Saturday, January 09, 2010

He Israeli Good

Sports Illustrated doing an interesting piece on Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi, the first NBA player from Israel.

Unless you are as old as Joe Paterno and remember when basketball was a Jewish mans game the only Jews in the NBA you probably know are Jordan Farmar and Danny Schayes.

Here's the entire story on Casspi who wears #18 for chai.

Omri Casspi wears chai on his jersey

Rabbi Reuven Taff took 21 members of his congregation to Israel this summer and made sure they saw all the historic landmarks most sacred to Jews from Sacramento: the Western Wall, the Golan Heights, Old Jaffa, Masada, the Dead Sea, the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem and, of course, the childhood home of Kings rookie Omri Casspi. On a 10-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, that had to be their first stop.

They flew into Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, changed into fresh purple-and-black garb and hopped a bus straight to the suburb of Yavne, once known as the first settlement after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., now known as the first town in Israel to produce an NBA player. The congregation could identify the hallowed house by all the bouquets of flowers on the sidewalk, left by neighbors and fans after Casspi, a 6'9" forward, had been taken by Sacramento two weeks earlier with the 23rd pick in the draft.

The visitors were greeted at the front door by Casspi's parents, Shimon and Ilana, and led to the backyard, where they feasted on bourekas and wine. After many mazel tovs and l'chaims, it was time to reboard the bus and head back to Tel Aviv, but Shimon would not let the rabbi go. "He came running up to me, and there were tears in his eyes," Taff says. "He was carrying two Israeli flags in his hands, and he told me to take them." Shimon explained that he had bought the flags when Omri was 14 and waved them at every international game his son had played. "I want you to promise me," Shimon told Taff, "that these two flags will be at every game Omri plays in Sacramento."

The request didn't come at the best time for the rabbi: He no longer had his season tickets. So on Rosh Hashanah, Taff walked down from the pulpit, carrying a wireless microphone in one hand and the flags in the other, and outlined the challenge that Shimon Casspi had put to him two months earlier. Even if the Kings were in last place, even if Omri Casspi never got off the bench, at least one member of the Mosaic Law Congregation had to attend every game at Arco Arena—and to stop by the synagogue first to fetch the flags.

The congregation has responded, and so has Casspi. He doesn't start and isn't even Sacramento's best rookie (see high-scoring combo guard Tyreke Evans), but at week's end he was averaging 11.0 points on 52.5% shooting and 4.0 rebounds, contributing 23.8 strong minutes per game on a 10--12 team that has exceeded expectations. Beyond that, Casspi is making an impact on the NBA in more original ways—debating Kobe versus LeBron in Hebrew, eating foods prepared by a kosher cook, wearing number 18 because it is the Jewish symbol for life and playing with what he calls "the Israeli spirit," which manifests itself in floor burns and busted lips. "He can piss some people off," says Kings swingman Francisco Garcia, "and I love that about him."

Casspi is a spindly 225 pounds, with a black beard that covers his sunken cheekbones and a toughness that belies his frame. He can defend everyone from point guards (he hounded the Bulls' Derrick Rose) to centers (he begged to cover the Suns' Amar'e Stoudemire). Each steal or tip-in provokes a swell of national pride within him. "Every time he scores," says Kings assistant G.M. Jason Levien, "it's as though he's wrapped in the Israeli flag."

Like most NBA players, Casspi grew up watching Michael Jordan—only he had to wake up at 4 a.m. to do it. At 17 he signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv, the best team in Israel and one of the best in Europe, but a year later he was drafted into the army. Every able-bodied 18-year-old Israeli must serve three years in the Israel Defense Forces, a rule that derails most promising athletic careers. But Casspi was among a handful of basketball players chosen by the IDF's sports committee as an "outstanding athlete," meaning he would stay with Maccabi and be sheltered like an elite American college recruit. Although he went to basic training and learned to shoot a gun, he only had to report to the base in Tel Aviv twice a week, and then he wore a sweat suit instead of a uniform. While his older brother, Eitan—a standout point guard in high school—was a paratrooper jumping out of planes in the middle of the night, Casspi was sorting paperwork and refereeing officer basketball games, a soldier in name only. Basketball kept him safe, but it also kept him separate, and even though he was grateful for the arrangement, there were times he felt a little guilty.

"In Israel, being in the army is a special experience, and my friends will take it with them their whole lives," Casspi says. "I didn't have that experience. I didn't really do anything in the army. But right now, I am trying to serve my country in another way."

Before this season 70 nations had sent players to the NBA, from Iceland (Peter Gudmundsson) to Estonia (Martin Muursepp), from Egypt (Alaa Abdelnaby) to Iran (Hamed Haddadi). But Israelis had a history of rimming out. Mickey Berkowitz tried to sign with the Hawks in 1979, but Maccabi would not release him from his contract, and when Berkowitz took the team to court, a judge denied him as well. Oded Katash signed a two-year deal with the Knicks in 1999 but lost patience during the ensuing lockout and returned to Israel. The Sonics took Yotam Halperin with the 53rd pick in 2006, but second-rounders are not given guaranteed contracts, so he too went back to Israel.

That crushed Levien, who was then an agent representing Halperin. A former guard at Pomona who was bar mitzvahed in Jerusalem, Levien was driven to bring the first Israeli to the NBA. After Halperin went home, Levien turned his attention to an athletic but unpolished teenager from Maccabi, Omri Casspi. "He was frenetic," Levien says. "He was a force of nature. He dunked in a way I'd never seen a player from Israel dunk." But before Levien could enter Casspi in the 2009 draft, he was hired last November by Sacramento. Although Levien still wanted to see an Israeli make it to the NBA, he now had to value the Kings' interests over Casspi's, Israel's and even his own. "I had to be totally objective," Levien says.
Meanwhile, Casspi was seeing Levien at predraft workouts, telling him, "If you pick me, I will fight for you. I will go to war for you." Coming from another athlete, the war reference might have been off-putting, but given Casspi's background, it had greater meaning. As a Kings executive, Levien appreciated Casspi not because he was a potential pioneer but because he could bring energy off the bench immediately; over time, under Sacramento's coaches, he could add strength and smooth out his jumpers. G.M. Geoff Petrie and other Kings scouts, who brought imports Hedo Turkoglu and Peja Stojakovic to Sacramento with great success, had tracked Casspi for years and were already intrigued with his abilities. When NBA commissioner David Stern announced that Sacramento was selecting Casspi, Stern cracked a smile, which Casspi maintains was a little wider than usual. "Because he's Jewish," Casspi reasons.

There is a scene in the movie Airplane in which a flight attendant asks a female passenger if she would like something to read. The passenger asks the flight attendant, "Do you have anything light?" Without hesitation, the attendant hands her a leaflet entitled Famous Jewish Sports Legends. The joke, which has dozens of derivatives, was a bit off-base, especially regarding hoops. The first basket ever in the Basketball Association of America—predecessor to the NBA—was scored in 1946 by Ossie Schechtman, a Jew from Brooklyn who played for the Knicks. The '46 Knicks had four Jewish starters in all. Three years later the Syracuse Nationals signed Dolph Schayes, who made 12 All-Star teams and the Hall of Fame. But since Schayes's son, journeyman center Danny Schayes, retired in 1999, the only Jewish player of repute has been Lakers guard Jordan Farmar.

David Vyorst, who produced and directed the 2008 documentary The First Basket, believes that Jewish migration to the suburbs after World War II is to blame for the falloff. If difficult and densely populated environments tend to yield the best basketball players, it only made sense that the next Jewish hope would come from Israel. When Tal Brody arrived in Israel in 1966—he was drafted 13th by the Baltimore Bullets out of Illinois but signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv instead—every game was played outside. Maccabi played in the rain, in the snow, on a kibbutz in the middle of a dust storm. When Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq, Israeli high school players hauled gas masks to the court as if they were part of their uniform.

When Casspi was drafted, Brody called it "the completion of a circle." Mickey Berkowitz said it "made my dream." Dolph Schayes started checking Sacramento box scores every morning.

At first Casspi appeared overwhelmed by U.S. hoops, shooting a ghastly 29.5% in the Las Vegas Summer League. After a morning practice in late September, Francisco Garcia told Casspi to meet him in the gym at 10 p.m. "He showed up at 9:45," Garcia said. That night Garcia revealed his secret to life in the NBA: "Work when everyone else is asleep." Garcia underwent surgery on his right forearm and wrist in mid-October and will miss most of this season, but he is still traveling with the Kings, mainly to keep an eye on Casspi.

Casspi's combative approach could land him in some trouble. During a predraft group workout he accidentally hit Gonzaga's Austin Daye with an elbow, splitting his lip. During an early-season game against the Warriors, he went face-to-face with notorious brawler Stephen Jackson. Even in practice Casspi is constantly hand-checking teammates, bucking the image of the soft Euro. Among the Kings he is a source of admiration and irritation both. "He gets people riled up," center Spencer Hawes said. "He gets them to the brink." Casspi developed his style under Zvika Sherf, coach of the Israeli national team, who used to tell his players before big tournaments, "We are not going to be the tallest or the strongest or the most talented. But we have something different. We are Israel. We are going to play harder, and that's how we are going to win."

In recent years Hollywood has released films such as Munich, Defiance, American Gangster and Inglourious Basterds in which the main characters are aggressive, physical and Jewish. "It used to be that tough Jewish actors had to play Italians because nobody believed Jews could be that way," said Rich Cohen, author of Tough Jews. "James Caan played Sonny Corleone. Henry Winkler played Arthur Fonzarelli. Jewish characters always had to be the nebbish sidekick—the doctor, the lawyer, the banker, the accountant. There is a very different image of Jewish men in the world right now."

Omri Casspi plays a small role in the evolution, a seventh man in Sacramento trying to establish himself in the NBA, willing to throw a few elbows if that's what it takes. His physicality is part of his appeal, along with his sense of service. On Nov. 17 the Kings lost to the Bulls by 14 points, and Casspi scored only two baskets. But after the game he stood patiently on the court, posing for pictures with the Pollack and Gonzalez families, members of the Mosaic Law Congregation who that night had waved Shimon Casspi's flags. Being the first Israeli in the NBA comes with a responsibility to meet the local rabbis and hit the community Hanukkah parties. More important, though, it comes with the responsibility to keep fighting when everyone else is asleep.

Colt McCoy Blames God for Injury

As we often see in postgame interviews, winners credit God for their performance. But very rarely do we hear losers blame the loss on God. Except for Texas quarterback Colt McCoy who was injured on the fifth play of the Citi BCS National Championship game:

"I've given college football the best I've had for the last four years," McCoy said. "Every player's dream is to play on a stage like that and have an opportunity like that. I could have never imagined this would happen. I'll never question God. I'm a man of faith. I've never questioned why. But, yes, I'm truly disappointed because I would have made a huge difference."

It seems to me he is clearly saying that God caused his shoulder injury but as a man of faith he is not going to ask why God ruined his college career and his life.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Playoff Predictions

Since most of us need a mulligan on our preseason picks (only Reissberg and Focks have both their Super Bowl teams in the playoffs), let's see if we can do any better from here.

Wild Card:
New York Jets over Cincinnati Bengals
Dallas Cowboys over Philadelphia Eagles
Green Bay Packers over Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots over Baltimore Ravens

Divisional round:
Indianapolis Colts over New York Jets
San Diego Chargers over New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints over Green Bay Packers
Dallas Cowboys over Minnesota Vikings

Conference Championships:
Dallas Cowboys over New Orleans Saints [corrected]
San Diego Chargers over Indianapolis Colts

Super Bowl:
San Diego Chargers 27 Dallas Cowboys 17

Weekly Picks

Ok, so I had a terrible regular season I was due after some pretty good years. Plus this is the playoffs. This is where you make your money.

new york jets +2 CINCINNATI
I hate to go with what seems like the common consensus here but I just have a feeling about the Jets. I don’t think they have the potential to be this year’s surprising Wild Card team that makes the Super Bowl but I do like them against the Bengals here. After a series of disastrous performances by Mark Sanchez I think the Jets have calibrated a game plan that can use their top running game and their top ranked defense and take the game completely out of Sanchez’s hands. Remember the Bengals passing game is no great shakes either.

DALLAS -4 philadelphia
Don’t believe the hype. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season, it’s harder to beat a team that’s better than you in the playoffs on the road. For the record 19 times teams a team has had the chance to beat another team 3 times in one season. They did it 12 times. That’s 63%. I’ll take those odds. The Tony Romo – Donovan McNabb factor is very volatile though. Both of these quarterbacks have shown the ability to flame out spectacularly especially in the playoffs. I’d like to see Donovan win the Super Bowl to shut up the obnoxious Philly fans but I don’t think this is his year.

green bay +1 ½ ARIZONA
I hate to be picking all three teams that won last week to win again but that’s just what I see when I look at these games. Green Bay has a better defense and I think Rodgers can match Warner throw for throw. I also don’t think Arizona will be a sleeper two years in a row.

NEW ENGLAND -3 baltimore

I know there is a lot working against the Patriots here including Tom Brady’s nicks and Wes Welker injuries but I won’t bet against the Patriots at home in playoffs as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are prominently involved. But my real guess is that the Pats win by a field goal and royally screw me.

Last week: 3-2 (2 points)
Season: 36-49 (35 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (8-9)
Home Favorites: 0-0 (7-13)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2)
Road Favorites: 2-1 (16-16)
Road Underdogs: 1-1 (12-17)
Road Pickem: 0-0 (0-1)

Somewhere Joe Buck is Laughing

Troubled comic Artie Lange landed in the hospital after stabbing himself nine times in an apparent suicide attempt. Lange's frantic mom called 911 after she entered his Hoboken apartment and found him bleeding. Lange sustained six "hesitation wounds" and three deep plunges. Surgeons managed to save Lange despite heavy bleeding.

I really don't think Artie Lange is funny at all and I especially didn't think his stint on Joe Buck Live deserved all the attention it got. Any 12 year-old boy could have said "you're gay and your favorite website is" Nothing smart or clever or funny about that.

How I Met Your Mother Turns 100

The 100th episode of "How I Met Your Mother" airs on Monday and it features a 2 and a half minute song and dance number with 65 dancers and a 50 piece orchestra.

How I Met Your Mother has a big song and dance routine planned for episode number 100

I don't like spoilers but I will say the song is in praise of the suit, after a girl Barney tries to bang doesn't like men who wear them.

Note: Anyone who took a class at Syracuse taught by Professor Bob Thompson surely knows 100 episodes is the former benchmark a show needed to reach before it could be syndicated. In the 100th episode of "St. Elsewhere" a patient named Cindy Cation survived 100 episodes of angina.

The Future of Sports Gambling

Interesting New York Times article about the future of Las Vegas sportsbooks.
A casino in Henderson, Nevada is experimenting with eDecks, handheld devices that allow you to bet on sporting events from anywhere in the casino (yeah, you still have to be in the casino) avoiding the window and the betting slips.
Similar devices are already in use at the Venetian and the Palazzo.
But the coolest part of this: being able to bet on a single event within a game. Imagine how much money we could make betting on: David Wright will strike out with the bases loaded and one out.

using a PocketCasino to bet on Jason Campbell taking a sack

Two Milestones

This is the 5000th post in the history of the Poop.
Not bad for a blog that's a little more than 4 years old (can't believe I missed Poop Day this year. It's November 3rd, remind me next year assholes, send me a card, or an e-card, how hard could that be?).

Here are the number of posts made in each of the 4 full years:

2006: 1631
2007: 1356
2008: 1047
2009: 647

That's a major decline of 38% from 2008. Basically I just don't have the time, so I am lot more discerning with what I post. I've looked at old posts from 2006 and I wouldn't bother reading half that stuff now. But the blog is definitely a lot worse now. Stuff is old, or not published at all. Sometimes it's dark for days at a time if I don't have time to prep stuff to autopost. And readership by real people is down too. I'd say right now we only have about 15-20 real Poopheads.

But there is one thing that's way up: the number of hits. Via google searches for various things, the Poop is getting more hits and page views than ever. In fact, that's the second milestone. We recently passed half a million page views (as calculated by Google) in the history of the Poop.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

He Would Have Beaten Texas if Healthy

Nebraska quarterback Zac Lee will have surgery on his throwing arm to repair an injury that he’s been playing with most of the season.

Throughout this season, the junior quarterback had a significant tear develop to a tendon on his throwing elbow after injuring his wrist in the Arkansas State game.

“I guess from favoring (my wrist) or something like that, I have what you would call a fairly extensive tear on my flexor tendon,” Lee said. “It’s just been something you have to play with, something you have to function with. It’s just a decent amount of pain in the elbow when you throw.”

Lee did not go public with the injury until after the Holiday Bowl domination of Arizona. Lee went 13 for 23 with 173 yards including a 74-yard touchdown pass to Niles Paul. Lee added 65 yards rushing and another TD in Nebraska's 33-0 win.

“In the course of the season you’re going to get hurt. Things are going to happen. I just didn’t want it to be an excuse,” Lee said. “I didn’t want it to distract from what we were trying to accomplish as a team. Our media, our fans, it would have been a wildfire if it came out during the season.”

Zac Lee hid an arm injury from everybody except hsi coaches

It usually takes about 10 to 12 weeks for a player to start throwing after such surgery.

Which brings us to spring practice. Lee may or may not be ready by then. It’s no secret the coaching staff wants Cody Green to win the job. He’s their recruit, Zac was recruited by the previous administration. They want to run the option, Green is faster. Problem is, Zac is a pretty good game manager, Green is mistake prone.

If the only game you watched Nebraska play all year was against Texas then you probably don’t agree with my take on Lee, but if you saw him play all season you will know he has potential and if given the chance to run an offense where passing is for more than just third and long, than he could take a team with a defense as good as Nebraska’s a really long way.

I Prefer MoveOn.Org

A new political action committee is running ads this week touting a college football playoff system in the markets of two undefeated teams who were bypassed for the national championship.

Playoff PAC says it will run the 30-second ads in Dallas-Fort Worth and Boise, Idaho, where TCU and Boise State are located. The ads also will run in Salt Lake City, where fans are still angry that undefeated Utah didn't get to play in last season's title game despite going undefeated.

Matt Sanderson, one of the founders of Playoff PAC, said the size of the TV ad buy will depend on the response the group gets in the next few days, but that the group will definitely run TV ads.

"It matters when they exclude teams like this from the national championship not just because it denies fans bragging rights, but because there are significant institutional benefits that come with that," Sanderson said, such as funding and boosts in admission.

Enough already. Enjoy the college season for what it is, a year-long tournament where in most cases the best two teams play in the end to settle the championship on the field. This year is a bad example because of five undefeateds but that never happens and usually we get a great, meaningful, exciting regular season followed by a one-game championship between the two best teams.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Year's Eve With the Poops

First we wore silly hats and glasses. I completely wasted $10 on these but I got sucked in by the persuasive salesman on 32nd street. I should have smelled the hat before I bought it (the way The Concierge does with hotel rooms) because it did not come from a smoke-free environment. The thing smelled so bad we had to put it out in the sunroom because it made the whole house smell. And unlike the glasses which can be worn for only one day the hat just says “Happy New Year” so if we can kill the odor we can keep it for next year.

Then we counted down to noon with our friends. And we tried to take a picture but the boys wouldn’t sit still and wouldn’t leave their hats on and the girls were sitting like perfect angels and getting very mad at the boys for ruining every picture.

And then we had a big cookie.

We also watched "The Hangover" and Dick Clark and Mrs. Poop got furious when he screwed up the countdown and she hopes they don't roll him out there again next year.

Song of the Week

"What Would You Do?" - City High

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I Bet This is What Chrissy Popadics Johnson Majored In

At most colleges, athletes are hidden in the communication program, but Boise State has done them one better. During last night's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Fox's graphics indicated Jeron Johnson is a "cummunication" major.

Jeron Johnson cummunications major

Would You Bang? Meghan McCain

The daughter of former Presidential candidate John McCain showed off her boobs in a twitpic, would you want her on your ticket?

Why the Mets Suck By Rob Neyer

You've read my thoughts on Why the Mets Suck now ESPN's Rob Neyer has his own version.

Neyer, a gifted baseball mind, expresses similar thoughts but in a more detached, well-reasoned manner. But the point is the same, the Mets are going about everything all wrong.

"A bit of (seeming) trivia from Jeff Passan: before Omar Minaya signed Jason Bay, he traded him for Lou Collier ... and before the Mets signed Jason Bay, they traded him (and Bobby Jones and Josh Reynolds) for Steve Reed (and Jason Middlebrook).

What does it all mean? Well, to Passan it means that Minaya and the Mets, once again, are valuing the wrong end of the talent/salary scale ...

All of this highlights an endemic problem with the Mets that they try to cover with their payrolls, which provided among the highest cost per win in baseball this past decade: Their player-development system is a mess, and not the kind of mess a toddler makes at dinner. It is whole-cafeteria-food-fight bad, and in that respect, the coupling of Minaya and the Mets seems perfectly matrimonious.

Together, they have spent hundreds of millions to go backward. There was the ill-fated Pedro Martinez deal. And the on-deathbed-ill-fated contract for Oliver Perez. They blew money ($25 million on Luis Castillo. They lavished it ($37 million in a closer-loaded market for Francisco Rodriguez, with an easily attainable $17.5 million option). They spent themselves out of all the good will engendered by the tremendously club-friendly contracts for David Wright and Jose Reyes.

Wright and Reyes represent the only worthwhile thing the Mets can call their own. Since 1985, the Mets have signed and developed five players who later wore their uniforms in an All-Star game. Five. Wright, Reyes, Todd Hundley, Edgardo Alfonzo and Bobby Jones. Even Kansas City can say it has passed eight homegrown All-Stars through its system.

Paul's note: this stat is complete bullshit since the Royals have to send a representative every year and since they have no high-priced talent some cheap guy from their minor leagues has to go.


Still, it speaks to the team’s recognition that baseball trades in a new currency -- youth -- and that the Mets always arrive late to the party of the latest trend. New York spent $3.1 million on the amateur draft in 2009. It was the lowest figure in the game. Ramping up their spending in Latin America -- which has netted them their three top prospects, Fernando Martinez(notes), Jenrry Mejia and Wilmer Flores -- doesn’t excuse going skinflint stateside.

To compensate, they dole out dollars in the most inefficient market: free agency. Bay hits for power and he gets on base and he fits into a clubhouse well, and every team desires such a player. He’s also 31. Defensive metrics and scouts agree he’s a massive liability in left field. He was obviously blanching at playing for the Mets and in the massive Citi Field, or he wouldn’t have spent more than two weeks spelunking for another offer before taking New York’s.


The Bay signing is reminiscent, in a way, of the last time the Mets reached these depths. Following a 91-loss season in 2004, the Mets brought in a past-his-prime Martinez for $55 million, then made the splash of the offseason by signing Carlos Beltran to a $119 million contract.


“I call it the New Mets,” Beltran said, “because this organization is going to a different direction, the right direction, the direction of winning.”

The New Mets never arrived. They were on the cusp of the World Series in 2006 and couldn’t capitalize. The Santana trade didn’t reinvigorate them. Scant reinforcements from the farm system arrived. Signings blew up. And ultimately, nothing changed.

They’re just the same old Mets. The same old mess.

In fairness, after bringing in past-his-prime Pedro and signing Carlos Beltran, the Mets did average 89 wins over the next four seasons. There were the best team in the National League in 2006, and were (arguably) the best team in the National League East, on paper anyway, entering each of the next three seasons (yes, even 2009). Thanks to the Phillies and any number of other things, it just didn't work out that way.

Still, it's a bit shocking that the Mets have developed only five All-Stars in the past quarter-century. And that only one of them was a pitcher. And that the pitcher was Bobby Jones. It's also a bit shocking that the Mets, who had the second-highest payroll in the majors in 2009, spent less money than anyone else in the draft.

Granted, they'd given up their first-round pick by signing Francisco Rodriguez. And they really have upped their investment in international talent. But when are the results going to show up in the majors? As Baseball America's Adam Rubin notes, just one of the Mets' domestic minor-league teams finished 2009 with a winning record, and the system's .451 winning percentage was the second-worst in baseball.

Minaya has been the Mets' general manager for five years. Wright and Reyes were in the pipeline before he arrived. He's spent a lot of money, but bought just one playoff appearance. At some point soon, it will be fair to ask some tough questions."

Monday, January 04, 2010

When Jury Duty Doesn't Seem So Bad

Hustler founder Larry Flynt is suing his two nephews claiming they ruined his business by putting out inferior product using the Flynt name.
The nephews worked for Flynt for a long time but when he fired them they launced their own company, FLYNT Media.
In order to decide the case the four women and four men of the mostly middle-aged jury viewed photos of some of the nephews' DVD boxes. Images of naked, well-endowed women on the front and people in all sorts of contortions on the back were flashed on a giant-screen TV right next to them.

The jury decided the nephews had infringed on Larry Flynt's trademark and they will now be required to use their first names on their porn moives.

What Do You Say?

The new year is presenting a new challenge. What do we call this thing?
Some people are opting for "twenty-ten" while others prefer "two-thousand-ten". What do you say?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Weekly Picks

Obviously I stink this year so I hope you aren't using these picks for anything other than picking the opposite. One note of caution, I guarantee this week a couple teams that need to win to make the playoffs will lose to teams that have nothing to play for.

atlanta -1 1/2 TAMPA BAY
I know the Bucs beat New Orleans last week, but they still suck.

kansas city +10 DENVER
I just have no confidence in the Broncos right now.

chicago -3 DETROIT
Maybe Jay Cutler figured something out last week.

philadelphia +3 DALLAS
Would be cool if we could get this matchup again next week. There's a possibility three of next week's four games could be rematches from this week.

tennessee -6 SEATTLE

I think the Titans will play hard to try to get 2,000 yards for Chris Johnson.

Last week: 0-5 (-1 points)
Season: 33-47 (33 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (8-8)
Home Favorites: 0-3 (7-13)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2)
Road Favorites: 0-1 (14-15)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (11-16)
Road Pickem: 0-0 (0-1)