Thursday, July 31, 2008

Culture Shock

Beyond the perception of compromised officiating and league-mandated results, beyond the fact that the regular season is too long and too meaningless, we have the real root cause of why the NBA is moving closer and closer to irrelevance: players whose behavior and utterances are so offensive that tolerance for it is reaching its nadir.

This, in a nutshell, is why more and more people are turning away from the NBA.

Holy shit, Ron Artest can’t truly believe that he’s representing his culture, can he? The last time I checked, African-American culture was not actually centered on racist, homophobic, and violent behavior. The last time I checked, Ron Artest wasn’t being saluted as a future leader of African-American youth. He might be a hero to those that think its cool to be an uneducated and violent piece of shit but I’d bet that the average black guy on the street doesn’t think much of Artest, let alone see him as a leader of their culture (keeping in mind that I’m not even sure “culture” is the appropriate nomenclature here).

I sound like a frightened honkey but I’m really not frightened at all. I’m just appalled that, so many years later, Artest still doesn’t understand that his actions during the brawl in Detroit are nothing to be proud of. The guy’s clueless. For that reason alone, I’m convinced that Yao Ming is right; this was a bad trade. There’s no way you can win with a guy that doesn’t know the meaning of the word responsibility., I’m still shaking my head over that one...

Green Bay, Favre Reach New Levels Of Insanity

Despite the giant middle finger directly below that beckons us to not talk about a certain former drug-addicted quarterback who is now high on the stench of his own narcissism, this most recent development – if true – is patently absurd.

Why would the Green Bay Packers want to pay someone $20M to stay home? It’s not money that counts against the salary cap so if the owner wants to be reckless with an amount I can’t even dream of, then that’s his business. That being said, this situation is getting out of hand. As much as Brett Favre’s indecisiveness is both infuriating and selfish, I don’t quite understand why the Packers are being so obstinate in their refusal to take him back. And if you don’t want him on your team, why not just make a trade to send him to the Jets, Falcons, Panthers, or some other non-NFC North team that desperately needs a QB? The Packers certainly need Brett Favre more than he needs them. Keeping him out of camp out of spite seems outrageous to me, especially if the Packers are committed to winning football games in 2008.

Paying him to stay home is preposterous. Either let him come back and play for the Packers or trade him to another city. A bribe is beyond all levels of comprehension. Frankly, I wish both parties nothing but the worst. I hope the Packers go 1-15 and I hope Favre goes to another team and sucks beyond words. They both deserve the misery.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dear Favre and Packers,

Since ESPN can't help but overexpose the story please do what you can to end this story. It was funny for a bit but now its just annoying. Any additional questions about my feelings on the topic can be directed to the picture below.
Mighty Mike

Artest Happily Moves to Houston, Gutsy Sulking in Cleveland

The Kings have agreed to ship Ron Artest to Houston in exchange for Donte Green (2008 1st round selection), Bobby Jackson (1 year remaining at $6 mill), and Houston's 1st round pick in 2009 (which should be in the mid-20s if not even lower).

I have to applaud the Houston Rockets for making this move! It's a fantastic move, even in spite of Donte Green's sometimes stellar play during summer league (which apparently started out with a 40-point debut, but then he shot 31% for three games after that, before rebounding with a 20+ performance).

The Rockets now have a sweet starting lineup in:
PG - R. Alston, SG-T. McGrady, C-Yao, SF-R. Artest, PF-L. Scola ; with S. Battier, A. Brooks, and recent addition B. Barry coming off the bench. The Rockets quite simply have to be considered amongst the top teams for next season, even with the Western Conference still being brutal.

The thing that upsets me in all of this? Why didn't the Cleveland Cavaliers pull a trade off for Artest to help LeBron??? The Cavs have the expiring contracts of Wally ($13 million) and Snow ($7 million), as well as Damon Jones ($4.5 million). The Cavs also have future 1st round draft picks to trade away! Similarly, the Cavs could have traded their current 1st round draft pick, JJ Hickson, who's only 19, for Artest. I suppose the Cavs have decided that JJ Hickson should be ready to contribute much faster than anticipated. Otherwise, I can't understand why the Cavs aren't the team celebrating the arrival of Ron Artest.

Of course, as mentioned in the comments a few weeks ago, the fact that Ben Wallace happens to be on the Cavs could be another reason that the Cavs did not trade for Artest, since the two do not like each other and it was their original fight that started the 2004 Brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Corrections: Aug 1

It was incorrectly noted that Archaeologist had disturbed the tomb of Ahmanehotep III and thereby were cursed by his mummy. Archaeologists had disturbed the tomb of Brett Favre and thereby brought down a terrible curse on the state of Wisconsin.

It was incorrectly noted that Federal investigators raided the home of Nick Saban due to allegation of his involvement in the white slave trade. Federal investigators raided the home of Nick Saban, in fact for his involvement in trafficking of heroine.

It was incorrectly noted that Qantas had a new policy for flying with giant holes in its planes in order to reduce weight and jet fuel consumption. The giant hole in the side of its planes is actually part of its new baggage handling policy.

It was incorrectly noted that John McCain was mistaken when he said "Iraq was the first major conflict after 9/11". I'm not sure what the incorrect statement is but McCain can't possibly make those kind gaffes.

It was incorrectly reported that Erica Campbell was seen talking to Mighty Mike about what sort of lingerie she should wear. It should have read "Erica Campbell was seen talking to Mighty Mike about what sort of lingerie she should wear for her boyfriend who is no way shape or form is Mighty Mike"

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

The Mets STILL don’t get it. Team owner Fred Wilpon says he “screwed up” during the whole Randolph firing fiasco but, in typical Mets fashion, he’s missing the point of HOW he screwed up. Firing Willie Randolph the next day wouldn’t have made it any better. The point is that the Mets never should’ve let Willie Randolph get on a plane to Anaheim.

If the Mets were resolved to fire their manager, they should’ve done it immediately after their last home game. Making the man board a plane to the west coast just to manage the ballclub one last time (a victory, by the way) was the mistake, not the timing of the firing (although that was a disaster too).

The Mets are a pathetic joke of ineptitude and self-deception. Sensitivity and perceptiveness are not their strong suits.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sports Tidbits

1. Something rubs me the wrong way when I think about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell interjecting himself into the Packers-Favre situation.

“Sources have told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Thompson reaffirmed to the commissioner that the organization wants to “move on” without Favre. Consequently, Goodell encouraged the GM to accelerate the process by surveying teams around the league to determine if there is a trade partner, the sources said.

The commissioner made it clear to Thompson that Favre will be reinstated as an active player if he makes the request. Goodell also has spoken with Favre, the sources said, telling the veteran passer that he was willing to assist in the process, if necessary. (Source:

The Packers should do what’s best for them. I don’t think it’s the commissioner’s place to tell teams to accelerate the process of making trades. I understand that it’s in the NFL’s best interest to have Favre back in the mix for 2008 because of the hype it will generate but the Packers have to do what’s right for them as an organization, Goodell’s encouragements be damned.

2. As a Greek citizen with many close relatives living in Athens and as a proud Olympiakos fan, I am happy to report that Josh Childress, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks, is taking his game to the birthplace of Western civilization.

Let’s be realistic for a moment here: Josh Childress is the anti-European basketball player. He has a very tenuous grasp on the fundamentals of basketball and isn’t known for his shooting, passing, ball-handling, or hoops IQ. What he is, however, is a talented athlete who can run and jump with the best of them. I’m not sure his game will work very well in Greece but he’ll certainly be the most athletic and physically-fit player on the court. In that regard, I expect him to be a very good shot-blocker and an explosive trailing player on fast breaks. Beyond that, I can’t see him scoring against zone defenses in the Euroleague.

3. Yuck. ‘Nuff said.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cheers and Jeers: Bonecrusher Edition

That's right boys and girls its NFL time which means..... its the return of Cheers and Jeers. This week also happens to include To a happiest of happy birthday to our very own MJ. MJ will be making his yearly pilgrimage to the fetid swamp that in theory is in charge of the US. While the plans of what the Birthday Includes Here are Few Expected Highlights

File photo of MJ

Early Afternoon - For those that are unaware MJ has an intense dislike of mules. I think it has something to do with the incident where a mule forced him into the trucking business but I'm not sure. In any event due to gasoline prices MJ will be forced to travel by casino boat. During the journey while MJ will win a small presbyterian church and then leverage it for a bottle of bourbon, brownest of the brown liquors. MJ always places liquor above religion (I think this also might have something to do with mules)

Later Afternoon - Sunday - Everything will be blurry after the bourbon. I can only assume that it will end in at least one of the following outcomes: 1) Harry Reid being blinded by a Jumbo Slice 2) Me being duct taped to a clown 3) Curses at the heat emanating for the Swamp that passes itself off as the seat of American power 4) Flaming bag of poop being mailed to Bill Simmons 5) More Bourbon

Anyway without further ado cheering and jeering

Cheers - To the NFC East. Between the Redskins trade for Twinkle Toes Taylor and the Giants shipping Shockey out for a second round draft pick and a case of heinkein they've made sure everyone is watching NFL training camp. It seems to hard not to think the Saints have a pretty potent offense now.

Jeers - To Carson Palmer. Look Carson I realize time with Chad Johnson has made you loopy enough to think that hot dog ads are the way to market yourself. Anyway I just wanted to take the time to tell you to suck it.

Cheers: To the Original Captain Chaos...Chris Cooley and his great guest post at KSK

Cheers: To great ad placement. From my understanding that ad is real, just the place (somewhere called California) is fake
Jeers: 30 odd days till the start of College Football. I can't wait. Who knows what'll happen this year? Bobby Petrino v. Nick Saban? Really can a stadium truly handle the amount of douchebaggery?

And now your Cheers and Jeers Gal of the Week.....Emily Scott. Who seems to have misplaced her pants

Monday, July 21, 2008

NBA Free Agency 2008 - New Jersey Nets' Quest to Have 22 Players Under Contract

It may only be the end of July, but the New Jersey Nets have made one thing clear during this off-season: their goal is to have enough cap-space in 2010 to go after LeBron James. This part of the New Jersey Nets' plan has been widely reported, and overly analyzed and speculated on.

The more confusing thing? What in the world is the Nets' goal for 2008 (aside from making sure that no one is under contract for 2010?)

At this point, they've dumped Richard Jefferson in exchange for Bobby Simmons' rotting contract and a Chinese attraction in Yi Jianlin. The Nets also lost Diop and Bostjan Nachbar (to Russia). However, the Nets have now added:

Draft picks:
Brook Lopez (No. 10), Ryan Anderson (No. 21), Chris Douglas-Roberts (No. 40)
Jarvis Hayes (Detroit), Eduardo Najera (Denver)
Bobby Simmons (Milwaukee), Yi Jianlian (Milwaukee), Keyon Dooling (Orlando).

This means the Nets now have 16 players under contract, with their Keyon Dooling addition! Plus, Nenad Kristic is a restricted free agent. Now, with all these additions, I think the Nets' 5th best player may be as good as their 12th best player. Problem is, their 5th best player is probably the 8th best player on most teams. For posterity sake, I'll try to come up with some hockey lines to guide their coach next season, assuming Kristic gets signed:

PF1 S. Williams..PF2 E. Najera.....PF3 S. Swift
SF1 Y. Jianlin.....SF2 B. Simmons..SF3 M. Ager
C1 N. Kristic.......C2 B. Lopez.........C3 J. Boone
SG1 V. Carter....SG2 J. Hayes........SG3 T. Hassell
PG1 D. Harris....PG2 K. Dooling.....PG3 M. Williams

NBDL: Chris Douglas-Roberts, Ryan Anderson (though it's more likely Ager gets waived, and Hassell doesn't ever play).

With all these players, I think the Nets' only goal for 2008 is to become a college all-star season for the next 2 seasons. I suppose the Nets are planning to move at least one more player before the season begins, unless they really are planning on stashing 2 players in the D-League (which may not be a bad strategy, though it may be depressing and a big gut check for whomever gets that fate). Personally, I'm rooting for the Nets to somehow have 22 players under contract in 2008, so they can then have enough players to have a sizable bench so they can compete in soccer, hockey, and football.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Taylor Will Dance For Snyder

As if Daniel Snyder could resist the temptation to add a veteran, probably over the hill, player. Ha. Following the loss of their one of their starting DEs, the Washington Redskins traded for Jason Taylor. Consider this an open thread on the trade and the official start to the NFL training camp season.....

Rather than bore you with a picture of Jason Taylor dancing I just went with Ali Landry

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There's Just Something About the McCown Brothers!

I don't know why, but I have never found a pair of more irrelevant NFL QB brothers more entertaining than the McCowns! Maybe it's their names? Maybe it's the fact that they never play more than one good game per season? Maybe it's the fact that someone is always willing to roll the dice with one of the McCowns.

But now... the McCowns have outdone themselves. Apparently, younger brother Luke McCown (Tampa Bay QB #3?), was chopping firewood... and actually cut older brother Josh McCown's finger! Yes, that sounds horrifically violent, but yet at the same time, it just makes me laugh because its almost too absurd to even believe because both McCowns were involved. I still want to know if oldest brother, Randy McCown was there. For those who aren't avid readers, Wikipedia helped me discover the eldest, and clearly the wisest, McCown brother. He may not be in the NFL, but at least he's not involved in any strange incidents that involve chopping someone's finger with an axe!

Unfortunately, Josh McCown was supposed to be part of a 3-way QB duel in Miami this season, between John Beck and Chad Henne... hopefully Josh's finger will heal quickly allowing him to have yet another crack at a starting job.

All-Star Memories (Abridged)

I want to do a full post on my experiences at last night’s All Star Game but I need to wait until my pictures (225 of them!) are developed. In lieu of a full post I will give you a quickie recap of my thoughts:

-The atmosphere all around the ballpark was tremendous. For those that have never been to Yankee Stadium, you have to understand that one would never spend any time in that neighborhood for any reason other than to attend a ballgame. It’s not dangerous, per se, but it’s just run down and depressed. I’ve been going to Yankee games since I was 10 years old and I can’t remember a time when there was more life and excitement around the ballpark – and that includes the playoffs and World Series.

-The weather was absolutely perfect. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t chilly, and the humidity was virtually non-existent. The baseball gods were certainly wearing t-shirts and shorts and smiling down upon us last night.

-My favorite part of every All-Star Game is during player introductions. I love when the players come out onto the field wearing their individual team uniforms and tip their caps or wave to the crowd upon having their names called. Last night was no different. But when the Hall of Famers were brought out and introduced, I had goosebumps. Seeing Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Ernie Banks, Cal Ripken, Mike Schmidt, and all the other old-timers was awesome.

-For the most part, the game was well played until the 8th inning. After that point, the errors came in leaps and bounds and neither team could execute at the plate. The AL stranded the go-ahead run at third base in three consecutive innings. It looked like Little League out there for a while.

-My favorite moment of the night was when Jonathan Papelbon came into the game in the top of the 8th inning to the sound of throaty boos and alternating chants of “overrated” and “Mariano.” A partisan crowd at Yankee Stadium is one of those little things that make life worth living. Equally enjoyable was watching Billy “other Sandman” Wagner come in and blow the save in the bottom of the 8th inning. Two of the most annoying Rivera wannabes both eating shit from Yankee fans on national TV. It just doesn’t get better than that.

I’ll have pictures up this weekend!

Shut Your Piehole! Shut Your Piehole! Shut Your Piehole! Shut Your Piehole! Edition

Did you know that Terry Francona did everything he could tonight to avoid pitching Scott Kazmir? Or that, if he was forced to use Kazmir, Francona would limit him to a strict pitch count?

I learned that during the All-Star Game because Joe Buck mentioned it no less than 18 FUCKING TIMES!

It is understandably difficult for an announcer to consistently add to the TV viewing experience by saying smart things. The corollary is that an announcer can make the experience worse by saying dumb things - or, in this case, by repeating the same damn two sentences over and over and over and over again.

Tonight's All-Star Game was a classic, full of some great pitching and defense, plenty of compelling storylines, all set against the historic backdrop of Yankee Stadium and all those Hall-of-Famers. What a damn shame that the most overrated announcer in the country made watching tonight's game that much less enjoyable.

Joe Buck: Shut your babbling repetitive piehole!

I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NBA Free Agency 2008 - the Allen Iverson Effect

Apparently, in a strict salary dumping move, the Denver Nuggets dumped Marcus Camby in exchange for a 2nd-round pick. Camby was due to make $8 million this season, and almost $8 next season. What's most interesting about this maneuver, is that the Denver Nuggets have appeared to have conceded this season, as it would be unlikely that they can find a capable center to replace Camby. Moreover, Camby was one of the few players on the team even playing defense.

The most ironic part about this Camby deal is that Iverson was traded in December 2006 out of Philly, to Denver, so he could be play for a "contending team." Denver gave up PG Andre Miller, F Joe Smith, and two 1st round picks. Who could of guessed that only 1.5 seasons later, Iverson's departure would have only helped to created the cap space for the 76ers to acquire Elton Brand, which then resulted in the Clippers stealing Camby to fill the void left by Brand's departure! The 76ers have rapidly rebuilt their team with PG Andre Miller, a more traditional PG, who has helped make the 76ers into a better team as Iguodala and Louis Williams and Thaddeus Young all played well this past season. Interestingly enough, Iguodala, Louis Williams, and Dalembert were already on the 76ers when Iverson left... he just did not stay long enough for those players to develop.

Perhaps even more interesting in this trade is the fact that this makes Allen Iverson completely expendable. Iverson is in the last year of his deal which pays him $21 million. This means that Iverson could be traded elsewhere at some point this season once the Nuggets start losing games, most likely for a combination of younger players. Of course, for the Nuggets to complete a trade, they would have to find a suitor. It should be interesting to see which team decides to roll the dice with Iverson, and to see what kind of market value Iverson has at this point in his career.

Josh Hamilton

I’m going to the All-Star Game tonight. I’m beyond excited and I can’t wait for the player introductions, the first pitch, and the chance to cheer (or boo) for all the players out there. After last night’s Home Run Derby, I will be cheering for someone I’ve stood up for in the past but have never really cared about one way or another.

I have no clue how to upload a video so I’ll have to ask you to watch this and then think about the following:

Watching Josh Hamilton put on that kind of display was a lot of fun. Granted, it would be hard to do that in game conditions but it was still neat to see balls hit and land in places that I’ve never seen before.

The kid wasted a lot of his youth polluting his body and trying to kill himself. As a result, it’s unlikely that he’ll have the longevity required to climb the ladder of great players. But, for one night, it must’ve been amazing for him to get his name chanted by the fans at Yankee Stadium. I hope that memory sustains him for life and reminds him that staying clean can lead to more great memories. Had he died, he’d never have had the chance to live for last night’s fun. I don’t mean to preach, I’m just really proud of Josh Hamilton and I can’t wait to clap for him in person.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

RIP Bobby Murcer

Bobby Murcer, a beloved member of the Yankees family, passed away today. He was the best player on a series of very poor Yankee teams in the early 1970's but he played hard for the Yanks and did the uniform justice. After retiring, he became our TV announcer for 17 years and his voice will always be a part of my childhood and adolescence.

The neatest bit of trivia about Murcer is that he's the only Yankee player to have played with both Mickey Mantle and Don Mattingly. Forever in our hearts here in New York, we'll miss you #1.

As the Favre Turns.....


**I watched sportscenter and I forget which dumbass was on but it was like talking to a brick wall when it brought up not everyone team wants Favre and he has put the Packers in a difficult position.

I'm interested in how this turns out because well Favre is Jonesing for another hit and he's not going to be denied.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Woohoo! A Dream Comes True

Big news! Our humble blog will have an on-site reporter at Tuesday's All-Star Game. Thanks to the Hitman, yours truly gets to be there for what may turn out to be one of the greatest baseball moments of my life.

The sound of booing you'll hear will be coming from me just as soon as the loathsome Red Sox scumbags* are announced. Stay tuned for pictures and a write-up to hit the presses by the middle of next week.

*Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Manny Ramirez, Jonathan Papelbon, David Ortiz, and JD Drew.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Future Is Now - Say Hello to Shawn Kemp Jr!

It may only be the year 2008, but some amazing things took place this past week that I did not think would be happening now, but only sometime in the future...

1) 17-year old Shawn Kemp Jr. has arrived in the media, as Shawn Jr. is a top-100 prospect being pursued by half of the SEC! I did not think I would be reading about any of Shawn Kemp's 7? children until at least 2012. Kemp's Kids should dominate both male and female athletics for many years... at least some half-brothers and half-sisters have been contacting Shawn Jr. on MySpace so there's still hope for a starting five of Kemp's Kids on an NBA team.

2) Marty McFly's shoes from 2015 are now available... in the year 2008! Nike may have only produced 350 pairs of the sneakers that Marty wore in Back to the Future Part II, but you'd think they would have waited until 2015. Perhaps in 2015, the shoes will actually self-tie themselves.

3) The Philadelphia 76ers are trying to win it all this season, now that they creatively acquired Elton Brand, who took less money to try to win it all with the 76ers! I thought they were still a few players short, but the sudden teaming of PF Elton Brand, SF Iguodala, C Dalembert, SG L. Williams, PG A. Miller could challenge the Celtics this year, so long as Elton Brand's body doesn't get injured.

Hell On Earth Is Yet Another Pro-Boston Piece on ESPN

This is baseball.

This is Hell.

This is gag-inducing.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday America

Because the flag is one of the few things that can break the malaise........

Thursday, July 03, 2008

NBA: Still Not Credible

Like MJ part my utter disdain for the NBA is its lack of credibility. The referee scandal was the sledgehammer that broke the camel's back. David Stern, as always, rather than fix the problem has reached into the old PR playbook and announced that a retired military general would be "watching" the referees. He's from the military, so you know it solves that problem, right?

Well it turns out that retired general Ronald Johnson was "commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region division, from 2003-04, responsible for overseeing $18 billion of reconstruction in Iraq." Now it happens that during that time this general lost track of $ 9 billion of that. Now I'm not an HR specialist but someone will need to let me know how losing track of half your assets and horribly bungling a job qualifies you to oversee anything ever again, let alone an already corrupted process. Well done David. Once again you've driven home the point of why I hate your league.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why LeBron James Will Stay in Cleveland

I am sick of all the stories about LeBron wanting to go to New Jersey, New York, New Dehli, etc. The time is now for the Cavs to bring in that elusive 2nd banana that LeBron has never had, which will become the reason that LeBron will stay in Cleveland because the 2nd banana will help LeBron win at least one championship.

Assets the Cavs Have
The Cavs have Wally Szczerbiak's $12 million expiring contract, Anderson Varejao ($5.8million, player option for 2009-2010), and, if the Cavs want to get absurd, they can also trade Eric Snow's $7 million contract. With Anderson Varejao and tons of expiring contracts (they also have Joe Smith's $5 million contract, and Damon Jones's $4.5 million contract), the Cavs can trade for virtually any player in the league, because they can instantly give the other team a boatload of cap space.

So, without further ado, here are the top logical choices I can find as trading partners for the Cavs. By logical, I'm not including a trade with division rival for Chauncey Billups, or a logic-defying move for Carmelo Anthony where the Nuggets give up on Carmelo.

PLAN A: Summer 2008 Trade Possibilities for LeBron's 2nd Banana

1) Shawn Marion, Miami Heat, 6'-7" SF, 30 yrs old - Marion could become expendable as the Heat realize that they are not winning it all this year so instead of just letting Marion and his $17 million contract expire at season's end, the Heat could get themselves Varejao and $18 million (or more) in expiring cap space!

2) Ron Artest, Sacramento Kings, 6'-7" SF, 28 yrs old - You want to play with fire? Bring in Artest! He still has skills and still is crazy. If Michael Jordan could keep Dennis Rodman under control, surely LeBron can keep Ron Artest under control. Right? The great thing is, Artest is only under contract for one more season, at $8 million, so you could even trade for him, and wait until after the season to decide what to do, meaning this just becomes a one-year gamble. As an FYI, Artest still was able to get 20ppg during last season's campaign on 45% FG shooting, and he still had one of the highest +/- on his sub-par Sacramento Kings' team, as Artest posted a +1.8ppg, and a -7.3ppg.

3) Jason Richardson, Charlotte Bobcats, 6'-6" SG, 27 yrs old - The Bobcats just got Richardson last season. They still even have cap space this summer (though it probably will be used to sign Emeka Okafor to a big contract) and Larry Brown is the coach, so they may be unwilling to move Richardson. This transaction actually becomes even more unlikely when you realize that the Cavs' GM is Danny Ferry and the Bobcats' GM is Michael Jordan. Ferry once tried to connect with TWO WILD ROUNDHOUSES on Jordan's face. My memory is foggy on whether Ferry actually connected, but I'm sure this did not create a good impression on Jordan.

PLAN B: Mid-season Trade

Of course, if none of these three options work out for LeBron, there will be more players available come January, when some of the Western Conference teams realize that they can't make the playoffs when 12 teams have legitimate shots of making it.

PLAN C: Summer 2009 Shopping Spree!

Worst case scenario: summer 2009, the Cavs have boat loads of cap space after Wally's, Snow's, and Damon Jones contracts come off the books, for a total of almost $24 million. The Cavs can then use that money to go after someone like: Danny Granger, Devin Harris, or even... to orchestrate the homecoming of Carlos Boozer! If that doesn't make headlines, I'm not sure what will!

GroundHog's Day

Favre: Hey Aaron, Its me Brett. Yeah same routine as last year. See you at Camp!
Rogers: No! No! Its happening again. I told my therapist this would happen. WHY?!?!?
Favre: Yeah it'll be great. We can do this every year. FOREVER
Rogers (Hangs Up Phone And Sobs in Corner)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tiger Woods vs. Roger Federer: Who's The Best?

Back in September 2007, shortly after the US Open (tennis), Gutsy Goldberg began to believe that Federer “IS the best ever… BEYOND Tiger Woods.” MJ saw a chance to slam some logic into Gutsy Goldberg! Finally, we have this entertaining debate on who is indeed better: Tiger Woods in golf? Or Roger Federer in tennis?

Facts (courtesy of Wikipedia):

Résumé – Tiger Woods

Résumé – Roger Federer

Tiger Woods: 14 majors in 12 years; (second only to Jack Nicklaus with 18 in 25 years)

-Woods and Bobby Jones only golfers to win 10 Majors before age 30
-Fastest to win all four Majors (in 93 tournaments, compared to 125 for Nicklaus)
-Youngest to win all four Majors
-Only golfer to win all four Majors by at least five strokes
-Holds record for most consecutive weeks at #1 (264) and most total weeks (497)

Roger Federer: 12 grand slam titles in 6 years (tied for second with Emerson, only 2 behind Sampras’s 14 in 12 years)

-Only man in Open era to win three straight grand slams TWICE in his career
-Five consecutive Wimbledons (currently tied w/ Bjorg); Federer has only lost 8 sets at Wimbledon in that span, compared with 19 sets lost by Bjorg
-Currently holds the Open era record, with 15 straight Grand Slam semifinals appearances (breaking the old record of 10 by Lendl)
-Reached 10 straight grand slam finals to break the old record of 7, set in 1934
-Currently #1 for record 231 consecutive weeks
-Won 24 straight finals (open era record)
-Currently has a record 63-match winning streak on grass

MJ’s Argument: Tiger Woods is the best golfer to ever play and is better in his sport than Roger Federer.

Tiger Woods has dominated his sport more completely based on the number of victories and his rank on the all-time lists in his sport. My argument is backed by the fact that I view golf, in this day and age, as far more difficult to dominate and a more difficult sport to master on the whole. As great as Federer is, I perceive him to be a player in an era of weaker competition where the men’s circuit is no longer as stacked with great players as it was from the 70’s to the mid 90’s.

Gutsy’s Argument: Roger Federer is the best tennis player to ever play and is better in his sport than Tiger Woods.

In an age where injuries, exhaustion, and parity are the norm, Federer has won 8 of the last 10 Grand slams. He is BEYOND Tiger Woods. The thing that makes him so dominating? He can play any style that is advantageous for the surface or the opponent. He can play serve-and-volley, or he can just run around the baseline all day. Either way, he’s going to dominate you!

MJ’s Counterargument: Tennis is less competitive today.
Unlike Pete Sampras, who was a contemporary of Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Goran Ivanisevic, Patrick Rafter, and Stefan Edberg, Federer never had to face players on that level. The two best players Federer has beaten would be Andy Roddick (not ready for prime time and may never be) and Rafael Nadal (currently a one-surface specialist).

Further to the above, all of Federer’s opponents are baseliners who rely on power. Obviously that is the new direction of the game, but it calls into question Federer’s versatility in terms of what sorts of opponents he can beat. He’s never been tested against serve-and-volley players like Becker, Sampras, or Edberg.

Gutsy’s Counterpoint: Tennis is just as competitive today as it has been in the past.
You call this era of tennis “less competitive.” But isn’t this a chicken-and-egg problem? It’s less competitive because Federer is DOMINATING everyone! I beg to differ about both Roddick and Nadal. Roddick is ready for prime-time...just not for Federer. Roddick actually already won a US Open and has finished as a runner-up to Federer in three other events. Nadal is no longer a one-trick pony. In fact, Nadal has won the last four French Opens and made the finals at WIMBLEDON each of the last 2 years, which is quite impressive considering that grass is not typically suited for the “clay-court specialist.” Lleyton Hewitt should be considered one of Federer’s contemporaries. Hewitt has won two grand slams and has been runner-up twice (losing once to Federer), and recently losing this week in the round of 16 to Federer. You could also consider the inconsistent Marat Safin, winner of two Grand Slams, former #1, who also lost once to Federer in a final. Plus, how can Federer be blamed for the fact that he doesn’t allow anyone else to win a grand slam? The competition is there but Federer just can’t be stopped.

In addition, Federer HAS been tested by serve-and-volleyers. In fact, there’s a famous match that’s been called the “passing of the torch” – where Federer upsets Sampras in the 4th round of Wimbledon AND ends Sampras 31-match Wimbledon streak. Plus, Federer beat Philippoussis in the Wimbledon final in 2003, a classic serve-and-volleyer, as well as Tim Henman in Wimbledon (but not in the finals of course). It’s true though – there won’t be any further examples of serve-and-volleyers for the time being. My theory is that the game moves too fast for anyone to get immediately to the net after the serve. Granted, Federer can do it in matches because he is the best ever, even in this modern age of powerful tennis.

MJ’s Interruption: The passing of the torch was symbolic and should not be taken as an example of Federer’s mettle against arguably the greatest serve-and-volley player in Wimbledon history. Pete Sampras was on the tail end of his career and would only play one more season of competitive tennis. Citing Federer’s victory over Sampras without mentioning the fact that Sampras’s career was essentially over is a bit disingenuous.

MJ’s Argument: Weather and the Golf Course are Ever-Changing

The reason why I still put Tiger ahead of Federer is because Tiger (and all golfers) are competing against a golf course. The ball bounces in a very predictable way on each of the three major surfaces (grass, clay, hardcourt). It’s not to say that it’s easy to play those surfaces, but you can prepare for the environment of each surface. By contrast, golfers play tournaments where the course conditions are not only very different from one another but can vary from day to day. It can be a slow green one day and a speed-demon the next. The consistency of the rough can change in a matter of hours based on moisture or heat.

All of this isn’t meant to disparage Roger Federer. He’s an incredible tennis player and the best there is at what he does right now. He might even be the best tennis player of all time. But there are definitely arguments for the other side too.

Gutsy’s Counterargument: Tennis courts at Wimbledon and the French Open change throughout the tournament
I’m still placing Federer ahead of Tiger. To address your argument about the conditions of the course, Wimbledon and the French Open have surfaces that actually change throughout the course of the tournament. For example, the courts at Wimbledon tend to get dried and worn out as the tournament progresses and so the balls move slower in the first week and the balls start to move faster and faster during the second week.

MJ’s Counterpoint: Tennis Courts still the same dimensions
One of your other arguments – that weather and surface conditions at tennis tournaments are as variable as they are in golf – misses one crucial element, however. While there is no question that heat or rain, as well as court wear-and-tear can affect a tennis tournament, the net and the dimensions of the court remain the same. Therefore, there is a relatively predictable element of change in all tennis tournaments.

MJ’s Argument: Pin Placement Makes Golf Harder

Golf tournaments, however, change from day to day given that the pin placement on the green changes after each round. The course will play differently in each of the four days of a golf tournament and the change in pin placement, coupled with the change in elements of heat, moisture, and wind, make a golf course far more unpredictable.

When I play golf at my regular course, I’ve played it enough times to know the lay of the land well enough to know how to approach each shot. Obviously wind/heat/moisture play a part but I’m not yet a good enough golfer to shape my shot to take those factors into consideration. But the point is that I know my course very well and I know, for the most part, how the ball will react and what shot I’ll have to make on the next turn. Tournament golf is different in that the hole location moves around every day. On the first (easiest) day, the hole will usually be most accessible to all golfers in terms of its position on the green. On the last (hardest) day, the hole will usually be protected by all sorts of barriers including water, bunkers, and steep incline/decline approaches. My overriding point about pin placement, then, is to point out that while both sports have to battle weather and court/course conditions, only golf has a constantly changing landscape. No two days of a tournament are ever the same. While the grass at Wimbledon may get worn down by the second week, it’s still a grass court. But the US Open at Torrey Pines, as we saw, was four separate mini-tournaments where, depending on all the variables, different players had advantages. The one overriding theme is that Tiger is so far and away better than his opponents on the tour that nothing affects him, despite all the challenges he faces.

Gutsy’s Counterargument: Courts are not Static
Yes, Wimbledon is a grass court, (and the French is a clay court); but both courts change throughout the tournament based on wear and tear and moisture accumulated. My whole point is that it is not a static grass court. The courts at Wimbledon speed up throughout the two weeks, which also changes the different players that may benefit from its condition. Of course, one could say that the changes in golf are more pronounced perhaps, but tennis still has its variables on the courts, including the basic argument of the ball moving, spinning, and the strategy of hitting shots and trying to outmaneuver your opponent. The one overriding theme is that Federer is so far and away better than his opponents on the tour that nothing affects him, despite all the challenges he faces.

MJ’s Argument: Federer still does not have the “career” Grand Slam! He’s never won the French Open!

Federer is the best men’s tennis player of all time. But it’s definitely a blemish if you can’t win the career Grand Slam. Granted, Sampras (the previous owner of the title “best men’s tennis player of all time”) never finished the career grand slam either. But I think it’s a big deal if you’re not well-rounded enough to cover all four surfaces. If Agassi could do it, why couldn’t Sampras/Federer?

Gutsy’s Counterargument: Federer has the Tools; He Just Cannot Beat Nadal on Clay
Agassi had the tools to win all four, but not the consistency to win enough grand slams (in addition to multiple “off” years ranked below 70 in the world).

Sampras - Was a dominant serve-and-volleyer but could not grind out points on the baseline. Only one semi-final appearance at the French, three quarterfinal appearances, and a whole bunch of early exits proved only one sad thing: Sampras only could play one style, so he was unable to complete the Career Grand Slam.

As to Federer, I have to reiterate that he can play serve-and-volley OR be a baseliner. Unlike Sampras, Federer is a three-time finalist at the French open only losing to Nadal who is; well, virtually unbeatable on clay. In almost any other era, Federer would have the career grand slam... He’ll still get another chance next year, but it’s not as though he can’t compete on clay, which is more of the case in Sampras’s situation, as Sampras can only play one style (serve-and-volley).

MJ’s Counterpoint: Federer Could Not Beat Nadal, Nor Could he Beat Someone like Gustavo Kuerten
I don’t believe you cay say that Federer would’ve won the French if not for Nadal since that’s an assumption only based on the fact that Federer has reached the finals. It’s safe to say that Federer is far better on clay than Sampras ever was but would Federer have beaten Gustavo Kuerten, “Guga,” on clay? Guga was Nadal before we knew who Nadal was...

Perhaps only time will tell who is the BEST EVER!