Saturday, April 25, 2009

About principles and draft picks

It's important to have principles. In personal relationships. At the office. On the blacktop. And when sifting through dozens of former college football stars for your professional football franchise.

Daniel Snyder could learn something from this, I think. And Al Davis would do well to tinker with his principles - throwing deep is no longer a winning strategy. Throwing millions of dollars and valuable draft picks at your problems are no way to fix your problems.

So, with the NFL Draft only a few hours away, I'll just quickly run through my five truisms for avoiding years of sports-talk radio derision. It should be obvious that there are exceptions to all of these rules:

1. Unless a quarterback is worthy of the top 10 pick, don't bother until at least the sixth round. If you can't find a franchise quarterback early, just keep plugging in steady veterans until Matt Ryan drops out of the sky. This year, that means not using a pick on Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and especially Josh Freeman.

2. Avoid most, if not all, Big Ten running backs in the early rounds. This year, that means Beanie Wells. And Shonn Greene.

3. Do not be seduced by defensive ends from Florida State. This year, that means Everette Brown.

4. Do not be seduced by all-world wide receivers from Florida, Florida State, Miami (obvious exception is Andre Johnson), or USC. This year, that means Percy Harvin.

5. When in doubt, just choose the best lineman on the board. That goes for any team stupid enough to let Andre Smith (pictured above) fall out of the top 10 because he's a little jiggly and fired his agent a few weeks ago.

Other drafting principles I feel a little less strongly about: don't pick running backs in the first round (with the notable exception of an Altered Beast like Adrian Peterson); don't answer the phone if the Patriots are on the other end (you're about to be fleeced); and keep Snyder, Davis, Jerry Jones and anyone from the Browns on speed dial; and the Houston Texans will draft someone who bores or exasperates their fan base.

That said, if you're a football fan (and if you read this post, you probably are), have fun with all this today. I'm gonna bow out and read all about it tomorrow.

NFL Draft-related links, none of them mock drafts, that interested me:

3. Rumors and Rants (an exhaustive look at each and every round since 1995) h/t Zen.
Continue Reading »

Friday, April 24, 2009

My movie pitch

You know what would be cool?

Like, if I could get Beyonce to star in my movie. What would be even better is if, somehow, I could get her to talk sassy, show a little skin and - best of all - wrestle with another chick in one of the final scenes. Because that's really what this is all about.

And just for a little diversity - because like most men, I love all women: blind, cripple or crazy, 18 to 80 - it'd be nice to throw in a slinky, blonde girl. Someone who's comfortable with nudity, if that's where the writing takes me. Because we know Beyonce's not showing her goodies. Right?

(me, taking a phone call).

Right. Beyonce is not getting naked.

Also, so the ladies will tolerate all of this, I'll find some guy who's generally attractive but not so much that he'll distract from all the hot catfighting action.

(me, taking a phone call).

Is that dude from The Wire doing anything? Oh, he's on The Office, too? Even better.

Ok. So we've got the main actors. With that crew, who cares about the plot? We can call it a "sexual thriller" but go a little light on the sex, so I can cop a PG-13 rating. I want some teenagers (or any kids, really) in the seats, too.

There. That covers all the bases. Would you be interested in something like this?

(me, taking a phone call).

Shit. Too late. The guys who made Trois beat me to it.
Continue Reading »

Sample Dat Ass

In more irrelevant hip-hop news, Chingy is defending himself against allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a transsexual. The following is not even close to SFW:

Oh, the things I'm willing to post when I'm trying to slog through a rough day of work. But I heard about this "beef" on satellite radio yesterday, which meant I was subjected to three minutes of the worst battle rap ever. Explicit doesn't even begin to describe it. When Foxx Jazelle was finished, I felt the urge to wash out my mouth with industrial-strength Lysol.

Which means that whenever I get an audio version of it, I'm putting it up on here. Believe dat.

In other news, things might be a little slow this afternoon but should pick up later this evening and tomorrow afternoon. At the least, I plan on weighing in on the Tyson documentary, more Texas secession news and the NFL draft.

More later. I promise.

Post-script: The title of the post comes from one of Chingy's classic hits with Murphy Lee. And by classic, I mean garbage. Continue Reading »

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ruh roh

Bow Wow announced his retirement from the music industry:

"This is my last album because for me, there’s no more that needs to be done on the music side. I’ve done everything."
And a tree falls in the woods.
Continue Reading »

Nice sidewalk

I wonder who or what paid for it?

h/t Oliver Willis. Continue Reading »

Random Acts of YouTube

A week ago, G.D. posted this very creepy "Different Strokes" opening sequence over at PB.

But I found this footage of young Gary Coleman even more disturbing:

How did this ever happen?

Post-script: I should have known this video was slowly making its way around the blogosphere. Thembi follows up with some very important Gary Coleman research. Continue Reading »

Skipping prom for the pros

That would be Jeremy Tyler, one of the nation's top basketball recruits in the Class of 2010:

Tyler, 17, will become the first player born in the United States to leave high school early to play professional basketball overseas. He is expected to come back in two years, when he is eligible for the NBA draft.

Tyler had made a verbal commitment to play for Louisville. (He) has not signed with an agent or professional team. He will probably play in Spain, the Times reported, though teams from other European leagues have shown interest.

"Nowadays people look to college for more off-the-court stuff versus being in the gym and getting better," Tyler told the Times. "If you're really focused on getting better, you go play pro somewhere. Pro guys will get you way better than playing against college guys."

Pretty much. As an aside, it's not surprising in the least that the first player to challenge the hoops establishment hails from California (the late Ralph Wiley once wrote that California "has always represented a new start, a new world, a place where one didn't have to act as one had been taught to act.")

He'll need that pioneer spirit to endure an unprecedented, and once unfathomable, challenge. But Tyler supposedly has the goods to make the leap - though strangely enough, there seems to be some confusion as to whether he's 6-9, 240 or 6-11, 260.

The argument for forgoing the college experience has rarely been stronger, as Compton, Calif., point guard Brandon Jennings graduated from high school last year and went to play pro ball in Europe. He took some early lumps but is still projected as a lottery pick in June's NBA draft.

No, Tyler isn't taking the easy way to the NBA. But it might be the smartest:

Tyler will play against the grown men who can challenge a player of his size and potential. Away from the court he’ll be home-schooled, earn a GED and return in two seasons when he’s eligible for the 2011 draft.

By then, Jeremy Tyler figures, he’ll be a much better player and person; having learned from top coaches, enjoyed unlimited practice time and broadened his horizons in a foreign land. He calls it “a dream job” and isn’t the slightest bit nostalgic for homecoming, prom or missing out on college hoops.

And while he’ll earn a great deal of money, he says his chief motivation is to make himself the best prospect possible for the even greater amount waiting in the NBA.

In basketball terms, it’s a no brainer. The only risk is exposure at the hands of superior competition. Tyler could just stay in the States and hide his weaknesses against smaller, less-talented opponents.

Somewhat appropriately, I was listening to Charles Barkley talk on ESPN Radio yesterday about the struggles of Portland's Greg Oden, probably the most highly touted big guy of the past decade.

Barkley now thinks Oden will never live up to those early expectations, due mostly to a very limited offensive repertoire. "I've never seen Greg Oden score when it's not a dunk," Barkley said. He's "never going to be a great, great offensive player."

Some of that, I think, is because Oden never had to develop that part of his game. He spent much of high school playing against overmatched, undersized teenagers and the occasional all-star big man who was even more limited than him on the offensive end.

So Tyler owes it to himself to chart a different and potentially more lucrative course. If he were a tennis player, a musician or an actor, I doubt there would be much talk about it - Tyler would have skipped his senior year without much notice.

In this case, the revolution won't be televised during March Madness. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Joe Lieberman



Tell me, what exactly has he gotten right in the past three years? Continue Reading »


That's LeBron James.

At this moment, I can't think of a more impressive physical specimen than LeBron. In my long-ago days as an athlete and sportswriter, I've been around and covered hundreds of "half man, half amazing" types.

Shaq, Adrian Peterson, Barry Bonds, Jevon Kearse, Chris Webber, LaDainian Tomlinson, to name a few, come to mind.

But to my eye, none of them compare - or are even close, really - with LeBron. And that's why I think the Cavs are even money to knock off the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Also, speaking of manimals: Ray Lewis.

Post-script: Sorry for the slow rate of posting. I've been chasing sirens and exchanging trade secrets all day. Continue Reading »

Apropros of nothing

Well, not "nothing" but a conversation in the newsroom a few minutes ago: what the hell happened to Delaware Punch?

Does it still exist? It seems as if I'm the only person in my circle who's had one. Surely, that can't be the case.
Continue Reading »

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dogwhistles and handshakes

CNBC's Larry Kudlow thinks that President Obama and Hugo Chavez shared a "Boyz N the Hood"-style handshake.

But not really. I actually thought it looked more like this:

I really can't wait until someone blacks out and calls Obama a nigger.

Post-script: Matt Yglesias, who dubbed Obama's greeting of Chavez "the handshake of doom," brings some heat and light to the discussion about U.S. policy toward post-Cold War Latin America.
Continue Reading »

Define "urban"

From New York magazine:

Last week, this image of Kanye West with his naked lady love, Amber Rose, surfaced on the Internet. Word was the shot was part of Kanye West's ad campaign for his range of Louis Vuitton sneakers. However, sources have just informed the Cut that the images are not part of a Louis Vuitton ad campaign of any kind. So to answer the question we all asked when we first saw these images, no, Louis Vuitton is not out of its mind. We're still not sure what the shots are for. We're guessing some kind of urban magazine like Giant. Unless Vogue has lost its mind.
I bet she means exactly what I think it means. And it's probably not "classy." Continue Reading »


Sounds a lot like this:

“No offense to Middle America, but if someone went to Columbia or Wharton, [even if] their company is a fumbling, mismanaged bank, why should they all of a sudden be paid the same as the guy down the block who delivers restaurant supplies for Sysco out of a huge, shiny truck?” e-mails an irate Citigroup executive to a colleague.

“I’m not giving to charity this year!” one hedge-fund analyst shouts into the phone, when I ask about Obama’s planned tax increases. “When people ask me for money, I tell them, ‘If you want me to give you money, send a letter to my senator asking for my taxes to be lowered.’ I feel so much less generous right now. If I have to adopt twenty poor families, I want a thank-you note and an update on their lives. At least Sally Struthers gives you an update.”


“We’re in a hypercapitalistic society. No one complains when Julia Roberts pulls down $25 million per movie or A-Rod has a $300 million guarantee. We have ex-presidents who cash in on their presidencies. Our whole moral compass has shifted about what’s acceptable or not acceptable. Honestly, you can pick on Wall Street all you want, I don’t think it’s fair. It’s fair to say you ran your companies into the ground, your risk management is flawed—that is perfectly legitimate. You can lay criticism on GM or others. But I don’t think it’s fair to say Wall Street is paid too much.”


"You can’t live in New York and have kids and send them to school on $75,000,” he continues. “And you have the Obama administration suggesting that. That was a very populist thing that Obama said. He’s being disingenuous. He knows that you can’t live in New York on $75,000.”
Not much comment is necessary. These quotes - from unidentified sources, of course - speak for themselves. But the laid-off JPMorgan vice-president responsible for the third quote has clearly never listened to sports talk radio before.

And to address that last point, hilzoy astutely notes that the median family income in New York was $52,871 in 2007. That suggests that an awful lot of people in New York are living - or dying - in squalor. Like more than half of them. Or they're zombies. Either way, it's probably true on some level.

Meh. I can't wait for some of these people to disappear into Galt's Gulch. Continue Reading »

Random Acts of YouTube

If I have a son someday, I hope he's just like this - and can run a 4.3 in the 40:

And sitting on our DVD player at home right now? Role Models. I can't wait. I can't say the same for the First Lady. Continue Reading »

Monday, April 20, 2009

Making sense

More of this, please:

Gov. Sanford’s philosophical belief that we should send South Carolina’s money to other states while our citizens continue to struggle is in essence telling our citizens who have no bread to just eat cake instead.

... While Gov. Sanford has made it clear that he adamantly opposes taking this education and law enforcement stimulus money, he has at the same time already accepted all the other funds that he can out of the remaining 90 percent of the $8 billion in stimulus money and tax cuts coming to our state.

It makes no sense for the governor to cherry-pick the funds he will accept — such as the $50 million to make buildings more energy-efficient that he requested the other week — and oppose money for teachers and law enforcement officers on so-called “philosophical” grounds. This is inconsistent with any kind of viewpoint and goes against what most people would consider to be common sense.

Would it interest you to know that this came from the (Republican) Speaker of the House in South Carolina?

To quote DougJ over at Balloon Juice:

It’s tempting to say it’s surprising that someone so lucid and practical would be Speaker of the House of a government as dysfunctional as South Carolina’s appears to be. But there are pragmatic people everywhere, thank God. The problem with the Republican party isn’t that all of its elected officials are loons (they’re not), it’s that they’re letting the inmates, er, I mean philosophers, run the asylum.

How long until Bobby Harrell has to apologize to Rush Limbaugh? Continue Reading »


Read this:

For 109 years, this is where Florida has sent bad boys. Boys have been sent here for rape or assault, yes, but also for skipping school or smoking cigarettes or running hard from broken homes. Some were tough, some confused and afraid; all were treading through their formative years in the custody of the state. They were as young as 5, as old as 20, and they needed to be reformed.

It was for their own good.

Now come the men with nightmares and scars on their backsides, carrying 50 years of wreckage — ruined marriages and prison time and meanness and smoldering anger. Now comes a state investigation into unmarked graves, a lawsuit against a dying old man. Now come the questions: How could this happen? What should be done?

Those questions have been asked again and again about the reform school at Marianna, where, for more than a century, boys went in damaged and came out destroyed.

Continue Reading »

Sunday, April 19, 2009

To live and die...

in Boston?

Wouldn't you expect the real Tupac to be a Lakers fan?

h/t Barstool Sports

Post-script: Is this the same guy? I can't tell. Continue Reading »

Deep Thought

Question: Will teabaggers support the District of Columbia getting a member of Congress and two senators since they're actually being taxed without representation? Continue Reading »