Tuesday, January 31, 2006


posted by BH

About Alito's confirmation:

Democrats weren't convinced, with liberals even unsuccessfully trying to rally support to filibuster Alito on Monday. "The 1985 document amounted to Judge Alito's pledge of allegiance to a conservative radical Republican ideology," Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said before the vote.
This is awesome. When did Democratic leadership decide that trying to woo Republican voters was not how to win elections, instead deciding that calling them names is the way to go? Seriously, is any Republican switching parties because of Reid's statenment? I like that he says, "conservative radical Republican ideology." That pretty much covers all of them.

This part comes from Pelosi's "Pre-Buttal." It's cool that in a few years, the president will be giving a "Pre State of the Union "address.

“First and foremost, America must remain pre-eminent in the world, with a strong national security that keeps America safe and a strong economy that produces good jobs. Nothing is more urgent than keeping America #1. For over a year, Democrats have been working with leaders in business and the academic community to put together an aggressive plan to maintain America’s leadership in innovation, and unleash the next generation of discovery, invention and growth. This is our Democratic Innovation Agenda – our commitment to competitiveness to keep America #1.
"For over a year, Democrats have been working...to put together an aggressive plan?" Over a year? Aggressive plan? The problem with the Democratic party at the moment is that the leadership has convinced the rest of the party that it seems to be enough to simply say that you've got a plan. John Kerry had a plan to get out of Iraq, though I never heard that it was anything more than a plan.

“Our innovation agenda begins with a serious, sustained commitment to America’s schools. Nothing could be more important than providing opportunity for our children, and to secure America’s leadership in the world. In a globalized, knowledge-based economy, America’s greatest resource for innovation and economic growth resides within America’s classrooms. We’ve pledged to create a new generation of innovators by calling for a qualified teacher in every math and science K-12 classroom and by issuing a ‘Call to Action’ to engineers and scientists to join the ranks of America’s teachers. Along with other Democratic proposals such as the Teach Act and the Strengthen our Schools Act, we intend to make sure young children have qualified teachers and supportive environments in which to learn.
Do we currently employ unqualified teachers in our K-12 math and science classrooms? And how exactly are you going to get scientists and engineers to "join the ranks of America's teachers." Are you going to pay them more? Maybe what they would make as scientists and teachers? Non science and math teachers might fight you on that. Are you going to pay them the same as other teachers? What sort of incentive do you see for those scientists and mathematicians?

“We recognize that independent scientific research provides the foundation for innovation and future technologies. That is why we pledge to double federal funding for basic research and development in the physical sciences.
Now, either you're going to have over-qualified science teachers (that may or may not actually be good teachers) and under-qualified scientists, or the other way around.
Making it more lucrative to be a scientist seems like a good way to get more of them into teaching. By the way, this is way too vague. Basic research and development? Doesn't Charmin to that?

“High-speed, always-on broadband will create millions of good jobs. Our agenda guarantees that every American will have affordable access to broadband – within five years."
How will it create millions of good jobs. Maybe it will. How? It sounds like you've got a plan. It sounds like your plan has to do with saying things that make people happy without respecting their intelligence enough to tell us how the plan is supposed to work.

“Taken together, our Democratic innovation agenda, – education, R&D, public-private partnerships, energy independence – is a decision in favor of the future."
It really sounds good. But my plan sounds good too. My plan calls for a 1000% increase in yearly income for all those who wear black shoes. It also calls for increased production of lingerie. That's definitely in favor of my future. It's also just as implausible.

“Next week, when Congress returns, the first bill we will vote on is the Republican budget. Regardless of what the President may say on Tuesday night, the Republican budget tells an alarming story: It includes policies that increase the deficit by nearly 300 billion dollars, heaping mountains of debt on our children. It increases the cost of student loans while cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans. It cuts funding for the basic research vital to creating jobs. It cuts funding for health care for our children.
Classic political buzzwords like "wealthiest," "our children (twice)," "health care" and "jobs." Meaningless crap. Especially the part about funding basic research vital to creating jobs. What, Monster.com?

“Why, the American people ask us, ‘are we considering a budget that is so out-of-step with our values and our priorities?’ The answer is the Republican culture of corruption that has permeated the White House and the Capitol.
Do the American people ask you this in unison? "The Republican culture of corruption?" Are all Republicans corrupt?

“How many times have you heard of a special-interest provision that was slipped into a bill in ‘the dead of night?’ or a thousand-page bill that no one was given time to read before voting on it. That’s because Republicans have been doing the bidding of special-interest lobbyists who have purchased access to the legislative process.
In the paragraph before, she writes, "The answer is the Republican culture of corruption that has permeated the White House and the Capitol." Here she writes, "Republicans have been doing the bidding of special-interest lobbyists who have purchased access to the legislative process." Has Pelosi ever taken any money from the Sierra Club? Let's remember that special-interest lobbyists occupy both sides of the aisle on the capitol. What lobbyists do, as a rule, is not illegal.

“The American people pay the cost of corruption. That’s why we have a confusing Medicare prescription drug bill that actually raises the cost of prescription drugs for middle income seniors. That’s why we have an energy bill that gives huge tax breaks to oil and gas companies that are making record profits, while Americans pay record energy prices. And that’s why we have legislation larded up with special-interest earmarks and ‘bridges to nowhere’ that increase the deficit.
Oil and gas companies are making record profits because people are willing to continue using oil and gas in huge amounts. It's this crazy thing call supply and demand.

My whole issue with this is that Pelosi has never done anything to try to bring the two parties together. One could argue that it's her job to rally support for her party, but that seems to be the job of Howard Dean and the DNC. Nancy Pelosi is a representation of what's wrong with the Democratic party at the moment. Voters don't want to continue hearing that the other side is to blame, listening to press release after press release and speech after speech in which old, worn out cliches are trotted out as if they were from somewhere other than the eighteenth century. Democrats cannot continue to follow leadership that thinks the best way to run the country is pointing out that they are not the other guy. It's not enough to say that you've got a plan. It's not enough to rip on the other party for what amounts to idealogical differences. We all know what they are. Figure out a way to positively change and help education, R&D, public-private partnerships, and energy independence in a way that actually works, without raising taxes to the point that I get only 3% of my salary at the end of the year. Do something that tells us why you believe your principles are right, rahter than repeatedly telling voters why the other guy's principles are wrong. There are a lot of registered Republicans out there who are feeling a little iffy at the moment about the direction of their party, yet leadership on the other side of the aisle is giving them no reason to look to the left.

This and That

by SonDog

---- The words "reciprocating saw" and "installing a dishwasher" should never be used in the same sentence. However, as DMo and I found out on Saturday while trying to remove my broken dishwasher in order to replace it with a shiny, new, state of the art dishwasher, sometimes you need to be creative and "modify" certain parts.

I turned down the option of a professional installer, in part, because of the $300 fee. After three trips to Home Depot on Saturday in order to buy parts and tools to complete said project by myself, I ended up saving a whopping $20 by installing it without the use of a professional. Some of you may remember the story about my obsession with Home Depot (or, as OZ calls it, The Store). But, as Tyler Durden would say, no matter what happens, at least I've got that dishwasher installation project figured out.

This is a professional. This is not a self-portrait. Looks easy, doesn't it? To the professional installers out there, I hate you.

---- After watching two Sacramento Kings' games with new SF Ron Artest, I'm inclined to believe two things: 1) This team is going to be pretty good when Bonzi Wells comes back and the team starts to feed off of Artest's intensity; 2) Head coach Rick Adelman is an idiot. Let me explain. In Artest, the Kings traded for the best on-the-ball defender in the NBA. Not one of the best, but THE best. So, two minutes into the game on Sunday against Toronto, Adelman, naturally, has the Kings play a zone defense. Wait... What? In Adelman's defense, the fence post defense that Mike Bibby played on Raptor's point guards Mike James and Jose Calderon (who?) somewhat forced him to make some sort of change. On three consecutive possessions in the third quarter, I witnessed Bibby and Miller play what could possibly be the worst pick-n-roll defense that Western Civilization has ever seen. Regardless, playing mostly zone through the game allowed the Raptor's to score 124 points. The words "Raptors" and "scored 122 points" should never be used in the same sentence, unless the "scored 122 points" is referring to the opposition.

One aspect of the Artest trade that excites me is the tenacious on-ball defense that this psycho plays. Remember, he's only a couple of years removed from being the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He brings a toughness on defense that has been sorely lacking during the Rick Adelman era in Sacramento. That being said, as has been well documented, Artest's new teammates aren't exactly the best defensive players in the game. Still, Kenny Thomas and Kevin Martin are not horrible man-on-man defenders. Bibby and Miller may be awful defensively, but that's not going to change whether you're in a zone defense or a man-on-man defense. Therefore, if you have the best man-on-man defender in the game, why in the name of Zeus's butt-hole would you decide to put the team in a zone defense? I only have one answer: Adelman is trying to get himself fired.

By the way, the Raptors were FAVORED to beet the Kings on Sunday by 1 pt. They ended up winning by 1 pt. Kudos to the Vegas odds-makers. However, when was the last time Sacramento wasn't favored to win a game against Toronto? In the immortal words of Bill Walton, that's horrrrrrrrrible.

---- Hour 6 of 24 aired last night. I've read on a couple of websites that fans of the show now use "Flank 2 position" to describe a situation in which they are in trouble. Frankly, this is brilliant. I've already incorporated the phrase in to my day to day vocabular repertoire. If my office, if a buddy is searching something on the internet that he shouldn't be, and somebody of particular importance is approaching, I simply say, "Reed, you're in a Flank 2 position." I'll also follow that up with an email of high priority with a subject line of, FLANK 2 POSITION (you know, the one in Microsoft Outlook with the red exclamation point... by the way, I really, really hate it when people send those). Also, the now-classic Jack Bauer line of, "WHO DID YOU TELL!?!?!?!?" has echoed around the walls of my office this morning.

---- The Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy start next week... in case you were wondering... or cared. Living in a ski resort, I feel that I should be much more attached to the games of the 1 billionth Olympiad, but I'm not. Not at all. Not even close. The whole Bode Miller fiasco (like, how he refuses to stop his mouth from spewing forth ridiculous comments repeatedly) has put somewhat of a damper on it in terms of my enjoyment. I can't root for Miller anymore. It's not because he claims he has skied in an event drunk, which I sincerely, sincerely doubt is possible since you're plummeting down a mountain at speeds approaching mach-4. (Hell, I can't even stand upright when I'm drunk, let alone strap myself in to two feet rockets.) It's not because he accused Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong of "knowingly cheating." It's not even because he advocated more lenient drug testing. It's mainly because he's a babbling buffoon who irritates the hell out of me. If there is one person I want to see fail in painful fashion at the Olympics, it's Miller. God Bless America.

Bode Miller, skiing drunk. Yeah, sure. Okay buddy. Whatever you say.

---- And finally, what Super Bowl week would be complete without a top-5 Super Bowl list. Today's list is the top-5 munchies necessary for a complete Super Bowl party:

1) Chips and Salsa/Guacamole -- This is a staple. An absolute staple.

2) Chicken Wings -- Plenty of ranch dressing and blue cheese dressing is necessary to complete the awesome lethality of the chicken wing snack.

3) Cheese/Bean/Sour Cream/Guac Dip -- This is a relative to #1, but necessitates a category all its own.

4) Cocktail Wieners -- Just because it's always fun to say "wieners" with a straight face.

5) The Classic Vegetable Tray -- Nobody really eats this one until everything else is gone, but it's almost the Mozart of the five-piece band of munchies.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


posted by BH

Currently on ESPN.com, the poll question is "What is the Best Storyline for Super Bowl XL?" The leader, with 55% of the vote, is "Jerome Bettis returning home for Super Bowl." Why does anyone care about this? Shouldn't the biggest storyline be something like, I don't know, the Super Bowl? What is the fascination with Bettis? What the hell do I care about him playing in Detroit? I just can't help getting over the idea that this is a fake story. Like the media chose to focus on it in order to have something to talk about. I know he grew up there, but is anyone really that happy for him? ESPN has been and will continue playing this angle until two days after the game, and it is going to be a constant, nauseating presence throughout the game. I don't know. I'm happy for the guy, but it is not the biggest story of the Super Bowl.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Just Because

by SonDog

From ESPN.com's Page 2. Here's a link to all 81 of The Mamba's points in a little over three minutes.

From Page 2: "My favorite part is whenever a Raptor feigns help before quickly retreating back to his man. If I were Sam Mitchell, I'd have a field day with this tape session. "Okay ... freeze! Now right here, you just turned your back on Kobe to go find Sasha Vujacic. Let me guess, you're thinking, 'Hey, Kobe's got 70. It's Sasha Time.' Brilliant. I hate you all."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mind of Kings Fans -- The Ron-Ron edition

by SonDog

The following is an email exchange between two die-hard Sacramento Kings fans -- myself (SonDog -- living in Vail) and Aaron (OZ -- living in Sacramento). The conversation comes after the much ballyhooed trade for knucklehead talent Ron Artest--

OZ -- The main concern around town is wondering whether or not Artest will still be in uniform come March 17th when Sac plays Indiana in Indy. He was coming to town to find open arms and an excited crowd. Now he will be arriving to hesitant hearts and skepticism.

SonDog -- Still, knowing Sacramento fans, the first time he A) hustles for a loose ball , B) gets a steal, or C) plays physical defense, the crowd will be cheering for him. Artest was interviewed on The Best Damn Sports Show last night and sounded very excited. Of course, he's psycho, so I don't know if that means anything. Regardless, he's saying all the right things over the last 12 hours. I read last night that his agent was the one who was trying to kill the deal because he was concerned Artest wouldn't get the endorsements in Sac that he could in LA. Um, Magoo, I don't think at this point Artest is going to get ANY endorsements, regardless of where he's at.

OZ -- So the two real scum that soured this whole experience are Jim Gray and Artest's agent. Nice. Two cling-ons that are both trying to further their careers off somebody else's talent. Meanwhile, the longest standing Kings player gets treated like yesterday's garbage and a player coming to town already has an uphill fight.

When I say I hate Jim Gray, it's not just because he's a disgrace to the name, it's because he is the "Enquirer" of television journalism. I swear he only came to the NBA because Access Hollywood turned him down. His constant affiliation with topics that have nothing to do with sports excludes him from being called a "sports journalist" in my book. The only reason he's even reporting on the trade is because the network finally made him drop the Kobe vs. Shaq drama he's been humping for over a year.

SonDog -- Yeah, Jim Gray is a waste of air. I'm surprised he had so many internal contacts however, so he could break the story. He needs to be drug out into the street and shot. Ever since the Pete Rose incident at the All-Star game, he seems hell-bent on restoring his career through breaking "exclusive" stories like, "Jermaine O'Neal just took a dump...And it smells. Pacers officials are mortified."

What I'm most excited about with the trade is the defensive craziness that Artest brings to the Kings. There's no doubting the fact that Sac got the better end of this deal, talent wise. It's just all the off-the court stuff (like jumping into the stands) that you have to be concerned with. As far as community activities, Vlade Divac he aint. There's no way Kobe scores 81 on the Kings now. I was legitimately worried about it before the trade.

OZ -- I think you hit it on the head a couple of years ago when you said he's trying to pull an Ahmad Rashad and ride the Shaq wave to fame.

(Two - hour delay)

OZ -- Are you even still there?

SonDog -- I've been in a lunch meeting with my biggest client. I could have excused myself to respond, but I thought that might be counter-productive since I A) get paid to work with my biggest client and B) don't get paid to do a blog.

Anywho, back to Artest, I can't wait for the first game against the Lakers. I really can't. If Kobe scores 20 first-half points, there's a good chance Artest rips the wires out of Shareef's mouth to strangle Kobe to death.

OZ -- He'll get to play Kobe 4 times a year now. That alone might keep him in Sac through the off-season. I'm drooling at the thought of somebody running by Bibby and getting creamed by Artest on one side and Bonzi on the other. Sacramento has never had a legitimately crazy person on their team since they've been good and now they have two. Jerry Reynolds doesn't count as crazy. He's senile. He doesn't count as on the team either.

SonDog -- The basketball world has been dying for these two to be paired. On the right, you have a guy who likes to assault fans when he's not making rap albums... on the left, you have a guy who was told he would be arrested if he got near the arena during the playoffs (seriously, I want to know what Bonzi did to make Fratello say that.). I mean, these guys are capable of great things. This is must-see TV everytime they're on the court with one another. Flat-out, these guys are certified crazies. Too bad Bonzi is suffering from the mother of all groin injuries at the moment.

OZ -- Speaking of which (the crazies, not the groin), our season tickets are so close (he said modestly) that I was trying to convince the partners they needed to have clients sign waivers that we're not responsible if they get beat-up by Artest. We'll be offering helmets as well.

SonDog -- The key is to take somebody you really don't like with you to the game and say, "Hey, I dare you to throw that beer at Artest. Seriously, it will be funny. Dare ya."

I just hope Bonzi and Artest don't go nuts and turn the team into the Jailblazers-South. Artest makes Rasheed look like a teddy bear by comparison. There's no telling what nonsense he and Bonzi can get into with one another. What are the chances that one of them tells Coach Carill to screw off, thereby causing Coachie to retire on the spot, citing, "I can't deal with these nut-jobs."

OZ -- The players share enough respect for Yoda that they'll leave him be, but Adelman is definitely in the "screw off" crosshairs.

Am I supposed to miss Peja? I feel bad about the way he was handled, but really I'm just happy he's gone. How did he fall so far out of favor so fast? Maybe I'll wear his jersey to work Saturday in memoriam.

SonDog -- Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby... Those four guys were key to the great years. I say three of those jerseys will one day be in the rafters at the Las Vegas Palms Arena, and the one that won't will be #16. Look, the team traded Webber in order to hand the team over to Peja. The miscalculation was that he simply is not the a player that can lead his team. Simply can't. That's why people, in my opinion, didn't mind that he left. He failed when given the opportunity to be a star. In turn, I think it made people appreciate what Webber brought to the table. The fact that he failed, after basically saying he wanted to be "the man," is why people are not losing sleep over this. Plus, he kind of gave up on caring.

How in the world do they expect Adelman to "control" these knuckleheads? They need a coach like Byron Scott or Larry Brown. I heard that the first thing that Artest said to Adelman yesterday was, "Whatever."

OZ -- As I said before, I think Elston Turner has the player respect and attitude for this new team. Besides, he's bigger than Adelman so he stands a better chance of surviving an Artest attack.

SonDog -- I don't think he has it. At least not yet. Until he proves himself as a head coach, not just an assistant coach, he won't have the respect.

Remember when Latrell Sprewell was relevant in this discussion? When he choked P.J. Carlisimo? Whatever happened to that guy? I hope his family is eating still.

OZ -- How come P.J. doesn't get crap for settling as an assistant? Did Spree choke the head coaching desire out of him? On that note, how did San Antonio accumulate all the talent in the NBA?

I wonder what number Artest will take. There should be a lotto or a fan vote.

SonDog -- Speaking of numbers, I read that Kobe scored his 81 in his 666th game. I can't even come close to fabricating something like that.

I think the Spurs have the best announcers in the game too. They're just loaded. Greg Popovich is the most underrated head coach and executive in the NBA.

OZ -- Oh well, if they have the best announcers then there's no question they're the most loaded. No question. Announcers make all the difference to a team's win-loss record. Have I mentioned you're an idiot?

If that were the case, maybe the 2002 refereeing debacle could be attributed to Grant and Jerry instead of Stern. I'm fine with that.

SonDog -- Well, they sure make a difference when it comes to me enjoying the game. And if a team is good, and has good announcers, then, to refer to your question, yes, they have accumulated all the talent in the NBA. If you were a man, I would punch you right in the nose.

Can you believe the Kobe thing? How can you not be just shocked by that?

OZ -- What? That makes sense to me. The only thing that was weird about that game was the Lakers won.

SonDog -- What do you mean, what? He's the anti-christ!! That just confirms it!!

Day's over. I'm out like Peja.

Dictionary Please

posted by BH

In an interview Wednesday night, Michael Vick talked about, among other things, the problems his brother had at Virginia Tech. I know they are brothers and there's a bit of a bond there, but come on. There's a difference between sticking by Marcus no matter what and defending him to the far reaches of crazy world.

Atlanta Falcons
quarterback Michael Vick believes Virginia Tech overreacted when the school dismissed his brother, Marcus, from the football team after he stomped on an opposing player during the Gator Bowl.
Either Michael's wrong for thinking this, or the writer's wrong for writing it. Virginia Tech dismissed Marcus because he had been on a zero tolerance probation since 2004. Those were the days when he was giving underage girls alcohol and facing other legal, uh, challenges. The point is, VT didn't dismiss Marcus because he stomped on a player's leg. That was simply the last straw and violated the whole idea of zero tolerance.

"Sometimes your emotions just take over," Michael Vick said during halftime Wednesday night of the Atlanta Hawks' game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. "I know Marcus. He's not the kind of kid that's going to do something like that on purpose. That's just something he's got to live with, and now it's just time to move on."

Now, I know I have some shortcomings but it seemed that what Marcus Vick did to Elvis Dumerville was the very meaning of "on purpose." This idea that his emotions took over, somehow absolving what Marcus did is crazy. Everyone uses adrenaline on the football field. Everyone experiences emotion. Most to all athletes are capable of handling it.

Earlier this month, just three days after being kicked off the football team, Vick was arrested and charged with pulling a gun on three teenagers in Virginia.

Michael said he believes Marcus will be exonerated.

"No, I ain't mad," Michael Vick said. "He didn't do anything wrong. The world will all know when the truth comes out."
"He didn't do anything wrong." Hmm. Again, I'm just simple folk, but what he did was the essence of wrong. If a company wanted to sell wrong in a bottle, customers would be buying Marcus Vick pulling a gun on some teenagers. And why this future date when the truth can come out? Why not now? Why can't the world know now why either a) Marcus is innocent, b) Marcus was justified, or c) some made up crazy explanation?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sweet Jesus

by SonDog

Well, the trade is back on, pending league approval, which is exactly where it was at exactly 24 hours ago.

Coincidentally, 24 hours ago, when Ron Artest threw a wrench into the deal, I wrote, "I'm in a state of shock at the moment."

Today, I'm at a state of shock at the moment. Stay tuned.

Now What?

by SonDog

Word on ESPN is that Ron Artest now says, "I'll go anywhere," with his agent saying, "Ron doesn't want to play in Sacramento." Seems a bit contradictory, unless Sacramento doesn't count as "anywhere."

The Maloof brothers, for their part, told Bloomberg News last night, "The trade is not dead yet. We're going to sleep on it tonight and try again tomorrow. The sleep, of course, is after we jump in our bed full of money with seven hookers and have the absolute time of our lives tonight at the Palms." Okay, so I made the last part up, but they did say that the trade is still alive.

And how does Peja Stojakovic even think of going with his team for the game in New York tonight? Can you imagine Peja walking into the locker room tonight saying, "Hey guys, you won't believe what happened to me yesterday." Seriously, how does he even show up? I have not been a Peja supporter ever since he requested a trade two years ago (actually, he requested a "change of scenery." Even his trade demands are soft.) because of Chris Webber. However, I am in his corner today because the organization is kind of screwing him over at the moment. I'm still at a loss at how this trade could come so close, with so much leaking to the media, only to have it derailed by Artest and his agent. They've talked about this trade for over a year, but only now they find out that he doesn't want to play in Sac?

Yesterday, in the girlfriend parallel, I wrote that Artest was a risk because, while he is a Playboy Playmate, he could come with every sexually transmitted disease imaginable. Well, Artest has already infected the entire Kings clubhouse with syphilis and the clap and he hasn't even set one foot in the locker room. How can a guy poison an entire team when he's not even a part of the team? It's mind-boggling.

At this point, the Kings would be fools to consummate the trade. They're going to have to figure out what to do with Peja (three-way trade sending Artest to either the Lakers or Clippers?), but at this point I can't imagine seeing him in a Kings' jersey again.

The bigger fear is what the perception is of Kings' management. Right now they look as screwed up as the teams of the mid-90's. What does this say to Bibby or Miller (or Martin and Garcia)? Greg Anthony of ESPN said yesterday, to paraphrase, "The Kings' situation is not stable enough for Ron Artest. They have a lame-duck coach, their team is horrible and they may not even be playing in Sacramento next year. Can you imagine Ron Artest in Las Vegas?" While Anthony is an idiot if he thinks the Kings will move to Vegas as early as next year, he makes a good point about the coach and the team. That being said, when did Ron Artest earn the option to determine what team he is going to be playing for, and how can Sacramento, of all places, not be stable enough for Ron Artest, the most unstable player in the NBA? You think pairing him with Kobe Bryant, watching him jack up 47 shots a game, in a city like LA so he can hauck his rap album all day is the stable environment he needs? Ludicrous. Just ludicrous. If I'm Larry Bird, there's a good chance I hire somebody to take Artest out during the Vibe awards.

Regardless, I still don't want him in Sacramento, but it just pisses me off to no end that this situation has left Sacramento looking like a collective group of douchebags while their longest-tenured player gets all the respect of a $3.00 Vegas hooker. Not that I'm incredibly bitter at this point.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh Boy

by SonDog

So, Ron Artest is crazier than I thought. Artest has refused to go to Sacramento, meaning the Kings have to do some serious sucking up to Peja Stojakovic.

I'm in a state of shock at the moment. Absolute shock. I'm going to leave the post below on the page for a while, then I'm going to delete it, along with this, so I never have to think about it again. Ron Artest, may you burn in hell.

Immediate Reaction: Artest for Peja

by SonDog

The way I see it, Peja Stojakovic today becomes the ex-girlfriend. The one that early on in the relationship was full of life, smiles, beauty, hilarity, sex and everything else. You thought she could eventually be 'the one."

By the end of that long-term relationship, however, the girl just bored you to death. She became as fun-loving as a morbidly-depressed freshman in high-school who is infatuated with goth. She no longer wanted to have sex because of nagging headaches, no longer made you laugh, put on a few pounds, threatened to break up with you if you didn't ditch some particular buddies (especially the one who averaged 20-10-5), seemed disinterested and distracted all the time and basically forced you to let her go.

Peja, just before the Kings traded him

Peja is the seven and a half year relationship that you will never forget, but one that you have to move on from (or, more appropriately, probably moved on from a year before the relationship officially ended.). In the News From the Ironical Department, Peja played his 518 game in a Sacramento Kings uniform on Sunday night against the Miami Heat. It was a game that earned him the record for most games played in a Sacramento Kings' jersey. In other words, you almost didn't want to break up with her until it was officially the longest relationship you've ever had, somehow trying to justify choosing her over somebody else somewhere along the line. In the end, it was the longest relationship you ever had, but one that is maddeningly filled with "what if" thoughts like, if only she got a boob job or could rebound at anything close to a consistent level.

Now single, the Kings decided to go for a huge gamble. They effectively decided to trade the comfortable yet uninspiring relationship they had with the now-ex, for one of the top-10 sexiest, funniest, most impressive women they have ever seen. She's a potential Playboy Playmate, makes you laugh until your gut hurts, loves to hang out with the guys, loves your dog and is as perfect as you can imagine. Well, close to perfect, I suppose. She has been known to be a little crazy and there is a risk that she has every sexually transmitted disease imaginable. But for now, you don't want to think about that. Maybe you'll worry about it later this year when you're going to the doctor because of that strange discoloration and itch that just won't go away. Today you're just excited that she may be going to bed with you each night for the forseable future.

Ron Artest, meeting one of the Maloof brothers at the Palms

With their life seemingly going nowhere, and their emotional-state at a Prozac-induced fog level of depression, the Kings had to do something. So maybe the new girl was a hooker in her previous city, but you want to give her a chance to change because you know she has so much potential.

Going For A Run

posted by BH

I have registered for the San Francisco Marathon. It cost me $100, or $3.85 per mile. I'm one of these people who needs a goal in order to keep motivated and I figure, why not run a marathon. I'm kind of in shape. I want to be really in shape. I've done a few triathlons. Nothing crazy like Kona, but shorter ones like San Jose where it was a 1/2 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and four mile run. I've always been a good swimmer. I've been a decent biker. But running, ah, running. The Great Satan. It's the portion of the triathlon in which I tend to get caught. I've been running off and on since I lived in Vail, which was about four years ago. I did a 5-mile run on the 4th of July in Mt. Shasta one year. I did all right. I mean, I beat my Mom and Dad and a few other people. I guess I'm better than I was, but I am by no means ready to run 26.2 miles through the streets and hills of San Francisco.

Translation: See the sights while choking on a lung

The marathon is on July 30th. I've got six-ish months to really be ready. For the record, my goal is to be under four hours. That means I've got to run at about a 9 minute mile pace. At this point, I can do that for maybe three miles, but not 26.2. So, you know. I've got some work to do.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Holy God

by SonDog

It's nearly 1:00 AM in Denver. The Broncos lost in the first twenty minutes of their game against the Steelers today, and I've been on the first-leg of a business trip that necessitated me missing the entire game. I'm somewhat happy I didn't miss a game that will live in infamy, not that I'm in the least bit incredibly bitter over A) the loss, and B) the fact that I missed NFL championship weekend.

So, I get into my hotel room tonight after an evening of networking and business meetings, and I see the following two news briefs about the day in NBA land:

1) Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, including 55 SECOND HALF POINTS.

2) The Seattle Supersonics beat the Phoenix Suns by the score of 152-149.

Not to sound like Sacramento Kings' announcer, Grant Napier, but, "If you don't like that, you don't like NBA basketball!!"

I cannot express to you the unbelievalbe unbelievability of these two events. First off, the Mamba, fresh off of a 51 point game against the Kings and a 60+ point game against the Dallas Mavericks, scored the second-most points in a single game in NBA history. That, in and of itself is simply ridiculous. Kobe scored all but 41 of his teams' points in the Lakers' win. In fact, he launched 46 shots, with the second most shots on his team coming from Shush Parker (11 shots).

But, in the same night, the Supersonics and the Suns did their best impression of 1980 in combining for the most points in a game since David Stern decided to have a love affair with defense. If you get a chance, you have to check out the box score from this game. The statistics are amazing.

There was a report tonight on ESPN.com that fantasy basketball owners throughout the world shared in the world's largest orgasmic experience after checking their team's stats. The two feats are equally impressive and deserve high praise. (This report isn't even mentioning the 40+ game that T-Mac had tonight. Oh, wait... I just did.)

I fully realize that the main topic for most sports fans will be the Super Bowl. But I could not go a minute without recognizing this historic night in the NBA. To fully wax Walton-esque hyperbole: This could be the greatest night in the history of the Stern administration in the NBA. Or, maybe it's 1:00 AM and I need to go to sleep.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Joe Buck: Greatness in Action

posted by BH

6:56 PST

"The only thing left for Seattle is to put an official finish on this game, which is dousing Mike Holmgren with Gatorade."

That, or letting the clock reach zero.


posted by BH

Today's UPS/Phil Simms Reliable point of the game for both Pittsburgh and Denver's defense is "Box Office Blitz." I don't know what this means. Simms says it means whoever can get the most pressure on the qb will be in good shape. I don't know why he didn't just write that.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Skip to My Loo

posted by BH

I'm sorry this is so long.

If nothing else, Skip Bayless is determined to sound as crazy as possible. He doesn't want the Seahawks to go to the Super Bowl, but he can't simply write that he doesn't like them. His main argument is that the Seahawks are not a Super Bowl caliber team because they haven't beaten anybody meaningful. When they did win games against good teams, the wins weren't convincing. I hate this line of reasoning. They beat most of the teams on the schedule. Bayless acts like watching Seattle in the Super Bowl would be like having to trade places with William Wallace at the end of Braveheart.

I love the city of Seattle, despite its seemingly daily drizzle. I love the Pike Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium and the postcard vistas that surround you from atop the Space Needle.

Not only does Seattle have the best seafood and coffee, but the best major-league baseball park (Safeco Field) and the best NFL stadium (Qwest Field). I wouldn't mind living in Seattle, which just might be an even better San Francisco. For me, Seattle is nirvana, and I don't mean the grunge rock band of the late, great Kurt Cobain.
Oh wow you suck. This is pretty formulaic. Skip doesn't know too much about Seattle, but he wants the fans there to know that if he could, he'd live there. "Look. I'm one of you. Really. See how I mentioned Kurt Cobain?" Soon to follow will be the stunning, "You never saw this coming" moment, in which Skip blows us all away by saying,

I would rather eat fish eyes than see Seattle's Seahawks in my beloved Super Bowl. The Sea-frauds have had the luckiest road to the Super Bowl this side of a fast food contest winner. I'm convinced they're the destiny-driven product of the NFL's easiest schedule and weakest division, the NFC West.
You'd rather eat fish eyes than watch an entertaining team based on some crazy, moronic, something-other-than-reality principle?

If this Seahawks team were still in the AFC West, it wouldn't have made the playoffs, let alone have won a bye week and home-field advantage all the way to the Super Bowl.
First of all, they aren't still in the AFC West. Secondly, how do you know what would have happened? Thirdly, basing an argument on speculation that we have no way of finding out is rerally, really stupid.

I'm sorry, but the Emerald City has a cubic zirconia football team.
This joke would work if Seattle had ever been referred to as the "Diamond City." Also, the Seahawks are a real football team. Players went to real colleges, they put on real pads, Shaun Alexander has won a real MVP award, Mike Holmgren has won a real Super Bowl.

I keep trying to delude myself into believing I'll be OK with my third-string back. Sure, when the going gets tough, the tough get Goings. Give me my tough, smart little overachiever, Nick Goings. Little? Heck, he weighs 225 pounds. Last season he had five 100-plus-yard games -- three of them on 30-plus carries.

But who am I kidding? He doesn't have DeShaun's slash and dash. He can't make the Seahawks pay with 40-yard touchdown runs the way DeShaun could. That means the Seahawks will get away with triple-teaming the baddest little man on the NFL planet, Steve Smith.
The first paragraph is about Nick Goings being a capable NFL back. The second is about how that doesn't matter. These two paragraphs and the three or so before it (I didn't copy them because he laments the loss of Julius Peppers and DeShaun Foster) are simply designed to diminish anything the Seahawks might do this weekend. Goings is good, but he's no Foster. That means if the Seahawks win, they did what they were supposed to do against a second rate back and a diminished d-line. If Carolina wins, they did it with a second rate back and in spite of a diminished d-line, which is proof that Seattle didn't belong.

And that means my quarterback, Jake Delhomme, who's 5-1 in postseason games with a 108.5 rating (10 TD passes vs. just two interceptions), will let his hyper energy turn into frantic frustration and force up a couple of killer picks. That means my team's resolve will finally crack during their third straight playoff road trip -- this one a six-hour flight. That means …


What's next, Milli Vanilli as the halftime entertainment?
Because the Seahawks faked their way through an entire NFL season and two playoff games? You're faking your way through this whole column. YOU'VE FAKED YOUR WAY THROUGH A WHOLE CAREER!!

Now Seahawks owner Paul Allen has hit the lottery twice -- co-founding Microsoft and lucking into the easiest road to Super Bowl fame since Janet Jackson's. Think about it: Allen's Seahawks played only four teams in the tougher AFC. They opened in Jacksonville, where they were predictably thumped 26-14. Then, right on schedule, they got to play the Texans and Titans as they were crumbling. Finally, Indianapolis played its junior varsity when it visited Seattle in Week 16.
It's too bad Seattle put these opponents on their schedule so that they could beef up against weak...wait, the NFL makes the schedule you say? And teams have to play the opponents the NFL says they have to? And you have to try to beat them? Hmm. Seattle did what they needed to do? So the Seahawks don't really have to answer to Skip Bayless or anyone else who might say they played a weak schedule? No. It's not Seattle problem that some of the teams they played had poor records. Thankfully that's why there's a playoff system in which the best teams get to play at the end of the year so that the pretenders might be sorted out.

By the way, Skip's Panthers won nine games against teams that didn't go to the playoffs and lost three to teams that didn't go.

And in their NFC nondivision home games …

The Seahawks survived Atlanta 21-18 when Michael Vick was banged up in the fourth quarter; survived Dallas 13-10 when Drew Bledsoe threw an inconceivably stupid late interception -- to somebody named Jordan Babineaux -- that set up a 50-yard field goal as time expired; and survived the New York Giants 24-21 in overtime when Jay "I've Lost My" Feely missed three field goals that could have won it.

The Seahawks' most impressive performance came on a Monday night in Philadelphia, when they won 42-0 -- while the no-Donovan, no-T.O., no-heart Eagles of Mike McMahon turned the ball over six times. But that night, much of America woke up and realized the Seattle Seahawks had sneaked up and stolen the NFC after playing the easiest schedule since the strike year of 1987.
So you just brought up a win, a win, a win, and a win? Solid.

Don't let Shaun Alexander play in my Super Bowl. He won the NFL MVP mostly because of a Charmin schedule and because he ran behind the NFL's best left side of an offensive line. Tackle Walter Jones and guard Steve Hutchinson I do greatly respect.

But not Alexander.
Is there some part of the MVP requirement that says a guy has to do amazing things for shitty teams? It does require some skill to run behind a good offensive line. Do you think Kevan Barlow's running for 1,800 yards behind Seattle's o-line?

For years, his reputation around the league has been that he'll turn soft when called upon to get the hard yards. He did nothing Saturday to erase those doubts. Early on, he turned what looked like it might be a short touchdown run into an unforced fumble -- whoops, I dropped it.

Then, after a fairly routine collision, he appeared to be woozy. Soon, the team announced he had a concussion. Maybe he did. But it's unusual for a concussion victim to come out of it 20 minutes later and be cheering his team from the sideline while not offering to return and help win a playoff game.

It looked suspiciously like Alexander wanted no more part of a Redskins defense that will ring your bell. The following Monday, he told reporters that he had been ill the week before the game and had taken some medicine on game day that made him "loopy." Yes, very suspicious.

His teammates must have been thrilled with him. They appeared to play even harder without him -- or in spite of him.
This whole part is so disgusting that I want to give Alexander Bayless's address. This is insane. Does anyone really think Holmgren is going to have a guy play for him who abandons his team when they need him most? Does Skip really believe that NFL players are going to let it go unnoticed that a guy wimps out while other players are on the field? It's these little inflamatory things that Bayless says all the time that make me think that he's either, a)truly insane, b)got no conscience, or c) six monkeys typing at a computer.

He goes on to blame the Redskins loss on the game against Tampa Bay, so I'll just skip ahead.

I still say coach Mike Holmgren's Super Bowl legacy was mostly a product of Brett Favre's offense and Reggie White's defense.
Because Favre's been to a lot of Super Bowls since Holmgren left.

I still say the NFL's most overrated team belongs to the world's most underrated city. I'll miss it.
No one in Seattle really changes his or her life because of what some insane, conscienceless monkey has to write. This is the West Coast. I guarantee that if you show up in Seattle and tell people who you are, no one will care.

Once again, I'm sorry this is so long. I'm not going back to the top to correct it.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Good vs. Evil

by SonDog

There are four evenings during the NBA season that are veritable religious holidays in my house. Those four evenings in past seasons have provided, among other things: excitement, drama, high comedy, tears, heartbreak, anger, frustration, elation, redemption and a sexual assault suspect. I am of course referring to the four times each season that the Sacramento Kings play their arch-rival, the Los Angeles Mamba's.

I have been a Kings fan for many, many years. I can remember the days when ultra-crappy color commentator, Jerry Reynolds, was actually the ultra-crappy coach and/or director of player personnel of the team. Then again, in those days, Sacramento had to reserve space in local high schools for practice time, so I don't necessarily point all the finger of blame for those horrible teams of the late-80's and 1990's straight at Reynolds.

Of course, Reynolds was the man who had the responsibility of drafting most of the Kings players from 1985 through 1995. His resume includes the following players: Evers Burns, Alex Holcombe, Mike Peplowski, Brett Roberts, Pete Chilcutt, Randy Brown, Steve Hood, Lionel Simmons, Travis Mays, Duane Causwell, Anthony Bonner, Sven Myer, Joe Arlauckas, Vernon Carr, Darryl Thomas, Scott Adubato, Vinny Del Negro, Rick Berry (not THE Rick Barry), Pervis Ellison (#1 pick in the draft), Harold Pressley, Johnny Rogers, Bruce Douglas, Alvin Franklin, Bob Beecher, Keith Morrison, John Flowers, Ron Rankin, Charles Bradley, Willie Simmons, Bob Lojewski, Charles Valentine, Alton Gipson, Chip Harris, Bruce Vanley, Jim Foster, Jeff Allen and the immortal Roosevelt Chapman. I'm forgetting Heywood Jablome and I.P. Freeley. In fact, the best players drafted during Reynolds' tenure are, in no particular order, Otis Thorpe, Kenny Smith, Billy Owens, Walt Williams and the immortal Joe Kleine... yes, Joe Kleine makes Reynolds' top-5 draft pick list during a 10-year period. That should tell you something.

Reynolds once drafted this man, Heywood Jablome, to be the savior of the franchise

At any rate, I have had a long-standing love-affair the Kings. Due to this, I have also had a long-standing hatred towards the Los Angeles Lakers. There has never been a time in my life where I have not hated the Lakers. I have respected them, but I've always hated them. In fact, I'm not even close to exaggerating here when I say I despise them more than any other team in professional sports (in case you're wondering, #2 is the Los Angeles Dodgers, #3 is the Dallas Cowboys, #4 is the New York Yankees, and #5 is any team that ever has anything to do with Alex Rodriguez, or, as most people know him, Gay-Rod.)

My hatred towards the Lakers hit an all-time high during the 2002 Western Conference Finals. Most of you who are reading this know what happened. But, for those of you who don't, I'll make a long-story short: The Kings were bent over a rusty picnic table by the NBA officials, while Kobe and Shaq stood by and laughed, on their way to shooting 27 FOURTH QUARTER FOUL SHOTS during game 6. In other words, they lost in seven games after getting robbed in what would have been a clinching game 6. It was such a travesty that American-hero, Ralph Nader, submitted a formal protest to the league office. I'm not even close to kidding.

Every year, some of the names change. Some remain from the Kings' glory days earlier this decade: Rick Adelman, Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic and Corliss Williamson (his second tour of duty in Sac). Some remain from the Lakers' glory days earlier this decade: Phil Jackson and Mamba Bryant (Devan George doesn't really count). However, every year, the passion and hatred towards one another stays the same.

During Thursday night's thrilling game in which the Kings won in overtime, there were several things that I noticed about these two teams:

  • I'll say again... How can anybody want to be a teammate of Kobe Bryant? The looks of utter contempt that Mamba gave his teammates in the closing minutes of regulation, when they didn't pass him the ball, were insanely comical. The best was the temper tantrum that Bryant threw when Lamar Odom took the last shot of regulation, and missed, instead of passing to Bryant. Personally, I think Lamar did this on purpose, because he was grinning as Mamba was flailing about with anger. Honestly, I'm waiting for the day that Lamar lays Bryant out on the court with a lefty roundhouse.
  • Shareef Abdur-Rahim deserves all the credit in the world for playing last night with his jaw wired shut. I mean, who would do that? Not to sound like Mike Patrick, but that's toughness right there. I mean, this guy is as tough as they come. His threshold for pain has to be off the charts. Or, as Joe Theisman would say, "You don't think this guy wants to play for this team? You don't think he's tired of losing? You don't think he wants to help in any way imaginable?" Or, as Paul Maguire would say, "I want to show you something right here... watch this, watch this right here... look at that jaw... WHAM!... it's wired shut! He's breathing through only his nose!"
  • Was it just me, or did it sound like Doug Collins wanted to take Kobe out after the game to see Brokeback Mountain? Christ. During the third quarter, I actually muttered the words, "If Collins compares Mamba to MJ one more time, I just might shit my pants." Needless to say, I ended up cleaning my couch 52 additional times over the course of the next quarter and a half. I can paraphrase everything Collins said in the last four minutes with, "This is the exact same play they used to run for Michael." What, give him the ball and let him shoot over a quintuple team while his teammates stand around bored out of their minds? Seriously, that's the play call they used to run for Michael?
  • This is a direct quote from the AP story this morning about last night's game: "Bryant played the entire first quarter and demanded the ball on almost every possession. He finished the first half with 26 points, but grew visibly frustrated with his teammates -- particularly Odom -- when they didn't pass to him every time down the court." I do not blame Odom one bit for trying to make something happen. There comes a time, I'm sure, when you get a little tired of standing around and watching "every time down the court."

Here's the Mamba, right after he was told to go to his room until he could play nice with others. Naturally, he took his ball with him.

  • That being said, there was a rumor on ESPN.com last week that indicated a trade scenario involving Peja and Kenny Thomas (who played out of his mind last night) to the Lakers for Odom. If I'm the GM of Sac, I swing that trade faster than Kobe getting into trouble at a hotel. I've said for years, and OZ can back me up on this, that Odom is a perfect fit for the Kings' high post offense. While he made a couple of boneheaded plays last night, particularly the late charge on Thomas, Odom is a player who can make a serious difference in the right system.
  • Favorite Doug Collins quote of the night (other than him referring to Mike Bibby as "Henry Bibby," his dad, for the umpteenth time during the last two years), "When the Kings offense doesn't score, they have a tough time winning." Kind of like what happens to most teams, but whatever.
  • Mike Bibby is on a tear right now. He is doing his best to keep the Kings in the game for three quarters, before taking over the fourth with his shooting. He is one of the top players in the league at going left and stopping for an 18-ft jump shot. I honestly think that Brad Miller and Bibby are two of the best supporting players in the league. The problem in Sac is that they've asked them to be more than supporting players. See: Kings trade Webber to Philadelphia. Nevertheless, Bibby's 40 points last night all came within the flow of the offense, which is exactly what you want.
  • The Mamba: Able to attack relentlessly and tirelessly with 99% accuracy, lethality and precision, unless it's overtime and you're trying to take 37-ft three pointers over three people while off-balance, with your teammates flipping you off in the background.
  • Have I mentioned how much I hate the Lakers? Really, I really, really hate them.

Last night's game was the highlight of what has been a disappointing season for the Kings to this point. Maybe they can keep the momentum going through the upcoming road trip, maybe they can't. Regardless, for one night, they beat the Mambas, and all is happy and joyous.

Mind of Dad

posted by BH

For you cute "Soon to be Dads," here you go. Call it, preparation from a friend. Oh, fatherhood has its good parts. Great parts, that far outweigh anything negative. But you are going to remember longingly the days when you could say, "Well, at least I've never been vomited on." You will, at least once but probably far more frequently during your child's first two years:

-be covered with shit
-put a diaper on wrong, increasing the likelihood that you will be covered with shit
-be urinated on
-be covered with vomit
-be punched in the nards
-be quoted with precision after saying "shit"
-have to pull dog or cat food out of your child's mouth
-spend a night without sleep
-lose gadgets like the remote or telephone
-find your child playing in the toilet
-spend an entire four-hour drive listening to nothing but The Wiggles
-be bitten
-have facial or cranial hair yanked on without regard for the person occupying space under said hair.
-get into an argument with your kid in which the only words uttered are, "Watch Nemo (by the kid)," and "No, football (by the Dad)."
-find Life cereal in your bed
-lose keys
-have some kind of poop find it's way into your child's mouth, whether it's from a cat, dog, chicken, human, turtle, monkey, whatever. It. Will. Happen.
-have your hearing damaged

And there's more. So much more.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mind of Soon to be Dads

by SonDog

As you've probably inferred from past "Mind of Kings Fans" posts, OZ and I have a pretty good friendship. I wouldn't go as far as to say that we have a man-crush on one another, but we know more about the other than we probably should. We were roommates in college for about three years. OZ and I can hold two-hour discussions on topics ranging nowhere outside of personal insults and attacks on one another's faults. It usually starts out with regards towards him having more hair than a southeast-Asian orangutan, and myself being as bald as a Pacific Ocean baby sea lion.

OZ and I compete in pretty much every aspect of our lives. If one of us is doing something, then the other needs to do it better... or faster... or stronger... or whatever type of gauge we can use to compete. For example, when he found out I was getting married, he had to go and get married two weeks before I did. So, when I found out that he and his wife were having a baby, I knew that Lese and I would not be far behind. Once we both have our first child, there's a good chance that we will put together an excel spreadsheet to document which father is doing a better job of fostering an ideal environment for the newborn.

Anyway, most of our daily emails start out first thing in the morning. I get to work, open my email, and there sits a message from OZ. OZ works as an accountant in Sacramento, but he still beats me to work on a daily basis, despite the fact that he lives in PST and I live in MST, and we are supposed to work the same 8-5 schedule. His ridiculous work-ethic is something I both highly respect and find downright hysterical. Monday's email started with a discussion about our beloved Sacramento Kings. However, it quickly turned to a discussion about fatherhood. I hope you find the following email chain inspiring and a good representation of how good we both will be at both fatherhood and godfatherhood:

OZ -- ...I'm not a good gauge as I thought the Kings would win the Pacific. I did however correctly call Phoenix being just fine until Amare comes back, thereby making them a powerhouse again.

Kel's 21 weeks. Actually, I don't think I've told you yet but we have ultrasound pics and we are having a boy. I'm going to get the pics scanned soon and I'll e-mail them to you.

SonDog -- YOU'RE JUST NOW TELLING ME THAT I'M GOING TO HAVE A GODSON!!!! THAT'S AWESOME!!!! At what week did you find out? We're at 13 weeks now, and I think the doctor said we can find out at 20 weeks. Congratulations!

Should I buy him a lifetime supply of Mach 3 Turbo razors right now?

OZ -- Aha. That's probably not a bad idea, though I didn't have to start shaving until 4th grade.

It's a little weird because I was POSITIVE we were having a girl. So sure in fact that I've been referencing the baby as Jillian and giving the poor kid a complex. Now we have to readjust, which is fine as we didn't have a gender preference at all, we just need to get into the boy mindset. In particular, we can't agree on a name we both like. We considered using Robert Kerstiens IV, just so you couldn't.

SonDog -- You know, "Jillian" would be a good stage name if your son ever becomes a drag queen. Of course, as the Godfather, I might have to lay down the thunder of Zeus in that scenario (on you, not him).

OZ -- So, you still plan on going through with naming your kid Robert, even though you've gone through your entire life by a different name? If you have a boy, is it possible for him to be born with a receding hairline?

My future son, just hours before his first trip to Hair Club for Men.

SonDog -- He will not be referred to as Robert if it's a boy. I'm kind of thinking we're going to have a girl though. My hair started receding in third grade, so I don't think he would be born with a receding hairline. However, there is a strong chance that he will demand whiskey in his bottle.

Will your son come out of the womb saying things like, "This Sacramento team has the potential to be one of the best ever?"

OZ -- Will your kid come out saying things like, "'Melo is the shizzy my nizzy" while having the pasty white complexion you are known for?

SonDog -- Will your kid come out saying things like, "This Kings bench has the potential to be better than the days of the 'bench mob,'" while bearing a strong resemblance to the Kings' ultra-hairy mascot, Slamson?

OZ -- Will your kid come out saying things like, "Aye bloke! Get a single bloody rebound!" while referring to all drinks in pints?

Speaking of which, is it possible that the child will have an accent? I don't mean British, I'm referring to the dumbshitian dialect you've become so fond of speaking.

SonDog -- I imagine the kid will have a non-regional diction, although if I get pissed off at him or her, there is a chance that I'll send him/her to England for a summer to visit the grandparents. If that happens, the child may get a cross-cultural lesson in grammar, saying things like, "Steady on there homemate, my chaps and I plan on visiting the mizzi in the hizzi at half seven."

Have you given thought to the fact that you might scare the living hell out of your child the first time you don't wear a shirt in front of him? Not because he thinks he's looking at a gorilla, but because he will be deathly afraid that one day he will look like you? I think you should start researching how to psychologically cure his soon-to-be complex.

OZ's future son, after the first time he sees his dad getting out of the shower.

OZ -- So you're saying that if I say potatoes will put hair on his chest, he'll spit them out faster than a Hindi eating a cheeseburger?

I'm wondering at what point you decided that due to your lack of cranial hair, no portion of your body should have the accursed growth and you would battle it with Nair and shaving gel for the rest of your life. Your kid's going to think you're an Olympic swimmer until he sees you flop around in the water like a yellow hat (BH will get that).

SonDog -- Either that or the kid's going to look at me like I'm a character off of X-Men.

So, if you even say the word "hair," there is a good chance your son will spontaneously suffer an epileptic seizure from fear? And at what age will your child be stronger than you? 3 or 4?

OZ -- I don't think that having a shiny head makes you an X-men character. Usually the physically deformed ones are villains anyway.

So if you have a boy, are you hoping he gets Lese's athletic talent? I guess saying, "You throw like your mom" in your child's case would be a distinct improvement over the alternative.

SonDog -- If I'm in a chair, I would look like Professor Xavier.

I'm out like your child's ability (assuming he gets your grammatical skills) to put together a complete sentence.

What is "Norv" short for?

posted by BH

As a life-long Forty-Niners fan, I was bummed three years ago when Dennis Erickson took the helm and did away with the West Coast offense (WCO). Last year, when Mike Nolan took over and, along with Mike McCarthy, reinserted the WCO in San Francisco, I was, needless to say after two years on the Erickson experiment, overjoyed. Now, with McCarthy's departure, the Niners have hired two-time NFL head coach Norv Turner as the new offensive coordinator. We all know what Turner did in Dallas, and he has been successful in other coordinator positions along the way. I think he will be successful in San Fran, yet doubts remain because of the last time the Niners abandoned the WCO. Evidently, Turner's offense is easier to understand than the WCO, which is good news for Alex Smith, but doesn't that mean it's easier for defenses to break down? Part of the beauty of the WCO is that, once run well, or even adequately, it is an efficient, almost unstoppable offense.

History suggests that Turner is going to be successful in San Francisco. Everyone points to Turner creating a Hall of Famer in Troy Aikman. Aikman credits Turner with getting the Cowboys to the Super Bowl. We'll see. I would love to see nothing more than a powerful Niner team in the future. I'm just going to miss the Niner trademark that is the WCO, even if it would have taken another season to be grasped.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Link of the Day

by SonDog

So, George Clooney and David Soderbergh are teaming up with the Sacramento Kings' owners (Joe and Gavin Maloof) to create a new NBA-based comedy for HBO. I've been begging for this type of show for years (and the fact that Vlade Divac is in discussions to be one of the lead actors just eclipses every level of high comedy), but I think I have a better idea for the Maloof Brothers. What I would like to see is Jack Bauer from 24 locked in a room with the brothers Maloof. The following dialogue would then take place:


Maloof Brothers: We, um, we don't know what you're, um, talking about... I mean...


Maloof Brothers: But, we love the city of Sacramento...


Maloof Brothers: Hey, have you ever been to our Palms casino? You know we have an entire pool area dedicated to Playboy?

Jack: YES!!

Maloof Brothers: Would you like to go right now?

Jack: YES!!

Monday, January 16, 2006

More from Porter

posted by BH

If man were able to make a machine that spouted out nothing but beautiful, sweet sounding poetry, it's lone goal in life would become finding Joey Porter and cutting out his tongue. That would be poetic.

"I felt they were cheating us. When the interception happened, everybody in the world knew that was an interception. Don't cheat us that bad. When they did that, they really want Peyton Manning and these guys to win the Super Bowl. They are just going to straight take it for them. I felt that they were like 'We don't even care if you know we're cheating. We're cheating for them.' "
Damn dude, I try to make up quotes for people all the time, but I at least try to make them funny. You're just coming across as belligerent and angry. And you just won! So really, you had such confidence in your defensive abilities as a team, that when Indy retained possession at something like their own 45 and the score was 21-10, you thought the officials , at that point, had the ability to win the game for Indy?

"The way the refs were going, I wouldn't have trusted them in overtime," Porter told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "If we hadn't won, they would have cheated us in overtime."
It really isn't clear whether he said these things immediately after the game or today, but either way, it's crazy for someone on the winning team to go on and on about.

A Must-add DVD for any Serious Movie Collector

Check out the link on the right to "Best DVD in the WORLD." I highly recommend you go buy this DVD today. The fact that it features a good buddy of BH and myself has absolutely no bearing into why I think this could possibly be the best movie produced in the history of your life.

Quoting Roger Ebert's review, "Actor Steve Boatright's portrayal of a Weapons Officer could put him in the early lead for the 2006 'Best Supporting Actor' category. This role could easily catapult Boatright's young acting career into the Norton, Pitt, Farrell category of A-list movie actors. Ladies are sure to instantly fall in love with him. If you remember anything throughout the remainder of your life, remember to buy this movie today."

Bullet the Blue Sky

Seriously, why did Vick feel the need to pack heat to McDonalds? His reasoning of, "You never know when some brotha' is gonna try to jack yo mcnuggets," didn't really make much sense. In addition, do you think Clarett just woke up that afternoon and said, "My career is in shambles. I feel like robbin' a guy today just to put the last nail in the coffin that is my career."

The fourth Boofy...

posted by BH

...Goes to Joey Porter, who is an idiot.

Referring to an overturned interception call that went in Indy's favor yesterday, Porter said
"I know they wanted Indy to win this game; the whole world loves Peyton Manning," Porter said. "But come on, man, don't take the game away from us like that."
Come on you darn ref. Don't go back and look at replay for all the fans at home and in the stadium to see and make a decision based on evidence you've seen on that video, risking your credibility as an official, in order to give the ball back to Indy. I can just imagine the conversation that had to take place between Tagliabue and the referee. "If there's a questionable interception call that gets challenged, call it in Indy's favor. I know, you might look like an idiot, but the whole world wants Peyton to win this game. Yeah, I know. But who cares what Joey Porter says. He'll be angry even if they win."

Also, "the world" loves Peyton Manning? Even some guy in India who's never heard of football?

Later he said,
"The world wanted Indy to win so bad, they were going to do whatever they had to do, man," Porter claimed. "It was like the 9-1-1 year, when they wanted the [New England] Patriots to win it for the world ... At a point, I didn't think the refs were going to let us get out of here with a victory."
I like five things about this paragragh. 1) He says "refs," when there's only one on the field. 2) He says nine. one. one. which is really, really dumb. 3) He blames the 2002 championship game loss on "they," who I can only think is the NFL, and their desire to make people feel good after a national tragedy. It's funny then, that the NFL couldn't successfully win this game for Indy. 4) He says "the world" again when, really, Tony Blair and my Grandma don't give a shit. 5) Did "they" or "the refs" fumble the football at the goalline for Pittsburgh? Because that's kind of why you were in a position to lose the football game.

I feel so bad that it's taken me this long to discover the nonsensical ramblings of Joey Porter.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

This and That

by SonDog

-- If I were to believe everything I read in most newspapers, ESPN.com, FOXSports.com, the New York Times, et. al, and had I had a spare $10,000 laying around before this weekend, I probably would have put that sum on a two-team parlay in Vegas. The bet would have been that New England and Indianapolis would be playing for the AFC Championship game in Indianapolis next Sunday.

According to most media outlets, conventional wisdom was that you could not bet against the Pats until Brady and Belichick actually lost a playoff game. Conventional wisdom theorized that the Colts were due for a date with the Super Bowl. Conventional wisdom also explained that the NFL was not going to allow anything but New England vs. Indy to happen.

In what is nothing short of high comedy, conventional wisdom turned out to have all the wisdom of a 107-year-old with an advanced case of Alzheimer's.

Instead of the presumed matchup of Peyton Manning vs. New England, we have what should be a highly-entertaining AFC Championship game next Sunday in Denver between the Steelers and Broncos. The Broncos proved during their rout that they have one of the best defenses in football. Jake Plummer also proved that he has matured and achieved a Zen-like state of calm since the beginning of his career. For fans like Steve who watched the Broncos through the entire season, this wasn't that big of a surprise. For journalists like Gene Wojciechowski and everybody else over at ESPN (remember, these were the guys who touted Tom Brady as the league's MVP), the game was so shocking that it necessitated articles belittling the Broncos' victory.

Hi, I'm Gene. I, like my colleagues at the worldwide leader, don't beleive any teams west of the Mississippi deserve any respect

In Indy, the Steelers executed a fantastic game plan to perfection in shutting down the NFL's most potent offense. This, of course, was due in part to the howitzer-sized shell they dodged in the last two minutes.

The prediction here is that Denver pounds Pittsburgh next Sunday, as Jake Plummer finally silences his critics and leads the Broncos to Detroit.

-- I really hope an irate fan (or an irate former front desk agent) jumps out on the court one of these days and pulls a Nancy Kerrigan on Kobe Bryant. How can anybody root for this guy? With each 40-plus performance (and 30-plus shot evenings), Kobe slithers closer and closer to the designation of "biggest ball-hog in the history of basketball." When Kobe actually does pass the rock, the look of absolute disgust on his face when a teammate misses a shot that could have led to an assist is downright hysterical. At this point, I'm not sure what job coach Phil Jackson has on the sidelines. But, if I were making $10 million a year, and I had already written a book in which I slammed Kobe for being "utterly uncoachable"(that's a paraphrase), I guess I wouldn't care much either.

The tape on his right hand is from an attempt to rip off the superglue that's been there most of the season.

-- In Sacramento, it appears that the ship that is this season is lost somewhere between Indiana and Serbia, and I am wondering how good of a draft pick they will get in the 2006 draft. The main problem right now is that aside from Adam Morrison of Gonzaga and Rudy Gay of Connecticut, there aren't really any college players separating themselves. It could be somewhat of a weak draft, which would be somewhat fitting. And yes, in case you're wondering, I still watch every Kings game. Usually I'm four or five whiskeys deep by the third quarter, so I don't get too irate about losses to teams like Charlotte, New Orleans and Portland, and I'm usually yelling things like, "Gimmie more Ronnie Price!"

-- Day 5 of 24 starts tonight. Without question or debate (and with apologies to BH and other fans of Lost) 24 is the best show on TV. Even if you've never seen a season, you should start watching tonight. Trust me, you will make Jack very happy and you will not be sorry.

How can one man have so many bad 24 hour periods in his life? Just try not to think about that.

Fantasy Sports News

If you participate in fantasty sports, whether it be football, basketball, baseball or underwater basket weaving, you might want to read this story on CNN.com. The ruling has the potential to effect all 16 million of us that enjoy winning money in these leagues.

Wojciechowski: Bronco fan

posted by BH

If you get a chance, check out Gene Wojciechowski's latest offering on ESPN.com. It becomes clear rather quickly that Wojciechowski holds some bitterness towards the Broncos. At the end of paragraph one, he pokes fun at Jake Plummer's beard. This coming from a guy that looks like Anthony Edwards' ugly cousin (not when he was Goose, but when he was Dr. Green and dying of cancer). In the next sentence he says his feelings about the Broncos isn't personal. He twice writes that it's nothing personal.

In order to prove his point that the Broncos don't belong in the championship game, he writes:
I'm not saying the Broncos didn't take advantage of the Patriot screw-ups. They did. Twenty-four of their 27 points came after New England turnovers. But it's not like the Broncos had to go far for those points.
First touchdown drive: One play, one yard.
First field goal drive: Four plays, seven yards.
Second touchdown drive: One play, one yard.
Third touchdown drive: Three plays, 15 yards.

This is meaningless, stupid, shit. They didn't have far to go, and they cashed in. It's like blaming a baseball team for taking advantage of the other team's errors.

He does his best to diminish the Bronco win, calling it a baby step, as though next weekend they'll be in the "AFC Not Quite Championship Game," rather than the real thing.
Of course, there were hugs and handshakes after the win. Broncos defensive tackle Gerard Warren kept saying he'd go "any place, anywhere, anytime" for the AFC championship.
"We're trying to go to a Super Bowl," he said. "We're one step closer now."
A baby step closer, that's it.

No, they're as close as whoever wins the Indy/Pittsburgh game.

Friday, January 13, 2006

"Um, Candace? Who the hell are you cheering for?"

When a picture is worth a thousand words... Maybe she was just rooting for the over.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pittsburgh's Joey Porter...

posted by BH

...thinks play calling is dumb.

"They don't want to just sit there, line up and play football," Porter told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "They want to try to catch you off guard. They don't want to play smash-mouth football, they want to trick you. ... They want to catch you substituting. Know what I mean? They don't want to just call a play, get up there and run a play. They want to make you think. They want it to be a thinking game instead of a football game."

He called Edgerrin James' 124 yards in the November matchup a "cheap 100," and said the Colts couldn't line up and run straight at the Steelers defense.

"I don't think they outhit us," Porter told the paper. "If they would have outhit us, they would have just lined up, and they wouldn't have done all the audibles every play. If you want to outhit us, line up and play football. That's when you outhit us. Line up, you get your people, we got our eight men in the box, run the ball."

I hope Porter's a coach someday. It will be awesome to see his guys run a draw play each time. That way he can have a bunch of guys who won't have to think. Even if they lose, they'll be the team that outhits the other team. I'm sure that will keep earning him a paycheck.

One more "LOST" tidbit

posted by BH

Evidently, there had been some question about whether or not Eko and Charlie got the words right to Psalm 23. Seeing how Eko is a Catholic, he recited it from the King James Version. Correctly, it seems.

Last Night's "LOST"

posted by BH

I couldn't be sure until I went back and slowed down the TiVo, but Mr. Eko sees flashes of stuff that's gone on in his past when looking into the black smoke. The topic has hit the fan sites message boards a little. The question becomes, what is the black smoke looking for? The images seem to be from Eko's past. Since there was some discussion about the nature of Eko's soul, perhaps the smoke's deal is that it determine's the character of inhabitants. At the very least, it seems to have the ability to make a determination about whether a person should live or die.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

City of Brotherly Love

by SonDog

Since mid-day Saturday, I have had the pleasure of attending a conference in downtown Philadelphia. As I type this, late-night Tuesday, I cannot wait until I have the pleasure of leaving downtown Philadelphia.

My day-to-day Bruce Wayne persona is that of a senior sales and marketing executive for a four-diamond hotel in Vail. Since entering this profession in 2001, I have had the good-fortune of visiting many cities in the United States that I more than likely would not otherwise dream of touring. Among others, I have conducted business and toured Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, Newport, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Omaha, Des Moines, and Saginaw (Which, believe it or not, is #1 on my list of "If I never have to visit that shit-hole again, I would be very, very pleased" cities). Without question, Chicago is the best of the bunch. (Which reminds me, If you ever go to Chicago and go home saying, "Eh, kinda boring," then there's a good chance that you are "Eh, kinda boring" as a person. Seriously, just go away, because you're boring. I'm not even close to kidding.)

At any rate, I'm not going to piss and moan about the physical product of Philly. Everything I have seen so far (from the Liberty Bell to the Constitution Center to the Fine Art Museum) has been pretty impressive. What I have not been impressed with, on the other hand, is the "I'm an inherently angry individual from living in this city so why don't you go screw yourself before I throw my fist at your head " attitude of the city's inhabitants.

Let me preface this story by saying that my trip got off to somewhat of a bad start on the flight from Denver to Philly last Saturday morning. I booked my flight relatively late, so I was relegated to a middle seat near the back of the plane. If you have ever been on an airplane, you know the rear of the plane is where they stick the people who have never heard of the words "personal" and/or "hygiene." Naturally, I was placed between Eddie Idontthinkiveeverheardofthisthingcalleddeoderant (on my left) and Amanda Ithinkiateanentireemufordinnerlastnight (on my right).

Normally I have no problem sleeping on flights, so I wasn't immediately concerned with this particular predicament. As force of habit at this point, I pop in my iPod and I'm off to fantasy land, dreaming about Jessica Alba, Vanessa Marcil, myself, massage oils and a deserted island (in no particular order). Then, the plane lands, I wake up in a different city from the one in which I fell asleep, and we all eat and drink and everything is good.

However, on this particular flight, someone (and I won't give away who this was, only to say the resemblance to an angus heifer was uncanny, and she was sitting to my right) decided that it would be a good idea to crop-dust rows 15-22... continually... for, like, three hours. It took every ounce of resistance in my body to not A) slap this woman across the face, or B) take that 2.7 ounce bottle of Pepsi she was holding and use it on her as a modified plug.

By the time the flight landed, I was pretty sure my entire collection of carry-on goodies smelled like an inner-city port-a-potty that hadn't been cleaned since the Carter administration. As for my nausea, it was doing just fine, thanks. My last words to the woman next to me as I departed the plane were, "May you enjoy your time burning in hell, you sadistic cow."

With that, I was in the perfect mood to begin my stay in Philadelphia. So, after collecting my checked luggage, I jumped in a cab and had the following discussion with my first Philly cabbie:

Cabbie: "Where you goin', man?"

Me: "Um, the Marriott Downtown. I can get the address out of my bag if you need it."

(Silence and an uncomfortable blank stare from the cab driver.)

Me: "Um, looks like 12th and Market."


Ladies and Gentlemen, we invite you to sit back, relax and buckle your safety belt. Welcome to Philadelphia.

The city of Brotherly Love? What kind of sick family came up with that moniker?

Over the course of the next three plus days, there were several highlights:

---- Before touring the Liberty Bell, I learned from a Philadelphia native that "it's kind of a waste of time because it's just a replica anyways. The original one broke a few years back after they moved it so this one is just kind of a joke." No, this wasn't the director of Philadelphia tourism talking. What's interesting is that I was very excited to see the monument before this conversation. In fact, I truly believe that this Philly native intentionally tried to bring me down a bit by informing me that I should temper my excitement. My parting words to this individual were something along the lines of, "I would have been perfectly content for the rest of my life not knowing that information. Seriously, thanks for ruining my evening, you smug bastard."

So, if I defaced this, would I technically be defacing a National Monument? Or was the Philly native even telling me the truth? This and more on "America's Worst Destinations."

---- On Monday evening, I took a bit of personal time to scamper over to the Wachovia Center to check out the Philadelphia 76ers play the Seattle SuperSonics. I was really, really looking forward to watching former Sacramento King, Chris Webber, play before his new homecrowd. Truly, I thought it would brighten my evening to see him play in front of fans who probably appreciated his play. What the hell was I thinking.

Upon my arrival to the arena (which, by the way, is located, along with Citizen's Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field, somewhere out in Bum-F*** Egypt) I began to think of the many times that Allen Iverson had been booed. I remember all the death threats Mitch Williams received after the World Series. I remember the time when fans sarcastically cheered the fact that Cowboy Michael Irvin was being taken off the field on a stretcher from a serious neck injury (which ultimitely led to his retirement). I even remember the time when Philly fans booed Santa Clause. And I can't even make something like that up.

After the first three minutes of the game, as fans realized that Webber was going to sit the game out with back spasms, the small crowd grew incredibly impatient with their team. With each Sixer miss, the boo's grew louder. Cries of, "Webber, you suck!" and "Dalembert, get some hands!" echoed through the half-full arena. Had Jesus been playing shooting guard, there's a strong chance he would have been booed during the first quarter.

The Sixers ended up KILLING Seattle, sufficiently shutting their own fans up for an evening. Iverson had a huge night and had me on my feet in applause on more than a few occasions. I do find it odd, however, that very few Philly fans were ever on their feet for anything other than a cheese steak. (That being said, the one heavenly aspect of Philadelphia has to be the original cheese steak. I have had one each day. I'm serious. In fact, my email this morning included a message from the Surgeon General, warning me to stop before I suffer a tragic case of cardiac arrest.)

After the game, which, needless to say, did not brighten my perception on one of the oldest cities in the States, I jumped in a cab to head back to the city. I then had the following conversation:

Cabbie: Where you headed, man.

Me: Marriott Downtown. (I now knew that there was no need to tell the driver the address.)

(The cabbie follows with some unintelligible mumbling.)

Me: "I'm sorry, what?"


(Right then I notice the cabbie is wearing a cell-phone earpiece. At this point, I am absolutely speechless.)

Side Note: Funny thing here is that the cabbie's cell-phone conversation was about how Bengal QB Carson Palmer had "blown out everything in his ankle" during the Steeler victory on Sunday. I so badly wanted to say, "Hey, shit-for-brains!? His ankle? Why don't you try his knee, jack-ass? Do you even watch the highlights, or do you just make them up?" However, there is a strong chance that I would right now be dead. I like my life and I'm glad I didn't say anything.

---- Finally, I participated in a 5k race Tuesday morning. The event started at 6:30 AM. My thought on this when my alarm went off at 5:30 Eastern Standard Time? Well, isn't that just true Philly fashion. I mean, who else on God's green earth would schedule such an event at such an assinine time? Anyways, while running through downtown, I think I heard the following on at least three occasions, "Hey, hope you're having fun running, dick! Thanks for making sure they stop traffic, A-Hole!" Okay, so I totally made that last part up, but I was seriously waiting to hear that during the race.

Sometime tomorrow I will jump on a flight and head back to Vail. During my flights home, I usually wonder when I will return to the city I'm departing. I sincerely doubt this will cross my mind after this jaunt.

(Editor's Note: For the unedited, director's cut alternate ending paragraph to this story, shoot me an email.)