Monday, March 31, 2008

I'll Be Dancing With Myself

This is just a follow-up to my earlier post. I had the day off from work today but a friend sent me this picture message of the leaderboard. What do you know? It's Tony A. in first and first place, respectively. Same final four in each, but with a different winner. One bracket has UNC over UCLA, the other Memphis toppling Kansas. Keep your fingers crossed for me...

Bracket Still Not Busted

This time of year everyone wants to dominate their office NCAA Tournament pool. It's not for the hundred or so dollars you stand to win, but the bragging rights that come with it. And that's what I'm here to do today. I have all four teams correctly picked in the final four. It seems like a no-brainer, having four number one seeds picked correctly, but that had never happened in Tournament history. And I know a few people that had USC getting there and one that was so down on Memphis, he had the Tigers losing in their second game. Hardly anyone picked four number ones because they didn't think it could happen, but that's where you get yourself in trouble. Let's say you pick Memphis and Kansas to not make the final four, but then they are the two number ones that make it and the other two don't. You've just lost all four games by trying to guess who would get upset. I actually was playing it safe going with the four ones, when you think about it, and it looks like it's worked pretty well so far. Hopefully I'll be able to brag next week when it's all said and done.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

WM XXIV Recap

WrestleMania XXIV came and went Sunday night, with Undertaker extending his streak to 16-straight wins and Ric Flair's career ending. To me the match that stole the show was the Money in the Bank ladder match. I was a little disappointed at CM Punk winning but it sets him up to eventually challenge for the ECW Title, which Kane won from Chavo Guerrero in a match that was over before I could flip back from the Braves/Nats game on ESPN. The MITB match was one of the more creative ladder matches in a long time, with more inventive use of the ladders than ever before. John Morrison did a moonsault to a group of three guys on the outside while holding a ladder. Chris Jericho did a crazy stretch submission on top of the ladder. Shelton Benjamin took a fall from the top of the ladder inside the ring, onto a ladder outside bridged between the ring apron and the crowd barrier. The ladder bent in half. The Ric Flair - Shawn Michaels contest was when the crowd was at its peak. Flair was clearly the fan favorite as HBK even drew some boo's. Michaels took a hard bump when he attempted a moonsault to the outside on Flair, who moved causing HBK to land - ribs first - on the edge of the announce table. It seems Michaels was hoping for the table to break completely but the edge stayed in tact. It looked like Michaels only lost his breath and wasn't seriously injured. They ended the match perfectly, with Flair yelling for HBK to just do it and the camera perfectly positioned to read HBK's lips as he mouthed, "I'm sorry. I love you," and then superkicked The Nature Boy and pinned him. One of my surprise goodies of the night was the Floyd Mayweather - Big Show matchup. Mayweather actually took some pretty good bumps and was impressive considering WWE officials were worried that Floyd wasn't picking up the basics of wrestling. That was why the match was expanded to a no DQ contest, which allowed Mayweather to hit some decent chair shots and use brass knuckles to "knock out" Show with. I thought the Undertaker - Edge match was a little anti-climactic after the Mayweather fight and the Triple Threat match before that. The Batista - Umaga match was forgettable. I was happy to see Randy Orton retain the title. He is an excellent heel. Even the BunnyMania match was a little too drawn out, but you can never complain about too much eye candy. All in all, a good event.

The Countdown to WrestleMania Begins!

I've already devoted more time on this blog to WrestleMania than the NCAA Tournament but if you know me, you know I'm a closet wrestling fanatic. I don't follow it too closely anymore but in my youth, I was a wrestling nut. One of my fondest memories is waking up on Christmas Day 1990 to the WWF Hasbro Wrestling Ring and a set of action figures. In fact, in 1999 I started The Wrestling Cafe, an internet wrestling website in the vein of today's ProWrestling.com and Rajah.com. The site gained modest popularity but high school work getting harder combined with girl-chasing and sports-playing rendered the Cafe dead. Back to the present. WrestleMania XXIV is tonight at 7PM on pay-per-view. For Binghamton viewers, it looks like Time Warner Cable is actually going to be offering this broadcast in HD. I can tie this all in to sports, too, thanks to Floyd Mayweather's match against The Big Show on tonight's card. The mainstream media, especially ESPN, has been killing "Pretty Boy" Floyd for his decision, mocking him constantly on SportsCenter and the like, and bashing wrestling at every chance they get. Sure, the outcomes are predetermined and a lot of the story lines are silly, but these wrestlers are still tremendous athletes performing feats that would put some in the other real sports to shame. Can you honestly try to tell me that John Daly is more athletic than Triple H? How about a race between Jerome James and The Great Khali, who would win? Okay that might be cheating since James would probably come up lame with an injury after the first few steps, but you get the point. It's entertainment, and no sillier than following a television show like you really know the characters. The only difference between a TV drama and wrestling is that wrestling is live. And you can argue that wrestling has better acting. Anyway, enough of the soliloquy. I'll be watching WMXXIV tonight, whether you think it's silly or not. So to get myself, and the rest of you, prepared, here's tonight's card from WWE.com.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Spit in the Face of People Who Don't Want to Be Cool

Everybody jabs each other about teams they root for, especially ones that have lost big games to one another, but I guess you shouldn't do it when you're a customer at a fast-food chain. Apparently a customer in one of the Washington franchises - the article doesn't say which chain it is - was wearing some Pittsburgh Steelers gear and the cook there is a Seahawks fan. They exchanged barbs about Super Bowl XL and the spit hit the fan...I mean, burger. The customer noticed the spit and told workers the cook spit in it, then demanded a refund and called the district manager. When the police went to look for the cook, they found weed in his apartment. He got charged with possession of marijuana and fourth-degree assault. It just wasn't this guy's day apparently. (This gave me a chance to use the beginning of WWE wrestler Carlito's entrance theme, which gives me the chance to remind you that WrestleMania is this Sunday. Hey, I don't really follow wrestling either but it's 'Mania!)

More Than a Feeling

Here with a non-sports related post today but this has been in my head for days. It's a clip from Scrubs, one of the better comedy sitcoms on television. The back story that sets up the scene is a little complicated, but basically the guys form an air-band.

Scrubs is the show that a lot of other shows stole concepts from, whether it be for characters or style. House MD is basically Perry Cox. Grey's Anatomy uses music in the same style as Scrubs and even was so bold as to jack the song "How to Save a Life" after Scrubs used it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fire Coach Isiah, Too!

Newsday's Alan Hahn is reporting that Knicks players would be okay with Isiah Thomas returning next year as a coach, even if Donnie Walsh is the new man in charge. It has been widely speculated that Walsh would choose to keep Thomas around. But why not just fire him like in Indiana? Even if you think Isiah is a great coach, it's time for a change. And how can the players honestly want him back? He's used more lineups than a police station this season and that's something that frustrates a lot of players. It also makes some players regress. (See: Renaldo Balkman, Nate Robinson, Randolph Morris) At a regular job if someone does terrible work for five years, the company doesn't just transfer him to another very important position. They fire him. I know it's going to be a long process to fix the Knicks, but the earlier Isiah is completely out of the picture, the better.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gary Thorne Thinks Giambi and Canseco are the Same Person


If you haven't seen it yet, please watch the video. It's from this morning's Red Sox-A's game from Japan. Gary Thorne is describing the new Jose Canseco book and the allegations about A-Rod, but clearly he thinks Canseco is Jason Giambi. At first it seems like a simple mistake but then he makes a crack about how he can't wait to see the throws from third to first in the Bronx this year. Huh? Later, Thorne says that the Yankees need to arrange a sit-down so Canseco and Rodriguez can co-exist. Is he losing his mind or did he just eat bad sushi?

Lookalikes: Phil Hughes & Nick Swardson

Phil Hughes is a promising young pitcher. Nick Swardson is a promising young actor. Or are they the same person? No. But they do look a lot a like. Here's the Yankees starter and the thespian who has appeared in films such as Grandma's Boy, Benchwarmers and Blades of Glory.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dolan Seeing the Light?

ESPN was the first to report it and Alan Hahn is writing it in Tuesday's print edition of Newsday. According to sources, the Knicks are believed to have hired Donnie Walsh to run the team, who just resigned today from the Indiana Pacers. As Hahn says, the "worldwide leader" is even reporting that the deal is in the 3-year, $15-million range. If all of this is true, it's a great thing for this now-disgraced Knicks franchise. I say that mostly because anything is better than what Isiah has done. Walsh, though, had some excellent Pacer teams during his tenure and many think that the last few years of despair have been more Larry Bird's fault than Walsh's. They believe he is still able to run a winning franchise. But this isn't Indiana. In New York, Walsh is always going to feel the pressure. But after the recent seasons, and presumably with the mastermind behind that whole debacle gone, Knicks fans will hopefully be a little more understanding that it's going to take a few years to right this ship. With the small-talent players with big-money contracts that make up the current Knickerbocker roster, it will be hard to quickly fix the awful situation that surrounds Madison Square Garden. The good news is that finally James Dolan seems to be listening to the crowds at MSG. He never saw them; he hardly goes to games. Really, though, can you blame him?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bobby Knight Will Return...With Dramatic Music!!!

I wasn't going to make a big deal out of it when they did it last week. After all, it was Bobby Knight's first few days with ESPN and they wanted to promote that he was there and make a big splash. They wanted to hook you and get you to tune in for his next appearance. But doing it again today, with the dramatic music and a montage of his quotes, is just a little ridiculous. I wish I could find the video link but unfortunately the web's video-encyclopedia, YouTube, has nothing for me. Hopefully I'll be able to find a link and update this post rather quickly. Anyway, I really don't like continually bashing ESPN but they make it so easy. The network is more about the network than the sports it covers. As I've said before, there are a lot of good personalities on ESPN and this decision, at least, had nothing to do with the on-air people. I hope.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Freddie Mercury Close to Re-Signing with Mets

These might not be the best photographs to show my point but these two guys look a lot alike. Hence, it's another borrowed-BG segment, the Lookalikes. (If I use the different spelling is it like how Wal-Mart's generic sodas are named Dr. Thunder and Mountain Lightning?) It's Jose Valentin, most recently of the New York Mets, and the late Freddie Mercury of the legendary rock band Queen. Valentin wants to break free...into the Mets roster and then hopes that they are the champions. (Terrible Pun Alert!)

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Decent Lookalike

Here I go stealing from Bob Glauber again. I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this one, but it's an NBA star and a Perfect Stranger. Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs and Bronson Pinchot.

$40,000 Isn't a Stipend, it's an Annual Salary

I'm probably, like the mainstream media, going to put this Red Sox v. MLB thing to bed soon but I have to chime in quickly with some more support for my case. If you didn't see it in the comments section of my earlier "The Noble Red Sox" post, my father, Gary a.k.a. Gaaaaaarrry, sent along Buster Olney's opinion of the whole debacle. Again, I'm making way more of this than needs to be but you aren't going to see this kind of commentary on the mainstream outlets. It's not just because ESPN loves the Red Sox, or Peter Gammons is their number one analyst and also the most popular member of the now-commercialized "Red Sox Nation." It's because the story is being portrayed as a united stand to help others, which it was, but it's not as though the Red Sox were going to boycott if MLB didn't give money to starving, dying children. They were boycotting so the people who are already getting their whole trip paid for and a large salary on top of it wanted more. The A's, who everyone seemed to forget was also a part of the Japan trip, chose to handle it in-house. In 2004, the Yankees and Rays were given money to distribute evenly as they saw fit. This is the third time the MLB has had a season-opening tour of Japan and we've never heard anything about money. The Red Sox organization had the responsibility to take care of the coaches when negotiating the terms. They didn't realize the coaches weren't getting paid until the days leading up to the game? Basically the Sox made an error in planning when they discussed the terms and then to make it better decided to not accept the responsibility but force the league to repair it.

Sitcom Madness!

The NCAA tournament kicked off yesterday with Duke escaping a loss to Belmont, OJ Mayo and USC knocked out, and Pittsburgh continuing their run. But that isn't the only big tournament going on, and no I'm not talking about the NIT. Mark La Monica and the gang at Pet Rock have created a 64-sitcom tournament to crown the greatest half-hour television show of all time. You can vote on that post and they'll be announcing the champion on April 9th. An interesting final would be Seinfeld v. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Either way Larry David wins! Just like the real "Big Dance," there are plenty of snubs. How are shows like Saved by the Bell, Taxi, the Odd Couple and the Jetsons not in? And as much as I like Arrested Development, it was only on for a few seasons but yet still makes the field of 64. Add that in with Full House's favorable #8 seed and there's plenty of room for discussion. If you're like me and crazy about brackets this time of year, be sure to keep your eyes on Sitcom Madness.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

UPDATE: The Noble Red Sox

Quick post here with an article from the Boston Globe for everyone that thinks I'm just being a Yankee-homer and Red Sock-hater. (If you play for the Red Sox, you are a Red Sock.) The article is from The Boston Globe and if you read in detail, you'll see that this whole "boycott" thing was rather stupid. The A's coaches were never going to get paid and still might not be and they didn't make big noise about it. When the Yankees went in '04 the coaches got paid, but through a pool of money that the players chose how to distribute. It's likely the Red Sox players and union reps messed this one up, but we won't hear much about that.

The Noble Red Sox

I'm not going to get carried away and rant about the Red Sox and their threatened boycott yesterday, but I have to chime in on it. Members of the media are eating this story up, making it out to be a "rich looking out for the not-so-rich" tale. It certainly is respectable that the Boston players wanted to stand up for their coaches and make sure they get some extra cash. But the point everyone is missing is that they are already getting paid to be coaches. The players are getting $40,000 each to play in Japan. That's on top of the $20 million that Manny Ramirez is making. How come no one is crying about greed on that one? It is a part of their jobs to go to Japan and play, to be put up in lavish hotels and have their ways paid for to play a game. On top of that, they get the stipend. Wallace Matthews, whom I don't always agree with, has an excellent article that backs up my point in today's Newsday. If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, here are a few excerpts: "If a free junket to Japan was worth $40,000 a man to the Red Sox, a side trip to Virginia Tech, with all the inconvenience and emotional strain it must have caused the players, should have been worth, oh, I don't know, $1,000 each? Of course, the Yankees made that trip for free, because it was the right thing to do. From George Steinbrenner, who wrote a $1 million check last spring, to Derek Jeter, who always seems to say and do the right thing in his role as team captain, the Pride of the Yankees was on display Tuesday." "For the record, Manny Ramirez is making $17 million a year, J.D. Drew $14 million, David Ortiz and Curt Schilling $13 million each, Jason Varitek $11 million, Mike Lowell $9 million, etc., etc. If those guys are so concerned about the plight of their coaches, any one of them could have handed over his $40,000. Or, started a collection among the players, say 10 grand each, for a fund to be split equally among the staff. But to threaten not to perform a duty you are contractually obligated and monetarily compensated to perform is not heroism and it is not admirable. Pure and simple, it is a shakedown."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Around the 'Sphere

While making my rounds throughout the blogosphere this morning I found a few gems I'd like to share, so here we go: - The Yankees played a spring exhibition game yesterday at Virginia Tech, just less than a year after the shooting that killed 32 people on campus there in April of 2007. The team had already donated $1 million last year to the Hokie Memorial Fund. Even Yankee-haters can't say anything negative about this one, although I've already spoken to a few who have tried. For every bad thing you hear about Alex Rodriguez, he sat in the Virgina Tech dugout for almost the entire game, signing autographs and speaking with the VT players. George A. King III has a nice piece on the event at the NY Post and the Daily News' Mark Feinsand gives us his take on the day that was, as does Newsday's Kat O'Brien. - Pete Abraham has a funny post titled, "Ten people to avoid at the ballpark." He lists the people that take away from the experience of being at the ballpark by being annoying. It's a pretty good read. - Neil Best, of Newsday's Media Watchdog fame, broke news this morning that ESPN will announce that Baseball Tonight will broadcast live from Yankee Stadium at noon on Opening Day, March 31st. - The Houston Rockets win streak of 22-games finally came to an end last night at the hands of the Boston Celtics. No one but me had seriously considered them a contender during the streak, and now that it's over I'm sure people will be saying that there's no chance for them to win a title. The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice offers his take, saying the streak is not diminished by the way it ended.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Crystal is a Thief, Davidoff is a Hater

I know from time to time I tend to show bias in my opinions. Even the best writers and analysts do it. (See: Mike Lupica, Chris Russo, Peter Gammons) But this article from Newsday's Ken Davidoff is absolutely ridiculous. It tells how Billy Crystal stole the line "Designated Hebrew" from the title of Ron Blomberg's 2006 autobiography. Even if the article has a valid point, why is Davidoff re-hashing this on March 16th, three days after Crystal appeared in the Yankees spring training contest against the Pirates and said the line? Is Davidoff this desperate for a story? I'm not saying that there have never been articles written that bash the Mets for no reason, but this one is clearly just a writer who hates the Yankees spewing venom. And then to throw a shot in at Derek Jeter not asking the fans to go easy on A-Rod shows just how low Davidoff will go. And besides, Chris Corcoran over at "Bronx Banter" already got on Mr. Saturday Night for swiping the joke, and wrote the post the day it happened, not half a week later. As you'll notice from the title of the article, "Crystal's one liner stolen brom Ron Blomberg," Ken Davidoff also must not have spell-check.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Raiders Keep Beefing Up the Secondary

Apparently the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants are officially out of the DeAngelo Hall trade market. That's because ESPN.com is reporting Hall is on his way to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for their 2008 second-round draft choice. The G-Men were balking at trading for Hall because of his contract demands. According to "the Worldwide Leader," the deal is a six-year, $57 million package with $20 million guaranteed. Early on, some said that the Giants 1st round draft pick, the 31st overall, wouldn't be enough on its own to pry Hall loose from Atlanta. Apparently Arthur Blank wanted him out badly, settling for Oakland's pick, 34th overall. It's a good trade for the Falcons. It will give them the 34th and 37th picks, which are early enough in the second-round to still be meaningful. The extra pick will help them stack up on bodies and Hall was threatening to sit out if they kept him. It's a win-win situation because he wasn't going to play for Atlanta. As for Oakland, they keep improving the secondary, adding Hall with Gibril Wilson, whom they signed from the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. This move is probably a good thing for the G-Men. Now that DeAngelo is off the market, there is no risk of him coming into New York and that locker room, full of coach-loving players, and disrupting the chemistry. The Giants, though, coould still use an upgrade to their secondary.

Duke is Done in ACC Tourney

Duke just got knocked out of the ACC Tournament thanks to Clemson and millions will be disappointed that there won't be a Duke-UNC rubber match in the tourney final. This almost assuredly will keep Duke from getting a number one seed in the Big Dance. I guess you would have to say there's still a chance for the Blue Devils, considering how unsure people are of the top teams right now and the selection committee's affinity for Coach K and his team. Clemson advances to its first ACC title game in 46 years and will face North Carolina in tomorrow's final.

Kyle Farnsworth is a Better Tackler Than Jonny Gomes

Now that we're in the fallout stage from the Yankees-Rays brawl in Spring Training, I might as well say that Jonny Gomes tackles like a pansy. I thought that was Jason Sehorn at first glance. In fact, even calling Gomes' move a tackle is an overstatement. It was more like an "I don't really want to fight you because you're big" push to the lower back. What is clear, though, is that the Yankees have the best tackler in the Major Leagues, and his name is Kyle Farnsworth. He's a former football player and is about the size of Lawrence Taylor, and he's made a name for himself by tackling his way through the bigs. Farnsworth tackled Jeremy Affeldt while he was a member of the Tigers during a brawl with the Royals. Then he laid the ultimate beatdown on opposing pitcher Paul Wilson of the Reds while Kyle was with the Cubs. You can watch the video here.
I think the Jets could use a guy like him!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ian Kennedy Goes MAD

I don't mean to steal a gimmick from Bob Glauber's Newsday Blog but hopefully even he will appreciate this one. It's just too good to pass up. This is Yankees SP Ian Kennedy and Mad Magazine's fictional Alfred E. Neuman. The resemblance is uncanny. (Photo of Ian Kennedy courtesy The Phil Hughes Weblog.)

What a Man-Genius!

The Jets, who have certainly tried to make a lot of noise in the free agent and trade markets this off-season, are trying to trade defensive lineman Dewayne Robertson to the Broncos, according to Newsday's Tom Rock. Apparently the reason for this, according to Rock's article, is that Robertson - like the recently traded Jonathan Vilma - just didn't fit in with Eric Mangini's 3-4 defense. So this will mark the second big-name player that the Jets will trade away in a matter of weeks because neither "fit their scheme." But the question that begs to be asked is, "If this guy is such a 'Man-genius' of a coach, why wouldn't he just change the defense for two players that the Jets have been saying for years are among the best in the NFL?"

Billy Crystal Struck Out; What's the Big Deal?

Bill Madden of The Daily News has an absolutely stupid article today saying that even Bill Veeck is laughing at the Yankees for letting Billy Crystal get an at-bat in spring training. Yes, the Bill Veeck who let a 3'7" player bat in a regular season game. Trying to justify his point, Madden drops this piece of idiocy: "After all, who were Veeck's staunchest critics when he held forth as baseball's resident Barnum and establishment-tweaker in four different ownerships stints with the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox from the '40s into the '80s? And who more than the Yankees viewed Veeck, who died in 1986, as a disgrace and embarrassment to baseball for his numerous attendance-boosting gimmicks, most notably sending a 3-foot-7 midget, Eddie Gaedel, to the plate for the Browns against the Detroit Tigers in the second game of an Aug. 19, 1951 doubleheader?" Yes, Bill, the Yankees hated that stuff that happened 50 years ago but that's the point - it was 50 years ago. Get over it, Bill, and yourself while you're at it. Everybody, especially ESPN, spewed venom at the Yankees for doing something that lots of teams have done. (See: Garth Brooks, Kevin Costner, Tom Selleck) ESPN, though, didn't think it was a "shame for the game" after they scored an interview with Robin Williams on yesterday's SportsCenter about it. The only thing ESPN likes more than beating a story to death is showcasing celebrities. Was anyone up in arms when "the worldwide leader" had Will Ferrell on to promote his movie, Semi-Pro, and was analyzing clips and haircuts? How ridiculous is that? But that's okay because whenever the Yankees do anything, they are in the wrong. As Mike Greenberg said yesterday on Mike & Mike in the Morning, also on ESPN, all the people that were angry about this Billy Crystal thing were taking the game of baseball and themselves WAY too seriously.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

T-Mac for President...I mean MVP

You've heard all about Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as potential NBA MVP winners this season. Paul's line of 21.3 PPG and 11 APG is one of the more remarkable you'll see in basketball. Only seven players in NBA history have done it for an entire season, with the gay-bashing Tim Hardaway being the last 16 years ago. Kobe has suddenly become re-energized with the addition of Pau Gasol, is averaging 28.1 PPG and is actually spreading the ball around the court. LBJ is averaging a gaudy 30.8 PPG, adding over 8 boards- and 7 assists-per, and is absolutely carrying the Cavaliers. One player we haven't heard as much hoopla about, though, is Tracy McGrady. His numbers aren't quite as powerful as Kobe and Bron-Bron but T-Mac, who missed 15 games due to injury, has always been the main ingredient to this team's success. The past few seasons while the media were questioning whether Yao Ming even had the intestinal fortitude and size to make it in the NBA, McGrady was leading the team, averaging over 20 points per night. When Yao went down a few weeks ago, after the team had won 12 straight, the media thought that, like the 7'6" center, the Rockets were done. And again T-Mac has carried them to seven straight wins since Yao was injured, extending the overall streak to 19. The last five games T-Mac is averaging over 27 points per game and almost 7 assists, without Yao. The team hasn't missed a beat thanks to the play of finger-wagging Dikembe Mutombo and excellent defense, although the Rockets certainly miss their injured big man. That is one thing that hurts McGrady in the argument for MVP. You could say the play of the others around him has been responsible for the success. But T-Mac goes off for 22 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists per night, stats comparable to CP3's. And Paul has a cast that might be better than what Houston has. You're telling me that Kobe - with Pau, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher and a soon-to-be-back Andrew Bynum - has a weaker supporting cast than McGrady's squad of Deke, Shane Battier, Bobby Jackson and Luis Scola? I'll admit, it is a bit of a stretch to be thinking MVP for Tracy McGrady right now, but this team is in the midst of something that we rarely see in the NBA. If they win Wednesday night in Atlanta and Friday at home against Charlotte, they will have the second longest winning streak in NBA history, behind a ridiculous 33 game streak by the '71-'72 LA Lakers. The Rockets are approaching the top seed in the Western Conference, they went from 24-20 to 43-20 in a matter of weeks, and they are playing defense like you don't usually see in the NBA. Tracy McGrady is a very valuable part of that. (Image courtesy SI Kids.com)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gus Frerotte! Remember This?

The Giants backup quarterback search continues with the team set to bring in David Carr for a visit. As was pointed out to me earlier by my father, Gary, this move doesn't make a lot of sense for the Super Bowl Champions because he isn't much of an upgrade over Anthony Wright. He also hasn't done anything that impressive in his career, unless getting sacked is a good thing. The Giants are more in the market for a veteran quarterback who can come in right away, if needed, and hold the offense together. Something like Todd Collins gave the Redskins this year. That got me to thinking of other QB options on the open market. Some names that popped into my head were Tim Rattay, the ageless Vinny Testaverde or Gus Frerotte. And that got me to thinking of the time Frerotte rammed his head into the wall at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium while celebrating a touchdown. Unfortunately the video has been taken off YouTube and it can't be found in internet searches. So this link to an article from the November 24, 1997, Washington Post about the incident will have to do. (Image courtesy ESPN.com)

Coming Home to Roost

What's with these NFL players going back to their original teams? It seems like more than usual. First Jevon Kearse went back to the Titans, then today Trent Green returned to the Rams and Warrick Dunn came home to Tampa Bay. I guess it's that whole "if you love something let it go and see if it comes back" mentality. I totally butchered that saying, but you get the point.

Eliot Won't Just Spit It Out

See, this is why I don't write about politics. When you do, you have to follow-up about politics. I guess I don't have to, but I feel compelled to share a link from Newsday/amNY that includes video of Spitzer's apology. Don't get too excited though. (Potentially) former NYS Gov. Spitzer pulled an Eric Gagne on this one, apologizing to his family and the public but not saying for what. See how I tied that all back into the sports world? PS - Again with the NY Post-style headlines! PPS - Okay, maybe that isn't the best photo to use in a post talking about prostitution and sex. Or maybe it's an explanation for why he needed prostitutes in the first place. As Linda Richman of SNL's Coffee Talk would say, "Talk amongst yourselves." (Image courtesy DiggersRealm.com)

Getting Political

I try to keep away from getting political on this blog. Mostly it's because people just get absolutely crazy when it comes to politics when, in reality, all politicians are the same, just saying what people want to hear so they can get in office. Look at it this way; how many times have we elected someone only to say months after that we all made a huge mistake? As I said, I like to stay out of that stuff. But today there's a lot of juicy goodness in the political realm and it's too good to pass up. - First, Barack Obama reacted to the notion that he might become Hillary Clinton's VP if she wins the nomination. As Barack says, it's kind of a joke when the second place person suggests taking on the leader as a VP. Obama, according to everyone but Women's Entertainment network, is in the lead here and for Clinton to even suggest that is downright silliness. - Next, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer shows us just why politicians are such noble people as he is reportedly involved in a high-class prostitution ring. Spitzer vowed to "clean up" Albany and in 2004 even led a prostitution crackdown that resulted in 18 arrests. I guess he really believes in the saying, "Do as I say, not as I do."

Sal Pal v. Brett Favre

Those who know me or happened to catch me on "CortSide" with co-hosts Josh Garcia and Stu Millstein on SUNY Cortland's 90.5fm know that I haven't always been the biggest Brett Favre fan. Recently, though, I've grown fonder of Favre's on-field play and off-field "good guy" activities. Maybe some of my cynicism has gone away as I grow older, who knows. But here's an article from ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that I surely would have liked to share in my "Hate Brett Favre" days. Sal Pal calls the second half of Brett's career "overhyped." You pretty much have to agree with Paolantonio. The stats show that he wasn't very good through these years, including a 20TD/29INT season in 2005, but even in that year he threw for over 3,800 yards. And one could argue that Brett didn't have a great team around him for any of those years except 2007. Look at me, I'm disputing myself in mid-paragraph. My point, I think, is that Favre suffered from the same problem that the Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots, etc. have all been faced with: The media loves them. And because of that, people get sick of it. They get sick of hearing about it. They get sick of seeing them. If you don't believe me, take a look at the upcoming ESPN/FOX/TBS national baseball schedules. The Yanks and Sox make up a huge chunk of those games. Or take a look at the Patriots. A few years ago when Tom Brady filled in for an injured Drew Bledsoe and led the Pats to a Super Bowl crown, everybody loved them. They were an underdog story. Fast forward to this February and people all around the country were rooting for the Giants, whether they liked them or not, simply because they wanted the Patriots to lose. I guess what it comes down to is that Brett Favre, like Alex Rodriguez and others, is a "hate him or love him" player. That will change, like everything else, as time goes on. Even people like me who hate the Cowboys can look back now on their dynasty with respect for what Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin accomplished. (Image courtesy PhillyMag.com)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Binghamton Natives Unite

Christopher Byrne is a former Binghamton native who now lives in Athens, Georgia. He conducted an e-mail interview with WBNG's Brendan O'Reilly who I referenced in an earlier post. If you didn't see the link in the comments section to the story by Byrne, here it is. Thanks Christopher!

Everybody Hurts...Sometimes

Everybody seems shocked that Brett Favre might turn down offers to be a television analyst or do commercials and just fade away into the sunset and relax. Mostly it's because of Favre's winning personality and popularity. I really don't see what the big deal is though.
If the guy two cubicles over from you at your job retires, do you expect to see him showing up every day at the office after that, chumming it up with your co-workers? Or, better yet, coming back and analyzing your work? Probably not. And that's what Favre is doing. When you lose the passion to play the game, you would probably want to stay away from it for a while.
It's almost like if you and your girlfriend/boyfriend just get to the end of the road. You know you still love each other, but the "spark" is gone. So you part ways because it's for the best, but inside you know that you really still want to be together. In that situation, would you want to sit in a booth watching your ex running around, playing the field right in front of you? And then you have to talk about it.
No thanks.
(Image Courtesy InsidePoolMag.com)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bob: Thank YOU

Now Bob Glauber is just pouring it on. Today, he dedicated a whole blog post thanking me for my recent post thanking him. Bob isn't one of those writers who blogs just because their bosses told them they had to. He has immersed himself in the blogosphere, which is one of the reasons why his blog is one of the most enjoyable on the internet. He mentions it in the post, and I didn't know, that his brother Mickey is a fellow SUNY Cortland alum and Bob was visiting his younger sibling on campus during the Miracle on Ice. Many thanks go out to Bob again today for the free publicity, but mostly for even taking the time out of his day to give TONYBLOGS a look.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bob Glauber's First Take of TONYBLOGS

I already was a huge fan of Newsday's Bob Glauber. I read his blog frequently and love watching him on ESPN's First Take. But my BG fanhood went through the roof when, this morning, I saw that Mr. Glauber himself responded to a comment I posted on his blog about the Giants potentially signing Takeo Spikes. Not only did Bob swing by to check out this very blog, he also posted a comment on his own blog complimenting this one. You can check it out right here. Yes, this is me bragging. Bob also quickly followed up with a post of his own about why the Super Bowl Champion Giants won't sign TKO. And he's right. I think the Giants would still bite if the price was reasonable; maybe up to $4 million per on a one- or two-year deal. But it's not likely.
Thanks to Bob for taking a look at the blog. It's writers like him that "writers" like myself strive to be.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spikes TKO'ed in Philly

In non-Brett Favre NFL news, the Eagles released LB Takeo Spikes today. Spikes, the former Bengal and Bill, is a two-time Pro Bowler and had 139 tackles last year for Philadelphia, but the Birds will save $5 million dollars with the move. One might wonder, 'Will the Super Bowl Champion Giants make a run at him?' I think he would be a good fit for the Giants if the price is right. They just lost Kawika Mitchell to Buffalo and Reggie Torbor to Miami and could use the help at the position. With Spikes, Antonio Pierce and Mathias Kiwanuka, the Giants would have a formidable linebacking corps, one that is even better than they won the Super Bowl with. I highly doubt, though, that it will actually happen. GM Jerry Reese has already shown that he does not like spending big dollars on free agents and Spikes still has the talent to demand decent money. As I said, if the price is low enough the Giants might bite. If not, Reese will look to the draft for depth. PS - If that isn't a New York Post-style headline, then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Binghamton Hits the Big Time

This has already been reported by several outlets including AwfulAnnouncing.com but since I live and work in Binghamton, NY, I figured I should try to spread the word about this one too. WBNG-TV's Brendan O'Reilly recently posted on his blog a critique of ESPN after the "Worldwide Leader" nagged him about video from the Cornell men's basketball game where they clinched the Ivy League title and then subsequently gave credit to Binghamton's Channel 12 by putting "WBNG" in a font so small that it looked like a thin white line. Sure, in the post O'Reilly seems bitter and as though he applied to ESPN and didn't get hired, but it's always nice to see other people bash the folks in Bristol as I so often do. It's not that I don't like ESPN. I like a lot of the personalities they have (see: Erin Andrews, Scott Van Pelt, Stephen A. Smith, etc.) but they can really beat a story to death. When you think about it, ESPN is really the only network making a huge stink about the Clemens/McNamee feud every single day. And in case you missed it, yesterday the network became FSPN after Brett Favre announced his retirement. The Favre Sports Programming Network showed non-stop coverage and even dedicated a "bottom line" category exclusively to Favre, just like the one they had previously ran dedicated exclusively to Roger Clemens. Even John Buccigross this morning referred to the network's daily highlight show as "BrettCenter." And why couldn't ESPN, the juggernaut media mogul of the sporting industry, hire a freelance camera person to go to Ithaca and take some video of the Cornell victory? Now let's see if any other media outlets (cough cough) pick up this story and run with it.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Are There Taxes in Red Sox Nation too?

Maybe Hank Steinbrenner shouldn't have shot his mouth off about the Red Sox and their beloved "nation." And Red Sox owner John Henry shot back, saying he would induct Hollerin' Hank into Red Sox Nation. So then I did some research. You have to pay to be in Red Sox Nation. That's because in 2005 the team began offering "official citizenship" in the Nation for a fee. You even get a really cheesy "Nation Membership Card" that you can put in your wallet behind your Visa and your Carlton Fisk card that you creepily carry around. This year, they're offering three different levels of membership. A really excellent way to increase battles over fanhood for the Chowderheads. There's the low-level Fan Pack (you must not really like them that much) for $14.95, the Ultimate Fan Pack (you like the team but don't quite hate the Yankees enough) for $109.95, and the Monster Pack (finally, you've proven your fanhood through monetary expression, not love or devotion like most teams) for a whopping $245.95. I'd rather just prove my love for a team by following them closely and rooting for them as hard as I can, then watch as they grow into Super Bowl XLII Champion New York Giants. I know the 26-time World Series Champion New York Yankees would be more appropriate, but I just love writing Super Bowl XLII Champion New York Giants.

Fraternal Society of Hypocrites: Lance Briggs

The Fraternal Society has, up to this point, been reserved for NFL head coaches after they've denied for weeks through the media that they have no intentions to return to college football and then quit on their NFL teams to return to the NCAA. (See: Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban) But in this era of change we, too, will adjust. You have to when something happens like Lance Briggs signing a 6-year deal with the Chicago Bears. The linebacker vowed on March 12th, 2007, "I've played my last snap for them. I'll never play another down for Chicago again." Welcome to the club, Lance. Hey, how's your 120 hours of community service coming? At least you can do it in Chicagoland.