Did You Know The Closer Returns To TNT In June?

Some NBA Notes after a weekend of doing nothing but working and watching The Association:

1. So Miami is done. Sounds about right. I figured the Bulls could do it, but not so definitively, you know, considering that this is a team with 36 total All-Star appearances. Looks like their championship "window" might have slammed shut. They've got a bunch of free agents and who knows if Gordon Gekko is coming back. Meanwhile the (former) Baby Bulls look fantastic. They could very well come out of the East. The upcoming series against Detroit should be entertaining. The Pistons have a good team, but I still don't trust Flip at the helm. It should also be interesting to see what Ben Wallace does against his old team.

2. Even though they're up 3-0, I'm still not sold on the Cavs. They just don't seem to have it in them this year like they did last year. Of course, they might not have their collective hearts in it going up against The Wizards, but that's no excuse. They're really going to have to step it up next round against the Nets or Raps.

3. And speaking of the Raptors, they're showing their inexperience as well as their spotty defense against the Nets. Kidd is having a stellar series, and VC actually showed up to play in Game 4. The Dinos are going to have to grow up quick to get past the Nets (or at least are going to have to figure out if you push Carter around he gets off his game). The Nets, on the other hand, look like they've got one round in them at most. A possible Round 2 of Nets/Cavs could end up being a battle of Who Cares Less.

4. Phoenix has L.A. on the ropes. They're just a bad team. But, then again, the series was 3-1 last year. I'm not saying the Lake Show has a shot to come back, but they could win another one. Maybe. Or maybe not. How many more games does Brown have in him? Probably just that one. Forget I mentioned this. Moving on.

5. The Spurs/Nugs series has been a good one, but it looks like San Antonio (cliché alert!) has their swagger back. If they Spurs keep playing at their highest level they should have no trouble finishing off the Nuggets. But don't look for AI, 'Melo and Company to go down quietly.

6. So the Warriors are looking like VMI right now. Their offense is RIDICULOUS! What has gotten into Baron Davis? He looks like he's so hungry that he could eat soup with his hands! Hasn't he been hopping around on one leg for the better part of 3 seasons? This series with the Mavs is an absolute shoot-out, by FAR the best series in the playoffs. Easily one of the most fun playoff series I've watched in years. And that picture up top (thanks to The Basketball Jones) is pretty much the greatest thing ever. It's almost as if Baron decided to become what we all thought Gilbert would be in the post season. For this, I thank you Mr. Davis.

Now, I know this is looking down the road a bit, but say The Warriors can do the unthinkable and pull this off, then what? Can they win another series? Is this a fluke that they have the Mavs number and no one else's? Can Baron Davis' keep this up? Can anyone remember a time in which the better team LOST a seven game series? I've got all these questions and no answers. Kyra Sedgwick needs to get on the case.

UPDATE: Wow. I mean I knew there was a chance this could happen (I even called it in my playoff preview, you know, not to brag or anything), but still, the way the Mavs have firmly placed their hands around their neck is stunning. Dirk is back to his "never get it done in the playoffs" ways. I thought he had gotten over that, but last year's FInals have clearly messed with his head. I talked about it durring the regular season, but who thought it would effect the team this bad? He's just not taking the big shots. He's lost that fire that ALWAYS looks scarry in the eyes of a German. Sure, back to back 3's in the finals 30 seconds, but it was too little too late. Jerry Stack can't do this by himself, even though he's trying.

The Mavs have only themselves to blame for this. Oh, and also Charles Barkley for giving Golden State reason to show him up.

Billy Don't Lose My Number: Some NHL Playoff Thoughts

Thought I would give some thoughts I've had from watching the NHL playoffs over the last few days in complete solitude:

1. Thumbs up to the NHL as a whole. The quality of the product in the NHL is so high right now its like Lil' Wayne rapping on a posse track. NHL throwaway lines are better than what the NFL is giving us on the lead single of their album.

2. Roberto Luongo is the best goalie I have ever seen. He has the speed and penchant for the big save of Dominic Hasek with the puck control of Patrick Roy. If somehow Vancouver can get him some goals and defense they could still make a run at the cup.

3. Book it right now the Stanley Cup Final will be San Jose vs Buffalo. The tortured Sabres fans may finally get their Cup. I hope they lose though because I still hate Pat LaFontaine, no reason other than he finished second to Mario Lemieux the year he got cancer.

4. Vs is like watching a public access channel broadcasting a major sport.

I made that one quick because I realize that like 3 people care about the NHL Playoffs. Please, give it a chance after the 70 hour marathon of boring that is the NFL Draft. Oh my god, the Steelers took a DE are they going to 4-3, AHHHHH THE EXCITEMENT. Hey Roger Goodall, go suspend someone again without making a rule and then play the Super Bowl in London. When the NFL falls I'm going to be the happiest man in the world. Go sugarcoat and overproduce your product some more you mother fuckers. Fuck I hate the NFL and all the coverage. Did you hear about that guy Tono Romo I HEAR HE IS DATING CARRIE UNDERWOOD?

So I Gave Up Tap For Jazz And I've Never Regretted It

A few notes on The Association while I try to avoid watching the Yankees crumble like biscotti.

1. The first round of the playoffs has yet to show us anything surprising. The Heat are old. The Warriors have an insane offense. Kobe needs help. Steve Nash has all the help in the world. AI is very good. Baron Davis' beard is awesome. The Mavs and The Spurs look rusty, seeing as they didn't even try over the last two weeks of the season.

2. Larry Brown may have lost his mind. It's being reported that he's looking to head to Memphis to coach the Grizz, which to me seems like an unattractive position at best. They could very well end up with the first pick of the draft, but then again Brown doesn't play rookies. Ever. Other than that, Memphis' franchise guy, Pau Gasol, was looking to get traded all last season. I have no idea what Brown sees in this, unless the Grizzlies are willing to give him total control as head coach, GM, and War Czar.

3. David Stern has defiantly lost his mind. He's going around claiming that the NBA will have five teams playing in Europe in the next two decades. How he thinks having a handful of teams across an ocean is going to help the league is beyond me. It's been obvious the NBA has been going global for sometime now and over the last 15 years it's popularity over seas has skyrocketed. But adding teams to a league that probably needs to contract and putting these teams on another continent really shouldn't be the direction for The Association. Plus who's going to be watching these games when they come on at some random hour in the U.S. Ratings will plummet. Stern's just full of the crazy ideas lately: the dress code, Orange Roundie, now this. He really needs to make one decision and one decision alone: bring back the '84 mustache!

4. Congratulations to Sebastian Telfair on capping off a great run since he decided to drop out of high school. In February of 2006, Bassy was caught on a plane with his "girlfriend's" gun, and then in October he may or may not have shot Fabolous. Now he gets pulled over to speeding, is found with a handgun, has a suspended Florida license (wait...what? Florida?) and then gets cut by the C's. Bravo. Standing ovation. The Bengals have reportedly offered him a 5-year deal. Though now word yet on how much the contract is worth.

5. And just for fun, here's a clip of Crispin Glover cracked out of his mind on Letterman. Hey you! Get your damn hands off her!

Tessie, You're One of Several Games in Town!

As I sat down to write another entry in my MLS Season Preview, I realized I needed a break. My heart just wasn't in it. Since we have so much time until the season starts, I thought I'd take a minute to "recharge my batteries" before the preview became my Finnegan's Wake and I moved to France. And no one wants that to happen.

Without further ado, the first 40 Mins. post on baseball as well as a picture of a totally classy lady who may or may not be from New England.

I am what you might refer to as a diehard Red Sox fan. But since my family moved out of the greater Boston area when I was ten, I've never really had the ability to follow the team on a local level (except for a few summer months here and there). Before the onset of the interweb and its blogs and online columnists, this meant I had to follow the team through the Dallas Morning News and occasional national broadcasts, which, might I add, are much more prevalent now than eight or nine years ago. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I managed to follow the Sox very closely for many years without being subjected to parasitic sycophants like Dan Shaughnessy and the various rabble-rousing talking heads on Boston sports talk radio.

Eventually, the onslaught of available information an opinions brought on with the the internet (or at least, my introduction to high-speed internet in college) demanded that I protect myself from these godless heathens. Basically, I cut myself off from following baseball until the All-Star game. It was an act of self-preservation, much like when victims of horrible crimes block out painful memories. In fact, to this day, I fail to see how people can keep this level of intensity for 162-plus games without losing their minds. Keep this in mind the next time some Masshole decides to make it rain, Papa Gino's style. It's not his fault. It's Manny's.

This year, my defenses were broken down. Like Laura Palmer, I finally figured it out that it was Danny Huston crawling through that window and puttin' the wood to me, except my incestuous father was a chubby Japanese man. Daisuke got me excited for spring training and it's been all downhill since then. I got really amped for the Yankees series and nearly popped a blood vessel watching Manny pull a Barthez in right last night. Note: in the 2002 World Cup French keeper Fabian Barthez nearly threw the ball into his own net while attempting to throw in downfield. This really had to be seen to be believed, and I can't seem to find a video of it anywhere. Instead you'll have to live with this chestnut. Only time will tell what troubles my ill-advised relapse will bring. Already, my bar tabs are rapidly escalating. Will I rediscover my long-lost Boston accent? Will I start using the word "wicked" all the time? Will I suddenly start associating with a disproportionate number of people named Sully and Murph? Will I start to link to pictures like this and this? How will I handle another great Hanley Ramirez season when Josh Beckett suffers an inevitable injury? WHAT WILL I DO WHEN WE LOSE TO THE GODDAMN DEVIL RAYS FOR THE FIRST TIME!?

I've decided to stop writing before things get downright loony over here. There's still an outside chance that someone in the Celtics organization can help me avoid a full-fledged nervous breakdown. At least that's what I tell myself as I cry myself to sleep every night. Freshman out.

Killing Time Before A Final

So, in roughly 20 minutes I have a final in Economic Game Theory and then I get to move out of the 353 in the pouring rain. Last night I'm pretty sure I had my first ever bout of night terrors but hope is on the horizon. When I get home today Chelsea FC will be taking on the most evil soccer team in the entire world, Liverpool FC, in the Semi-Finals of the Champions League.

Couple random thoughts on the big all-English Semi-Final:

1. After being basically mocked for much of the year Andriy Shevchenko has really surged back to form for Chelsea in the friendly confines of European football. Sheva hasn't adapted to his role in the English game as well as I thought he would. Today he gets a chance to get some revenge against the team that knocked him out of the 2005 Final.
2. Javier Mascherano is a wonderful player. Perhaps, one of the top-five defensive midfielders in the world. He is also a team cancer that ruined the first half of West Ham's season and somehow got FIFA to break a transfer rule for him. Every game he plays I wish for an ACL and MCL tear for him. Karma is a bitch Javier and one day your payback will come. Just like Carlos Boozer's.
3. If Chelsea were to win this Semi-Final and the scorline from yesterday holds in the second leg; Chelsea and Manchester United could meet next month to decide three trophies. Meaning in a perfect world Chelsea could do the unthinkable and pull off the much celebrated quadruple.
4. Who gives a shit about the Prisoner's Dilemma?
5. Lastly, to all Liverpool fans, I find you to be detestable human beings that have used tragic events that were your fault to build a legacy of pity. You know who will "Never Walk Alone" all those Nottingham Forrest fans and Juventus fans because they are dead. The Kop killed them. I know this isn't funny but Liverpool fans really are pieces of shit. Steaming pieces of shit.

Well time for me to get this last final over.

P.S. Look for much more activity out of me on the site now that finals are done. I'm going back to my parents house to live a room thats going to look like a scene from Trainspotting, although I won't be on heroin. Maybe I'll give some thoughts on the NHL playoffs over the next couple days.

Cooler than Freddy Jackson sippin a milkshake.

I Care Too Much About Chelsea FC

So just giving everybody the update I am still, in fact, alive. Although I did puke on my sheets and blanket. When is that acceptable behavior for a 22-year old man? But enough about me.

Yesterday, I got the best news in the world when I woke up Manchester United drew that meant if Chelsea could win today their destiny would be in their own hands. So, what did Chelsea do today, thats right, draw against an awful Newcastle team. This is killing me. EPL wise Chelsea has went through two different phases; one where Drogba carried the team to every win(first 3 months of the season) and one where they started playing like they should(now). So I spent my entire morning fuming about what a team thats across an ocean from me did. I'm still really upset about this nobody should like a team from a different country as much as I like them. Also save me the bullshit about Chelsea buying the Premiership title. I don't really care what you think.

Let's All Go For A Ride On The Free Spin Express: Another Fucking MLS Preview

I decided the best way to do my personal MLS team, the Revs, is to utilize my favorite Timecube quote of all time. Furthermore, it should be noted that FC Dallas (then Dallas Burn) played out of my high school's football stadium for two seasons. If you're looking for team loyalty in the face of all logic and reason, you'll find it in the man who refused to start following the Burn even though they were playing less than five blocks from my backyard. In conclusion, Southlake Carroll High School football rules!

Best Passage Ever:

Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 17:54:04 EST
From: Mazurian1@aol.com
To: oray612959@earthlink.net

Dear Mr. Ray-

For a year now I have studied your Time Cube truths but have not been able to convince others of its reality (dumbasses). My mother is a teacher, and she said it was "nutty" and "stupid." But guess what- I cornered her, literally, in the living room one evening, and forced her to admit it.


American teachers are sworn to fight against the truth of Time Cube."

Best Interpretation Ever:

Mazurian1 shits you not, and therefore I also shit you not when I say that Taylor Twellman has great fucking hair. He will also look to score a very large number of goals in a completly unimpressive fashion. Thankfully, the season may have been saved by Steve Nicol cornering Shalrie Joseph and FORCING HIM TO SIGN AN AFFADAVIT STATING THAT HE WOULD STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT NOT BEING ALLOWED TO MOVE TO CELTIC FOR A VERY REASONABLE TRANSFER FEE. Seriously, Shalrie, don't be such a selfish prick. It would also be nutty and stupid to even try to stop Matt Reis from taking penalty kicks. He's bald. He needs this, goddamnit. And, to finish this out, a fun, true story about Steve Nicol.

A friend of mine played on a Massachusetts state-select team which was occasionally coached by Steve Nicol. I went to one of his practices in high school and got to see Nicol's training regimen in action. He paired the kids off and then told them to try to slap eachother's feet without allowing their opponent to slap their feet. To this day, that was the weirdest thing I've ever seen a group of twenty or more people do. It should also be noted that they spent almost a third of a ninety-minute practice doing this. The moral of the story here is that Steve Nicol is obviously a problem drinker with a sick sense of humor.

Season Rating:

20 Four-Day Simultaneous Timecubes ... it has been REVEALED

Bruce Arena Is An Idiot

Take a look at this face, you will know this man by World Cup 2010. His name is Marvel Wynne and the best team in the MLS, Toronto FC have traded for him. Apparently at Red Bull New York, Bruce Arena had problems with Wynne's personality. I believe Wynne had a weird personality quirk of wanting to play. Right now he is the best right-back not named Steve Cherundolo, in the US system.

I was first introduced to Wynne at the 2005 World Youth Cup. First game of the tournament he marked Lionel Messi out of the game; the US went onto to beat the Argentina who later won the tournament. He has the speed to be a top-level international defender. Wynne's only problem is that he is a little raw.

The bigger story is that a Bruce Arena traded the No. 1 pick in the MLS Superdraft a year ago for a 2nd round pick next year. How do you get away with doing that? Wynne isn't a bust, he has only played 23 games in the MLS. Every observer of the MLS agreed that Wynne looked good, just raw, in his debut season.

If it is possible to swindle MLS teams this easy imagine the trade possibilities for Toronto FC;

1. To New England. Shalrie Joseph for a bag full of Tim Horton's
2. To Houston. Dwayne De Rosario for former Toronto Blue Jay and World Series hero Joe Carter.
3. To LA. Landon Donovan for Tie Domi and a 2nd round pick.
4. To Pittsburgh. The CN tower straight up for the Cathedral of Learning.

How is there nobody that checks dumb MLS moves like this? Do these guys get a free pass because nobody, except us, cares?

If I Got To Choose A Coast I Got To Choose The East

I live out there, so don't go there. Eastern Conference represent!

On Tuesday I posted our preview of the Western Conference Playoffs, so it's only fitting to preview the East, even though it seems like no one cares. They might not be as good, they might not even have a chance against the Top Three in the West, but they're still going to be playing the games and I'm still going to watch them. It's what I do.

Heading into Wednesday night, the two seed in the East was up for grabs. A Cavs win and a Bulls loss sealed the deal for Cleveland. So with the eight seeds all locked into place, here's a poorly constructed and poorly thought out preview of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

1. Detroit Pistons

After last season it looked like the door was closing on this Piston's team and their shot at another Championship was all but over. But a mid-season trade for Chris Webber - not unlike the move for 'Sheed in 2004 - has rejuvenated this team.

They haven't been dominant, but then again who in the East has? They're playoff tested and they've got a player in Chauncey Billups who can take over a game in the clutch. Right now, I'd say they would be the favorites to win the East, which means there's a good chance we can see a rating boom in a Spurs/Pistons NBA Finals. The Pistons win ugly, but they still win.

Oh, and one last thing, they've called up Amir Johnson from the D-League. I don't know if he's going to see any minutes in the post-season, but he's the truth. He's going to be a beast. Seriously.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

Not so much a 'team' preview as it is a LeBron preview. Much like the Heat, LeBron has seemed to be on cruise control for parts of this season, but you can't really blame him. He's got one of the worst supporting casts in the entire league around him, which isn't the best motivation to go out and carry an entire franchise night in and night out. Locking up the two seed is pretty big in that they avoided dropping down to face the Heat, who many think still look like a contender.

During the 2006 Playoffs, LeBron put in an impressive performance coming up just shy of the Eastern Conference Finals. Can LeBron match that run again this year? He's looked tired a lot of the season because he hasn't had a break since the beginning of the 2005-2006 season, so there’s a good chance he might not have the energy to carry Ira Newble and the rest of the Cavs deep into the playoffs. Also this season his ability to close out games in clutch situations has once again been called into question.

Look for LeBron to raise his level of play starting this weekend when they go up against a depleted Wizards team and cruise into the second round.

3. Toronto Raptors

The biggest surprise of the year and by far the best story line (not involving Agent Zero) in the East all season long was the Dinos. It's just further proof that Bryan Colangelo is a genius. Chris Bosh has established himself as one of the best forwards in the league and a legitimate franchise player. Andrea Bargnani his surpassed all expectations (and by that I mean Jason and I calling him out after piss poor performances in the summer league last year) and has proven to be worthy of that No. 1 pick. You win this round, Colangelo.

The main factor in how Toronto will fair in the playoffs comes down to one thing: experience. The Raptors are a young squad with pretty much no playoff experience so their success will come down to how they handle themselves in the post season. They’re a few years away from being any kind of powerhouse, but that doesn't mean they can't win a series or two in such a watered down conference.

4. Miami Heat

Year's ago Shaq evolved past the need to workout in the off-season. His idea was simple, get fat, show up at camp overweight and then play himself into shape by the time the playoffs rolled around. This year the defending champs turned this idea into a team concept as they slept walked through the regular season. Even though they're the four seed, they still seem to be the sexy pick to make it back to the Finals, based on the assumption that Wade and Shaq will be unstoppable over the next two months.

But all is not well in Miami. They got several lucky breaks in last year's championship run (not to mention some favorable calls in the Finals), which might not happen this year. Wade is back, which could actually hurt the team in the long run. They were barely in the running for the eight seed when Wade went down and it was Shaq that carried them to the 4th seed over the last six weeks. In addition, Wade isn't 100%, publicly stating that he's having trouble jumping. Hmm, you think that might hurt your game.

It could be Miami's role players who have the biggest impact, as they'll need to step up to get deep into the post season. Then again, with Wade getting to the foul line 326 times a game, they might have a good chance to return to the Finals.

5. Chicago Bulls

They could have had an opening round gimme against The Wiz, but dropped to the five seed after Wednesday night. Now they actually have to try in the first round against the defending champs. They're a young, but they've got a lot of talent and they've got a guy in Wallace that has a ring. Luol Deng has become one of the most overlooked forwards in the game. Tyrus Thomas, while not racking up the minutes, has become a human highlight reel. And there's also the matter of Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich.

They've got great offensive balance and can play some D. They can take Miami in seven games and might emerge as the dark horse in the Eastern Conference. Even though they don't have a ton of playoff experience, they're the kind of team that just might heat up at the right time and roll through the post season.

6. New Jersey Nets

Do the aging Nets have a run left in them? It's tough to say, but the first round against Toronto will tell us a lot. For them to put together a Finals push, they'll have to play damn near perfect and avoid any injuries. Jason Kidd has to keep doing what he's been doing and put up a couple triple-doubles. Carter can't have up and down games; he's going to have to put in close to 30 every night to have any sort of shot.

Their first round match up should be an interesting one not only because it's VC going up against a franchise that he gladly threw under the bus, but also because the Dinos spotty defense could very easily be exploited by the more experienced Nets.

Bottom line is that outside of Carter (who has never won anything and never been on a 50 win team) and Kidd, there's not much else on the roster. For them to make any sort of playoff run VC and Kidd are going to have to be lights out every night for two months, and I just don't think they can keep that up.

7. Washington Wizards

Dead man walking. What looked like such a promising team heading into the playoffs fell apart way too quickly. As we all waited for an Agent Zero playoff run and the fun that would accompany it, our hopes were dashed when he and Caron Butler suffered season ending injuries days apart. Although they haven't gone down without a fight, we're not likely to see a repeat of last year's thoroughly entertaining Cavs/Wiz series.

Antawn Jameson his been trying to carry the team all by himself, but there's no way they're getting past the first round. There's a chance the Cavs might be looking past Washington already, which could give them a win a game at home, but don't expect much more out of Les Boulet. Expect them to get bounced early and come back strong for their 2007-2008 campaign.

8. Orlando Magic

Much like LeBron in Cleveland, Dwight "Dr. Thunder" Howard isn't getting much help from the players around him. Even though the 2006-2007 season has made a star out of The Doctor, Orlando's 40-42 record has proven that he can't do everything himself. That's not to say that he isn't trying, as he's leading the team in points, boards, FG% and blocks.

There's not much of a chance for the Magic to do any sort of damage, not with the cast of characters surrounding The Good Doctor (Hey, look! J.J. Redick!). Going up against the Pistons in round one doesn’t help much either.

Odds are they get swept, but there's an outside shot they can win a game. As good as Howard is, Orlando is going to have to get some serious talent around in the future if they want him to stick around.

So there it is: The Eastern Conference Playoffs in a nutshell. Unlike the West, there doesn't seem to be any Team to Beat. The favorites look to be Detroit and Cleveland, with Chicago having a chance to sneak up on somebody. So tune in this weekend as we start the 46 week long event known as the NBA Finals and my predications are called out for being horribly wrong.

Is This Rumor Good News?

A bunch of different media outlets are reporting that the LA Galaxy may have a chance to sign the player of this generation, Zinedine Zidane. Every American knows who he is because of the greatest pro-wrestling style headbutt ever, he administered to Marco Materazzi at the 2006 World Cup. Any soccer fan realizes the revolutionary way in which Zidane played the game. Seems like a win-win situation for the MLS but it isn't at all.

Signing Zidane would show me that the MLS are using the Beckham-rule for the wrong reasons. No doubt if Zidane can still lace up his boots he would be the best midfielder in the MLS. The guy is a once in a lifetime talent that would, no doubt, bring a higher level of play to the MLS. Problem with all of this is that Zidane is 35 years old. At Real Madrid he got to retire his club career like a player of his stature should; with a brilliant retirement game against Villareal where he was sent off like a king. Then at the World Cup he lead his team to the final in one of the greatest performances in world sports history. Obviously, he marred the final with his legendary temper but he got a fitting send off. World Cup 2006, for better or worse, was all about Zinedine Zidane. From his genius against Spain and Brazil to his darker side against Italy. Zidane is a player that any person who touches a soccer ball attempts to imitate. His skillful ball control and passing are second to none in the history of soccer. In the history books, Zidane is going to be up there with the Pele's, Maradona's, and Beckenbauer's.

If the Galaxy sign Zidane what they are doing is saying "Come To The MLS For A Glorified Victory Lap". The 2006 La Liga Season and the 2006 World Cup were Zidane's deserved victory laps. There is no way in hell Zidane would go back to a league in Europe to continue his career. America is an alternative for him to play in relative obscurity and cash in big on merchandising and endorsements. Let the legend live in all real soccer fans minds and not in those shitty looking Galaxy jersey's playing next to Beckham. This signing would set the MLS back to original days of the league where guys like guys like Carlos Valderamma cashing in paychecks well past their prime.

I say no to Zidane and this is coming from a guy who would've done anything to have seen him play in person. This news is so disappointing to me as a person who wants the MLS to become a long-term success. A year ago I would have said this is great but not now, the league has its star in Beckham. These tactics are useless for the MLS, they got the biggest fish in the sea. If Beckham can't generate interest nothing possibly could.

P.S. For Freshman and Brendan, Welcome to the Coca-Cola Championship West Ham. Fight on towards the quadruple Chelsea. Carefree we are just carefree.

LA Galaxy president "opens door" to ex-Real Madrid star Zidane

The Fate of Western Civilization or That's How You Preview!

WESSSSSSTTTTTT SIIIIDDDDEEEEE! Hoo bangin' on them transformers!

The NBA Playoffs start this weekend, and all eyes are on the Western Conference, which might end up being the most entertaining playoffs in years. The Mavs and the Suns have been the talk all season, but the rest of the pack is right up there. The talent pool is deep. The teams are hungry. It's 40 Games in 40 Nights on TNT!

Sorry. Anyway, I'm writing this on Tuesday afternoon, which means the 8th spot in the West has yet to be clinched, but here's a preview which includes the two teams left vying for that last spot that are playing later on tonight. Just for the record: You should be rooting for the Warriors.

1. Dallas Mavericks

They've been the best team in the league all season long. They haven't just been very good, they've been historically good. They're one of the best regular season teams ever assembled. But will that transfer over to match last year's playoff run? They're still bitter about how the NBA Finals ended last year, with an all-out collapse by the Mavs and a little help from the refs for the Heat.

Last post-season Dirk proved he could actually get it done in the playoffs. He stepped his game up. This year should be no different for the man who should be the 2006-2007 NBA Most Valuable Player. And to top it all off, they've got The Whale Killer. How can you root against him?

2. Phoenix Suns

What else can you say about the Suns? They seem to get better every year. And like a fine wine, (Hey!) Steve Nash gets better with age. He's got career highs in shooting percentage, assists per, and points per. Pretty impressive. Their offense has been nothing short of spectacular, but it's their defense that could potentially be their downfall.

Raja Bell is a lock down guy and The Matrix can get the job done, but the rest of the squad is suspect. Two-time MVP Steve Nash is a defensive liability. And they give up 103 points a game, which is 7th most in the league.

This Suns team looks and feels a lot like the Dallas Mavericks of a few years ago, who led the league in PPG for several seasons, but could never get over the hump in the playoffs. They ran a lot. They scored a lot. They had Nash. But they didn't play D. And it wasn't until Avery Johnson took over that the team jumped to the next level. It's just hard to see this Sun team going to the Finals.

3. San Antonio Spurs

After the All-Star break, this team turned it on. They put their heads down and started rolling over teams after a first half of uncertainty. Their run, of course, went largely unnoticed. While The Mavs and the Suns battled for Western Conference dominance - and the Dirk vs. Nash MVP race was in full swing - the Spurs put together arguably the best second half in either conference. And Tim Duncan put himself right into MVP talks. He won't get it, but he should be heavily considered. Maybe even more-so than Nash.

So are the Spurs as fun to watch as the Suns? Not really. Have they been as dominant as the Mavs? Nope. Are they The Team to Beat? Most likely. They've got the Stone Buddha. They know what it takes to win in the playoffs. They play D. And they've also won a championship, three in fact. Something that neither the Mavs nor the Suns can claim. They might not have been the best in the West all season, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the NBA Finals this year.

4. Utah Jazz

Not much to say here. They've been good this season, but not great. They've got good players, but no one that can carry the team in a must win game. They've been so-so on the road, but they've been better at home. Deron Williams has had a stand out season and looks to have a bright future. Jazz F. Boozer finally had a healthy season (which is a first for him in Utah considering he's been jinxed ever since he stabbed a well-intentioned blind man in the back) and put together a solid 21/11/3 average.

Andre Kirilenko, on the other hand, has had a fairly disappointing season. Once upon a time he was The Next Big thing, but when you're "franchise guy" has a career average of 12 points and 6 boards a game, you don't have much of a chance in the playoffs. Their record is deceiving. They've been consistent, and the ups and downs of teams in the bottom half of the Conference have helped them look a lot better than they are. The bottom line is that they're 3-7 over their last 10 and don't look like they're going to do any damage in the post-season.

5. Houston Rockets

On the flip side, we've got the Rockets. Saddled with injury problems all season long (Yao missed a big part of the season) they've been lying in the weeds for most of 2006-2007. But now it looks like they're healthy and ready to go. Monday night's 120-117 victory over the Suns looked like quite a statement game, as the Rockets hope to close out their regular season with a bang. T-Mac was electrifying, showing just how good he can be if he only feels like it.

In the first round they go up against the unimpressive Jazz, and even though they're the five seed, they are most definitely the favorite in the series. If McGrady can put together a performance like he did in the first round two years ago they'll easily take the Jazz in 5. Yao's injury might have been a blessing for the Rockets. They're over looked, they're well rested and they could very well sneak up on a team in the second round.

6. Denver Nuggets

It took a while - due to injuries and suspensions that prevented the team from "gelling" - but the Nuggets finally look like the team everyone thought they would be when they traded for The Answer on that fateful mid-December day. They've got the hot hand, going 9-1 over their last 10. But they also go up against the Spurs in round one, which could potentially spell doom.

To get past San Antonio, AI is going to have to take the reigns. He's going to have to put in a performance akin to the Sixers 2001 playoff run. The difference being that he's actually got some help this time. 'Melo needs to prove that he's more than just a scorer and the role players (Nene, Camby, Najera) need to do all the dirty work. To win the series they'll have to play perfect or else the experienced Spurs will roll right over them.

Most likely scenario: Spurs take the series, but Denver comes back next year as a serious contender in the West.

7. Los Angeles Lakers

Are they a legitimate threat to take the West? Probably not. Do I like answering my own questions just like Donald Rumsfeld? Of course I do. Are the Lakers still a gripping team to watch? No doubt.

They might not be The Team to Beat in the 2007 NBA Playoffs, but they might very well be The Team to Watch. Kobe Bryant is the most interesting athlete on the face of the planet. It's a personal struggle every single time he steps on the court: does he try to do the "right thing" and get his teammates involved or does he go with his instinct and try to tear out his opponents' heart all by himself. He's the best basketball player in the world. He's one of the best pure scorers that's ever lived at the peak of his career. But can he get it done with the rag-tag crew that surrounds him?

It's compelling theatre. When he puts up a ton of shots they tell him to spread the wealth. When he tries to get the team involved they tell him to take over. It's almost a lose-lose for him. When he's on the court its Kobe against The World.

Against any other top team in the West the Lakers wouldn't stand a chance in the first round, but against Phoenix there's an outside shot. It really all depends on Raja Bell, the only Sun that can even come close to guarding Kobe. The Lakers probably won’t avenge last year's playoff loss to the Suns (considering how streaky they've been down the stretch), but if Kobe heats up there's no doubt he can steal a game or two by himself.

8a. Golden State Warriors

Even though they're struggling for that 8th spot, the Warriors are red hot. Yeah, you read that right. Their offense over the last eight games has been absolutely out of control. Don Nelson has realized there's no way their defense is going to win them any games, so why not just say 'fuck it' and concentrate entirely on offense. They're making the Suns look like a defensive powerhouse. Over the last eight games, the Warriors have an offensive efficiency rating of 115.8. Compare that to the Suns offensive efficiency of 111.3 and you sort of get the picture.

Oh, and by the way, they own the Mavs this season. They're 2-0 against Dallas with a final game against them tonight. Although that will be without the aid of the Mavs best players. This should lead to a very interesting round one and is yet another plot-line to go along with the (soon to be over-hyped) Teacher vs. Student angle.

Trust me, you want this to happen.

8b. Los Angeles Clippers

After a promising 2005-2006 campaign, the Clippers fell off the map this year. Brand started off strong, but - much like the rest of the team - faltered along the way. There's really no reason to want to see this team in the playoffs. There's really nothing more to say. They're bad. The end.

Prediction: They miss the playoffs saving them the embarrassment of getting absolutely pummeled at the hands of the Mavs.

Which brings us to the end of our preview for the 2007 Western Conference Playoffs. Seriously, if you read this far, I'm impressed. And by impressed I mean seriously worried about your mental health.

Red Bulls Get Their Man

So the big MLS story of the day is that Columbian striker, Juan Pablo Angel, is coming to the New York Red Bulls. Not exactly the player rumored in the summer Ronaldo but an international level player with years of European experience. The Red Bulls are rumored to be paying out his 40,000 ($80,227 USD) pound a week wage he recieved at Aston Villa. This fills the Red Bulls two Beckham rule player slots and presents an interesting strike force Altidore and Angel. Playing along-side Angel is going to turn Altidore into an even better player. I'm going to take this transfer as good for the US National team (Altidore's further development) and good for the MLS (another quality player to enhance the product).

Although anybody who has watched Angel at Villa the last 2 years may disagree and say the Columbian is cashing in. He has struggled to secure a starting role at Villa and may use the MLS as a way to continue to cash in on a big contract. Players like Angel are going to pose an interesting question to MLS fans: Do you believe there is a point to dropping money on players like Angel? This is the type of player that is going to be coming over with the Beckham rule. As MLS fans we are going to have to hope that getting a chance to play in a new league and get bigger roles is going to re-envigorate these players. The first week was fairly positive with Claudio Reyna really showing some of his old skills but then he got injured again. What is to happen when guys like Blanco get to the MLS?

This is a critical time for the future survival of the MLS and every signing needs to be scrutinized. A couple bad Beckham rule players and the league could become a group of teams straddled with debt like the NASL.

The Interminable MLS Preview: Because Shiner Bock is a Dollar

Is it wrong that it's not yet 8:00 on a Monday and I've already had more beer than food? Not when your local bar has decided to offer Shiner Bock drafts at a dollar a pop. Perfect time to "dive in" (foreshadowing!) to the latest edition of the world's least accurate and most inconsequential MLS preview. La Galaxia!

Relevant Passage:

"Your father was a fish. You evolved from an egg laid in water, fertilized by a sperm fish swimming upstream - just as salmon swim up stream to fertilize female egg laid in the water. Maybe, you should worship a fish god."

Maybe it's none of your goddamned business whether or not I worship a fish god. But let's get serious, people. It's obvious by now that Landon Donovan worships Dagon, fish-god of the Philistines and he therefore must live in a home situated close to the Pacific Ocean in order to maintain his soccer-playing ability (as he acquires if from the Mahi-Mahi, the most soccer-loving of all the predatory fish). Dagon has been punishing Donovan for his ill-advised move to Leverkeusen, finally culminating in his poor showing at the '06 World Cup and the Galaxy's dismal effort last season. Donovan should continue his return to form and finally vanquish his arch-enemy Carlos Ruiz and claim his throne as rightful king of Atlantis. Furthermore, David Beckham will impregnate the entire left coast and Victoria Wifeham will produce an album about it that will rival Popozao in "Popozao-itude." And yes, I was trying to out-homoeroticize Jason with that picture.

I Hate Toledo

For the uninitiated, a little back story: On September 21, 2003 a promising University of Pittsburgh Fightin' Panthers Football Team made its way to the campus of the University of Toledo to take on the Rockets in a contest in which the Fightin' Panthers were favored to win. Three people, myself included, took a trip to Toledo that very night, in hopes of watching our beloved Larry Fitzgerald lead his Panthers team to victory. Such was not the case. The Panthers were humiliated. Toledo's Bruce Gradkowski threw for 461 yards. He was 49 of 62 with ZERO sacks as the Rockets came from behind to beat the Fightin' Panthers 35-31.

The students rushed the field. The goal posts were torn down. A city celebrated. Dogs and cats lived together in harmony. Meanwhile, we had locked our keys inside of the purple Ford Ranger in which he had traveled hours across the state of Ohio. The campus riots kept AAA away for a few more hours. We waited. And drank. And watched the celebration. And drank. And when we finally got on the road, we headed back to Pittsburgh, our heads hung low*. And we drank.

Needless to say, it was not the best of nights. Which is why when news like this comes out, it brings a smile to my face.
A University of Toledo football player finds himself in hot water after an early-morning gun incident in west Toledo. Police say 21-year-old Richard Davis had an ongoing feud with a teammate on the UT football team. He apparently wanted to confront that teammate, but instead, Davis found himself face-to-face with an off-duty sheriff's deputy pointing a gun back at him.

The incident started around 4:30am on Thursday. Police say Deputy Vincent Scott was awakened by the sound of his doorbell ringing repeatedly, and the sound of somebody turning the doorknob. Scott armed himself with his service weapon, and went out the back door and confronted Davis.
You just have to love something like that. You'd think that the first move would be to make sure you knew where your Arch Rival lived. Some super villain Dick Davis turned out to be.

Things like a few wins against Toledo or a story like this, it doesn't change what happened on that one fateful September night. But it does warm the cockles or my black, vengeful heart.

Fulmer Cup Update: Rocketing To Greatness
[EDSBS via Deadspin]

* Above picture from said "Most Depressing Ride Home Ever"

Thoughts on Tonights LA Galaxy-FC Dallas ESPN Game

Just got back from running at the gym and thought I would grace everyone in the computer lab with the smell of my balls. So when reading this article imagine smell lines coming off the page.

Tonight is the opening game of ESPN contractually obligated MLS ESPN Primetime Thursday; a.k.a. when does Beckham start playing? I'm not going to watch it as I will be drunk somewhere within the city limits of Pittsburgh. Let's root for a repeat of last week where Dave and me walked from Southside back to Oakland, in about 10 minutes (in drunken time, of course). Watching your ex-girlfriend making out with some dude at the bar is a mother fucker. Enough of my horrible personal problems and onto what you came for, half-assed MLS coverage.

Random thoughts I am having while staring at that picture of Landon Donovan:

1. Nate Jaqua is the key to the LA strike force. Coming over in a trade from Toronto who got him in a trade from Chicago. Jaqua is a textbook target man he towers over most of the defenses in the MLS and is a great header of the ball. FC Dallas has probably the worst defense in the MLS so look for him to nick a goal off a set piece.

2. Kenny Cooper and Carlos Ruiz might be the best strike force in the MLS, problem is they won't be getting service from the midfield.

3. On the other hand, Chris Albright is going to need to play a solid game controlling the flanks and keeping the ball out of the air. Dallas is going to try to hit Cooper with balls in the air to knock down for Ruiz.

4. Look for Santino Quaranta to factor in the game despite having pre-season fitness problems. One of the better wide players in the US domestic pool.

5. Landycakes needs to continue his strong play this year. Maybe, getting married actually did mature him and turn him into a leader. Wonder what would happen if I got married? Could I actually graduate college at some point in my life, hmmm? Guess we will never know.

6. Enjoy the skillful goalkeeping of Trinadad and Tobago star Shaka Hislop for FC Dallas. Everytime I see him play I think of that song that Freshman and Brendan played for me about the T and T World Cup team. WE ARE THE SOCA WARRIORS.

If you are staying at home tonight not destroying your liver enjoy the game. I will watch it sometime tommorrow off of MLSnet.

She's an easy lover

I Have A Reason To Live

Grapes is coming to America on the NBC NHL Playoff coverage. Don Cherry, the greatest studio guy in sports, will be blessing us yanks with his presence. I can't describe to you how happy I am, every Saturday night while drunk, I go on the CBC website to watch Coaches Corner. Coaches Corner is a nationally broadcasted program that is sponsered by a local Toronto suit company.

This is really the best news I have ever heard.

I'm Just Hanging Out Waiting For Jam Session To Start

The Bataan Death March of Awesomeness that is the NBA's (14 month long) Playoffs is right around the corner. So to get you in the mood, I present you, our dear reader(s) with the first four and a half minutes of the greatest thing ever committed to celluloid: 1993's NBA Jam Session.

I probably watched the video 200 times when I was younger. It was a great melding of early 90s NBA and early 90s hip-hop/R&B. I mean where else can you hear Heavy D & The Boyz play over clips of Shawn Kemp dunking? No where in Dick Cheney's America, I can tell you that much.

This clip has everything: Mutombo, Bell Biv Devoe, cheesy editing effects, MJ waxing philosophical about "hangtime", Harold Miner's dunk that won him the '93 Slam Dunk Contest and yes, even someone sitting on the rim at some random New York City basketball court. If only I could find the clip of Wreckx-N-Effect's "Rim Shaker". The NBA, it's FAAAAANNNNN-tastic!

Hey Kids! Chivas USA has a backup keeper named Preston Burpo who, according to Wikipedia, is nicknamed Stone. I couldn't figure out a way to fit that organically into the post, so we'll just leave it as the most awkward lede ever and move on. How will Chivas fare this season? We can ask the Virgin of Guadalupe or Timecube. Because I'm still upset that my Virgin of Guadalupe candle I bought at Giant Eagle for $1.99 is completely unscented (what am I supposed to do? Pray to it?), let's go to Mr. Marbles himself:

Relevant Passage:

"God claimed to have created a single day rotation of Earth. I have created simultaneous 4 day rotation of Earth. Why do you worship such a stupid God? Do you really believe that your Jew God screwed a hole in the ground to create Adam and Eve out of dirt, at the same time that woman existed in the nation of NOD, Nation of Damsels from where Cain got wife? Adam and Eve were created at the same time, but sexless. A rib was removed from eve and a hole left to make a woman of her. The rib was stuck on Adam to make a man of him - and Eve is still trying to get her rib back."


That Gene, he just can't not mention whenever there's a Jew on the team. Yes, Jonathon Bornstein is half-Jewish, but who are we to go around accusing people of screwing holes in the earth? That's just crazy, Timecube guy, just crazy. I tried to get something else out of that sentence, but the nation of Nation of Damsels bit makes me think there's not a lot of proofreading going on over there. Fuck it, it probably means Carlos Llamosa has scurvy. Stop being a pussy and eat some citrus. Furthermore, the confusing mashup of backwards biblical references and misunderstanding of the female anatomy probably means someone (my pick: Amado Guevara) is going to pull a Juwanna Mann this season. Amado wants his rib back and you're just a squirrel trying to get a nut.

Season Rating: 7 out of 22 Simultaneous 4 Day Timecubes

Today's Obligatory MLS Update

It's been four days since out last MLS update! Dear God, will someone please think of the children!?

The 2007 season kicked off on Saturday (Freshman now WAY behind with those previews) with a match between the Colorado Arsenal Rapids and D.C. United. Even though the Rapids new unis are West Ham-esque, I still can't root for a team associated with Arsenal. Meanwhile Christian Laettner now has a stake in D.C. United, so really this game was a lose-lose for me. Also, it wasn't a very good game, which may explain why I feel asleep late in the second half. Way to put on a show in your first ABC game of the year, MLS. Next ABC Game: the Championship, only 27 months away.

So what's one way to make this league more exciting? Two words: Giorgio Chinaglia. That's right, the man with exactly three redeeming qualities - he's Italian, he scored a lot of goals, and he speaks English with a Welsh accent - claims he could run the MLS much better. He also claims that not one MLS team would stand a chance against his old NY Cosmos team. Bold words from a man that speaks them with a Welsh accent. Though I'm not sure heading up the MLS would be a good move by the league, considering Chinaglia was charged with extortion and insider trading at Lazio last October.

Still, we need to get this guy involved. We don't need to hand the league over to him, but let's give him some honorary title. Some sort of good will ambassador thing, except, you know, minus the good will. He'd be like the anti-Barkley. He'd still say outlandish things, but he'd be a dick about it and everyone would hate him. Good times. He can be the face of American Soccer. What Dick Vitale did for college basketball, maybe Chinaglia can do for soccer and be less obnoxious at the same time. A vote for Chinaglia is a vote for the future of American Soccer, if you ask me. And that's the way it should be.

Chinaglia, Unsurprisingly, Say He Could Run MLS Better
[The Offside Rules]

Well Jason...I agree with you...the MLB Gametracker sucks a big fat sausage...but in a rebuttal...MLB TV is life-changing.

When you live in California, and your favorite baseball team is the Philadelphia Phillies, chances are that you may get to see 1/2 of one game in a season...if you're lucky. Many a day did I pass wondering 'How the hell is Ryan Howard? Still a Beast?' 'What does Chase Utley's facial hair look like today?' And, most importantly, 'Is Charlie Manuel still a fat piece of junk who can't speak English yet calls himself a manager?' Many of these questions would never have been answered, had it not been for MLB TV.

Now its Story Time!!!
One April afternoon at UC Santa Cruz, I had just finished hitting the bong with a friend (You know, its a hippie school...). He then leaned in, laughed for about 5 minutes, and informed me that he had just purchased a subscription to MLB TV. He whispered 'Would you like my username and password, so you can try it?' I thought to myself...'He's high, he won't even remember...', and took him up on the offer. That was the day my life changed forever...

MLB TV is amazing. You get to watch live TV...ON YOUR COMPUTER! This blew my mind. Now this was in a time before things like YouTube were popular, but nonetheless, I had NEVER heard of live TV streaming into MY computer screen. It was GLORIOUS. I rushed home every day from class at around 4 PM to see the 7 PM Phightin's play (Time Zones are a bitch, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise), and caught about 15-20 games before he decided to change his password. Once that happened, I contemplated suicide for every day after that for the next 2 months.

...But I got over it. And now I have a strange affinity for the Pirates...its weird...and plus, it's easier in 2007 because the Phillies are literally terrible. No seriously. I watched them this weekend. They suck like an armada of Hoover's.

And now that I've rambled for awhile, I will end this post with the best part of MLB TV: The commercial breaks! Being that you are watching whatever station affiliate they choose, you don't see commercial breaks. Instead, you get an insider look at what happens behind the scenes during commercials. All I can say is, lots of camera focusing, and the announcer's talking about their bad gas due to the dollar hot dogs they ate too many of. Its fantastic.

I don't know how much MLB TV costs, nor do I feel like looking it up, but I think they have a free trial. If you live out of range of your favorite team, you should try it. Maybe they'll even throw in a free subscription of Sports Illustrated. They like to do that.

Also, I'm now taking bets on when the Pirates will collapse. They are currently 4-3 and just got shut out 3-0 by the LaRussa Love Bunch...but hey, at least the hot Tom Gorzelanny goes for the Buccos tomorrow.

Watching Games On MLB Gametracker Is Torture

I'm sitting in the computer lab now trying to be responsible and doing my homework. Therefore, I couldn't be there in person at PNC Park to watch the Pirates home opener. So I'm watching the game on the legalized chinese water torture machine that is MLB Gametracker. Due to the speed of baseball I can see every picth while I'm writing an essay. Here is my question: Why does it take like a minute longer than any play could take to register into the interface that a ball hit in play is an out or a hit?

I appreciate the fact that the MLB is giving away coverage of the game for free for people who can't be at home to watch the game but god damn. Nothing in the world could be more boring than this. I've seen like every Ang Lee movie too, this is much worse. Watching the Masters yesterday was much more interesting. Speaking of which, why has the PGA just decided that instead of improving courses to the new distances players hit
the ball, to just make every course ridiculously hard. Winning a major shooting over par kind of mocks the entire sport of golf. Back to Gametracker the Pirates are bringing it big time today, getting a solid two hits.

Back to my 4th hour in the computer lab trying to figure out everything I haven't done this semester.

MLS Preview Part 2: In Which We Tread Upon Dangerous Ground

As one forsakes the barren, salty plains of Utah one's eye inevitable turn eastward to the fertile valley surrounding Columbus and their oppressively blue-collar Crew. What great insight could Gene Ray give us about the 2000 MLS Cup winners? Once more into the breach, dear friends:

Relevant Passages:

"No human has a right to believe wrong - for that would be evil thinking. Ignorance of 4 days is evil, Evil educators teach 1 day. 1 day will destroy humans. OPPOSITES CREATE. Mother and father gave me birth, not a queer jew god. Singularity god is EVIL as Creation reigns as Opposites. Educators, and You - ought to be killed for ignoring the fact that "Earth is Cubed". (ignored and suppressed by EVIL educators)"

"It's not immoral to kill Americans who IGNORE their OPPOSITE sex parents who Created them, but instead worship a queer jew who claims to make people out of dirt - when the body is 90 percent water. A God so stupid that he claims only a single day
rotation of Earth - while my Cubic Wisdom has allowed me to create 4 simultaneous days within a single Earth rotation. Americans do not deserve life. They live only for today, the evil singularity word bastards."


There's a whole barrel of crazy there, so let's take this one step at a time. Assuming Gene Ray's not racist, the "queer jew god" he is referring to must be reserve Crew midfielder Jack Jewsbury. That must mean a breakout season for Jewsbury, although it could simply mean he will gain a stalker or become the charismatic leader of an ever-expanding cult. Also, Frankie Hejduk will inherit the Cubic Wisdom needed to "create 4 simultaneous days within a single Earth rotation," ensuring Columbus many a road victory. I also believe Danny Szetela will attend law school, drop out and join with some friends to start a business making apple butter. The success of said business remains unclear.

You can choose to believe that paragraph or you can choose to believe that Gene Ray is anti-semitic. If you believe the latter, then I do believe you hate America, son.

Season Rating: 11 Simultaneous 4-day Timecubes (out of 22)

P.S. I really wish I knew where the shit that picture came from.

P.P.S. Yes, I realize this won't be done in time for the start of the season. Do you want fast or do you want the truth, Grover?

The Day That Happiness Died

Goodbye Lord Zero
For how long, only God knows
Quality shot, sir

Tiger chest tattoo
Online poker at half time
For now, just silence

No more Hibachi
No more last second daggers
No more smiles at all

We hardly knew ye
Eccentric man of D.C.
Antawn's time to shine

Six more months until
We see his greatness once more
Trampolines are fun

Did You Know Saddam Backwards is Maddas!?!?!!?

For centuries, extremly gullible people of all ages, races and creeds have turned to Nostardamus for the answers to life's questions. Apparanly, if you write absolute gibberish, people will assume you have a vast intellect and create episode after episode of Armageddeon-related History Channel shows to interpreting your "work." I will now follow in their hallowed footsteps and consequently crush them, leaving them barely unrecognizable in my mighty wake. I present to you the official Forty Minutes of Hell MLS Season Preview, which I will forecast through the words of Gene Ray, philosopher extraordinare of Timecube.com. First up, Real Salt Lake.

Relevant Passage:

"Santa vital to Christmas - No Santa - no Christmas. Why credit Santa LIE with gifts that parents buy their children? It bribes the child mind to accept false Santa spirit and false god spirit deceit associated with it. Santa Claus and Christmas must be indicted deceits that destroys child mind. God is but an adult Santa extension of child Santa - equating evil singularity - unnatural as 1 pole Earth. Earth has not 2 poles, but opposite poles that cancel each other out - if added. 6 side Cube is Evil math, ignoring its top & bottom. -1 x -1 = +1 is Evil math, as +1 and -1 are antipodes equating a zero existence. 3 Dimensions is erroneous math without a 4th corner perspective dimension. If ever allowed, Cubic debate will indict evil singularity as damnation of humanity. Believers are Evil - for not measuring. Result of belief is dying stupid - you can know. Singularity education begets evil, for you were born as an opposite, between opposite sexes & the opposite Earth poles."


If Gene Ray is right -which he most certainly fucking is - then Freddy Adu's shift to left midfield will result in such a success that he will become bored with the menial game we mortals call soccer and instead devote himself to annually giving gifts to children. The "4th corner perspective dimension" also tells me Real will perform quite well on set pieces. Also, I believe that negative numbers multiplied together don't actually equal a positive one, and Real will strive and fail to use this sacred information.

Season Rating: 8.5 Simultanenous Harmonic 4-day Timecubes (Out of a Possible 22 Simultaneous Harmonic 4-day Timecubes)

Why Can't I Stop Laughing At This Picture

There was fan violence at the Manchester United-Roma UEFA Champions League game yesterday. What?? Violence in the stands in an Italian stadium.

The real story here is that this guy getting hit with a baton and bleeding makes the exact same face my dog does when you catch him eating something off the floor.

I Have Finally Picked A Side In The MLS

After following the league for 5 years I am finally throwing my allegiance behind one team, Toronto FC. I've weighed my options, watched about 10x the games anybody should, and broke down why I came to my conclusion.

Reasons I didn't choose other MLS teams:

1. DC United. I thought about picking them when Freddy Adu joined up but I thought better. I didn't want to be a bandwagon jumper. Also I can't pick a team that doesn't play in a soccer specific stadium. I have a few family members who are DC United fans but they aren't the team for me.

2. Chivas USA. Stupid name and they didn't keep the old Chivas rules of only signing Mexican players. Thanks for Bob Bradley though we all appreciate it.

3. LA Galaxy. If I rooted for a team that David Beckham and Landon Donovan played for I would officially grow a vagina. Not sure if I want that.

4. Columbus Crew. I don't root for teams that play in Ohio its the yinzer in me coming out.

5. New England Revolution. Fuck no, I used to live in New England's asshole Rhode Island. Those fucking people and their down-syndrome Boston accents almost drove me crazy. I like Clint Dempsey though.

6. Houston Dynamo. Stolen from San Jose no thanks. Then didn't use the original name picked Houston 1836. I loved that team name finally a non-FC name in the MLS that actually made sense.

7. FC Dallas. I almost chose them but then I thought harder and realized Carlos Ruiz is a douchebag.

8. Kansas City Wizards. I hated when the changed the Washington Bullets to the Wizards and I hated changed the Wiz to the Wizards. I would like somebody to look me in the eye and tell me the Wizard of Oz is better than The Wiz. I'm coming out and saying it, if you don't like The Wiz you are a racist.

9. New York Red Bulls. I loved it when Red Bull bought the team and changed the name like they did to FC Salzburg. I was hoping they were going to sign Ronaldo in the summer so that he could hit 300 pounds and still score 40 goals but that didn't happen. Then Bruce Arena became coach so fuck em.

10. Chicago Fire. They were choice b) but they made a major mistake right before my choice signed Blanco. I don't root for teams with former Mexican National Team captains.

11. Real Salt Lake. Dumbest name in sports history. Real is a reference to the king of Spain. So when you get your ten wives and bring them to a Real Salt Lake game give a bow to the royal crown of Spain.

12. Colorado Rapids. Every game I have ever watched them play has been terrible. Just boring as all get out.

So I was left with one team, the new expansion team. They drafted an awesome young midfielder Maurice Edu, brought in one of my favorite foreign MLS players Ronnie O'Brien, and hired a terrible coach Mo Johnston to give me something to complain about. Rogers Cable owns them just like the Maple Leafs so this team is going to have money to spare. In five years maybe bring Owen Hargreaves back to his homeland.


Kevin Willis Wants To Put You In A Pair Of Jeans Today

Kevin Willis is old. Very old. In fact he is the oldest player in NBA history. As least on record, some - including his own teammates - protest that Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo is in fact older. But that's not the interesting part of this story. Not by a long shot. When asked about Willis, Mutombo had this to say:
"He and I talked a lot this summer, he was over at my house a few times to sell me some jeans. He told me when he was done, he wanted to move on to the business world."
Um, what? I mean I know that's not what the Houston Chronicle was getting at in this blurb, but still, how can you gloss over that little fact? Kevin Willis was selling jeans to Mutombo? Was he going door to door? Was he doing it over the phone? Was he selling them to Rick Ross in a parking lot? Someone needs to get to the bottom of this, seriously.

Senior Citizens [Houston Chronicle]

Surprise! Tennessee Coach Has NEVER Volunteered...

Hooray! Another women's championship for Tennessee! Pat Summit scores her record-earth universe-shattering seventh title as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers! Rejoice!

But if you aren't rejoicing over women's madness being over (I was drinking...and the Pirates game was on...) you may wonder...how is that lady so good at coaching basketball? Why does she vaguely resemble my mother? IS she the one who made me that batch of delicious cookies last night?

Well I'm here to tell you that no. She is not. In fact she has NEVER made a batch of cookies in her life. Summit's husband has served her breakfast in bed each and every one of the seven mornings post-championship, and will continue to do so as long as Ole' Patty keeps on winnin'.

In a shocking tell all, Summit's husband (who we'll call Hal because I couldn't find his actual name) Hal recently revealed that head coach Pat has NEVER VOLUNTEERED FOR ANYTHING IN HER LIFE. AND SHE COACHES THE TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS!

That's right ladies and gents...no soup kitchens, fundraisers, PTA meetings, girl scout thin mint sellathons...nothing! While she may be a Goddess in the Women's NCAA world, Summit is apparently so selfish that she personally answers phone inquiries from the United Way with a curt 'F#$% OFF!'

Shocking yes, but hey, that Desperate Housewives show is supposed to have told us that mom's lead secret lives right? (Again, this could be completely wrong, I have more important shows to watch...Like Friday Night Lights...Cause I'm a MAN MAN MAN) Well Summit can now be included in that fine group of Feminine 'Haters' that includes elites such as Ann Coulter.

Why do you hate non-profit organizations Pat? Why? Just give UNICEF a try. All you have to do is go trick-or-treating with your kiddies on Halloween and collect change in a little orange box. Just give it a try. Some underprivileged American might actually be able to call you a real 'hero' if you do.

(The author would like to note that this, like his other posts, is completely fictitious. Pat Summit is actually quite the upstanding volunteer and this author is proud of her for winning lots of fancy awards.)

The Real Fab Five?

So, Florida wins its second national title in a row with the same starting 5. Everybody is now comparing this class to the original Fab Five. This comparison is stupid to me Florida actually won two national titles. Michigan paying Chris Webber won them no national titles.

In the grand scheme of things the most memorable thing about last nights game inevitably is going to be Greg Oden's performance. After being shit on for never going all out due to the injury he brought it. I don't think his title game performance was Carmelo level but I think it showed he doesn't need another year in college. Oden has another gear that he rarely showed due to rust. Hopefully, by the time the NBA season rolls around next year Oden will be ready to give that type of play every night.

Florida and Ohio St., as programs, are beginning to show the giant cracks in the NCAA system. Money breeds success no other way around it. It doesn't make sense to me that two schools can run national title level programs in the two biggest sports. I'm absolutely convinced that Ohio St. is and has been paying players for the past 10 years. Florida I'm not so sure about due to the pedigree in football and a great basketball coach. Donovan has been able to recruit since day 1 in Gainesville. Thad Motta did a great job at Xavier but nothing about OSU as a basketball school would lead you to believe they could turn it around so fast.

So enjoy those national tile games while you can Florida and Ohio St. Other schools are going to start catching up to the amount of money that you put in athletics.

Beckham Rule: Best Thing to Ever Happen to the MLS

Today the MLS got another boost in drawing power with the Chicago Fire signing Cuauhtemoc Blanco of Club America to a two million dollar a year contract. Blanco will be able to play for the Chicago Fire on his contract with the Mexican league giants expires. Chicago has a large Hispanic population and the enigmatic, former national team captain will help draw even more fans to a thriving MLS franchise.

The big player in the deal is, of course, Goldenballs himself David Beckham. US fans have never seen a phenomenon like the celebrity of Beckham. No player who has played on these shores, even Pele, will command the media coverage and foreign interest of Beckham playing for the Galaxy. Every time a ball is dropped at the Home Depot Center foreign cameras will be there to cover the action.

To me the Beckham rule is going to help the MLS in two ways; quality of play and a deeper talent pool. Don't let the uneducated sports writers in America tell you any different Beckham still has a great deal of talent on the pitch. I've seen most of his games this year for Real Madrid and what I see is an experienced player with a good two years left in his legs. In the case of guys like Blanco and Reyna in New York both players are shells of their former self but the will add experienced play to their positions. Shit, being around a Youri Djorkaeff in New York when he was 18 has turned Michael Bradley into a better player. Having older guys with European experience can only help young MLS players at their position.

Another advantage that the Beckham rule is going to provide is an alternative market to aging European players. For many players in big European leagues their shelf-life as an every match player is 4 to 5 years tops. The money is the big European leagues is always going to better for the average player in America. Many players at 28 or 29 instead of dropping down a league or finding a lesser European league could come to America command a decent amount of money and player in a better climate. Would the average footballer play in January in England or July in Southern California. With the Beckham rule and the players it is already beginning to bring in the US could become a destination for quality European players.

Oh and trust me I realize that Blanco and Reyna are completely washed-up as players. Anybody who watched Blanco in the February US-Mexico game could tell you that. Reyna is basically a man with no knees because of his 87th knee injury.



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