Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Actual Sporting Event Taking Place...

The British Open began today and already some very low numbers on the board at Royal Lytham in England.  Every major has their thing.  The Masters is the pressure cooker that has had the best players constantly rise to the occasion.  The PGA is on your local public course and the guys can all shoot about -34 over a four day tournament.  The US Open is played on the most ridiculously hard courses invented by man.  The British is a schitzo four days that are totally determined by the weather conditions which will range from pleasant to light rain to monsoon, and no wind to breezy to tornado conditions, amazingly all in the same day. 

Today, the course played pretty easy.  Adam Scott posted a -6 for his round, Zach Johnson at -5 and a slew of big names at -3, including everyone's favorite adultering golfer, Tiger Woods.  There's also a bunch of other guys under par as well. 
So let's get to the Tiger Woods portion of the weekend, which is all anyone really cares about.  Whether you love him or hate him, the sport is VASTLY more interesting when he plays well, and for the third straight major, he played pretty well to open the tournament.  Saturday, of course, used to be moving day for El Tigre but recent majors have seen that as the day he wilts.  So, let's take today's -3 with a bit of a grain of salt. 

Couple things to look at for the next 3 days.  The first hole is a long par 3.  Tiger birdied it today and you could tell it instantly buoyed his confidence as he went on a mini tear to start the tournament.  Early Par 3 birdies do that for your confidence.  How does he respond though if it goes the other way on him, if he takes the bogey to start the day?  Also, the course is a Par 70, which means only two par 5s on the course, so there aren't going to be many situations where he can just get there in two and 2 put for birdie.  He will need to win the tournament on Par 4 second shots, getting close enough for makeable birdie putts and then he's gotta knock those putts down.

We'll see what happens.  Nice to have real sports around again.  Olympics coming real soon now as well.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Dwight Howard Saga - Day 849

We had almost a 72 hour stretch this past weekend where nobody said the name Dwight Howard and associated it with "actual news" but that streak has come to an end. 

Fresh from the "not real news" news archives we can update you about the following:

1)  Houston apparently made a revised bid over the weekend that was poor enough or not remotely different enough that it didn't merit being reported as news.  Probably not the best of signs if you are Houston honestly.  Orlando has heard what you can offer and what garbage contracts you would be willing to take with Howard.  Essentially, Orlando seemingly wants to dump Howard and EVERY bad contract they have on the books (read as Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and probably a hand full of other shitty guys).  Orlando has a new GM and to his credit/discredit, he doesn't want to have to be saddled with Otis Smith's shitty deals on the books, but seriously, nobody is all that garbage back...

2)  The Lakers have made a renewed push by having a "sit down" with the Magic brass.  Here's what we actually know about this.  The teams' representatives sat down to discuss the deal.  Here's what we don't really know but people are reporting as if we do.  The Lakers offering Artest and Bynum for Howard and one of the Magic's shitty deals.  This could be entirely false.  The Lakers and Magic want assurances from Howard and Bynum respectively that they will extend their contracts.  This is clearly assumed but hardly news.  Basically, all we know is that the two teams wanted to meet in person to discuss, which has happened at some level, and the details of which are relatively scarce.  My best guess is that the teams left the conversation in "this might work out but I gotta go talk to my guy" status.  Until Bynum and Howard agree to extend contracts with the new team, this one is still a non-starter for either party. 

3)  Dwight Howard is in Los Angeles at present.  He was at the Dodgers game last night, which leads me to believe that if my conclusion was correct, then a resolution to this round of "talks" will be quickly achieved. 

Thats all the Dwight news we've got for the morning.  Stay tuned....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Roundup Time!

Consolation Prize?

The Mavericks have to be feeling the sting this morning.  After looking for a dramatic upgrade this off season, here's how things have played out.  Derron Williams, far and away their top target, resigned with Brooklyn.  Jason Terry, who was so big for the Mavs in their championship run, signed in Boston. The two acquisitions the Mavs were able to make were picking up Philly amnesty castoff Elton Brand (not the guy he once was) and signing OJ Mayo, a very solid role guy, like a young Shane Battier or maybe a little better, but a role guy nonetheless.  For a guy as competitive as Cuban, this offseason has gotta hurt.


The USA basketball team beat Brazil last night by 11.  Worth qualifying I suppose that Brazil is actually a pretty descent international basketball team, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic team that US demolished last week.  Couple notes to file away as the games that actually count approach.  LeBron had a big night, shot the ball well, had a few boards (and turned the ball over 5 times).  An effective LeBron is a thing the rest of the world doesn't have an answer for.  On the "not so good" side of things, Carmelo got the start again and again was awful.  1 of 7 from the field, 1 of 3 from the line, 4 rebounds.  Basically a total no factor.  Kobe... 3 of 11 from the field.  Durant... 5 of 13 and didn'g get to the line at all.  As a team they were 6 of 24 from 3 and shot a poor 40.8% from the field.  It will need to be better going forward. 

Stop the Linsanity

The Knicks appear ready and willing to take a pass on Jeremy Lin.  This will be massively unpopular with the fan base but for once appears to be a sensible business decision from the Knicks, feeling that between salary and subsequent luxury tax considerations that $43M is an awful lot of money for a guy who played 25 good games in the NBA.  Also, and this is just a theory, but maybe the Knicks are trying to work a little salary cap magic, setting themselves up next off season for a run at Chris Paul.  Just some food for thought there.

Woman Stalks Theo

Seriously, if you are going to stalk someone, why Theo Epstein?  I mean seriously, it's not 2004.  Anyway, this crazy person was arrested.  And Theo was still the nearly worthless GM of the nearly worthless Chicago Cubs.  Good luck with all of that. 

Lakers Scoop up Jamison

The Lakers look like they will sign Antawn Jamison today.  Jamison averaged 17+ points per game last year in Cleveland (because someone was bound to score for them) and he's clearly not going to put up those kind of numbers for the Lakers but at times he has proven to be an apt outside shooter, which is a must have when you have Steve Nash running the point.  The Lakers are also interested in Jermaine O'Neal's corpse, which is a mistake.  Meet the new Troy Murphy. 


Arsenal look prepared to finally show some backbone as they are set to tell Robin Van Persie that he will not be allowed to leave the club this summer, instead choosing to hold RVP to his contract.  Van Persie's deal expires at the end of the upcoming season and would be able to leave at the end of the season for free should he desire to do so.  All credit to the Arsenal boardroom, who have been VERY good this offseason, after being just horrible in the previous couple years.  Two marquee signings, no marquee sales (yet) and a real chance to make forward progress on last season's (distant) 3rd place finish.  Stay tuned on this one though, still more wrinkles to come, I am sure of it. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Guilty Pleasure Sports Movies...

It is that awful sports window where there is nothing going on whatsoever (AKA Baseball season).  Thank god the olympics start in two weeks.  In the interim, we are left to provide some food for thought in the form of a top 10 list.  Today's list:  Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Sports movies...

10) The Mighty Ducks (1, 2 or 3) - Aside from the fact that Emilio Esteves is about 5'2 on skates and probably can' play a lick of hockey, there's always a soft spot in my heart for Goldberg and the Flying V

9)  Victory - A team full of prisoners being held by the Nazis in World War 2 plot an escape during halftime of a soccer game organized by the Nazis, have the escape plan come together perfectly, only the team decides that they can actually win the game (down 0-4) at halftime.  The team abandons the escape plan, goes back in and the game finishes a 4-4 tie.  Thats soccer for you.  Unintentional comedy abounds!

8)  Remember the Titans - The movie may actually be the best story and all around movie on this list, and it's a really good film, making it a tough selection on the guilty pleasures list. Here's the amazing thing though.  Despite all the racial tention at the high school and on the football field, not a single person drops an N word or an F Bomb.  And the movie has a G rating.  Love the movie, but come on...

7)  The Karate Kid Part 1 - He kicks Johnny in the fucking face at the end of the movie!  If ever there was a dude in need of some chin music from Daniel LaRussa, it was this bastard.  Couple it with the absolutely sensational "You're the Best Around" musical montage and the mysterious and not overly chatty asian fella teaching the Karate, it't absolutely a must see

6)  Lionheart - The undisputed crown jewel in the Van Damme collection.  It's MMA before there was such a thing.  Van Damme is on the run from the French Foreign Legion, taking care of his recently dead brother's family and doing it while engaging in a clandestine fighting ring organized by super-rich people.  Fights take place in a parking lot where the ring is created by expensive cars and illuminated by headlights, a half filled swimming pool and a

5)  Days of Thunder - It might be a leap to put NASCAR on this list because the car does most of the work, but if ESPN covers it, it counts.  Tom Cruise as driver Cole Trickle.  Nicole Kidman with a perm.  Nothing but left turns.  And a heroic, if completely unfathomable, rally at Daytona.  It's like Top Gun, only they eliminated jets and swapped in rednecks. 

4)  Driven - Again, we are in the domain of racing, this time Open Wheel.  This is, for what it's worth, the exact same movie as Days of Thunder with only a few subtle differences to distinguish them.  The reason it ranks higher than Days of Thunder is that it's Stallone, which makes it cooler and the effects/racing sequences and crash scenes are MUCH better.  Props to costars Til Schweiger, better known as Hugo Stiglitz from Inglorious Basterds, Kip Pardue, better known as Sunshine from Remember the Titans and Estella Warren, who can't act at all but looks really hot doing so.

3) Major League - Let's go over all the awesome things this movie has working for it.  A cast consisting of a lot of B actors (Corbin Bernsen, Tom Berringer), Renee Russo, THE Wesley Snipes (Always bet on black!) and Charlie "The Warlock" Sheen.  The team sucks, then, as if you could do this in baseball, suddenly decides to just be good.  Eucker is great doing the play by play and the climax of movie has Jake Taylor calling his shot, surprising everyone by laying down a bunt and watching Willie Mays Hayes go from 2nd to home on a ball that never leaves the infield.  Improbable, not at all.  Impossible, abso-fucking-lutely.  And yet, whenever it's on, I still stop on the station and almost always watch until the end.  It's the Shawshank Redemption of sports movies, always on and always compelling.

2)  Varsity Blues - I cannot put into words how great this movie is.  I can do most of the dialogue in the film off the top of my head.  Why is this movie great?  Whipped cream bikini on the super-hot Ali Larter.  Check.  Jon Voight as the asshole coach.  Check.  Dawson.  Check.  A teacher discovered to be a stripper.  Check.  The most ridiculous dialogue ever written.  Check.  Guns.  Pigs.  A redneck named Billy Bob.  Check, Check, Check.  Cast is awesome. Scott Caan smashes some dude in the nuts with a whiffle ball bat and then steals a police cruiser within 90 seconds of each other.  And then there's the "I don't want your life" speech.  Finally, I leave you with this... Oopty Oop.  Just sensational entertainment.

1)  Rocky IV - There was a good reason for Rocky II because you needed to see him win.  There was less of a reason for Rocky III unless you had a really good bad guy, and Mr. T delivered.  Rocky IV looks almost starkly unnecessary at first glance.  But then you dig a little deeper. 

You've got the quintesential showdown between the USA and USSR, we send our best guy, they send theirs and we settle once and for all who is better in the ring.  The fucking Russian (played by the VERY Swedish Dolph Lundgren) goes out and kills Apollo in the ring.  The question is, what is Rocky going to do now?  Easy answer, hes gonna go to Russia (on Christmas Eve no less) and beat the shit out of Drago.  Adrian doesn't like it one bit.  Rocky needs to take a drive in the Maserati so we queue up the "There's No Easy Way  Out" musical montage.  Fantastic. 

Rocky leaves to go train in Russia, pissing Adrian off.  What a whiny bitch she is in this movie.  We get to Russia and its essentially the Siberian wilderness.  Rocky brings Apollo's trainer Duke, who did such a bang up job getting Apollo ready for Drago, and he brings Pauly, who is the same useless fucker he's been for 3 movies at this point.  Here, we begin the unorthodox training regimen, consisting of chopping wood and lifting a net full of rocks.  Adrian shows up in fucking Russia, which the film makes appear easier than you know it would have been.  Rocky is frustrated.  Rocky decides to go for a run, away from the KGB douchebags monitoring his every move.  Queue "Hearts on Fire" music montage while training like crazy and climbing a mountain.  Yells Drago 2 times at the top of the mountain.  Beyond fantastic.

Its Fight Time!  Fight (typically) starts poorly for Rocky.  Gets the hell beat out of him for a round and a half and while flailing around the ring, takes a wild swing at Drago, cuts him.  Now we've got a fight on our hands.  The next 12 rounds go by in another montage sequence and we cut all the way to Round 15.   Realistically, Rocky is gonna have to knock the Russian out to win the fight.  The Russian just needs to stay the fuck away from him (like Apollo in Rocky II) and still chooses not to (like Apollo in Rocky II).  Furious finish with Rocky pounding away at Drago.  Drago goes down.  Rocky wins.  Then we get the "If I can change, and you can change, we can all change" speech which is both shockingly bad and wonderful all at the same time. 

The movie, as you can tell, is sensational.  Just amazing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Howard Drama! - Lopez To Sign Max Deal - Stuck in Jersey 'til December

Brook Lopez is reported to be signing a max-level contract with the Nets by the end of the day.  Here are my quick hit 3 thoughts:

1)  Lopez signing such a deal locks him into the Nets for a TON of money and makes him trade restricted until December.  Both of these things make him an unattractive trade piece for the Magic in the Dwight Howard shenanegans.

2)  I thought offering Roy Hibbert max-level money was absurd, but this is worse.  You cannot seriously give a guy who broke the same foot twice in a year a max level contract.  You could very easily end up paying crazy money to a guy who wears street clothes at your games more than he does a uniform. 

3)  The Magic sent clear signals to Brooklyn that a deal for Dwight Howard was not going to happen for them. The Magic likely wanted more than the Nets could ever hope to scrape together. 

So where does this leave Dwight Howard?  Go by a Cowboy hat or some new shades and a bathing suit. 
It's gonna be Houston or LA now...

The Dwight Watch... Day 435

So here's today's Dwight Howard update and analysis...  Man I am sick of this guy.  I am not going to sit here and say that if he ended up in Los Angeles, I'd still be annoyed with him, as I would be lying if i did, but in the interim, I sure am sick of this douchebag.

The 17 team deal that Brooklyn was putting together two days ago appears to have imploded on itself because, really, getting so many teams, free agents, front offices, etc. all on the same page is nearly impossible, especially when you factor that the only real beneficiary in the trade would be the Nets.  How did it implode exactly?  Let's break it down:

  1. "Dickbag" Dan Gilbert read Monday's blog entry and decided W and G were right and that he was only helping to facilitate the creation of a team that his team has no prayer of beating.  So, then, he was out
  2. The Clippers had more or less the same realization, discovering that creating a "super team" in Brooklyn only impedes their road to a title, and why would they do that when all they get back is MarShon Brooks.  When did the Clippers' front office start making sense all the time?  Could be today's sign of the apocalypse
  3. The last 3rd party team mentioned in the potential Howard trade was the Bobcats, who nobody takes seriously and has absolutely nothing that anyone else would want via trade
So...  What is Orlando's next play?

The answer to that is simple, go back to the drawing board with the Lakers and the Rockets and see what you can realistically get that you can live with.  In terms of the Rockets, you can acquire young guys who are cheap, draft choices (Houston is a lottery team for the next couple years, and may miss the playoffs even if they get Dwight Howard) and probably only have to take back Luis Scola's bad but not terrible contract.  In terms of a trade with the Lakers, you could straight swap for Andrew Bynum but without Bynum committing to sign a long term extension, that's a non-starter for the Magic. 

So...  What's the solution?

Well, who's to say for sure but tell me if this sounds about right.  Last night this got reported and it makes a lot of sense.  Deal Bynum to Houston, where he has privately indicated he would in fact extend his contract long term.  Deal young cheap guys, draft choices and Scola from Houston to Orlando (Lakers draft choices are non-existent due to the Nash deal and they have no young guys). Deal Howard to the Lakers, meaning the Lakers get the best player in the deal but also take on the greatest risk, because Howard has not indicated any desire to sign a long term deal for the Lakers.  Orlando probably ships at least Jason Richardson and maybe Hedo Turkoglu to Houston in the deal as well. 

So... What do these teams look like at the end of such a trade?

Really bad but really young.  They get essentially a rebuilding project and cap relief in order to move forward. This is a guaranteed two years (and maybe more) in the Draft Lottery unless they strike gold in the draft.

Houston is gonna take on a couple bad contracts but they also get the young center that they want to build around.  That has been the Rockets' formula since Hakeem was there, get a marquee big man and build around that.  Bynum would love such a situation, as a selfish cunt who wants the offense to run through him, although he's not exactly the finished product in terms of his post play (read as: hes a bit of a pussy still). 

L.A. looks like a juggernaut, but maybe only for a year.  The Lakers are risk takers by nature, some of which have been absolute gems (trading Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant's rights, trading Lamar Odom for a trade exception, paying the price for a year and then turning the trade exception into Steve Nash) and this may be the crowning jewel.  The Lakers would have Bird Rights on Howard, meaning that they could offer him $25 million (or there about) more than any other team could in free agency.  It may just be me, but I am NOT leaving $25 million on the table for anything.  Dwight Howard may be different than me, but I am counting on the fact that he's exactly the same as me, and ultimately resigns with the Lakers.

Jersey Hall of Fame

This guy had to have been smoking dope with Ricky Williams when he made this jersey. Did this guy really wear this sober??

Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekend Roundup - Baseball sucks and so does Ray Allen

Its fucking Monday again and that means we all have to go back to work, but it also means you get a weekend roundup from W and G.  Here's what went down this weekend.

1)  Baseball Sucks

The All Star Game is days away and the Red Sox had a showdown with the hated Yankees this past weekend and guess what... Nobody cares.  If ever there was a sport desperately in need of a bona fide rivalry, it's baseball.  There's nothing exciting to watch and nothing to tune in for at the moment. Perhaps this season gets a little more interesting as we head towards the finish, with a couple big questions still looming, such as:
  1. Will Bobby V see year two in Boston?
  2. Will the Pirates see postseason baseball for the first time since the Bonds era?
  3. Will the Theo Epstein-Cubs honemoon era come to an end?
  4. Will Albert Pujols be showing up this season?
Long story short though, Baseball Sucks.

2)  Serena Williams Wins Wimbledon

Who Cares?  Women's Tennis only matters if an attractive girl is winning.  Serena Williams looks like Joaquim Noah at this point. 

3)  Dan Gilbert's Hipocracy Never Ceases to Amaze

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, a notorious fucking tool, has his team involved in trade discussions to help facilitate Dwight Howard's move to the Nets.  This is the same fucking clown that was so vehemently opposed to the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade last summer because it undermined the Collective Bargaining Agreement's goal of parity.  Now he's gonna put the final pieces of the puzzle together to make Brooklyn a contender while the Cavs get essentially no better in the deal?  Absurd.  Don't make trades that create teams that you cannot beat.  That should be rule number 1.  And yet...  it is looking more and more likely to happen.  Absurd.

4)  Ray Allen is a Turncoat Bitch

I don't want to get too "old timer" on you here but could you see any of the 1980s Celtics players leaving to join the Lakers or visa Versa. How about the early 90s Bulls joining the Pistons?  Nope, me neither.  That't because you don't do that.  You don't mortgage your soul to win a ring like that.  So here's hoping Ray Ray and his creepy mom enjoy their time in South Beach before Ray ruptures an Achilles Tendon during layup drills in preseason camp.  Eat a dick dude!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

From The Awful Jersey Hall of Fame

Safe to say that this guy Means business!  The list of worth while Jacksonville Jaguars jerseys was thought to be only two guys, Maurice Jones Drew and Fred Taylor, the fantasy assassin, but we've thought of a few more that may just be worth the purchase, starting with our by Natrone Means above...

1)  Natrone Means
2)  David Garrard
3)  Mark Brunell
4)  Tony Boselli?

Man this list of players sucks if Tony Boselli is this high on it.  Quite the distinguished player roll call for the Jags!

Who's The Villain here?

So the situation between Arsenal and its only marquee star has come to a head.  Robin Van Persie will be leaving the Emirates Stadium, either this summer or at the end of his contract next year, as he has announced that he has no intention of re-upping with the London club. 

Lots of questions here, probably should address each party in kind...

Van Persie
There were obviously clouds on the horizon early in the last campaign when he broke off contract negotiations the club, preferring to wait and see how everything sat at the end of the season.  For what it's worth, the club was in shambles at that moment in time, and it seemed prudent for Van Persie to wait.  If the wheels were coming off, it at least provided him the option to get out.  It didn't turn out that way though.  Van Persie had a dream season, scored 30 goals in the league and the club finished 3rd, assuring a Champions League place for the 14th consecutive season. 

Van Persie has had meetings with the club on and off since the season ended and it appears that no contract was really discussed, but rather a discussion of where the club's management saw the club headed to in the near future.  Needless to say, the parties did not see eye to eye and RVP decided it was time to go.  Admittedly, I probably come down on the Van Persie side of the debate. 

Here's where RVP loses me.  He announces via his official site that he's not going to sign a new deal.  He takes something that has been incredibly low key and behind closed doors and goes all LeBron and makes it a spectacle.  Now, if Arsenal chooses to sell him, their hand is forced and their bargaining position is weakened.  This is not the approach that someone who supposedly loves the club should have taken.  Pretty bush-league if you ask me. 

Arsene Wenger
Another super high profile PR loss for Wenger.  Philosphically, he is going to need to change if he doesn't want to watch top talent continue to walk out the door.  The club's three best players have departed in the past two seasons and I am not sure the bleeding has been stopped yet. Wenger runs a very good business, in terms of the financial bottom line, but his refusal to truly invest in first tier established stars is a major sticking point for the talent.  Today's English Premier League requires bringing in the best players, period, not the best players that can be bought on a tight budget.  Arsenal have acquired two players that they believe to be first rate this summer in Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, but the reality is that both of those players were bought at relative discounts and their purchase appears to be too little too late for RVP.  If you don't send out a clear message that Arsenal is a place for top tier talent and first rate squad investment, this is what happens.  And that, my friends, is on Arsene Wenger. 

Stan Kroenke/The Arsenal Board
This is a group of people that has to be feeling the heat big time today.  RVP's decision to walk away is as much a referrendum on the Ownership/Board's cheapskate policy as it is Wenger's.  Kroenke talks about winning (when he talks, which is rarely), but success for the fan base and for the players is not measured in finishing in the top 4 of the Premiership.  It's measured in silverware and the trophy for this past season's third place finish looks a lot like nothing.  The club has the resources to buy top tier talent.  Edin Hazard was a possiblity, albeit expensive.  Mario Gotze is also still an option.  And thats just two guys.  Long story short is that you can buy your way out of this recurring Arsenal problem of having the best players constantly leaving.  But in order to do that, you have to flash the cash. 

Everyone's to blame in this clusterfuck.  All Arsenal can do now is move forward and make a concerted effort to properly invest in the team.