Monday, January 30, 2006

= Winner of the Ford Bronco Invitational

New Orleans' Chris Andersen was kicked out of the NBA for "violating the terms of the Anti-Drug Program agreed to by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association." And he can't blame Miguel Tejada for this one, unless Miguel told him he was giving him an aspirin and it turned out to be a tablet of ecstasy. Who would have thought the long-haired, headband wearing, Long Beach native was hopped up on goofballs? Speaking of Long looks like even the genius Pete Carroll feels the need to be demure in the presence of the Doggfather. Snoop Dogg was apparently chosen in 2004 as the Coach of the Year in Pop Warner Football by the Ricky Williams foundation. Anyone who can't see the irony in Snoop winning an award from a foundation named after Ricky Williams is probably a little hazy about now...

But back to "The Birdman." He is probably best known for his less-than-stellar performance at last year's NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, where his repeated missed attempts would have embarrassed even Billy Hoyle. But the loss of Andersen is a blow to the NBA, which now has exactly one white non-European center, Raef Lafrentz. And we all know it is just a matter of time before Lafrentz starts hitting the yayo, the powder, the piff, the butter, etc.

Skier Bode Miller has accused slugger Barry Bonds and sellout Lance Armstrong of using performance enhancing drugs to beat the competition in an interview with Rolling Stone. Initial reaction: what is this guy, drunk? In all fairness to Miller, Rolling Stone hasn't been relevant in years, so he was likely trying to just get the publication some press of its own. If anything, Miller should be reprimanded for stating the obvious. I mean, he might as well have added "Oprah is a horrible judge of character" and "Jude Law is not monogamous" while he was at it.

The San Diego Padres have picked up electrifying catcher Mike Piazza...not that there's anything wrong with that. Seriously, could there have been a worse pick up? I would have been happier if the Padres picked up Mark Blount and Ricky Davis. Their incumbent catcher (Doug Mirabelli, acquired in the Mark Loretta trade) is better than Piazza. The litigious Yogi Berra is better than Piazza, even at 80 years old. I would rather have a slice of mozzarella behind the plate than Mr. Piazza. His contract calls for him to make $1.25 million in 2006, with a $750K buyout option for the Padres, or they can resign him for $8 million in 2007. And yet every media outlet is calling it a $2 million deal? Who amongst us doesn't think Piazza will get his $8 million in `07? (insert sound of crickets) San Diego GM Kevin Towers...not so money(ball).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

= What do you get when you cross Twiggy and Punky Brewster?

"Skating with Celebrities" would ostensibly seem about as appealing as "Deal Or No Deal"...until you realize it is co-hosted by the immaculate Summer Sanders! No offense to Howie Mandel, but I could probably even stomach "Deal Or No Deal" with Summer as the host. Heck, throw her in with Louie Anderson and a drunk Richard Anderson, and I'd still be fine. The pairing with Scott Hamilton looks about as forced as a Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise kiss though, so I say ditch the midget skater and let Summer shine solo.

Yes, I will admit I stayed up until 3am to watch the David Nalbandian-Marcos Baghdatis Australian Open semifinal tennis match. The names suggest World's Strongest Men contestants, yet these guys are both pretty damn good at tennis. But anyone watching the coverage will notice it was slanted...towards Baghdatis' girlfriend. The television camera cut away to French model Camille Neviere (who also happens to be Baghdatis' coach's stepdaughter) more than during the great Laura Quinn debacle earlier this year during the Ohio State-Notre Dame bowl game. But you'll be hearing no complaints from me. We even get some great headlines out of it, such as the India Times' : "Baghdatis, girl to celebrate victory."

The opponent of Lynn Swann in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign has fired his campaign manager following his comment that "the rich white guy in this campaign is Lynn Swann." The opponent of Lynn Swann, who in every media outlet today was only referred to as "the opponent of Lynn Swann", has distanced himself from the comments. The opponent should have known his campaign manager was a little nutty when he earlier that day said "OJ Simpson is that innocent white guy."

Tiger Woods has purchased property in Jupiter, Florida for a whopping $38 million . I've often wondered how Jesper Parnevik didn't cheat on his wife with the nanny, Elin Nordigren, Tiger Woods' current wife? This picture does not help answer that question. In other news, John Daly's wife has moved out of her trailer park and into the Big House.

Isiah Thomas is being accused of sexual harrassment by a former front office worker at the New York Knicks, Anucha Browne Sanders. Isiah apparently had a "strip club strategy" where he pushed for more Sunday noontime games, which would be preceded by Saturday nights full of drinking and strippers for opponents. Firstly, I guess this picture of Isiah and Magic Johnson kissing wasn't really indicative of Isiah's true feelings. Secondly, wasn't that plan already attempted and failed by the Tri Lams when they faced off against the Alpha Deltas in "Revenge of the Nerds"?

Star Magazine reports Jennifer Love Hewitt may be considering posing nude in Playboy. I would give more credence to this article if the Star didn't spread vicious rumors, like this one about Ellen Degeneres making out with a woman.

And finally, following up on a story reported earlier this month on this very blog, Skeleton coach Tim Nardiello will NOT be heading up the US team competing in Turin. On the bright side, he has been hired as the Senior Vice President of Marketing at the New York Knicks. Bookies are already adjusting the spread on Sunday home games for the Knicks...

Monday, January 23, 2006

= Clearly in Mourning

The NFL has once again proven it's time honored mantra: "African-American players are fine, African-American coaches are not." This offseason there were 10 coaching openings. Final tally: 9 white coaches selected, 1 undecided (Raiders) and 0 minorities. Glad to see that minority hiring policy is working!

It's not as if there are no qualified minority assistant coaches that could step into head coaching roles. The Dick Jauron hiring in Buffalo is probably the most puzzling. He didn't even have a winning record in his five seasons in Chicago. Green Bay's hiring of San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy wins the special runner-up prize. Did you see San Francisco's offense last season? Perhaps McCarthy is saving all his best plays for Green Bay.

So the question remains: what can the NFL do? The current hiring policy is clearly just lip service. Do you think Matt Millen had on the yellow sticky pad on his desk: "Make sure to do obligatory interview with minority prior to hiring so you don't get fined this time"? The development pipeline needs to start with college coaches and college assistant coaches. We need more Tyrone Willinghams. know, I'm hard pressed to think of another African-American head coach amongst the majors in NCAA. With no development pipeline, the ownership in NFL will continue to select from the same list of failed coaches (ie Jauron and McCarthy), rather than hiring the next Lovie Smith.

It's official: Americans spend more than they make. Congratulations, Americans, for purchasing just enough iPods, just enough flat screen TVs and driving up mortgage payments just enough to put us in the red. It's no wonder the rest of the world hates's because we owe the rest of the world $8.1 trillion dollars. At least one person did something about reducing the debt...but had to die first.

And finally...considering that the average person flying on an airplane should have more money than the average American, and more education than the average American, is it also reasonable to expect that person to have better manners? Magic 8-ball says "NO."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

= One Leif That Fell Far From the Tree

I apologize for the irregularity in posting intervals. But to be honest, this isn't really the meatiest part of the sports season. Case in point: Pete Rose took the week off from betting.

Bode Miller has apologized for his comments concerning drinking and skiing. The media tide has turned a bit in recent days, with more pundits defending Bode than chastising him. To be fair, his comment was that it is difficult to ski while wasted. If he took the opposite position, I could understand the uproar. But what he said was a fact. And although it is impossible to condone drinking & skiing, at least Bode is out on the course alone, endangering only himself. It's not like the comments came from Jimmy Johnson or Tony Stewart. And why don't I remember a similar uproar when David Wells revealed he threw a no-hitter drunk?

I found myself up at 12:30 am the other night about to watch the Martina Hingis comeback match at the Australian that not proof it is the off-season for sports?

Speaking of the Australian Open, the rumors are swirling that Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick are a couple. If they had a kid, do you think it would be better looking than Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf's?

Steve Francis was suspended for a game after refusing to return to a game during the fourth quarter of another routine blowout of the Magic. The question remains: should the rest of the team also be suspended for refusing to play anything that resembles basketball? UPDATE: Grant Hill will be out the next 7-10 days. I know, I too was shocked by the news.

And finally, William Shatner sold his kidney stone to our friends at in exchange for $20,000 that will be donated to Hurricane Katrina relief. Say what you want about, but at least they are consistent in their ridiculous purchases. I just wish they'd bring back their streaker campaign.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

= Michael Bolton: Desperate Has-Been?

Apparently good academics isn't the only selling point convincing football recruits to come to Stanford University. News broke yesterday of Stanford athletes taking potential recruits to a San Francisco strip club called New Century Theater three years ago. The real story, though, is that these athletes overspent their $30/day entertainment stipend by sums including $3.70, $6.01 and $6.86. A couple of major issues here:

1. Do you think the owners chose the name New Century Theater so it wouldn't arouse suspicion on expense accounts? Clearly the folks in the finance department at Stanford thought their football players were taking recruits to a movie theater to watch Schindler's List or Howard's End. If a husband had that listed on his credit card, a wife would assume her husband was sneaking off to the movies during lunch.

2. What can you get at a strip club for $33.70? I don't have a lot of first hand knowledge of strip clubs, but that sounds like the price of the salad bar and maybe a couple drinks.

3. How did these football players get into Stanford in the first place when they can't even count to $30? I guarantee John Elway and Jim Plunkett stayed under that number when they took their recruits to the strip club.

4. How was Stanford football so bad three years ago? Maybe since the recruits were seniors in high school at the time, they will fully blossom this coming year as juniors. I'm taking Stanford as my early season favorite to win the Rose Bowl.

The lesson learned: taking recruits to a strip joint is not a crime; bad math and bad football is.

The People's Choice Awards took place last night. Not exactly the Oscars, but the awards probably carry more prestige than say the Daytime Emmys. Big winners on the night included Star Wars: Episode III (Favorite Movie), Jessica Simpson's These Boots Are Made for Walkin' (Favorite Song from a Movie) and American Idol (Favorite Reality). This proves two things: People are idiots and the only people that vote for these awards are twelve year old boys.

Some of the other categories where winners were chosen include the Crest Whitestripes Fans Favorite Smile, Nice N' Easy Fans Favorite Hair and Olay Total Effects Fans Favorite Look award. It's good that some things are still sacred and not able to be bought by corporate America. I'm surpised there wasn't a Chic-fil-A White Trash award (Projected Winner: Britney Spears) or Tostitos Really Let Themself Go This Year award (Britney, again).

And finally, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are expecting a child. Ironically, it will be the least good looking of their three children. Jolie recently officially had the names of her children changed to Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Jolie-Pitt. Makes you wonder if in elementary school Zahara will wonder why her parents couldn't have normal last names, like Smith? Oh wait, Zahara won't be going to elementary school. But seriously, lets hope the new baby doesn't end up the Dana Plato to Zahara & Maddox's Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

= Not a Rick James Impersonator

Another tragic story from the world of Skeleton: top American racer Zach Lund has been suspended for testing positive for drugs. Don't blame Miguel Tejada for this one....Lund tested positive for Propecia! Yes, Propecia, the drug designed to stop Alopecia (male pattern baldness for those scoring at home). Apparently, Propecia is also used as a masking agent...I know for a fact that it has been known to mask the fact that you are BALDING. In all seriousness, the 27 year old should be forgiven for using Propecia. We have to realize though that Skeletoners get paid less than WNBA players, and the pickup line "wanna take a ride on my skeleton?" just doesn't seem to work at the bar like it used to. So a full head of hair is basically an absolute necessity to compete in the world today. In fact, hair would make you less aerodynamic, meaning it should actually be a performance inhibitor. But tell that to the bastards at the ISF (International Skeleton Federation).

In other news, Carson Palmer has exonerated Kimo "Otto" von Oelhoffen of any wrongdoing in the play that prematurely ended Palmer's season. von Oelhoffen, not to be confused with the eight World Strongest Men competitors who have a similar name, was obviously contrite after the incident. Carson was a little woozy after the hit though, telling von Oelhoffen that "In the nick of time a hero arose/A funny looking dog with a big black nose", concluding his statement with "Merry Christmas, my friend."

There has been a lot of press lately comparing Gonzaga's Adam Morrison to the great Celtic Larry Bird. In my mind, that's like comparing Starsky to Hutch (full disclosure: I watched about five minutes of that disastrous flick on HBO tonight). Superficially, Morrison is similar to Bird in his embrace of the upper lip whisker. But to be perfectly honest, Morrison physically resembles the new breed of European basketball player that has taken the NBA by storm (Darko Milicic/Zarko Cabarkapa), and would benefit from an introduction to something called shampoo. Whereas Bird was clearly deriving his look from the "E.Z. Taylor" character from Three's Company that worked under Jack at Angelino's. In all fairness to Morrison, it's hard to live up to the Bird hype though...I mean, can you picture Bird covering LeBron or Kobe now?

And finally, have you ever found yourself a half hour into an episode of World Series of Poker only to realize you'd already seen that episode before? And you only realize you've seen it before because Mike Matusow CAN'T be mocking Phil Hellmuth's line of designer sunglasses again, can he?

Monday, January 09, 2006

= Part of the Tom Bergeron museum

I apologize for the delay between posts...I was busy trying to read through all the arrest warrants issued in Marcus Vick's name.

Since it is the start of the New Year, I thought I would go with a new format at all (surprise!). Just as television has virtually abandoned the scripted television show in favor of the scripted reality television show, I have given up on the single theme, article-esque motif. Instead, I will follow the lead of the Monday Morning Quarterback...err, Tuesday Morning Quarterback...err, Wednesday Morning there a sacred day of the week left when there isn't a goddamn quarterback?

The blog will be more like concentric circles...or Hollywood Squares. Sports will be the center square, the Whoopi Goldberg if you will (or Paul Lynde if you're more of a fan of the early years). It will be the anchor, the foundation, the cork in Sammy Sosa's bat. Entertainment will be taking the square occupied by Jim J. Bullock. National News will be Alf. And International News will be conspicuously absent, as we wish Charo was from Squares (shorthand for "Hollywood Squares" if you watched everyday growing up like me).

Which brings us to the survey question of the week: If you were producing a game show now....Alan Thicke or JD Roth as host?

Alternate question: If there was a contract dispute on the set of "Four Kings" (worst tv show since "Joey")...just replace Seth Green with JD Roth and hope nobody notices?

Final question: "Life with Louie" or "Bobby's World"?

Back to Sports: Tom Mora got fined $25K last week for the cell phone call he made a few weeks back during Atlanta's loss to Tampa Bay. Does he not realize there are cameras EVERYWHERE? We have helmet cam, sky cam, cup cam...the cell phone probably had a camera inserted in it from Fox. And you gotta love Joe Horn demanding Mora get fined $30K, like he had for his end zone celebration involving a cell phone. Horn's celebration was obviously premeditated...let's hope Mora hadn't planted the cell phone under the Gatorade cooler on the sideline to shock and titillate the crowd.

It seems the coach of women's US Olympic Skeleton team might be punished for his lack of decorum. Not a lot of press on the story, even though it has reached the Supreme Court, the same group that ruled on Roe v Wade, Brown v Board of Education and the Anna Nicole Smith case. It's safe to say that if it had been the luge coach, we'd be talking front page news.

It looks like Chad Lowe and Hilary Swank are no longer together. When brother Rob was asked for comment, he tossed his hair, shouted "the wet look is in, asshole", and proceeded to do a line of coke off the living room table.

Perhaps with her new found freedom, Hilary can return the second "L" to the proper location in her name.

If you were watching closely, you noticed the more experienced quarterback won every wild card game this past weekend (Brady over Leftwich, Delhomme over E. Manning, Roethlisberger over Palmer and Brunell over C. Simms). Do you think Kurt Warner's agent's phone is ringing off the hook?

And finally, according to People Magazine, Anna Kournikova made a trip to Biloxi, Mississippi to visit with victims of Hurricane Katrina. She gave People exclusive excerpts to her journal from the trip: "As I walked down a narrow path I was haunted by all the things I had seen...which reminded me of how haunted I was by Serena getting all the line calls. And how come Lindsay Davenport gets calls? She's not even pretty. And that Amelie Mauresmo...someone needs to check her for steroids. Of course I had to drop out of tennis, everyone was against was truly heartbreaking."