Pakistan's Cricket Board is on the case!

A little over a week ago Pakistan's cricket coach, Bob Woolmer, was found dead in his Jamaican hotel room. Woolmer's death came shortly after Ireland had upset Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup. Jamaican Police had ruled the death as 'suspicious' initially before officially ruling it as a MURDER. However, this explanation was not good enough for the super sleuths on the Pakistan Cricket Board.
"Pakistan cricket board officials suspect that the death of coach Bob Woolmer was due to natural causes and that the Jamaican police acted hastily by declaring it a murder.

A senior official of the board, who asked not to be identified, said they had received information that there could have been mistakes in the first autopsy on Woolmer's body."
Good to know that the goings on at the Pakistan Cricket Board seems completely on the up and up. Next up on the docket, the PCB diagnoses Terry Schiavo via satellite.

Police: Death of Pakistan cricket coach 'suspicious' [USA Today]
Pakistan Cricket Board: Not A Murder [With Leather]

Boogedy Boogedy BOO!

That's the movie poster. That is all.

1. "The only place Eddie Johnson can succeed is Kansas City." Eric Wynalda said this during the Guatemala friendly and posited it in such a way that he actually came to this conclusion before Johnson's move from FC Dallas. Was the Metroplex's barbecue just not good enough for Johnson to thrive? Is he allergic to cattle? Does he confuse Dirk and Mr. Boogedy? The way he spoke about it reminded me of the guys in Menace 2 Society who want to move to Nebraska with their football-playing friend to get out of the hood. Did you hear that Wynalda? You're horrifying commentary reminded me of a subpar early-nineties psuedo-blaxploitation movie. I hate you and your ass face.

2. To the Soccernista, who asked for any reason why we shouldn't send the MLS-ers to the Gold Cup and let the big boys handle the Copa America, I give you U.S. - Guatemala.

3. Is anyone other than me way more pumped for Fred on D.C. United than Beckham on the Galaxia? The most inappropriatly nicknamed Brazilian of all time? C'MON!

4. Mr. Boogedy was the villian in a pair of 80's made-for-Disney Channel Movies (Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy) that scared the ever-living shit out of me as a kid. I also believe he was a pilgrim. Furthermore, these two movies were half my family's video collection, the other half being the majority of Star Wars and Return of the Jedi, which were also taped off the Disney Channel during free preview month. This entry is rather long, so join me as we arbitratily skip to another numeral here.

5. My parents absolute refusal to own DVDs or VHS tapes survives to this day, as they have systematically lost every DVD or VHS they have ever owned and, most recently, the DVD player itself. Even more mysteriously, we still have the VCR my parents bought in the early eighties, although it no longer records and occasionally eats tapes. I swear to God they kept getting it repaired until about ten years ago, sometimes paying upwards of fifty dollars a pop, not out of nostalgia (or something of nostalgia's ilk) but out of the belief that repairing something is invariably cheaper than buying a new one. Seems it's a tad tricky to find a VCR repairman these days. On a completly unrelated note, I've definitly spent more money repairing my 1992 Volvo (which is now officially Frankencar) than it cost me to buy it from that wily Nigerian rascal who worked at the dealership.

6. If anyone knows how to DataMerge a Word document and Excel file on a Mac, I would be very grateful if you told me so I can get back to work.

7. Never mind, I figured it out.

Text Messages I Would Send To Rob Stone

Not Rob Stone but a Rob none the less. It's 3am I must be lonely.

During last night's 0-0 borefest with Guatemala, commentator Rob Stone or Stoney made a comment about injured US striker Taylor Twellman sending him a text message. The gist of the text message was "Bob Said No Go Tonight" or something to that affect. This got me thinking what text messages would I send to Rob Stone.

1. "Stoney Stoney you trying to drink"

2. "Isn't Eric Wynalda a dick, come you can tell me"

3. "Is Brandi Chastain really retarded or is that a character she plays on TV"

4. "Does Bruce Arena smell as bad as I think he does by looking at him"

5. "I luv u"

After getting a couple of replies back from Stoney it would denigrate into me sending texts to hear myself talk. I have a problem, yes but can I still be your friend Rob Stone. Please I'm really lonely.

Oh and if the National Team doesn't want games like last night don't play shit teams like Guatemala. Their coach new that if they opened up they would have got slaughtered. So to save his own ass he played defensively like a smart coach. Jonathan Spector looked really good last night, pride of the Hammers huh Freshman and Brendan.

Fighting In The NHL, If You Don't Watch Hockey Shut The Fuck Up

Thought I would start of this article with a picture about everything that is right about the NHL, Sidney Crosby. A 19-year old wonderkid with two 100-point seasons in his first two years in the NHL. The only player in NHL history to do such a feat before his 20th birthday. If you don't watch hockey watch the Penguins they are transcending sports right now. The Penguins are what happens when a generation of great players hit a team at one time (see early 1980's Edmonton Oilers). They play great fast-paced, two-way hockey exactly what the NHL rule changes were meant to bring. Simultaneously the Penguins have two rookie of the year candidates in Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, an MVP candidate in Sidney Crosby, a great young goaltender in Marc-Andre Fluery, and a cast of young guys getting there first shot and veterans looking for one more. In under a month they will be on national TV every night playing in the NHL playoffs, outside of the NBA the most exciting playoffs in sports. But all most mainstream know about the NHL is that this past week Colton Orr of the New York Rangers almost killed Todd Fedoruk with a punch. Seen here:

Oh my god did you see that he almost killed that guy! I'm offended by the violence in that sport. Why are two large white men trying to pummel each other to death? This fight was just two goons going at each other for entertainment and to give their team momentum which is a sad consequence of fighting. Why doesn't the NHL completely eliminate fighting?

The answer is simply fighting is a part of the game and all the suspensions in the world won't violence in the NHL. Ask anybody who has ever played hockey, the amount of contact is insane. Every shift a player takes he has to go into corners and fight for loose pucks and hits happen. Having a guy hit you in the face with elbows, sticks, and getting pushed into the boards takes its toll. Tempers naturally start to flare and hockey players get into physical confrontations. Usually, the confrontations are just pushing and yelling matches that are pulled apart by the referees. Sometimes these arguments escalate into fights. Thats where tough guys like Colton Orr and Todd Fedoruk come into play.

Without tough guys (aka Goons) and fighting in the NHL star players would be dropping like flies. Brett Hull on NBC's NHL coverage said that because of guys like Tony Twist he got into two fights in his NHL career when he should have got into hundreds. What if instead of a fight to retaliate a player hits Hull with a high-stick, like Chris Simon did to Matt Hollwig? Enforcers allow players and teams to police themselves without resorting to cheap shots. Earlier in the season teams would constantly take liberties with Sidney Crosby because the team lacked an enforcer. Now when teams run at Crosby the mountain that is Georges Laraque takes on a player of the other team and beats the shit out of him. Hockey players more than any other sport have a team mentality and nobody wants to be the guy to get his teammate injured. So next time that player maybe thinks twice before that high-stick or elbow. Thats the point of fighting keeping players honest and avoiding cheap-shots.

Comparing hockey to other sports is ridiculous and American sports writers need to learn this. Hockey is a game where tradition is still followed and respected. Fighters know when to fight and know when not to fight. There is a code to all this perceived violence. Ever notice a hockey player after a fight just gets up and skates away. He doesn't usually have any ill feelings for the guy he is fighting he is just doing a job for his team.

I think I speak for every hockey fan when I say to the American media, leave us alone. We don't care what you think about us and about our sport. Hockey is never going to be as big as the other three main sports and we are fine with that. Let our neighbors up north write about hockey, you stick to analyzing what a corner out of a DII school runs at the combine. Can you give us two months to enjoy the best part of our sport the playoffs?

Don Cherry would roll over in his grave if he had to hear American hockey coverage.

He Practices Those

To send it into overtime, 'Sheed drops one from beyond half court. Wallace then scored 8 of Detroit's 15 in OT as the Pistons went on to beat the Nuggets.

NBA shot of the year? I don't know, but it's up there with a few of the "DAGGERS!" that Zero has dropped.

We Are Nowhere and It's Now

It has been said (after many a terrible loss) that following The University of Pittsburgh Fightin' Panthers is akin to being in an abusive relationship: You think they've changed their ways, you think that this time is different, and then you're beaten down once again. For the better part of a decade this has been the case with both the Football and the Men's Basketball teams.

After yet another loss in the Round of 16, Pitt fans have been left to wonder if this program - that started with this current run of Top 25 seasons in 2001-2002 - will ever get over the proverbial hump. The Panthers had to watch as their former coach, Ben Howland, lead UCLA to the team's second consecutive Final Four. Howland built the Pitt program into a perennial "contender", but how can said program contend without ever winning a big game.

Pitt has made it to the Big East Tournament Championship game 6 of the last 7 years, with only one Tournament Championship to show for it. Pitt has made it to the Sweet Sixteen 4 of the last 6 years, with the school's only Elite Eight appearance coming way back in 1974. Looking at what the team has accomplished over the last several years, one begins to wonder when - or even if - the program will make that leap into True Contender.

The problem, it seems, is that coaching can only take a team so far. Pitt has been notorious for coaching up players overlooked by other college programs and building around the idea of a 'team' rather than lumping together a handful of McDonald's High-School All-Americans. The program has scoured the high schools of New York; stealing solid recruits away from the likes of St. Joe's. They have taken in transfers from other programs and found a place for junior college standouts to play. But in the modern world of NCAA Basketball, these types of players can only take a team so far.

As of this moment there is not one player in the NBA that played under the Howland/Dixon regime at The University of Pittsburgh. That says something not only about the players that come out of the program, but also the coaching staff. It is not to say that these player aren't NBA ready, it's just that these players aren't NBA material.

Over the years Pitt has had a number of players that could hit the big shots. They have had guys that could play lock-down D and hold the highest scoring teams to fewer than 55. There have been plenty of buzzer beater victories and big runs in close games from one or two guys. But this program has never had a transcendent player. A player who can carry an entire team on his back if he needs to. A player that can make a seemingly impossible play in the clutch. A player that can simply will a team to win. Without someone like that it becomes nearly impossible to win a championship.

The team concept has worked great for the Panthers in the regular season. Over the last seven seasons only a handful of programs have had a better record than Pitt. They've been that good. But when everything is on the line in the post-season the Pitt program has struggled. Rarely has anyone stepped up for that stretch run (in the Big East Tournament or the NCAAs) and become The Man. And that is just what this programs needs.

For The University of Pittsburgh Fightin' Panthers to break through to the other side and deserve mention alongside of The Perennial Top Tens they need a marquee player. They need someone to put his stamp on the program, not only to lead the team onward, but to also draw attention towards the school.

As it is, Pitt is a faceless program known for their defensive prowess but not for a standout player. This current run of solid seasons has made it somewhat easier to recruit better and better players, but the true stars are going elsewhere. For Pitt to take it to the next level they need that one star to truly put the team on the map.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. Star players are always going to go to star programs and a defensive, team-oriented style of play will always be a hard sell to the top recruits. But for this program to truly thrive, a "franchise" player is a necessity not only to win a big game, but also for The University of Pittsburgh Fightin' Panthers to finally reach the next level.

Make Me Michigan's New Head Coach

I've decided that I'm going to throw my name in the race to be the new Michigan basketball head coach. My qualifications are sparse but I do have extensive background in watching college basketball. What I lack in basketball coaching experience I make up with an extensive knowledge of how the Fab 5 was built. Through hard work and charismatic *wink,wink* recruiting.

So Athletic Director of Michigan I am going to give you 3 prior experiences that qualify me to take over as head basketball coach:

1. In 1999, I purchased at a thrift store a Chris Webber Golden State Warriors jersey. Indirectly giving money to Chris Webber is, I assume, job qualification number 1. If made head coach I would set aside 40 dollars a month in the basketball budget to send to Chris Webber to make sure that none of our wins count.

2. For two weeks in middle school I coached a 3rd grade basketball team. I structured practices very simply, for an hour and a half me and all the kids would play streetball. Each team that lost had to spend the next game doing layup drills and wind-sprints. The coaching was apart of a program that let kids my age gain experience working with younger kids as a sort of teaching internship. After my supervisor came in during one practice and saw me tell a kid to "stop playing defense like a fucking bitch" I was quickly canned and almost suspended from school.

3. I hate Ohio State, not for any reason I just hate Sconnie Penn because of his name. Have a good career in Italy, douchebag.

So Bill Martin, Michigan AD, I will send you my resume and applicable references. I think I have a better chance to be successful than John Beilein.

Michigan Job Application

Man or Astro-man?

Kobe Bryant. MAN.

After becoming only the second player in NBA history to put up 50 points in four consecutive games (averaging 56 points a game while shooting better than 50% from the field over that stretch) Mamba cooled down a bit in the final three quarters of Sunday night's game. Kobe finished with 43 (GASP!) after a MONSTER start (9 points in the first two minutes and 17 at the end of the first quarter). The Lakers, winners of their last four, squeaked by the Warriors 115-113. Kobe had seven turnovers and zero assists while getting to the charity stripe only 11 times.

Why Kobe didn't hit the 50 spot again? Any number of reasons: he kept his turnovers down in the previous four games, he also got to the charity stripe several more times a game. Maybe he was tired. Maybe Mamba had proven his point to 'Melo as he surged past Anthony to take control of first place in the scoring race. Honestly, I don't know how Golden State's defense played him as I watched the game entirely on Yahoo!Sports. But if they weren't double teaming him every single possession then Don Nelson is absolutely insane. (Yeah, I watched the entire game on Yahoo!Sports, what of it?) Even though he didn't put up 50 again (Wilt holds the record at 7 games in a row), the Kobe Watch is still in effect when the Lakers host the Grizz on Tuesday night.

Landon Donovan. ASTRO-MAN.

After what some might consider several sub-par years of soccer for the US Men's National Team, Donovan has come out on fire this year. The man who once looked like the future of American soccer and then went into shut down mode (including a failed stint in Deutschland) has come roaring back this year with two goals in two matches. Sunday afternoon's friendly against a solid Ecuador squad was no different. Donovan scored quickly and often, with his second career hat trick playing for the USMNT. His first goal came a mere 35 seconds into the game, his second in the 66th minute with his third coming less than a minute later.

So is Donovan back? Who knows, all I can say is that this is the best he's played in forever. Hopefully this is the man's return to form. Hopefully this is his long awaited breakthrough. Hopefully this is the start to a Mambaesque scoring streak. Okay maybe that's a bit much to ask. It was just great to watch a game and not wonder where his head was for once. On Sunday afternoon Donovan looked better than anyone else on the field, while the rest of the USMNT showed little of Donovan's brilliance, which included a shaky performance by US keeper Tim Howard. Meanwhile, Bob Bradley became the first coach in US history to win his first three games and looks to keep his position as head of the Men's National Team. All in all a good - but not great - day for the USMNT which included a fantastic performance by Landon Donovan. Finally.

Tubby Smith had a fabled career at Kentucky, but his recent decision to move to Minnesota and take over Golden Gopher basketball is allegedly now determined to be because Smith is 1/4 gopher. When asked about his heritage, Smith replied 'My family is directly descended from the Northeastern Golden Gopher which is native to the Appalachian Mountains'. This stark revelation was revealed after Smith was seen eating from a patch of grass on a Kentucky horse farm. Smith never denied the rumor, but preferred to keep it a secret in order to pretend to be loyal to Kentucky. Smith actually hates Kentucky, and was just biding his time before his planned return to his roots in Minnesota. Good Ole' Tubbs also said that he can no longer stand Ashely Judd's ridiculous fanship, and that she is quite possibly the worst sports fan ever to exist. He added that she is fake, cannot act, and is fat. Very very fat.

Harsh words from someone who himself could be considered obese, but Smith has always been known for his harsh opinions. Smith is excited about the move to Minnesota, and also the hibernation possibilities afforded to him in Minnesota. With the constant pressure the Kentucky Wildcats put on him to win, he was known to hibernate after a rough season...even if it was summer. He certainly had ample circumstances to hibernate under, being that he had enough extra fat to accommodate not only him but also his eight other family members during the four month hiatus underground.

Finally, after his recent win over Villanova in the NCAA tournament, Smith was quoted as saying 'Too many Wildcats on one court...time to reacquaint myself with my roots. Golden Gophers, don't fear...Tubby's Comin'!'

Possible Career Moves for Newly Unemployed David Carr

So its been a rough week for now dissmissed Texans QB David Carr. First, the Texans traded for FALCONS BACKUP QB Matt Schaub, and Carr found himself out of a starting job. Now, to add insult to injury, just a day after the trade the Texans cut Carr.

What will he do now??? He was sacked approximately 345,473 times in his short tenure as the Texans inaugural play caller, so we know that only about 4% of his brain power remains. Hmm...kinda limits the options. I compare him to a sex offender or a convicted embezzler...any service involving money equals a no go. So now, let's look at Carr's potential job options:

1) Oakland Raiders Starting Quarterback: Well, they released Aaron Brooks, and with a coach with 0 past experience (Lane Kifflin), Carr immediately comes to mind. And hey, for a clinically retarded 27 year old, Carr has to be somewhere at the top of the list for the starting job in Oakland. Interview quick Raiders staff, Carr won't be on the table for long! Hot Commodity! Fantasy Football Fave!

2) Farmhand: Well, you know, he's already in there's a lot of farmers there already right? And with muscles like Carr's, why not lay down some hay? Maybe pick some corn? I hear people with 15% brain power or less do great at manual labor jobs, and what better than adding to the U.S. economy of obese, voracious Americans?

3) Nurse: Carr already spent 5 years fostering a new team from the womb to terrible bottom of the league status, so what better role for Carr than that of nurturer? Rest assured that all patients at Sacred Heart hospital will rest a little easier knowing that Lil' Davey is waiting in the wings ready to feed them their mashed bananas or give them a 'special' sponge bath...Nurse Carr sounds like it'd work out great.

So David, there ya go, 3 perfect options for you. Enjoy. Personally, I'm really hoping you get the Oakland job, because for someone to lose all mental capabilities after just 6 years in the league would surely put you in the Guiness Book of World Records. Enjoy the job hunt, and hey, if we don't see ya around, enjoy the comparisons to Ryan Leaf. It's been fun David, really, the pleasure is all ours.

A Brief History of Dirty Phi

This post is meant as a handy guide to UCLA fans who wish to keep up with the fast-paced repartee going on right now over at Deadspin's UCLA - Pitt comments section. Here's a two minute (more or less) list of things you need to know about Pitt's (formerly) finest fraternity, Delta "Dirty" Phi:

1. For a period of time in the early nineties, had a small Korean man (pictured in a full-on kilt costume) who was not a brother as their mascot.

2. Once got their asses stomped by a street gang at one of their own parties over the attempted date-rape of a girl. The next day, the house looked like a burned-out warehouse.

3. Legendary dropout "Froch" once broke his nose of consecutive days. The first one was in a fight, the second was simply by somehow falling down the stairs and smashing his face into the wall.

4. Would utter sentences such as "We're having a small get-together tonite, just friends and family. We only got, like, ten kegs."

5. Bought so much Pabst Light in the course of a semester that the PBR headquarters noticed it and inquired to local beer distributors why they were selling more PBR Light in Oakland than in pretty much the rest of the country combined.

6. Gradutes "Dirty Greg" and J.D. are one hundred percent of the reason Pitt Program Council no longer has those weekend trips to Niagara Falls. Seriously.

7. Dirty Phi has completly fallen from grace to the point that its just another fraternity. The debauchery, alcoholism, drugs, brawls and obscenity that once made it the greatest place in Western Pennsylvania have fallen by the wayside. R.I.P. If anyone would like to say anything else about the Mighty Phi, please leave it in the comments section.

3 Reasons Why Jamie Dixon is Better Than Ben Howland...

vs. Big Jagoffosaurus

1) Hair: It doesn't really need too much explanation...Look at the pictures! Howland...has none! Dixon...rumored to spend four and a half hours before a game coiffing his beautiful hairdo, and it pays off! Dixon looks like the next presidential candidate in the 2008 Election while Howland looks old man.
VICTOR: Dixon (Hands Down)

2) Icewater:
Again, please note pictures. Jamie has icewater for veins, and Aaron Grey often likes to hold hands with Dixon during timeouts just to cool down before a free throw or otherwise easy shot under the basket. Mike Cook thinks this practice is trivial, but sometimes partakes in it only to enhance his 'cool' factor. Pitt players can always rely on Dixon for a peptalk, and during crunchtime, his emphatic demeanor promotes that winning spirit that is Panther basketball. Howland seems to have absorbed too much of that California sun in his brief tenure at UCLA. As noted from his above mugshot, the man is constantly screaming. Constantly. Jordan Farmar was recently interviewed and the highlight of his interview was quoted as 'Why does Coach Howland hate us so much? I mean, I did score 32 points tonight. That's my career high. I'm gonna go cry in the shower....' Hmm...sounds like a volatile man. Now we know why he has already lost so much hair...

3) Sexuality:
Howland was recently seen outside Pittsburgh's classy establishment 'The Cricket Lounge', a popular strip club in Pittsburgh's Oakland Burrough. When this reporter asked him about it, he replied casually 'I like Donkey Tuesday's the best'. Meanwhile, Dixon was asked about the rumor circulating Pitt's campus that he has had sexual encounters with 25% of Pitt's 20,000 Undergrads. Dixon answered even more casually 'No Comment. But you know what those shirts say...'Diamonds are nice and so are pearls, but nothing beats Pittsburgh girls'. Please draw your own assumptions on this category.
VICTOR: Dixon (Because anything called 'Donkey Tuesday's' can't possibly be a good decision...)

So, as you are watching the Pitt vs. UCLA game and rooting for your favorite, please remember these three categories. Choose wisely.

P-I-T-T Let's go Pitt. There's a reason Howland doesn't coach Pittsburgh any more...we don't want his hairless ass.

Popular opinion in the world of 20-something losers, stoners, and college kids tells you that Bo Jackson is the best and most unstoppable player in Tecmo Super Bowl. This idea is completely false. The real answer is "The Nigerian Nightmare" Christian Okoye. You decide:

"Steriod Abuser Pussy" Bo Jackson

"Manly All Natural" Christian Okoye

I think a bulldozer could hit Okoye and he would laugh. Man, I wish video games still had this kind of heart.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

The blog EYECONIC has a solid list of the Top 10 basketball commercials of all time. There are some good picks, a lot of them being newer (from the last 10 years or so). The Nike commercial with all the players dibbling to a beat has to be Number One (the beat was done by Afrika Bambaataa, which makes it that much cooler). And where are the old school Bird/Jordan H-O-R-S-E commercials? Either way, this is one commercial I thought should have been on the list, but didn't make it.

Top Ten Basketball Commercials [EYECONIC]
Air Jordan XX [YouTube]

I'm going to start a series of articles over the next week where I try to give detailed perspective on things that only I care about. Today I am going to break-down the US National Team squad that has been called up for the friendlies against: Ecuador on the 25th and Guatemala on the 28th.

Interim coach Bob Bradley has toyed with two formations in his first two games in charge of the National Team a, 4-3-3 Y with two defensive midfielders and a 4-5-1 with two defensive midfielders. Ricardo Clark and Pablo Masteroni are both out for the friendlies, Clark is injured and Masteroni's wife is about to give birth to his second son, so the center of midfield will be completely different. The entire European contingent is in but the popular opinion is that they will only play against Ecuador and a more domestic based squad will play against Guatemala.

This is an exciting time to be "an ethnic" as Jay Mariotti would say because the National Team is embarking on two major tournaments this summer: the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Copa America. The carrot for the Gold Cup is a trip to the Confederations Cup in 2009 which will be played in World Cup conditions in South Africa. In the Copa America held in Venezula, the United States is drawn in a group with Argentina, Paraguay, and Columbia.

Now for the anticipated player by breakdown.:

Barrett, Wade. Dude has a beard and won the MLS Cup with the Houston Dynamo. Plays defensive midfield but probably won't feature in either summer tournament. Called up to replace Ricardo Clark.

Beasley, DaMarcus. Apparently died a year and a half ago and has been replaced by a midget actor. He's fast but has lost the ability to do anything execpt run.

Bocanegra, Carlos. Playing great at Fulham when he is allowed to play center-back. Probably should the starting partner of Oneywu.

Bradley, Michael. Yes, he is Bob Bradley's son but this isn't a nepotism thing. Bradley is a really good defensive-minded midfielder who can pass. Hopefully, get a full game against Guatemala and a look during the Ecuador game.

Carroll, Brian. Sucks.

Cherundolo, Steve. Starting right-back.

Ching, Brian. Sucks and is from Hawaii.

Conrad, Jimmy. Not a bad back-up but if he has a Eddie Pope written all over him, and anybody that thinks that a good thing call Bruce Arena at the New York Red Bull front office.

Cooper, Kenny. Should be or first choice striker every game. Built like a white Oneywu and is strong on the ground. But alas, he will probably on be a sub against Ecuador and play the whole game against Guatemala.

DeMerit, Jay. Plays in England so he has to be good right, right?

Dempsey, Clint. DUECE. Yeah his feet are basically what I'm hanging my hopes for the National Team on.

Donovan, Landon. Fuck you. Go surf or cry because your girlfriend is having her period.

Feilhaber, Benny. Great potential I've only seen him play a handful of times. Described as the next Claudio Reyna. I hope they mean pre-57 knee injuries Claudio.

Guzan, Brad. Young keeper probably wont play at all.

Howard, Tim. Has Tourrette's Syndrome is awesome and should win the EPL Goalkeeper of the Year.

Johnson, Eddie. Fuck you too. Try scoring a goal between now and the time the next World Cup comes around.

Keller, Kasey. Old enough to be half the team's Dad. This summer is going to be his last on the National Team. Great player.

Mapp, Justin. Did 1 good move against the Denmark B squad and now all of a sudden is the white Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mullan, Brian. Seriously?

Onyewu, Oguchi. Ah good ol' Gooch he should be the captain for the entire next World Cup Cycle.

Pearce, Heath. Deserves a look a left-back. Can't say I have ever been that impressed.

Simek, Frank. He plays in the Championship for Sheffield Wednesday. You have no idea what that means and he sucks.

Spector, Jonathan. Plays for West Ham but surprising doesn't suck. Can play all over the back-line and can use both feet. Should get a try-out in the central defense with Gooch.

Twellman, Taylor. Got a raw deal not being on the World Cup roster instead of Brian Ching. He needs a good game whichever one he plays.

Tommorrow I'm going to evaluate the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Baby Penguins in their run for the Calder Cup. Maybe boxing on Friday if your lucky.

That Mole Picture Makes Me Slightly Happier

First off, I'd like to reveal the lack of haikus. Sometimes Texas and Wisconsin lose on the same day and sometimes there's a man foolish enough to put those two teams in the national title game, damning himself to life (or year) of mockery and shame, horrible, unending shame. That is why I'm now drinking Natty Light and thinking about West Ham.

Long story short, during last year's World Cup I made the decision to throw better judgment to the wind and adopt an EPL team. I guess the recent run of success of certain Boston-area sports teams this century fucked with my fragile psyche enough for me to convince myself I wasn't getting enough punishment on a daily basis. I was also working a shitty summer job and drinking a lot at the time, so, you know, there's that. Basically I ran off a few arbitrary criteria (criterion? Crichton?) that included, among others, being based in London and somehow angering Jason's Chelsea loving bitch-ass. Take that, add a black guy named Nigel and endorsement from Billy Bragg, and voila: West Ham United.

Within weeks, it seemed I had struck gold when Javier Mascherano and Carlos "I Look Exactly Like The Apes From The Beginning of 2001 And I Don't Care Who Knows It!" Tevez under incredibly suspicious circumstances. Apparantly EPL rules prohibit the ownership of players by a third party to prevent outside interference. This is only being investigated now, which is odd, because the fact that Mascherano and the Unfrozen Caveman Striker were owned by an Iranian businessman named after a low-quality Korean car company was common knowledge to everybody at the time. But I digress.

Basically, the season is now winding down and West Ham is certainly going down like something that goes down hard, fast and spends a literal assload of money along the way. I know there's a Pacman Jones/gay porn joke somewhere in there, but I just don't have the energy to ferret it out.
Here is where I would have the option of lamenting the Hammers poor fortunes and the fact that I will be following a Championship team next season. Instead, I will list the silver linings to this ever-so-cloudy cloud.

1. Eggert Magnusson. He looks like the illegitimate love child of Mr. Magoo and Gary Oldman as "Old Dracula." Plus he's from Iceland, one of the few countries that just adamantly refuse to stop whaling. According to Wikipedia, they want to export it to Japan, but Japan doesn't want any of their whale meat. Somehow this hasn't stopped them from whaling, which just proves what we all already know: there's nothing like the thrill of killing a large, practically defenseless, seaborne mammal. Fuck those whales.

2. Tevez. He doesn't want to leave, even though the club is obviously going down, which I admire. In reality though, it's probably because his primitive mind is incapable of learning a second language. He lived in Brazil for two years and never even came close to learning the language. That takes will, balls, and a whole lot of learning disability. As long as no one says anything in Spanish, everything will be cool.

3. Millwall. If there was ever shirt that said "I Am Batshit Insane" without using any words, it would be a Millwall jersey. When they made the 2004 FA Cup final and none of their supporters were arrested, that was newsworthy. It's gonna be good to see those guys twice a year.

I can't really think of anything else. Damn, I though that list would go on longer. In conclusion, I don't know why I posted this rambling, at times incoherent diatribe.

Just Checkin' Your Baby's Ankles

It's March, and that means one thing and one thing alone to basketball fans: BABY MADNESS!
If you think some of the college freshmen look young on the court, wait until you see our squad — babies age 10 to 30 months — participating in a lively lineup of events including everything from diaper derbies to finger painting. When BABY MADNESS premieres on Saturday, March 31, from 6 to 9 PM (ET/PT) on Discovery Health, viewers will have a courtside seat to see the babies dunk, shake and bake, and just act their age in the unique Discovery Health Arena. From the opening whistle all the way to the closing diaper change, BABY MADNESS will have sports fans — and people who can’t stand sports — giving our little participants a standing ovation and sharing in the pure joy that only babies can bring.
But you may be asking yourself how they weed through the best 10 month olds in the country. Just like they do at the college level: recruiting. And money. Lots of money. But also recruiting.

It's Like Puppy Bowl, Except With Babies []
Mr. Show - Recruiters [YouTube]

Don't Mention The War!

The NFL, in addition to being the most popular professional sports league in North America, has a reputation for being overly strict. The No Fun League has been, over the past several season, cracking down on pretty much anything they could to make sure everyone - players, coaches, etc - falls into line. And apparently The NBA wants in on that action.

David Stern, professional basketball overlord and purveyor of a great mustache circa 1984, has gradually been heading in that direction. Starting last year with the dress code and continuing this year with the failure that was Orange Roundie, Stern has been coming down firmly on issues that don't seem to matter at all. Now Stern is taking aim at The Nightmare Man or at least those interested in The Nightmare Man.

Kevin Durant has been widely touted as a Top Two pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, and rightfully so. With the age limit in the NBA, this is the first season in which players (like Durant and Greg Oden) had to spend a year in college before they could make the jump to the NBA. Of course, very few people have had delusions about what is happening. Durant and Oden (most likely among others) take a year in college, hang out, play ball, and make the big money the following year. So of course the talk also season has been Durant and Oden and where the fit into the NBA.

HOWEVER, Stern will not stand for this! How dare the media, coaches, and upper management offer opinions on players that almost certainly will be in The Association next season!

In one of the more ridiculous moves in recent memory, The NBA has fined the Celtics $30,000 for GM Danny Ainge's contact with the Durant family. Although, in Ainge's defense he claims he had not control over where he was seated durring the Big 12 tournament. He just happened to be seated next to the Durants is all. In addition to this, The Association has fined the Bobcats and the Warriors $15,000 a piece for comments made to the media about Durant and/or Oden.

I’m not sure what the NBA expects here. Do they just assume GMs and others involved in The Association will toss out a 'no comment'? Do they think that the media will not make the connection between the NCAA and the NBA? Sports media in places like Boston has been salivating all season for a chance at Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. I don't think that the GMs and higher-ups should be expected to not make mention of it. The NBA can't have an age minimum and expect there to be no consequences. This, as trivial as it might be, is one of them. When young players are prohibited from entering the league and forced to play in college, then the media, the fans, the coaches, the players, the front office and everyone else is going to talk about said athletes playing at The Next Level.

But no one is safe in the eyes of the NBA. They fined Michael Jordan. Let this be a lesson, people. Keep your opinions to yourselves! Stern is watching! To be on the safe side don't comment on anything non-NBA related. Better yet keep your mouths shut. Pretend they don't exist. Repeat after me: "O.J. Mayo who?" This is the only option until the NBA publishes its list of Things That Can Be Talked About. Think of it as a dress code for your thoughts.

NBA Quiets Oden/Durant Buzz []

I Love Basketball / Let's All Go to the Movies / French Toast March Madness

In honor of unsually large number of basketball games being played (nay; televised) today, I will write a haiku about each winner until I grow bored of such menial pursuits and return to my zen meditation.

Oh Great Land of Mary
Your Turtle is Quite Angry
Insert Coke Joke Here

Larry Bird isn't
walking through that door. Vita-
ly Potapenko

Lubbock's a hellhole
Say, Chestnut Hill is not so
Bobby Knight can't golf

Washington State U.
Of you I know nothing, man
Ever-present flag

Joey Barton Is My Favorite Soccer Player Ever

Joey Barton is the heart and soul of the Manchester City midfield. Defensively, he is the best English-born midfielder by far (Owen Hargreaves go play for Canada you were born in Calgary). He is a great passer and without his presence in the midfield Man City would be solidly in the drop zone (they currently are in 17th 6 points from the drop). Recently he has been called up to the England squad as "Big Red" Steve McClaren tries to figure out more ways to play Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard out of position.

Barton's skillful playing aside the reason why he is the future of English football is his already legendary temper. A couple of incidents in Joey Barton's career that lead a rational person to believe that he needs anger management classes;

1. On a preseason friendly tour in Thailand the Man City midfielder punches a schoolboy Thai fan during a altercation at a hotel. The altercation was over friendly banter between the kid, who was an Everton fan, and Barton over his play in a match between the two teams a day before. Remember, Barton is a grown man who has the body of a professional soccer player. HE PUNCHED A KID FROM THAILAND.

2. After the disappointing World Cup performance of England, Barton mocks all the player's who cash in and write biographies of their experience in Germany. He paraphrased all their books by saying "we played like shit read this for 200 pages". Great job playing the political game to get on the national team. He has since been called up but hasn't made amends with any players and isn't likely to figure much in the Euro 2008.

3. His half-brother is a convicted axe murderer. I'll leave that one alone.

4. Today he was arrested on the belief that a month ago over a taxi fare he got into fight with a taxi driver in Liverpool. The taxi was damaged and Barton took a swing at the taxi driver before leaving the scene.

So next time you read stories about NFL players getting arrested for beating up strippers, remember Joey Barton. Barton brings back memories of a day when athletes would get drunk and fight important people like Thai teenagers and taxi drivers from Liverpool.

We Report. You Decide.

More important than NCAA Bracket Snubs. More important than who is seeded where. The debate amongst basketball enthusiasts everywhere: Has the goofiest dancer in basketball history been dethroned?

I'll let you, dear readers, decide for yourselves.

First: Mark 'Mad Dog' Madsen

Second: Joakim Noah

Here's hoping that the tournament is decided by an Aaron Gray/Tyler Hansbrough break-off.

White People Should Not Dance [YouTube]
Joakim Noah Dancing [YouTube]

Bonus Link:
Angst at Aaron Gray [YouTube]

Ted Talkington Wants You To See His Balls

From Wire Reports:

Ted Talkington, basketballer at Greater West Fuckin' Virgina Community College, has reportedly received a cease and desist order from intermittently funny website on the grounds that they have received nearly two dozen pictures of Talkington's balls over the last few weeks in e-mails with the title "ATTN: Ted Talkington's Balls."

The point of contention appears to be that the pictures are clearly of fellow GWFVCC teammate Frank Young's nether-regions. Talkington has contested the order, claiming that not only is he "black from the waist down, as all those fine-ass Appalachain hoochies know" but the "Property of Frank Young" tattoo was part of an elaborate practical joke gone horribly awry.

In a related story, John Beilein once fucked a goat on a dare. I shit you not.


1. Kevin "The Nightmare Man" Durant has earned said nickname not for haunting the dreams of his opponents, but for a horrible curse that has followed the Durant family from the beginning of time. Apparantly, he must raise from his slumber once a fortnight to feast upon the souls of the children of all streets not named "Elm" in the greater Austin area.

2. According to assistants, Bill Parcells died nearly three years ago and his subsequent public appearances have been enginereed through an elaborate pulley system that would put "Weekend at Bernie's" to shame. Parcell's recent retirement came on the heels of Jerry Jones' refusal to look into voodoo after the crew of immigrant workers working Parcells were deported.

3. Once more, for emphasis: Beilein fucked a goat. A male goat.

4. Fearsome Pittsburgh reserve forward Doyle Hudson refers to himself as "Chang-a-Lang." Superior nicknames include "The Human Turnover" and "The Walking Seventeen Point Swing."

5. I once paid five dollars for a XXL Texas Rangers Hideki Irabu t-shirt jersey, and the joke was not at all on me.

What Can Brown Do For You?

In his article today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Stephen A. Smith speculates that Larry Brown will return next season as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.

You may remember Philly not only for the tumultuous relationship between Brown and Allen Iverson, but also for their memorable run through the 2001 NBA Playoffs (eventually losing to the Lakers in the Finals). You might also remember that Philly was Brown's longest tenure anywhere as a head coach.

As soon as A.I. was out the door on his way to Denver, Brown was brought into the front office. This was the most obvious step, right? Now with A.I. gone Brown can mold this team of underachievers into a contender, just like he did with the New York Knickerbockers. Oh. Wait.

Now I'm not saying Mo Cheeks is the answer. He seems like a good enough guy. I mean who can forget the moment in Portland when he helped a girl sing the National Anthem after she forgot the words. But he's just not getting the job done in Philly. Hell, they can't even lose right. But does that make Larry Brown the answer by default?

Never put it past the great Billy King to make a terrible move and putting Larry Brown at the helm might be the worst decision of all. The Sixers have a young team that will get even younger with the 2007 Draft.

Therein lies the biggest problem. Brown is notorious for not playing younger guys. He let Darko sit the bench in Detroit. He let LeBron and 'Melo sit the bench when he was U.S. Men's National Team head coach. Who is to say he won't do the very same thing in Philly?

And for that matter how many years does Brown even have left in him? Getting a (possible) Top 3 draft pick isn't going to change this team over night. If they land someone like Greg Oden, he'll surely make an impact, but he's far from polished.

There is no way that Brown will have the patience to wait around and try to build up a team. That's not what he does. He has always been the coach that comes in and carries a team over the hump (see: Detroit Pistons) rather than a coach that takes a young team to the next level.

Meanwhile, the man picking this young talent is also the same man who sees it fit to pay Shavlik Randolph to play professional basketball. One of the three worst GMs in professional sports will be pulling the trigger on a handful of picks in one of the most loaded drafts in recent memory. Don't be shocked if he makes Josh McRoberts a Top 20 pick. That's how bad this could get.

The 2006-2007 76ers season has been an absolute train wreck. After trading away the face of the franchise, they get out "played" by the Celtics and the Grizzlies in the race for the first pick. On top of that there's an outside shot that the franchise could be burried for the next several years when Larry Brown steps back into the picture.

Buckle up, Sixers fans. This looks like it's going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

Whatever Happens, Brown Will Return
[The Philadelphia Inquirer]



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