Thursday, November 30, 2006

Things I Wouldn't Know If Not For Dan Le Batard

Randy Shannon, defensive coordinator for the University of Miami Hurricanes, is allegedly in the running for the head coaching job at The U soon to be vacated by Larry Coker. I don't know much about the particulars of Hurricane football, so I can't really give a take on his skills. But I do now it's harder for a Black man to get a head coaching job in college football than it is to get an erection thinking about Tony Siragusa in a bikini.

But a caller on the Dan Le Batard radio show today suggested - wait for it - that Shannon would be a good choice because "he would appeal to the single moms." I couldn't help but laugh. I'm not even sure what the caller meant by that. Certainly, that Shannon would be an asset in recruiting Black athletes who, as everyone knows, all come from broken homes. Said moms would automatically feel warm and fuzzy forcing their sons to go play for a Black coach. Whatever.

Or the caller meant that Shannon would "appeal to the single moms" by plying them with sexual favors. Hmmmm... I suppose he is a handsome man. He's in shape. He's got a good job. Certainly, single moms will find him "appealing." These moms have been stuck with some bad ass boys for 18 years forced to spend all their free time sitting on concrete bleachers and bedazzling jerseys that say, for example, "DeMarcus' Mom". So, Shannon might indeed have an "appeal" that other candidates don't offer. I mean you have to do with you have to do. It's a competitive market out there. Maybe he's been holding back on his full arsenal of skills all this time. ("No! I won't sell my body for a coordinator position." sniff. sniff.) If Randy gets the call, maybe he'll show us his cards.

But the question is, would booty calls to the single moms constitute a recruiting violation?

Tony Parker keeps Eva Longoria Safe from Tony Romo

Tony Parker and Eva Longoria are making it official. Probably concerned about lady killer du jour Antonio Romo on the loose in Texas, Tony proposed to Eva last night. They plan to have a big ceremony in France in 2007. Take that, TomKat! I guess they're the definitive sports IT couple now. Congrats, guys.

What Are the Falcons Waiting On?

The big news out of Atlanta this week is that Michael Vick got fined for giving the 1 finger salute to the fans. Ten large to the league. Ten large to a charity. (BTW, since when is a charitable deduction punishment? Is the league trying to send a message about tax preparation?)

I'm waiting for more. But apparently, the Falcons are not going to change.

All over the league, teams are sending the message they want to win.

Brian Billick fired his best friend to get it done. The Ravens were probably going to be in the playoffs anyway. They didn't have to make any changes

Bill Parcells fired the most accurate kicker in NFL history to get it done. The Cowboys are practically on cruise control to the Superbowl at this point. They didn't have to make any changes.

The God forsaken Texans have resorted to trying out shamed track star, Justin Gatlin, in order to get a halfway decent receiver on their squad.

Even the Raiders are still trying to get better. Art Shell demoted a coordinator and not so subtly called out management.

So, where is the Falcons' urgency? Congratulations for being the most supportive and loyal team in the NFL, but I would prefer to get some W's. Changes need to be made with the team. Why delay the inevitable? Vick is not getting any younger and the team should be tweaking as much as possible before they find themselves being forced to rebuild.

But it was nice to see that the national media actually watched the game this week. Last week, it was Vick. Now everyone realizes it's the receivers (only part of the problem, but I hope the firm of Drop, Drop and Drop will be shamed into productivity this week). Even when they were slurping Vick a few weeks ago, it was obvious not a single analyst had actually watched the game. For example, in the Pittsburgh game, everybody on the team executed well, but 3 of Vick's 4 TD's were really defensive touchdowns. The defense made some plays and got some turnovers. Three touchdowns started in or near the red zone. It wasn't like we drove the field or moved the chains or anything crazy like that. Vick got all the credit, but it wasn't just him.

And it's not all Jim Mora's fault, but why is this dude not getting thrown under the bus more? He has no leg to stand on! He never had a head coaching job before. He doesn't otherwise have a track record of greatness. He is the obvious scapegoat, not Vick.
That's it. I'm too angst ridden to focus on a concluding statement.

Real Fans Give "Love" to the Mascot

Who cares if it's too early in college basketball season to make meaningful determinations ? Ashley Judd doesn't. She proves she is a more devoted college basketball fan than me by showing her enthusiasm early in the season. I can barely get up to post about my beloved Georgetown Hoyas while watching the Daily Show in my pajamas and this bitch flies all the way to Lexington to watch her team play the College of Charleston and practically gives the mascot a lap dance. Thanks for making me look bad, bitch.

And I'm thinking the wildcat's back is probably a good representation of his enthusiasm in the front... I hope you got your 20 bucks for that shit, Ashley.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The NFL Wants Me

And I thought I was just good for buying pink jerseys...

Turns out the NFL is looking to keep me and other women interested in the NFL. Apparently, about 40% of the viewing audience is female and those gals want to be catered to without being treated differently.

There are a few things the NFL can do to further the cause.

1. Involve women meaningfully in the broadcasts and other marketing of the sport.

Everyone wants to see themselves represented in what they're watching. So put some women in the booth or at the desk for goodness sakes. There is talent available right now. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is so reason for talent like Suzy Kolber and Pam Oliver to be relegated to the sidelines. I have nothing against sideline reporters, weather girls or cheerleaders, but there shouldn't be a "dome ceiling" when they'll let any washed up athlete who can string a sentence together learn on the job.

2. Give us a little eye candy.

If the NFL is going to shamelessly stick their cameras up cheerleader's skirts, then they can make sure the women have a little something to look at too. I don't want a bunch of Tony Reali clones, but this can range from just making sure the male on-air talent looks their best all the way to giving the ladies a few shots of the guns and some close-ups of the handsome guys.

3. Encourage girls to play football.

Girls like Holly Mangold may be an anomaly right now, but it won't last. Girls are going to start playing football, whether the NFL gets on board or not. Michelle Wie is already trying to force the issue in golf. It's going to happen to the other sports. At a minimum, an excellent female athlete is interchangeable for an average male athlete.

Baseball. With the development of fast pitch softball, a lot more girls are going to be developing skills that are transferable to baseball. What position on the diamond couldn't a woman perform? Maybe females will never have the arm to be the best outfield player or hit 50 homers in a season, but all the other roles in the dugout are fair game.

Basketball. Those WNBA girls are going to get tired of making $50K a year when they could be getting boy money. No female will likely ever be Shaq, but, if she could withstand the certain groping, why couldn't a female develop into a Ray Allen type superstar?

The ladies have shown that they can take a little violence. There are already female boxers. The WWE embraces female wrestlers to the full extent of the woman's ability. They even let the girls fight the boys.

And it's going to happen to football too. There are several positions that women could potentially play on the field. There are already quite a few high school kickers, there have even been Division 1 female kickers and female tackle leagues are growing. Real soon, a girl is going to show up at the combine ready to put Mike Vanderjagt's cocky ass in check. And who knows? Maybe a glimpse of flaxen blond hair peeking out from underneath a helmet and the torture of knowing some choice C cups are being unfairly restrained underneath an authentic Reebok NFL jersey could melt Bill Parcell's cold, cold heart toward kickers.
But, really, one of the positions that immediately come to mind that could be especially suitable for a woman is the position of quarterback. Quarterback is largely a mental/management position, especially with the league bending over backwards to minimize QB contact. A woman may never have the speed and explosiveness of Michael Vick or the long arm of Brett Favre. But if you ask a woman to sit in the pocket and make good decisions throughout the game? No problem. Women could excel at being so-called "competent" quarterbacks. There are other positions that a women could be successful at. Football players generally aren't that big, therefore women aren't automatically excluded on their inherent physicality. A woman could be a receiver, a cornerback, or any position where the woman would be the tackler or the occasional tacklee (is that a word?). But if Holly Mangold wants to be a lineman, it's her prerogative.

Sports is one of the ultimate meritocracies in this country. If the ladies get it in their mind to make it happen, it will happen. If a girl shows up that can do the job, an organization is going to bite. It may not happen next year or even 5 years from now, but it will happen. The ultimate goal in sports is to win, not to exclude. It's the NFL's choice whether they want to be on board from the outset. (And they will sell a lot more copies of Madden video games. I'm not ashamed to admit I am restricted in my ability to succeed at that game because I've never played the game. Goddamn X's and O's....)

So, if the NFL is really interested in the gentler sex, that's my take. And, oh yeah, keep selling those pink jerseys.

Cocky and Cockier - Gone Too Soon

Now, which one is cocky and which one is cockier?

Terrell Owens will be crying himself to sleep tonight over the news that his BFF, Mike Vanderjagt, has been kicked off the Dallas Cowboys. Terrell and Mike are apparently best buddies. I remember when I tuned into the Dallas-Philly game and one of the first images I saw was Mike comforting Terrell on the sidelines. I thought, "something must be wrong. What is the kicker doing with T.O.?!" But apparently, the guys have genuinely bonded, presumably one-upping each other in the mutual affection society. Dude, do you know I'm the best kicker ever? BP is always hating on me. Dude, do you know I'm the best wide receiver ever. The WHOLE WORLD is always hating on me. Fuck Martin Gramatica and his whole agile family. It's us against the world. (Then they high five each other.) WE LOVE US SOME US!

Owens even publicly stated today:

I don't see what he did wrong to warrant him being cut. I hope it doesn't come
back to haunt us. Whoever made that decision, I'm pretty sure they're hoping the
same thing. Going into the Colts game, the guy was 12-of-15. That's still a high
kicking percentage. He didn't lose any games for us. If I had to put
myself in the mix, I feel like I lost some games and I'm still here, so it's
just unfortunate.

I'm sure some will accuse Owens of criticizing management, but I think it's nice of him to stand up for his little buddy. He even threw himself under the bus. Oh, Little T, you make me so proud... But T should keep in mind that Mike gets a $2.5 million signing bonus as a parting gift. T.O. already knows no one listens to him. He was right about Garcia. He was right about Mariucci. He exposed McNabb. He exposed Bledsoe. Will he be right about the Vanderjagt or will T.O. turn out to be the one that's "haunted" by his endorsement of the "idiot kicker"?

What is Cuttino Mobley Doing in the Offseason?

Um, Los Angeles Clippers guard Cuttino Mobley has some 'splaining to do. What is this????!!! Let's review. A coordinated skull cap with skinny scarf. Exposed designer underwear. And fancy jeans hanging, ahem, just right. Did I mention he was shirtless? And that doesn't look like one of his teammates in the picture with him. I don't want to speculate on the obvious, but some people will.... And there were rumors about him and Steve Francis...

Wrestling - A Sport So Great, It Can Even Deal With Michael Richards

Mostly, this video is great because it features a sweet ass kick to the head. Additionally, it is great because the kick in the head is for Michael Richards. Click here to watch the video. The kick is at the 2 minute mark. There is a shorter version of the video at, but the quality is better on the WWE site. I do love wrestling. They are equal opportunity offenders. Only the WWE can take a stand against racism while simultaneously perpetuating the stereotype of Blacks as criminals. Ridiculous, yet brilliant.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Antonio Romo? Si.

Apparently, Tony Romo is Mexican. Well, half Mexican to be precise. His "real" name is Antonio Ramiro Romo. I am not really shocked. After all, there are millions of Mexicans in the world. I am surprised that Romo's heritage hasn't been brought up in general (turns out this isn't secret information), much less in the context of Irvin-gate. It's significant, right? Mexicans need more than Jeff Garcia to be proud about in the NFL. Did Chad Johnson have to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month alone?

But I haven't been this confused since I found out Dan Le Batard was Cuban. Isn't ESPN Deportes supposed to provide us with this information?

This adds a different twist to the latest edition of Irvin-gate. It's not really the same clear cut double standard. While we could still struggle with the appropriateness of Irvin's comments in the national media, I definitely think this casts Irvin's relationship with Romo in a different light. Now, Romo is not some poor defenseless White guy being victimized by Irvin's aspersions who can't defend himself lest he be labeled a racist. Indeed, because Romo is Mexican, that means he's Black (which explains why Romo was playing basketball with Irvin in the first place... It's a joke. I'll be here all night, folks.). Now I know that makes no sense at all, but I'll give you some insider information. Many Black-Americans will treat their non-White friends almost as if they are also Black. Mostly, this means they won't edit themselves in front of said friends and will be comfortable extending so-called "Black" privileges to those friends. So, if Irvin is on the basketball court getting on Tony about his mama, grandmama or great great great great grandmama, Romo is free to inquire whether Irvin is smoking the crack pipe that he has stowed in his gym bag. How do you say "crack pipe" in Spanish.... Fun for all. In fact, in case you were wondering, this might illuminate why Romo is so damn chummy with Irvin and Terrell Owens in the first place.

Good times ahead. The media will play some cheery salsa music everytime they do a background piece on Romo. Sean Salisbury will struggle to pronounce "machismo" to discuss what was previously called Romo's cockiness. They'll say he's tough and he has heart (just like the Mexican boxers). Sideline reporters will inexplicably ask him if he's confronted Emmitt Smith about robbing Mario Lopez of the Dancing with the Stars championship. ESPN will get the "GOOOOAAAL" guy to do a special play by play that they can tuck in the Sunday Sportscenter. Good times, good times.

Personally, I think "Antonio Ramiro" is waayy sexier than boring old "Tony." He should have been going with that all along. Because you know, the Latins, they are the lovers. (Again, I'll be here all night.) I'm just saying... If I was a celebrity quarterback, I would play the "Antonio" card. That's how you bag Jessica Alba, not Simpson.

Well, Peyton Manning, I guess you got your spot back. You are once again the reigning Great White Hope. Romo is out of contention on a technical disqualification.

Hoya Update

The Georgetown Hoyas defeated Ball State last night 69-54. Congratulations, guys. JT v 3.0 defeated his brother, Ronny. There is a requisite heartwarming story about the Thompson clan courtesy of the AP.

Okay, what I want to know is how we dropped from 14 to 18 in the AP poll. We won our little game against Fairfield last week. How did we drop 4 places in a week where there were so many upset? This makes so sense. I have a friend who complains that the same thing happened to GA Tech too. I can't be worried about their problems. I much prefer The Big Lead's Top 20. At least it makes sense. Real men explain themselves. Explain yourself, Associated Press.

Evidence That Soon White Sportswriters Will "Ruin" Perfectly Good Articles By Discussing Race

I just wanted to warn you. The White guys are getting more comfortable discussing race. They'll soon be bringing it up all the time, just like we do. Be prepared.

Just in the past few days...

Michael Irvin did go on the Dan Patrick radio show yesterday to apologize for his comments about Tony Romo. He was contrite. Whatever. But what was really hilarious about the interview was Dan Patrick! I have to say I have never experienced this Dan. Dan is a pretty fair, open-minded guy. He has a take, but he is pretty magnanimous about entertaining a lot of viewpoints on his radio show. However, by his tone, it was clear that Dan was INDIGNANT about having to deal with the Michael Irvin thing. And The Playmaker was not his problem. You would have to listen to the audio on ESPN Insider to really get the feel for this, but Dan was not so subtly conveying that that he felt the whole thing was blown out of proportion and that he and Mike should be able to talk about anything they want. Dan clearly took treated the whole exchange as a joke. I don't think Dan appreciated the censorship on what's supposed to be a genuine conversation between buddies for the entertainment of the listeners. DP mumbled some apology about participating in the joke and potentially offending anyone. But I have to tell you that "apology" was 5 notches less sincere than T.O./Rosenhaus apology. I mean, Irvin sounded like he was going to cry. DP couldn't care less. DP gave about 60 seconds to the topic and he wanted to move on. Irvin wanted to keep explaining himself. Dan told Michael, "Let's move on. If you don't feel like talking about football today, I'll talk to you next week." Damn, Dan. But I'm glad you feel empowered in your right to talk about race. Sure things may get a little out of hand occasionally, but that's just how it goes sometimes. Way to stand up for honest racial discourse - kind of.

Pam Oliver did a very good piece on Black coaches in the NFL on the Fox NFL Sunday. I wasn't expecting much, but it was done with a fresh perspective. It discussed the current coaches and profiled some Black guys paying their dues in the league to become coaches. And she flat out asked Chicago Bears GM Jerry Angelo why Lovie Smith was the lowest paid coach in the league. Sorry, Pam, despite all your hard work, I'm going to have to give some love to the White guys. Girl, you know that's just how it goes. I mostly noticed the reaction of her co-hosts to the piece. I thought it was genuine. Jimmy chimed in with some interesting supplemental facts. Howie relayed his positive experience playing under Art Shell. It was nice to see the White guys contributing meaningfully and comfortably to a discussion concerning race. It may not have seemed notable to you, but it struck me just for that reason. Joe Buck praised Pam effusively, gave her a hug, and - the ultimate reward - let her sit at the desk. And, BTW, I don't understand why Pam didn't get the moderator job at the desk after James Brown left. She paid her dues. Maybe she sucked at her try-out, but I have a hard time believing that Joe Buck wanted a 17th job at Fox. I think that man might want to see his kids occasionally. And I have nothing against Curt Menefee, but he doesn't bring anything special to the table. And given that Fox is competing against Sunday Countdown, NFL Today and the NFL Network, you would think that they would work a little harder to keep the show fresh. They've already lost JB and Jillian Barberie. If they lose Caliendo, my loyalties are for sale. And I've sensed a little underlying bitterness from Pam this season. I think Pam will be, um, open to other offers when her contract with Fox expires.

And, back to Michael Irvin, some thoughtful commentary has come out of this. Not from the politically correct mainstream media, just the bloggers. As usual. Here's one at 55 Problems. Here's something from The Big Lead. Another one from Can't Stop the Bleeding. See, if Irvin can make uncomfortable statements without getting fired, some White guys have figured out that they too can criticize Irvin and discuss race without being labeled a racist. Don't ever forget this gift that Michael has given you, Irvin-haters.

And a final word about Irvin. I have a take on this. I initially thought this was a non-issue, but it's been interesting to contemplate the whole thing. It's a complicated issue actually. It's kind of like saying things are "gay." I hear that offends some people too, but it's a common characterization. (Deadspin used it just recently.) I have to put it out there - for people who may not know that - Black people commonly discuss things in terms of like "something is Black" "so and so is ghetto", "that's White", etc., etc. It's not a defense, but what Irvin said was not shocking in terms of whether that would be part of ordinary casual conversation between buddies in our community. But, of course, talking on ESPN is not the same as carrying on a conversation between buddies. That being said, if Peyton Manning stops by with a tasty homemade pound cake and beats me in a game of spades, I'll remain suspicious.

Larry Johnson Hollering at Beyonce?

Not to be outdone by fly by night newbie Tony Romo, Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson may be claiming his dream girl. There is a vicious Internet rumor that Larry Johnson is hollering at Beyonce. The above picture was taken at Larry's birthday party last Friday. Yes, Jay-Z was there. And Larry is signed to Team Roc. However, Larry and B were reportedly engaged in long, intimate conversation. The pictures don't lie. I see chemistry. They both seemed to be quite pleased to be invading each other's personal space (I love the lean-in, Larry). And B's sister, Solange, has already demonstrated the Knowles family preference for football players by getting hitched to Daniel Smith (extremely fine, but waived by the Carolina Panthers in August). B could reaffirm her big dog status in the family by pulling an athlete that actually has a career.

B does love the football players. The hot guy in her current video, "Irreplaceable," is former football player, Bobby Roache. I am not surprised that his continued services were needed at the American Music Awards last week.

Beyonce has been having a rough time of it lately. Supposedly, rapper Nas dissed her because she has bad breath. She hates that Jennifer Hudson is getting more shine than her in "Dreamgirls." And her so-called "boyfriend" left her in a car for 40 MINUTES while he attended his album release party. Maybe B could use the comforts of LJ right about now. Step in, LJ! Be her "friend."

So, who knows if there is any truth to this rumor. But I say all the athletes should have the girl of their dreams, if only in our imaginations. Tony Romo and Larry Johnson, enjoy the holidays.

Monday, November 27, 2006

State of the Falcons - The Coach Killer Edition

Or is it the "fuck you" edition? Michael Vick has since apologized for flipping off the fans. He claims he did it in the heat of the moment out of frustration. But I hardly blame him. (BTW, allow me to point out that by the game's end, everyone had left the dome. Our fate was sealed with about 4 minutes to go. Those fans in the picture stayed to the end for a reason. I can only imagine what they were spewing. Also note they are obnoxious Falcons fans - not an obnoxious Saints fan in the bunch.)

Let me get something clear right now. Michael Vick does not deserve to be thrown under the bus. He is the leader of the team and, of course, he is responsible for the good and the bad. But the national media has gone too far. Michael Vick is the best thing that ever happened to the Falcons organization and I'm not just saying that because approximately 80% of the metro area population owns a #7 jersey. If you want to talk about Michael Vick, don't mouth off based on the box score or the highlights. Watch the games. All the games. I have maintained all season that Vick is throwing accurately this season. I stand by that - because I watch the games. When Mike first got to Atlanta, he was indeed throwing the ball 10 feet past the receiver. In fact, that is a big reason why I wanted a receiver like T.O. to come to Atlanta in order to ameliorate Vick's passing deficiencies. He is not doing that anymore. In fact, I will say 95% of the passes that Vick is throwing this season can be caught by a professional wide receiver. Unfortunately, those are in short supply in the Atl. The play calling is erratic and often irrational. The offensive line goes from worse to worser each passing minute. But do you know how we manage to remain 4th in total offense in the NFL, yet our quarterback is the 6th most sacked QB in the NFL (ahead of David Carr!)? Michael Vick. He is not a coach killer, inconsistent, etc. etc. He is a playmaker. End of story. And right now he is looking like the only one we've got.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank is trying to do damage control. But if Michael Vick is the coach killer Jim Mora, Sr. says he is, then he needs to man up and finish the job. Secretly, I was kind of pleased to see Vick angry enough to start flipping off people. He's got to decide who is going to define his legacy. The media? The coach? The GM? Especially as a player who has the ear of ownership, Vick needs to go ahead and decide what he's going to do. Does he want a ring or not? Does he want to be in the Hall of Fame or not? Although I appreciate it when Mike straps the "S" on his chest and breaks off 50 yard runs to keep the team in the game, he's got to realize that his job description is broader than even those super feats.

I was so concerned about the Falcons that I attended the game in person this week. I am no good luck charm. It was horrible. I don't care how much improved the Saints are, the Falcons never go 0-2 to the Saints. The mood in the GA dome alternated between wails of anguish and sustained booing. But mostly wails of anguish.

The defense played well in spurts. Unfortunately, they allowed the Saints to get two consecutive TD's in the first half. Not to mention the "hail mary" as the 1st half was expiring. That might be one of the most embarrassing plays in Falcons history. There might have been 6 Falcons on that Saints receiver. Not one of them could make a play. The passing defense and the corresponding zone coverage are unwatchable at this point. We are certainly not getting the expensive defense we paid for (Fuck you, Rich McKay).

Fuck you, Roddy White. Fuck you, Michael Jenkins. Fuck you, Ashley Lelie. I don't think there is a team in the league who can say that their entire receiving core is absolute trash. Trash! The whole bunch.

I can continue.

We have no red zone offense.

Warrick Dunn continues to be below standards and/or Jerious Norwood is getting too many touches.

Blah, blah, blah. I could go in forever in painful detail about all the things that are going wrong for the Falcons.

Yet, it is the special pain of the Falcons fan that we can't even be put out of our misery. You see, the rest of the NFC sucks too. Carolina lost today. The Giants lost today. The 49ers don't appear to be a serious playoff threat. Philly is done. No one can say who the NFC wild card teams are going to be. So, you see, folks. We are still technically in the hunt! Oh, kill me now...

And to think, we could be Dallas. Full of upside. Headed to the playoffs. But even though Vick and Mora and even Gregg Knapp came out in support of acquiring Terrell Owens in the off season, the GM apparently decided we could do better. In fact, no one will convince me that McKay did not waste millions of dollars and a 1st round draft pick on John Abraham who has played 1 3/4 games this season) as a smokescreen so he wouldn't be on the hook for picking up T.O. Why aren't the Falcons built like Indy? Huh? Huh? Instead, McKay "upgraded" our defense. Regrettably, I see that "upgrade" every Sunday.

Probably even more so than Dallas, Atlanta needs an "illuminator," a black light so to speak. The people are calling for Knapp's head and replacing him might help Atlanta, but its likely to turn out to be another miscellaneous change that doesn't really give us any answers. Our organization should be really jealous of Dallas right now because the "illumination" T.O. provided might turn out to be the biggest benefit of bringing him there. When you bring in a sure thing, then it becomes clear what the deficiencies are. Do you think the switch from Bledsoe to Romo would have been made if not for T.O.? People were even starting to throw Parcells under the bus. When T.O. is part of the offense and you can't get the ball to T.O., then that means your quarterback sucks (that means you too, Jeff Garcia). There were no more excuses for the Dallas offense. With T.O. there, they had nothing to lose by getting rid of Bledsoe. Owens would have done the same for the Falcons organization. We would know who really sucks by now. It would have shown on the field, not to mention, T.O. would have been happy to scream it from the rafters.

We still need some light shined on the Falcons situation. Given Vick's improved passing ability, I'll concede that it doesn't have to come from the WR position (although we have to get WRs that can catch), but we have to bring in a proven entity in the coaching staff or say an additional high quality running back or even an offensive lineman to "illuminate" who's really not getting the job done. Then we can move on from there...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Hence the Title

There is a reason why "Leave the Man Alone," was a phrase that stuck in my mind when thinking about sports and inspired me to create this blog. The target du jour is Michael Irvin. Michael Irvin appeared on the Dan Patrick radio show this past Tuesday and kinda sorta inferred that Tony Romo has some Black heritage. Look, I was listening to the show during Irvin's appearance. I knew what he was saying when he said it. I thought it was a little racy at the time (pun intended, dah-da-da-da!), but it did not elicit special attention at the time. It was clearly a joke. Quoting the statement in print does not really convey the tone of its delivery. Irvin didn't even really commit to it. Patrick kind of prodded him. Irvin kind of stammered through it. Then they just dropped it.

Nonetheless, this story is slowly picking up steam in the media. The Fanhouse tracks the journey. The complainers are like, "Dude, it's so unfair! What if a White guy said that?" The truth is that most of the people complaining about Irvin's comments are probably more interested in getting Irvin fired for generally being an annoying loud mouth than trumpeting racial equality in sports. Well, what if a White guy said something like, "Donovan McNabb must have some White in him because he throws the ball so accurately?" Well, first of all, McNabb probably does have some White in him (that whole slavery thing), so it would probably be an accurate statement. (Ha! Take that.) But analysts say things like that in code all the goddamn time. Things like, "so and so [insert name of Black athlete here] is so articulate." But those same analysts are rarely doing it in a joking manner. It's not really a tit for tat kind of thing. The truth is White people are so frickin' great at everything, it's hard to isolate standout characteristics to make analogous statements.

I'm pretty sure that Irvin meant what he said as a compliment, but I have to wonder if some people take the statement as an insult - that Romo is tarnished by the suggestion that he could be part Black. Is it more outrageous to suggest Romo has a future with Jessica Simpson than that he might be part Black? But I guess Romo couldn't be the latest greatest White hope then. But there is no need to worry. Romo is still shaping up to be heir apparent to Peyton Manning as the sports media darling (for many reasons).

While I don't know if Irvin's statement was exactly in the safe category, there are definitely some socially acceptable, yet racially stereotypical, statements you can make that everyone will know what you mean and everyone will have hearty laugh and move on. Comedians (not Michael Richards) trade on this all the time. Let's see... You can "dance White." If a White guy came to a party and played dominoes well, I suppose he could be accused of playing dominoes like a Black guy. I guess if I went out on the golf course with some of my White friends and they said I play like a White guy after I beat everyone in the group, I probably wouldn't be offended. (..but I don't know that for sure because none of my White friends have ever invited me to play golf with them. But I'm not bitter or anything...) I'm sure there are more examples of "fun racial stereotyping." What else do people do "White", "Black", "Mexican", etc. Anyone, anyone?

But you shouldn't be surprised that a woman who said Merril Hoge dressed Black is defending Irvin. I have to openly wonder whether Merril would be offended.

But if Rush Limbaugh wants to scream to the rafters about the hypocrisy of it all. He's entitled. Fair is fair.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Maybe Warren Sapp is a Russian Spy

Warren Sapp has gone public with his concerns that his food may have poisoned in the past during his visits to cities with, uh, devoted football fans. Warren Sapp is an Oakland Raider now. Which leaves me to think that crazy must be contagious in that locker room. This sounds a little bit paranoid. Case in point. He's accusing Philly fans of tampering with his food. I don't want to cast aspersions on the fine city of Philadelphia, but who believes that Eagles fans are capable of this sort of sophisticated sabotage? Don't they take out their aggression by just throwing rocks or something? Warren Sapp must have been watching the news this week and thought it must be cool to be like this guy. Giving credit to the theory that Sapp might have an overly heightened sense of self-importance, Sapp has even utilized a royal food taster on occasion. Judging by his impeccable physique, Sapp might want to keep in mind that when you order the mayonnaise special in every city you travel to, you're always running a risk

Hoya Update

Georgetown recovered from their lost to Old Dominion to beat Fairfield 73-60. I know it's Fairfield, but I'll take it. The good news is that we fell 6 slots in the AP poll from 8 to 14. Why is that good news? Because Kansas fell 7 spots. Ha, ha! More good news this week of giving thanks... #9 Duke got beat by Marquette. #12 Memphis got beat by GA Tech. #7 Wisconsin got beat by Missouri State. Fantastic! We'll gladly take an enhanced ranking at your expense. Did I say that Duke got beat? See you on December 2, suckers!

We will be playing Ball State on Monday, November 27. This is a notable game because John Thompson Version 3.0 will be coaching against his brother, Ronny Thompson, the only Thompson spawn who got a real education by attending Georgetown. The Washington Post has written a heartwarming piece on the match-up.

Go Hoyas!

Hot Chick of the Moment

Jackie Christie is a complicated woman. She is in a committed marriage (with the emphasis on COMMITTED) with NBA baller, Doug Christie. I have been watching the show, "The Christies: Committed" on BET Jazz. For the most part, Jackie is pretty regular. She has beef with Circuit City and airline agents just like everybody else. The most disturbing thing I learned about Jackie from watching the show is that her husband actually had to take her to a zoo in order to convince Jackie that owls were real. (Seriously... And, girl, it was for your own good.) Sure, Jackie muttered under her breath a little bit and looked sideways at a couple of people, but she was pretty sedate. Honestly, I was a little disappointed. (If you get renewed for another season, be a little bit more exciting. Jackie, I know you were holding back a little crazy. C'mon!)

Did I observe any more evidence to pull Doug's man card? Well, you might be shocked to know that Doug enjoys picking out clothes for his wife. His selections were tasteful. There was no "flair" involved. And he showed sensitivity in picking out flattering styles for his wife whether she was a size 4 or a size 10 at the time. That's true love. Honestly, I'm not mad at him.

Actually, their show is pretty boring. They are a regular couple. They are no Bobby and Whitney. Not even Flav and Deelishis. No, they're not ashamed of their devotion to each other, but there's nothing wrong with a husband and wife being devoted to each other. Jackie and Doug are not nearly as crazy as you might think. Yes, Doug was allowed within 5 feet of other women. But no woman in her right mind would facilitate situations for her man to be seduced by another women. I think a woman married to a professional athlete or other high profile person has to be a disciple of the Christie Method if she wants to have a traditional marriage and not an "open" marriage. I certainly don't hate on Jackie any more than I hate on the women who take the "what I don't know, won't hurt me" approach. Whatever works....

But other than getting married for the 10th time, nothing too interesting happened on the show. Doug needed a washcloth to contain his tears of joy at their commitment ceremony. Or was that a hand towel? A mere hankerchief or Kleenex could not contain Doug's emotions. It was cute... and Doug did pick out Jackie's dress.

Jackie Christie, you have a "hater's club" and you have a waiting list for the hater's club. It's not everyday that a woman can generate such a response. Kudos.


Former Georgetown Hoya and New York Knick Patrick Ewing and friend (pretty sure that's also a former Georgetown player, but I can't identify him by name UPDATE: It's Ralph Dalton, Ewing's back-up at Georgetown) enjoy R&B starlet Ciara, although their official story is that they're enjoying the Knicks game.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Little T Does Not Learn How to Feel Sorry For Donovan

Terrell Owens will not be comforting Donovan McNabb during his convalescence. No flowers. No teddy bears. No Hallmark cards. And, for damn sure, no text messages. When asked by reporters if he planned to send no ACL having McNabb a get well message, Owen said, "Absolutely not." T.O. steadfastly denies that McNabb reached out to him when Owens was hospitalized a few months ago.

"'I'm not even going there, dude," Owens said, laughing and shaking his head. "I wouldn't even make up a story like that. It's not even worth it. Just not even worth it."

Fresh off the Cowboy's contract job on the Colts (you know the '72 Dolphins were behind that), Owens is having the last laugh indeed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fashion Round Up - Sexy Back Edition

First, I want to give the spotlight to the fashion round up's inaugural guest commentator, I Dislike Your Favorite Team. I am truly honored that my efforts are being noticed. That being said, guys, this is the forum for fashion. While I appreciate the validation from all the analysts commenting on sports fashion this week (more on that in a minute), some things should be left for the women. Your man card is at stake. But if you have something you need to get off your chest, come here. I can be a buffer for you. Kind of like a shell corporation so you can avoid liability for admiring another dude's outfit. Anyhoo, the excellent blog, I Dislike Your Favorite Team, noticed my fashion round up and pointed out this, uh, ensemble worn by David Beckham. I especially appreciated the heads up, because, honestly, I forgot Becks was an athlete... After receiving inside information that I was waffling on this look (being a girl, I am a sucker for the whole confidence thing), those guys interjected to save me from myself.

You see, this is Beckham's thing--he likes showing up in public in ridiculous outfits, with his Japanese sex doll wife, and wearing the most ridiculous thing possible--he does it simply to see if he has enough fashion clout to make people say, "OK, Sure--he can pull that outfit off."

You put that outfit on say, Dick Cheney, you are going to be mocking it, without a doubt. That's the power of Beckham. And I say, "Enough!". Again, women in Japan were shaving their pubic hair to match Beckham's faux red hair mohawk in 2002. He got a taste of pushing the limits of fashion, and he can't stop. I don't want to see an entire generation of cute Japanese women wearing bulky sweaters with moose, or deer, or whatever on them.

...don't reward him for this. You might look quite good in it--but does Beckham? And does every guy who will emulate him (and that's fucking millions of people, potentially) look good in it?

Point taken.

Now on to the fashion superstars of the week. Of course, I'm talking about Mike Nolan and Jack Del Rio, founding members of the Bill Belichick is a Disgrace to the NFL Sideline Society. Colts perfect season ruined? Who cares? LaDanian Tomlinson a freak of nature? Who cares? Fashion is the dominant story in the NFL this week. Everybody is absolutely fawning over the suits. Thanks for doing my work for me, ESPN metrosexuals. Just more proof that men are more girly than girls...

Let us bask in the grown and sexy that is Mike Nolan...

I'm bring sexy back. Them motherfuckers better watch their back...

Please, Mike, don't hurt 'em. The idea is to encourage other coaches to join in, not intimidate the hell out of them. Tradition, my ass! (Nice cover though, you manly man.) You know you've been dog-earring Uomo Vogue between film sessions. I especially like how you pretended to be coaching up the team so you could pose and show off the clean lines and comfortable fit of this suit. Mike Nolan is definitely bringing sexy back. Slim cut. Tapered pants... I'm sure you cut out the Prada tag and replaced it with a Reebok tag to fool the management. Retro thin tie (note the team colors).... Sean Salisbury even correctly noted that Mike took care to make sure the tie knot was carefully executed. (Pardon me while I throw up in my mouth. I just complimented Sean Salisbury... OK, I'm back.) I'll just ignore the shoes.

Jack Del Rio executed nicely, but he is no Mike Nolan. Safety Deon Grant said on 790 the Zone that the team laughed at you when you walked into the locker room. Don't worry, Jack. They're just haters. Del Rio's a little bit beefier than Nolan and doesn't really have a fashion body. So he went more business like. That's fine, he looks distinguished. And the win looks especially good on you. Thanks for crushing the dreams of Tiki and the rest of the Giants. Extra points for that.

The suits are 2-0. Jim Mora, Jr. is hopefully being fitted for his suit right now. The coaches are allowed to wear suits for 2 games. They are made of performance materials, including lycra, for movement and sweat control purposes. For those of you looking to bite this winning style, the suits will be available as part of the Reebok Prestige Collection. It should be available before the beginning of the new season.


Winning looks good on Jacksonville QB David Garrard. Nice color combo. Garrard must be feeling very secure that he has Leftwich's job for the long haul to bust out the pink shirt. No problem. However, this color combo is a little bit summery. I'll give Garrard a break because he lives in Florida.

Actually, this outfit is horrible. Emmitt Smith is actually wearing an emerald green blouse with a sheer cut-out with some hideous green shoes. I don't even think they're gators. However, Emmitt, you had me at "You Can't Touch This." Kudos. (And I know your wife is happy you're done with Cheryl Burke. Deep breaths, girl. Deep breaths...)

Brian Dawkins is trying not to be obvious about being frustrated that Donovan McNabb is injured -again. Luckily, he's wearing a big hat to conceal the rolling of his eyes. Small guy, big hat. It works. But it's a summer outfit. Dress for the season, brah.

Oooh, lawd! Deion, what is that? What color is that? Green? Chartreuse? Whatever it is, my eyes are burning. And it doesn't even fit. You've got to take yourself more seriously than this. Color is one thing, but this week you look like a clown, Clown.

Tony, what the fuck is wrong with you? A cowboy hat? You are killing yourself. Day in and day out, you are actually a better dresser than world renowned metrosexual Michael Wilbon. You have some pretty snazzy suits, on the low. But I don't ever want to see this hat again. I don't care how much free crap you get in the mail. Just say no.

Sorting through the muck of the NFC is a full time job, so I don't know too much about the AFC guys. But I noticed this guy, Lee Evans from the Buffalo Bills. I like the collar on this suit. It's like former pimp goes to work in a bank. I'm feeling it.

Eli, your tie is crooked. And you lost on national television.

And, finally, everyone's favorite sideline reporter, Bonnie Bernstein. This ensemble is not too matchy matchy. There's good use of color and she pulls it together with the brooches. Nice.

You Can Get With This Or You Can Get With That

C,mon, Jessica Simpson. I've previously laid out my case for why you should be grateful for having Tony Romo's eye. Now you're trying distance yourself from the golden boy by claiming you're still close to John Mayer? Did you see the ratings for the Cowboys game? Romo is a prime catch and he's getting cuter by the day (funny how the promise of a huge contract extension can do that). Romo has even convinced Ed Werder to take a break from his true love, Terrell Owens. That's power, baby. Mayer may be manipulating you with his smooth emo-rock stylings, but he's prone to bloating and we all know that the novelty of a music star won't last forever. In fact, you should know this better than anyone. Romo could be a future legend. You hook up with this guy and you could be getting free steak dinners and beers for the rest of your life, no questions asked. I guess you're just biding time until Mayer denies knowing you in his blog again. I shouldn't expect this much from you, Jessica. You've already let a good one get away. Now Vanessa Minnilo is getting your leftovers. What C-list female are hoping will block you this time? Shanna Moakler? Kristin Cavallari? Do better, Jessica.

Do Your Thang, Girl

A few weeks ago, Venus Williams was allegedly hooking up with Flava Flav. Nope. Instead, she's living the good life in South Beath and maybe, just maybe, dreaming about the possibility of having some choice athletic spawn. Venus has been hooking up with Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown. He says, "She's a cool individual." Brown says they're just friends. But I'm not buying that. Bloggers start shit with far less than that.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Not as Smart as You Think You Are?

Ha, ha! Curt Schilling appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy - and lost! Do you know he lost to? Doug Savant. You don't know Doug? Well Doug plays Lynnette's husband on "Desperate Housewives". Yes, Doug is a man who is defined by his pecking order relative to a woman. A fictional woman, at that. Doug credited "dumb luck" for his win, meaning he felt lucky to beat Jane Kaczmarek from "Malcolm in the Middle." Not you, Curt. Curt, you might have thought you were hot shit when you were bleeding through your sock and confronting sports talk radio, but you fell to a lowly competitor right in front of the Almighty Alex Trebek! And you had some weird hair going on... No wonder the Sox had to mortgage Fenway to bring in Matsuzaka. There is more hilarious blow by blow commentary on Curt's appearance at There's Your Karma, Ripe as Peaches.

Hot Chick of the Moment

I know you are sad. Laguna Beach Season 3 has concluded. (You know you watch it. I just started watching it in Season 2 and it was a male that turned me on to it. Don't deny it. You watch it. AND YOU LOVE IT!) But don't worry. It will resume filming in December and will presumably be back on the air soon thereafter to fill the lives of way too many people who are officially too old to be watching this show (me included). In the interim, I would just like to give a little shine to Cami Edwards from Laguna Beach Season 3. She integrated Laguna Beach! (Season 3 has other minorities [finally], but Cami appeared in Season 2, so she was first, bitches.) Cami may officially say that she is 3/4 White and 1/4 Black, but I'll claim her as one of my own, cause that's just what Black people do. Anyway, to each their own. She can identify however way she likes. It's her life. Anyhoo, not only did Cami's extremely large breasts provide a distraction from boring ass Tessa, she was the highlight of the show. Cami is kinda mean, but extremely funny. If she is not the narrator for next season, she will surely be more prominently featured. The Cami and Kyndra show is not to be missed. Hopefully, Cami will sport a regular Black girl weave in Season 4 instead of those awful Paris Hilton style extensions. (While you are busy claiming yourself to be 3/4 White, you are missing out on extensions that will look waaaaayyyy better than those clip-on extensions and Kyndra will be jealous that she couldn't rock them if she wanted to. You probably won't have to push the Range all the way to Compton or anything, but you'll probably have to look outside of Laguna Beach for a proper stylist. This applies to you too, Nicole Richie.) Cami is supposedly miffed that she was portrayed as being so mean, but I hope she won't turn into a wallflower. Cami, you are a scene stealer, the Dwight Schrute of Laguna Beach, so to speak. Know your worth, girlfriend.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Um, Fox? This is NBC calling. Wanna Trade Games?

I bet NBC is feeling a little less smug about its patent pending flex scheduling now. There were snickering under their breath when they picked the Colts-Eagles match-up this coming Sunday and flaunted it in front of their competitors. McNabb is not going to garner much ratings on crutches during sweeps. Oh well, I guess I'll just watch Family Guy. The World Wide Leader wins again...

Hoya Lament

Ugh......... It's my own fault. I was too busy writing about Jim Mora, Jr. and Dancing With the Stars to even acknowledge the start of my beloved Hoyas basketball season. I was dancing on the grave of Kansas all week, just counting the days to find out how many slots the Hoyas would gain in the AP poll at Kansas' expense. Oral Roberts?! How could Kansas lose to Oral Roberts? I didn't shed one tear for those overrated bastards. Now I'm cold and all alone as I come to grips with the news that my beloved Hoyas have lost to Old Dominion 75-62. To add insult to injury, we lost on campus in our little bitty gym. But, on the bright side, there weren't that many people there to see it.

Okay, okay. I'm shaking it off.

It's early. It's better we got this wake-up call now. We'll slip a little from our no. 8 perch, but we'll get back. I still have full faith in the vision of John Thompson, version 3.0. And I'll be a more devoted fan. I'll do better. I'll blog about every game from now on. Go Hoyas!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Can't We Now All Agree that David Stern Has Taken Things Too Far?

I know you don't want to hear me whine about how paternalistic and culturally biased David Stern is.

But most people can agree that Mark Cuban has earned some equity as a voice that should be listened to concerning the NBA. He can be a little overbearing, but he's a billionaire, he's smart and, most shockingly, he turned around the lowly Dallas Mavericks.

But, this week, even Mark Cuban is fed up with David Stern (for real, this time). Mark Cuban told the Toronto Sun,

"I no longer do interviews about the NBA, or anything that helps market the NBA. I leave that to the geniuses at the NBA."

And Mark Cuban is justifiably exhausted by the geniuses who have been entrusted with the so-called "marketing" of the NBA.

In fact, David Stern has largely been content to let others market the game for him. (Briefly consider what "NBA" marketing would be like if not for Nike.) The results have been decidedly mixed.

I personally began to doubt Stern's marketing judgment when he started haphazardly awarding TV contracts. The NBA was the first league to start awarding a significant amount of games to cable. That in and of itself was somewhat distressing at the time, but I acknowledge the incorporation of cable broadcasts was something that eventually had to be done. Ultimately, one of the league's cable partners really rewarded the league. TNT was showing games three nights a week and it was surely an accidental blessing that TNT happened to deliver the best NBA broadcasts ever. TNT's "Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday" package was absolutely helping the NBA and enthusing the fan base. So when it came time for contract renewal, I was shocked that the NBA chose to award the bulk of the broadcasts to ESPN. Not only is ESPN's coverage arguably the worst of all the national broadcasters, TNT's coverage had been so good, I thought it was shortsighted for Stern to not reward them for so excellently showcasing the league, even if it had to come at a "discount." Low ratings and long-term lack of interest in the league eventually undermine the money grab. But Stern has no worries...

David Stern's mistakes continued.

The NBA network may have been the first of the professional sports league's networks, but it is mostly underwhelming, with shockingly low production values. The trajectory of the NFL Network has exposed the NBA Network as being particularly awful.

Why does Stern need to be convinced that he should be essentially forcing talent to participate in the All-Star game, especially the dunk contest? (Is dunking too "street" for you, Dave?) He should be a little more cognizant that having an All-Star event that resonates with the fans is the only advantage the league has over the NFL and MLB.

David Stern is especially fond of marketing the league by promoting so-called "good guys" as the face of the league. To be clear, that's not a comprehensive marketing strategy and I'm not even sure if it's advisable at all. For obvious reasons, the league has had to back track on its elevation of Kobe Bryant. However, the league still chooses to elevate Lebron James as the next great hype. Without speculating on whether James will eventually justify his hype, the truth is that Lebron had a Hummer in high school; he only made the playoffs in his 3rd year behind his high profile peers in the draft (not to mention, Dwyane already has a championship); and he is suddenly losing the ESPN-ready polish that he exhibited so effortlessly while lining up his endorsements (there was no excuse for him walking of the court against the Atlanta Hawks last week and then brazenly refusing to be contrite about it). You think that Stern would've figured out that he might not want to hitch his wagon to just a few guys. It is Stern's responsibility to ensure that, along with King James, NBA fans should also be familiar with Gilbert Arenas, Dwight Howard, Ben Gordon and Chris Paul, just to name a few. But I guess David Stern has better things to do...

David Stern clearly is excited with the notion that his lasting marketing legacy will be international expansion of the NBA. It's a noble goal, but how realistic or even ultimately beneficial is it? (Not to mention, I doubt Stern will outsmart the NFL and MLB by becoming some sort of global power). Firstly, the European market is not as financially lucrative as the U.S. market. And I'm certain Stern wants to mine Europe for White players to replace the thugs currently plaguing Stern's vision for the league. But beyond that, it is questionable whether the NBA will ever gain a meaningful foothold in Europe. Changing culture is probably beyond Stern's powers. Soccer is king in Europe. To the extent Europeans are interested in basketball, they will probably devote that attention to the leagues they've already created. There is no basis for expecting the European leagues to fold merely because the NBA has announced its presence.

And Asia? It is peculiar that Stern is hell bent on forcing a sport on a region that is not really physically ideal for the sport. There is surely a market there for viewing NBA basketball, but playing it? Stern ignores that most global excitement about the sport stems from the Jordans. LeBrons and even the Iversons and Artests of the leagues. You can't expect that part of the world to be enthusiastic about playing the game in a fundamentally different way than from how it's been presented to them. Yao Ming is an anomaly. Asian people aren't generally tall. You can't sell them a sport based on the overeating, hormone induced and historically informed physicality of Americans and other Westerners and expect miracles.

David Stern simply needs to forgo the frequent flier miles and pay more attention to the local markets. The Sacramento Kings, a model franchise, are dangerously close to leaving the city over a new arena, and the relevant players are practically begging the league to get involved. Why is King James still playing in Cleveland? Why has Stern allowed the New York, Boston, Philly and Atlanta franchises to flounder for so long? Small markets deserve support, but it is simply foolish to allow the Eastern seaboard markets to perform at anything less than full capacity. That's simply revenue left on the table.

David is supposedly devoted to the corporate audience. It is reasonable to address their concerns. They buy luxury boxes and advertising. But the dress code wasn't a business decision (especially since most corporations are business casual now). Stern hates Allen Iverson's gaudy bling-bling, but he had no problem with Steve Nash's greasy, stringy hair? Stern is so obsessed with the dress code that he is sending real life fashion police to games to make sure no players wears rubber bands with their names on them and that no one chews gum or sways during the national anthem. Seriously. If Stern was going to make a rational change, he would mandate that everyone wear NBA apparel on the bench, ala the NFL and MLB. That would be the most business oriented decision and simultaneously give order to player's appearances. But, curiously, that's not what Stern is doing.

If Stern was genuinely concerned about the players that represent the league, he would be more aggressively managing the amateur ranks. In fact, he should be doing more to ensure that the league is not continually flooded with underage non-fundamental having athletes with an exaggerated sense of entitlement that only play well enough to maintain their guaranteed contracts, street cred and/or endorsements. The NBDL has not really justified itself as a viable minor league. Stern has chosen not to confront the NCAA or otherwise exploit non-traditional means of culling athletes.

This all goes to show that Stern is advancing some other agenda than sound business judgment or even the ultimate interests of the league. He is apparently unfazed that attention to the NBA is dominated by trivial issues like dress codes, firearms and ball grip. Ironically, David Stern may become a bigger distraction than Ron Artest ever was. The game is still good. And Stern should have enough respect for the players and the fans to let the game market itself more organically. He is so conflicted about any perceived hip-hop image that he's abandoning his core audience. And no matter how much Stern values the red states, Marketing 101 teaches that the mainstream follows the core.

It is not easy to criticize David Stern. He has accomplished a lot in raising the NBA from infancy to the league that it is today. (And we are alumni of the same university.) Still, it's becoming increasingly evident that David Stern has morphed into a control freak who is letting his personal preferences and ambitions interfere with his governance of the league. Stern has succeeded at being an administrator. But maybe the league needs more now. The fans have plenty of other choices. College football is growing. NASCAR is growing. Even poker is growing. Not to mention the Tivo's, PS3's and Myspace accounts that demand attention. The NBA really can't afford to alienate anybody. If David Stern continues to ignore the truths of the modern landscape and merely make decisions based on his own limited sense of reality, David Stern's reign as NBA comminsioner is poised to outlive its usefulness to the fans and the league.

Why Sports is Beautiful

Sports can be everything. It can be happiness. It can be despair. It prioritizes the physical specimen. It elevates heart and soul like no other medium. It can be a glaring example of the most racist, sexist and nepotism polluted dispositions, but simultaneously be our first refuge of meritocracy. It's often a platform for the most desperate grabs for money and tabloid celebrity. It regularly solidifies the most intimate and fundamental family and community ties.

Sports has been all those things recently. As usual, sports is all over the place. Bobby Knight exhibited some old school discipline. Allen Iverson exhibited some tremendous empathy. Oral Roberts scored an exhilarating upset against Kansas those kids will remember the rest of their lives. Bo Schembechler passed away right before the big game. T.O. paused the media's demonization of him by publishing a cute children's book. Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith branched out and won "Dancing With the Stars."

That being said, I would just like to highlight a really beautiful article written by Curtis Binn of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Binn humbly narrates sports at its purest. A young man with cerebral palsy found inspiration in his high school football team. He should be grateful just to be mobile, much less play football. But his spirit is big. And spirit triumphed. His father taught him to carry himself without regard to his disability. He lost his father in a car accident. His mother lost a partner in raising a special young man with special needs. That young man reached out to his football coach. He simply told the coach that he needed a parent. The football coach accepted the responsibility. That young man dreamed of dressing and being one of the guys in the football huddle one day. The coached responded. The team responded. The school responded. The community responded. Even the competition responded. He ran. He scored. Everybody cheered.

I don't want to diminish the original piece in any way. It's worth your time to read it in full. As a sports fan, I know there's some cynicism in your heart right now. You're nervous about your team's fate, you're hating on another team, your angry at the media, etc... Cure yourself. Get back to the basics. Start level. Please take the time to read the article at

Hot Chick of the Moment

Congratulations, Minka Kelly, your show has finally been picked up for the season. You star as Lyla Garrity on "Friday Night Lights." Furthermore, you are one of the highlights of the show. (Can you believe this girl has no fansite?) I watch this show, but it's not like it's the best thing that ever happened to me or anything. A lot of media types have been slurping this show. It's good enough, but I don't see how you can watch this show without being a football fan. I'm not sure this show will ever find a wide audience. It has enough going on that a guy could probably get his girl to watch it with him without her putting up too much of a fight, but it would be a half-hearted viewing. Kind of like a girl getting a guy to watch "Dancing With the Stars" so he can check in on Emmitt Smith and see the hot girls in legwarmers. Also, I'm more than irritated that they have limited the Black characters to selfish, me first, endzone celebrating, T.O.-like caricatures. Real subtle. There was also a less than flattering portrayal of a Hispanic player in a recent episode. Also, women don't fair much better. All the women are pretty much manipulative, controlling and untrustworthy (yes, even Lyla), except the coach's wife. The show is basically a love letter to the so-called good ol' days.... Whatever. But the show is not all bad. It's well cast and well acted. The cinematogragphy is sophisticated for TV. The pacing of the story is unique. It treats football (somewhat) realistically and with respect. And there's Minka...
BTW, I think she's dating Donald Faison, of the movie, "Clueless," and most recently, sitcom "Scrubs."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Most Loyal Minion of the Evil Empire Gets His Reward

While Tony Romo is trying to rebound from getting dumped by his girlfriend by giving Jessica Simpson's dad tickets to Cowboys games, Derek Jeter is showing the youngsters what real game is. Derek Jeter has anointed Jessica Biel to the task. Jerek knows everything to do to please a lady. He took Jessica out to the hottest club in LA and was reportedly rubbing her shoulders and devoting all his attention to her. And if chickenheads rush over the minute Jessica leaves to powder her nose? No problem. Derek deftly deals with them until his lady love returns and picks up right where he left off. Congratulations, Jessica. You join a prestigious grouping of high quality ladies. Derek demands only the best. That's why he's limited his female company to Mariah Carey, Vanessa Minnilo, former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, Jordana Brewster, etc., etc. Jessica, you might have thought that you were hot shit when Esquire magazine named you Sexiest Woman Alive. But it's only now that Jeter has approved you, that you have been crowned. Kudos, Jessica.

Things I Wouldn't Know If Not For Dan Le Batard

Miami Dolphins DE Jason Taylor is probably a good candidate for some anger management counseling. He admitted he has a pretty fiery temper. It caught me by surprise. You don't usually expect that from the pretty boys.

Kansas City Chiefs players Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes (in a strip club) and Houston Rockets player Tracy McGrady (in a restaurant drinking Cristal) were recently spotted out and about in the early morning hours prior to their respective games in Miami. The "South Beach Effect" strikes again.

Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning has no rhythm, according to teammate Antoine Walker, and is the least likely teammate to appear on "Dancing With the Stars."

Antoine Walker claimed to know that he does not know what a stripper smells like. Consequently, I learned that Antoine is a LIAR.

John Clayton is going to appear in a movie with my favorite wrestler, The Rock, called, "Gameplan."