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This is the archive for June 2008



May the Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen never die.

Shaq Opens Up A Can of Shaq Fu

Four years, two teams, and an NBA Championship ring later, and Shaquille O'Neal is still bringing up the relationship (and lack thereof) between himself and a one, Mr. Kobe Bryant. Although Shaq claims he and Kobe have a better relationship now, the video below shows Shaq freestyling at a local New York nightclub, saying things such as, "Kobe couldn't do [it] without me," "Kobe how's my ass taste," and, in reference to his own infidelity and upcoming divorce, "Kobe ratted me out, that's why I'm getting divorced."

Getting Drafty In Here...(No, Not THAT Draft.)

Okay, I've been meaning to write about wrestling for a while now and at long last, I'm going to. Last night the WWE held its annual draft, but before I get to that, a general blurb.

I've been watching wrestling for most of my natural born existence. At least 22 years that I've been breathing in and out, I've been a wrestling mark. I was a mark for the likes of Flair at an early age and before anyone asks, I was NOT a Hulkamaniac growing up. Come to think of it, I think his heel turn in 1996 is one of the most overrated things in wrestling history. (Someone remind me to divulge more on that at a later date.) Anyway, as most know, ten years ago right about this time we were in the middle of the Monday Night Wars which by this point, WCW was on the verge of losing. The WWE had started hitting its stride and WCW was starting to gas. Back then, I don't think anyone believed that ten years later, there'd be no ECW or WCW and that the WWE would be the only game in town. (Yes, they're the only game in town until TNA gets out of the boonies and gets into the town limits. And yes, I just went Mercury Morris because that's how sick I am of TNA pussyfooting after five damn years of existence.) In any event, last night marked the annual "Draft" that the WWE holds to shuffle around its talent and in most years, it's fairly ho-hum. Move one stale piece in place of another, but last night dare I say, I was genuinely shocked with what went down. Oh and I'm not going there with the Vince crap, because that's what it was for anyone who saw it. Crap. I get that he's done giving away money to folks who care to the sum of zero about his product and that it was a bad idea to begin with (never mind the fact I didn't get called to begin with, bastico). Anyway, let's get to things, shall we?

George Carlin - Baseball and Football

Rest in peace, George. Let us know how that worshipping the sun thing turned out. May Joe Pesci hold you unto his bosom while you ascend to heaven, my good man. You were... no, are brilliant. A real member of the Pantheon of Badassery.

How to really piss off an umpire

Switch hitter, meet switch pitcher:

I seriously can't wait until this guy makes it to the big leagues--especially since he's a Yankee. :D

The Boston Massacre Redux: Doc's Redrum

Yesterday, two things ended with a ceremonious thud. Willie Wonked Out's tenure as Mets skipper and the NBA season. Neither was pretty, neither was worth writing home to Mom about. ESPECIALLY how fugly the Lakers went down to the Celts in the New Garden. The Boston Three Party performed up to their potential, after we spent the first two rounds wondering what abducted Ray Allen. KG stepped his game up and performed like The Big Ticket is supposed to, Paul Pierce upgraded himself from The Truth in my book to The Fact. Because The Fact of the matter was in this series, amidst all the hoobla and the like, he and his Celts wanted it much more than the Lakers did. Period, point blank. I was one of many who had this wrong and needless to say, coming into it...who could blame folks for picking the Lakers? They looked better in a much better conference against far superior (at the time) competition. But in retrospect, they beat a shiftless, listless Nuggets team in the first round they should've swept. They embarrassed the Jazz in 6 and took out the reigning champs in 5 decisive games. Flip side, the Celts were pushed to the brink by the Hawks and Cavs...

It's SKIPB Award time again!

Time to give out another "SucK It uP, Bitch!" award (aka the SKIPB)--and this time, it stays in-house.

This winner is known for his long-winded diatribes, his "guarantees" that fall through without fail, and his long and loud calls for certain job terminations, at least one of which he currently regrets. However, during the recent basketball playoffs, he earned himself this award by proving to be absolutely, completely and totally WRONG in all of his picks--and then trying to cover it up by jumping sides.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the newest recipient of the SKIPB: SB's own Len!

A few quotes from recent columns:

"You want a prediction, Lenstradamus will give it to ya. This goes 7. The Pistons steal one in Boston, the Celts figure out how to win on the road. Game 7, this time, the luck will run out for the Irish and they'll be left at home in a heap."

"I think the Lakers from a depth perspective in this series, don't quite match up to the firepower that the Spurs can bring off the bench at any given time. ...I'm going with the Spurs which means Stern's Ratings Nightmare will happen again, Pistons/Spurs in the Finals."

"The Lakers will win this series and simply put, I see Kobe closing this out in Boston, in 6 games...Get ready for the Lake Show, kids. Because Kobe's getting his crown back, like it or not. "

And then came that infamous Game 4...Oh, our Len was singing a different tune now.

Sorry, Len, you pick a loser, you admit you picked a loser. You can't simply switch sides and hope nobody noticed. You blew this one big time, so why don't you just go ahead and ...(say it with me, people)


Oh, yeah--I've got your trophy attached to the hood of my Yankeesmobile. I'll give it to you the next time I run ov--I mean INTO you. ;)

Woke Up This Mornin'...And Willie Randolph Is Gone!

I should note for the record that I'm an insomniac. I don't sleep all that well and that's why news of this comes of a shock to me. Not that more than 80% of Met fans were asleep when this happened, but even the 20% that were up for it, weren't even aware it happened. The Mets just six hours ago, after defeating the AL West leading Halos sent underachieving Willie Randolph and a few dunderheads packing for a permanent vacation. The New York Post's Mike Vaccaro seems to think that this was "cowardly" by Minaya and the Wilpons. That allowing Willie to fly cross country just to be fired, was rather sad and lowball. No Mikey, allowing Willie and his flat out incompetent nature after last October come INTO THE YEAR when he should've been gone after last, was the 'cowardly act'. Better late then never best covers this, the team needed to get this done a little more than half a year ago, in October or November when a more suitable man could've been named to the position so that the rest of this year (especially after the binge that the Mets went on in the Winter) isn't considered a total throwaway. But wait Len, you should be happy that he's finally gone, right? Well, I am. However, unless Jerry Manuel can reach down in his back pocket and find a way to get the Mets back on top of the heap and get the first pennant for the Amazins in 8 years...the season's effectively a bust and management waited eight months too long to finally do something about it.

The Los Angeles Breakdown

Okay, after Thursday night's inexcusable implosion that made Chernobyl seem like the 4th of July, I have a few things to say...

1) No more 'he's like Jordan' shit. For any NBA player, past, present or future. That's it. Kobe, I hate to say it, but you're no longer Kobe Bauer. You're just Kobe Bryant. That's all. Nobody even remotely CLOSE to being 'like Jordan' would dare blow a 24 point second half lead...AT HOME in a CRITICAL FINALS GAME.
2) The Celtics are proof positive that no matter what rule changes are made, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. Wanna know how you come back from down two dimes and four pennies in the second half? You play DEFENSE. That's how.
3) Doc Rivers apparently, knows how to coach after all. Doc's starting to remind me of the smart kid who plays dumb a little too well, then when he decides to throw that switch, is smart enough to break down formulas even Einstein couldn't touch. (Just saying, he's better than we thought he was.)
4) Big Chief Triangle may want to lose himself in Bermuda after this series. The real Bermuda Triangle by the by. In 2004, his team lost because simply put, they were older than dirt and it was just obviously apparent that the Pistons as a team wanted it more. This time around, armed with a walking WMD that's up for declassification in about a half or so, it was hard to pick against the Lake Show in this series. REALLY HARD. Not when the Lake Show breezed through the West and the Celts were extended to 7 in their first two rounds against far inferior before showing they had a spine and balls against the Pistons in 6.

The NBA Has A Serious Dick Problem

Can we all admit now that the NBA officials are probably crooked? If not all of them, then at least Tim Donaghy and Dick Bavetta? There's a mountain of evidence out there, including Bavetta's own suspension by the NBA, that suggests he's either crooked or the most incompetent ref since Violet Palmer put on a whistle. Here's a little sampling of evidence from the Internet:

Exhibit 1.

(found here)

Exhibit 2.

This list of screwy Dick Bavetta calls compiled by Bill Simmons over six years ago (mentioned here, scroll down to Question: What was the most disturbing subplot of the playoffs?).

Exhibit 3.

The federal government asking more questions about Knick Bavetta than they do about the guy they busted for shaving points, Tim Donaghy.

Listen, I'm not a member of the Tinfoil Hat brigade, but even I knew something was wrong in 2002 when the NBA screwed the Kings. I know there's something still wrong with how officials call the games given the foul disparity that just so happens to affect the outcome of entire playoff series. If there's smoke, there's fire, and for YEARS Dick Bavetta has been a running joke. Maybe it's time to put that joke up for awhile.

The joy of the offside rule

Why do stupid people exist? All they do is fuck things up and piss me off. Right now, they're all in a rage about the Dutch destruction of Italy in last night's European Cup match. Specifically, they're angry that the Netherlands' first goal was allowed. Ruud van Nistelrooy appeared to be offside when he tapped the ball into the back of the Italian net, but closer examination revealed that one of Italy's defenders, Christian Pannucci, was in front of him when the goal was scored, albeit behind the goal line and therefore not of the field of play.

The Thickos (many of whom are probably Italian) are now protesting that Panucci, as a result of being off the pitch, couldn't be considered active, so van Nistelrooy must have been offside.

While this is an interesting interpretation of the laws of the game, it's also complete shit. Panucci fell over and went off the field of play. If he wanted to get up and get back on the pitch, he could. Therefore, he's active. It's not rocket science, is it? If we say defenders can play the opposition offside by simply stepping off the pitch, they'll all be doing it. Before we know it, the full of extent of tactics and strategy will be boiled down to an oversized round of The Hokey Cokey.

Come to think of it, that sounds like fun.Italy practise their new offside trap

Euro Dilemma

The first game of the European Cup kicks off tomorrow, with join hosts Switzerland taking on the Czech Republic. England, of course, won't be taking part, having failed to qualify under the disastrous reign of ex-manager Steve McClaren. As such, I'm left wondering whether to bother watching the tournament at all.

At least if one of the other home nations (Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, or Scotland) had qualified, I could have dusted off the trusty old 'British' affiliation (you know, the one that lets us accept Andy Murray as one of our own, now that Tim Henman isn't a viable option anymore). However, predictably, they were all knocked out in the qualifying stages too.

So, if I'm going to follow the Cup at all, I'll have to choose a team to support, and rather than just pick one out of the metaphorical hat, I'd actually like to apply some logic to the process. Unfortunately, most of my knowledge of the participating countries is based purely on stereotypes, some of which are probably borderline racist.

Should I go with the Germans? No, too cold and calculating. And despite the passing of 60-odd years since WWII, backing the old enemy still makes you a bit of traitor in this country. What about Greece, the surprise champions last time round? No, simply because I'd like to see someone different win it this year. Also, it seems unlikely that they'll be able to repeat that miraculous feat of four years ago. Sweden? Sadly, another no, thanks mainly to the fact they created IKEA. Not that there's anything wrong with IKEA, but there most certainly is with The Sims 2 IKEA Home Stuff. Russia? No thanks; I've watched the Bond movies, and they can't be trusted. Spain? Too greasy. Italy? Too hairy. France? Too garlicy. Croatia? Too, erm... Croatian.

Maybe I'll just sit this one out, and wait for the World Cup.

The Manufactured Feud Between Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant

Does anyone other than ESPN give a damn about Kobe Bryant's feud with Jesus Shuttlesworth, AKA Ray Allen?

Consider this, if you will. Kobe Bryant's averages this season: 28 points, 5 assists, and 6 boards. Now, look at Ray Allen's numbers: 17 points, 3 assists, and 3 boards. Consider the fact Ray Allen can't defend against the gum disease known as gingivitis these days, how is this even going to be an issue? Ray is done as a main eventer.

Kobe's going to drop 50 per game on Ray's head until Doc puts Paul Pierce or James Posey on Kobe, or unless Doc foolishly decided to let Kobe beat them single-handedly (shutting out the rest of the Lakers won't stop Kobe from scoring 100 points, so you'd best double team him if you can, or clobber him when he gets into the paint). I don't even really like Kobe as a person or a player, but one thing's for sure. He can absolutely brutalize the vaunted Celtic's team defense and you will have to slow him down if you want to have a shot at knocking off the Lakers.

Kimbo Slice Is A Joke

As someone who has watched boxing for 15 years now, I've seen a lot of blatantly crooked, blatantly biased decisions where it was obvious someone was on the take. If not the referee, then the promoters, who have interests to protect, made sure the judges knew who was supposed to win the fight, and that they were to make sure the right person got the victory.

Last night, at the EliteXC event televised on CBS, Kimbo Slice got a serious taste of what the NBA calls home cooking. The rest of the world calls it a fix. That's what Slice's fight against James "The Colossus" Thompson was, a blatant fix.

Any unbiased observer, and even the paid shills doing the commentary for the event on CBS, knew Kimbo was down two rounds to none. Kimbo got exposed on the ground, and he finally fought someone who could not only take his punches, but hit him back harder. Kimbo was absolutely gassed, gasping for breath, and completely owned by his first legitimate competetor since Sean Gannon beat him in that YouTube streetfight. So far all Slice has done in his career is beat up tomato cans and 50-something former boxers.

If you believe Thompson was too hurt to go on in that fight, watch the ending when he looks at, then shoves, the ref. That doesn't look like a man who is ready to go down. Besides, it would have been in Elite's best interests to let Thompson get knocked out, if they really thought he was in danger. He was hurt, but no worse than Kimbo was hurt in the first round OR the second round, both times when he got saved by the bell. Given how they let Gina Carano and Kaitlin Young finish their round despite Young's awful-looking eye, I don't see how anyone who isn't a Kimbo fanboy could possibly tell me that the ref wasn't told, before the third round, to stop it in Kimbo's favor the moment Thompson got in trouble. If it wasn't a fix, then that is the worst official I've ever seen, and I've seen Dick Bavetta call an NBA game.

Kimbo Slice, if he'd started doing this 10 years ago, could've been a great righter. As it stands now, unless he gets serious about learning some ground skills, he's going to be nothing but a less-interesting version of Bob Sapp. Come to think of it, I'd love to see Kimbo fight the real internet legend, Bob "The Beast" Sapp. They're both old, they're both huge, they're both one-dimensional brawlers, and neither one of them can make it through a full round without gasping for breath. It's the perfect fight! The only problem is Kimbo would get absolutely slaughtered, so EliteXC won't let the man they've pumped a million dollars into get knocked out so quickly.

Once Elite makes all the money they can off him, or until his contract is about over and he makes it clear he's not interested in resigning with them, Kimbo will continue to be protected, both through crooked decisions like last night's and by giving him easy opponents. Or, in the case of last night, a little bit of both. I don't want to see EliteXC try to out-crooked Don King. If that means Kimbo gets his ass handed to him by a real fighter, so be it.

Elite XC

Dear Elite XC audiences,

You spoiled motherfuckers. I saw the primetime CBS special tonight, and I’ve been looking forward to seeing Kimbo fight for a while on television. However, that isn’t what I’m going to do a mini-rant about. During the Lawler vs Smith fight you ignorant douchebags were booing when they stopped fighting for twenty seconds trying to strategize. You get treated to quick knockouts and stops due to people getting punched hard in the face and you boo for twenty seconds of inactivity? I got a great recipe to drive you fuckers insane: Tim Sylvia. Half of you would put your heads through the chairs you sit in if you saw him fight. Oh, but of course when Lawler and Smith go on a flurry, you all mark out like a bunch of teenage girls for John Cena again. Sickening. WEC and UFC crowds aren’t like that because they actually have a clue. After maybe a minute or two of jack shit then I can see the need to boo, or in the case of the fight finish because it was bullshit, but you idiots whined after twenty seconds. Get your heads out of your asses and learn to appreciate real MMA.

Oh, and a special Jim Rome style war goes out to Phil Baroni for doing a very flashy entrance and then getting knocked on his ass about two minutes later. Nice job, idiot.