Friday, May 29, 2009

Dropping Links: Friday, May 29th

NEWS
LeBron has 37, 14, 12 in Cavs win over Magic to push series to Game 6 |ESPN.com|
Carlos Zambrano suspended six games for psychotic tirade |FOX Sports.com|
Kentucky files counter suit against former coach Billy Gillispie |SI.com|

BLOGS
Could new agent make Boldin-to-Giants more likely? |FanNation.com|
Lee Corso suffers mild stroke, but will be back for college football |Awful Announcing|
First Madden 10 gameplay footage now available |PastaPadre.com|

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Man U soccer fan kills four, injures more during Barcelona celebration

Barcelona defeated Manchester United yesterday to win the Champions League soccer title. As you would guess, something violent had to happen because that's just how it goes in European soccer.

A Manchester United fan, and most likely a psychotic individual, drove a bus into a crowd of celebrating Barcelona fans, killing four and injuring at least 10 more.

From the AP:
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (AP) - Police say a Manchester United fan killed four people when he plowed his bus into a Nigerian crowd celebrating Barcelona's victory in the Champion's League final in Rome.

Rivers State police spokeswoman Rita Inoma-Abbey said the driver was in custody Thursday after making a U-turn and driving into the crowd of fans cheering Barcelona's 2-0 win over United on Wednesday night.

Abbey said more than 10 other people were injured in the incident.
And I thought American sports fans took things too seriously. Suddenly Boston fans rioting after every title win doesn't seem so bad.

Erin Andrews wants to be on "Dancing with the Stars"

I feel like such a page view whore when I write about Erin Andrews. She's a good sideline reporter and she's gorgeous, but I hate to be like all the other sports blogs that post about her constantly just to grab some traffic. But I'm doing it anyway in the interest of you, the reader, and so I can post a picture of her here, because everyone likes that.

Here's what she had to say to The Sporting Blog about the show:
"I want to do it, because I think I'd be good at it... I want to do it very badly," she continued. "That's the big push."

"I love the show, and I've grown up around dancing," said Andrews, who, of course, was on the Dazzlers dance team when at Florida. "People say, 'Oh, you're a dancer, how could you do it?' But I've never taken ballroom, I've never partnered dance with anyone. I think I'd be in the top, unless I fall. I'm a big faller. If you fall, that's a hard fall, which I'm sure would make the Internet very happy."
I would be shocked if this didn't happen, since she is an employee of Disney and the show is on ABC. The producers of "Dancing with the Stars" may have found a way to get all of us creepy guys to watch.

Dropping Links: Thursday, May 28th

NEWS
Lakers win 103-94, take 302 series lead over Nuggets |ESPN.com|
Barcelona beats Manchester United to win 3rd Champions League crown |FOX Sports.com|
NCAA investigating Memphis for major violations |SI.com|
Billy Gillispie suing Kentucky over his firing |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
Mike Francesa got a bit worked up discussing Joba Chamberlain |Tirico Suave|
Top player ratings revealed for Madden 10 |PastaPadre.com|
Carlos Zambrano loses his mind on umpire during game against Pirates |The Scores Report|

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dropping Links: Wednesday, May 27th

NEWS
Magic win in OT to take 3-1 series lead over LeBron, Cavs |ESPN.com|
Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter dies following treadmill accident |FOX Sports.com|
Royals' manager Trey Hillman suspended for spitting on umpire |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
Plaxico Burress wants to play for the Dolphins this year? |What About Bob?|
Fran Tarkenton speaks out against Brett Favre and his comebacks |Tirico Suave|

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Video: Vince McMahon confronts "Stan Kroenke" on WWE Raw

This was really a pathetic attempt at milking until the publicity's nipples were dry. Vince McMahon had promised to confront Stan Kroenke following the whole "Denver Debacle" and he did that last night on WWE's Monday Night Raw. Well, sort of.

As you would have guessed, it was a lookalike of Stan Kroenke. WWE even had lookalikes of Jack Nicholson, David Stern and Jerry Buss in the front row. Take a look.


How old are you, Vince? Seven? Kroenke's real name is Enos, so of course that led to the inevitable, sophomoric "Enos sounds like anus" jokes and even a few penis references. Very classy, Vince.

Video: Mr. T pities the Pirates, sings and throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Here's the video of Mr. T's grand day at Wrigley Field yesterday. He was on hand to throw out the first pitch, dressed in full Memorial Day garb. Then he graced the audience with a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." The Mr. T stuff starts at the 1:30 mark.


"I pity the Pirates... Grrrrrr!"

The Philadelphia Sports Fans Debate rages on!

Received an e-mail the other day from a new reader of the blog, Dan from the 609. He wanted to weigh in on the recent discussion we've been having here about the stereotype of sports fans from Philadelphia. I'm all about sharing and if anyone sends me a well-written, mature viewpoint on something, I'm all ears. Below are Dan's thoughts on the topic:

I’d like to offer my brief take on this idea and belief that we as Philadelphians are ruthless, cut-throat, and dangerous fans. It’s obvious that the NFL runs the sports world in this country, and the most passionate of fans in every city can be found in front of their TVs or at the game on Sunday’s in the Fall. Back during the Vet’s prominence, yes, there were many a fight in the crowd, particularly in the 700 level, due to excessive alcohol and marijuana consumption. However, the reason for this is simple – RETALIATION. I’ve been to many home Eagles games at the Vet and now at the Linc and have been seated adjacent to various opponents’ fans, including Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins. Sure, they’ll get a “Go back to NY” or “Cowboys Suck” directed at them as they enter their section; however, most normal people laugh it off or ignore the comment, and that’s the end of it. It’s the equally drunk/high morons that respond that usually end up throwing fists. You won’t see an Eagles fan walk down from 3 rows away and shove an opponent’s fan just for the hell of it, and if you think it occurs that way, you’re an idiot.

“Jeff from Philadelphia,” myself, and others have gone on seven Eagles road trips over the past seven years (Charlotte, Cleveland, St. Louis, Washington, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago), and not one of us (usually 6-10 people per trip) have come close to getting in any sort of brawl or confrontation at any visiting stadium. We’ve drank all weekend, tailgated that morning, entered the stadium drunk, and watched our Eagles go 6-1 in those seven games. Yet, zero confrontations. Why? Because none of us go into the stadium looking to drop someone like we’re Floyd Mayweather. We laugh at the jeers directed at us, cheer our team, celebrate another Birds victory, and head out. Its that simple. The most enjoyable parts of each trip are walking out of the visiting stadium after an Eagles win. And as someone who has been on the opposite side of that, seeing Giants fans walk out of the Linc after a victory (see: 2007), that to me is the most painful. These morons who come into Philadelphia with their team to play the Eagles and get into fights during the game have the mindset that they’re entering a stadium looking for trouble. And in Philadelphia, as well as any opposing stadium, with that mindset, they’ll have no problem finding it.

As far as your positioning with Skip Bayless and Steve’s hallucinations about what he’s heard from his father or read, its all baseless. Do you or Steve know that the real, jolly, fat, normal Santa Claus scheduled for that game 40+ years ago never showed up and they plucked an individual from the crowd who weighed about 160 lbs. to play S.C.? Probably not. But that’s not even the point. Who cares if they booed Santa Claus? What purpose does that serve? Santa didn’t rush for 86 yards and 2 TDs in the 1st half. I will never understand why that continues to gain more notoriety than New York baseball fans BOOING $100 MILLION DOLLAR MAN JOHAN SANTANA ON OPENING DAY ’08? Or New York baseball fans BOOING $100 MILLION DOLLAR MAN MARK TEIXEIRA DURING APRIL ’09, when they knew full well that he always begins the season slow? Or how about BOOING A-ROD IN OCTOBER? It's all the same – the Eagles sucked backed then, the Mets suck now, and the Yankees and their #1 payroll weren’t performing TO THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE PASSIONATE FANS WHO PAY THE SALARIES OF THE PLAYERS ON THE FIELD AND SPEND THEIR EARNED MONEY TO WATCH THEIR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAMS PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT AND AN OUTLET FROM THE STRESS OF THEIR LIVES.

Its unfortunate that yourself, Steve, and others do not have typical everyday access to 610 WIP (the real flagship sister-station of WFAN 660) and ESPN 950 AM while in the car or at the office. If you did, you’d understand the passion that this city has for our 4 sports franchises, and how all we want them to do is WIN. See the Phillies parade on Halloween? 2-3 million in attendance, including myself. But since you don’t, you and others rely on the national media to distort your view of Philadelphia... morons with no credibility like Skip Bayless or shy away in the face of adversity when asked to provide a simple, recent example... morons like Tom Jackson who, since he is a former NFL player, feels he has the right to think whatever he wants when he says Eagles fans are ridiculous and have no right to criticize Eagles coach Andy Reid and his play-calling. Tom, are you serious? Just because Joe from the Shipyard makes $40K a year, he can’t voice his opinion on the OBVIOUS, HORRIBLE PLAY-CALLING AND STRATEGY REID IMPLEMENTS? See -- Article by Sal Paolantonio.

Perhaps if Skip, Tom, and others on the national sports outlets did just a few minutes of actual research, or perhaps removed their ass from behind the desk to take in an Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, or Flyers game live, maybe, just maybe, they’ll change their viewpoints. But we all know that won’t happen. They’ll just sit back and rely on the old, repetitive, happenings of years past.

Time’s yours,

Dan from the 609

PS – If you’re interested in where the area code 609 is located, don’t be like Skip or Tom. Hop on the internet and look it up. It’ll only take you a few minutes, I promise.


Here are the previous entries on this topic, if you need a refresher:
Philadelphia radio interview with Skip Bayless gets heated by Tony Arnoldine
Jeff from Philadelphia disagrees with city's perception by Jeff from Philadelphia
We're not done with the Philadelphia sports fans debate just yet by Steve Cuce

Dropping Links: Tuesday, May 26th

NEWS
Nuggets even series with Lakers at 2-2 after 120-101 win Monday |ESPN.com|
Syracuse rallies late, beats Cornell in overtime to capture D1 LAX title |FOX Sports.com|
Woman allegedly raped at home of Jets' Kerry Rhodes |SI.com|
Mike Tyson's daughter on life support after tragic accident |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
Papelbon throws towel at NY Post photographer after loss |Bob's Blitz|
T.O. tossing more blame around after Dallas exit |The Scores Report|

Monday, May 25, 2009

SUNY Cortland wins 2009 Division III Lacrosse National Title

A little news from my alma mater...

SUNY Cortland defeated Gettysburg College, 9-7, on Sunday at Gillette Stadium to win their second lacrosse National Championship in four years. Cortland finished the season with an impressive 19-2 record.

Junior Brandon Misiaszek scored five goals, a career high, for the Red Dragons and was named Most Outstanding Player.

Milton Bradley has an excuse for why he sucks so much this year

Milton Bradley has been off to a pretty rough start in his first year with the Chicago Cubs. But he has a reason for why he is only hitting .188 with four home runs and nine RBI.

It's not his fault, of course. According to Bradley, the umpires are widening the strike zone when he hits as a way of getting back for him for arguing with an umpire a month ago.
"Unfortunately, I just think it's a lot of 'Oh, you did this to my colleague,' or 'We're going to get him any time we can," Bradley said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "As soon as he gets two strikes, we're going to call whatever and see what he does. Let's try to ruin Milton Bradley."
Sounds logical, right? No, no it doesn't. It's just like the kid who always fails in high school and then says it's because the teacher hates him, not because he didn't do any work and never came to class.

Bradley has been involved in incident after incident, including more famous ones where he tore his ACL after arguing with an ump and then last year when he tried to confront a Royals announcer in the booth after a game.

MLB will honor Veterans with special caps today

All 30 teams throughout Major League Baseball will wear special red caps today (and during July 4th weekend and on September 11th) to honor Veterans. The American flag will be featured inside the logo on the hat, except for the Blue Jays who will feature the maple leaf. All proceeds from cap sales will go to the Welcome Back Veterans Fund.

Caps can be purchased at NewEraCap.com.

The controversial Indians cap from past years has been changed. Instead of featuring the contradiction of the stars and stripes inside the image of Chief Wahoo, Cleveland will wear their alternate cap, which is only the letter "C." The "Chief Wahoo version" can still be purchased, though, on the New Era website.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dropping Links: Friday, May 22nd

NEWS
Nuggets even West Finals with 106-103 victory over Lakers in LA |ESPN.com|
Jake Peavy rejects trade to White Sox, will stay in San Diego |FOX Sports.com|
Former NFL bust Ryan Leaf indicted on burglary and drug charges |SI.com|
Yankees keep rolling, win 9th straight, sweep Orioles |CBS Sports.com|
Lester bounces back, Red Sox sweep East-leading Blue Jays |Yahoo.com|

BLOGS
A lot of similarities between Roger Clemens and Pete Rose |The Scores Report|
The Tiger Woods 10 videogame demo is now available |PastaPadre.com|
A look at the eight "legacy" jerseys former AFL teams will wear |Shutdown Corner|

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lookalikes: Kris Allen and Brian Roberts

This one again comes from our pal Stuart Millstein. It's American Idol winner Kris Allen and Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts. The pictures might not do this one justice but it's definitely there.

Vince McMahon taking the low road after double-booking debacle

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has been really eating up all the publicity that came from the double-booking situation at the Pepsi Center. Above is an image from WWE.com (click for larger) that previews this Monday's episode of RAW. Not a lot of subtlety there.

Video: Brian Kenny and Floyd Mayweather get into it on ESPN

Floyd Mayweather was on ESPN (among many other outlets) to do an interview with Brian Kenny to promote his upcoming fight and return to boxing. Things got heated when Kenny, who never backs down, stood his ground. Take a look.

Dropping Links: Thursday, May 21st

NEWS
LeBron scores 40 but Magic win Game One on late shot by Lewis |ESPN.com|
Phil Mickelson takes leave from tour with wife battling cancer |FOX Sports.com|
Wife of D'Backs reliever Scott Schoeneweis found dead at age 39 |SI.com|
WWE will move Denver show to LA after double-booking fiasco |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
A look at what REALLY happened with the WWE-Nuggets debacle |Tirico Suave|
Mike Vick will not return to Falcons, according to owner Arthur Blank |The Scores Report|

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We're not done with the Philadelphia sports fans debate just yet

You may remember last week when Skip Bayless was blasted on Philadelphia sports radio by Mike Missanelli. I wrote my thoughts on the subject, then Jeff from Philadelphia disagreed in a well-spoken diatribe. Now a third party, Steve Cuce, a fellow SUNY Cortland-ite and author of the blog "Cooch's Rant," weighs in. His thoughts are below.

I want to note that I'm huge a Dallas Cowboys fan and I don't like Skip Bayless by any means, so for me to even think he was mistreated is ironic to begin with. I mean Skip is just absurd with some things he says about the Cowboys and for him to call Troy Aikman gay is also ridiculous.

I mean first off Mike Missanelli sounded really unprofessional in the way he just straight up attacked Bayless. I see this is 950 ESPN in Philly and they're the "flag ship" station for sports just like WFAN 660 in NY. They're both sister stations. I don't think I've ever heard Mike Francesa or anyone on WFAN clearly go out of their way to call someone out in an interview like that. It just seemed to be very childish in the way Missanelli just went out and slammed Bayless. Granted Bayless played the "you're a nobody card," but the whole interview was like listening to two middle schoolers argue on the playground at recess.

I understand Philly fans are frustrated with their reputation, but you know what, you dig your own grave. Jeff made some good points, but regardless of the Santa Claus thing being 40 years ago, it still happened. Also to be fair, the material Skip mentioned about Philly fans in the '90's isn't the first time I've heard it. My father also has been a diehard Cowboys fan since the 1970's and when he went to games in Philly in the late 1980's/early 1990's he feared for his life. I've heard quite a few stories. I've been told for a long time Philly is by far the worst place and you know maybe people exaggerate here and there.

The event that sealed my opinion on Philly fans goes back to October of 1999. The 'Boys dynasty was fading and Michael Irvin suffered a neck injury at Veterans Stadium and he had to be carted off. Irvin was very close to being paralyzed for the rest of his life and you know what Philly Fans did? They CHEERED FOR CHRIST SAKE LIKE YOU WOULD IF YOUR TEAM SCORED A TOUCHDOWN. I don't care who it is on the opposing side, if you hate the other team or not. I would never under any circumstance, cheer against a player that I obviously didn't like because he had done well against my team in the past when he suffers a career ending injury.

I'm sorry, but that's despicable. You can try and tell me that was ten years ago, but it happened. I lost a lot of respect for Philly fans dating back to '99 and quite frankly you can't justify that at all. Here's a nice link (from SI.com in October '99) of how bad it really was....

I appreciate you giving your time to read my take on it and I did some research on my own too. Here's an answer to Philly fans who can't understand why people label them all the time.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, May 20th

NEWS
Kobe scores 40 as Lakers beat Nuggets in Game One of West Finals |ESPN.com|
Clippers win number one pick in NBA's Draft Lottery |FOX Sports.com|
Dontrelle Willis allows one hit, gets first win as a Tiger |CBS Sports.com|
New Orleans will host the 2013 Super Bowl |SI.com|
Carlos Delgado has surgery, should be back in July |Yahoo.com|

BLOGS
A look at MLB Network's game schedule through June |Awful Announcing|
Joe Theismann is still bitter and hates Tony Kornheiser |Fang's Bites|
Jay Cutler has reached out to Plaxico Burress about coming to Chicago |The Scores Report|

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lookalikes: Alexi Panos and Jami Gertz

I must say I'm pretty proud of this one. It's model and new co-host of SNY's "Beer Money," Alexi Panos, and Jami Gertz, the 1980's star who made a recent comeback on the sitcom "Still Standing."

Shaq heads to Syracuse to take broadcasting class

Shaquille O'Neal has made it no secret that he wants to pursue a career in broadcasting after his NBA run is over and he has taken the first step to doing that. He's currently in Syracuse taking a class taught by ESPN's Dave Ryan called "Sportscaster U."

Shaq has been recording mock stand-ups and writing material. He even scored the first television interview with Greg Paulus since his transfer from Duke to play football for the Orange.

A look at tonight's NBA draft lottery and the odds at getting number one

14 franchises will be represented tonight at 8 pm when the seeding of those teams will be determined in the draft lottery. Thanks to Alan Hahn we can show you the percent chance each team has at getting the number one pick.

1. Sacramento Kings (17-65) -- 25 percent
2. Washington Wizards (19-63)* -- 17.8 percent
3. Los Angeles Clippers (19-63) -- 17.7 percent
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (23-59) -- 11.9 percent
5. Minnesota Timberwolves (24-58)* -- 7.6 percent
6. Memphis Grizzlies (24-58) -- 7.5 percent
7. Golden State Warriors (29-53) -- 4.3 percent
8. New York Knicks (32-50) -- 2.8 percent
9. Toronto Raptors (33-49) -- 1.7 percent
10. Milwaukee Bucks (34-48)* -- 1.0 percent
11. New Jersey Nets (34-48) -- 0.9 percent
12. Charlotte Bobcats (35-47) -- 0.7 percent
13. Indiana Pacers (36-46) -- 0.6 percent
14. Phoenix Suns (46-36) -- 0.5 percent
*-won tiebreakers through random drawings on April 17

The clear favorite for the number one spot is Blake Griffin. How great would it be for the Oklahoma City Thunder if they can somehow nab the top choice and pair the Oklahoma star Griffin with Kevin Durant?

Dropping Links: Tuesday, May 19th

NEWS
WWE, Nuggets in skirmish over double-booked arena next Monday |FOX Sports.com|
Brett Favre not ready for surgery after all, still could play |ESPN.com|
Carlos Delgado will undergo surgery, likely out at least two months |CBS Sports.com|
Rickie Weeks has wrist injury, will miss rest of Brewers' season |SI.com|
Mark Teixeira hits two homers as Yankees sweep Twins |Yahoo.com|
Former NBA player Brian Grant reveals he has Parkinson's Disease |NBC Sports.com|

BLOGS
MLB will move up start times of World Series games this year |Fang's Bites|
The Kenyon Martin - Mark Cuban feud keeps getting uglier |The Scores Report|
Eagles DC Jim Johnson takes leave of absence to battle cancer |What About Bob?|

Monday, May 18, 2009

Video: Padraig Harrington busts out the "Happy Gilmore" shot

From SPORTSbyBROOKS comes this clip of PGA pro Padraig Harrington trying the Happy Gilmore style tee shot. Your guess is as good as mine why they've set the video to "Viva Las Vegas" by Elvis.


Harrington doesn't dare use the shot in competition because it lessens his accuracy, but he did have this to say about it:
“The best player in the world always tends to be the longest hitter or close to it - he always has a length advantage. Because I plant a little bit like a javelin thrower in my Happy Gilmore, I get a much better stretch and then my left hip stops much quicker so I get that acceleration.”

Michael Vick will have stiff home confinement restrictions upon release

Michael Vick is set to be released from prison this week. He will then be on home confinement for the next two months while finishing his 23-month sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation.

Vick will be allowed to leave the home to work his $10 per hour construction job for W.M. Jordan Co. He will also be given about five hours per week of time for other court-approved activities, which usually include religious services, doctor's appointments and probation meetings.

Another condition of Vick's release? He will never again be able to own a dog.

Vick will wear an electronic monitoring device and will be in the house with only his fiancee and their children for the rest of the time.

Sure, it's strict but it's better than prison. The showers will probably be a lot less scary.

Brett Favre continues to tarnish his already diminished legacy

The latest news regarding Brett Favre -- as you've almost certainly heard -- is that the "gunslinger" will most likely undergo surgery this week to repair his partially torn biceps, which would allow him to return to the NFL after six to eight weeks of recovery. Favre is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews tomorrow. Sure, there's a chance that he just wants to fix his arm, so that he can push the lawnmower a little easier. But it's Brett Favre, after all.

This seems like another step in the direction of Favre being a Minnesota Viking this season. It also is one more move that makes the soon-to-be-40-year-old look like a selfish diva. He wants retribution on the Packers for moving on after he had told them he was retired.

He meant it that time, or so he said. He had his tearful retirement press conference and then came back, forced his way out of Green Bay and to the Jets. Then he almost singlehandedly knocked "Gang Green" out of playoff contention.

Favre then did his usual interviews, saying he really was done this time, that he just wanted to ride his tractor and wear his Wranglers. But then Favre got the itch, as he always does this time of year, and wants one more go.

Really, is this necessary? This reminds me of the old boxer who always says he has it in him to fight one more fight, and then goes out and gets completely embarrassed. Likely, that will be what happens to Favre.

If you happen to be into social networking...

...then you can follow @tonyblogs at Twitter.

Or follow tonyblogs.net at our Facebook networked blogs page.

Shameless self-promotion over. Commence regular blogging.

Video: WWE wrestler The Miz mocks Alfonso Soriano at pay-per-view

This was all a work, of course, but WWE's The Miz (also formerly of Real World and 1,000 other shows on MTV) called out Alfonso Soriano during last night's WWE pay-per-view "Judgment Day." Soriano was in attendance since the event was held in Chicago.

Thanks to Awful Announcing for the first video:


Fellow wrestler Santino Marella came out after to stick up for Soriano and I've only included the video for the great line, "I heard you talk about the name Alfonso Soriano... And if I'm not mistaken, that's a fellow Italiano."

Bodybuilders flee event in Netherlands when drug testers show up

Bodybuilders have used many tricks to pass and avoid drug tests throughout the years. Their latest effort; just running away.

When drug testers showed up at the Belgian championships, the contestants fled the stage.
"They must have felt safe out there," doping official Hans Cooman told the Associated Press on Monday.

But Cooman and two colleagues got the necessary papers to check the tournament in the Netherlands. And when they identified themselves just before the event — with the 20 bodybuilders weighing in and preparing themselves — the testers drew quite a response.

The bodybuilders got up and left, preferring to quit rather than submit to doping tests. Some grabbed their gear and headed straight out the door.

"They must have been flabbergasted," Cooman said.
If scurrying away like ants isn't an admission of guilt, then I don't know what is.

Kurt Angle contacted about appearing on "Dancing with the Stars"

Former Olympic gold medalist and current professional wrestler Kurt Angle has been contacted about appearing on an upcoming season of the ABC show "Dancing with the Stars," according to the Twitter page of TNA Wrestling's Jeremy Borash.

1) I think Angle would probably do a good job on the show. He is athletic and has good footwork and we've seen the success athletes have had in the past on the show, such as Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice and Jason Taylor.

2) Twitter has become a source of news. Wow.

Tony Kornheiser will be replaced by Jon Gruden in MNF booth

I am one of the few people that didn't mind Tony Kornheiser as a broadcaster in the Monday Night Football booth. In fact, I like him a lot more than Ron Jaworski, but to each his own. Kornheiser has decided to step down from his announcing gig because he suffers from the same phobia as John Madden, although not nearly as bad. TK doesn't like to fly either.

Gruden will go directly from the sidelines to the press box and it does seem a bit strange that ESPN is going to again throw someone with no experience into their biggest broadcast. Gruden shouldn't do a bad job, though, and has been known to give some memorable soundbites as a coach.

The execs at ESPN are hoping he does the same in the booth.

Gruden and Jaws will undoubtedly turn the broadcast into a football lesson each week, a complete change from the presentation of Tony Kornheiser.

Dropping Links: Monday, May 18th

NEWS
Magic beat Celtics in Game Seven, head to Eastern Finals |ESPN.com|
Lakers coast to Western Finals after easy win against Rockets |FOX Sports.com|
Damon home run gives Yankees third straight walk-off win |SI.com|

BLOGS
A look at the current state of card collecting |The Scores Report|
James Harrison has a dumb reason to not go to the White House |Shutdown Corner|

Friday, May 15, 2009

Former NBA and NCAA star Wayman Tisdale dies at the age of 44

Sad news from the world of basketball today as former three-time All-American at Oklahoma Wayman Tisdale passed away today at the age of 44 after a two year battle with cancer. Tisdale also played in the NBA for the Suns, Kings and Pacers, averaging 15.3 PPG in his career.

Aside from his collegiate and professional basketball successes, which also included a 1984 Olympic Gold Medal, Tisdale was also an accomplished jazz musician with several albums on the Billboard charts.

Jeff from Philadelphia disagrees with city's perception

After I wrote a post about a radio interview between Mike Missanelli and Skip Bayless turning into a heated altercation, I received an e-mail from reader Jeff in Philadelphia. Here is what he had to say:

Tony,

Let me preface this by saying that yes, I am from Philadelphia and yes, I am a huge Philadelphia sports fan. Either way, you are entitled to your opinion and thats fine with me but I thought I should let you know that your facts are a little off on your blog post about Skip Bayless and Mike Missanelli. First, Bayless did not call in to talk about football. I realize he made a comment about trading for Anquan Boldin when he first came on but according to Missanelli and his producer, Bayless knew exactly why they wanted him on the show. He was told that they wanted him to defend his choice of words on "First Take." Also, as a sidenote, Missanelli's producer says to the guests right before they are about to go on the air, "You are now on air with Mike Missanelli" so when Bayless says he doesn't know who he is talking to he is just trying to "big time" Missanelli. Second, Missanelli isn't "blasting Bayless for making inaccurate statements," he is blasting him for making ignorant and ill informed statements. He was trying to prove a point that it isn't just Philadelphia that has bad apples at sporting events so why should we be the ones that are the example of bad sportsmanship? After all, the whole argument started about behavior in Dallas. So why not "Dallas style?" Or how about the fan that died in San Francisco at a Giants game? So why not "San Francisco style?" Or how about in Los Angeles during the NLCS last year when Philly fans had weapons pulled on them in the parking lots after games? So why not "Los Angeles style?" Your last paragraph is exactly what Missanelli was talking about. You reference Santa Claus being booed, which happened 40 years ago! Let me repeat that - IT HAPPENED 40 YEARS AGO. And if you looked in to it a little bit you would know that the fans weren't booing Santa Claus - they were booing how poorly the team was playing. They were in the middle of another horrible season under a front office that couldn't have cared less. Next, Adam Eaton got booed because he had no business getting that ring and he knew it. The only reason he showed up was to rub it in the Phillies' fans' faces that he was getting a ring for doing absolutely nothing. Did you know that the Phillies asked him to go down to an instructional league earlier that season? No? Well this was his response when asked about it:

“I weighed my decision very carefully before I was given the opportunity. I was not going to make the playoff roster, obviously. I haven’t pitched in the big leagues since whenever, July. And they say, ‘Well, go down and get in shape.’ Give me a [expletive] break. What do you want me to say? You want me to swallow another pill? For what? Waste two weeks down here when I can go spend two weeks with my family? Yeah, sure, I’ll go up there for the World Series. Hey, I’m up on the float. ‘Boo, [expletive] you.’ Great. Would that be any fun for anybody? No. In that regard, not sharing it with my teammates. But it was nice to see them on TV. They’re world [bleeping] champs.”

Would you cheer that? He didn't even want to try to help himself make the playoff roster. And I noticed that you forgot to mention that Pat Burrell came back for that same ring ceremony and was moved to tears from the fans response. But that would go against our "Philly style, rude, crude behavior" wouldn't it? All I'm asking is that before you perpetuate the stereotype that Philly fans are worse than anyone else, check your facts. I appreciate you taking the time to read my side.

Thanks,

Jeff

Dropping Links: Friday, May 15th

NEWS
Rockets pound Lakers, push series to Game Seven |ESPN.com|
Celtics headed to another Game Seven after loss to Magic |FOX Sports.com|
Ortiz not as good without steroids, strands 12 in Sawx loss to Angels |SI.com|

BLOGS
Bart Scott wouldn't have signed with Jets if "Mangenius" were the coach |Bob's Blitz|
Nike lays off thousands of employees worldwide |SPORTSbyBROOKS|
Andy Reid's son is headed to jail, rightfully so |The Scores Report|

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Video: Fight Night Round 4 demo gameplay clips

The Fight Night Round 4 demo was released today but only for those who pre-ordered the game. The demo will be available on May 28th for everyone else to try out.

Below is some demo footage, thanks to Pasta Padre. You can only play as Ricky Hatton or Manny Pacquiao in this version. Call me a naysayer but this game doesn't look all that spectacular. Graphically it looks great but, I don't know, nothing really grabs me here. Then again, the two guys playing the demo are just punching it out and not using any strategy. From what I can gather, though, UFC Undisputed looks better than FNR4. I'll probably be buying FNR4 either way, but I'm just sayin'.

Take a look and share your thoughts in the comments if you like.


Greg Paulus will play football, attend graduate school at Syracuse

After speculation about the Green Bay Packers and Michigan Wolverines, Duke University basketball player Greg Paulus has chosen the Syracuse Orange to resume his football career.

Paulus is a native of the Syracuse area and was a top prep quarterback for Christian Brothers Academy. He chose basketball at Duke over basketball at Syracuse and football at Notre Dame or Miami when he came out of high school.

Now he suddenly has a chance to make history, playing basketball and football for two separate colleges in the same calendar year.

Syracuse isn't exactly strong at the quarterback position so it wouldn't be shocking to see Paulus starting for the Orange at some point this year, even though he hasn't played competitive football in four seasons.

Yankees are really getting pathetic with handling of Legends Suites

NYU held their graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium yesterday. 20,000 friends and family of the graduates showed up but there was one problem. None of them were allowed to sit in the Legends Suites, which make up the first ten or so rows of seats. That means the close kin of graduating NYU students couldn't get close to the action.

I would say this is just like a regular Yankees game except if you can afford to send your kid to NYU, you can probably afford Legends Suites tickets. Overall, though, really just pathetic stuff on the part of the Yankees. I understand that when a game is going on and people have paid for those seats, you want to keep the "riff raff" out, but this is ridiculous.

I mean, would the snobby, rich, not-even-really-baseball-fans that ponied up $1,200 per seat in the Legends Suites even notice? "Honey, this isn't my ass print on this seat. How dare they let another human into my area?!"

Thanks to friend of the blog Bob Mantz we can give you some video of the situation:

Dropping Links: Thursday, May 14th

NEWS
Nuggets knock off Mavs, advance to Western Conference Finals |ESPN.com|
Jason Taylor dances his way back to Dolphins with one-year deal |FOX Sports.com|
Ryan Zimmerman's hit streak snapped at 30 in Nationals' win |SI.com|

BLOGS
Mets' announcers don't like John McEnroe telling it like it is |Tirico Suave|
An update on the Brian Wilson - Casey Blake soap opera |Big League Stew|
Are the Tigers thinking of releasing Magglio Ordonez? |The Scores Report|

VIDEO
Even at home, Shaq can't stop getting his groove on |SPORTSbyBROOKS|

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Corie Blount sentenced to prison for pot possession. Oh, the irony!

Former NBA player Corie Blount was sentenced to one year in prison after he was caught possessing 29 pounds of marijuana. Thanks to Awful Announcing, we have video of ESPN's Chris McKendry cracking up trying to deliver the news.


I would be giggling too if a player named Blount, pronounced "blunt," was arrested for marijuana possession. It's like a guy named Sam Adams getting arrested for public intoxication. And what a great quote from the judge. After Blount said it was for personal use, the judge said, "Cheech and Chong would have had a hard time smoking that much."

Philadelphia radio interview with Skip Bayless gets heated

On yesterday's First Take Skip Bayless made some comments about "Philly-style behavior" from the Dallas Mavericks' fans during the Nuggets-Mavs series. That angered Philadelphia radio host Mike Missanelli, who had Bayless on today's show to duke it out.

You can hear the audio of the interview here.

I hate to say it but I somewhat agree with Skip Bayless here. He comes on the radio to do an interview about Philadelphia football and gets blindsided by Missanelli. The radio DJ is basically blasting Bayless for making inaccurate statements just to get a reaction, and then he attacks Bayless... just do get a reaction.

He knows bloggers like me will run with it because, frankly, we're after page views. But Philly fans have done more than the happenings at the Vet 18 years ago to earn the stereotype of being rowdy and rude, like booing Santa Claus and Mike Schmidt. Even this year they boo'ed Adam Eaton at the Phillies' championship ring ceremony.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, May 13th

NEWS
Celtics rally late against Magic, take 3-2 series lead |FOX Sports.com|
Not surprisingly, Clemens denies steroid use again |ESPN.com|
VH1 will film T.O.'s arrival at Buffalo minicamp |SI.com|
Ryan Zimmerman extends hitting streak to 30 games |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
A look at where some 2009 NBA free agents might end up |The Scores Report|
Prices set for old Yankee Stadium memorabilia |Sports Biz|

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chris Benoit's personal doctor sentenced to 10 years in jail

Professional wrestler Chris Benoit's personal doctor, Phil Astin, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for illegally distributing prescription drugs to patients.

From the Associated Press:
Prosecutors said Astin prescribed painkillers and other drugs to known addicts for years. They said at least two of Astin's patients died because of his lax oversight of what medicines they were taking. However, the indictment was unclear about whether Chris Benoit, a wrestler for Stamford, Conn.-based World Wrestling Entertainment, was one of the two.

"I take full responsibility," Astin told the judge Tuesday. "I am sorry I hurt so many lives. I was thinking that I was looking after my patients."

U.S. District Judge Jack Camp said there was no doubt Astin tried to help hundreds of patients at his western Georgia clinic. But the judge said he could not overlook the fact that at least two patients died as a result of Astin's misconduct.

"The fact that two people did die outweighs other conditions that I must consider," Camp said.
A federal investigation showed several signs of misconduct on Astin's part, including writing up to four simultaneous prescriptions for Percocet to some patients and giving drugs without conducting physical exams.

Chris Benoit, as you may remember, was the wrestler who killed his wife and son before hanging himself in June of 2007.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, May 12th

NEWS
Cavs sweep again, finish off Hawks to advance to East finals |ESPN.com|
Vikings president still thinks Favre could play this year |FOX Sports.com|
Santana can't get help from Mets as usual, loses to Lowe, Braves |SI.com|
Raptors sign coach Jay Triano to new three-year deal |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
Mike & Mike will interview Roger Clemens this morning |WatchDog|
Former Red Sox player says team advised players how to properly use 'roids |Bob's Blitz|
Lookalikes: Matt Stairs and former WCW wrestler Scott Norton |Hugging Harold Reynolds|
Marlins option Cameron Maybin to Triple A |The Scores Report|

VIDEO
Funny "Little Mac" commercial to promote new Wii Punch Out game |NESW Sports.com|

Monday, May 11, 2009

Video: New Nike commercial features LeBron and Kobe as puppets

Nike is getting ready to release their new set of playoff basketball ads, featuring puppet versions of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. They don't actually use the voices of LBJ and Kobe, but it's a funny spot nonetheless.


(Hat tip to Sports Biz for the vid)

Dropping Links: Monday, May 11th

NEWS
Celtics even series with Magic on Big Baby buzzer beater |ESPN.com|
Ryan Zimmerman extends hit streak to 28 in Nationals' loss |SI.com|
Yao-less Rockets pound Lakers anyway, even series |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
London Super Bowl rumors are swirling again |The Scores Report|
Old Yankee Stadium memorabilia finally being auctioned |Sports Biz|
Phil Jackson wants you to give the Rockets some F'ing credit |Tirico Suave|

Video: Glen "Big Baby" Davis game winning buzzer beater v. Magic

Glen Davis probably isn't the guy the Celtics wanted taking this shot attempt, trailing by one with only a few seconds left, but he delivered. Watch at the 1:00 minute mark as he shoves a towel boy on the Magic bench in celebration.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Plenty of good seats available at Jose Canseco press conference

Jose Canseco called a press conference Thursday very soon after the Manny Ramirez-failed drug test story broke and, as you can tell, no one really cared to hear Canseco say "I told you so."

From the AP article about the presser:
Canseco spoke to a near-empty ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Only one reporter from The Associated Press, Canseco’s lawyer, a photographer and four camera crews attended the news conference. All but two of the 100 seats were empty.
As much as Canseco is a publicity-seeking, no class narc, he has been pretty much right on the money with everyone he has accused of juicing. We all laughed when he said A-Rod did and chuckled even more over the though of Manny on the 'roids. Now Canseco doesn't seem completely crazy, just a little crazy.

(Photo via The Sporting Blog)

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt reportedly furious with Manny Ramirez

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is "furious" with ManRam, according to reports, and is demanding that he speak with his teammates about his 50-game suspension. Manny said he might get around to it sometime after the Dodgers begin a road trip this week.

Speaking of fury, where is all the outcry over Manny's suspension? Sure, he wasn't suspended for using a steroid, but unless he was trying to get pregnant, there really is no other explanation for using hCG, other than because you recently stopped taking steroids. And, you know, men can't get pregnant. Well, men other than Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior, of course.

Where is Manny's sitdown interview where he has to explain himself to Peter Gammons? When is his press conference where he is lambasted for not giving enough details? Where is the tell-all book with mostly made up "facts" from Selena Roberts?

EA and NCAA being sued for using player likenesses in videogames

College sports games don't feature the names of players but other than that, the players are exact replicas of their real-life counterparts. That's what former Arizona State and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller is contending in a class action lawsuit against EA Sports and the NCAA.

From CNBC's Darren Rovell:
Keller says that the NCAA and its licensing arm, Collegiate Licensing Company, have approved the use of players names and likenesses.

"With rare exception, virtually every real-life Division I football or basketball player in the NCAA has a corresponding player in Electronic Arts' games with the same jersey number, and virtually identical height, weight, build, and home state. In addition, Electronic Arts matches the player's skin tone, hair color, and often even a player's hair style, although this last characteristic can be highly variable over even a single season."
...
Keller then introduces GameRosters.com, which I have known about for years. The company has files of each school's roster, which can be uploaded into the game.

"Once uploaded," the suit says, "the default jerseys in the game that contain only players numbers are replaced with jerseys that contain both the player's actual name and actual number and in-game announcers then refer to players by their real names."
Keller is exactly right here and I'm surprised it has taken this long for someone to come forward and try to stop it. Obviously the big stars of the NCAA that make it in the NFL won't say anything because they are rich, but Keller needs money and attention, since he didn't really do much in college.

Besides, if there is no intent by EA to capture the players' likenesses, as they say, then why do the announcers say the names of each player once you've uploaded them? I'm sure EA could make the case that it's so that people at home can create themselves, but are there that many people buying the game with last names like Reynaud and Heyward-Bey that they should be included?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Video: Alex Rodriguez hits HR on first pitch he sees in 2009

As you may or may not have heard, Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees' lineup Friday night following surgery for a torn hip labrum. A-Rod wasted no time returning to form, smashing a three run home run on the first pitch he saw.


Say what you want about A-Rod but with Jorge Posada, Xavier Nady and (to a lesser extent) Jose Molina on the DL right now, they need everything they can get from Rodriguez. Lost in this game was CC Sabathia's complete game shutout, allowing four hits and striking out eight.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dropping Links: Friday, May 8th

NEWS
Rick Pitino says he will stay at Louisville amid NBA rumors |ESPN.com|
Bob Melvin fired as Diamondbacks manager |FOX Sports.com|
Dom DiMaggio dies at age 92 |CBS Sports.com|
Brett Favre says he will stay retired this time |SI.com|
David Beckham still wants to play for AC Milan |Yahoo.com|

Thursday, May 7, 2009

ESPN says Manny Ramirez took hCG, a womens fertility drug

And why would he want to take a womens fertility drug? Because it's often given to steroid users to take so their body will restart its natural testosterone production.

If what ESPN is reporting is true, then Manny definitely has abused steroids in the past.

Everyone wants to give Ramirez the benefit of the doubt and act like he is a victim here, but he's trying slither away from this like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds before him. Alex Rodriguez may have lied about some things, but he at least fessed up to taking PED's.

Manny Ramirez suspended 50 games for positive PED test

The mighty have fallen again.

Manny Ramirez will be suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for a failed performance-enhancing drug test. Ramirez is expected to say the positive test was triggered by a prescription drug he was using for a medical condition and not a steroid, according to sources.

Sure, Manny, that's pretty convenient. But let's face it: Manny, like A-Rod and the rest before him, juiced. If he had a condition and a doctor prescribed him this drug, why wouldn't he just have cleared it with MLB before he started using it?

Ramirez will begin serving the suspension tonight and will not be eligible to return until July 3rd.

Dropping Links: Thursday, May 7th

NEWS
Kobe drops 40, Artest ejected as Lakers even series 1-1 |ESPN.com|
Heat looking to lock up D-Wade, keep him from 2010 bidding |FOX Sports.com|
Dodgers set home winning streak record with 13-0 start |CBS Sports.com|

BLOGS
Chris Mortensen doesn't believe Dilfer, who believes Mort? |Awful Announcing|
Andre Ethier has been pretty damn good this year |The Scores Report|

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jason Whitlock questions Selena Roberts' credibility

Jason Whitlock, although I often don't agree with him, is one of my favorite columnists. That's because he isn't scared of what people will think of what he writes and he isn't afraid to bring it. His latest entry at FOX Sports.com is no exception.
Tuesday, as I listened to Roberts defend her New York Times columns that painted the Duke lacrosse players as rapists, cowards and liars during an interview on Jim Rome's nationally syndicated radio show, I couldn't help but notice she went with the Sharp-tongue defense.

"I wrote about the culture at Duke, and there's no doubt about that. I stand by that today," Roberts said. "I separated the criminal investigation from the culture."

Maybe it's a New York, freedom-fighter thing, this amazing ability to ignore the innocence of the criminally accused while making your justifiable point that America suffers from and with racism and sexism.

Roberts' writings/rantings on Duke lacrosse have become relevant again because she's asked us to trust her anonymous investigative reporting and speculation about Alex Rodriguez, the confessed steroid cheat and home run hitter.

According to Roberts' new book and her interview blitzkrieg, Rodriguez used steroids in high school, tipped pitches to opposing batters, tipped Hooters waitresses a paltry 15 percent, was nicknamed "Bitch Tits" in the locker room and is caught up in being perfect because his father abandoned him as a child.

Her sourcing for the most damaging allegations, by her own admission, is either anonymous or non-existent. She wants us to trust her, and her New York Times- and Sports Illustrated-highlighted résumé.
Whitlock goes on to say that unlike Bob Costas, the ESPN producers and the "steroid-obsessed baseball journalists," he doesn't believe Roberts. Jayson Blair, he says, worked at The Times and he was a liar too.
It is embarrassingly disingenuous for Roberts to suggest that her columns about Duke lacrosse weren't founded on the belief that the players sexually assaulted the false accuser. Her refusal to admit this mistake and apologize makes me wonder what other truths she's willing to fudge.
Whitlock ends it, like wrestling, with the powerful finishing move:
What I'm about to write is pure speculation.

Selena Roberts believes America is a safe haven for sexism (I happen to agree, but that's beside the point). She wanted the Duke lacrosse players to be shining examples of how deep-rooted and protected our sexism is, and she was more than willing to ignore their innocence to make her point (this repulses me).

Selena Roberts believes professional sports — the money, fame and power they primarily give young men — are corrosive of good values and a haven for sexism (I happen to agree, but that's beside the point). She wants Alex Rodriguez to stand as a shining example of what's wrong with American sports, and she just might be willing to ignore flattering truths about A-Rod and publish hearsay and gossip to make her point (and this is unfair).

She's written a celebrity-gossip book, "A-Rod: Game of Innuendo." Maybe you despise Rodriguez so much that you don't care about her methods and whether the rest of the alleged mainstream media characterize her work properly.

I bet the Duke lacrosse players and Tawana Brawley's victims could explain to you why you should care.
(Hat tip to Neil Best at WatchDog for the link)

Dropping Links: Wednesday, May 6th

NEWS
Rick Ankiel is out of hospital after scary wall crash |CBS Sports.com|
LeBron drops 34 points as Cavs pound Hawks in Game One |Yahoo.com|
Jorge Posada is the latest Yankee to land on the DL |ESPN.com|
Michael Vick, Tony Dungy meet in prison, meeting is "positive" |SI.com|
NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing is Detroit's newest mayor |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
"Joe Buck Live" will debut June 15th on HBO |Awful Announcing|
A roundup on this offseason's NBA Free Agency rumors |The Scores Report|
New Yankee Stadium security is tight, even with Paul O'Neill |No Guts, No Glory|

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Get ready for another whole summer of Brett Favre talk

According to several sources, Brett Favre will meet with Vikings head coach Brad Childress sometime this week regarding a possible comeback... again.

Great. Just what we need, another three months of hearing about how great Favre is, even though he really hasn't done anything special in over a decade. Another three months of discounting his horrible stats lately and chalking them up to injuries or pretending it's all okay because he "has fun out there."

At this point, honestly, Favre just seems like an insincere, selfish old bastard. He was the reason the Jets failed to make the playoffs last year with his terrible play down the stretch. In his own mind the Packers "ran him out of town," which is the main reason he wants to come back with the Vikings. He wanted to play for the Vikings last year but his little trick didn't work and now he wants to try to rub it in the Packers' face again.

What Favre did to the Packers is akin to telling your girlfriend you think it's best if you see other people, and then getting mad at her when she sleeps with someone else. You said you were retired, Brett, and when they decided that after the third time saying it you might be serious, they moved on. So you can't be mad that they didn't want you back after you had left them hanging once more.

And if I were a Vikings' fan, I would be crapping my pants right now. Why would you want Brett Favre to come in and throw pick after pick when all you need to do is manage the game and count on Adrian Peterson?

Either way, it's bound to happen. I'll believe Favre is retired when he's dead, and even then I wouldn't be so sure.

(Photoshopped image courtesy of LaZyDaN at the PurplePride.org Forums)

Chris Meketansky's New York Sports Broadcaster Hall of Fame: Walt Frazier

Introducing a brand new multi-part series that will be appearing here at tonyblogs.net, Chris Meketansky's New York Sports Broadcaster Hall of Fame. Chris is one of the original members of the "CortSide" radio team, along with myself, Josh and Stu, whom you've heard from before. But this is Christopher's first guest post. Today, and in the weeks to come, he gives us a closer look at some of the sports broadcasting icons of New York. The first, and perhaps finest, is an extremely well-written look at Walt "Clyde" Frazier.
On September 27, 2005 a production intern walks into MSG Network studios after an hour and fifteen minutes spent riding the L.I.R.R., delayed by electrical malfunction. Late by twenty minutes, with a coffee stain on his clearance khakis, the young man questions if hustling from Queens College to Penn Station four days a week is worthwhile. He runs into a segment producer, who despite forgetting his name scalds him worse than the java -- which his pants now wear like a badge of mediocrity -- did. Taking solace in the bathroom while trying to blot the stain to make it look less like a child’s nighttime accident, his entire career is being questioned. Exiting the restroom, out of the corner of his eye he sees a mythical looking figure walking his way; a purple velvet jacket draped over a pair of perfectly tailored slacks in the distance, and out of the blazer a mitt of a hand suddenly appears. The figure offers a handshake and says, “Welcome young man.” My path in life never seemed as clear as that first moment I met Walt “Clyde” Frazier in person.

Since beginning to broadcast Knicks basketball on television in 1997, Frazier has provided masterful audio to go along with video, which far too often, is unwatchable; the team hasn’t had a winning season since 2001. Style, swagger and foresight roll off his tongue with every piece of information and oracle-like prognostication he passes along. Most Knicks fans know a free throw is off-target in a clutch situation before it even hits the rim, when they hear the familiar “uh-huh” of the oracle-like Frazier.

The man possesses a vocabulary that would make Merriam-Webster jealous. His passion for instilling eclectic variety into sports fans’ vernaculars is evidenced with the release of his book, Word Jam: An Electrifying, Mesmerizing, Gravity-Defying, Guide to a Powerful and Awesome Vocabulary. Truly, a must-read for wordsmiths young and old. He regularly infuses colorful phrases into Knicks games such as: “percolating on the post,” “a little serendipity,” “bounding and astounding,” and “dishing and swishing” just to name a few.

Hearing Frazier broadcast a game is sufficient enough evidence to induct him into the New York Sports Broadcaster Hall of Fame, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Seemingly natural originality is a reoccurring theme in his career. As a player, he was known as a crafty defender, who would use a highly intelligent approach to lure opponents into giving up the ball. His goal was to make the man in front of him forget he existed, until he could capitalize and create a turnover. Similarly, Frazier’s broadcast style is smooth to the point you forget he’s there, until the perfect time to say something arises.

He is known for using a fresh approach to calling games without ever missing a beat. As he likes to say, “Basketball is a game of improvisation.” Clyde has developed an uncanny ability to adapt to any situation he’s presented. Frazier’s verbal counterparts present unique challenges he adapts to with unwavering confidence. Mike Breen’s low-key, logical play-by-play is always complimented by Walt’s titillating and accurate color analysis of the action. Gus Johnson, who has a way of getting overly excited at the smallest of occurrences -- whether its a Nate Robinson dunk in a blow-out, or Tyson Chandler stroking a three to cut the lead to single digits -- is saved by Frazier’s ability to act as a counterbalance. Clyde can be a truthful voice in the face of blind optimism.

Style on and off the court, a realistic voice and a scary good command of the English language make Walt Clyde Frazier the first deserving inductee into the NYSBHoF.

Dropping Links: Cinco de Mayo

NEWS
LeBron James is the NBA's Most Valuable Player |ESPN.com|
Carlos Zambrano is on the DL with a strained hamstring |CBS Sports.com|
UFC's Chuck Liddell leaning towards retirement |SI.com|

BLOGS
An excellent rant on Brett Favre from Harvey Bars |Tirico Suave|
Mets trying to make bullpen worse, add Oliver Perez to it |The Legend of Cecilio Guante|

Monday, May 4, 2009

Full Fight Night Round 4 videogame roster revealed

The full roster for the Fight Night Round 4 videogame has been revealed and here is the list, according to Stick Skills.

Mike Tyson
Muhammad Ali
Ricky Hatton
Ray Robinson
Thomas Hearns
Miguel Cotto
Shane Mosely
Jake Lamotta
Marvin Hagler
Roy Jones Jr.
Carlos Monzon
Jermaine Taylor
Kelly Pavlik
Manny Pacquiao
Pernell Whittaker
Julio Caesar Chavez
George Foreman
Joe Frazier
Lennox Lewis
Ray Leonard
James Toney
Roberto Duran
Marco Antonio Barrera
Amin Asikainen
Paulie Malignaggi
Kermit Cinteron
Eddie Chambers
Arturo Gatti
Corey Spinks
Tommy Morrison
Sergio Mora
Fernando Montiel
Jorge Armando Arce
Arementa
Anthony Mundine
Emanuel Agustus
Vinny Paz
Vivian Harris
Billy Dib
Diego Corrales
Erik Morales
Nate Campbell
Ronald "Winky" Wright
Yuriorkis Gamboa
Nonito Donair
Arthur Abraham
Joe Calzaghe
Roberto Guerrero
Edwim Valero
Victor Ortiz

Pretty good roster there, with some good names. And I must admit, I'll be playing a Tyson v. Ali match as soon as I get my hands on this game.

Dropping Links: Monday, May 4th

NEWS
Hawks knock off Heat in Game Seven, will face Magic |ESPN.com|
Joe Girardi does not like the A-Rod book by Selena Roberts |FOX Sports.com|
Carl Crawford ties record with six steals as Rays beat Sawx |SI.com|

BLOGS
Rafael Nadal is very, very good at tennis |The Score Report|
Some new Madden 10 details have emerged |PastaPadre.com|