Wednesday, April 19, 2017
For the second time in 3 years, a small child has won our ESPN tournament challenge group. In 2015 it was Nat, Hailey triumphs in 2017, with her newborn sister in fourth. My sister-in-law Mrs. Bates finished second. You will see your beloved hero, me, in 5th place with my real, actual bracket. That seems good, but I finished 5th among 5 of us who picked North Carolina to win it all. And I would have been even worse had I not mistakenly picked Kentucky to beat Wichita State in the second round. Mrs. Poop was the highest finisher among those who didn't pick North Carolina. Nevertheless she remains our only 2-time champion. But with this crop of young talent we have in our group, she likely won't be alone for long.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The clever clue writers for Jeopardy! like the internet attention when Alex Trebek recites song lyrics, particularly rap and hip hop songs, which is why the show recently featured a category called "90s R&B hitmakers." Alex read the lyrics, contestants had to provide the performer of the song from which the lyrics came.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Usually the internet is a place where a diverse marketplace of ideas comes together creating a robust, thoughtful, intellectual discourse. Just kidding, of course, but I was surprised at how overwhelming the reaction was in favor of United Airlines passenger David Dao. Yes, I agree that United's policies are foolish and unfair. Yes, I agree the airline, if it really needed the seats for its own employees, should have offered a far more generous "bump" incentive than $800. And yes I sympathize with anyone who buys a ticket, boards a plane and is then kicked off the flight against his or he will. I think we're all in agreement up until now. But once the airline makes it clear the Dr. Dao has to leave the plane, that the flight will not take off with on it, that he will be "re-accomodated," Dr. Dao has to behave like a human being and walk off the flight. All the terrible things that happened to him after that, the smashing of the nose on the armrest, the two embarrassing videos (one with shirt pulled up, one with incoherent ramblings and a bloody nose), the crush of media attention, the disclosure of his previous arrest and the embarrassing personal details all come back to his decision to force security to drag him off the plane. Because he could have avoided these unfortunate circumstances just by behaving like an adult, I think a lot of the blame falls on him.
Syracuse basketball fans are in for several more years of rude condescension and unbending adherence to a system that every opponent knows is coming. That's because Jim Boeheim knifed his most loyal assistant in the back and then stepped over his grave. Mike Hopkins waited patiently for Boeheim to retire, and when the old man finally announced he would coach for only 3 more years, 2 years ago, Hopkins was named the coach in waiting. But suddenly, a few days after the end to a disappointing season, Mike Hopkins accepted the job to be the head coach at Washington. Almost as suddenly, Syracuse offered a new contract to Jim Boeheim, which he happily accepted. While everyone is saying the right things, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Hopkins would not have left if he was 100% sure he was getting the job after next season as promised. For whatever reason, he must have felt there was at least some chance he was going to get screwed so he took a head coaching job while he could get one. Clearly, Boeheim still wanted to coach, and Hopkins knew it. Boeheim, it seems, did nothing to try to keep Hopkins, offering nothing in the way of assurances he would get the job, and he certainly wouldn't do something as noble as retiring immediately, so instead Syracuse lost its head coach in waiting and is stuck with several (many) more years of the Jim Boeheim era.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Sunday, April 02, 2017
NL East: New York Mets NL Central: Chicago Cubs NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers NL Wild Cards: Washington Nationals over Colorado Rockies NLCS: Los Angeles Dodgers over Chicago Cubs AL East: Boston Red Sox AL Central: Cleveland Indians AL West: Houston Astros AL Wild Cards: Seattle Mariners over Texas Rangers ALCS: Boston Red Sox over Cleveland Indians World Series: Boston Red Sox over Los Angeles Dodgers NL MVP: Kris Bryant AL MVP: Mike Trout NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw AL Cy Young: Chris Sale NL Rookie: Tyler Glasnow AL Rookie: Andrew Benintendi NL Manager: Bud Black AL Manager: AJ Hinch NL Comeback: Matt Harvey AL Comeback: Michael Brantley
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
I used to think of Kansas State coach Frank Martin like this:
After years of looking for the best gore and scouring pictures of bull fights and the Running of the Bulls for pictures of people with bullhorns lodged in uncomfortable places. We don't need to bother anymore. Here is the best (worst?) we should ever hope to see:
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Chuck Berry, who has died aged 90, was rock’n’roll’s first guitar hero and poet. Never wild, but always savvy, Berry helped define the music. His material fused insistent tunes with highly distinctive lyrics that celebrated with deft wit and loving detail the glories of 1950s US teen consumerism.
We finally got the good games and the upsets we wanted. I think we have the declare the offense vs. defense a draw. South Carolina beat Duke, Arkansas gave North Carolina a game, but UCLA beat Cincinnati easily. One tournament is a small sample, but man the ACC had just about has bad a tournament as you can have. Not only did the 5 bottom teams lose, three of the biggest upsets so far were ACC teams. Out of 9 teams to start only 1 remains. Out of 9 teams from the ACC and SEC, 6 remain. Joel Berry got away with a ridiculous travel. And it came at a crucial time, pushing the lead from 1 to 3. Alex English had a busy weekend, watching his son AJ play for Iona against Oregon, and then seeing his alma mater South Carolina beat Duke. Too bad he wasn't wearing this awesome jersey though.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
So it took until the third day but finally we got the thrilling upsets and fantastic finishes for which the tournament is revered. But let's start at the beginning. I love Verne Lundquist but he is losing his fastball. He misread the promo for "Kevin Can Wait." Even though it was about cooking, he said Chief Kevin, instead of Chef Kevin. Then made the same mistake again today, before correcting himself. Though we liked when he suggested the West Virginia band learn how to play "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" When people were talking about seeing "Beauty and the Beast" this weekend I thought they meant Verne and Allie LaForce. LaForce by the way, has come a long way since we first profiled her, marrying former Mets reliever Joe Smith, and progressing nicely in her career. hit in the face by a basketball during warmups. Villanova a huge disappointment in their title defense. For years they had underachieved and finally broke through, but then reverted back. They become the first #1 seed to get knocked out on the first weekend since Kansas lost that memorable game to #9 Northern Iowa in 2010. Wisconsin probably deserved a better seed, they have a really good team. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, shown a lot on TV at the Northwestern game because her son Charlie Hall is on the team.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
I am never disappointed with the NCAA tournament but this was the most underwhelming first round I can remember in years. No upsets of a top 4 seed, and only 1 12 seed won, and they were actually favored. And the big teams that won for the most part weren't even challenged. North Carolina won by 39, Kansas by 38, Duke by 22. And the two teams that were "challenged" were UCLA and Kentucky and they still won by 17 & 9. And Kentucky's win wasn't even that close. Hopefully, the better teams advancing means more good games in the later rounds. And it wasn't just the top seeds, the close matchups, didn't yield any super-exciting games, none went to overtime. For the second straight day, one of the most exciting finishes was marred by bad play. Seton Hall had so many unfortunate things happen in the final 40 seconds, the culmination of which was a questionable call, but they lost more because of their own mistakes than those of the officials. Here's why: they led by 8 with 6 minutes left, they led by 8 with 9 minutes left. They had the lead and the ball with 80 seconds left. Then they turned it over, and allowed the go-ahead layup. They had the ball again, and turned it over on a travel. So that's two turnovers in 1 minute with the game on the line, before the officials got involved. And then, the call happened. Seton Hall had to give a foul, trailing by 1 with the shot clock off. Desi Rodriguez tried to foul but instead he put two hands on the back of Barford and their feet got tangled simultaneously. By the letter of the law, this should have been ruled a flagrant, a clear push with no attempt to play the ball. By the spirit, no foul, it's late in the game, teams need to foul, contact wasn't excessive.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Sickening end to Vanderbilt vs. Northwestern. Matthew Fisher-Davis will not quite join Chris Webber, due to enormity of the situation, but certainly his blatant foul with 25 seconds left and his team LEADING by 1, will go down as one of the most boneheaded moves in tournament history.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Sunday, March 12, 2017
The Syracuse Orange will be watching the NCAA Tournament for the second time in 3 years (not the way Jim Boeheim wanted to spend his latter years, but that's another post for another time). The Orange were squarely on the bubble with an 18-14 record. Working against them, 4 horrible losses (St John's, Georgetown, UConn and Boston College), a poor road record (2-11) and a miserable RPI (80-something), which would have been the worst RPI to ever get an at-large berth, breaking the record they set last year. But working in their favor, Syracuse finished 10-8 in the top conference, won 6 games against the RPI top 50 and was a completely different team that they were in November and December. But when you lose 14 games, and blow several chances at a statement win, or even an easy clinching win, and don't get it, you really can't blame the committee. Every team ahead of the Orange has pros and cons when rated head-to-head. My only issue is with what seems to me to be some inconsistency in the criteria from year-to-year. It seems like last year SU was rewarded for big wins, this year those didn't matter as much. Perhaps the committee didn't want to keep stretching their criteria for the same team, and certainly it didn't seem like last year's Final Four run mattered at all. But at least I have the Virginia game saved on my DVR.
Friday, March 10, 2017
I have seen "The Karate Kid" many times, and like you, I always hate sympathy for Daniel LaRusso (played by Ralph Macchio) because I thought he was harassed, bullied and physically assaulted by the evil Johnny (Billy Zabka). Turns out I had incredibly misinterpreted what really went on: And they didn't even mention that Daniel kicked Johnny in the face, in clear violation of the rules of the tournament. If you like looking differently at movies you thought you knew, check out this trailer for the Shining.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
A leader who is often surly, nasty, dismissive and vindictive towards the media. He often picks fights with the media, especially over petty issues. And he mocks anyone who questions him. Yes, I am talking about Jim Boeheim. After his team lost in the ACC tournament he explained why he thinks the tournament should be in held in big cities every year. The city of Greensboro responded with a snarky tweet: "Jim Boeheim (No) Value Night" on April 11. All fans with a valid Syracuse, NY Driver's License will be given a free ticket, $20 in food and beverage vouchers, and a pre-game meet and greet with retired Hall of Fame Bat Dog, Miss Babe Ruth. "Contrary to what Jim Boeheim thinks, Greensboro is a great place and we want to show off our city, our ballpark and our southern hospitality to our friends from Syracuse. We know that not all of them are whiners and grouches like their basketball coach," said Grasshoppers Team President and General Manager Donald Moore. Boeheim will be honored during the "Whine of the Game" that night sponsored by Carolina Pediatrics of the Triad. "We may invite the coach to attend, although his presence will bring us no value, none," Moore continued. "I suspect he may already have plans to be at a game in New York, Washington, or Atlanta that evening and unable to come."
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
The good boychicks on the World Baseball Classic teams representing Israel had us all kvelling after they removed their caps for Hatikvah and put on kippot.
Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Rick Pitino had to be restrained from going after a fan at halftime of Louisville's game against North Carolina. Apparently the fan said "hey Pitino, you suck." What angered Pitino so much was that the fan was an older gentleman, not a student. How foolish of security to eject the guy, and escort him in the same direction Pitino was walking. When I was in college Notre Dame's Pat Garrity lined up for a free throw. A hush came over the crowd. And I yelled "I fuckin hate you Garrity." Good thing I wasn't ejected.
Friday, February 24, 2017
The latest in a long line of heroic last second shots for Syracuse this season came from John Gillon nailing a 3-pointer off the glass to beat Duke 78-75. It's always exciting to beat Duke. It's always exciting to win on a last-second shot. When both happen and the game is nearly essential for your tournament hopes, then it's even better. And the Gillon shot joins a long list of buzzer beaters and game winning shots.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Derrick Lewis delivered the best post-fight interview after his fight vs Travis Browne. Lewis seemed to be seriously hurt by a body blow in the first round, and was holding his stomach in pain. But he came back in the second and knocked out Browne, leading to this interview with Brian Stann. "I just gotta do number 2. It's not really hurt from the kicks, I gotta booboo." "all the training and all the sex I been getting..." And this clip edited out Lewis bringing up some old domestic violence accusations against Browne, punctuated with "where Ronda Rousey's fine ass at?" Browne is dating Ronda Rousey.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
A woman hits a half-court shot at a Siena Saints basketball game, as part of a promotion for Dunkin Donuts. She won a $500 DD gift card, which would last Master Bates about a week and a half. But look what happened next. Her boyfriend set the whole thing up, and after her miracle shot he took off the coffee cup costume and proposed to her. Pretty good night, $500 worth of a donuts and a diamond ring. Note: don't be a douche and vote with the mentality of I'd sell the diamond ring and get $5000 worth of donuts. So there!"
Sunday, February 19, 2017
A man in Oakland, California went on a bizarre rampage, terrorizing his neighbors with a rifle, before being taken out by a police sniper. The craziest part of his bizarre final moments, an act of vandalism on his neighbors' property.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Jane Park, 21, of the UK, had planned to sue lottery organizers claiming her life was ruined after she won a million pounds in the EuroMillions when she was only 17. Her claim was that someone that young could not handle the money and the lottery should increase the minimum age to 18. She wasted her fortunate on cars clothes and plastic surgery. Plastic surgery, you don't say.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Sunday, February 12, 2017
UCLA's big win over Oregon this week was marred by a scary incident involving a cheerleader. She fell, dragging the whole pyramid down, landed on her back and may have hit her head. Assistance came swiftly and she was carried off the court. Only problem, the dude carrying her stepped on a bag or some kind of cloth item left carelessly by the court, and he slipped, causing her to fall for the second time. Sophie did eventually return to the court and is doing fine.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
When Master Bates texted me to tell me that Charles Oakley had been ejected from Madison Square Garden and arrested, I thought he was messing with me. I thought Nails (who frequently tells me my favorite players have been traded, killed or photographed in bed with hookers) had put him up to it. Unfortunately, it was another sad chapter in the sad story of the New York Knicks. We will never know what truly happened, because there are such differing accounts, but clearly this went back a while, and rightly or wrongly security would keep an eye on Charles Oakley whenever he entered the Garden. We don't know if Oakley was drunk, we don't know if he was abusive, we don't really know if Dolan ordered security to eject him. We only know what we see on tape, which makes Oakley look pretty bad. He is physically assaulting the security personell and refusing to leave.
Friday, February 10, 2017
This one comes from the mind of Julian who asked why Carson Wentz was on the cover of daddy's magazine and mommy's magazine.
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Monday, February 06, 2017
Two years ago Dan Quinn got a front row seat to one of the worst coaching decisions in Super Bowl history when Pete Carroll elected for a pass instead of a run on the one-yard. Here's what I wrote about that move at the time: "That was a terrible play call, absolutely the worst. How do you not try with Marshawn Lynch there, at least on second down, if it doesn't work call time out and then consider your options? Nothing else needs to be said about it, it was a terrible move, a risk he didn't need to take. There is no argument in favor of it. Even though the Patriots would know it was coming, their odds of stopping it were low." Dan Quinn was the defensive coordinator of that team and now he can sympathize with his old boss, and if Pete Carroll had any class -- which I highly doubt -- he would have called his former employee to console him for making an even worse decision. Or maybe thank him for taking Carroll's name out of the memories of all football fans for making the biggest bonehead move at the worst possible time. Julio Jones had just made a ridiculous sideline toe-tapping catch that would have and should have gone done as a nail in the Patriots coffin, putting the Falcons at the 22-yard-line with four minutes and 40 seconds to go. Super Bowl XLIII, Steelers 27 Cardinals 23.
The house where the Matthewses lived in Boy Meets World is for sale. $1.29m and it's actually is Studio City, California, not Philadelphia, which increases the value exponentially. Unfortunately, because real life is not a television show, on the inside it looks nothing like the house were Cory and Eric grew up. Those rooms were of course sets on some lot at a TV studio. But it would still be cool. If Billy were able to kick half a mil, and move to California, I'm sure were could get 300k JLeary.
Sunday, February 05, 2017
Syracuse fans were criticized nationally for storming the court after the team's upset victory over then #6 Florida State. NC State student who did the same. Please click if you don't remember the story.
Every year I comb through the serious and the ridiculous to find prop bets to enjoy the Super Bowl more. I already picked the Patriots to win the game and cover the spread, here's my thoughts on almost everything. Under 58 1/2 Everyone and their mother is going over in this thing but the Patriots have a pretty good defense and even more importantly, I think they know they need to keep the ball away from the Falcons, so they will try to chew up some clock and control the ball. Matt Ryan MVP 5/2 Yeah, it's probably going to be Tom Brady. But he's basically 1 to 1. So Ryan pays 2.5x and probably is half as likely to win. It's a better price. LeGarratte Blount First TD 8 to 1 It's always hard to pick a running back when two pass-oriented teams are on the field, but I have feeling the Patriots are going to try to run it. Total QB sacks under 4 Neither team has a threatening pass rush and both passers like to get rid of it. Tom Brady under 2 1/2 rushing yards Seems drastically low, but this would have been a winner in 6 of his last 7 games. Even if he gets 4 yards, he could reverse that with two kneeldowns. Length of first reception by Chris Hogan Over 11 1/2 He's not an underneath receiver Julio Jones under 95 1/2 receiving yards The Patriots try to make you beat them with someone other than your best player And now, to the non-football Luke Bryan will come out wearing blue jeans 1/2 No way a country star sings the National Anthem in a nice pair of dockers. National Anthem under 1 minute 58 seconds Luke Bryan seems like a no-nonsense kind of guy. Lady Gaga's First Song: Edge of Glory 6/1 Internet rumors that it was going to be "Poker Face" but I don't believe anything I read on the internet. Deflategate mentions over 1 1/2 It has to come up. Coin toss Heads, easy Guest Performers during halftime show over 1/2 Isn't Lady Gaga like BFFs with Tony Bennett? Red Gatorade Poured on winning coach 6/1 It is the best flavor, and a primary color for both teams.
Saturday, February 04, 2017
Well, it's been a long season, started poorly and I managed to turn it around and break a string of a few bad seasons in a row. Now there is only one game left to select. New England -3 Atlanta As good as I think the Falcons are on offense, I think there is only one true way to beat the Patriots in the playoffs, and it's been said many times: get to Tom Brady with four rushers. If you commit 5, he eats you up. If you don't get enough pressure, he eats you up. I don't think the Falcons can do it. A lot is made of the Tom Brady revenge tour, but I don't buy any of it. I just think they have the better team, and the coach and the quarterback to execute better in a game like this. 7 Super Bowl appearances, 5 wins, maybe, simply amazing. Last Week: 1-1 (0 points) Season: 48-42 (51 points) Best Bets: 11-8 (I forgot week 1)
Thursday, February 02, 2017
The 52-year-old man who was killed in a double homicide in Dongan Hills has been identified by sources as Carl Clark. Police already identified Michael Genovese, 57, of Edgewater, N.J. as the other man who was fatally shot execution-style at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at a lending business at 124 Buel Ave. Police discovered the bodies following a 911 call about gunshots. A suspect remains at large and the investigation continues, a spokesman for the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Public Information said. The suspect is described by police as an adult male who was possibly wearing a mask. He fled the location in gray sedan, heading east on Dongan Hills Avenue toward Hylan Boulevard, police said. A motive has not yet been established. Police do not believe it was a robbery since nothing obvious was taken from the scene, the spokesman said. The victims were believed to have been alone in the building with the suspect at the time of the shootings. A preliminary police investigation indicates the victims were shot in the back of their heads in a rear office. The medical examiner's office will determine exactly how many times the men were shot, police said. The address where the men were shot is the location of Universal Merchant Funding, an organization that provides loans for small businesses. Genovese is listed the owner of the business, according to his LinkedIn profile. When you get killed in Staten Island and your last name is Genovese, people think it's a mob hit.
Wednesday, February 01, 2017
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Tonight is the last game Brent Musburger will ever call. Musburger is leaving ESPN on very short notice in the middle of the college basketball season. If you are a fan of a certain age you remember Musburger for hosting the CBS NFL pregame show along with Irv Cross and Jimmy the Greek. When he famously said "you are looking live..." as they ran through the slate of games. In 1990, he joined ESPN and through the years did play-by-play for college football and basketball. I was never a huge fan of his, but never had much of a problem with him either. When people freaked out over him pointing out that AJ McCarron's beauty queen girlfriend is pretty, I stood with Brent. I even sided with him in his latest controversy over his comments about Joe Mixon. The one thing I can't figure is why would he leave ESPN so suddenly. I can only imagine that because Musburger stated he was going to move to Las Vegas to help his family with a sports handicapping business, ESPN became uncomfortable with the possibility of a real or perceived conflict of interest and asked him to leave almost immediately.
You may have heard the shocking news that Richard Marx intervened in a disturbance on an airplane, helping some female flight attendants gain control of an unruly passenger.