Friday, October 26, 2007

How Does Nikolay Davydenko Deal With Getting Fined For Giving Up? He Weeps.

I'd weep too if that was staring at me every time I looked in the mirror. Good gravy this guy is heinous looking.

The old saying that there's no such thing as bad publicity isn't really holding up when you're talking about Nikolay Davydenko. In the last couple of months, Davydenko has really made a name for himself with a couple of less than positive stories surfacing. First, there was the abnormal betting situation in a match earlier this year in which Davydenko pulled out of a match late due to injury and was questioned about match fixing. The link between the betting and Davydenko's late match gimp led to the most obvious fixed tennis match since Jerry threw his match to Milos. Then yesterday, after cruising through the first set of a match against the world's 102nd rated player 6-1, Davydenko threw the rest of the match so badly that he was warned during the match by the chair ump and then later fined by the ATP for purposely losing the match. This guy clearly has some side action going on here. I don't understand how the ATP can continue to let him play when he pulls shit like this. I also can't believe that this guy is so blatant about his throwing of matches that he has to be warned DURING THE MATCH that he's not fooling anyone. But what may be the best part of all of this is Davydenko's reaction. When confronted with the accusation of throwing the match, he wept:
"I double-faulted to lose a game in the third set and he gave me a warning saying I was trying to lose on purpose," Davydenko told reporters after the match.

"I was simply shocked to hear him say that. This is just outrageous. How does he know what I was trying to do? I was so upset with the whole thing I started crying."
Me thinks Nikolay may want take some time off and regroup. There are definitely some issues he needs to work through. He should start by treating his radiation poisoning.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Bronx Is Counterfeiting

True dat.

Not satisfied with stealing some attention from the World Series and the Red Sox by dragging out there managerial search as if it's a matter of life and death, Yanks FANS are now stealing money from Sox fans by selling counterfeit World Series tickets in beantown:
Police arrested four New York residents last night before Game 1 and charged them with selling fake World Series tickets and scalping seats for $300 a pair, police and prosecutors said. One of the men -- Jamel Bennett, 31, of Bronx, N.Y. -- allegedly took a swing at officers who approached him and another man about selling bogus tickets at 7 p.m. near Boylston and Hereford streets.

Bennett pleaded not guilty today in Boston Municipal Court to charges of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, larceny over $250 (stemming from counterfeit tickets), a peddling violation (stemming from counterfeit tickets), occupying the street for resale of tickets, and possession of marijuana.

At the same time, officers also arrested Wendell Baker, 43, of Bronx, N.Y., who pleaded not guilty today to ticket resale by owner, occupying the street for resale of tickets, peddling without a license, and possession of marijuana. Both men were ordered held on $2,500 bail.
I especially enjoy the fact that both men were in possession of weed as well. I think it was Ghandi who once said that nothing goes together quite as well as counterfeiting and weed.

If Channing Crowder Is Any Indication, Maybe Miss South Carolina Was Onto Something, Such As

I'll take any excuse I can get to post this clip. Simply classic.

I grew up with maps. I was kind of a map dork as a kid. I had a puzzle of the United States with large wooden pieces that I took apart and put back together about one million times. I also carried an enormous Rand McNally U.S. road map in the backseat with me even if we were just going to the grocery store. Later I graduated to a book of world maps and poured over it until I got a gameboy and began dominating Ten Yard Fight. It's because of this history that I have very little patience for people who don't know shit about shit when it comes to geography. So Channing Crowder, I have no patience for you:
“I couldn’t find London on a map if they didn’t have the names of the countries,” Crowder said. “I swear to God. I don’t know what nothing is. I know Italy looks like a boot. I learned that.

“I know (Washington Redskins linebacker) London Fletcher. We did a football camp together. So I know him. That’s the closest thing I know to London. He’s black, so I’m sure he’s not from London. I’m sure that’s a coincidental name.”
Yikes. Maybe it's me but Crowder's comment about Italy and the boot reminds of the quote from The Program when Lattimer is giving Alvin Mack shit about not being able to read and Mack says, "I can read motherfucker. See this, it says 'Adidas.'" Then Lattimer comes back and says, "I taught him that." But that may not even be the dumbest thing said in this quote. A coincidental name? What exactly is the coincidence? Is the coincidence that there just happened to be a little town named London in the world as well as a man named London? I'm really not following. Also, there are black people in London. Don't you watch any of Guy Ritchie's films? In fact, one of Crowder's opponents, Osi Umenyiora, was born in London. Let's just say that it's a good thing Channing was never a contestant in a teen beauty pageant, or geography bee, or "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?", or spelling bee or the Price is Right for that matter. In fact it's a very good thing that Channing does not derive his income from a source that requires him to speak.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

If Paul Byrd Is The Result Of HGH Use, Should We Even Care About Who Used It?

Paul Byrd is proof positive that HGH doesn't do shit for you.

In a couple months, George Mitchell is going to release his report on performance enhancers and baseball. Other than the fact there may be no Red Sox in the report because of George Mitchell's rampant bias (nother story, nother day), the most controversial part of the release will be the names of players within the report. We know so little about what and how the information was gathered that any implications of having your name associated with this report is far from damning and may ultimately be of no effect whatsoever. I mean, what did they find? Was the player seen with a needle in his ass or was a shipment of HGH sent to his home? If Kirk Radomski rats out someone, is that enough? How will those implicated be segregated in the report? Will there be an HGH section and a steroids section? What about "the cream" and "the clear?" What will those people fall under? It's my understanding that those treatments simply help you recover from injury more quickly. Will everyone just be labeled a cheater? These are important questions and at some point I'll address them in a lengthy post that you probably won't read. For now, what's important is that Paul Byrd took HGH. And he sucks. So doesn't this help invalidate the idea that anyone who takes this shit has a significant advantage over someone else? Isn't the fact that Paul Byrd was no better than anyone else while taking performance enhancing drugs a good thing for baseball?

Paul Byrd is a below-average Major League pitcher. I really like watching him pitch, but he really kinda sucks and always sort of has. He's crafty but his stuff just sucks. A report came out that he used HGH from 2002 - 2005 and though he says it was under doctor's care and Byrd claims he was treating a pituitary condition, no one is suggesting that this particular form of HGH was a detriment to his performance. I mean, though I'm no pharmacologist, kinesiologist or any ologist of any kind, I work under the assumption that the hormone itself has the same effect no matter what you are using it to treat. So Paul Byrd's body was benefitting from the positive effects HGH. And he still sucked. Now maybe you could argue that Paul Byrd wouldn't have been a Major League pitcher without the assistance of the HGH, that's fine. But if the uproar over performance enhancing drugs is that it makes below-average players more average, then maybe we've been wasting our time worrying about it. The real reason people are upset about performance enhancers is that they believe these drugs are creating false superstars. They're not worried about Paul Byrd or Alex Sanchez or Guillermo Mota, they're worried about the baseball playing Fatheads on their kids' walls. But if Paul Byrd is any indication, and I'd argue that he is, maybe HGH doesn't have anything more than a moderate effect on a person's performance. Now maybe it helped Byrd play another year or come back from Tommy John more quickly, but it hasn't increased the pace on his fastball and it doesn't give him movement on his curveball and I don't think Byrd's ugly mug or webbed feet (I have no idea if he has webbed feet) have grown any. So why are we so upset about it? I've NEVER seen any study showing that HGH helps people perform "better." In fact, there are a gazillion articles that suggest it doesn't do shit or at the very least that the effects are inconclusive (here are a couple good ones: here and here). And if it doesn't have a positive effect on performance but is just "bad" because baseball says so, then it should be treated separately from steroid abuse and should fall into the same category as weed and coke abuse. Those drugs aren't performance enhancers but are banned by MLB (and yes, I'm aware those drugs are illegal while some HGH use is not) and I'm guessing they won't make the Mitchell report.

Lastly, I'm not saying that I condone HGH abuse or steroid abuse (especially steroids) by athletes. Obviously someone is telling them that the use of those substances will have a positive effect on their play and the players know that baseball has banned the substances. Whatever banned substances they use should result in some kind of penalty. The difference is that steroids have been proven over and over again to have a marked impact on an athlete's ability to build muscle mass and recover from a workout while the evidence for the impact of HGH is less definitive. Steroids are also outrageously dangerous even under the treatment of a physician if taken orally or injected (the cream and the clear are a different story, I'm told). But I don't think it's fair to lump HGH usage into the same category without black letter evidence that it has a similar impact on a player's performance. It's confusing for a fan and is really disingenuous to throw both treatments into the category of "performance enhancers" without further explanation. Right now, there are a couple players accused of taking steroids: Giambi, Bonds, Palmeiro, Sosa and McGwire (amongst others I'm sure). Those guys looked and acted the part. When you think steroids and what it can do for a player, those guys are the result (allegedly).

The guy now under fire for taking HGH is Paul Byrd. He looks and acts like my UPS guy. Maybe Paul Byrd isn't the poster child for HGH use but he's someone we now know did use the drug. And if Paul Byrd is what happens when someone takes HGH, then I frankly don't give a fuck about whoever makes the HGH list from the Mitchell report.

Gregg Easterbrook Is Really Really.... REALLY Angry

After this week's TMQ, I'm not even rooting for the Pats because they are my team. I'm rooting for the Pats because I want to see Gregg Easterbrook's head explode when they win.

If you were to step outside and check the winds for any scent of residual angst left over from the Patriots videotaping scandal, you'd likely return having smelled nothing. I'd say about 99.9% of those angered by the situation have gotten over it. There's still that guy filing the class action suit against the Pats on behalf of the Jets fans--a guy who is soon to lose his license to practice law for filing frivolous lawsuits--but beyond him, it's kind of a dead story. That is unless you are's Gregg Easterbrook. According to Mr. Easterbrook, the Patriots cheating scandal story is not dead, it's just heating up. As the heat of the story rises, so does Gregg Easterbrook's blood pressure. And apparently Mr. Easterbrook's ability to deal with the Patriots in a rational manner is inversely proportional to his blood pressure level because his column in this week's Tuesday Morning QB is one of the most absurd pieces of textual tripe I've ever had the misfortune to lay my now weary eyes upon.

Easterbrook's central thesis of his column is that the Patriots are the spawn of Satan while the Colts are taking the EZ Pass line through the Pearly Gates (that's not an exaggeration. That is legitimately what he's saying). His reasoning, let's just say that bald speculation and irresponsible claims would be an improvement over some of the stuff he's using. Here's a taste:
Argument for the Indianapolis Colts as paladins who carry the banner of that which is beneficent: Sportsmanship, honesty, modesty, devotion to community, embrace of traditional small-town life, belief in higher power, even love of laughter.
"Love of laughter?" What the fuck does that mean? Do the Patriots not like laughing? I'm pretty sure they've laughed at the last 7 teams they've faced. And what the fuck does it mean to "embrace... traditional small-town life?" Is that code for Tony Dungy's hatred of gays? But there's so so much more:
The team's star, Peyton Manning, stands for love of family, constantly appearing in public with his brothers, father and mother. Manning is happily married and a major donor to a children's hospital.
This is a blatant shot at Brady and his out of wedlock kid. That's pretty classy, triple G Gregg. And to imply that the Colts donate to charities and that the Pats stiff them is just ridiculous. Junior Seau has one of the largest athlete sponsored charity foundations in the world. Tedy Bruschi is a speaker at about a foundation a day while Tom Brady is involved with about a dozen charities and has even lobbied Congress for additional funding for ONE Campaign for the eradication of world poverty. Cripes, even Lucifer himself (Belichick) represents and donates his time and money to more charities than I have time to write about. I'm not saying that the Pats donate more than the Colts do, but to even insert charity work into the argument is just stupid. Athletes work with charities all the time. To say the Colts donate to charities is not a point in their favor. Every team and player does.

And if that wasn't bad enough, here's what he's got to say about the Pats:
Argument for the New England Patriots as scoundrels in the service of that which is baleful: Dishonesty, cheating, arrogance, hubris, endless complaining even in success.... They run up the score to humiliate opponents -- more on that below -- thus mocking sportsmanship. Their coach snaps and snarls in public, seeming to feel contempt for the American public that has brought him wealth and celebrity. Belichick and the rest of the top of the Patriots' organization continue to refuse to answer questions about what was in the cheating tapes -- and generally, you refuse to answer questions if you have something to hide. The team has three Super Bowl triumphs, yet its players regularly whine about not being revered enough. The team's star, Tom Brady, is a smirking sybarite who dates actresses and supermodels but whose public charity appearances are infrequent. That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something." The Patriots seem especially creepy at this point because we still don't know whether they have told the full truth about the cheating scandal -- or even whether they really have stopped cheating.
Let's take that last "point" first. If you know something we don't, G-Regg, lay it on me brother. But to baldy conject (that may be an improper usage of that word but I like it) that the Pats are still cheating is meritless. I understand the Pats don't deserve the benefit of the doubt with regards to cheating and if there were any legitimate accusations of such conduct they wouldn't get it. But to come out and speculate that the Pats may continue to cheat WITH NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER is fucking ludicrous. But getting to his other stuff: non-response equals lying... um, ok. What do you want them to say? According to the league, they did everything that was asked of them and nothing came of it. So is the league lying? Is the league complicit in this conspiracy to allow the Patriots to get an advantage over everyone else? Easterbrook, you are a fucking moron. I already went over the Brady charity thing, but the Brady - Dick Cheney comparison strikes me as so completely ridiculous that I can't even really deal with it. The argument, if you can call it that, is that because Tom Brady has a crooked smile when talking to the media, he is a lying cheat. I think it's fair to say that that supposition doesn't really deserve a response.

And lest you think that's it, he's got a lot more pent up rage oozing from his finger tips to his keyboard:
In the Good vs. Evil narrative of the Colts and Pats, running up the score is a telling factor: It reveals a team's sportsmanship or lack of same, and whether a team shows sportsmanship in public might offer insights into its character in private.... This is supposed to be impressive. But I think it's creepy, and New England's creepy on-field behavior is only underscoring the seediness of the Beli-Cheat scandal.
Excuse me, what was that? Now the fact that the Pats are killing other teams without the help of video assistance is evidence that the Pats in private are "creepy" off the field and "underscores the seediness" of the video scandal? How exactly? What is the relationship between the two? Is it that Pats are a group of bad people so everything they do has malicious intent. When Sammie Morris lowers his shoulder, is he trying to injure the defender? When Matt Light straight jabs the d-lineman in the solar plexus, is he trying to kill the guy? Gregg, I'm not following here. Because they taped another team--something other teams are rumored to have done--everything they do has malicious intent? Chill the fuck out, GE. We get it, you don't like the Pats. I can just imagine Gregg sitting at home with the Pats game on saying, "Kill him, kill him... KILL THAT PRETTY BOY CLEFFED CHIN FUCKER AND HIS CREEPY HOODED COACH! KILL THE FUCKERS GODDAMMIT!!!" If either Belichick or Brady wound up dead or knee-capped, there would be no investigation. They'd take Eaterbrook directly to the chair and I don't think he'd put up a fight.

I could spend all day parsing through this but it gets a little tiring. Easterbrook's irrational arguments and abuse of the word "creepy" are just not worth further review. He's clearly lost his f'n mind (apparently, others agree: here and here). But the last thing I want to say about the matter is that I understand that the Pats are the new Cowboys, Yankees, Duke and Notre Dame. I do not deny it and find myself to be insufferable in the matter. To be honest, it's a hard thing to come to grips with when your team just starts dominating a league and people start to hate you. Especially when your team (or sports region) has been historically associated with losing for so long. So while I don't apologize for coming off as a complete Pats homer, I do realize that people are going to find any reason they can to hate my team. I'm comfortable with that and will have to deal with it until Brady retires. All I ask is that the criticism be reasonable or rational. And if that's too much to ask from regular fans, I'd at least ask of it of the people who are paid to write about such things. Gregg Easterbrook's published poop on was a poorly formulated and borderline irresponsible (and that's gotta hurt coming from a underwear in the basement blogger not encumbered by your journalistic "ethics...") piece of shit that if a friend of mine sent to me to publish on my site I'd ask that he tone down the anger a bit and find a citation or two for his unsubstantiated conjecture regarding the Pats continued cheating before I posted it. And I make outrageous claims all the time! SETTLE DOWN GREGG. YOU'RE GONNA SEND YOURSELF TO AN EARLY GRAVE.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

If The Sox Win The World Series, New Englanders Are Gonna Get Paid

If you bought furniture from New England's Jordan's Furniture stores, you are REALLY pulling for the Sox to win this thing.

A lot of local chains put together zany promotions to get people to come to there stores and buy shit. And in New England there is no subject that makes people more zany than the Red Sox. So back in March in order to capitalize on the zaniness of the fanbase and combine it with a zany promotion, Jordan's Furniture put together a promotion whereby whatever furniture you purchased from March 7 to April 16 would be free if the Red Sox win the World Series in 2007. And they are not backing down from it:
"Imagine yourself sitting on that sofa, watching that game, and knowing it's free if they win," said president and chief executive Eliot Tatelman, who is already appearing in new commercials reminding fans of his commitment to pay them back.
That's pretty cool of the guy to go on television and remind people about it. If The Wiz put together such a promotion, he'd be getting plastic surgery and would be on the next plane to Antigua. And though Tatelman may be an honest man, he's not an idiot. He bought insurance to cover the cost in case the Sox won. The guy who wrote that policy is probably sweating bullets right now. As is this guy:
Still, Tatelman said the chain took almost 30,000 orders during the contest. One customer stands to get back $40,000, Tatelman said.

"He did his whole house," he said.
$40,000 in home upgrade for free. Those stakes are a little higher than the friendly wager with my bagel guy for free coffee for a week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

America's Most Stupidest Clothing Maker: Alfani Knows Football

Leon Hall kinda looks like a pimp in his new Alfani clothes. Too bad the geniuses at Alfani have no idea who the hell he is.

Apparently Bengals rookie corner Leon Hall is modeling clothes for Alfani and is featured in an ad in which Macy's has teamed up with Alfani and are sponsoring a trip to the Super Bowl in Phoenix (though the word "Super Bowl" doesn't appear in the ad and neither does any reference to tickets to the game). And while I'm sure Leon Hall appreciates the publicity, he probably doesn't appreciate that they have no idea what position he plays. Here's the quote that appears next to the picture of Leon Hall in his featured advertisement:
"Rookie Runningback Leon Hall Wears ALFANI."
Too bad Leon Hall plays cornerback. I can just imagine the conversation at Alfani HQ when they were brainstorming this idea:
Alfani Dude 1: "What's hot these days? I mean, how can we get our product placed in front of our key demo? Is there anything out there that 18-35 year-olds watch all the time?"

Alfani Dude 2 "Well, people seem to like this sport in which a leather covered spheroid is thrown through the air. I'm told they call it foosball or something."

Alfani Dude 1: "Oh yes! Football! It's football. You know, Super Bowls, Peyton Brady and Steve Montana! Guys love that stuff. Ok, who's really hot in football these days."

Alfani Dude 2: "Well, I remember seeing a lot of coverage about some team with tiger stripes this summer. I think people were getting arrested or something...."

Alfani Dude 1: "No such thing as bad publicity and tiger stripes are so IN this fall! Who's the newest, hottest thing in tiger stripe football?"

Alfani Dude 2: "Looks like they just added some guy named Hall to their team. They paid him a lot of money so he must be good."

Alfani Dude 1: "Let's get him. What's he do?"

Alfani Dude 2: "I think there are people who catch the ball and people who run it. It looks like he's always running, so he must be one of those."

Alfani Dude 1: "Perfect. Get him on the horn stat!"
And so forth. Fashion people are stupid.

(UPDATED PHOTO. I was able to mess with the pic finally and figured it made a little more sense to have the pics up.)

Big Papi Has Pipes

Not much really to add here but cripes Papi looks friggin jacked in this pic with he and his wife. He must be hangin out with Paul Byrd in the offseason treating pituitary problems.