Saturday, July 22, 2006

Stay Classy San Diego

This weekend in San Diego is the 53rd Over-the-Line Tournament.

Over-the-Line is a competition among hundreds of teams playing a four-inning, three-person variant of softball. Played within narrow boundaries, the object is to hit a mushy ball past or over opposing players.

But really the tournament is "a beer-fueled nudity fest"

The tournament starts with the selection of an Over-the-Line queen, named Miss Emerson. The name comes from a risque knock-knock joke, (knock, knock, who's there, Emerson, Emerson who? Em are some big tits).

Over-the-Line teams attempt to out-gross one another with their names. Only two subjects are off-limits: John Wayne and the 1978 crash of PSA Flight 187 in San Diego. (Lots of Old Mission Beach Athletic Club members are pilots.)

The most common themes for Over-the-Line team names involve sex, in many permutations. Many names include more than one theme.

With hundreds of teams playing on 50 sandy courts, team names are continually boomed over a public-address system, all done deadpan. The dawn-to-dusk barrage of X-rated words sets the tone for the event.

There are multiple divisions for men's teams, each division described by a reference to whether a male can perform sexually or not. There is a division for women's teams. Some of the raunchiest names come from the women's teams. I guarantee Josh would have a name that had something to do with Whale Vagina.

The preferred garb is bikinis for women, gym shorts for men. But some devotees prefer costumes, irreverent ones, of course.

On Saturday, a retired firefighter calling himself "the Pope of OTL the First" and wearing religious garb, strolled among the crowd bestowing blessings. He was accompanied by two cardinals and two nuns; the nuns, of course, had four-letter words on their habits.

Local strip clubs often send their best girls out to advertise. All girls can receive a free t-shirt, so long as they take off whatever they're wearing to put it on.

For men not engaged in playing the games, a major preoccupation is encouraging women to remove their bikini tops. Some men offer bead necklaces, much like at Mardi Gras, as incentive. Some men just beg. There are a lot of cameras.

At the northwest corner of the expansive playing field are 11 large bulletin boards covered with hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures of women showing off their breasts at the last few Over-the-Line tournaments. On Saturday, some women were quick to make sure their pictures were still being displayed.

Friday, July 21, 2006

We Have to Start Doing This

Most readers of this blog are right-minded people (Mets fans) who love punishment (Knicks fans) but a lot of us root for different NFL teams (Redskins, Dolphins, Giants & Jets) and although about half of us went to Syracuse we do have readers from Penn State, Michigan and Georgia Southern. Georgia Derek, when Central (Connecticut State) kicks GSU's ass on September 9th, you'll know who keeps calling.

So if you followed Rick Reilly's advice and gave money to fight mosquitos in Africa, then please follow his advice and piss off your friends.

He kept you from buying that fur-toaster business.

He tells people you dunked off his alley-oop when you both know it was the other way around.

He was the only one who came to the wedding when you married the stripper.

So how can you show your best buddy you care without looking vaguely Brokeback? The way most guys do it, by giving him untold piles of crap.

Now there's a cool new way to do just that. It's called One Ring, and it's going to be more popular than breast implants.

Let's say your friend in Houston is a sick Texans fan. Any time the Texans do something stupid -- like fumble or blow a 20-yard field goal or not draft Reggie Bush -- you simply call him, let the phone ring once and hang up. You One Ring him. It'll make him nuttier than Courtney Love.

Guys are One Ringing their buddies all over the country. You're a Cowboys fan and Dallas just signed Terrell (Typhoid Mary) Owens? Your phone will be One Ringing right off your belt. You're a Pistons fan and Detroit just let Ben Wallace skate? You'll get more rings than Tommy Lee's bathtub. You're a Knicks fan? Your cell will ring like the bells of St. Mary.

Anytime your team blows it, get ready. "I get One Rings at two in the morning," says Chris Carson, a rabid Dallas fan who helped come up with the idea. "I'm forced to get up, go downstairs, turn on ESPN Classic and see that the Steelers are beating my Cowboys in, like, Super Bowl X."

One Ring started in 1991 among graduates of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. They were looking for a way to torment each other about their teams without piling up hernia-inducing phone bills. Lately, it's grown like kudzu. Now people are ringing each other internationally -- for free!

"With each chirp of the phone," says Carson, who will get up to 50 rings when his Cowboys screw up, "there is the fundamental realization that someone, somewhere cared enough to utter the long-distance equivalent of Nelson's 'HA-ha!' from The Simpsons. It's 21st-century trash talking."

Even cooler: You can be the ringer of bad news. Say your friend Tork is at his desk, minding his own business, selling and buying widgets as usual. Suddenly his phone rings once. Then again. Then again. An icicle suddenly forms in Tork's heart. He knows something horrible has happened to his beloved Red Wings. He goes to the Internet to find -- hello! -- they've moved to Tucson!

Reach out and torment someone! It's creative grief-giving!

It's even catching on beyond sports. Recently, a One Ringing architect in New York City was being publicly berated by his boss. When the boss left, the guy got 13 One Rings. Cruel.

There are all kinds of variations on the theme. Your Oklahoma buddy's Sooners just went on 10-year probation? Why not simply text him a Ring! Send a buddy The Ring DVD. Hell, go to Walgreens, buy an actual ring for two bucks and send it in an envelope, no note.

Carson did something like that to his best friend, Q, who lives in Pittsburgh. When Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger broke his face in a motorcycle accident, there arrived at Q's door a motorcycle helmet -- scuffed, dinged and dented -- with Steelers stickers on it and a note attached:


If you're going to start One Ringing your poor friends, adhere to the Ring's strict dos and don'ts. Don't One Ring after deaths or serious injuries (unless it's Joey Porter getting shot in the butt). Do use proper ringspeak. ("I'm not looking forward to Sunday. My Colts are playing really ringy.") Don't One Ring for cheesy stuff like first downs or sacks. And if you do a Revenge Ring to brag on your own team, don't let it be for something trivial. (One of the Bates crew, a big Patriots fan named Graham Ivory, once got so desperate that he began One Ringing when nice things about New England appeared in print. Very iffy.)

And be sure to try this: Sit with some nonringers, watch your favorite team play, and when a first-quarter fake punt backfires, say, "I have this weird feeling the phone's going to ring." Voilá! You're Miss Cleo!

But the thing I like best about One Ringing is that it's the rare way in this homophobic world of sports for guys to show man-love. Women would never do it. There'd be tears, nasty letters and possibly embedded fingernails. But for guys, it's perfect. It's our way of saying, "I miss you." And, "I love you." And, most important, "Your team sucks."

More Puppies

We love puppies. We love puppies with Carrie Underwood. But we're a little unsure about this one.

why did they choose shar peis?

SILL Bombed Again

Another horrible outing for Staten Island's own Jason Marquis.
This time he gave up 12 runs and 14 hits in 5 innings.
Last time, he gave up 13 runs and 14 hits in 5 innings.
According to Nails, he is the first pitcher since 1940 to give up more than 12 earned runs twice during a season.
Apparently, Tony LaRussa thinks Marquis has the mental makeup to handle these beatings as he continues to sacrifice Marquis to rest the bullpen.
Marquis still has 11 wins (and 14 or 15 starts left) but his ERA is now 5.97. Without those two disastrous starts, Marquis’ ERA would be 1.50 runs lower than it is now. While 4.58 isn’t a pretty ERA, it’s no 5.97. His ERA in those other 10 innings is 22.50.

Used to steal Matt's lunch money

The Ship Be Sinking

Exciting drama in the Blue Jays clubhouse led to the release of 1B/3B/DH Shea Hillenbrand. I've been following the coverage closely in the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun, so let me try to break down what happened.

Saying the Jays designated Hillenbrand for assignment because of what he wrote on a whiteboard is like saying WWI started because of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

It all started about two months ago, during an interleague series in Colorado. With no DH, Hillenbrand was benched for all three games. After that series, Hillenbrand went to manager John Gibbons' office to ask for more playing time.
It became a fight and Hillenbrand says Gibbons "reamed him out" and called him a cancer and a coward.
Some Blue Jays players did say that Hillenbrand was a selfish player who was happy when he was playing, and unhappy when he wasn't.
Last Friday, Hillenbrand and his wife adopted a baby. Hillenbrand claims no one high up in the organization congratulated him. He also says they rushed him back (he left Friday and returned Tuesday, an hour before the game). The team originally wanted him back Monday but gave him an extra day. I think Hillenbrand got pissed when they asked him to come back and he still wasn't in the lineup.
Before Wednesday's game Hillenbrand reportedly wrote "play for yourselves" on a whiteboard that is used for batting practice times. Catcher Greg Zaun added "and for your paychecks."
Some also reportedly wrote "this is a sinking ship" (not "the ship be sinking") on the whiteboard.
Before the game Vernon Wells called a players-only meeting but John Gibbons bursted in screaming at Hillenbrand. Hillenbrand admitted to writing on the whiteboard (which he says lots of players do) but denied being the author of the sinking ship line.
Hillenbrand claims Gibbons was screaming at him, daring Hillenbrand to punch him in the face. Gibbons denies that part but one Blue Jay says it's the maddest he's ever seen Gibbons.
A few minutes after that the Jays designated him for assignment, meaning they must trade or release him within 10 days (of Wednesday).
Adding to the divorce-like nature of this, GM J.P. Ricciardi said the two sides had "irreconcilable differences" and that "this had nothing to do with him adopting a baby."
Hillenbrand was batting .301 with 12 homers and 39 RBI this season. Seems like he could be a good risk for a team that can use an extra stick.

Important Story Update

About a month ago the Concierge told us about the best braised short rib sandwich.

Now he brings us this important update:
"I went by the place with offering the "Best Braised Short Rib Sandwich"- and they have removed the Best from the title to "Braised Short Rib Sandwich" I guess they either received some great advice from a very astute marketing person, a lot of customers sent the sandwich back citing a better braised short rib sandwich, or they are using substandard ingredients this week. Maybe next week if they bring back the Best one, I'll try it."

Shitty Backrub

For the second time in a week President Bush made news (and viral videos).
First, he was caught cursing while talking to Tony Blair about the UN and Hezbollah. This to me wasn't so bad. The crass way he was chomping on the roll was much worse.

Then he touched the shoulders of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and she jerked away from him.

Call the Waaaaaaa-mbulance

Johnny Damon is crying about some "Damon Sucks" bibs that have appeared on eBay.
Johnny's lawyers ruined the seller's eBay reputation but she got tough with them and they reached a settlement. Because Damon doesn't necessarily mean only Johnny she will be allowed to continue selling the bibs as long as she doesn't include the words "Johnny," "Boston," "Red Sox," "New York," or "Yankees."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hot Rookie Cards

As I've mentioned before, I love collecting baseball cards. My favorite part is going back years later when a player becomes good and checking to see if you have his cards.
I did this during the offseason when I heard about a rookie pitcher with the Twins who might be better than phenom Felix Hernandez.
That pitcher became Francisco Liriano who is now 11-2 with a 1.94 ERA and not only a Rookie of the Year front-runner (could still lose to Justin Verlander) but also a legitimate Cy Young candidate.

So I found 3 of his 2002 Bowman rookies and one gold version. They are worth $6 and $12 but going for twice that much on eBay.

Liriano's teammate Joe Mauer also has his rookie card in 2002 Bowman. These cards are worth $4 and $8.

And then there's Henry Owens. This is 2006 Bowman Chrome.

$30,000 Well Spent

Some dude paid $30,000 for a lunch date with Jessica Biel.
In an audio message, Biel said, "I promise, I'm a cheap date."
The auction was part of "Mollypalooza" an event to raise money to help Molly Bloom, a teenager who lost her leg in a prom night limousine accident.
Bloom was run over and dragged about 38 feet by a Hummer stretch limousine on May 13, police said. Limousine driver Stanley D. Sample, 38, faces a misdemeanor charge of careless driving resulting in serious bodily injury.

I Didn't Recognize the Face, but the Boobs Rang a Bell

I must admit, when watching Sunday's episode of "Entourage" I didn't recognize Tori, Sloan's hot blond friend who wanted to have the threesome with Sloan and E.

But then I checked her out and found out where I had seen her before. Swedish beauty Malin Akerman (not born on September 20th) played Freak Show's Wife Liane in "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle."

I have now seen her twice in my life, and both times she initiated a threesome. In Harold and Kumar we actually got to see her boobies.

Upon further review she also showed her boobies gratuitously in the first episode of that horror show "The Comeback."

What are Blogs About?

While the most prominent blogs might be about sports or politics, the vast majority are personal in nature, a survey found.
"My life and experiences" was cited as the primary focus by 37 percent of U.S. bloggers, with politics and government a distant second at 11 percent.
The study also found that most bloggers -- 84 percent -- consider their blog mostly a hobby, not something they spend a lot of time on.
Nearly 60 percent spend only one or two hours a week on it (Pizza Parlor Derek), and half the bloggers say they do it mostly for themselves, not for an audience (me).

As Seen on CNN

Some crazy guy asked Verisign for a list off all the dot-com domain names.
Here is what he found:

-47 million domain names end with .com
-every possible 2 and 3 letter and/or number combination is taken
-virtually all English four letter words are taken (including poop
-all of the 1,000 most common English words are taken
-the 1,219 most common male names, the 2,841 most common female names and the 10,000 most common last names are all taken
-home is the most common word of 4 or more letters (719,000 domains)
-sex appears in 257,000 domains
-the average length is 13 characters
-the maximum length is 63 characters
-550 domains have 63 characters including one of each letter of the alphabet repeated 63 times

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Steve Nash got a much needed haircut.
"I just cut it. I don't really have a rhyme or reason. I felt like taking it off."


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A-Rod Sucks

Monday night, A-Rod was taken out of the game after making three fielding errors and striking out with the bases loaded. The Yankees said he was hurt. The New York Post lambasted him because earlier in the day he was sunbathing in Central Park.
Last night A-Rod pinch hit with a man on in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth. His at bat was delayed for 2 hours by rain. After the delay, despite a 3-1 count, he struck out.

Get Out of My Dreams

"SOPRANOS" star Jamie-Lynn Sigler was on her way to the opening of the exclusive new Mur.Mur nightclub at the Borgata in Atlantic City, when the stretch limo carrying her entourage pulled up to a rest stop. Sigler stocked up on candy for the remainder of the drive - and got back into the wrong car. The passengers stared at her blankly as she blushed, apologized and made a hasty exit to the correct VIP ride. After sitting in four hours of grueling traffic, the raven-haired beauty joined Wilmer Valderrama, Danny Masterson, Shannon Elizabeth and Constantine Maroulis at the new club.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More on Mike & Stacey's Wedding

Pizza Parlor Derek (Georgia Derek and Kevin weren't invited) finally weighs in on Mike & Stacey's Wedding with his long awaited wedding blog.

It wouldn't be a wedding blog without a picture of Derek making a gay face

This is Odd

On June 8, the Islanders hired former Rangers GM Neil Smith.
On Sunday, Neil Smith was on Miked Up (Mike was off) talking about the Islanders. I can't be sure about that though, when I saw they were talking hockey I fast forwarded.
Now he's out. It is unclear whether Smith quit or was fired.

We're Not a Free Taxi Service

This is why so many people in this country hate President Bush and his administration. American citizens in Lebanon are going to be required to pay for their own evacuation.
"The Department of State reminds American citizens that the U.S. government does not provide no-cost transportation but does have the authority to provide repatriation loans to those in financial need. For the portion of your trip directly handled by the U.S. Government we will ask you to sign a promissory note and we will bill you at a later date." - The U.S. Embassy in Beirut

I wish for once someone in the administration would think about these things on a common sense level.

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

Oprah Winfrey made the cover of O Magazine again this month. But that isn't the surprise. Inside she denies rumors that she and her friend Gayle King are lesbian lovers.
"I understand why people think we're gay," Oprah says. "There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it - how can you be this close without it being sexual?"
"The truth is, if we were gay, we would tell you, because there's nothing wrong with being gay," says King.
Says Winfrey: "Something about this relationship feels otherworldly to me, like it was designed by a power and a hand greater than my own. Whatever this friendship is, it's been a very fun ride."

Monday, July 17, 2006

Father of The Year

Bears linebacker and Bill's gay lover, Brian Urlacher is in a custody battle over his 13-month old son.
Urlacher wanted the kid to stay with unti lhe goes to training camp next week. A judge said no after the mother, Tonya Robertson, said he's too young to spend nights away from her.
He will be allowed to have some overnight visits because Urlacher complained travel was cutting into his time with the boy, who lives in Joliet, 90 minutes from Lake Forest where Urlacher lives with his ex-wife and two daughters.
I don't know why Urlacher lives with his ex-wife.
When Urlacher complained that most of his visitation time was taken up by the long drive, the woman's said Urlacher that he might have considered that when he had unprotected sex with Robertson.
"This child could have been born in Florida or California or anywhere else you chose to have one-night stands,'' Lake said to Urlacher.
Robertson testified that Urlacher had missed 22 scheduled visitations with his son since March, sometimes with only an hour's notice.
The two sides also squabbled about who would drive to pick up or drop off the boy on visitation days. Robertson balked at having to drive to Urlacher's home.
At the end of the visitation hearing, the judge reminded Urlacher and Robertson that they have 17 years to go until the child they conceived is 18 years old.
Urlacher evidently wasn't listening to the Kanye West blaring out of Charles Tillman's locker.
18 years man, 18 years. She got one of your kids she got you for 18 years.

If Urlacher had to knock up a one-night stand, I'm glad it wasn't Paris
I see London, I see France

Hottie Turned Diva

Only a couple months after coming in second on American Idol Katharine McPhee has dropped the hot girl who doesn't know it act, in favor or a Hollywood diva gimmick.
Kat was not on the first three weeks of the American Idol tour due to a suspect case of bronchitis. The other contestants, angered by her temper tantrums and the preferential treatment she receives aren't looking forward to her return.
McPhee apparently freaked out on a reporter who asked about rumors that was asked to sing at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding, and that John Mayer had asked her out.

Too Bad He Wasn't Wearing Sandals

Former Syracuse University football star Walter Reyes says he foiled a burglary and saved thousands of dollars raised for chatiry at the M & T Foot Ball from being stolen.
In June, Reyes was a participant at a charity event and a house guest at the home of the event's planner Lauren Russo-Duby.
Reyes said he was awakened at 1 a.m. when two alarm beeps sounded from his girlfriend's Pontiac Sunfire, which was parked in Russo-Duby's driveway.
As he looked out the window, Reyes said he saw one person in the front seat of Russo-Duby's Acura MDX and another trying to break into the Sunfire.
In the Russo-Duby SUV was a box containing thousands of dollars of checks, credit card receipts and cash from the M & T Foot Ball charity event.
Additionally, there were unsold sports items from the event, such as prints, autographed footballs and signed caps.
Wearing blue SU sweat pants and a pair of white socks, the shirtless Reyes said he chased three men down the street for about a quarter-mile until they escaped in a getaway car that he described as a red 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
"Obviously, I can't catch an SUV," said Reyes, one of the fastest men to play tailback for the Orange. "I tried. If I had shoes on, there would have been some trouble. I'm telling you, it would have been lights out for those guys."
Russo-Duby said nothing was stolen out of the cars, and the robbers only got into the glove compartment and console of her vehicle.
"Walter saved everything," she said. "I feel really blessed that he did that for me."

Paul's note: Great job by Reyes, but why did this person, run a charity event, then keep all the proceeds in their car? That does not make sense.

Waddup Cuz

Our Day With Jenna

Last weekend Kate and I had the pleasure of spending the day with our adorable little niece, Jenna.

Poker on TV

As you know, one of my favorite pasttimes is watching poker on TV. There are various poker shows that I watch, here's a breakdown:

2005 U.S. Poker Championship:
Recently concluded on ESPN. Kept together the great announcing team of Norman Chad and Lon McEachern. They are by far the best poker announce team. They analyze the action (a bit light on technical poker analysis) without beating you over the head with the drama. In this tournament two amateurs (Joe Caparucio and Ralph Peccorale) from the same home game in Long Island went heads up. Norm loved Capo because both went to University of Maryland.

Full Tilt Poker/Mansion Poker Live events:
I recently watched 2 4 hour live events on FSN. The Full Tilt Poker event featured 7 top pros (Jesus, the Mouth, Seidel, Lindgren, Juanda, Ivey & Gowen) and the Mansion Poker was 3 pros (John Gale, Gavin Smith & Todd Brunson). The FTP one was particualrly interesting because it really was a quality field, and you got to see every hand. I'd say at the beginning when all 7 players were in about half the hands were walks (unopened pots) and the others were battles of the blinds. Pretty cool to watch once, or once in a while, but four hours of poker is a lot.

Professional Poker Tour:
It's only had two episodes so far, but I like what I've seen. The PPT is an off-shoot of the WPT, with a plan to be like the PGA of poker. Players have to earn their tour cards. It's cool that all the players are pros, and about half at every table are well known. They show you a featured table and constantly cut-in or flash on the screen, knockouts from other tables. Each tournament will be 5 2-hour episodes, 4 quarters and then a final table. Not quite sure how it works beyond that, but apparently each knockout is recorded and points are accumulated and a "winner" is determined. The show is hosted by some douche I never heard of and Mark Seif is the poker analyst. For some reason I think he's Shawn's poker idol. Anyway, they do a passable job, but you can tell Seif is uncomfortable with TV as a neophyte. Also, like the WPT they incessantly beat you over the head by telling you how exciting everything is. And how important this tournament is. And how unique the PPT is. It is an improvement over the WPT in that you get to see more than just the final table. Especially since in the past 2 seasons, WPT final tables were made up of 90% amateurs and unknown pros.

High Stakes Poker:
Maybe my favorite poker show. Gabe Kaplan ("hey, Mr. Kotter) and AJ Benza host this made for TV cash game. Pretty cheap TV since there are no prizes and basically four cameras shooting the table for one day. It's unique because you never seen cash games, and the players are more relaxed, and because they are all pros who know each other the trash talk is the best part of the game. The cocktail waitresses are second. I've seen Daniel Negreanu (my favorite player) at his best in this game, making great reads, although he did get bluffed off a flush by Todd Brunson.

Intercontinental Poker Championship:
21 players representing 21 countries got together into 3 groups of 7. Each group played twice, the winner of each round advanced to the final table. With all the great players (Doyle Brunson from the USA, Daniel from Canada, Johnny Chan from China, Humberto Brenes from Costa Rica) the final table was mostly anonymous. Tony G from Australia, David Benyamine from France, Steve Wolff from South Africa, Ralph Perry from Russia, Yosh Nakano from Japan were joined by Sammy Farha from Lebanon (the only big name). Tony G and Nakano won the 2 semi finals and will go heads up for the title next week. Gabe Kaplan hosts this show too, and other than making fun of Tony G there really isn't that much production value. Also, the blinds go up too fast, so after the first few minutes someone is all in virtually every hand they show on TV.

World Series of Poker:
Starts tomorrow night at 8 on ESPN. I cannot wait. My favorite broadcast team, with the best production values, showing the best tournament. I enjoy the circuit events (which we'll be seeing for the next few months) but I love the Main Event. They say every pro says his worst day of the year is when he gets knocked out of the Main Event. My worst day of the year is when they air the final table. Pass the sugar!

The Shining

I always thought "The Shining" was a scary, creepy movie. Judging from this trailer it looks like a nice family comedy.

Maybe you'd rather watch the movie in 30 seconds as performed by cartoon bunnies.

Cats are Cunts