Wednesday, April 26, 2006

... like George the Animal,

   Editor's Note: This article should probably be in The Belly Check, but TBC is still hibernating... and if it's possible for a blog to go to bed angry, that's how we nap here at Team Monponsett. We'll let Belly sleep until August or so, when it can gorge on salmon and rut like a sailor with a fresh paycheck. Until then, High Above Courtside can handle business here.

   I don't watch a lot of college football. I can narrow my viewership of it this year down to a pair of games- BC/somebody and the Texas/USC game. That was enough for me. Once the superstar aspect is gone, it's a lot like watching a high school soccer game... not that many steps above "aren't they cute?" on the food chain.

   Therefore, I'm the perfect person to tell you how the NFL draft will go this weekend. I'm distanced enough. Mel Kiper Jr. does this exclusively- I've never seen him speak of sport in any other context than of the NFL potential of a college kid. He no doubt does months of scouting, detailed analysis of each team, background research about who some tailback was banging in high school... and he puts so much thought into it, he out-thinks himself. While I can't say for sure How, his hairdo alone is proof.

   I've played or coached basketball for most of my life. While I was never that good from the outside, I saw a lot of people who were very good at it. One thing I noticed watching them... they never put a lot of thought into shooting. Catch-and-shoot. Whenever I see someone in the NBA catch the ball and pause before shooting- even if no one is within 20 feet of him- he misses.

   The good ones just gun it when they get it. It's a combination of instinct and pure belief-in-self. That's how I run my drafts, and see if I don't kick Don Banks' punk ass this weekend.

   Now, Don and Mel could school me on these kids. I wouldn't know Haloti Ngata (pronounced "Ngata") if I were sitting in his lap. I can't tell you what school Mario Williams went to without looking at my notes. I'm pretty sure it's "Jay Cutler," but it might be "James." Doesn't matta.

   I go by hype and team needs. Hype handles itself- a few weeks of mock drafts show me which players are regarded highly by the most writers. I watch and read enough NFL so that I generally have an idea of where a team's great deficiency lies. I know who's getting old, who hasn't worked out, and who is returning from injury. From there, it's Catch-And-Shoot.

   Mel Kiper has no doubt thought about this for months, and he's probably changed his mind about what Houston will do with the #1 overall pick dozens of times. I may have thought about it for 30 seconds before I kick off my Rough Draft, and I'll probably think less about each succeeding pick.


Houston: Mario Williams, DE

   Mario signs before the draft, killing mine from the start. Reggie Bush must be asking for the sky, the moon , and the stars. Williams is the guy gorilla-ing that poor QB 

New York Jets: Reggie Bush, RB

   There are two basketball teams in LA. One is the Lakers, who have ruled the town since 1964 or so. The other are the Clippers, who are sort of like a JV squad. The Lakers get Jack Nicholson in the stands for their games, while the Clippers try to make do with Billy Crystal and the girl from Laverne and Shirley. The reason for this is that the Lakers have had Kareem, Magic, Shaq and Kobe playing for them in the last 25 years, while the Clippers have had... well.... God help me, I don't know who.

   While a nice tackle is handy to have, they need to come out of this draft with a star. They'll move up to do so. 

Tennessee: Matt Leinart, QB

   The guy they want falls into their laps now, unless Oakland gets aggressive... which will probably happen, as Aaron Brooks just aint that butter. 

New Orleans: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT

   The Saints made a bad move signing the badly-injured Drew Brees to a mega-deal when they could have used that money to pay Young or Leinart. Now, they need to protect Brees... so they may as well draft this mammoth blocker with the name so silly, you know he's a tough guy.

Green Bay: AJ Hawk, LB

   There will be a lot of cheese-eating grins in Wisconsin when this brute falls into their laps with the 5th pick. Maybe the Packers won't start next season o-for-Favre, like they did last season.

San Francisco: Vernon Davis, TE

   Every year, there's a guy in the draft who is "the best tight end prospect in 10 years." Two drafts ago, it was Kellen Winslow's son. This year, it's VD. He should serve to alter ta lot of 14 point losses into 12 point losses for the pitiful 49ers, crushing a lot of organized crime point spreads. It's funny that the Mafia employs people to think about stuff like this.

Oakland: Vince Young, QB

   Why not? If he works out, you'll have a superstar QB throwing bombs to Randy Moss. It won't matter how bad the rest of the team is. 

Buff: Brodrick Bunkley, DT

   Buffy loses a defensive tackle every year, once they realize how much it friggin snows in Buffalo. This kid should solve that problem for 6 years (the standard first round rookie contract length). 

9) Detroit: Jay Cutler, QB

   Ready the Millen Man March, because someone is looking to salvage his reputation with a QB who never won ditka in college. If he takes another WR with this pick, look for his own staff to execute him before the note gets to Tagliabue. It's such a bad pick, you know he's gonna make it.... it's like watching a mongoloid play with the fuse box. Schadenfreude, kids... it becomes entertaining after you start looking for it.


10) Arid-zona: Winston Justice, OT

   Coach Green was up front about how he felt Larry Fitzgerald was a great kid, and he chose him. He was raving about Justice the other day, and it's about time that man got some Justice.


11) St.Louis: Michael Huff, DB

   I got yelled at in IM by someone about a month ago, over a disparaging remark I made about Mike Martz that I can't remember making. He ended up hitting on me once he calmed down. I bet this kind of stuff never happens to Dr. Z.


12) Cleveland: Kamerion Wimbley DE/LB

   I just like sending FSU guys to teams who play outdoors in miserable climates. I bet God does, too.


13) Baltimore: Haloti Ngata, DT

   Ray Lewis needs some big huge guy to hide behind and lay hits on runners. This young man is Yokozuna-sized.


14) Philadelphia: Chad Jackson, WR

   This kid outran a cheetah at the scouting combine, and the team needs a good WR almost as badly as Donovan McNabb does.


15) Denver:  Ernie Sims, LB

   May as well send all 3 of them north...


16) Miami: Chad Greenway, LB

   Taking a guy named "Chad" is among the best ways to ensure that you don't end up with a stoned Nepalese mystic ruining your team twice in 3 years.


17) Minnesota: Jimmy Williams, DB

   As long as he doesn't like  boats...


18) Dallas: Donte Whitner, DB

   Tuna should trade up and get one of those QBs, but this kid fills a need.


19) San Diego: Santonio Holmes, WR

   The GM just gambled his job on Phillip Rivers. Sandy will trade up if they have to, in order to provide Phillatio with a weapon.


20) Kansas City: Johnathan Joseph, DB

   Will spend August wondering to himself why Kansas City isn't in Kansas.


21) New England:   Tye Hill, DB

   Ty Law, Ty Pool, Tye Hill... it's ty chi out there, kids.


22) San Francisco:  Manny Lawson, LB

   If the draft fell into place differently, they'd have Super Mario and SuperManny.


23) Tampa Bay: Ashton Youboty DB

   I love this kid's name.


24) Cincy:  Jason Allen, DB

   JA has a bum hip, but he's a top-flight talent.


25) NY Giants: Darnell Bing, DB

   Could come in handy if they need to sign Reggie Bush someday.


26) Chicago: Antonio Cromartie, DB

   Their recent DB signee just beat someone at a Denny's, so....


27) Carolina: DeAngelo Williams, RB

   They need someone who isn't injured. If he turns out to be a player, all the better.


28) Jacksonville: Laurence Maroney, RB

   Fred Taylor ain't gettin' no younger, and this kid has a chance to be special.


29) NY Jets: Nick Mangold, C

   The Jets need to build a huge wall in front of Leinart.


30) Indianapolis: Lendale White, RB

   The dropoff from Edge is HUGE. I can see them trading this pick to Houston for the suddenly obsolete Domenack(?) Davis.


31)  Seattle: Max Jean Gilles, OG

   They just got looted for their franchise guard, so they may as well take a 350 pound guy.


32) Pittsburgh: Demetrius Williams, WR

   I never shut a mock draft down until someone named Demetrius is selected.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Alleged Duke Lax Rape Victim

Duke Lacrosse rape victim revealed

   Now, rape is never funny.... unless one never occurred, and the victim tries to sue a bunch of rich kids' parents over it.

   I wasn't there. Who knows what the hell happened? I just find it a wee bit unfair that she can spatter the names of the alleged attackers all over the country, while she can sit back and wait for the money to come in.

   If she was raped, the men who did it will go to jail for a long, long time. If she wasn't raped, but she gets a dumb jury (in Carolina, this is a factor), they may still go to jail for many moons. If they are found not guilty, she STILL won't have to face the music.

   In old Europe, the laws on this were very strict. The rapist would be put to death. But... and this is a bigger butt than you see in that picture... if the charges were proven to be false, then SHE'D be put to death. Granted, that may keep a lot of true victims from coming to the law with their story, but it also serves to keep golddiggers from wrecking lives.

   I haven't found out the girl's name yet, but I do have a picture:









   She's a bit more burly than I like my strippers to be, but Southerners are a funny breed. There is a huge bruise on her arm, but that is already the point of much contention between the prosecution and the defense.

   Should be a helluva case... I just thought that I'd level the playing field a bit. As with all women who sell sex... she isn't mad that the sex occurred- she's mad that she didn't get paid for it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Doin' Damage With The Camera Like Godzilla and Gamera

I suck with a camera, which is why we here at HAC leave most of the photoshooting to Dona. Anywho... here's the Buzzards Bay wind turbine.

Here's Sloppy Dog giving up her hopes of a swan dinner:


Swans are pretty much all about avoiding Sloppy Dog. This swan refused to comment.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Coolin' on the scene, like a horse in a stable

Sports Notes:

- The Masters

   For starters, I'm not sure if it's "the Master's" or "the Masters." Verbally, it makes little difference, although I'm aware that sports bloggers should know this sort of stuff. Deal.

   Phil Mickelson won, and pretty much whaled on everybody else. Tiger fell apart like a Korean television set. Few others distinguished themselves. Phil earned his keep, going the last 18 holes with only one bogey... whatever the hell THAT means. I think he killed a gopher, too.

   Phil may be good, but I truly feel that if you took he and I on Route 6, he wouldn't be that much better at mini-golf than I would. I say this with full knowledge of the fact that I hurt myself mini-golfing in Nantasket with my students once. While I wouldn't put big money on it, I'd bet up to a thou. I don't care how good you are... a windmill is a windmill, and it's hard to putt through one.

    Had that Coast Guard bill passed, we could replace the windmills at mini-golf courses around here with big turbines... although the traditional country windmill is prettier. Had Cape Wind designed the turbines to look more like those Dutch windmills of old, they'd be sittng in an office somewhere counting money as I write this.


Inflatable Ben shuts down Real-Life Ben

The Ben Wallace Inflatable Defender Doll

   I might get me one of these. I don't think my playroom can accomodate a 6'9" toy (seven feet with the afro), and it might scare the children. I can also see Sloppy Dog popping this sucker like a collar. Try not to foul it too hard, or it may grab your daughter around the neck... because even at the harbor, the Ben Wallace Rubber Doll doesn't really take a lot of ship.

   I'll still prolly get one, unless it's like $200 or something. My plan is to anchor it in Buzzards Bay, to scare off sharks and hurricanes. It's either a great idea or a terrible one. Speaking of which....

Duke Lax

   It's hard to drum up serious hatred of a lacrosse team, even though I'm instinctively inclined to hate Duke. Still, a Big Dan's Tavern-style gang rape will bring the media to your campus pretty much anywhere.

   For those of you who missed it, Duke Lax had a party with some professional entertainment... a drunken stripper. While they have her on film performing, there are different stories circulating as to whether she took on the whole team, or whether they had her against her will.

   The team has been shut down, kids under scholarship for next year are being advised to lax elsewhere, and things look to be getting real ugly down on tobacco road.  This first sports-rape trial since Kobe Bryant should make for some interesting CourtTV at some point.

   When I was counseling, I worked at a SPED school that had kids who were there because their needs weren't being met at their local high school. Some of them were a bit slow, while others had exhibited a proclivity towards violence/crime/etc... A bad mix, but that's a bunch of tales for another day.

   One particular incident that I want to relate involves some of the tougher kids deciding to take one of the slower kids (they all came to us from the same town) under their wing. They'd let D hang around with him when they shot hoops, treat him when they got sodas, make sure no one in the neighborhood screwed with him, etc... I was actually proud of them, and D was beaming at having some cool friends.

   Unfortunately, they also decided to get him high, once. They had brought him to a party, and they said that he had a good time. When the blunt was passed, they decided that they wouldn't protest D getting his turn at bat. "It's not like it's gonna make him stupid or anything," one of them told me.

   This was during 1-1 counseling, and the Haitian Warrior was shocked to see that I was upset by this development. I wasn't pleased to learn that there was a stripper at the party, either. D is a giant kid, and he's very, very childlike. I put my head in my hands.... "Tell... what ended up happening?'

   "He made the stripper cry. 'Cost me an 8th of weed to shut her up."

   He wouldn't divulge more information... but the the HW doesn't give up his weed for too much., and strippers don't cry easily. For that reason, I'm inclined to think that this will be a far uglier case than the alleged Kobe room service raping that went before the people in Colorado a few years back.



Old Time Hockey!

   I saw a good hockey fight this week. It was a nice, open-ice slugout between Donald Brashear (the guy who Marty McSorely pole-axed with his stick a few years ago) and some really big guy. They traded for about a minute, with each guy landing... then the big guy managed to deck him. It was cool.

   Washington's Alex Ovchekin (or something very close to that) banged in his 50th goal of the season, a pretty good stat for a rookie. AO-Hockey Stick pretty much has Rookie Of The Year wrapped up. He also scored an OT backbreaker that did in our beloved Bruins in the first game I had really watched in like 2 months.

   Hopefully, Boston will spend some money and draft well, because we traded our best players for nothing. Next year might be the year when the Bruins suffer that awful season that gets us our own stud Russian #1 draft pick. Whoever ends up GMing the team may just be making a pick that sets the course of hockey in thistown for the next 20 years.

   Mr. Leonsis also signed another Russian, winger Alexander Semin. This guy needs to see Lucky Number Slevin  before he tells any reporters how to pronounce his name, if you know what I mean. Seeing "Satan" on a hockey shirt is funny... but this guy truly lost the Last Name Lottery 20 years ago in some freezing commie dacha, and he's just figuring it out now, I guess. I've offered Ted my services to explain it to the young man, but he's smarter than that.

   Still, teachers are sort of attuned to silly/potentially fake last names, and we're good people to have working the door in these kind o situations....although I once offended someone on Cape Cod Today's blog service when I thought "Matt Estes" was a fake name. I used to see that one scribbled on the attendance sheet all the time when I substituted in a strange class. Instead, I offended some Irish-Portuguese guy.

NBA Awards

   My vote doesn't count, but I hold the floor at the moment. I personally feel that these awards should be given out after the playoffs, but things aren't always set up to please me.

Rookie of the Year... Chris Paul. CP3 pretty much put a weakened and battered New Orleans/Oklahoma City franchise into the playoff hunt by himself. They might have won 20 games the previous season, and had just traded their best 2 players prior to CP3's arrival. This may be a case where no one else gets a vote, and Atlanta blew it when they passed on this kid.

Coach Of The Year... Byron Scott gets props for the N'awlins turnaround, and Phil Jackson did good work in LA.  Flip Saunders didn't miss a beat in Detroit, and Phoenix still dominated after losing Amare Stoudemire. Give it to the Phoenix guy.. Mike D'Antoni.

Most Improved Player... A lot of guys could be taking this one home. Yao Ming had a slow start, but he was tearing the NBA apart before he broke his foot. David West came out of nowhere to start stacking serious numbers for NO. Paul Pierce and Carmello Anthony both cemented their status as elite players.  Vince Carter went from star to bum back to star again, which probably disqualifies him. Only CP3's landslide prevents me from giving it to West, who will suffer for the same reason Byron Scott will suffer. I'll give it to Carmello, who could use some good pub after his Stop Snitching DVD.

MVP... This is a tough call this year. Kobe led the NBA in scoring, and threw 81 in on Toronto during one particularly filthy game. Steve Nash and Shawn Marion carried an elite team on their backs. I wouldn't complain if Billups/Wallace/Hamilton got the award as a trio. Tim Duncan can make a pretty good case for himself. Dirk Nowitzki has been clowning people all year. Lebron and Dwayne Wade lose out because they may split the next 8 MVP trophies. I'll give it to Dirk Diggler by a personality over Kobe.


Thursday, April 6, 2006

The Smurf Comes Equipped For Warfare

Sports I'm Looking Forward To This As The Weather Turns Nice


   Now, your faithful author here is a jock. I love sports. Basketball, soccer, tennis, hockey, beach volleyball... you name it, I've been in the outfit to either play it or cheer for it. Only a decided lack of talent  prevented me from being a professional wrestler (Tammy, who's never played a sport ever, can throw me around like other people's money).

   That was some time ago when I was actually playing all these sports, I must add. I'm less active now. I have this tendency to break my leg, and I've also had a concussion, a herniated disk, a broken thumb... I even got bit by a snapping turtle once- I've still got the scar, and probably always will. My obligation to my children far outweighs my urge to say "Eff that fool... I can get my shot off on anyone."

   Still, I can bring the ruckus in the right situation. While I won't be jumping into any 5-on-5 hockey games anytime soon, I can still get my ball on. Some of the sports I mean to discuss aren't sports in the true sense, but they'll take up lots of my time.


   I'm not talking anything Olympic here. I do about 50 yards out, and 50 yards back. The briskness of my pace varies by how in shape I am. The difference between Duxbury Bay (my old beach) and Buzzards Bay (my new beach) is the sharks- Buzzards Bay is just a quick veer out of the Gulf Stream, while a shark has to actually make a concerted effort in navigation to get to Duxbury Bay.

   The offshoot of this sport is Tummy Surfing. Get about thigh deep on a day when there are some waves, make an arrow out of your body and leap with an incoming wave... I can get beach 9 out of 10. There's a depth where you have to stop before the beach if you have a chest, but this is a family blog that doesn't need that kind of discussion... technical or no.



   This is Sloppy's favorite game. She's a Labrador retreiver/border collie, and she can play fetch all damn day. If she's 10 feet in front of you and facing you, you can't roll a ball past her- she'd make a remarkable shortstop. I don't actually throw that well, so she sort of gets back (she's blindingly fast) with the stick faster than my arm likes her to. I keep wishing that Stephen would get into hunting.

   Once summer comes, I can ease up on my arm by throwing the stick into the water. Sloppy has to swim for it then. As fast as she is on land, she's strictly a dog-paddler. My wimpy throws suddenly keep the Slopper occupied for a more lengthy period.

   She'd go into the ocean (usually after geese) in the winter, but she gets sort of salty. In the summertime, you can blast her down with the hose after.



   We used to play this one when I was teaching. It is also called "wallball" and "suicide." It's probably the greatest game ever invented.

   What you do is get about 5-10 people, a raquetball, and a huge wall- we used to use the tennis courts in the Charlestown Navy Yard. You throw the ball off the wall, while everyone is 10-20 feet back. The ball comes off the wall at some random angle, and you have to field it cleanly. You then throw it off the wall for the next sucker.

   The game gets fun when someone mishandles the ball as it comes off the wall. They have to run for the wall, while someone else picks up the ball and throws it at them. If you make it to the wall before they bean you, no demerit is awarded. If you get hit three times, you have to make a Stand.

   The Stand is simply standing with your face against the wall, with both hands laced behind your head- ostensibly to protect your neck and skull. Everyone else in the game then gets one free throw at you from about 20-30 feet back- we used to stand in front of the tennis net.

   I don't throw that hard- but I'm evil enough to throw from an angle, so the ball comes off the wall and maybe caves someone in. I call it the Blue Baller.

   I haven't played this since I stopped teaching, but I still find myself instinctively looking forward to it as the weather improves.



   I fish pretty well for someone who refuses to touch any sort of bait. I catch a striper or two every summer. I don't actually bait the hook, cast the line, or take the fish off... but I do everything else, and I always bring a pic-a-nic basket.

   Surfcasting is done best during the evening hours. If you find a nice isolated stretch of beach, build a fire and set up shop. Coolers make for fine seats, so drinking is actually a necessity.

   When I personally catch a fish, I always throw him back. Otherwise, I will cook any DRESSED fish that someone in my group catches. I have recipes for striper and bluefish, and you can make a nice broth out of the bones.

   I'm allergic to seafood, myself. I was an orphan, really poor... and I lived between a clam bed and a lobster breeding ground. I could have eaten steamers, fried clams, chowder, and lobster for free, every day... but No.

Grilled Bluefish With Eggplant Recipe | Bluefish Recipes| On The Grill - Fish and Seafood Recipes @ :: it's wha...

Baked Striped Bass recipe from The Martha's Vineyard Cookbook



   This sounds like a Sloppy game, but it's Gabrielle's version of Soccer. I take a soccer ball, and dribble (soccer style) around the yard. Gabby tries to get the ball from me. I use the hips, although I haven't sunk so low as to put the forearm to her yet. She's 4.

   She'll be growing out of this soon (meaning she'll be able to knock me over soon), but it keeps her occupied for days if you add it up at summer's end. This will become Gabrielle vs. Melissa soon, at which point I'll fill the vacancyin my participation with wine-drinking.