Monday, July 16, 2007

What I Hope Happens on My Summer Vacation...

Aaaaaaand, we're back! I have no idea how long it has been since there was some original material, but, well...the fact that I can't even remember that far back probably isn't a good thing. Hopefully, this is the start of a nice, long streak of everyday posts, but we'll see. To be fair, the sporting world has been boring as hell lately, so it isn't as if there has been a plethora of material to talk about. That said, it is still inexcusable. I'd make a joke about some type of refund here, but I think that has already been done, and this is getting old anyways.

Since there isn't a damn thing going on, here is one man's wish list for the rest of summer...

I want... watch more tennis. The Federer/Nadal final at Wimbledon was riveting, and I don't even watch tennis. I think the last match I watched was like Federer/Roddick like a year ago when people were actually giving Roddick a chance (and before that, it was Michael Chang on, I loved Michael Chang. And Gladiators. And Wings. I can't believe there was a time in my life when USA was my favorite channel. Seems a little implausible, no?).

But back to Federer v. Nadal: That was just exciting TV. I don't really know what I am talking about, but Nadal seemed infinitely more exciting; it seemed like he wanted to obliterate every ball he hit and had no qualms trying to place the ball in improbably sports, which he did, like, most every time. Federer seemed like a stoic brick wall, even was he was smashing his racket and challenging balls even I could tell were out. It was just a perfect combination; I wanted it to last at least 45 more games.

I may be may off here, but it seemed kind of like Iverson vs. Duncan, which, if you think about it, would be a pretty fun one-on-one game to watch. And to keep the basketball analogy going, I love how tennis players can just stop a match for however long they feel like it and berate the ref (ump?) who sits in the little lifeguard tower (the NBA should definitely have one of those guys at center court). I kept expecting them to get a quick technical whenever they did this while their coach and their masseuse held them back....then I remembered that the NBA was over. 'Sheed should pick up tennis; he'd love the freedom.

But it makes me want to watch more tennis. I have no idea if there are any players outside of Federer and Nadal that can make a match that exciting, but I am willing to give it a try. And I'd love it if I had an American to cheer for. Right now, I am firmly entrenched in the Nadal Camp, but I'll gladly jump ship to a worthwhile American. Is Roddick my best bet?

...Tiger to come from behind in a major, preferably the British this week. It is really the only glaring hole in his resume, and I would like to see him amend it. It is a completely made up and arbitrary and contrived and idiotic hole in his resume, probably thought up by some screaming head who needed something to yell about on TV and I really just don't want to hear about it anymore. I really don't know how you can use it to discredit the guy.

Plus, it would help me win my argument that Tiger is the greatest athlete in the world right now, even better that Mr. Federer. Both of them seem to have one huge problem they need to tidy up before they basically perfect their craft. Federer needs to win on clay; Tiger needs a Major comeback win. That is what Skip Bayless tells me, anyways, and he is always right, because he yells the loudest.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Federer is slipping and Nadal is gaining (I am more than likely very, very wrong here) but when/if Nadal beats him on a surface other than clay and Tiger pulls off a comeback win? This completely made up, arbitrary, contrived argument is ova.

(Oh, and I am thrilled that the British is being held at Carnoustie this year. Van de Velde's six on eighteen is one of my favorite moments of all-time, sports or non-sports. I could watch that on a loop all day. I love how he takes it so seriously, like he is not screwing up at all, and then when he putts in to force a playoff- after heading into the hole with a freakin' 3 shot lead - he pumps his fist and screams like he just eagled to win the tourney. And I love him standing in the water with no socks or shoes on.)

...ESPN's "Who's Now" Contest to be changed. ESPN really dropped the ball on this one. Why only 32 athletes, which can only argued and debated over just the summer? Why not make it 128 entries? No, 256! A million! It is seriously an awesome debate, trying to decide who is the most "Now." Why can't it last for a whole year? I really don't get it, ESPN. You have an awesome host in Stu Scott (for real, he is so cutting edge), so why wouldn't you keep it going as long as possible? The ESPN brain trust had a good thing going, but it is only going to last until August? What the hell, ESPN? I don't want any more damn highlights! I don't want to see games and stuff....I want debate, and more of it! I feel cheated.

Screw the NCAA tournament; we need to get Jim Boehiem to rally for expansion, immediately. I don't know what Wilbon loves more, the "Who's Now" tourney or having Boehim on PTI to whin about only 64 teams getting in, so PTI can devote a whole day to this, with Stu Scott sitting in for Kornheiser! It's a win-win!

...the USA to dominate the Little League World Series. I want Team USA's cleanup hitter to have porkchop sideburns, a fu manchu, grab his cup more than A-Rod, chew and spit relentlessly and swing a bigger bat than Albert Pujols. I want just bomb after bomb; I want him to hit them so far that the little kids that scramble after the balls are exhausted by the time they get to them. I want Taiwan to demand to see a birth certificate.

I want a tall, lanky pitcher throwing "the equivalent" of a 137 major league fastball. I want a lead off hitter who can bunt a double. I want them all to have ridiculous celebrations and handshakes. I want stadiums to chant "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

I want them to capture the imagination of a country. get into baseball. I would like to use the US dominating the LLWS to spring board me back into loving baseball. I don't know why, but I just can't get into it. I really, really want to, but I just can't find the consistant motivation. Hopefully, an 11-year-old with three tattoos can do that for me.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

...Team USA dominating at whatever tournament it is that they are playing in this summer. C'mon fellas, just put it all together. Dominate. Win going away. Play as a team, play like it is fun, play with some energy, play with some inspiration, play like you want to be there. Give us a reason to cheer for you, other than the fact that it says "USA" on the front of your jersies. Give us a little confidence for the Olympics.

Give us a reason to chant U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! I really, really just want to chant that a lot. blockbuster NBA trade. I don't even care who it is; the Ray Allen-to-Boston deal just didn't do it for me. Kobe to Memphis. KG to Golden St. If it could involve one side getting completely fleeced, that would be enjoyable, too.

Ideally, I'd like to see both Kobe and KG shipped to the East. I would love a more distributed balance of power. But I will take whatever I can get.

...something unpredictable, but insane, to happen. I don't know what...maybe like Gary Sheffield calling Joe Torre a racist or Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson both getting suspended...although if you though for about 30 seconds, you could come up with both those scenarios. I want a scandal that will creep into the headlines of the "regular" news, but not something as depressing as Mike Vick's dog-fighting ring.

Maybe Bonds breaking the record, then admitting he took steriods, while Selig is helpless to do anything about it. I want something soap opera-ish, that I can follow just a little too much for a month or two. Maybe Zach Randolph can do something at a strip club, I don't know. I just need something. learn how to use Ballhype. I have a vague idea how to use it, but I feel like my grandpa trying to figure out a DVD player. Someone just explain it to me. I don't get it. I am ashamed to admit it, but I don't get it. Help. Please.

Ballhype: hype it up!

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Only NBA Draft Review That is Four Days Late and Doesn't Mention Either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. Perfect.

Well, I'm a few days late to the party, but let's talk a little bit about the NBA Draft, anyways. Hey, July just started. What do you want to talk about? Baseball? (Just kiddin', baseball; we'll get around to you sooner or later.)

t things first: the three big trades.

Zach Randolph is a New York Knickerbocker. Say what you want about Isiah (like, for instance, that he can pinch your ass so hard that he will send you airborn, which is 100% true, by the way), but at least the man is consistent. I remember reading somewhere that Isiah's only thought process during a trade is, "Did I get the best player?" He certainly maintained that theme, If Eddie Curry was left-handed and didn't have a shaky ticker and liked strippers more, he'd be Zack Randolph, no? Isn't this the same as bringing in Stevie Franchise with Starbury already on the roster? Too bad they had to move Franchise in the deal; those four coulda filmed some Double Mint commercials for the Jumbotron or something. I have a sneaking suspicion that things absolutely explode in NY this year.

Jeff Green is Traded From One Green Team to Another Green Team. Hey, Brewer didn't go to Milwaukee; I need to get a lame pun in somewhere. I don't get why the Celtics just don't trade Paul Pierce. They aren't winning shit with Pierce & Allen, so what's the point? Why trade out of this draft, of all drafts? This trade does make both the Celtics and the Sonics about a hundred more times more interesting to watch next year, though, so that's something.

Also: the Celtics tanked for Ray Allen.

Brandan Wright taunts MJ; MJ immediately ships his ass to Golden St. I don't know which franchise won here - Golden St. loses a crucial part of the magical run to the second round last year, but gains the perfect big man for their style; Charlotte has a dude that they know they can get points out of every night, but they are paying a shit load for it - but I do know which player won: Brandan Wright. He gets to run around, guard no one and shoot lefty hooks in 80 degree weather instead of playing for UNC II.

Here's the big question: Why the hell does MJ even want to be a GM? Wouldn't he rather spend his time golfing, smoking cigars and grinding on his son's friends? I just don't get why a guy who has every conceivable luxury at his fingertips would spend his time trying to understand the salary cap and putting together a draft board, especially when he's terri
ble at it. If he likes the NBA that much, why not just crash "Inside the NBA" for weeks at a time? Him and Charles would be money.

Some other loose ends...

--Do you think Jerry Krause was sitting back at the office, getting phone calls after every pick, sweating it out every time the phone rang (not because he was nervous, just because I bet he sweats a lot) and then being thrilled his man fell to No. 9? Then he flicks on ESPN just to see him shake hands with The Commish and is greeted by this:

How fast do you think he wanted to throw up? Instantly? Has any team ever had a faster case of buyer's remorse? I mean, good God, just look at Noah there. He seems like the kind of guy who does shit he thinks is hilarious but is willfully ignorant to the fact that everyone is laughing at him and not with him. Like, all the time. What a jackass. How fast til Stern has him killed?

All that aside...what is the point of that pick from Chicago? They needed another limited who can't score on that ro
ster? They drafted him so they could trade a guy they just signed last year? Which Paxson is running the Bulls again?

--When Jay Bilas was talking about Big Baby's weight problem, he said he was, and I'm paraphrasing here, a "weight loser, but had trouble keeping it off. He's much like Oprah in that regard." How long do you think he was waiting to say that? He had to be positively
agonizing while watching him drop to the second round. It was pretty funny, though - not nearly as funny as Mike Tirico made it out to be; seriously, Mike, calm down - but it was funny. Good one, Duke Boy.

--I am glad that Rod Thorn wasn't deterred by Sean Williams' minor indiscretion of getting kicked off his college team (to be honest, if I had to play with Jared Dudley, I would have been hittin' the pipe pretty hard, too). So, Rod, why exactly did you take Mr. Williams? "He's a player who had over 1200 on his college boards, so he's a guy who has a brain." Apparently, that's all it takes to get drafted by the Nets.

-- I love how Yi Jianlian is pulling a Steve Francis here, but since he isn't actually Steve Francis, no one is really making that big of a deal out of it. Yi is being a complete prima donna here and he actually has an entire government backing him up. Imagine if the US Senate was all for Steve Francis getting the hell out of Vancouver back in the day? Seriously, this tops all prima donna behavior before it - this is more extreme than Bryant or Elway or Drew. No one else has an entire government backing them.

And they don't even have a good reason, like, I don't know, he wants more playing time or he wants more money. He thinks he can't get marketed properly! How is this not prima donna material? Yi is the poster child with everything that is wrong with professional sports today.

-- The Blazers and the Suns seem to have different draft strategies, don't they? The Blazers will draft freaking anybody, they'll trade for your picks, they'll buy it off you...seriously, do you have a pick? The Blazers want it.

The Suns, on the other hand, hate the draft. Hey, Stern, if you're reading this, don't even give PHX a pick next year because they want nothing to do with it. They've sold a pick now four years running. So they are firmly entrenched in "win now" mode, right? So why the hell don't they trade for KG? All this three-way crap...why not cut to the chase and swap KG for Amare, straight up, win the next two titles, and then go back to actually drafting people, like everyone else?

Ballhype: hype it up!

Read the Rest After the Jump...