August 10, 2009

Hitting the Wall

Dunking on an aged Jerry Stackhouse these days is sort of like shooting a three-legged big-horned sheep (notable, but not at all earth-shattering), but this is a pretty damned inspired dunk nonetheless. Though if you ask me, the crossover that preceded the dunk is equally if not exceedingly filthy. Nevertheless, I just received one compelling reason to keep the eyes out for Kentucky highlights this winter: John Wall.




July 31, 2009

Nice Rip, Kid



This just in: Ichiro was a good high school baseball player.

July 27, 2009

Sounds Enjoyable

Take a listen to this home run call and tell me that the color commentator doesn't literally bust a nut the moment that Pirates outfielder Garrett Jones rips this ball to right field.

June 29, 2009

Reign Over Me



Time for some obligatory Shawn Kemp reminiscing. The clip gets pretty good around the one-minute mark, then gets mildly silly at 1:36, then says "Welcome to the next level" right around 3:20. Fact: You will not see a single made or attempted jump shot anywhere on this reel.

June 28, 2009

The Foot Fist Way



Daniel LaRusso has absolutely nothing on this chimp.

June 27, 2009

Sub-Zero? More like PLAIN ZERO



I'm excited about the Jeff Teague era in ATL.

June 16, 2009

Seagulls Can be Costly



I'm sure you've seen this video by now of a seagull running interference to help the Tribe win a game at Jacobs Field. But you may not have heard this: about a guy who bet $21,750 on the Royals in that game, and was in pretty good shape to collect his winnings until a late rally that culminated with the aforementioned bird incident. That, as we say in the business, sucks.

June 11, 2009

Wish List



I really hope the Hawks re-sign Zaza.

June 10, 2009

Reading is Boring, Anyway






















This here book on Alex Rodriguez is not doing so well. From an Associated Press story:

"At the Rizzoli Bookstore in midtown Manhattan, 'A-Rod' has sold two copies. Twenty-seven copies have sold at Posman Books, based in Grand Central Terminal, but none in the past two weeks."

It's not like Grand Central is a high traffic area, so I'm sure it's probably doing well in other markets.

June 02, 2009

Hard Core Bourn



I'm not going to lie and say this made me vomit or cringe to watch because I find it annoying that people feel compelled to say that when watching a clip of this nature, but this is a pretty legitimate shot to the sack nonetheless.

May 12, 2009

What Year is This?

For those who are sick of 2009 Swine Flu, I bring you... 1974 Swine Flu! Thanks to Frank G. Yak for passing along this 35-year-old Green Bay Packers public service announcement.

April 21, 2009

Anyone for a Bike Ride?



It's safe to say that if I attempted any one of these tricks, both myself and the bicycle would explode.

Welcome to the Club



Seems like it would be easier to just go ahead and pee in your pants.

April 15, 2009

Ram It !



I knew that I had to post this approximately 44 seconds into the five-minute, 57-second long clip.

April 14, 2009

Walter Hermann: Large Hands



It is said that this man can "palm" a basketball using only his thumb and middle finger. After watching the above video, I do not doubt this fact.

April 06, 2009

Lose Thy Self




March 19, 2009

Fact:



If watching this thing didn't leave you at half mast, you are not a Hawks fan.

March 05, 2009

A Replay That Does Not Do the Original Play Justice



This was downright nasty when it happened.

February 25, 2009

Backboard, Baby. Backboard.



On a handful of occasions, I have had the distinct pleasure of playing rec league hoops with a friend who can dunk with relative ease (most other people on my rec league team, myself included, are happy enough to slap glass).

In one instance playing alongside said friend, I had a breakaway layup and heard him call out from approximately 10 feet behind me: "Backboard."

Adjusting on the fly, I threw a relatively perfect pass off the backboard, and he soared in with two hands -- then bricked the dunk off the back rim. It was both disappointing and rather exciting at the same time.

For the record, Russell Westbrook did not miss the dunk attempt shown above.

February 24, 2009

Shake n' Bake



This pretty much made my night.

February 17, 2009

More Sugar, Please



I think I'm hooked on this shit again.

February 12, 2009

A Brief Moment of Nostalgia



I would have to consider this one of my favorite basketball plays of all time.

And I still have to wonder how the hell Randolph Childress never made it in the NBA.

February 06, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Butthole


If this insufferably lame hack job of a Forrest Gump remix wins Best Picture, I'm moving to Cannes.

January 29, 2009

An Ireitnetsng Ltltie Esircxee






I lraeend smotinheg itnrenstieg tdoay, wcihh was pseotd on the wlal of a swciadnh sohp. Sdueits hvae swohn taht it dseon't mtater waht oderr the ltetres in a wrod are pclead. Aleprntapy all taht mrttaes is taht the fsirt and lsat lttrees are in the ppeorr odrer.


Hlnetsoy, I'm not so srue it's taht spmile. Smoe of tshee wdros look lkie prue gisrebibh.

Waht do you tinhk? Was tihs sprursilginy esay to dpiceher?

I tihnk my biarn jsut cestubomd.

Thank You, Telephone


(above: the view from just outside the walls of the infamous Federal Central Prison)

I had a dream last night that I was in prison. But I hadn't committed any crime to get there -- I was only in the clink because someone very near and dear to me had been jailed and I was spending some time in prison with her voluntarily (and not just visiting for the afternoon -- I was in there for an extended period of time).

Oh, and this wasn't just any prison -- it was juvenile prison (though neither myself nor the person I was visiting was a juvenile; such is logic in the world of dreams).

In any case, this arrangement was all good and well until one day a prison administrator came in and told me that I needed to go see the prison doctor. When I inquired as to why, they said that it had come to their attention that I was not a juvenile and therefore they were going to send me to Federal Central Prison, but first I had to be examined by the doctor to make sure I didn't have a fever (note: I think this odd appearance of the fever as a plot device may have had something to do with the fact that a friend of mine was unable to hang out last night in real life due to a fever). I attempted to explain that I hadn't committed any crime and was just in the prison voluntarily, but this bureaucrat wasn't hearing it.

So, next thing I know I'm in the doctor's office, he's testing me for a fever, and I'm doing everything in my power to get the fever reading meter (yes, it was a large meter I could see, not a thermometer) to register an elevated temperature. My main strategy was holding my breath, and much to my delight it seemed to be working (if I had a fever, I obviously couldn't be moved to Federal Central right away).

However, the doctor apparently realized that I was holding my breath to alter the fever-o-meter, and he told me to start talking. When I did, the meter started to lower its fever reading, but I still managed to keep it largely at the fever point for the entire required period of time.

The problem was, after the doctor stopped taking the reading, he said nothing about me having a fever to the administrator, and I was told that I'd be sent to Federal Central Prison in the morning. I attempted to protest again, but they were hearing none of it.

At this point, it seemed my only course of action was to contact my father (an attorney). However, as I picked up my iPhone to dial, I noticed that the time was 8:11 p.m., which meant that it was past regular business hours and it would be too late --

Wait a second, iPhone? Why would I have an iPhone in prison? I thought.

A moment later, I was awake. Somehow, it was the fact that I had a cell phone in prison and not the existence of a bizarre "fever-o-meter" that had brought me back to reality and thereby ended the dream. Honestly, I didn't care whether it was a phone or a fever-o-meter or a flying squirrel that awakened me; I was just happy not to be going to Federal Central.

January 26, 2009

Fire in the Hole



I think Steve Nash should be fined for this.

January 23, 2009

No Play for Mr. Gray



I would gladly accept being as short as Nate Robinson if I could jump like Nate Robinson.

January 14, 2009

Viva Dikembe





Quote of the week (or unspecified time period until I post another quote), from Dikembe Mutombo, speaking
to the Houston Chronicle of Yao Ming's tendency to draw charges:
“I’m very critical,” Mutombo said. “Those are bull. I told him that. He’s too tall to be taking charges. He needs to learn to play defense without using his chest. You don’t block a shot with you chest. You block it with your hands. The man who taught me the game, John Thompson, never said that a 7-footer should take a charge, even in a basketball 1-on-1. There’s no rule or writing in the books that you should take a charge. They teach you how to rebound and block shots. So I’m going to work on that. Maybe Yao is listening to Shane [Battier]. Maybe he wants to be a guard or something. Man, I’ve got a lot of things to work on. Maybe he’s planning to lead the league charges. So I have to stop him. I have to teach him to lead the league in blocked shots, not charges.”
Bravo, Dikembe. Charges are indeed bull. Actually, only fake ones are bull. But it seems like pretty much 90 percent of charges are flops these days.

YOU DON'T BLOCK A SHOT WITH YOU CHEST. YOU BLOCK IT WITH YOUR HANDS.

Words to live by.

The Nick Young Spin Cycle



I've watched this Nick Young clip (highlight #3 out of the Top 5) about 11 times and I still have no idea what exactly he did, but I love it. Apparently Gilbert Arenas claims Young clearly just lost the ball and recovered, while Young says he knew what he was doing all along. I think I'm going to have to try this move in my rec league hoops game tonight. Side note: It will not work. Another side note: I wish JaVale McGee was on my rec league hoops team.

January 13, 2009

Missing Persons Update










We can cross Bonzi Wells off the list, in case anyone was still looking for him.

Chris Paul is My Father



I have been meaning to tell you that for quite some time. I'm just relieved I'm not the only estranged member of his family out there.

January 12, 2009

Please Collect Your Jock at Lost and Found



Our soccer correspondent Juan Samuel (no relation to the retired, error-prone baseball player of the same name) passed along this clip. Juan watches a lot of soccer, and calls this one of the sickest goals he's ever seen. The OCC watches considerably less soccer, but would nevertheless have to agree.

January 08, 2009

Ballgame Over






















I'm very close to being at a loss for words at the notion of
John Smoltz signing with
Boston, so I'll simply say this: Reading Chipper Jones' reaction to the whole episode is enough to make any self-respecting Braves fan want to smash a thousand plate glass windows with a mallet.

Now if you'll pardon me, I must go find a bunch of plate glass windows.

January 06, 2009

Not Sure Why I Never Thought of This



But it is pure genius.

December 26, 2008

A Sound of Thunder



Much like the last video of a dunk that I intended to post but then forgot, I meant to post this about a week ago, when it actually happened. I kind of posted it mentally in my brain but then didn't actually do the real-life electronic posting. Nevertheless, it was quite enjoyable to watch.

I once did a dunk like that on a Nerf hoop.

December 17, 2008

Kaboom



I meant to post this clip shortly after it happened, but I went into a week-long coma after instinctively diving headlong out of my chair and striking my dome on the corner of the coffee table the moment I saw this dunk.

December 09, 2008

On the Subject of Large Balls



We had a ball kind of like this in gym class back when I was in elementary school.
The only difference was that our ball was not quite planet-sized. It was called the "cage ball," and the sport that we played using it as a prop was called... drum roll please... "cage ball." The point of the game was to keep the ball afloat and not let it hit the ground, or something to that effect. Eventually it was deemed dangerous after a couple of weaker kids got injured when they were unable to support its massive weight. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that their heads were squashed. That cage ball was heavy.

December 02, 2008

Please Be Seated



I don't take very much pleasure in watching Andre Miller play basketball.
Though I respect the fact that he's effective despite being ground-bound, there's just nothing aesthetically pleasing about his game.

There is, however, something aesthetically pleasing about watching Derrick Rose cross Miller over so severely that the aged Sixers point guard ends up seated on his buttocks. Very nice.

November 24, 2008

Have You Seen This Man ('s Butt)?




















Sunday afternoon I was watching the Titans-Jets game when Tennessee rookie Lavelle Hawkins caught a 14-yard pass which ended with him rolling over in something of a somersault motion on the ground. And when he got up, approximately 57% of his butt was exposed.

It seems like if there's a rule in the NBA that jerseys have to be tucked in, there should be a rule in the NFL that players are required to wear underpants.


November 21, 2008

20-Second Timeout



I'm not sure that I would want this gentleman coaching my child's AAU team, but we do see eye-to-eye on one issue: I too would like to be a Tobago Island prince.

November 13, 2008

I'm Starving




What did everyone have for lunch today?

November 11, 2008

Explosive



I'm pretty certain this is not intended to be comedy, but I began to laugh somewhat uncontrollably around the 2-minute mark. (I'd suggest watching the build-up to that point just to get the flavor.)

Also, one of the very first things to cross my mind when I began watching this was Rexkwondo. I only wish Kip could somehow be involved.

November 05, 2008

Count It

October 28, 2008

Strike One




My plane was hit by lightning today coming into LaGuardia.

I nearly messed my trousers.

The good news is, I think I may have superpowers now.

October 22, 2008

A Most Unlikely Champion














The other day, I was at brunch (true story) when a friend of mine (we'll call him Angus) decided he would share a piece of his bacon with a passing pigeon. Angus' girlfriend protested immediately that pigeons do not eat bacon.

It turned out she was right.

Pigeons don't eat bacon. They throw it.

It was undoubtedly the greatest feat of athleticism I'd ever seen from a pigeon, and keep in mind that I've seen pigeons fly. This plucky little bird time and again took the small slab of bacon in his beak, jerked it back and forth (as though attempting to rip off a chewable piece), and at the end of that motion, each time, he sent the bacon flying into the air.

The first few times, he threw it about 10 to 12 inches. Then, on what was probably his fifth throw, he unleashed. The bacon went flying a good three feet in the air, nearly sailing all the way over a nearby parked car.

Then it struck me: This pigeon belonged in the Pigeon Olympics. As a Bacon Tosser.

He probably never imagined that his future was to be decided so abruptly when he sidled up to our table hoping to catch a fallen bread scrap, but such is life as a smelly, persistent little flying rat on the streets of the wild jungle we call America.

October 15, 2008

The U.K. Double-Cross



Sometimes when you go to the gym, there's a guy there playing hoops in pants. Sometimes those pants are jeans. More often than not, the guy in pants is kind of a chump, or at the very least a loose cannon. It's just one of those rules of pickup basketball: Guy in pants = chump/loose cannon.

The man in the above video may have some loose cannon tendencies, but he is in no way, shape or form a chump.

I think my favorite part about this (aside from the complete abuse of Devin Harris on camera) is Harris' P.R. maneuver of posturing like he wasn't really trying that hard and that the whole thing really isn't that big of a deal. Don't believe that act. Clearly, he cares somewhat about what just happened to him, and clearly, he's still trying to wrap his mind around exactly what just transpired.

The bottom line: the next time a man in jeans and a sweater challenges you to a game of one-on-one, be very careful. He may be a stone cold British hustler.

October 13, 2008

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Since when did the guy who played Spanish in Old School become a big enough celebrity to have his own MLB Playoffs commercial, without so much as a graphic introducing his name?

What is his name, you ask? I have no idea -- I only know him as Spanish.

(Okay, fine, it's Rick Gonzalez.)

But seriously, did I miss something here? Has this guy suddenly become so recognizable on a national level that we don't even need to be told his name when he's narrating a commercial? Furthermore, is he really important to the point that the American populace should need to know his opinions on baseball? (You'll have to excuse the fact that I don't have the actual commercial here; I can't find the blessed thing on the YouTube machine.)

Maybe you don't think this is such a big deal, but I'm having a somewhat difficult time coming to grips with it. To me, he'll always be that guy who got yelled at for taking off his costume head at Beanie's son's birthday party.

But then again, I'm still attempting to come to terms with Blue's sudden and untimely death, so I might not have the most credibility in terms of evaluating this situation objectively.

October 10, 2008

I Believe the Correct Term is "Elephantitis"















Generally speaking, in our society, having big nuts is considered a good thing, and having small nuts is considered embarrassing.

Unless, of course, your enormously swollen nuts put you in the hospital, as they have recently done to Browns TE Kellen Winslow.

Dr. Edwards*: Dr. Richards, I came as soon as I saw the call. What are we looking at here?

Dr. Richards (highlighting Winslow's nuts with a laser pointer): It appears as though the patient is suffering from an acute case of blue balls.

Dr. Edwards: My God. Of all the horrible things you see in this line of work, you never quite get used to this.


* No relation to Braylon Edwards.

October 06, 2008

9 Random Thoughts for Monday (and Beyond)

Because that chicken flavored, MSG-infused Nissin Cup O'Noodles ingested at 1 a.m. has left my cerebellum stumbling around like a parched, semi-delirious desert traveler:


1) Alexei Ramirez, owner of one of the great, almost- politically- incorrect- but- just- okay- enough- to- use nicknames ("The Cuban Missile") is listed at 27 years old. I'm taking the over on that -- the picture doesn't do it justice, but the dude's face is slightly too skeletal and mask-like for him to actually be that youthful. I'm thinking he's more like 31. Or 57. However, on another vital stat (his weight, listed at 185), I'm taking the under. He looks famished.

2) The Falcons paid way too much money to Matt Ryan, but all praise be to Theo Huxtable that it looks like he's gonna develop into a true franchise QB. On a semi-related note, it's a tremendous feeling to be able to wear a Falcons T around Manhattan with something resembling pride.

3) Life as a Fantasy Football Addict, Part I: You're at brunch Sunday morning, when over the left shoulder of one of your companions, on the TV screen that you've been staring at uncontrollably, you see that Matt Hasselbeck has appeared to suffer a season-ending ACL tear on a wrenching hit from a Giants lineman. You are attempting to be a polite brunch participant, but at this juncture, you nearly scream and hurl your omelette at the busboy. You proceed to spend the next 12 minutes of the meal fixated on the TV, hoping on the off chance that Hasselbeck is somehow not seriously injured and will come back into the game. He does. You are enormously relieved. This, however, does not change the fact that Hasselbeck and the Seahawks are terrible -- his line on the day: 11-for-25, 105 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. You decide to get your omelette to go, and promptly peg it into the face of a hunched-over old woman on the street.









4) Jonny Gome
s looks scary with a Mohawk.







5) Life as a
Fantasy Football Addict, Part II: You agonize for a week about whether to play Ronnie Brown or Steve Slaton in Week 5. You choose Slaton. When, around 3 p.m. on Sunday, Brown is decisively outscoring him, you decide to chop off one of your fingers. While you're trying to decide which one to lance, Slaton comes back and scores his second TD of the day en route to outscoring Brown by three points. Your team goes on to win by more than 30. You feel extremely vindicated for making the right choice, despite the fact that those three points proved to have absolutely no bearing on anything.

6) After throwing the pass that lead to Anquan Boldin getting his cranium annihilated on that vicious hit in Week 4, Kurt Warner reportedly sent his wife a text message saying that he was considering retirement in the wake of that injury. Then his wife sent back a picture message reminding him that she basically has a flat top, and Kurt decided to keep playing.


7) If you haven't seen Chris Rock's Kill the Messenger, there are some piss- in- your- corduroys funny moments, a couple of which pertain to sports. One of them appeared to be an accident (Rock inadvertently referring to Dikembe Mutombo as Dikembe Mutumbu -- which made an already funny punchline that much more hilarious), and there was a sports commentary moment that really hit home unexpectedly: Rock talking about seeing an image of Sarah Palin standing over a slain moose, which prompted him to wonder exactly what the hell Michael Vick is in prison for. Sure, I get it that dog fighting is illegal and cruel and blah blah blah, but when you think about it on a slightly abstract, existential level, it's kind of absurd that Palin is celebrated (by some) for her love of killing animals while #7 is currently serving time for his animal-related deeds.

8) You might be an NBA fan if... You are unreasonably anxious to watch Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo running wreckless fast breaks on League Pass en route to a 14-68 record in Memphis.

9) I have a number of not-that-douchey Red Sox fan friends whose happiness I sort of care about, but even so, if Boston wins the World Series, I'm going to throw an omelette at somebody.

September 30, 2008

Can I Interest You in Some Kielbasa?




















I just saw a commercial (or "advert," as the Brits might say) for the MLB playoffs, narrated by Angels center fielder Torii Hunter. I attempted to find the clip on YouTube for reference, but was unsuccessful, so here's the transcript (in a minute you'll see why I'm typing it):

The commercial begins with a shot of Hunter holding a laptop, and on the screen are graphics saying "The Halo Effect, Posted by Hunter 48" (it is clear at this point that we're seeing what is supposed to be a Torii Hunter blog entry)

At this point, Torii says: "We're not about earning points for good behavior."

Then, an announcer's voice comes in over a highlight: "Oh my goodness, what a play!"

Torii: "We're about scoring runs."

Announcer (speaking over a shot of Angels 1B Mark Teixeira): "Salami time!"

There's more to the commercial, but let's just stop right here, because I know I did a double-take at this point.

Just so we're clear, I know as well as anybody that the term "grand slam" is sometimes morphed to "grand salami," apparently because even something that happens as rarely as a bases loaded home run must be augmented to give a shout out to salted and cured meat.

Even so, this use of the announcer's call "Salami time!" struck me as decidedly odd. Sure, you can easily decipher what it means in baseball terms, but you also have to consider the broader context, and where I come from, "Salami time!" can mean two things: 1) that you've just ordered the meat and cheese plate at your favorite Italian restaurant, or 2) you're a teammate of Charles Haley on the late 1980's and early 1990's San Francisco 49ers.

What I'm left to wonder here is whether or not the person who put together the script for this commercial considered the double meaning of "salami time," or if I am indeed the only a-hole juvenile enough to immediately consider the more anatomical interpretation.

I would like to think that the producer of the commercial was in on the joke, but in a world where I routinely hear on-air phrases like "that's the deepest penetration the Jets have enjoyed all day," I just don't know what to believe anymore.

Sometimes I think that we're losing our ear for innuendo altogether. But fear not: Any time an announcer cries out the words "Salami time!" into the night, I will be here, ever vigilant, to point out the undeniable truth: that he basically just said "Penis."

September 29, 2008

Here's Johnny

Bruce the Intern dug up this grainy video footage of what appears to be Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon taking part in an exciting and somewhat unusual offseason endeavor. I for one had no idea he was such a talented and empassioned dancer. Please note the breakout just before the 2-minute mark. Bravo, Monsieur Damon. Bravo!

Would You Mind Chopping Off This Ligament For Me?





















In baseball, it has become something resembling a rite of passage: Blow out your elbow, visit Dr. Andrews, go under the knife, rehab, and come back throwing harder than ever before.

Have you had your Tommy John surgery today?

Though it's commonplace in the world of baseball, ligament replacement surgery has not been prevalent in two other sports that prominently feature throwing: football and dagger toss. But while dagger toss has continued to be a largely surgery-free sport (aside from those random instances when a dagger misses the target and hits a bystander in the gut), it appears that the Tommy John phenomenon could be on the cusp of breaking through to the NFL.

Unless I'm forgetting someone (and research indicates that I'm too lazy to check), the real pioneer in this regard was Panthers QB Jake Delhomme, who had ligament replacement surgery last year, and has come back to throw for 860 yards through Carolina's first four games. Now, there are rumors that Cincy QB Carson Palmer may need to have his elbow ligament replaced as well, which has led to reports that a certain fantasy GM (read: me) recently threw his desk through the third-floor window of a Manhattan apartment building.

Regardless of whether or not those Palmer rumors are true, it's not hard to envision a day when having a new ligament is the norm rather than the exception in the NFL. It's also not hard to picture some knucklehead tearing up his elbow in a recreational baseball or softball match and opting to have T.J. surgery so as to continue his recreational sporting career.

I am here to tell you that with your support, I would like to be that knucklehead.

I am 100 percent willing to go under the knife and perform the necessary rehab if it adds 5 mph to my fastball and 10-15 yards to my deep ball (not to mention adding one more notch to my dagger-tossing prowess). Shouldn't every half-serious recreational athlete feel the same way? And for that matter, shouldn't every flacid-armed QB in the league (Chad Pennington, par exemple) be hoping for a ligament eruption so that with just one year of rehab he can come back as a QB who finally commands some goddamn respect?

Chapter 1, Section 3, Article 1.2 of the Official Dagger Toss Rulebook states: "The most noble competitor shan't fear the knife, so long as it is pointed at the appropriate target, and not at his gut, spleen or some other vital organ."

The same could be said for those all across the world of sports who are facing a rendezvous with Tommy John. Don't fear the blade. Embrace the blade. Let the blade embrace your elbow. Let the blade chop your elbow into little bits. Then come back stronger than ever before. Your NFL career (or your flag football league) will never be the same again.

September 24, 2008

Hello, Neighbor





















Early Wednesday evening, as I walked back from [undisclosed location] to my palacial New York City apartment, I caught sight of a man I immediately recognized as Marko Jaric. The extremely brief encounter left me with more questions than answers.

For one, did his presence in New York City have any bearing on the seemingly dormant trade rumors that had him going from the Grizzlies to the Knicks in a deal for Zach Randolph?

And why is it that every year, Marko Jaric inevitably summons an extremely high level of play for random stretches (see his lines of 16 pts, 8 rebounds, 10 assists against Golden State followed by 15, 8 and 10 in his next game against Phoenix in January) only to end up my fantasy team just in time to revert to disappointing, maddeningly unproductive Marko Jaric?

Perhaps more importantly, why was he wearing sunglasses at 5:33 p.m. on a late-September day, when the streets could be described a thousand ways other than "sun-drenched"? (And don't give me the answer that he was trying to avoid being spotted -- I would put myself in a relatively small percentage of sports fans who would actually recognize him on the street.)

Speaking of which, does anyone in the NBA more perenially look like he just stumbled out of a club at 5:22 a.m. than Jaric?

Another question: Why is it that I can't ever hear his name in my head without internally pronouncing it in a Pirate's voice? (Marko YARRRRRR-itch)

Why, also, on the one occasion when I randomly spotted him on the street, was he walking around with some random dude instead of Adriana Lima?

And, lastly, a question we may never fully be able to answer: Why, as I walked past, were he and his compatriot thinking about walking into that nondescript establishment on the corner about two blocks away where I once went for brunch, only to have a rather disappointing omelette?

September 22, 2008

I See Yardage Totals






















Last Monday, I wrote a post on this blog touting the potential of Raiders rookie RB Darren McFadden. Towards the end of that post, I said:

"
If you're in a fantasy league, it's time to hope he throws out a 14-carry, 42-yard clunker next week, and then trade for him and don't look back."

McFadden's line yesterday against Buffalo: 14 carries, 42 yards.

This can only mean two things:

1) As I suggested last week, it's time to attempt to trade for McFadden immediately;

2) More importantly, through circumstances I can't currently explain, I may have been endowed with some sort of psychic, number-predicting powers. Of course, me forecasting McFadden's 14-carry, 42-yard line came the same week that I dreamt that 49ers QB J.T. O'Sullivan would throw for just under 500 yards and 5 TD's while rushing 40 times for -96 yards. That, of course, did not happen. However, I would be remiss not to point out that Saturday night, I did have a dream that Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown was going to have a big game against the previously stout New England defense. (Brown's line on Sunday: 113 rush yards, 4 rush TD's, 1 pass TD)

These factors lead me to two definitive conclusions:

1) I may be psychic;

2) I really need to stop wasting so much time and brain space thinking about football.

September 19, 2008

O'Sullivan's Wake


















Last night I dreamt that 49ers QB J.T. O'Sullivan (who this week will be in the starting lineup for my fantasy football team, Waivers Rancheros) threw for just under 500 yards with 5 TD's, connecting on two of those TD's to Bryant Johnson, who is also in my starting lineup this week. As you can imagine, this brought the comatose me a great amount of joy. It should also be noted that in my dream, O'Sullivan ran 40 times for -96 yards (yes, that's 40 carries for negative 96 yards).

The fact that my subconscious was so focused on a pair of semi-obscure San Francisco 49ers got me to thinking that if there was a rehab center for fantasy football addicts somewhere out there, I probably wouldn't check in. But I can imagine that there are some poor bastards out there who really need help.

Me, personally -- am I an addict? Absolutely not.

So what if I blacked out last week and came to at an Internet cafe in Mumbai, where it was 10:57 p.m. on Sunday (12:57 p.m. Eastern time), as I frantically attempted to set my lineups in time for the 1 p.m. kickoffs?

Seriously, I don't see what the big deal is. I've always thought you watched too many Hill Street Blues reruns, but I don't call you an addict for that.

So if you would, please back off -- you're suffocating me. Besides, it's very difficult to tend to important business such as pondering my weekly lineup and making meaningless waiver wire transactions when you're hovering over me like that.

Thanks for your understanding.

(Relapses)

(Blacks out)

(Wakes up Sunday morning in Azerbaijan)

September 15, 2008

See Darren Run



















Somewhere around 2 p.m. yesterday, Darren McFadden had 5 carries for 10 yards in the second quarter against the Chiefs, and -- having invested in McFadden in two fantasy leagues -- I was browsing the Wikipedia page on how to commit Seppuku.

But shortly after that, Raiders starting running back Justin Fargas' groin exploded, McFadden erupted, and I sheathed my Samurai sword (only to take it out and run it across the sharpener when I realized that I had McFadden on the bench in one league).

My own completely gratuitous self-inflicted fantasy football torture aside, McFadden (apart from a wee fumbling problem) looked positively awesome on Sunday. If you're in a fantasy league, it's time to hope he throws out a 14-carry, 42-yard clunker next week, and then trade for him and don't look back.

Of course, if McFadden does mess the bed next week against Buffalo, I will most likely be dusting off that katana blade once again (figuratively speaking, Jeff).

September 12, 2008

It's That Nice Young Man From the Motor Club















I probably don't need to remind you of the scene in Groundhog Day during which Bill Murray -- in the midst of his quest to essentially complete the perfect day -- spots a group of elderly ladies who have run aground on a flat tire. But before they're able to decide how to handle the situation, Murray's character of Phil Connors has deftly jacked up their car and replaced the tire.

I bring this up because recently, Cowboys QB Tony Romo did his finest Phil Connors impersonation, pulling over at the side of a Texas (not Punxsutawney) road to help Bill and Sharon White, a local couple who had blown a tire. As Sharon told the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, "Bill was fooling with that tire, and I was standing beside the car watching him. The next thing I know, a nice-looking young man, very well-dressed, but with something strange on his chin, he walked up, smiled, and said, 'Hey, you need some help?'"

It's the "nice-looking young man" line in particular that calls to mind the scene in Groundhog Day when Tony Romo/Phil Connors is at the dance and sees the women he had helped out earlier, prompting one of them to say, "It's that nice young man from the motor club!"

And naturally, the prevalent (and logical) response to Romo's actions is to laud him for his act of good sumaritanism. But it should also be noted that Romo's apparent likeness, Connors, had a memorable dark period in the film, during which -- among other attempts to rid himself of the cruelty of waking up in the same Pennsylvania town every day -- he hurled himself off a building, drove off a cliff, climbed into the bathtub with a toaster and kidnapped Punxsutawney Phil, the iconic groundhog.

If Tony Romo really is the golden boy that everyone's making him out to be, we most likely will not be seeing him attempt to murder himself or steal a famous mascot, but with any luck, perhaps we could see him defend Jessica Simpson's honor in a snowball fight.

September 09, 2008

Have You Seen This Man?















Question: Is there an official term for the opposite of the Midas touch, whereby instead of gold, everything you touch turns to shit?

I seem to be afflicted with this condition when it comes to my fantasy football squads. They went a combined 0-3 during Week 1 of the NFL season, and while I realize that this shouldn't significantly affect my demeanor or outlook on life, the prospect of having crappy fantasy teams makes me want to douse myself in kerosene and take a headlong plunge through a half-inch thick plate glass window.

Thank you for listening; that is all for now.

September 02, 2008

Baums Away



Pretending like the blog hasn't been in a coma for the past two weeks...

I was watching tennis the other day when I happened upon a match featuring Sybille Bammer of Austria. And during said match, it came to my attention that her last name is pronounced "BAUM-er," which immediately called to mind "The Baumer" himself, Richie Tenenbaum, the depressed former tennis pro portrayed by Luke Wilson in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Which immediately made me think of the man working at the graveyard in the film who spots Wilson's character walking past, prompting him to say "Hey Baumer! Alright!" a phrase that will heretofore pop into my head every time I see Sybille Bammer take the tennis court for all the rest of my born days (which is to say, probably about five or 10 more times).

Perhaps this is too much to ask, but I would greatly enjoy it if "The Baumer" of real life women's tennis would have a meltdown on par with that of the fictional Baumer in the film, sitting down on the court and taking off her shoes and only making a cursory effort to swat at every shot that came across the net.

And lastly, I know it's Austrian, but why in the blazes is her name spelled Bammer and pronounced "BAUM-er"? Do they call prison "the SLAUM-er" in Austria?

Very important issues at hand here, as you can see.

August 18, 2008

Pardon Me, This Yacht Has No Teat


















When you see a story that says a baby whale in Australia has mistaken a yacht for its mother, you generally say to yourself: That is pretty amusing.
And when you read further down on the page, and discover that the whale has attempted to "suckle" from the yacht's nonexistent breast, there's really only one thing left to be said:

Outstanding.

August 04, 2008

The Old Automatic



It probably shouldn't be that enjoyable to watch the greatest basketball player of all time annihilating a bunch of school kids, but for some reason, it is.

Also, I know these are just high school kids he's schooling, but seeing how automatic his fade-away still is, is there any doubt that the 45-year-old incarnation of MJ could suit up and score 18 per game in the League right now?

August 02, 2008

Le Baron Strikes Again



You may have already seen this elsewhere. If not, you must watch. Baron Davis is fast becoming the king of pro athletes when it comes to bizarre, semi-underground Internet videos (see: Baron on roller skates for reference). It should also be pointed out that Baron's co-star in this short (Steve Nash) has some frighteningly good dance moves (and a remarkable pair of shorts).

Dog Baron all you want for not finishing what he started in Golden State, but it's hard not to like a guy (or guys in this case) who are willing to don ridiculously nerdy outfits, hop on a tandem bicycle and have a dance session on the street for no apparent reason whatsoever.

July 28, 2008

Quiet... Almost Too Quiet


















You know how in the middle of the summer people leave New York and it gets really quiet?

You also know how in the middle of the summer, the streets of New York smell like a vile combination of puke, excrement and fecal matter combined into one vicious nostril-assaulting toxin?

You also know how sometimes, you put a photo on your blog, and it ends up showing up vertical instead of horizontal, but you don't feel like changing it?

I bring this up (the first thing, not the second or third) because you may see the occasional tumbleweed blowing through these streets during the next month or so. This, as they say, is my busy time of year. That's not to say that I won't have any new thrilling posts, so please keep checking back so that you can have the joy of stumbling across one such post, or so that you can curse my name for not having added anything new in [insert number of days here].

Thank you for your time, understanding and continued support.

Sincerely,

Mark Lemke

July 24, 2008

Where Perplexing Happens

Taking a break from my unintentional blogging exile (forgive me readers, it has been rather busy around these parts) to wonder why on God's green earth a first-place team would sign a 50-year-old woman, as the Detroit Shock have just done with Nancy Lieberman.

More importantly, though, why the hell am I writing about it?

Perhaps it's partially because of Shock coach Bill Laimbeer's quote:
"Can she still compete at this level? I don't know. But I'm going to throw her in the fire." Something about a 51-year-old man saying that about a 50-year-old woman conjures the image of him quite literally picking her up and flinging her headlong onto the hardwood floor, at which point she breaks a hip.

Okay, I think I'm done. We can all go back to throwing darts at Hawks GM Rick Sund's face.

July 14, 2008

Dallas: A Place Where Ankles Stay Maddeningly Swollen, and They Don't Give Away Kia's for Free (at Least Not to My Friends)

Well, the smoke has cleared, and as you can gather from that rather economical headline, our man in the NBA Kia Motors Performance Challenge gave it a go on his gimped ankle, and while no one came within two seconds of Mike W.'s 17.8 seconds time from the qualifying round a couple months back, his ankle just couldn't withstand the rigors of the obstacle course. Fact is, when he took to the court Sunday, the thing was still swollen up worse than a guadeloupe (the guadeloupe, for those not in the know, is a distant cousin of the canteloupe. Check that -- I'm being told that Guadeloupe is a French territory in the Caribbean).

In any case, as much as I would have enjoyed doing e-brake turns in that new Kia, looks like we'll just have to wait until next year (and most likely attempt to qualify for the finals ourselves).

Before we go, let's take a second to pour out a small dollop of St. Ides for The Atlanta Representative, who made a hell of a run just getting on the plane with that mangled ankle of his.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

July 11, 2008

Dallas, Baby. Dallas.

We interrupt whatever the hell else you were doing with this important news bulletin:

Friend of the blog Mike Walbert (a.k.a. "Mike E. Dubs," a.k.a. "Mickael Pietrus," a.k.a. "Pro Form," a.k.a. "Ice Pack" a.k.a. "300") is in Dallas this weekend as the Atlanta representative in the NBA Kia Motors Performance Challenge (follow
this link and see Mike on the left).

For those not in the know, the Kia Motors Performance Challenge is just like the skills competition at NBA All-Star Weekend, and it doesn't take a goddamn professor of religion to realize that only one competitor in the nation (some dude named Steve Clark from D.C.) has posted a higher regional score (16.8 seconds) than Monsieur Walbert, who clocked in a 17.8 seconds in ATL a few months back in front of a confused crowd who had absolutely no idea who this guy was.

Given that he had the second-best score out of nine competitors, if you were a gambling man you'd probably be wise to throw down a little coin on the kid from ATL. But here's where it gets interesting: This past week, while playing hoops, the Atlanta Representative suffered a rather vicious sprained ankle. As just told to The OCC via secure telephone connection, the bruise from the sprain spread down his foot and partway up his calf with the reckless abandon of the Bubonic Plague. Mike was told by more than one person in the medical profession that he most likely tore some ligaments (they couldn't confirm with x-rays because the ankle was too damn sickeningly swollen to look at). But thanks to a steady regimen of rest, ice, compression, elevation, pilates and peyote, he's on the ground in Dallas and is actually walking (or perhaps more accurately, limping).

"If I win, which is a long shot now, it's gonna be a hell of a story," says the young Walbert.

He's got until Sunday at 5 p.m. to consume enough booze to get that swelling to go down, then get out there and win the damn thing.

I'll be the first to say that I'm not putting it past him to get it done.

We'll be back with updates throughout the weekend.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that the winner of this bitch gets a brand new Kia?

As a great wiseman once said: Stay tuned.

July 10, 2008

Hey, Isn't That...






















I found the answer to that question you were wondering about. The answer is, six years.

The question, in case you have forgotten, is "How long does it take for you [you being a former Knicks guard who goes by the name of John Starks] to sufficiently fade from the limelight after your playing career concludes so that you can blend in on a commuter train from Connecticut to New York without being harassed or accosted by anyone?"

This is all a very roundabout way of saying I saw John Starks on the train yesterday. He was wearing a suit. No one else seemed to notice him. However, I think he noticed that I noticed him, and he was probably terrified that I was going to make a scene. I didn't.

That is the end of my story.

July 08, 2008

What Tasty Bullets That Gun Has













On Monday, as I am occasionally wont to do, I boarded an airplane. The flight was rather long, and about 4.5 hours into it, I exhausted most existing means of entertainment (I stopped short of eating the pre-packaged, microwaved cheeseburger that could undoubtedly survive a nuclear holocaust).

So I turned to the Sky Mall magazine. I killed about two minutes flipping through the first 39 pages, until, on page 40 -- I spotted something.

THE MARSHMALLOW SHOOTER, said the font below the silly-looking purple gun.

The description read: "This clever pump-action device shoots sweet, edible miniature marshmallows over 30 feet, and it even has an LED sight that projects a safe beam of red light to help locate a target for pinpoint accuracy. The easy-to-refill magazine holds 20 marshmallows for fast, nonstop action."

I immediately went down to the lab (not located on board the plane) to check my blood for traces of peyote.

This clever pump-action device shoots sweet, edible miniature marshmallows over 30 feet?

Are we so lazy as a society that we have to blast our marshmallows across the house to one another instead of getting up to retrieve them from the bag?

Are we so obsessed with guns that we need a gun that shoots candy? (and a candy gun with a laser site, at that.)

Not wanting to miss out on this offer, I immediately ordered six Marshmallow Shooters, at $24.95 a pop.

The Dirty Bird


















Today I was walking on the street when a ruddy-faced drunken man zig-zagging his way down 9th Avenue suddenly had a moment of semi-lucid thought upon spotting my red Falcons t-shirt.

"The Falcons!?!" he said. "You don't know anything about... Atlanta."

So I punched him in the face and stole his booze.

July 02, 2008

My Deepest Sympathies for Your Junk


















To Chris Snyder's unborn children:

Daddy suffered a pretty horrific injury recently. A fractured left testicle. Didn't know testicles could fracture? Me neither. Maybe you'll learn about that someday in science class.

Now if you'll pardon me, I'm going to go make myself vomit and then weep uncontrollably for about 5 minutes. After that I think I'll feel better about all this.

June 25, 2008

Entendre (x2)














Something else I heard today in the first inning of the Red Sox-D'Backs game on NESN after an errant pickoff attempt:

"That one almost thrown away by Johnson -- nice play by Conor Jackson to reach around the rubber."

As Michael Bluth would point out, there's gotta be a better way to say that.

What a Remarkable Knob You Have



















Wednesday I was watching the Brewers-Braves game when a question from a viewer came on the air for the announcers to answer.

Bill from Elkhorn wanted to know, "Why is the knob on Rickie Weeks' bat so big compared to others?"

Pardon me for being so juvenile, but I'm not sure I would have been able to answer that one with a straight face.

June 24, 2008

The Old Switcheroo



They're probably gonna need to get this rule about a switch hitter facing a switch pitcher sorted out before Pat Venditte goes too much farther in his professional career.

June 18, 2008

It's Headley



On May 29, actor Harvey Korman, who played Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles, died at the age of 81.

Nineteen days later, on June 17, the San Diego Padres called up prized prospect Chase Headley.

I'm still trying to figure out what this all means.

But I'm pretty sure it's something big.

June 16, 2008

What Are You Up to Tonight?


















Before you get all bent out of shape about it, let me ask you this: Who among us hasn't been spotted at Tryst (the nightclub in the Wynn casino in Vegas) spraying bottles of Dom P. all over the assembled masses, only to be found unconscious with an orbital fracture on East Flamingo Road approximately 36 hours later?

So before you go judging Raiders WR Javon Walker for his actions (or for whatever debaucherous sequence of decisions led him to be laid out on a street corner Monday morning), just realize that sometimes when you go to Las Vegas, things happen a little bit differently than planned. If you can't handle that, then you probably ought to stay planted in your seat with your little cup of coins playing the video slots, and leave the champagne spraying and street brawling for those of us who are actually looking to have a good time.

June 09, 2008

Crippling Diarrhea, Most Likely














Clearly, something was bothering Rockies second baseman Jeff Baker on Sunday, as he came into the game for a pinch hitter, then was removed for a pinch runner after reaching on a hit. But in an astonishing development -- and in a notable departure from recent episodes in which it was revealed that Kaz Matsui had an anal fissure and Carlos Guillen had hemorrhoids -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle did not reveal what was wrong with Baker, instead invoking the (apparently quite rare) phrase, "I'm not at liberty to say." Which of course begs two questions:

1) Why couldn't the Astros and the Tigers taken the same strategy and decide not to sell out Matsui and Guillen's terribly embarrassing butt problems?

2) What in God's name was plaguing Baker, and how am I supposed to find out if no one is going to be senseless enough to run their mouth about it?