Saturday, March 24, 2007

Isiah Sneaks 6'11" Center Through a Loophole

The Knicks signed former Kentucky center Randolph Morris, less than a week after his team was eliminated from the NCAA tournament.
Morris was an AAU teammate of Dwight Howard's and wanted to declare for the NBA Draft after high school. He wasn't good enough so he played one year at Kentucky. Even though he still wasn't good enough, he declared but never got picked.
He never signed with an agent so he was able to go back to school, but he did have to sit out 14 games, I think he took money from an agent to travel to team workouts.
But due to some strange rule, he couldn't re-enter the draft, but he could be a free agent.
So as soon as Kentucky's season ended he packed his shit and got the hell out of there.
Reportedly, he told Kentucky's AD he would stay until a new coach was named. But he obviously never cared about college, so he high tailed it when the Knicks came calling.
Even though they gave him $1.6 million, that's not an outrageous salary, and it costs them no draft pick. I think it's a pretty good move.
Plus they get him right away.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Already an Asshole Athlete

As if his antics at the State Championship game weren't enough the NY Times gives us more reason to hate O.J. Mayo.

Unbeknownst to USC coach Tim Floyd, Mayo sent an emmissary to see Floyd last year, unannounced. This stranger walked into Floyd's office and said:

“How would you like to have the best player in the country?” he asked.

“Have you heard of O. J. Mayo?” the man asked.

“O. J. wanted me to come here today,” the man told Floyd. “He wanted me to figure out who you are.”

The man explained that Mayo wanted to market himself before going to the N.B.A., and that Los Angeles would give him the best possible platform.

“O. J. doesn’t give out his cell,” he said when Floyd said he wanted to call Mayo. “He’ll call you.”

Then Mayo did call later that day, he said:

“Coach, this is O. J. Mayo. I’d like to come to your school.”

“I want to be different. I want to leave a mark.”

“How many scholarships do we have for next year?” he asked.

“Don’t worry about recruiting,” he said. “I’ll take care of it.”

“No,” Mayo said when Floyd asked for his phone number. “I’ll call you.”

Remember, at this point Mayo had never been to USC or spoken to Tim Floyd, but he was the #1 recruit so Floyd felt like he had to play along.

I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I suspect, badly.
I just can't imagine that Mayo will accept any coaching or that he will go to class at all. He has people in his ear telling him what to do but if he doesn't play well next year he won't be the number one pick.
I also think Floyd sold his soul to the devil here and may end up paying for it. Texas had Kevin Durant who was a good kid and a good teammate and they lost in the second round. If Mayo is as goes, that would be tremendous, but if he's not a team player and doesn't play within the system did Floyd really accomplish anything?

Still Alive

I am still alive, barely in my quest to cash this win ticket for Ohio State. The money is nice but the thrill of having picked the winner in the preseason would be sweeter.

Pizza Parlor Derek still has one ball left, as UCLA covered the spread against Pitt. He now has a 25% chance to win a prize, a 12.5% chance to win the whole thing. He is hoping for a huge spread for Kansas over UCLA.

Lucky Sweatshirt?

Loyal Poopheads will remember that two months ago on my trip to Columbus, I bought Mrs. Poop an Ohio State sweatshirt featuring their lovable mascot, Brutus the Buckeye. When I got home she said Brutus was retarded. She has never worn the sweatshirt. At halftime, when OSU was trailing by 17, I rescued the sweatshirt, put it on and the comeback ensued.

I also noticed that the shirt I wore during the first half was the same shirt I wore when OSU got smoked by Florida in the football National Championship game. Needless to say I'll be sporting Brutus on Saturday.

Sweet Sixteen - Thursday Thoughts

Very disappointed in Southern Illinois. They had a good chance to beat Kansas.

I disagreed with their strategy at the end of the game. They kept fouling giving Kansas free points. If defense is their calling card they should have had some faith in it to get them a few stops.

But the whole game changed when they missed 2 layups with the score 54-53. The difference between a 1-point lead and a 1-point deficit is huge. I'm sure somewhere their most famous alum, Clyde Frazier was screaming, "you gotta get the lead man."

Texas A&M was also victimized by a missed layup by A.C. Law Ivey. He is supposedly Mr. Clutch but he left that one a little short.

But that game was the most competitive game of the tournament so far. Memphis and Texas A&M played the whole game back and forth tied, up 2, etc. Very exciting game and I'm surprised Memphis pulled it off.

Also on further review that tipped ball with 3 seconds left, the refs made the right call to run a second off, the ball hit in bounds first, then bounced out, but took a while to hit someone, something.

And can we please stop saying how it's a huge advantage for a school to play 180 miles away just because the arena happens to be in the same state? Louisville lost in Kentucky, A&M lost in San Antonio and in 2003 Syracuse could have played Oklahoma in Kelvin Sampson's backyard and still won that game.

I saw nothing of UCLA-Pitt. I assume it was a low-scoring affair and everytime Pitt needed a basket, they couldn't get it because they stink on offense.

Now onto the new "best game so far."

Great comeback by Ohio State for the second straight game.

I also don't want to hear anything about Oden's fouls because at least 2 of them were flops, just like the one last week against Xavier that everyone wanted an intentional, the guy left his feet and jumped to draw a call on Oden.

Oden got the last laugh however by blocking the last second layup attempt.

He also got the ball more on offense than I have ever seen the guards give it to him. And he delivered making some big free throws down the stretch.

Mike Conley missed some big free throws but he was the biggest reason OSU was able to come back. He played a great game using the absence of Oden to his advantage by continually driving the lane and getting fouled.

Tennessee was unconscious from outside in the first half, even though Ohio State didn't play great defense, they were hitting everything.

But OSU never gave up, and they never started bombing away from deep as they tend to do. They slowly and methodically marched back into this one, and as so often happens, once an underdog blows a big lead, they don't have the stuff to come back.

Huge win for Ohio State.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Love is Blind

Jeff Garcia and Carmella DeCesare

Garcia is a lookalike for Boggs and he bagged a Playboy Playmate, one of the hottest women alive.

They are getting married. Michael can shop for a gift from their Williams-Sonoma registry. This site says they already got married, a news article say they're going to be married. I think we should buy them the brownie pan. Wouldn't she look great baking brownies in an apron...JUST an apron.

Manny Grill Update

Just hours after the listing was posted Tuesday under eBay ID "mannyramirez1524" at 1:11 p.m., 210 formal bids had poured in for the stainless steel grill.
The price spiked, climbing throughout the day from a $3,000 minimum to the auction site's $99,999,999.99 maximum.

I wouldn't be surprised if news reports said as if it were true, that the bidding is up to $100 million. By the way, people make these crazy bids on phony items and items capitalizing on tragedy to prevent the seller from making any money.

Ramirez has remained coy about the listing with the media, at one point proclaiming himself a cash-strapped "businessman" and at another saying that he offered his celebrity to help a neighbor get rid of the like-new grill.

Not a Plant

Internet reports say the Idol crying girl was not a plant, nor a Make-a-Wish Foundation job. Apparently she went to Fox for a taping of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"
Somehow she made it into the Americal Idol dress rehearsal and of course once the producers saw her enthusiasm, they had to invite her back for the real show.

Song of the Week

"Welcome to the Black Parade" - My Chemical Romance
I have no idea why I like this song so much. When I first heard it I thought I hated it because it is so slow and the lyrics make zero sense. But for some reason I can't get it out of my head.
I think Juice probably has this CD.

Idol Chatter

Interesting that they did British Invasion week without a single song from the Beatles.

It’s also kind of difficult because they keep doing music that is 30-40 years old and a lot of the audience is people who have never heard those songs before.

In light of that, I find it unusual that this is the first song Chris Sligh sang that I’ve actually heard. But it was a little obscure.

LaKisha wasn’t that great or interesting. Melinda was good, but she’s always singing the same types of songs. I really like her but Mrs. Poop hates her because her head is too big for her body.

Mrs. Poop however loves Blake. I think he’s pretty good too. I think he has a definite shot at winning.

I also think Jordin Sparks has a great shot at winning this whole thing, and even if she doesn’t she will probably have a longer more successful musical career than LaKisha, Melinda and Art Garfunkel because she is already so good and so young.

Those are the contenders.

Haley Scarnato is trying to sex it up to get Antonella’s votes. It might work.

if she's in the bottom 3 this week, but survives, next week we'll see pictures of he straddling a baseball bat on the internet

Nothing much to say about Stephanie Edwards except that the song she chose “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” is much faster and better than she sang it. Probably my favorite of all the songs that were performed this week.

Chris Richardson is a complete non-factor. We’re constantly reminded that this is a singing competition and not a Justin Timberlake look-alike contest.

Sanjaya was just plain horrible. But I actually liked him more this week compared to other weeks. He finally had some nuts behind his performance. He yelled the whole time but he has not going anywhere this week.

As evidenced by that weird crying girl, the teenage girls love Sanjaya and they can’t wait to see him when Idol goes on tour with the top 10.

I think a lot of other people had the same reaction to Sanjaya's performance

Mrs. Poop and I didn’t really want to make fun of her because we weren’t sure if something was wrong with her. If she won a contest, or they found her in a children’s hospital or from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

So Phil Stacey will be leaving us this week. He sucks and I hate him, so I’ll be glad to see him go.

What Do You Give Me For? Hector Jimenez and Sanjaya

Héctor Jiménez from "Nacho Libre" and Sanjaya

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

You Can't Keep Dogs Away From Food

Michael Auberry the lost and now found boy scout said he wanted to thank everyone involved in the search. "He wants to thank Gandalf especially - although he said Gandalf ate his peanut butter crackers," the boy's father said.

Dogs Save Lives

A 12-year-old Boy Scout whose favorite book was about a youngster lost in the wilderness now has his own harrowing survival tale to tell after rescuers found him Tuesday, dehydrated and disoriented from four days in the wooded mountains of North Carolina.
A rescue dog picked up Michael Auberry's scent less than a mile from the campsite where he had wandered away from his troop Saturday. The boy's father speculated that he was simply homesick and wanted to hitchhike home. The disappearance touched off an intensive search involving bloodhounds, heat-seeking helicopters and dozens of volunteers on foot.
"He saw the helicopters and heard people calling him, but he yelled back and they didn't hear him," said his father, Kent Auberry. "He's very tired. He's very dehydrated. But he came through this in unbelievable fashion."
Bauer said as many as 100 people searched for Auberry on Tuesday, including Misha Marshall, whose dog Gandalf picked up the boy's scent.
The black 2-year-old Shiloh Shepherd "popped his head three times" — and there was Michael, she said.

Why I Hate the Iditarod

A top musher abused his dogs. Ramy Brooks was disqualified this year after race officials said he beat his dogs.
When Brooks' team refused to move, he kicked the dogs and hit them with his fist and a ski pole. He didn't merely spank them with a thin piece of lath used as a trail marker, as Iditarod officials said Sunday.
Dogs die during the Iditarod regularly, and that many more dogs are injured.

Evil Musher Ramy Brooks and his dogs

Future Asshole Athlete

O.J. Mayo is next year's super freshman in college basketball. He definitely only intends to stay for one year and he is going to USC. He chose USC basically out of the blue because he wanted to be in LA and presumably thought he could play right away for them.

In his last high school game, the West Virginia State Championship, with his team up by 40 he gets a breakaway, throws the ball off the backboard, slams it home, then fires it into the crowd.

For those antics he earned a technical foul, an ejection and a standing O from the adoring crowd.

Unlike Oden and Durant Mayo does not seem like a good kid. He seems like someone who has been allowed to do whatever he's wanted his whole life. I predict trouble for Mayo.

Interesting eBay Item

I always question the legitimacy of these items but this one could very well be authentic.

First Dolphin To Hit Someone All Year

Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter was accused of punching Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Levi Jones after police said the players exchanged trash talk at a casino blackjack table.
Porter was issued a summons on a misdemeanor battery charge after the Sunday altercation that began inside the Palms hotel-casino.
"They went outside. In the valet area, one struck the other, causing a small laceration above the eye," Las Vegas police Officer Martin Wright said.
Two players had a history of on-field trash talking with each other.
Dolphins coach Cam Cameron said Porter, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, told him about the incident Monday morning.

Juice's St. Patrick's Day

Story and photos courtesy of Focks:

Julie and I brought Juice to Saloon (84th and York) where many of Julie's friends were celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Upon arriving (8:30pm-ish), we immediately notice every single person is completely wasted. In effort to 'catch up' to everyone, the three of us decide to begin double-fisting Bud Light cans. Julie knows every single bartender (and probably knows 20% of the entire crowd) so we begin doing Jameson shots and chasing them with beer. Once he is finished talking with a few girls (i.e. Girl Juice used to babysit, Irish Charo, Beverly Hills girl, a few of Julie's friends), we go back to the bar and drag Julie to get us more drinks. The bartender explains to us how he lost Juice's (one and only) credit card and tells us drinks are free for the remainder of the night.
As the drinking continues and the bar is utterly chaotic, Juice decides to elevate his speed of inebriation by drinking a full glass of Jameson (as if he is drinking water). The results of this move will prove costly.

As the night rolls on, Julie and I are beginning to lose sight of Justin. At roughly 1am, Julie and I find Juice leaning/swaying against a railing and acknowledge it's time to go because he's about to drop to the floor.

We find a cab and throughout the entire ride, Juice is visibly wasted and mumbling and the non-english speaking driver is laughly hysterically. On the FDR, the driver locked the doors because Juice was trying to open them. We tell the driver he is always like this and not to worry.

As we exit the cab on 18th Street and 3rd Avenue, Juice's drunk hysteria takes full effect as he tries to run north up 3rd avenue away from his building. I immediately chase him and push him toward the building. Of course, he is very stubborn and he drops to the ground.

Fiiiiiinally, he gets off his buttocks, starts walking and then attempts to wrestle me.

At this point, he drops on his back on the freezing cold sidewalk and becomes a disaster.

After about 5 minutes of lying on his back, he turns over and lies his head on the snow.

Of course, he has no idea what is going on; he has no idea that the beige concrete and dirty white snow is not his bed. I'm finally able to physically remove him from the ground and we walk in to the building where the doorman is laughing as well. The three of us get in the elevator. I press 6 (it should have been 3) for Juice and 14 for Julie and me. Juice gets off on the 6th floor and that's the last we see of him. Julie recommends that we stop and go back and help him but after about an hour of his antics, I tell her he will be fine.

His version the next day: Juice wakes up in his apartment and finds a pile of vomit on his rug, which he immediately threw in the garbage. He later asks me how the night was.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Starbury Hates Screamin A Too

This is apparently an outro from Marbury's new show on Fox Sports Net called "Stars on Stars."

I Heart New York

Nearly two dozen people were arrested after a melee broke out last night inside and outside Madison Square Garden near the end of the PSAL High School Championship basketball game.
The brawl began at the end of the third quarter of the game between rival Brooklyn high schools Lincoln and Boys & Girls.
A foul on the court ignited tensions among fans in the stands, and the fighting soon escalated outside into the streets.
Gunfire was heard as the crowd went from the Garden to Times Square, but no one was shot. Police officers in riot gear and on horseback were eventually able to bring the crowd under control.
Twenty-one people were arrested, most for disorderly conduct. There are no reports of any injuries.

Pistol Pete

Two great youtube videos of Pistol Pete highlights in conjunction with the new books on him. I hope to read Mark Kriegel's book over the summer. But if you have 12 minutes watch these videos of his college and pro highlights. Some of the stuff seems more commonplace now, but at the time it was revolutionary.

Final Word on Xavier

Heard Xavier Coach Sean Miller on with Mike and the Mad Dog. They didn't ask him about his Pitt days, I would have loved to hear his take on the "Send It In Jerome" dunk.

They didn't bring up the prevent offense but Miller did. He said they weren't trying to kill clock, they were trying to rest themselves, and he wishes they had gotten better shots/possessions.

He said he's glad they didn't call a flagrant on Oden. Didn't want to see a game decided by a whistle. They wanted to win it. Classy thing to say.

Foul is not on youtube, because the NCAA only wants approved videos.

Miller said he didn't foul at the end because they didn't have a timeout left to set their defense. He also intimated that he didn't want to say "if Cage misses" and put the negative thoughts in the player's head. He said if they had one timeout left he would have set his defense and ordered a foul. But he was also worried that say it works, they make 2 free throws and with 5 seconds left you have to inbound the ball with no timeouts, you could turn it over and lose right there.

Some tough points. I still they should have fouled because with less than 10 seconds the other team probably can't afford to make 2 and foul again, they have to try to miss and get the rebound, which is possible, but a lot less likely than hitting a three to tie it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Triple Jeopardy

First three way tie in Jeopardy history. The guy who was in first was a douche. He should have bet one dollar more. He was playing for a three way tie, like Pat Dye.

March Madness - Second Round - Sunday

My bracket took a beating today. I lost my upset special team, Nevada, and a Final Four team, Texas.

I took Nevada because one 2 seed always loses in the second round. I immediately decided UCLA and Georgetown were too good for that. Then I had to decide between a steady, tough senior laden team in Wisconsin, or an overrated run and gun team from a weak conference, Memphis.

I also thought Nevada had a chance because Nick Fazekas would be the best player on the floor. He played a good game, but not good enough.

I also lost Texas. I knew I shouldn't have picked them to go to the Final Four because all year I evaded the Kevin Durant hype. I knew he was good but I was really sold when he played that great game last Sunday against Kansas. I have seen a freshman lead his team to the title. I thought it would become more common as the very top freshman are forced into college. I guess Durant is not special.

Tennessee - Virginia was an exciting game. Lots of good guards shooting the lights out. I wonder how into UVa basketball BC is.

What the hell was wrong with Wisconsin in this tournament? Two incredibly slow starts. They couldn't come back from the second one, though they did tie the game at one point. Usually when that happens the underdog wilts. Not UNLV.

Three days off until the madness starts again.

What Do You Give Me For? Kammron Taylor & Chris Rock

Do You Believe in Omens?

Today's episode of "Breed All About It" on Animal Planet was on the saluki.

New Rule

If you are winning by 3 points with fewer than 10 seconds on the clock...foul in the backcourt. Do not allow a lucky heave to beat you. Make them earn it.

Tennessee did this and won.

Xavier didn't do this and they lost.

Billy Ripken Redux

Because this year's crop of football rookies is so strong I decided to buy some Bowman football. And I was lucky enough to get a Leon Washington Signs of the Future card in which Washington appears to be giving the double middle finger. He says he's making an E.

After an initial hysteria where the card was selling on eBay for over $100, Bowman never issued a different version so the card is not all that limited. It now lists for $60 and sells for $15. But should he have a good career it could have a synergistic effect on this card's price.

Baseball Cards - 1992-2007

Over the past 15 years baseball card collecting has undergone a drastic transformation. Due to conversations with SCZA I've decided to post about some of my cards but first I'll need to bring you up to date.

It is not like collecting when you were younger. All the rookie cards from the 80s are worthless. Steroids and overproduction ruined them all. Don't ask me about Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire Olympic or Don Mattingly. It's worthless. Trust me.

In 1992 Topps revived an old brand called Bowman. Basically they loaded it up with rookies, guys who were years away from making the bigs. But when Mike Piazza, Manny Ramirez, Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera and Carlos Delgado became stars. The cards became valuable...and no other sets had those players rookie cards.

Bowman kept this tradition of putting in tons of rookies. Then in 1997 they introduced Bowman Chrome. A rarer more expensive version of Bowman.

About that time, the companies saturated the hobby with tons of products, and everything was an insert. Around 1999, we gave up on cards.

But Bowman still had the rookies, so every year I bought a few boxes of Bowman just to have.

Then a few years ago when I got out of college I got back into collecting. I bought some 2001 Bowman boxes to find this guy named Pooh Holes.

At the same time, for 2001, Bowman Chrome began shorting printing the best rookie cards, and having the players autograph them. And that was the only rookie card. It wasn't an insert, it was part of the regular set.

The 2001 Bowman Chrome Auto Albert Pujols is $3500. I do not have it. It is the most widely counterfeited card in the hobby today. Do not buy it if you see it at a show or in a store for $500.

Then another trend began. Grading cards for condition. You take your cards, send them to Beckett and they grade them on a scale of 1 to 10 on four areas of condition (corners, edges, centering, surface). Then they seal the card in a tamper proof case. Yes this system has problems but it's the only way to sell expensive cards. No one will spend more than a few hundred bucks on an ungraded card.

A few years ago I had my 1984 Fleer Update Roger Clemens graded for condition. It came back as a 9.5/Gem Mint (Beckett never gives out 10/Pristine). I sold it on eBay for $1600.

So now every year I buy Bowman, trying to make the set and find some good rookies. I also buy some Bowman Chrome hoping to hit the rookie autograph jackpot. And I buy Bowman Draft picks which has Chrome and regular cards. They do that so they can beat the other companies to the draft picks. I was late to the game on draft picks and unfortunately didn't buy any for 2002, 2003 or 2004 all of which have some great cards.

Pizza Parlor Derek Still Has One Ball

PPD is in a pool where you pay $50 (up from $40 last year) and you pick two golf balls/ping pong balls each with a team on it. Not sure if they physically do that? Anyway, you win if your team covers the spread. If your team loses but covers, you get the winning team in the next round. Last year PPD got UCLA through Gonzaga and won $300 for finishing second.

This year he drew Marquette and they got blown out. He also got Indiana (who beat Gonzaga) and covered against UCLA. So he has UCLA again.

Good luck!