Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sean Taylor

Sean Taylor was a great football player, a dependable teammate, a loving father, and a devoted family member.

And Sean Taylor was a thug.

At least, that is how the media wants you to remember the player who was shot tragically in a suspected home invasion. Football player, family member, … and thug. Read the rest...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jerry Jones can bite me

This Thursday, the network will be broadcasting what has become one of the biggest games of the season. Jerry Jones' 10-1 Cowboys will be hosting the 10-1 Green Bay Packers. The winner gets NFC bragging rights as well as the opportunity to control home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The fact that two-thirds of the country cannot watch this prime time game without paying has caused Jones to speak out against the cable companies, encouraging customers to switch to another provider.

Read the rest...

Friday, November 16, 2007

The NBA = Prude

“We call this a ‘Brokeback Mountain’ game, because there’s so much penetration and kick-outs.”

This was the statement from Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson that drew unnecessary ire from NBA Commissioner David Stern. In today’s post-Isiah world, the league has become prudish.

But what exactly was offensive about Jackson’s comment? That he pointed out there is penetration in gay sex? There is also penetration in straight sex (if you’re doing it right). Perhaps Stern needs a refresher course.

Read the rest...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bye Bye Barry

Ooooh, Scott Boras is going to be pissed! Barry Bonds has trumped any upcoming Alex Rodriguez announcement by going and getting himself indicted.

The indictment states "During the criminal investigation, evidence was obtained including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances for Bonds and other athletes."

Should Bonds be convicted on all five counts listed in the indictment, he could go to prison for up to 30 years. While there are other unnamed athletes involved in the decision, Bond was the big fish.

I can't provide legal analysis and I won't even try. In the next few days, every lawyer under the sun is going to weigh in with an "expert" opinion. But I will say this. Pete Rose has been denied the Hall of Fame for betting on games. Betting FOR the team he was playing for. Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned, despite being acquitted by the grand jury for game fixing. If Bonds ends up in the Hall of Fame after this indictment, it will be an injustice. For the league, for the fans, and for the players who take this game seriously every day.

Bud Selig can do what he wants with the record. Asterisk it, erase it, let it stand. It's no longer about the record. It's about the responsibility of the league and those who govern it to keep the sanctity of the Hall and the game.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Arod Desperate for the Yanks

Will Alex Rodriguez be a Yankee after all? If it means he does it on the Yankees terms and without Scott Boras, then I'm all for it. And according to the New York Daily News, it might be an option.

Arod's image has taken a hit recently due to his unreasonable contract demands, namely the price tag of $350 million. If Arod is willing to talk to the Yankees while keeping Boras out of the process, it's a step in the right direction.

But let's look at this for what it is. Arod is an attention whore. The best way for him to stay in the spotlight is with the Yankees. The Yankees have some big moments coming up, including the tearing down of the old stadium and the opening of a new one. There's no way Arod would pass up being a part of that history.

Arod never had any intentions of wearing a uniform other than a Yankees one. He was ill-advised by Boras, who obviously felt the Yankees would pony up the cash. Unfortunatley, he's dealing with a different Steinbrenner.

But as I said yesterday, while Arod would be an obvious asset to the team, the Yankees have options. They're not desperate for Arod. Arod is desperate for the Yankees.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hip Hip, Jorge!

The Yankees and Jorge Posada came to an agreement Monday, allowing Posada to stay a Yankee for at least another four years at a price of $52.4 million. This is yet another move that shows the new Steinbrenner generation has their heads on straight.

A five time All Star, Posada hit a team-high .338 this year with 20 homers and 90 RBIs. He set career highs for average, slugging percentage (.543) and on-base percentage (.426).

Posada's entire major league career has been in a Yankee uniform, something that is rare with today's “buy and sell” baseball mentality. With the retention of Posada, the Yankees have made sure that they have core players in place to drive the team next year. Both Posada and Derek Jeter have been Yankee lifers. While their talent has a lot to do with that, it also speaks for loyalty. Loyalty that you can't “buy and sell”.

The Steinbrenner boys have made it clear that, unlike their predecessor, their priority isn't flashing cash and buying overpriced talent (read Clemens, Roger). They appear to be spending wisely and making good moves.

The only defensive hole is at third. With Wilson Betemit in the slot, the position is weak. But with Boston's Mike Lowell free to talk to other teams, it opens up a possibility for the Yankees to make an offer. The Mets have been rumored to show interest in Alex Rodriguez also. Should that come to fruition, it would be quite reasonable and financially viable for the Yankees to acquire third baseman David Wright in a deal. (Although the hormonal surge among female fans if Wright and Jeter were on the same team might tilt the earth's axis.)

The bottom line is, the Yankees have options and a promising future. A new young manager, talented and loyal players, and new decision makers who seem to get it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tennis Stars: Now With Harder Bodies

SHANGHAI – Andy Roddick has the body of a warrior. A Terracotta Warrior to be exact.

The hard bodies of the top eight players in tennis have become even harder, thanks to a woman named Laury Dizengremel. The French sculptor has immortalized the pros in the forms of Terracotta Warriors.

As the tennis players battle it out at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, the tournament will be guarded by these warriors built in the likenesses of all eight qualifiers of the event. The project, commissioned by the Association of Tennis Professionals, is the first large-scale project of its kind.

“The first Tennis Terracotta Warrior was Roger Federer. It took about two weeks to create that first 'master' body,” explains Dizengremel. “Then we made a mould and used that to cast the further 8 bodies which we did over a period of 6 weeks.”

Federer, who often has issues playing on clay, had no problem being sculpted in it.

“I think that being sculpted as a Terracotta Warrior is an honor,” said Federer. “I think the idea is fun, bringing together culture and sport”

The original Terracotta Warriors were created between 246 – 210 BC to be buried alongside the Emporer of Qin, Shi Huangdi with the purpose of helping Shi Huangdi rule another empire in the afterlife. With 8,099 of the figures recovered, the ancient clay warriors vary in height and features depending on rank and it has been said to have taken 700,000 workers and 38 years to complete the figures and the emperor's mausoleum.

With the help of husband and wife sculpture team Shen Xioanan and Zhang Yaxi, Dizengremel worked day and night to have the figures done in time for the Masters, which began Sunday.

“Normally creating a larger than life bust can take anywhere between a few days to a week,” explains Dizengremel” “We had to do some of these in a day.”

Federer's modern sculpture is accompanied by the rest of the Masters field, including American fan favorite Andy Roddick. While all of the tennis pros had a positive reaction to the final product, Roddick was the only one who requested a do-over. His original figure did not have a baseball cap, a detail that Roddick feels is part of his image.

"Roddick made the change. Originally it was without a baseball cap because it cast a shadow on the face," Shen said of Roddick's statue.

Serbian tennis cutie Novak Djokovic was excited to see how he would look as a warrior.

“Reaching the Master's Cup in Shanghai is a great achievement,” said Djokovic, “and seeing my head on the sculpture of a warrior is obviously a great thing.”

The figures tower over their human inspirations, measuring 2.2 meters tall. Although most of the tennis pros' heads were easy to sculpt, some features proved more difficult than others. One star even got an unplanned makeover.

“Vidovic's hair,” laughs Dizengremel. “If I had to do it over again in more time, I’d do it more accurately. I owe him an apology as I took liberties because of the tight deadline and gave him a radically different look!”

The tennis Warriors, who wield rackets as weapons, were unveiled for battle at the opening of the tournament on Sunday. Pictures of the Warriors can be found here. It has not been decided what will be done with the sculptures at the end of the Masters Cup.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Asterisk Schmasterisk

Enough with the asterisks already.

The idea that you can fix scandal, determine record authenticity and level great acts of athleticism with a symbol is absurd. And it is cheapening the moments that make sports exciting.

Read the rest...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Shame on You

I've brought you Sports Figures Who Need to Grow Some Balls and Sports Figures Who Need To Shut The Fuck Up. Today we have Sports Figures Who Should Hang Their Head In Shame.

David Stern, Clay Bennett, and Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp: More proof that the fans are not a priority. On Thursday, Stern announced that if the SuperSonics left Seattle, he would not put another team in Seattle. His statement was in response to the battle between Bennett and the state over new arena funding. Welcome to professional sports, Stern! Anytime a team demands a new arena, everyone bitches over the cost. If Bennett wants to be dick and move the team to his home city Oklahoma City, that's his choice. But to pre-emptively declare that the good people of Seattle will never have another home team to root for, well, that's fucked up. Shame on you.

The Minnesota Vikings: More proof that all players are not treated equally. The Vikings have docked WR Troy Williamson one game's pay for missing a game to attend his maternal grandmother's funeral. Williamson, who was partially raised by his grandmother, took the time off to plan the funeral, be with family, and arrange travel for his siblings. Williamson, whose older brother has been in and out of a coma since being injured in a September auto accident, decided that his family had to come first. To dock his pay for being a good role model, which we need more of in the NFL, well that's fucked up. Shame on you.

Major League Baseball: Can we get a salary cap already? By allowing a team the ability to potentially pay $350 million for one player, you are feeding an already created monster. A salary cap would be better for the teams, better for the fans, and better for the future of the game. You know who it wouldn't be better for? The agents. Which is just fine by me. You're letting guys like Scott Boras make a mockery of the sport and, well, that's fucked up. Shame on you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cardinals fans are dirty

The St. Louis Cardinals have a fun activity where fans can submit text messages to be displayed on the electronic message board at Busch Stadium. Now they're being sued for a particular message that slipped past the screeners.

- An Illinois woman is suing the St. Louis Cardinals for allowing a text message that falsely suggested her [17 year-old] daughter has a sexually transmitted disease to be posted on the ballpark's message board during a game.

Prom Queens can be so bitchy. If the girl had used a fake name at the clinic, no one would have known. I hear the moniker Ron Mexico works really well.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Family Values Don't Make Good Coaches

Andy Reid has made it quite clear that his priorities continue to lie with the team. It is what he was hired to do and he is paid well to employ that attitude. We cannot, and should not, place judgment on a man who gives no less than what is demanded of him.

Read the rest

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Listen In

I'lbe a guest again this evening on WMEL radio in Orlando for their sports program Last Call. Listen in online around 6:30 ET. Among the possible topics will be:

The City of Boston has a lot to be happy about

Eagles/Cowboys and Pats/Colts

Yankees welcome a new Joe

Torre with the Dodgers

Boras thinks AROD is worth how much

Heisman talk

Odell Thurman suing NFL for his alcohol disability

Andy Reid and his drug addict sons

Has instant replay ruined the game?

Martina Hingis

NBA Referees allowed to gamble now

Great sports duo rivalries

Kobe Bryant

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Are Alcoholic Athletes Disabled?

As you may have read, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman is suing the NFL under the Americans with Disabilities Act, challenging his suspension by citing his alcoholism as a disability.

It's enough to drive a sports fan to drink.

Read the rest...