Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hot Russian Curler

Meet Anna Sidurova, skip of the Russian curling team and one of the hottest Olympians I've seen so far. She turned 23 right before the games started. Even though she fouled a rock (not letting it go) and allowing a steal of 3 she still beat the inept U.S. team. Sidurova was willing to pose in sexy underpants to promote her sport, but one thing she evidently won't do is smile.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Forget Tae Kwon Do and Gymnastics, Let's Get These Boys Singing Lessons

Here is the cover of the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
From left to right you have Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen.
Nina has dated Max George from the Wanted and Adam Levine. Lily is married to Calen Followill from Kings of Leon. And Chrissy is married to John Legend nee John Stevens. Good thing she didn't know him when he was a nerdy Ivy Leaguer in an a capella group called "The #2 PENNcils." Just kidding, they were the Penn Counterparts.
Either way, it's pretty dorky. So if these three can end up with those three, singing must be a pretty good way to pick up chicks.

Mrs. Poop vs. TON Showdown

By now you may have heard that Mrs. Poop is the most entertaining person to watch the Olympics with. Her non-stop chatter, while annoying during shows that have a plotline, is welcome and amusing during the Olympics when hearing what is said is less important.

In last evening's rant Mrs. Poop declared Henrik Harlaut, freestyle skier from Sweden to be her most hated athlete in the games.

Three reasons:

1) Despite a diminutive frame he wears a quad-X uniform (XXXXL) and it falls off his ass during his run

2) His hair is styled in dreadlocks

3) He keeps a raw egg in his pocket while competing. It reportedly broke when he crashed violently during his opening run.

Mrs. Poop makes a pretty good case.

So why does TON love him more than any Olympic athlete since Peter Northug.

"Wu-Tang is for the children."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Something Special

In case you didn't hear me screaming, Syracuse remained unbeaten, a perfect 24-0 with a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to beat Pittsburgh 58-56.

I love Tyler Ennis. He is the perfect point guard in that he spends most of the game setting up his teammates and making the smart play, but when the game is on the line he wants the ball in his hands.
Obviously that last shot is a lot of luck, but it also requires skill, you need to get as far as you can but get the shot off in time. And it wasn't a chuck, he was square to the basket with good shooting form. He could have that shot 10 more times and not make it once, but he nailed it this time when it counted.
But that wasn't his only big play. You may recall Syracuse taking a 1-point lead 10 seconds earlier when Ennis drove right into the defense, drew a foul and sunk both free throws. And he made the smart decision to take the easy basket instead of trying to take the last shot.

But this wouldn't have happened without CJ Fair. He scored the 8 Syracuse points prior to Ennis's final 5. One came on a beautiful baseline cut (and pass from Ennis) for a corner 3-pointer and then a jumper to cut the Pitt lead to 54-53. If someone not named CJ Fair wins ACC Player of the Year it would be a travesty.

This victory also wouldn't have happened without what I call the Jim Boeheim Memorial No Points Offense, it kills you every time. Dixon had his team take the air out of the ball, kill 30 seconds of the shot clock every time and chuck up something bad as time expired. As a result, Pitt made only 1 field goal in the final 6 minutes, and it came on a tip-in from one of the aforementioned bad shots at the buzzer.

I hate playing Pitt. They play such a physical style, that it sucks you in, and it confuses the referees. The refs simply can't call fouls on everything Pitt does or they'd have no players left. Unappealing as it may be they force you to play their style and they're better at it than you are. The refs' swallowed whistles were the same for both teams (I saw Syracuse commit fouls that went uncalled) but it's a lot harder for them to be consistent. For instance, the reach-in foul called on Christmas that sent Zanna to the line with 4 seconds left, was a foul. But in this game there were probably at least 8 similar infractions that were overlooked by the refs.

But it was great to win and see the team celebrate on Pitt's home floor. This win snapped an amazing streak of 9 wins vs. top 5 opponents.

A game like this makes you wonder if this team is really just very lucky, luck that will run out eventually? Or are they creating their own luck through skill and poise under pressure? Only time will tell.

Song of the Week

"True Love" - Pink
After all the wonderful sweet love songs I've dedicated to Mrs. Poop in this space, I decided to give her a chance to send out a special Valentine's Day dedication to me.
Here are some of the lyrics that make this song speak to her:

"Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say
Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face"

"Just once please try not to be so mean"

"Why do you say the things that you say?
Sometimes I wonder how we ever came to be"

But especially
"You're an asshole but I love you"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'm Not Sure This Analogy Really Works

Duluth Trading company has a new series of ads for their "Fire Hose" pants.

Trimming an unruly bush. Ok, clear double meaning there, but how does it relate to men's work pants?

Now, a giant angry beaver?

What do vagina references have to do with men's work pants?

If you're wearing work pants while having sex, you're doing it wrong.

Get a pair!

His Middle Name is Notso

Marcus Smart deserved at least a 5-game suspension for shoving a fan during a game against Texas Tech.
Smart went into the stands for a loose ball. The fans he landed on helped him up, but the fan seated behind them, Jeff Orr, called Smart a piece of crap (or shit) and Smart shoved him in the chest.

Maybe the fan should not have yelled that in Smart's face, and we surely have seen a decline in civility at games and in our society at large. But Orr's taunt did not warrant a physical action. There was no racial slur. Smart made that up to his coaches who then leaked it to the media to try plant reasonable doubt to protect their player. But you'll notice Smart never made that allegation publicly and no one seated in the area reports hearing that.

If we have learned anything from the Trayvon Martin killing it's this: don't escalate situations into physical violence unless absolutely necessary to protect yourself.

And the old adage "two wrongs don't make a right" is also true here. Orr and Zimmerman were wrong to initiate their confrontations but Martin and Smart were wrong to resort to violence, and that's why they paid a steeper price.

But, I would still take Smart on the Knicks. He needs to get his shit together but he is a good player and will probably have a great NBA career if he can learn from these incidents instead of repeating them.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Can't Blame the Guy For Trying

The beautiful Kate Upton took in an Orlando Magic game with her boyfriend Justin Verlander.

When Verlander stepped away for a moment, the Magic's mascot, Stuff, swooped in with flowers, a giant ring and a marriage proposal.

As always, Kate was the picture of elegance, class and grace, smiling and posing with Stuff, and even posting an instagram pic of her with the ring.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Best Game I've Ever Seen In Person

Syracuse's 91-89 victory over Duke in the schools' first game as conference opponents was probably the best game (any sport) I've ever attended in person. It was one of the best regular season college games of all time.
Normally I resist pronouncements like that because people often call every close, exciting game "great." But this one deserves the greatness label not just for the excitement and drama, but also for high quality of play.
Each team committed only 8 turnovers, that includes overtime. Duke made 15 of 36 3s and Syracuse didn't get out of their game plan, shooting only 4 3s and make 3 of them. Syracuse made 80% of its free throws, and that never happens. There were 40 fouls called but I don't think the officiating played a huge part in the outcome. This game was decided by the players, and so many of them made great plays.

I finally had the chance to sit down and watch the game on TV and I wanted to share a few thoughts.

I'll start with the last play of regulation: Syracuse definitely should have fouled. Duke was inbounding with 4.6 seconds left. If you give a foul at half court you take away at least a second or two. Boeheim said that was the plan, and you can see CJ Fair did try to foul, he just wasn't aggressive enough.

And then, in a similar situation at the end of overtime, Tyler Ennis gave the foul with 9 seconds left, way too much time, too much can go wrong. And it almost did.

Syracuse went on a little run with 6 minutes left to take a 7-point lead (66-59). On the next 3 Duke possessions Tyler Thornton made 3-pointers to cut the lead to 70-68, with 4:22 left. The only 3 shots he made all night. Outstanding individual performance over that short period.

The 5th foul on Parker (offensive) was very questionable. There was definitely contact but Christmas sold it. The foul called on Cooney for hitting Sulaimon on a 3-pointer was equally questionable. The foul on Jefferson on Christmas though was a clear foul that had to be called.

Tyler Ennis is a great point guard. He always makes the right decision and never tries to score unless they absolutely need a basket. And he basically won the game by recognizing the mismatch in overtime with Dawkins on Grant. He did it twice in a row, then the third time when Fair tried to feed Grant the pass wasn't as good and Grant missed the shot. Then Ennis fed Grant one more time, and it forced Coach K to make a change, and bring in Plumlee.

Rakim Christmas did not foul on the final dunk attempt. He got the ball, maybe there was some incidental contact, but his hand on the ball, cleanly was why it didn't go in.

CJ Fair was mugged and beaten, it was clearly an intentional foul, but I don't really blame the refs for calling it just a regular call. It was excessive in contact in part because two players shoved Fair at the same time. I wouldn't have wanted to see a game like this decided by a call like that.

Fair played an absolutely incredible game. He's just a fantastic player who does the things you need to do to win.

What a game! I am thrilled to have been in attendance for one of the most memorable Syracuse games ever.