I'm not a Lakers fan, and I think Hell will freeze over before the day ever comes when I become one. However, I'm shocked that you had the balls to come out yesterday morning and tell the world you wanted out of Los Angeles, only to pull a John Kerry hours after the fact and say you want to stay in Los Angeles.
Well Kobe, congratulations for signing over your nuts and any potential title runs you may have hoped to garner in your prime for many years of mediocrity and having the Suns run every shape in the book around you for the next few seasons to come. Congratulations for proving that hindsight really is 20/20. When you put the hammer down on the Lakers to get Shaq out of town... no, wait, you weren't behind that, were you?
Officially, no, of course you weren't. I mean, what kind of teammate would you be if you went to management (which hasn't been the same since The Logo was ousted) and told them that you wanted the Big Aristotle and the Zen Master run out of town on a rail?
Phil Jackson came back, but Shaq was gone and with him went any hopes you had of matching Jordan in terms of being a legacy and such. When they got next to nothing for Shaq, then shipped Caron Butler off to be an All-Star in Washington, your fate was sealed. A few years ago, before I wrote on this thing regularly, I said the move for you would be to go to the Clippers. Build a legacy there and turn them into the new team of L.A., but you couldn't do it. Your loyalty to the team you've been a fan of overrode common sense, but hey, if sense were common EVERYONE would have it.
For years, 26 of them in fact, New York in terms of baseball has always been the Yanks' domain. The House That Ruth Built, The Boss, The Don...Mattingly that is...and methinks right after their 1981 World Series loss to the Dodgers, who had Fernandomania running wild, I didn't see the Yanks have another winning season until the mid 90s. Come to think of it, until that time, the Mets came into their own, winning a couple of NL East crowns and one World Series title in 1986. But two, isn't anywhere near 26, right? Well, here's the thing that most Yankee fans aren't willing to admit, but are seeing unfold right before their very eyes.
The Mets are a helluva lot closer to winning World Series #3 than the Yanks are from winning #27. And what's more, the Mets haven't had to bend worse than a pretzel to get some aging arm to help a craptacular rotation out. Hell, the Mets are without their best arm (Pedro) and we're still ahead of the Bravos by a fairly decent margin. Can you imagine just how deadly this rotation's going to be when Pedro returns in August?
The fact remains that no matter how great the Mets do going forward (and a ton of folks see no reason why this won't get better in the future), this is and will continue to be the Yanks' town, even if the majority of their roster could file for Social Security and nobody would bat an eye. I mean, this team's sad. Even the Devil Rays feel sorry for these clowns right now. Nobody's hitting, nobody's pitching and I'm pissed for taking Mariano Rivera, thinking saves would be in the bag when he's not having spit to close.
Maybe he thought she was good at the free throw line
Apparently having gotten bored with tracking down high school students with game, FAMU coach Mike Gillespie Sr. decided to put his skills to use with the ladies--and got himself arrested on a misdemeanor stalking charge. Seems this isn't the first time he's been looking for love in all the wrong places; according to the police report, he's been investigated several times since March 2005 for similar complaints.
I'm guessing someone's hoping to get a WNBA coaching job someday.
Hey there, Mr. Over-priced Egomaniac, do you REALLY want to save the Yankees? Then Ive got the perfect opportunity for you. After your next minor league appearance on ESPN, get on the phone, call Joe Torre and Brian Cashman and tell them:
I have one problem with this LeBron James commercial for the Cub Cadet riding mower. Watch it to the end and see if you pick up on the one real issue I've had since the first time I watched the commercial. I'll wait.
We cannot work ourselves up about this new "revelation" that Giambi tested positive for amphetamines. Yes, sure, we all knew he was on something the whole time. If we knew $120 million was on the line, we'd do steroids and amphetamines too. Jesus, who wouldn't? Deadspin
I think Jesus is the only person who wouldnt eat everything in the medicine chest for enough money so that your childrens children would never have to work a day in their lives, and thats only because Jesus didnt have kids. I do find it funny that a former steroid user and baseballs biggest critic among active players accidentally has his positive test for amphetamines leaked to the media only a few short days after his vocal demand for an apology from Major League Baseball concerning the juice situation.
Mayhaps Bud is drinking from Stern's pimp cup these days?
I actually managed to watch the Champions League Final last night, so that made me happy. Sadly, Liverpool lost. I'm not a Liverpool supporter, but was backing the English team. I'm not going to do a match report though, as it's far too depressing. Liverpool were dominant throughout the game, but lost thanks in part to a very fortunate free kick which rebounded off Inzaghi's shoulder.
But rather than dwell on Liverpool's loss, I'd prefer to follow my other footballing obsession: old players. In this case, AC Milan's Paulo Maldini, who at the age of 74 has managed to cap a brilliant career with yet another European honour. Did I say 74? Sorry, it just feels like he's been around that long. He is, in fact, 39, which while far more spritely, is still fairly ancient for a professional footballer.
To reach his age and still be able to defend against much younger, world class forwards is a tremendous achievement. That said, Liverpool's manager, Rafael Benitez, probably missed a trick by not playing a more pacey striker against the aging centre back. While Dirk Kuyt is a very capable player, he lacks the kind of pace to trouble Maldini. Bringing on Bellamy would have solved that problem.
Alas, it's all too late now. And apart from a few lower league playoffs, that's the end of the season. For the next couple of months, it'll just be a case of watching the transfer market, and the inevitable soap opera which surrounds soccer.
Prison Blues vs. Orange Jumpsuits 2007: It begins again!
Thats right, kids. With training camps about to begin and the NFL draft over with, weve refreshed the lineup sand started, once more, with the criminal countdown featuring the NFLs most villainous teams. And it didnt take long for the shit to hit the fan this year, as one of last years stars, Bengal linebacker A.J. Nicholson, got arrested again. Rather than felony theft this time, he was arrested merely for beating the sass out of his girlfriend/baby mama.
But hes not the only one.
Pro Bowl New York Jets return man Justin Miller and Denver Broncos wide receiver David Kircus were also arrested for fighting. Miller got into an altercation with a woman outside a New York City nightclub, and Kircus turned a guys face into hamburger at a party. Miller, a former Clemson star, picked up more than a few ho control tips from A.J. Nicholson in the off-season. As for Kircus, who returned to football last season after spending a year working in the fast food industry, must be looking to return to Hamburger University.
As Jaime Sue would point out, no Chargers have been arrested yet. Then again, mini-camps are just starting, so shes got to give them time to round into season form when it comes to selling drugs and getting shot by the cops.
In the last few days, two interesting things and have happened in the world of soccer, and then seemingly, 'unhappened'. Firstly, Leroy Rosenior was appointed as the new manager of relegated League Two side, Torquay. Then apparently, ten minutes later, he was unemployed. At least, that's what he says. The club's Managing Director Debbie Hancox assured the media that Rosenior hadn't lost his job.
So what the hell is going on? Well, it appears that immediately after being presented as manager, Rosenior was informed that the club was being taken over, and the new owners would choose the manager. However, there is a chance they'll want to keep Rosenior, but this doesn't seem likely. If his departure is confirmed, it will enter the record books as the shortest ever tenure of an English club. So it won't a complete waste of time, then.
The second 'unhappening' occurred thousands of miles away in Rio De Janeiro on Sunday, where Brazilian legend Romario bagged his 1,000th goal, equalling the record set by Pele. Sadly, his achievement isn't recognised by soccer's governing body, FIFA, because it includes goals in youth games and friendlies. It is, however, recognised by me, and I think it's worth extra praise considering the man is 41 years of age.
The FA cup reached its climax over the weekend, but unfortunately, circumstances conspired to prevent me from watching it. On a happier note, it seems the game was duller than dishwater, so I was probably better off anyway. With the score standing at 0-0, it took a single goal from the prolific Didier Drogba in extra time to prevent the game going to penalties.
Seeing as how Man Uniteds manager Alex Ferguson had said before the final that he was dreading the prospect of penalties, he must have been happy to see the game finished with a goal from open play. Indeed, being such a great loser, he surely congratulated the opposition on their win, declaring the better team had won, right? Wrong, of course. When the final whistle was blown, Ferguson immediately proceeded to tell the world his team had been robbed of the cup, thanks to a penalty which should have been awarded, but wasnt.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho was doing his best to look smug, despite the fact that Chelseas season was something of a disappointment. Earlier this year, Chelsea were once again in a position to win the Premiership, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Champions League. But once again, theyve failed to live up to these unrealistic expectations, only managing to capture the two domestic cup competitions. For any other team, this would be regarded as a worthy achievement, but for the mega-rich London club, it seems like a consolation prize.
Anyway, thats pretty much the end of the season for English clubs; theres just a few play-offs left, and the small matter of the Champions League final. Hopefully, theyll be a little more exciting.
I got so distracted by my email last night that I didn't get much chance to watch the fights on HBO, so I caught the rebroadcast this afternoon. On paper, this was one of those cards that has you wondering why it's not a pay-per-view; two middleweight fights, the winner of the first one becoming the universally-recognized number one contender for the title belonging to whoever wins the second fight. Did this card live up to expectations? Half of it did, the other half, not so much...
(It's truly amazing the things one does between calls at a call center. In the not so great memory of the Nets being bounced out by LBJ and the Cavs, I felt the need to draft two letters to two men I really wish would take the first NJ Transit bus or train out of town and never returned. This first one is for VC.)
Let me start this out by saying the following. Before this series, I thought very highly of you as a player. Not exactly the next Jordan, even though your aerial antics are fairly close to his and your performance in your Slam Dunk Championship was one of the greatest moments I've seen in the history of the Slam Dunk Contest. However, as a player, your play leaves something left to be desired. Correction, it LEFT something to be desired. When you were traded from Toronto to NJ two seasons ago, I was overjoyed. I mean, the Nets got you for next to nothing and I couldn't have been happier about it. But then...it all went bad. I mean, on paper, it looked brilliant. You, RJ and J-Kidd. The trio which regains control of the East from the AARP All-Stars in Miami posing as the Heat or the Pistons, hell, even keep it from Cleveland's hands. All would be right within the East again, as it was between 2002 and 2003. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Two straight years the Nets have been bounced out in the second round and what's even more gut-wrenching about this season is the fact that Jason averaged a triple double for the POSTSEASON and now he's gonna be sitting at home watching Detroit pound Cleveland into paste (hopefully). Because of you pulling a Houdini in Game 6 and then letting the likes of defensively deficient Eric Snow and Larry Hughes make you cough up the final possession in Game 4...the Nets are at home and I'm doomed to hear about this until Doomsday from every slack jawed yokel "Witness" within the Akron area.
Apparently someone other than the usual gang happened to read my comment here, because I got this in the mail tonight:
"Okay, they're heading into full-blown overkill on this now. Giving Barbaro an honor that he has done nothing to deserve is not only an insult to the great Secretariat, but it shows just how desperate the horse racing world is to exploit this particular horse to boost their product. Had any of the other Triple Crown contestants (including the winners of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes) had such an injury, they would most likely have been euthanized on the spot. Barbaro's accident was a tragic end to a career with potential, but it is certainly not a reason to canonize this horse into sainthood."
I am sure you have recieved many angry e-mails concerning this ignorant post of yours. Had you the mind to watch Barbaro's races, maybe you would have seen how incredible this athlete was. Barbaro never lost a race and was always a length ahead of the rest of the field. Make sure you have the facts, in this case the most obvious fact that Barbaro was a 'perfect' horse.
Stern dismissed the idea of Nowitzki's victory prompting a change in voting to include some or all of the playoffs. It's worth noting that five of the previous seven MVPs did not lead their team to the championship; however, it had been 25 years (Houston's Moses Malone in 1981-82) since an MVP failed to win a single playoff series.
Also provided graciously by SI, in 1974 75, MVP Kareem Abdul Jabbars Lakers finished a distant fourth in their division, so if the league didnt change the MVP rules then, they sure arent now for the best regular-season team in the NBAs best player. Remember kids, its a relatively meaningless regular season award, not a Finals MVP.
On a somewhat related note, NBA fanboy and (former) Stern suck-up Bill Simmons has written his best column since before Ralph Wiley died, rightfully taking the NBA to task for the lousy officiating, and lousy interpretation of the Dont leave the bench rule as applied to Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw (and not to Tim Duncan, who did the same thing earlier in the series after a teammate received a hard, normal foul and not a cross-check).
Generally, as a follower of Godwins Law, Im against all Nazi comparisons, but in this case, Len might be right with his characterization of David Adolph Stern. Much like the King of Town trying to eat The Cheat, David Stern has gone mad with power.
The real winner is the promoter who dreamed up this freak show
Who wins? A street fighter who got owned by a below average MMA fighter or a professional boxer who happens to be 16 years removed from his last significant title victory? Would you take the 46-year-old former pro boxer who has had two MMA fights in which he either lost by decision or got KOd with a kick, or would you take the "30" year old street fighter who got pwned by a terrible MMA fighter and is famous because he beats up nobodies on the internet?
Mike Tyson versus Secretariat.
Kevin Ferguson AKA Kimbo Slice versus Merciless Ray Mercer.
Considering Kimbo is neither a trained grappler nor a trained boxer, and considering Ray Mercer has at least fought in a legitimate MMA competition before, the only way Kimbo possibly takes this one is if Ray Mercer is just so slow and old that he gets beaten to the punch (pardon the pun). Anyone with a little training and the ability to take a punch like everyone knows Mercer has ought to be able to beat the most talented street fighter out there, but Id be lying if I didnt want to buy the pay-per-view of this freak show.
My prediction: Bob Sapp by KO in the first round.
My real prediction: A boring pseudo-fight in which Kimbo doesnt want to be embarrassed by an old man and Mercer doesnt want to be knocked out by someone with no real fighting skills. Expect lots of groping and hugging, and a lame decision at the end unless someone (Kimbo) does something stupid.
...have to belong to Josh Beckett, who was taken out in the fourth inning of what he was hoping to be his eighth win in as many starts. Unfortunately for him, at the time of his removal, the Red Sox were losing to the Orioles. The Orioles, however, in a surprising show of sympathy for Beckett, gave up their 5-0 lead in the 9th, allowing the Sox to win, 6-5.
At this point, one has to wonder why the Sux aren't either:
a. Investing in economy-size barrels of pickle brine
b. Coating Beckett from head to toe in Super Glue before each and every start (after all, if his skin is that tender, god only knows what's going to split next)
c. Getting Manny to pee on Beckett's hands instead of in the Green Monster.
Expect serious panic from Red Sox Nation in the days to come, especially when Julian Tavares volunteers to pitch double duty until Beckett returns.
Another night race turned into another Sunday race as rain once again created a postponement last night. But the tires hit the track today and burned up some Sunday rubber instead.
And yet again, Jeff Gordon's year just keeps getting better and better. Last year for Jeff Gordon's team, nothing seemed to be going right. DNFs knocked him out of multiple races and usually came within the final laps of a race Gordon had been leading for the majority of the race. But today, not even a car who was overheating and spewing steam could stop Jeff from being the first to see the checkered flag today. This probably pisses a lot of people off, because Jeff has about as many 'haters' as he does fans. But hate or love, Jeff Gordon is probably one of the most talented drivers in the sport today as his win count keeps climbing and he proves why he's already such a legend at age 35. He's well on his way to earning his 5th championship and the first one for Jeff since Nextel took over as the title sponsor.
But as much as Jeff is on a hot streak, reminiscent of Tony Stewart's in 2005, there is one man whose announcement this past week is probably one of the best things for the sport in years and years. And that'd be Dale Earnhardt Jr. His announcement that he is leaving DEI and seeking a contract with another team next year, has been the talk of NASCAR and non-NASCAR fans alike. People who never watch NASCAR are suddenly talking about what a cold frosty bitch Teresa Earnhardt is (and cold and frosty aren't good here, only good when describing a nice cold Budweiser). This will bring some great attention to the sport, probably drive up Junior's net worth even higher and boost his popularity ratings even higher than they already are. People are left wondering which team Junior will go decide to race for next year, as almost all of them are more than willing to sign him because unlike Teresa they know he's money in the bank.
So, this year's driver carousel promises that it might be even more exiting than the 12 driver field of the Chase for the Championship. Bring it on.
p.s. Happy Mother's day to all those moms who are reading this to get their sports fix on. ;D
We get a lot of weird hits off the Google at this website kids. Up until now, I've shared them mostly with staff, but they tend to be really good ones, so I figured why not make our private jokes public and share the good ones with you? This'll probably end up being a weekly feature, since there's not much else to post on Saturday mornings by and large. Plus it's pure comedy, as you'll see below.
Its only fitting that, since today is the day of the Dodge Avenger 500, that our big hit drivers for this week so far have been NASCAR-related. Thats right, kids. The Google is your friend, since he leads you to us when you search for such awesome phrases as
Teresa Earnhardt bitch
Dale Jr underachiever
and my personal favorite:
Ill put that son of a bitch off the track Dale Jarrett
You know NASCAR is gaining in popularity when racing-related searches top such traditional favorites as Jeter gay, Tiger Woods whiny bitch, and my second favorite, Tom Lasorda rip them country cock suckers."
Ricky Williams testing positive for marijuana use is about as surprising as a Steve McNair DUI these days, but here I am mentioning it anyway. Nothing to see here, folks; lets all just put our heads down and keep going like nothing happened.
This has not been a great year for you, it really hasn't. First, you drop the hammer of all hammers down on Carmelo Anthony for a sucker punch on a Knick. Granted, this wasn't on the Kermit Washington level or even remotely close to the Jermaine O'Haymaker that floored that fan who charged him and then slid after being hit...but still, you more than likely cost the Nuggets a better seed in the playoffs because sixth or not, drawing the Spurs in the first round is like being a sixteenth seed on Selection Sunday. It's all great until that initial four minute run's up, then it's 'grab your ankles' time. But as bad as your decision making was on that, I can't even begin to put into words the boner that you made in choosing Dirk No-win-ski as MVP this year.
I guess rather than give it to the Canadian who's played more like a Most Valuable Player, you're content with giving it to the Most Valuable Poser all because he's the "best player on the best team". Shaq was right to a degree, they really need to change how they hand this thing out because at this point...if LeBron manages to be on the Cavs when and IF Hell freezes over when they get the best record, he's got an MVP trophy coming his way too. Now I get that it's a regular season award and that before we saw how truly exposed he AND his team were in the playoffs. And hell, even in the regular season when the games were sort of an afterthought for the Mavs, Nash outperformed him AND his team twice. Take away those multiple winning streaks of double figures and odds are,
we're talking about how Nash is a three time winner of the MVP award.
Fact is Adolf, the Charmin German deserved this award about as much as LeBron deserved ROTY in his rookie campaign when anyone with basketball sense knew Carmelo deserved it. So congratulations Dirk on being handed your first ever MVP trophy, you German poser you. Take your trophy, go home and listen to some more David Hasselhoff.
Ted Williams knows you always have to protect your wood.
These days, clubhouse attendants serve mostly as drug mules for the millionaire players they associate with. Anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, Clenbuterol, amphetamines you name it, and guys like former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski get it for you. But while todays players consume entire pharmacies, do you know what Ted Williams needed to bat .400?
According to Dan Dillman, a former Tigers visiting clubhouse batboy, the Splendid Splinter needed only, the best five-pound box of chocolates you can find and a BIG box of rubbers. Those were the days, kids.
The classic athlete move in any situation involving suspensions, legal trouble, or any kind of malfeasance is to immediately start shifting blame, weaseling out, mentioning tainted supplements, and generally trying to incriminate others in such a way as to look less guilty of whatever it is you did that youre trying to hide (anyone up for some tainted B 12 shots?) Hell, our entire legal system runs on the snitch principle: rat out on others before they can rat out on you.
So, in an effort so save some of a years pay, Pacman Jones has decided to make it rain one more time, with this gigantic PDF file of NFL player arrests over the last 7 years. Its like my world-famous and Jaime-hated Prison Blues Vs. Orange Jumpsuits series detailing last seasons all-time all-crime squads, the Bengals and Chargers, but better.
I dont know about you, but I know what Im doing for the next few hours.
Say goodbye to DEI as Dale Earnhardt Inc will be officially losing its biggest star and money-maker, along with probably its most powerful sponsorship as the namesake's son will be leaving his father's racing team after a frosty relationship with his step-mommy dearest and if she really is losing her Step-Son as the teams start, she might very well find her team having to find a new star or forever shut its doors with a lack of profitability.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be officially saying goodbye to DEI and racing full time next year for his own team JR Motorsports in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports sources from inside DEI and Hendrick have reported.
The press conference will be televised nationally (most likey on SPEED) will take place at 11am ET tomorrow (Thursday) from JR Motorsports headquarters.
So, will JR survive? Yes. The kid has bank, he will have sponsors galore, being the most popular NASCAR driver has its perks, and as much as I hate to admit it.. he has talent in the driving arena too. If his team is partnering in part with Hendrick Motorsports, he will really have a leg up in running his own team in the Nextel Series.
Will DEI survive? That remains to be seen. In losing Jr, they don't only lose their most talented driver, but they will also be losing Budweiser as a sponsor along with a few others who are rumored to be following Jr if he leaves DEI for greener pastures. While Martin Truex Jr. is a talented driver.. he isn't really talented enough to support an entire team, at least yet. Furthermore, his contract is up at the end of 2008, but there are rumors that his 2008 year is an option year. Thus he could be following his teammate and also go race for JR Motorsports. Additionally, DEI has struggled over the past few years, not only with bad luck on the driving front, but a lot of engine failures and just an inability to put a car out there that can consistently win races and put DEI in any sort of hopes to win a championship.
So, I'll let you all chew on that. And I'll bring you more tomorrow after the press conference and we get official details.
I was going to do a piece on Steve Nash today; even though he lost the game and home court to the Spurs yesterday, he showed more heart than Dirk in not letting a bloody nose keep him from competing at a high level. In essence, he showed everyone why he's a two-time MVP and for all accounts, a member of the Threepeat Club.
Instead, you all can thank the Yanks and more so, The Money Sprocket for this piece. The quote's a fairly simple one, "money talks, everything else runs the marathon". I believe Nino Brown said this before a guy got dropped off the side of a bridge in New Jack City and it's true. Two instances that standout in recent memory.
- Carlos Boozer. I'm in Akron, so I have very intimate knowledge of this thing. Simply put, it went like this: Carlos gave the Gunds his word that he'd stay in Cleveland, despite them being able to offer a set amount that wasn't anywhere near the market value (which he ended up getting from Utah). So he's faced with a fairly tough decision...honor his word to the Gunds or get paid in well...Utah. We know how this one ends. He gets paid, Cleveland gets pissy, and no matter what or how hard they try to convince you of this...Drew Gooden is no Carlos Boozer. Boozer, along with LBJ, would've been scary; hell, in this series I'd be petrified of what those two could do to the Nets. But let's face it, there's a reason Drew was traded halfway through his rookie season and when The Logo sends you packing...in no uncertain terms, you suck.
Then of course, there's everybody's favorite MERC, Roger Clemens. In this piece, Bill Simmons (who is one of my favorite columnists to read on the regular) talks about how Bostonians may never forgive Roger Clemens for how he left the Red Sox.
That shriek of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" you may have heard earlier was my reaction to the announcement that Roger Clemens would be rejoining the Yankees in the near future. Apparently I am in the minority on this issue, because everyone else is so busy looking back to the Rocket's glory days with glistening eyes and expectations of another championship for the Yankees. Yes, I'd love to see the Yankees getting fitted with ring #27, but I don't think catering to the ego of an overpriced prima donna is the way to get there, and here's why:
...because they won't stop talking and you can't understand a damn word they say.
Boxing wasn't saved tonight, but it's not dead, either. After months of HBO hype, the De La Hoya vs. Mayweather PPV proved to be more sizzle than steak, but what steak existed was decent. Let's go to the card:
The Kentucky Derby is something of a big event for those of us from Kentucky, so I'll be out of contact for most of the day. I can't promise I won't be drunk, but there's a good chance of if I end up swinging by the liquor store tonight and getting myself a bottle of high-quality Kentucky bourbon. That remains to be seen.
But if you'll click right here, you'll read what is probably the best summation of the Kentucky Derby experience ever written, by Dr. Hunter Thompson. Of course, these days there's a lot more security and it's a lot harder to sneak liquor in for a proper infield party, but things will never change that damn much. Nervous jittery drunks vomiting on one another, a sea of stinking human bodies.
I've had a belief over my years of watching the playoffs that sometimes, no matter how deep or talented a team is, that certain past failures can doom a team. In baseball, we call them curses. In hockey...uh, Ron can take that one. In basketball, there are no "curses" to speak of. Neither is it in football. After last night, the Mavericks joined a club they'd rather not be a part of. The first team to EVER blow a 2-0 lead in a Finals series and then follow that up the following year with a loss to an 8 seed in a seven game format. And after hearing something on I believe it was ESPN last night, I agree. When teams get dropped in 5 games, anybody can get lucky three out of five times. But when you can take four out of seven or in this case, four out of six from a team, there isn't that much "luck" in the world to justify or rationalize it. You're just better than they were. And to be brutally honest, there's no denying that the Mavs will be near the top of the Vegas oddsmakers list of teams to win the 2008 title. But what do those degenerate gamblers know? They're gamblers. However, I can tell you this...no matter what Cubes does in the offseason or in the NBA Draft, this franchise is finished. Let me run down a few notables and show you just exactly what I'm talking about.
In my lifetime, I've been fortunate enough to say I've seen three #8 seeds knock off the top seed in the first round of the playoffs. In 1994, I'm not sure how the Sonics got that top spot, but they clearly were NOT the best team that year as Denver proved in 5. In 1999, the Knicks were a #4 or 5 seed POSING (this word will be used often) as an 8 seed. This year, we saw a #8 flat out play the way everyone thought the #1 would, only it never happened. Of all the numbers I can throw out at you right now, this one says it all for me...
2 for 13, 8 points. 1-11 in the first half, 0-2 in the second.
To be perfectly honest with you, if there was ever a statistic that backed up my ranting on how overrated Dirk Nowitzki is, this is it. If there was ever a statistic that backed up my claim that Dirk should NOT win the MVP award this year from Big Stevie Cool, this is it. If the mere fact that the league's supposed Most Valuable Player is going home in 6 games before the Conference Semis and Steve Nash is gearing up for another playoff tilt with the Spurs doesn't say it all, nothing will. I sat through the second half last night, expecting the Mavs to make a run to get back in the game and then accelerate to silence the crowd and finish this series in Dallas. I sat through thinking that Dirk would ignite and flat out prove me wrong. He'd put his team on his back and take them to Dallas where they'd run the Warriors into the ground in Game 7.
Your season wrapped up last night at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs for the second year in a row. For the second year in a row, your team went down in 5 not because your team's not good; the Spurs are simply better right now. They're hungrier and Pops is the best coach in the NBA (who isn't getting the respect or notoriety he deserves). In a word, he is to the NBA what Belichick is to the NFL, only Pops is too quiet to attract a ton of attention the way Ole Sweatshirt and Cutoff Sleeves Guy does.
Anyway, there are those who would, and probably will continue, to rank you beneath LeBron on the account that he has been to the second round and you, to this point, have not. Well, if you got to play every postseason in the JV League known as the Leastern Conference, I'm sure we'd be seeing you in the Conference Semis every year as we're starting to see with 'Bron Bron. HOWEVER...there's hope. That hope is in the form of that guy wearing the #3, the world knows as A.I.. There's the "Pippen" to your "Jordan." And here's the other best part about this...Iverson wants a ring just as bad, if not worse, than you do. Right now, you've got something that not Bosh, not Wade or even LBJ can boast. A potent 30-point scorer who can be next to impossible to stop on any given night. You've more than established yourself as a man who will get points whenever you so decide on a night-in, night-out basis. Until your suspension and Kobe Bauer going ballistic, you led the league in scoring. So what I say is this...
You will eventually beat the Spurs. Jordan eventually figured out a way around the Pistons and Celtics, who hounded him at every turn in the playoffs. Much as he did, you will do the same with San Antonio. The pieces are most definitely in place for you to win another title before LBJ closes in on #1 or Wade gets #2. You've got a shot-blocking presence in Marcus Camby, reigning Defensive Player of the Year. You've got a potentially great complimentary player in Iverson, who is NOT a point guard. That, is a problem that management SHOULD be able to fill for you IF they find the right person.
That person's name is Chauncey Billups. Trust me, you get Chauncey, I'm all but guaranteeing you will end up winning the West, and since the East doesn't figure to get any tougher (save for Chicago, these guys are getting scarier by the DAY), more than likely the whole ball of wax. So what I'd strongly suggest you do is get on the horn and stay on the horn with Chauncey, since I don't believe they're going to beat the Baby Bulls in the 2nd round, and convince him that he'd be best served in turning down Detroit's offer because Flip's not going to get them any closer to another title before he's ready to hang it up.
Convince him to come back to Denver, where he was for a short period in his career and help you, along with A.I., get a ring. Iverson moves to the 2 and defers all point guard handling on the primary to Big Shot Billups. Trust me, your team's fine and you should thank management for taking bold steps to ensuring you won't be basically playing for a check every year. In any event, fret not. You will be great for many a year to come. So I suggest you and hell, tell Allen too, get Billups. Big Shot Billups = Title for you and A.I. next season.
You know, sometimes you want to look good when you make it rain, but you dont want the looking good part to affect the amount of rain you can make, so you had to wait all year for this sweet road white Pacman Jones jersey to go on sale. Christmas in May for the burgeoning thug! Its kind of a shame they arent also slashing prices on Chris Henry jerseys, too.
Side note: I could not think of a better ironic gift for a sports blogger. Needless to say, Id wear it with pride, especially to strip clubs and meetings with my parole officer.
As the commercials have told us, Gatorade was invented in 1965 at the University of Florida to help rehydrate the football team in that hot, swampy, smells-like-balls Florida summer. The football team is the Gators, so the drink was Gatorade. Makes sense, right?
If Gatorade had been invented at Florida State instead, would we now be drinking a sweetish, salty, sticky drink known as Seminole Fluid?
An Open Letter To The Spoiled Brat Fans In Baseball...
Dear Yankee Nation,
I must say, one month into the year I didn't quite expect your favorite team to be sitting in last place. What? Last place? You mean to tell me that Tampa Bay, perennial holders of the cellar in the AL East, are out of the basement?! Well, after hearing about a weekend's worth of 'Steinbrenner's going to fire Joe Torre' and all this other hibbity hooblah, I felt compelled to explain WHY the Yanks have basically bolted the door shut when it comes to winning another title any time soon.
First, there's The Boss. Yes, Steinbrenner's to blame for the Yanks and their inability to do something simple such as I don't know, get out of the Divisional Series for a change? The Yankees have not seen a Fall Classic since 2003, when they were filleted by the Marlins, who next to nobody saw coming. They have not won a title since their 2000 Subway Sweep against the Mets. The old adage goes, and my father's told me this a trillion times or so in my 26 years on this planet, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Still want to be a tutor to your boy Dwayne Jarrett? Well, I guess you still can, but it's going to be private tutoring, not the kind where an older wide reciever mentors a younger wide reciever on the same team, because you got cut today. Less than 48 hours after raving about how much fun it was going to be tutoring your eventual replacement, and you got replaced.
I hope you guys spent a lot of time huddling up over film and sharing tips on the proper art of pushing off a smaller, faster cornerback. For the record, I do think you'd be a good wideouts coach, since you do know a lot of tricks for excelling despite your lack of speed. You're a black version of Joe Jurevicius, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself; it just means you think you're worth a lot more money than a possession reciever is actually worth. That's all you are, Keyshawn; hell, that's all you've ever been. You've never been fast, and you sure aren't getting any faster these days, so know what you're really worth and decide (quickly) if you want to keep playing football or if you want to find yourself permanently behind that desk on ESPN.
I think the funniest thing about this whole issue is that you knew, deep down, you were going to be replaced by Jarrett eventually. That's why you talked up your role as an on-field coach to a younger version of yourself. You just didn't realize that, because they drafted your replacement, they had no real reason to keep around the older, slower, injury-prone Keyshawn 1.0.
If your delusional nature wasn't so damn funny, it'd be sad. Good luck just getting the damn ball now that you're the second reciever in Tennessee (or wherever you end up). With Parcells out of the league, there's nobody around to guarantee you (and Drew Bledsoe) a job.