Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ESPN's Spoop Jackson: TENNIS GURU

The Spoop, in cornrows and a throwback, proving he is as ghetto as AI.


Spoop Jackson. Who knew? The ghetto tennis afficianado. I have grave concerns about this column, however. Spoop has made his mark based on his ghetto card. Spoop is the direct line between the ghetto and the world of sport. No one can see the unbreakable entanglement between hip hop and sport, the way Spoop sees it. No one can tell us time and time again that they is the product of a hard knock life. That they is a black man. I say again, that they is a black man....in case you didn't know. No one can name drop and pretend that they runs in the innermost circles, entwined circles, of hip hop and sports...the way Spoop can. No one can keep white America educated with in your face ebonics and the hippity hoppitiest of lingo and rap references masquerading as some sort of sports/social commentary...the way that Spoop does. No one can point out the inequities that exist in the world of sports journalism, the complete statistical imbalance between black and white editors....the way Spoop can (oh, and at the same time completely ignore the inequities in the census statistics between blacks and whites in the NBA...and ignore the normal process that is involved to become a sports editor and the fact that there aren't many black men going down that road....but I digress). And that is what worries me so much about this latest column. The lack of ghetto cred and the almost complete absense of hip hop references. By the way, Spoop be's a black man. It had to be said. Just like a Chuck D rhyme...it had to be said.

Spoop's foray into the tennis world is guarded. He doesn't propose to be a technical expert or even well versed in the game. He simply claims he knows what Andy Roddick needs to do to get back on top. Fair enough. I can live with that. We all have an opinion. Why should the fact that Spoop seems not to know much about tennis preclude him from having one? Again....these things are NOT important....there are too many examples of columnists having virtually no knowledge of the subject about which they opine to even worry about it......my concern is that Spoop is even writing about tennis....I mean, folks, he didn't even mention the Williams sisters! Are we seeing the Uncle Tom'ization of Spoop's columns? The only black folks he mentions were some actor (Andre Braugher...and he mentioned a white character from CSI in the same sentence), some NBA ballers and Oprah. No hip hop references. No ebonics. No thinly veiled references to the world being racist and holding black men (btw, Spoop is black) down. No "y'alls". The closest thing I came across to even fitting into the category, was a "held it down". Spoop! What gives? I am sure I am not the only reader alarmed by this. Bring back the semi-literate columns. The references that only readers of your Slam magazine get. Bring back the chip on your shoulder "black man against the world" attitude. Leave the tennis columns to those privileged white guys whose butts a ghetto cat like you could kick. I know that Spoop Jackson would NEVER alter his writing style or compromise his creative flow, just because he was writing about men's tennis, right? I mean. That would be not be real. And we KNOW Spoop is nothing if not real, right? Bring back the old Spoop. Btw, the old Spoop is black. It had to be said. Like a Rakim rhyme to an Eric B beat...it had to be said.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Another Trevor Graham sprinter must have had another tainted massage...

"Another track athlete coached by Trevor Graham has tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs."- Associated Press


Poor Trevor Graham. The guy is just trying to coach sprinters on the fundamentals of being fast, and every time he turns around one of them pops positive for some sort of performance enhancer. According to Graham, other track clubs are out to get him, governing bodies are out to get him and jealous coaches from his past are sabotaging him. Oh, and of course angry masseuses around the globe have united to destroy his reputation.

He has had close to a dozen of his athletes pop positive or be brought under the microscope of the BALCO scandal. I'm no investigative reporter....but there sure seems to be a connection, no? In just the past few weeks his top named athlete (Justin Gatlin) tested positive and got a minimum of eight years suspension. Marion Jones (who may not train with him anymore, but had close ties), who was named in the BALCO scandal, recently popped for EPO. And his latest victim of what I am sure he will claim is part of the conspiracy to bring him down, LaTasha Jenkins, pops for nandrolone.

Ok, I'm no genius. But, clearly, whatever Graham is teaching his athletes about doping is NOT working. Nandrolone is Deca-durabolin, which is a steroid that is long acting and stays in your system for up to 18 months. If you aren't on the proper masking schedule (and obviously, Graham's athletes are not well versed in this) you are CRAZY to take it when competing in a tested environment. The bottom line is: Graham is obviously breaking the rules. Which is a sad thing all by itself. But couple that with the obvious stupidity involved in his methods of doing it....and you have a farce of Olympic proportions. (Sorry. Couldn't help it.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Bryant Gumbel has fallen in recent times,'' Smith told SI.com on Tuesday. "He's desperate to have a respected, national voice again, but the problem is a lot of people aren't listening anymore. So you've got to say something like that to get attention for yourself. But he's misinformed." - former NFL running back Robert Smith


Former NFL runningback, and current NFLPA card committee member, Robert Smith slapped back at B-Gum. Glad to see that some others recognize that B-Gum is simply trying hard to get back on the radar by postulating opinions without any real information on the matters at hand. It might be a better tactic for B-Gum to just jump up and down at the end of his show yelling "Look at me, look at me. I'm still here", instead of opening mouth and inserting foot as he has been wont to do.

Of course, there is always another side to the coin. Could be B-Gum be working hard to get attention for his new gig? Get some extra talk going for the NFL Network? Yeah, that would be out there.....but we have seen stranger things, haven't we?

Monday, August 21, 2006

That controversial Bryant Gumble....

"Have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash. "


That Bryant Gumble.....always fighting the man. His scathing remarks, which really seem to be more directed at Gene Upshaw than the NFL consortium of owners, has some of the suits in NFL offices in an apparent tizzy. Personally, why the suits care what Gumble says during his ego driven attempts to gain attention and controversy at the end of his HBO show, is puzzling. Anyone who watches his show knows that B-Gum (over the recent years) has really put forth an effort to "tell it like it is". For a guy that spent years collecting checks from the establishment as the melba toast, flavorless host of Today, he really has little currency in his current incarnation...railing against the establishment during most closing segments of his show. Truly tho, this was not his smartest move. I am clearly not as savy as B-Gum, but is the NFL Network owned by the NFL? I'm no sports show host, but seems like a bad idea to tick them off.....when they are the ones that are (or maybe now, aren't) going to be signing some of your paychecks in the future.

Friday, August 18, 2006

When will Ron Artest get an offer to be on Sesame Street?

If community service is supposed to make Ron Artest re-think his actions that Friday night in November 2004, well, forget that. He said he has no regrets. When one of the kids asked Artest about the brawl, he said the moral of the story was that "if you have to protect yourself, protect yourself." "I never say it was mistake," Artest said Wednesday. "Somebody started trouble, and I always say I ended it. He started it and I ended it." -- Detroit Free Press

Seemed like a good idea, huh? Get a group of kids together. Have an eloquent and contrite Ron Artest march out in front of them. Tell them, humbly, about the lessons he learned and the consequences he suffered due to participating in the maylay. Yeah, on paper.....good stuff. The stuff of which after school specials and great PR ops are made. One thing.....Artest is crazy. Whoever came up with this idea forgot to account for the Ron-Ron factor.

Admitttedly, though, the idea of Ron Artest holding court and orating about his life's lessons in the form of morals education is brilliant. Just imagine if this same group of kids were to be exposed to "life according to Ron-Ron" lectures once a week for the rest of their formative years.

I think Ron may be on to something. He needs to forget 'ball. Forget producing music. Forget rappin'. Ron-Ron is ready to fill the shoes that have been collectively vacated by Mr. Rogers and Cap'n Kangaroo. The time has come for Ron-Ron to don a Big Bird outfit and get out there and mold the minds of our younger generation. I dream of the day I walk down the street and am attacked and pants'd (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLAdX18pVEU&search=boston%20celtics) by young people protecting themselves from me.

"I’m a ghetto-type guy. I’ll be ghetto for the rest of my life. But at the same time, there’s a lot of kids who look up to me. For that, I’ll change." – Ron Artest

Ron Artest.....changing fo da chidrens.....Ron-Ron luv da keeds!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Can't figure out this Floyd Landis deal.....

"The owner of Floyd Landis' former cycling team will shut down operations at the end of the year, citing continuing doping issues within the sport and an inability to sell the team."


As the world around Floyd Landis crumbles, the positive test results remain puzzling. The media has reported that Landis tested positive due to the the unnacceptable ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone. It has also been reported that synthetic testosterone was present. Clearly, the presence of synthetic testosterone indicates that his levels were elevated due to hormones his body didn't produce. That is easy to understand. The puzzling part is this: He claims to have passed drug tests on seven other occasions during this summer's Tour de France. Additionally, I believe it has been reported that he passed tests after Stage 17. That would mean, that if Floyd did take steroids, it would have been the day before that Stage 17, and since they were out of his system quickly, it would indicate he took a short ester testosterone (probably a quick acting oral or test suspension) that quickly cleared his system. But WHY?

We all know the various performance enhancing benefits of steroids: packing on muscle mass, gaining strength and power, faster recovery times, etc. Knowing this, the question of WHY? arises again. Why would a cyclist be using this? Particularly for ONE day. The performance enhancing benefits that we are familiar with from the juice are not benefits that can be derived from a one time usage, nor are they benefits that would be particularly necessary for a guy in what is essentially an endurance event.

With this in mind, it does make one wonder if something sketchy actually did take place. The one time use of testosterone for a race like this just doesn't seem like something that a cyclist would be prone to do. Particularly in a sport in which doping is such a science.

The only benefit that comes to mind, in reviewing the particulars of this situation, is that certain short ester tests (which clear the system quickly) are often used by athletes to increase aggression. It is not uncommon for fighters and boxers (and even powerlifters) to use old fashioned "cheque drops" (if they can find them), methyl testosterone or even Halotestin (among other compounds) the day of a fight or competition.

So, the reality of the situation is: the only REAL benefits that Floyd would derive out of using the type of steroid that it appears he used, would be an increase in aggressiveness.

This really is an interesting situation. Those who understand performance enhancing drugs should truly be scratching their heads about this. The possibility of fowl play, based on the inadequate reasoning of using steroids for one day during the tour by a guy in a sport ruled by advanced doping techniques, shouldn't be so quickly eliminated.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bitch slapped by Anonymous...

"Anonymous said...
so lets see, you write a blog online which presumably has access to millions of people, and you get 2 comments back? Give Up. Please."

Looks like I will be shutting down this blog. After a whopping two days of making entries on the net, the fact that I don't have millions of comments seems to be the deathknell of my effort to kill some time when I am bored. Thanks to Anonymous for painting a clear picture and concisely summing up my failure. Here, after two days, I had anticipated a $10 million offer from Newscorp to buy my site. Clearly, though, that is not to be. I would also like to thank Anonymous for deftly pointing out that I "write a blog online"....Initially, I had tried writing my blog on the sides of dirty cars in the parking lot at work. I didn't get many comments. Although several people did tell me to get the hell away from their cars...so I resorted to writing my blog online. At least Anonymous doesn't fault me for that. And yes, Anonymous, my blog does "presumably have access to millions of people". And I assure you...although a person of even marginal intellect would have constructed a scathing remark such as yours in the format of "millions of people presumably have access to your blog"....although people aren't leaving comments on my blog....my blog, with its presumable access to millions of people, is leaving a flury of comments in its wake. Thanks for the input! And thanks for your comment. It truly is.....one in a million.

The End of the Daily Quickie Era.....

"Biggest. Announcement. Ever.: The final edition (yes, ever) of the Daily Quickie will be on Thursday, August 31.But don't expect some maudlin, "Friends"-style countdown to oblivion. (No, it'll be a maudlin, Quickie-style countdown to oblivion.)Check back each day between now and 8/31 for a look back at the best (and worst) of the nearly 1,000 editions since it launched in '03.Taking a cue from Tony K. on "MNF," I'll also publish reader feedback. Send your comments here.(And feel free to nominate your own superlative moment from Quickie history. Just search ESPN.com or, if you know the date, use yesterday's URL and change the date to find the specific day's inanity you want to highlight from over the last 3-plus years.)"

Quickie link

Unfortunately, Dan Shanoff didn't get into the specifics of why his Quickie was being curbed. So one can only guess. Personally, I was no fan. Although I will admit to starting off virtually every morning reading the Quickie as soon as I logged on to my PC. Never bothered with the chat, though. Dan's self aggrandizing style and his constant flirting with hyperextending his elbow patting himself on his narrow back will be truly missed. I have never seen a writer link to his own old columns, recall each and every prediction he made that actually came to fruition and constantly use his sports recap column to trumpet his own liberal political ideals with as much aplomb and frequency as Dan. His columns, which were a rehash of the previous days events, effectively acted as a rehash of HIS previous columns as well. In hindsight, that must be why the Quickie was a must read for me. It pissed me off on a daily basis. Throw into the mix Dan's unbridled chutzpah in so assuredly telling us who we should root for and what issues in sports we should support and you have the perfect start to any day: the pompous, self serving diurnal retrospectives of a man who seemed to get half the ideas for his column from deadspin and other blogs. Sure, this sounds harsh. But in all honesty, I will miss the Quickie. It did provide a concise redux of some of the previous day and evening's headlines. And I will also truly miss sending Dan emails trying to shed light into his narrow little world by pointing out that, generally, he was a moron. Good riddance, Dan.....your column will be missed.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Delusional Google....

"Bloggers have been making fun of the examples Google's lawyers deem acceptable. They included: "Appropriate: I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party. Inappropriate: I googled that hottie.""


Essentially, Google has decided that it is going to police our language. Their lawyers are going to dictate both English lexicon and colloquialisms? Thank you so much! The litigious warning issued by Google is essentially rooted in concerns about trademark violations in relation to use of the trademarked "Google" name. How wonderful! The very company that seems not to care in the least about the trademark and publishing rights of every book in the world (Google, despite clearly demonstrated violations of trademark and publishing rights, wants to make EVERY book ever written available online through THEIR engine) is now trying to dictate how the word "google" can be used? Clearly, Google is everything they pretend not to be....they are the embodiment of hypocritical corporate America to the fullest. A recent Pontiac commercial, which must be run with full Google endorsement (as it displays the Google logo), tells viewers to "google" Pontiac Tampa. According to the letter, that is not an acceptable usage of "Google". The letter stipulates that it should be "run a Google search". If Google isn't going to follow their own rules, why should we?

The Macho Man that is Peter King.....

"Hey, Mort: It's cool that you're going to be someone's fantasy-football GM. But that commercial ... did you have to look so ... so unmasculine? "

Peter King masculinely discusses the latest changes to Starbuck's beverage menu with fellow colonoscopy exam survivors.

OH SNAP! Supermacho CNNSI coffee and tea critic, Peter King lets loose with a haymaker that lands square on ESPN's Chris Mortensen's chin! The Starbucks pumping, tea-toddling, colon exam preparation-detailing King apparantly was turned off by a new ESPN commercial featuring Morty. If you are familiar with King, you know that he is a man's man. A true throwback. As macho as they come. A man that lives, breathes and bleeds Football. Well, except when he is ever so masculinely describing his favorite coffees and butchly espousing the details of the flavoring of the delicious teas that he can't stop sipping. And, no one can tell us about their daughter's softball exploits with such cock and balls manliness as ole Peter. Morty must be a fag! Thanks for pointing that out, Peter. You are the barometer that all men measure their masculinity against. Reading your testosterone fueled column about your colon exam made me feel like a homo. Seriously.

Peter uses the most manly of hand gestures in his testosterone driven diatribe demanding that the barista responsible for achieving the perfect froth on a Venti Hazelnut Latte that he imbibed that morning be eligible for an immediate spot in Canton.