Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Legend of the Dark Knight

   The best part? Ron Artest is merely a brief blip on the Indiana basketball violence radar. He's second rate. He is calm and cool. He handles his situations with tact....relatively speaking, of course.

   Remember....Bobby Knight ran the program there, once.

   Artest may have- at best- got his hands on 5-10 people in that fracas. He actually dodged one fight. While he has had his hands on people before, he has a lot of work to do before he catches up to the Dark Knight.

   Do the math after checking this list out:

1976- Knight grabs sophomore Jim Wisman by the jersey and jerks him into his seat. This was during an undefeated, NCAA title-winning season. The real fun starts when he goes 8-10, and loses to Purdue.

1979- Knight charged, tried and convicted in absentia for hitting a Puerto Rican policeman before a practice session at Pan American Games. Knight sentenced to six months in jail, but Puerto Rico government decided in 1987 to drop efforts to extradite him. Yes, that's right...he even offends Puerto Ricans, who are a pretty tough bunch of people.

1980- Knight fires a blank shot from a starter's pistol at Louisville Courier-Journal reporter Russ Brown. Knight said he did it "to keep from going nuts." He fails to see the irony.

1981- Knight and an LSU fan get into an altercation in Philadelphia during the Final Four. Knight shoves the fan into a garbage can. A few years later, he so upsets LSU coach Dale Brown...Brown challenges him to a naked wrestling match. Knight never got heavy with LSU again.

1985- Tosses the chair across the court during a game vs. Purdue, nearly hitting people in the wheelchair section. Knight may or may not have been trying to motivate some of the "slackers" who can walk a little.

1988- In a television interview with Connie Chung, Knight said "If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."

1992- Knight gives a mock whipping to Calbert Cheaney during practice at the NCAA West Regional in Albuquerque. Knight apologizes to anyone who attributed racial connotations to the incident....which, at last count, was everyone.

1993- Knight kicks at his son Patrick during a game vs. Notre Dame. This is the lighter case of Knight abusing his own children.

1994- Knight head-butts Sherron Wilkerson while screaming at him on the bench. He claims it was an accident caused by motion required to make the "N" sound in "ni***r".

1997- Knight attacks IU guard Neil Reed, and strangles him. Spreewell got 60 games. Knight- who attacked a teenager- got no penalty.

1997-  Knight emerges from a bathroom stall holding some toilet paper. He then proceeds to wipe himself, hoping to illustrate how the team played. He also neglected to flush.

1999- Knight attacks an assistant coach, knocking him out of a chair. He later fired him...."falling without intensity," I guess.

1999- Knight shoots a hunting partner in the back and is cited for failing to report the incident and hunting without a license in Wisconsin.

2000- Former player Ricky Calloway accuses Knight of physical abuse in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.

2000- Toronto Raptors coach Butch Carter claims that Knight used racial slur during a tirade aimed at a black player. According to Carter, Knight stormed into the locker room after a practice and chewed out another player, saying he would end up like "all the rest of the n------ in Chicago, including your brothers."

2000- It is revealed that Knight threw a potted plant at his 64 year old secretary, broke his own son's nose, and choked and punched the IU information director. None of them had thrown beer on him.

2000- Bob Knight is accused of grabbing a freshman student at Indiana by the arm and cursing at him. This was weeks after Indiana issued a "zero tolerance" rule regarding assaulting students.

   These are just the events that made it to ESPN.com. One would imagine that there were many more atrocities that his poor players were afraid to speak out on.

   Simply put, Ron Artest is the Spongebob movie to Bobby Knight's snuff film.



Great Sports Fights

  Some people get all bummed out over the fights, but I love 'em. Maybe I'm making do with the NHL and MLB until televised executions and deathmatches come along, but that's my own problem.

   The evils of fighting are over-rated. Fights are cathartic. They are high drama. Fights lower the incidence of more dangerous sports stuff, like beanballs and high sticking. Fights teach kids valuable lessons concerning the consequence of their actions. They also....well, OK, I'm depraved. 

   That said, there's nothing like a good fight. Even before sports, Americans were killing Sioux, lynching blacks, savaging union strikers, and having gunfights in the street. Once the western frontier was closed, and the good parts of Mexico were stolen("You took the half with the roads" said a Mexican ambassador to the US), we fought Cuba, and annexed the Phillipines.

   I'm not alone. Americans, by nature, enjoy violence. This is a country that won't allow someone to make tender love to their wife on camera....but the next night, they show the California governor killing people by the boatload in one of his corny action movies. Arnold gets $20 million a film....I wonder what Alan Alda asks for when/if someone calls him?

   Is Hollywood trying to turn us into animals? Hell no. They just pay for what sells best...and what sells best is Rambo killing 300 Laotians.

   Professional wrestling is wayyyyyyyyy more violent now than it was when Bruno Sammartino and Ivan Koloff were doing their thing. It isn't that unusual to see a match these days that features no technical wrestling at all...instead, 2 big steroid freaks in bikini briefs just beat the s*** out of each other with steel chairs, chains, tables and...a month or so back, a tranquilizer gun. I love the WWE, and I've seen someone run over in a limo, tossed off a Detroit bridge, shocked in the testicles with a cattle prod, and dozens of other felonious offenses.

   When ECW was solvent, you could add things like staple guns to the head, bamboo stick beatings (administered by a guy who drank 6-10 beers as he made his way to the ring), swan dives off 40 foot balconies, and fire brandished as a weapon. #2 tries harder. You can't show a wrestling match with 2 fat guys trading arm bars....you need to kick it up a notch...BAM!

   I'm sure that plenty of GOOD stuff happened Friday night, but the Artest fight took all the TV time from the doctor who works for free with ghetto kids, or the firefighter who spends all his free time hustling up goods for Toys For Tots. Again...ESPN isn't evil...they just give Americans what they want to see.....and what we want to see is televised violence.

   Once you come to grips with your Inner Beast, you are better equipped to look at fighting as a unique component of American culture. And once you go there, you may as well list a few of your favorites....here's what I could find, in no particular order:


Nolan Ryan Autographed Fight Versus Ventura 8x10 Photograph 

- Robin "The Body" Ventura makes the mistake of charging the mound Nolan Ryan stands on. Ventura is then beaten by a man who pitched to Willie Mays.

-  O's-Yankees, summer of '97 (i think), armando plunked tino, strawberry runs onto the field and clocks armando, arthur rhodes nailed strawberry, bj surhoff proved he's not a man to be trifled with...thanks, Jamie

-  Kyle Turley, defending a team mate, twists a helmet off the head of a player and hurls it into the stands. He looked like a Norse God of War...or Sleepy Hollow in a steroid rush.

Kyle Turley

-  Juan Marichal hit a player (Johnny Roseboro) with a bat.

- Larry Bird and Julius Erving grab each other by the throat.

- George Bell charges the mound and launches a thrust kick at the pitcher.

- I forget who it was, but some batter- upset by a beaning- took the strategic step of attacking the catcher who inevitably would have tackled him before he got to the pitcher.

- Kermit Washington, while fighting Kevin Kunnert, turns and whallops current Laker coach Rudy Tomjanovich, who was attacking him from behind. Rudy is nearly killed. Kareem, who was nearby, said the punch sounded like a watermelon being dropped from a 3rd story window onto concrete.

- Cam Neely savages Ulf Samuelson(sic?), who had ruined his hip with a cheap shot a few years prior.

- Bill Laimbeer fouls Larry Bird, who jumps on him and pounds him like veal. It may or may not be the same series, but I saw Robert Parish chop Laimbeer down with three lumberjack shots.

- Umpire George Moriarity fights 3 Chicago White Sox players in 1932. He KOs one, but is beaten by the other three.

- Ohio State guard Luke Witte is attacked by several Minnesota players after he is fouled on a layup attempt. Minnesota fans boo him as he is taken off the court in a stretcher.

- 1981: The Minnesota North Stars, 0-27-7 lifetime at the Boston Gaaaaahden, hold a big grudge against the Bruins. The first fight happens seven seconds into the game. By the end of the first period, there are 341 penalty minutes and 12 ejections. By the time the game is over, there are 42 penalties, including seven game misconducts, and 406 total penalty minutes. Afterwards, coaches Glen Sonmor and Gerry Cheevers almost come to blows.

1994: John Chaney vs. John Calipari. Chaney, the Temple coach, charges into UMass coach Calipari's press conference after a game and has to be restrained while screaming, "I WILL KILL YOU!!"

Kansas football player Dion Rayford gets stuck in a Taco Bell drive-thru window when he tries to attack employees who left the chalupa out of his order.

In 1972, Providence forward Marvin "Bad News" Barnes hits Larry Ketvirtis with a tire iron.

In the 1972 ALCS, Bert Campeneris flung his bat at the pitcher after a brushback pitch.

Pete Rose and Buddy Harrelson fight during the 1973 NLCS. Amazingly, Rose and Harrelson went out to dinner together, afterwards.

Harrelson vs. Rose

Pedro Martinez throws 107 year old coach Don Zimmer to the ground in the 2003 ALCS.

Ozzie Smith takes exception to a hard slide by Will Clark. This fight eventually features Candy Moldanado, Jose Ocquendo, and both benches.

Pudge Fisk, in a two tear span, fought both Thurman Munson and Lou Pinella. Bill Lee gets his collarbone broken.


Daryl Straberry and Kieth Hernandez trade hands during spring training.

Andre Tippett, a karate instructor who was a registered deadly weapon in the state of Massachusetts, gets jumped by Pats kicker Tony Franklin and punter Rich Camarillo, who he had been drinking with. He beats them like recalcitrant serfs.

Tim Belcher and Chan Ho Park...amazing because it is a fight where the Asian guy is victimized by some Tae Kwon Do.

Raul Sanchez- who had been throwing at every black who came to bat in 1957, goes to field a bunt laid down by Jim Gilliam. Rather than run to the base, Gilliam spikes Sanchez into the dirt. This was the first usage of the term "Dirty Sanchez"

I think Ty Cobb beat up everyone in the American League in 1922.

Rob Dibble fought both Pat Listach and Lou Pinella in a single season. Listach was a Brewer. Dibble was released shortly after, and the Brewers picked him up. Dibble then, as a Brewer, had to serve the suspension he got for attacking a Brewer.

Dave Winfield charges NolanRyan and beats him like a lazy slave.

Winfield also fought Reggie Jackson, in what was later declared a draw.

Billy Martin went after Reggie, but they were separated. Martin later fought a Milwaukee marshmallow salesman.

Pascaul Perez throws at a batter. Perez, a NL pitcher, has to go to bat 5 times in that game. Each time, he is thrown at.

Albert Belle slams a forearm into 2nd baseman Fernando Vina. Belle later attacks trick or treaters, running one down in his SUV.

Latrell Sprewell- in about two weeks- attacks Danny Fortson with a 2x4, and then strangles coach PJ Carlisemo.

T.O. says that Jeff Garcia exchanged blows with a few guys during his time in S.F.

Lyndon Byers and someone were sent to the penalty box for fighting. They continued to bicker in the box, and eventually stepped back onto the ice before the penalties were served. Byers, 2-0 btw...

A soccer match between England and Italy gets ugly as a wall separating the 2 sides collapses and kills several fans.

A soccer match between El Salvador and Honduras leads to rioting, which leads to military intervention. 3000 dead, 6000 wounded, $50 million in damage.

In a Boston/Philly preseason game, Cedric Maxwell, Larry Bird, Gerald Henderson, M.L. Carr, Mark Iavaroni, Sedale Threatt, Moses Malone and Andrew Toney have several fights. At one point, Bird tears coach Billy Cunningham's sports coat to shreds. Red Auerbach eventually walks onto the court and restores order by himself...at one point telling Moses Malone, "Sit down you big schvatze."

Wilt Chamberlain goes after Sam Jones, who defends himself with a steel chair- 30 years before ECW. Jones later sang his justification: "I wasn't gonna fight him fair...I was gonna use that chair."

Willis Reed goes bonkers, and beats up 4-6 LA Lakers. Phil Jackson said it looked like a grizzly attack he had seen in Montana.

In a super heavyweight bout, Maurice Lucas knocks out Artis Gilmore

Dennis Awtrey sucker punches Kareem.

While it wasn't a fight, Dikembe Mutombo got a reputation for wild elbow flinging. Charles Barkley once got his nose broken ina game that didn't involve Mutombo. When asked if he was going to get it fixed, he said "No need to....I'll just visit Dr. Mutombo next week in Denver"

While it wasn't violent, my research shows me that Chico Lind was arrested for driving without pants.

While it's not reality, I'm being told that Bob Probert couldn't understand why the Hanson Brothers from Slap Shot were supposed to be funny. This echoes the time when Eddie Van Halen didn't realize that This Is Spinal Tap was a comedy.

Reggie Miller gets up on John Starks, who sends him reeling with a headbutt.

Bret Hart knocks out Vince McMahon in an unscripted locker room brawl.

Andre Rison and Deion Sanders- who were fast friends- trade hands during a game after Rison is traded. They actually make up before the fighters are separated. Rison, who didn't press charges when Left Eye burnt his house down, has a high tolerance for deviance.

WWF wrestler and Olympic powerlifter Ken Patera beats up about 10 cops who attempt to remove him from a McDonald's. I think the Devious Mr. Fuji was involved, as well.

A-Rod and Jason Varitek throw down last summer.

I forget who it was, but some WNBA player turns and absolutely tools on a rival as a free throw is being shot. K to the O, y'all.

Ted Green and Wayne Maki have a stickfight in which Maki lands a shot that a lumberjack would envy, caving in the side of Green's skull.

Charles Barkley spits on the crowd at a game, hitting a 7 year old girl. When asked if he regretted it, he replies, "I regret that my spit broke up....I was trying to hock on the heckler, only". Barkley also threw a drunk through a plate glass window, and elbowed an Angolan during a 60 point blowout.

Micheal Westbrook goes postal on an unsuspecting Stephen Davis at practice. He decks him, and then punches him 5 times while he is unconscious. Davis claims to have no idea why Westbrook attacked him.


 Tree Rollins elbows Danny Ainge, who tackles him to the floor. Pinned, Tree resorts to biting Ainge's finger. This was the first sports fight I ever saw where the white guy won. Ainge was later pimp-slapped by Darrell Walker.



During a bench-clearing brawl in Madison Square Garden, a fan makes the mistake of stealing Terry O'Reilly's stick. The original T.O. goes into the stands after him, followed by his team. If you watch the top left part of the screen, you can see Mike Milbury beat a man with his own shoe. This fight makes the ARtest brawl look like fan appreciation night. Check the video:

Click Here to view the movie (2.29mb)


Here's the Indy/Detroit fight:

Raw Fight Footage


Jim Rome pays for insulting Jim Everett:



When a Finnish goaltender beats you up, it's time to take up Yoga:

Pittsburgh Penguins - Chiodo Fight


Monday, November 22, 2004

I have not yet begun to fight...


   Not a lot of people know this, but your favorite Smurf has been in a melee much like Ron Artest and friends. Mine was a little less televised, and was most likely much sexier.

   Duxbury High School was a wealthy place. I used to park my 1986 Sentra among the Porsches and BMWs, but I was One Of Them to the girls we'd play in soccer. We would use financial stuff to taunt the other teams, especially when we'd play a more blue-collar town. "My house is worth $700,000," "How's the Community College search going?" and "Exactly how does one cook squirrel?" were taunts you'd get if you were on the DHS field.

   Well, one day we were playing Plymouth, and a fight started. As it was close to the sidelines, the parents of the combatants became involved, which led to a general melee. Coaches, police, teachers, parents, students- it was sort of like a town meeting, except for the blood.

   I had to cross the field to involve myself, and by then, it was a dogpile. I simply grabbed one of the girls off the pile...and she threw me to the ground, just like I was a child. If that wasn't bad enough, she sat on me and kneeled on my arms- I was pinned like Dale Jr's speedometer. Kicking out only works on TV wrestling, btw...

   Now, I have enough sense to realize that guys love to see girls fight- "Leave them alone...they might start kissing". Still, I really wanted out of that position, for two very good reasons:

1) I have what would be politely called a "Gallic nose". There was a dance that weekend, and I couldn't show up with a crooked schnout.

2) This girl could slap like Jason Kidd when the dishes aren't done. 5 foot athletes have enough problems without being seen crying on the field.

   Keep in mind, I grew up to become a wrestling writer. If you watched WOW and enjoyed the Bronco Billie/ranch storyline...you have me to thank. That said, I fight like a...well... "girl" wouldn't do justice to the girl who was kicking the **it out of me. I fight poorly.

   So, I did what any self-respecting fighter would do in that situation...I turned my face and bit into her thigh like a chocolate bunny. She rolled off me- screaming- and I tipped onto her and started whipping her like Massa. I'd have made her cry if that stupid cop hadn't grabbed me....

   Anywho....I could share a beer with Artest, and trade a few stories. Ron fights a lot better than I do, and whatever his problems may be- and they are legion- he has enough in the jock to charge into a Detroit audience. That's crazy, folks...and you don't want to fight anyone who is crazy.

A few notes on the Detroit Breakdown:

- I returned from a week in New Hampshire to find a call from Celtic coach Doc Rivers on my answering machine. He wants me to sit courtside at the Gard...umm, Fleet Center, and taunt players from contending teams into charging into the stands after me.

   Few athletes could handle having a French girl snarl at them, especially when she's a schoolmarm, as well- my husband refuses to argue with me for those exact 2 reasons.

   Doc offered $5k, but I'm holding out for ten. If Shaq came after me, I'd just crawl under the seats. If Kobe came after me...well, that ring he put on Vanessa wouldn't even make me stop crying. I have 3 sisters with accents as annoying as mine, and if Garnett, Duncan, and Stojavovic can be provoked...the Celtics will play waiver-wire squads straight through the Finals. Peja might be tough to provoke- how do you say "poo-say" in Serbian, anyhow?

- I've heard a lot of racial comments made about this scene, and those people are simply wrong. In a year or so, go to a bar and say, "who was that athlete who went into the stands after a fan?" You'll probably get a hockey player, or that dude who whipped the chair at that lady during the baseball game. What is outrageous in the NBA would be small change in minor league hockey...which is about as black as a Seinfeld episode.

   The best crowd fight I ever saw involved the Boston Bruins in Madison Square Garden, which may be a worse place than Detroit to challenge 15,000 people. Someone stole Terry O'Reilly's stick, and he went into the crowd after the miscreant. Other Bruins joined him, and havoc ensued. At one point, defenseman Mike Milbury took off a man's show and beat him with it.

   It isn't a generational thing, either. Ty Cobb went into the stands a few times, and Jackie Robinson probably should have.

- I'll be at Sam Goody's at 7 AM tomorrow to buy Ron Artest's new CD. I'm afraid not to. I heard him freestyle on AOL's "The Show," and he's lucky he owns TruWarrier Records.

- If you ever sit courtside for one of these riots, remember not to run up on the angry 7 foot black guy. I'd have been like,"You got a problem?" to Larry Brown, or the play-by-play guy.

- How much beer would have to be thrown onto Ron Artest in order for him to absorb enough to put his blood alcohol level over .08, thus making him illegal to operate a motor vehicle?

- Stephen Jackson should really try to remove the yellow headband before he tries to fight 15,000 people. He looked like a Bizarro World gaybashing.

- Thank God that a nude Nicolette Sheridan didn't jump into Artest's arms....we'd have a Bad Scene, then.

- Gotta love America....Ron gets 70 games for trying to kill someone. If he got caught smoking marijuana 3 times, he'd be Roy Tarpley's teammate on the Out Of The NBA squad.

- While he's $6.3 million dollars lighter, Artest should buy a full steak dinner for Jackson, O'Neal and Chuck Person. Someone who has your back while you're fighting the city of Detroit is someone you want to keep fat and happy.

- As shocking as the fight was, I was truly startled to see Rasheed Wallace, Rick Mahorn and Chuck Person as the cooler heads in that scene. This is like having Osama bin Laden telling you not to react so harshly to a perceived slight.

- Was Cheryl Miller there, and did Reggie hide behind her?

- David Stern has the final say in any arbitration that involves this case, but that could be challenged by the ACLU. Stern has too much financial interest in the NBA to make a fair decision. I can see Artest suing the NBA or whoever over having to toil in a "hostile work environment". Look for NBA games to be played in a big plexigalss dome by 2010.

- 99% of baseball fights happen on the pitcher's mound, far out of Thrown Beer range. Otherwise, someone would have gone after Bill Buckner right after he muffed that grounder....and no court would convict.

- I'm sure that only the larger, Lambeau Leap-required walls at NFL games have prevented Lyle Alzado, Ray Lewis or Bill Romanowski from attacking fans. Also, football players are armored, and wouldn't feel a Bud Heavy hitting them.

- I am quite sympathetic towards Mr. Artest...considerably more than most everyone I've seen writing on the subject.

   If he's crazy enough to go into the stands, he wouldn't back down from the afro known as Ben Wallace. Instead, he simply laid out on the announcer's table like it was a hammock. I doubt he was playing dead.

   I have no doubt that it took every ounce of self-restraint he had to do that....and then someone gave him a Golden Shower, so to speak. Warn the villagers....

-  Play the fight video over an Artest song, and BAM....video #1. Notice how Artest was in the melee for 4 minutes and 8 seconds....the exact length of his first single, "Kill Whitey".

- There was a fight at the Harvard game last weekend, but no one gets upset over that.


- Top 10 Ron Artest Justifications:

10) "Shall I fight 6'9", 270 pound Ben Wallace or the 5'8", 165 pound drunken accountant...hmmmmm"

9) "I felt badly for all those Detroit Red Wing fans who haven't seen a sports fight this year."

8) "I heard someone in the crowd disparaging Monponsett Stacey"

7) "It was a wardrobe malfunction"

6) "Anywhere I'm standing at any given moment is the Independent People's Republic of Artestan....and my diplomatic immunity prevents me from being charged with any felony."

5) "I was trying to give the man back his beer"

4) "I'd like to apologize to the NBA, my team, and the fans....and my new CD is out November 23rd."

3) (stolen off WEEI) "I was upset that, despite being one of the first 5000 people in the building, my NBA status prevented me from getting my free Antonio McDyess bobblehead doll"

2) "I just wanted Derrick Coleman to hug me from behind"

1) "Hey...he's not the Sm-Artest."


On the Top 10 Injured Reserve:

11) "Sweet...I get Thanksgiving and Christmas off"

12) "There goes my mother******g Nobel Peace Prize"

13) "I've seen worse fights at the Cooley High choir recital"

14) "I put the 'ass' in 'assault'..."

15) "Someone saying "Dear God, don't kill me' sounds a lot like 'Hey, N*****r" when you are having a psychotic episode"

16) "I wanted lots of rest for the 2005-2006 season"

17) "Let's see you top that, Kobe"

18) "I was gonna play baseball, but the steroids make me angry"

19) "I detest light beer....throw a Schlitz Malt Liqour, and I'll sign my sneakers and give them to you"

20) "I misplaced my car keys, and I thought they might be in one of the spectators' skulls"




Saturday, November 13, 2004

Athletes Referenced In Song


   Oscar Robertson was probably the best guard of his generation, and could stand right next to Air Jordan and say "I'm the best guard who has ever played this game." People will argue with him, but people will argue for him, as well. He was before my time, but he averaged a triple double one year, and perhaps only Russell and Wilt prevented him from having 2 hands of title rings.

   Rod Strickland had a few good years, but eventually drank himself out of the league. By the time he was 30, expansion teams were passing on him. Many GMs of teams he played on said that he probably should have worn a mask as he was picking up his paycheck, because he was essentially stealing his money towards the end.

   But in one way, Rod Strickland is better than the Big O. It has almost nothing to do with basketball, and no, it also has nothing to do with smoking pot, concealing a weapon, slapping women, or computer science.

   A rap group named Capone n Noreaga (The Source review of their debut CD said "You can just look at the name and know what kinda tip these brothers are on")put the following lines into one of their songs, Bloody Money Pt II:

"Whoever thought that so much would have to change
I went to games as a Knicks fan, they had Strickland, they traded him
Ever since then, son, I hated them, **it's turnin sour in the N-Y
Half the team hurt, still nig**z get high and rock Queens shirts

    So, in his own way, Rod has surpassed the all time greats. This song is chock full of NBA references, including "I got some hoes in the Law getting high like Rik Smits, born hypocrites" and "  Out my crack house, yeah that's crashed out, let me catch that
Just like Stackhouse, kick ya back out, have you mad vexed
Like you did your whole bid, but didn't max out

   Sometimes, it's better to be famous than good. If things get bad for Rik Smits, he may or may not be able to cash in somehow.

   Being mentioned in a song is sort of like having a really nice car. It's a sign that you have made it. Joe DiMaggio was the greatest player of his generation, banged Marilyn Monroe, and became a 1970s coffee icon. He's done it all. He is also sort of the Captain of the Referenced In Song team. He turns up in 2 songs that pretty much set the standard for sports/music crossovers: John Fogerty's Centerfield and Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs Robinson.

"Say Hey Willie, and tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio, don't say it ain't so"

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its' lonely eyes to you...oo oo oo"

   That's clout, folks.

   What I'm trying to do here is get a bunch of references all in one place. I'm gonna do my best right now, and add to it as I think of more. This will be a work-in-progress for some time. If you're reading this in November, you are essentially visiting Leonardo as he is staring at a blank canvas, thinking about how to portray The Last Supper. You are visiting a church, watching a 5 year old Billie Holliday sing hymns.

   OK....there's a huge talent disparity there, but you see what I mean. If you enjoy this article, pop back in now and then...it will keep growing for some time.

   A few notes, before we begin:

- Feel free to use the "Add Comments" section at the end of this piece to throw in any songs I've missed. I may just paste your comment into the main body of the article. This could definitely get you laid somewhere.

- There will be a lot of rap in here, because athletes end up in a lot of rap songs. I'm counting on some heavy-metal people, country folk, and whateverother fans of whatever other styles are out there to pitch in. The Notorious B.I.G. and the Wu Tang Clan seem to enjoy athlete references, and they are all over this list.

- Hank Williams Jr, ELO, Wagner, and dozens of other artists have songs that are associated with sports broadcasts... but unless they name a particular athlete, they're lit out of shuck.

- Bands named after athletes..."Jack Johnson," "Mookie Blaylock," and so forth.....we'll call them as we see em. Niche songs like Basketball Jones or Are You Ready For Some Football won't be in, either.

- Shaq, Gary Payton, Tony Conigliaro, Dana Barros, Bernie Williams, Allen Iverson, Ron Artest, Black Jack McDowell, Wayman Tisdale, Walter McCarty, Deion Sanders, Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant and hundreds of other athletes have put out CDs. While these athletes go beyond doing songs like "Smell my triple-overtime jock strap" and "She's no groupie...shes my cousin from Chicago, honest," they won't be included here. They are, as we say here, a whole other post.

- Often, I know a song lyric, and I don't know the author of it. Again, feel free to use the Comments section to clue me in on an unknown, or to correct me if I think N-O-R-E was Brand Nubian, or something.

- I may or may not be able to distinguish exactly who is singing during a Simon/Garfunkel or Capone/Noreiga number. I will generally just list the band name.

- I was born in France, and French was the primary language spoken in my household as I grew up. Every word I hear spoken in the English language goes through this little French filter in my brain before it becomes English to me. That said, I will mis-interpret some song lyrics from time to time. I say this for 2 reasons:

   1) I don't want the author of Bloody Money II  angry with me. That song title implies that there could very easily be a Bloody Money III- and it could easily feature a French schoolteacher-mom, should I commit some hip-hop faux pas. Mother always told me notto cross men who are nicknamed "Capone."

   2) My husband went to school with a boy who was known as "Red Dog." Red Dog was at the lunch table one day, humming a tune called "Got a New Drug." He suddenly began to sing it....unfortunately, he sang these lyrics:

"I bought anew truck....one that does what it should....etc...."

   He was ridiculed by the whole cafeteria. He probably ended up taking his cousin to the Prom, and he can blame someone named Huey Lewis for it.

   So. if I do it....cut me some slack.

   Enough of the Preamble...let's get down to business:


"I slam tracks like quarterback sacks from LT"   Wu Tang Clan

"Mario Andretti would have sure been proud, of the way I was moving when I passed that crowd"  The Charlie Daniels Band

"Does anybody want some Magic Johnson
L. A. Lakers fast break makers
Kings of the court shake and bake all takers
Back to back is a bad a** fact a claim that remains intact"  Red Hot Chili Peppers

"Orlando Cepeda is at bat with the bases jammed
Orlando Cepeda with a Wham! Bam!
He hit a grand slam
In the very first inning
But it's only the beginning "    Danny Kaye

"I don't want to, but if I have to, I'll kick Kareem"  unknown

"Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin? around.
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda s*** was about to go down"....Bob Dylan

" I don't care, I'll rob your ****'n grandparents...give me the baby rings, and the 'Number One Mom' pendants....I'm slamming n*****s like Shaquille..."  Notorious B.I.G.

"Not since '76(inc), since the Knicks won the championships...has there been some ol' **** like this"   Onyx

" I'll back a n*****r down like Shaq Daddy, then drive off in my black Caddy"  Snoop Dogg

"I'll get your beat runnin' like Randy Moss"  Outkast

"I got more hits than Sanduhara Oh"  The Beastie Boys

"My style's liver(sic) than Allen Iverson, take it to the hole, throw it in, triple doubling"  Wu Tang Clan

" Simple and plain...give me the lane...I'll throw it down your throat like Barkley"   Public Enemy

"She's got a trick, he's a player from the New York Knicks......I'm up in that *** while he's playing 'gainst the Utah Jazz".....Biggie

" If I could be like Mike"  famous Gatorade commercial

" I got mad hits like I was Rod Carew"  Beastie Boys

" Why does Team USA keep getting blown out?" Nas

" Hit 'em wit the force like Obi,  black like Toby, Watch me roam like Kobe"  B.I.G.

" Breakin n****rs down like Evander Holyfield"  Snoop

" Muhammad...Muhammad Ali...floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee....Muhammad, the Black Superman, calls to the other guy 'Catch me if you can'..."  Johhny Wakelin and the Kinshahsa Band

" And i remain convinced of his invincibility
Athletic agility, virility,
Seen your free spirit for every through eternity stings
like a bee, Mr Muhammed Ali"   Faithless

"Bunch a sweet memories to us older rap cats
Muhammad Ali knucklin in tournaments
Pimp daddy hats with buckles and ornaments"   Slick Rick

"I say 'Muhammad Ali', ya say 'Cassius Clay'
I say 'butter' you say 'Parkay'..."  Gangstarr, Nice n Smooth

"...playin Larry Czonka on Sega"   MC Ren

"I can go solo like a Tyson bolo"  Public Enemy

" I'm runnin' s*** straight up, like Micheal Johnson"  unknown

" N***r was wearing some Air Olden Polynice....some Air Christian Slaters....rockin' the latest in Ben Stiller Wear"   Wu Tang Clan

"They get excited, like the Knicks gettin' Jordan in a trade"  unknown

" I'll bust one 80 yards, like Merrill Hodge"  Unknown

" I toss midgets like Elway"  Speed Liizards

" Me and son, playin Tekken Part One on Sony Playstation....doin an all night bid up in the crib,,,whippin a** on this Bruce Lee lookin' kid"   Mike Zoot

"N*****s screamin "Mayday,' cause Ren is kicking like Pele"  Mc Ren

"Who's the first pick? Me...word is bond and not Christian Laettner, not Alonzo Mourning." Shaq Fu

Shaq deserves one line in here. So do DiMaggio and Ali, and quite possibly Willie Mays....but they didn't rap.

"Set it off like roman candles in the hands of vandals...stomp your a** like Wahoo McDaniel"   Wu Tang Clan

"...just like George The Animal,  kick a** on the annual, you need to read the Official Nasty Manual"  Onyx

"I'll serve your *** like John McEnroe"   House of Pain

"Dance with the mantis, note the slim chances
Chant this, anthem swing like pete sampras
Takin it straight to big man on campus
"  Wu Tang Clan

To my knowledge, no NHL reference can be found in the rap world. I feel confident enough to set a lobster dinner bounty on one.

" I don't watch sports, only the Yankees and when Sosa's playing"   Cesario

"Powww.... hit you out 'the park like Manny...."    Benzino

"I rock more beats than Jesse Owens ran track meets."

" If rappin were fightin, I'd be Tyson....and all y'all n****** better think...cause right now you're runnin' with Spinks"  Heltah Skeltah

"Speakin, to the punk, who's peakin', with that b****a** style, I'll hit you like Deacon, Jones, how strong? Put out the bones"....Cypress Hill

"Got to the crib, her *** started fightin'...and I was thinking bout my dog Mike Tyson"  Ice Cube

"Every night, I perform like Mike....any one, Tyson, Jor-dan, Jack-son"   Biggie

"I met Ali, he told me I was the Greatest"   Will Smith

" Lookin' out of place...like Fuzzy Zoeller at the Rucker"   Unknown

"Everybody dissed cuz you can't bust this....you've got a bad name like Dick But-kiss(sic)"   The Alkaholics

"You say 'my style'....I say 'your style is played, like wearing Gucci'..you couldn't fade this funk, even if you tried to dou*** me....let loose, G- my n*** are achin' from your grabbin'.....you'll never move no units while I kick s*** like John Madden"   Channel Live

   Stephen is of little help here, btw...His big contribution-besides going to high school with Red Dog- has been to tell me that there is a Marilyn Manson song that says "Steve Garvey" in it.

   There were several young adults in the room who just stared at him as he made this announcement, much like you'd stare if one of your buddies suddenly began speaking in backwards Latin.







Friday, November 12, 2004

Failed "Show" Questions for Tiger Woods

1) My husband likes to go mini-golfing....i'm terrible at it....i can't really afford to look any less intelligent....can Tiger give me any pointers on windmills, putting into lighthouses, etc...

2) Did Charles Barkley hurt anyone at Tiger's wedding?

3) Had Tiger taken a fat wife, would his golf game have suffered so?

4) Will he be taking Fuzzy Zoeller to the Rucker Tournament this summer?

5) Do southern country clubs still refuse him admittance because of his Thai ancestry?

6) Is it just too much fun having a white caddie in Augusta, Georgia?

7) Has he ever been about to hit a putt, only to have a gopher pop out of the ground and start singing Kenny Loggins songs?

8) Is he any good at basketball?

9) What's Natalie Gulbis like in bed?

10) Does he refer to his member as "the nine wood" during lovemaking?

11) When he says hi to the other blacks at the redneck country clubs, do they stop tending bar to talk to him?

12) Do the other golfers occasionally deflate the tires on the golf cart of that quasi-paralyzed guy?

13) Is he Elijah Woods' brother?

14) Has another golfer ever mistaken Woods for a caddie?

15) Does he yell "Who's my CADDIE?!?!" during lovemaking?

16) Has he ever beaten a girl to death with a driver, like the Kennedy kid?

17) Has he ever considered a nice pimp hat for the next US Open?

18) Has he ever taken a figurative attempt at using the ball washer?

19) How come the ball has to be white?

20) Does it hurt to have less Ghetto credibility than Lionel Ritchie?

21) Does the Tiger Woods DVD come with a wedding night video?

22) Will Tiger be skipping the US Open to promote his rap album?  

23) Can you get Tiger and Artest on at the same time? Maybe Artest can scare Tiger into signing on to Tru Warier Records for like $400..

Saturday, November 6, 2004

NBA Preview


    NBA time.

   They have been disgraced before the world, and people in Argentina can snicker when some NYC guy starts talking about how good the games are at his court. Germans can make suggestions about the Americans maybe kind of needing to lower the basket a foot or so. Italians can joke about humiliating Tim Duncan.

   American ballers are selfish, poorly-trained in the fundamentals, and can't shoot fish in a bucket. That said, I am still looking forward to the new NBA season. Let's bring that German team to the NBA, play them 82 games a year, and see how they do against some of the ballers who they may have missed in Athens. They'd beat Dallas...depending on where Dirk Diggler ended up.

   Besides, we have most of the good players from the teams that beat us. The NBA is still the Big Show, and should make for some fun TV this winter.

   Here's a bit of Smurf Logic for each team out there...

- Toronto better hope for a lot of snow, to cancel enough games to let Vince Carter's knee rest. "Vince and Rose, and hope it snows". Chris Bosh has talent, but he is so thin, he fails to reflect sunlight when turned sideways. In a non-expansion year, they'd be lucky to win 20 games. Isn't that Skip To My Lou starting at point? Having Skip To My Lou on your team is the NBA equivalent of having He Hate Me on your special teams squad. You may see Meadowlark Lemon if things fall apart by December.

- Washington is interesting, if nothing else. They can put some points on the board. Arenas and Hughes can score 40 a game between them, easily. Jamison can play either forward spot, and has a 50 point game in his past. Kwame makes the difference, here. If he can play, they're in the playoffs. If he dogs it, the team will be reekin' like Puerto.

- Indiana won more games than anybody last year. They have the Jerm, who is now the 2nd best O'Neal in the East. They have the Artest Formerly Known As Ron. They have the ghost of Reggie Miller Past. They have a good bench, with Jackson, Bender and Croshere. You'll see them in May.

- Miami swung a trade to land Shaq without losing Wade. They will be tough to stop, even for Detroit. Unfortunately, Miami is very thin. They have a guy named Rasual, a Udonis, and the 7 foot+ Chinese man who can't play. They're lacking bench players, but Shaq Fu covers a lot of errors. They'll lose the 12-20 games Shaq misses, and stomp through the Playoffs if he's healthy. Only Detroit keeps them from the Finals, and that is no sure bet. Shaq might be more effective without Kobe.

- Orlando was almost flung into space when Shaq landed in Miami....like a fat girl falling on a see saw that a kitten is resting on. This looked like the Steve Francis/Wait Till Dwight Howard Gets Better Show....but if Grant Hill keeps it up, they could slip into May.

- Philly has a good coach in Jim O'Brein, and a selfish gunner at point. They have little else....even Mark Blount passed on them. Kenny Thomas tries really hard, but they start dudes who wouldn't make Team Angola's bench.

- New Jersey/Brooklyn looks plain awful. Jason Kidd will leave as soon as he is healthy enough to walk away, and it's 82 games of Mercer and Jefferson shooting 15 footers. Charlotte will lose to them once as they look past NJ to that big Atlanta game.

- Detroit has it going on. They play as a team, are fairly young, and everybody is signed. They lost Okur, but replaced him with a rested McDyess. They also have a coach who went from God to Goof faster than you can say, "Beat the Lakers, lost to Lithuania."

- Milwaukee has Van Horn and Redd, but the rest of the team su-uh-ucks. That said, they play above themselves from time to time, and should make the dance.

- Chicago wrecked a pretty good team a few years ago, when they dumped Artest, Brad Miller and Elton Brand to end up with, basically, two high school flops and the worse Davis brother. Chandler is solid on D, but he's injury prone. Curry can score, but he has his head up his sass most of the time. They have some smaller, young talent, but this team will have to overreach themselves just to be awful.

- Charlotte's motto should be "Watch Emeka Progress" or "We'll be in the Lottery for a While". That new center they have, Rafdghbebvic Smurfaluscovic..he's looking good. OK...I just made that guy up. The team blows....but 2007 looks good.

-  Cleveland is on the rise. LeBron is a superb player. Ilgauskas(?) is a fine center, and Gooden was a great pickup- I equate trading for him with finding a really cool Prom date after your steady disses you the Thursday before. The lack of bench will hurt them in the important games. If Zydrunas gets hurt for the year again, there is always a chance of LeBron going, "Hey wait....I live in Cleveland...I want out"

- New York, New York should stink like Gin Baker's vomit. Stephon is a trip, but Kurt Thomas, Nazr Mohammed and Mike Sweetney just ain't gettin' it done.

- Atlanta.....yikes. Antoine Walker will throw up 25 shots a game, and Georgians will wish there was a hockey game on.

- Boston is in dire straits. Pierce has peaked, they are tied to a huge LaFrenz contract, the Glove wanted out before he got here, and we have far too much hope resting on the shoulders of picks 15, 23 and 24 in the draft. Only ping pong balls can save us, and the last time I had faith in those, Tim Duncan became a Texican. The really goofy GM isn't helping, either. They should heavily medicate Red, and just have a nurse tell him that the Celtics are winning all the time.

- Utah is very easy to root for. Did I conjugate that properly? They have a brilliant coach, play team ball, and have a guy named Boozer. They missed the playoffs by an eyelash last year, and they re-armed like an angry Eastwood over the summahhh. And while he's a class act, Sloan always looks like his hobbies are kicking ass and chewing bubblegum...and he's all out of bubblegum. He could give an Old Army-style ass kicking to any of his kids that mouth off. They'll play for him.

-  Dallas has the Diggler, who is one of the best. They also have a patchwork backcourt anchored by (paid like)Mike Finley... who has a contract so bad, Danny Ainge laughs at it. The Dampier move was risky/good, but he could dog them right out of the first round. Dikembe Mutombo pronounces the new wingman's last name as "Steakhouse."

- Phoenix needs to trade a SF for a C, ASAP. They overpaid Nash like he had pictures of the GM with a hamster.

- San Antonio is my odds-on favorite. Big Stoic won't meet an equal unless he sees Shaq in the Finals. His supporting actors do their jobs well, and Barry should stretch the D. Ginobili(?) may rival the Medellin Cartel boss as the most recognizable South American in the US of A. C'mon...name one...I dare ya. Pele may rival him, but when you say "famous soccer player" to an American under 35, they think "Mia Hamm-Garciaparra."

- Portland Jail Blazers...."You're a funny kid....so what time does the bus to Boys Town leave?"....To put this team in proper perspective, if you really look at the Deviance exhibited in this team's arrest record, they only add up to the potential danger to society of .7891 Ray Lewises.....unless you are a pitbull. The only guy on that team who hasn't been arrested- Shareef Abdur Rahim- just might kill someone if they keep playing him at the 3.

- The Clippahhhhhhhhhhs suck every year, but the Red Sox just won the World Series, so pencil these guys in as Western Conference finalists. They almost signed Kobe, though.....lol

- Denver went shopping, and came back with the whole K-Mart. Loads of talent, but fragile...and the non-injury-prone guy already tore his Achilles'. Camby is hurt so much, I've seen him miss games he was actually in. Nene can take a punch, but Carmello had a depressing summer. If everyone stays healthy, and they get a 2 guard, they could hit like an avalanche.

- Minnesota is KG. They have some other talent- Sprewell, Cassell, Wally Gator- but Kandi Man was a bust. $14 million can't feed Sprewell's family...if Spree's family was Latvia. KG should simply tear the league apart until they meet San Antonio. All bets are off, then.

- Seattle has Ray Allen, a perimeter power forward, and a bunch of garbage. Coughlotterycoughcough....

- Houston has the best Chinese baller, and the funkiest man in Texas. I wonder if Yao likes Hank Williams Jr?

- LA should suck, if there's any karma in the world. Kobe should be staring at the loss column in March, feeling as Hitler did when he found out that Heaven wasn't having him, and that Hell was run by Anne Frank.

- New Orleans should trade Baron Davis to Utah for the rights to the name Jazz. Then, they can just pretend to be an expansion team.

- Memphis deserved Eric Dampier, but Hubie will get them to the playoffs again. They also have the less dangerous of the Jason Williamses.

- Golden State had the worst off-season in basketball, going back to when the Cavs traded James Worthy for Don Ford. They deserve the sucking they're about to do. Foyle should be a professor at Colgate after getting that contract for his wick-wick whack career.

- Sacramento is not California.

All right, kid....$30 million over 6 years...that's my final offer.