse of Tecumseh "killed" Harrison(after a month in office), Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, FDR and Kennedy. Reagan, elected in 1980, missed being the next victim of the Curse by inches when that dude who was all whacked out on Jodie Foster tried to wax him. Reagan is believed to have broken the curse.


- The Kennedy Curse

The father was a booze smuggler, and may indeed have sold someone's soul to gain political power for his Trust Fund Brats. This curse moped out Bobby, JFK, the one who died in the war, the daughter they lobotomized, Ted's career, Ted's dates, the ski/football kid who Sonny Bono'd that tree, the rapist, the poor pilot and  his clotheshorse wife, and the junkie.

If you are a Kennedy who hasn't got shot, raped anyone, played football on skis, or killed his brother's secretary, life is good. Still, as they spend that cash, they have to have this sense of impending doom.

Raiders tackle Lincoln Kennedy refused the urge to vote for himself in the 1996 Presidential elections.."I thought I'd get shot."


King Tut's Curse

They were told to let sleeping kings lie, but they had to go bust in on the Boy King. Howard Carter busted into the tomb (when asked what he saw as he peered through the small hole he had dug, Carter replied "wonderful things"). It wasn't too wonderful when everyone associated with the expedition started dropping dead, though. Digging up Egyptian king burial sites is a good way to die young, as well a good way to have The Rock kicking your ass.


The Von Erich Curse:

Sheer horror has followed this famous wrestling family. Fritz Von Erich (he has a real name which is something like Atkinson, but the story works better in kayfabe) had several sons, and they all followed him into the wrestling biz. He lost one son (5 year old Jack) to an electrocution, before Jack was wrestling age.

The sons who made it- the Von Erichs were the centerpiece of the old WCCW league in Texas- also suffered early endings. David died under shady circumstances in some Japanese hotel. Mike suffered from depression, and comitted suicide. Kerry- the star of the brood- got into cocaine, lost a foot in a bike wreck, got arrested, and finally did himself in with the shotty.

I think I may have missed one(Chris?). Surviving brother Kevin has post-concussion syndrome to the point where sneezing around him would cave in his skull. If a Von Erich marries a Kennedy, God help us all...especially if they pitch for the Sox.


Sure, the Sox are closing in on the Yankers. We have 2 tremendous pitchers, and the team is beginning to gel. The Yanked have guys punching walls.

Doesn't matter.

New Englanders are very attuned to  the  seasons. We aren't Georgia- it gets bloody cold here. New England has been settled by English speakers since 1620, and the growing seasons are short. We also have an inordinate amount of old salt types who have that sixth sense.

We know what's coming. In traditional New England society, a Boston collapse is viewed as a sign of the advent of Autumn. We even have a term for it- the September Swoon.

That Bucky Dent homer was the final nail in the coffin for 1978's September Swoon. The Buckner and the Boone homer both happened during very warm autumns in New England. You can see the pattern. As surely as the leaves will fall from the trees, the Sox will implode in the most painful way possible. Usually, it involves a September Swoon.

I root for them- and I will never root for another- but I know it's coming. I root for the Sox with the same mentality that I used to smoke Marlboro Lights with- enjoyment tempered by a sense of impending suffering. I'd advise any arrivistes to the Sox camp to keep the September Swoon in mind before getting too worked up over the Old Towne Team.