Monday, October 3, 2011

Inappropriate Comments Distract Focus From Greatest Matchup This Season

Noted sunglasses wearing person Hank Williams Jr. has opinions and he wants you to know them, immediately! When it comes to football, he supports the Crimson Tide. Also, our President is to Hitler as John Boehner is to Netanyahu! ESPN was thrilled to hear about his new career as a pundit. To let him focus on it, they removed his segment from tonight's broadcast of Monday Night Football.

Jr. has already offered the standard explanation of "I was misunderstood." But If you've seen the tape, you know better. The hosts gave him opportunities to clarify or qualify and he declined. (He also made a creepy pass at the lady!) His half-hearted apology is probably not not emphatic enough to get his job back. We are in a weird moment but people seem to have a baseline where calling the President "Hitler" is offensive.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Donovan McNabb is Terrible, Unrepentant

Today in stories that are both unsurprising and incredibly frustrating, Donovan McNabb doesn't think his mechanics need any work. There's no reason to argue with that. He believes there's nothing about how he throws or does his job that is making him bad at it. Maybe he is anticipating a new technique where receivers will begin catching the ball with their feet. Perhaps staring people down for five seconds before moving through his progression is some type of gamesmanship. There are lots of possibilities! Bottom line, Donovan is getting paid and doesn't seem to be worried that his team is 0-3. Last year there was at least some ambiguity considering what a weirdo Mike Shanahan is. In 2011, he is freed of that excuse, and appears to be mailing it in 100%.

The best hope at this point is that this starts the calls for Christian Ponder a little sooner. It's sad to think that with such a talented team, we should be thinking rebuild, but that is what two years with old, unaccountable QBs will do. You can watch the Vikings and appreciate the technical, brilliant fury of an Adrian Peterson run (when the team occasionally calls run plays). Or, enjoy the terrifying violence of a Jared Allen pass rush. Just change the channel or shut your eyes when #5 drops back to pass. He doesn't care how it works out, so neither should you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

American Airlines Center is Haunted

LeBron ain't afraid of no ghost, at least not when it adds up to free throws. Skip to 1:05 for the best angle.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Breaking: They Freed the Spanish Prisoner! Also, Houston is Depressed!

Kevin McHale was terrible at his job. Just awful! So bad that he ran out of coaches to fire and thrust himself to the sideline. He seems like a very nice man. Occasionally he is seen sitting next to Charles Barkley and does not seem unlikable! But wow he was bad. There was no way Minnesota was going to improve until he was fired. McHale was fired in 2008 and the world assumed the Timberwolves would get better.

They got worse. David Kahn, freshly GMed (?), drafted two tiny elfin men at the most elfin position, point guard. Consecutively! In a league where we're all being held hostage by a 6'8" manchild who can run through brick walls. Yes! Also, one of the point guards is Spanish and he has refused to come to the States. Until now! This is what counts as a success story for Minnesota. A good player held his breath for two years and now will be forced to play for the Timberwolves.

But, these things are relative. Seeing the news can remind you what you forgot. It could be worse.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fun With Natural Phenomena!

If you have a soul, it lies heavy today knowing that the Heat are up 1-0 in the NBA Finals. However, Mr. Spontanayus dug a little deeper, and discovered a heartwarming story all basketball fans should know.

Last night the Heat defeated the Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA finals. In their post-game press conference, a reporter asked LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh if they could talk about the source of their motivation for the night's performance. The three friends waxed poetic about a strange event on May 11.
James: We've been inspired for a while now. There were haters, and it's hard to keep negative thoughts-- to keep from doubting yourself a little. We're fighting our own demons, the media, and the other teams.

Wade: Yeah, but then we knew we were chos-- we were pick-- God picked us to win.

Reporter: What ar--

Bosh: You see, everybody thought that we were celebrating the victory when we won the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in Game 5 by 10 points against a team with a one-armed point guard and three 35 year olds, but actually we were reveling in the beauty.

Wade: Yeah, it looks like I dive dramatically out of bounds, and do a cannonball into the stands in pursuit of a very meaningful loose ball, but actually I trip because I got distracted by the colors.

James: And I was kneeling on the floor with my head bowed in reverence. It was too much-- too much to look at.

Bosh: I heard D-Wade. He was whispering "It's so bright and vivid. It's so beautiful." I see Bron-Bron and he's crying. "It's too much. OMG! OMFG, it's so INTENSE!" Then I look up and I saw it. More amazing than anything I'd ever seen before, in the rafters, a triple rainbow.

Wade: Well, not really a triple-- more like a full double rainbow with three quarters of a third one.

James: More like half of a third one, but still...

All three looking at each other with wistful smiles: Miraculous!

The post-game press conference then ended abruptly when the reporters realized that the three athletes began sporting eye-hazard erections. So now we know the true story. James, a player who has played in the NBA finals, and Wade, a player who has won the Championship, did not cry with overwhelming relief when they defeated an injured Celtics team in the fifth game of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals by 10 points. They did all those things because God chose them with a double and a half rainbow.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Lakers Need a Coach, Epilogue: the Buss Family Remembers Kobe

Good organizations make mistakes. Not so often as bad organizations, but it happens. When good organizations foul up, they bounce back by properly managing damage control. They make sure everyone has their story straight, deal with all problems internally, and move forward with a united front. That way, the damage of the bad decision is not multiplied by public bickering. Your fans do not want to hear a mea culpa. They want to read about their best player getting arrested for punching a baby at the victory parade. Nobody likes apologies.

Apparently climbing the ladder means Jim Buss is now free to fall on his face! He did an extended interview with the LA Times in which he admitted it was a mistake to not talk with Kobe about Mike Brown. To the quotes!
I'm surprised by the reaction to Mike's hiring. I wish people heard him speak. Let him show you what he showed us. I wanted him to know they are picking on me, which explains why they are picking on him. But it's a reflection on me, not him. He hasn't done anything wrong.
Yes! No worries Mike, they are mad at me, not you. So, feel better! Even though you will be fired, not me.
I don't consider myself a recluse or anything like that. But this is my dad's team. I like what we're doing as a group — my dad, Mitch Kupchak and myself — and especially when we win championships, but I work for my dad and that's who I like to answer to, and who I like to impress. I look at my dad and if he's happy, I'm happy.
Get inspired, Lakers fans! Nothing shows hope for the future like a guy who screws up, then describes himself as daddy's valet.
Looking back on it, we should have contacted Kobe. Kobe said it was management's job to pick a coach. He just said, 'Defense first.' That's what we were doing, but we should have reached out to him.
We were doing what we were told! We shouldn't have done what we were told! We did the right thing, badly! Next, on the risk (guarantee) Kobe will ignore Brown and do whatever he wants:
I've seen Kobe go off the place a few times, but I'm sure the coach will know how to handle it. My dad loves Kobe and so do I; we think he has a lot left. And I know Mike has some ideas on how to elongate Kobe's career.
We totally threw this guy under the bus, but he will be fine! An unwelcome hire will definitely command the respect of an unhappy hall of famer, because of...something! There are many good quotes in here. They paint a picture of the dangers of nepotism. They smell of purple and gold flames surrounding the Staples Center. But none has more pathos than this:
I am blessed thanks to my dad's hard work, but I'm doing everything I can to learn so I'm ready when I get my opportunity. I'm in no hurry to have that happen.
Jim Buss is spoiled, lazy, and in no rush to be held accountable. I love LA!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Lakers Need a Coach Part II: Let's Alienate Our Best Player!

Someone apparently talked the Buss family out of bringing in Mike Dunleavy, Sr. as the Lakers new coach. This is good! You might assume Kobe Bryant weighed in and pointed out that Dunleavy is terrible. That does not appear to be the case. Why? Because of the following loaded portion the report that LA is 'very close' to hiring Mike Brown:
The source close to the Lakers told that Lakers star Kobe Bryant was "surprised" by the news, and that he was not a part of the decision-making process. Bryant had been a staunch supporter of Lakers assistant Brian Shaw for the position and remains as such.
Oh dear. Kobe Bryant has developed a polite public persona. The early chaos of the post-Shaq Lakers saw him put through the wringer. Leaving out the ugly situation in Colorado, Kobe had to figure out how to be the focal point of the team. He learned quickly how much Shaq had given him room, both on and off the court. He found out how dangerous the Internets can be. From these and other bad experiences emerged a new, media savvy face. He even knew to diplomatically and carefully criticize his teammates for their elimination game temper tantrums.

Kobe has learned how to be calm in public. Don't believe for a second he is calm right now. The Lakers did not just lose to the Mavericks, they were destroyed. There is no doubt Bryant was (quietly, privately) telling management either Pau works out his girl problems or plays somewhere else. What is the Buss family thinking? Are they still reeling from the Phil Jackson breakup and out of touch with reality? Kobe Bryant is their franchise. The Lakers will hit a tough hangover when he retires. It is in their best interest to keep him happy until that day comes.

Mike Brown is not a bad coach. The Cavs gave him a raw deal. His firing was a pre-emptive strike by Dan Gilbert to keep a flame lit with LeBron, all for nothing. Mike Brown could be a great fit for the Lakers. But Kobe wants to be heard, and he wants Brian Shaw. If he ends up with neither, the serene demeanor will not last.

Breaking: LeBron and Tom Brady Have Something in Common

Mr. Spontanayus has been unable to type recently because his hand was crushed after shaking with a wrestler. But, he trained a dog to transcribe his thoughts, and sends this along...

I suppose you could call what we've been doing "Heat hatin'." So I'll do two things: (1) say that I am surprised and impressed with how dominant the Heat have been the past two games because Wade, Bosh, and James have all been excellent; (2) keep "hatin'." [Editor's note: this was submitted before last night's OT loss. If the Heat finish off the Bulls, the only hope for democracy and freedom is a German with chin pubes. The Marshall plan worked!]

While watching the game two days ago, I noticed that LeBron James' headband is totally ineffective: it's too high. A headband is designed to catch brow sweat and prevent it from getting in the player's eyes. Thus, unless James produces an exorbitant amount of sweat from the crown of his head (not the one on his head of course), his sweatband is useless. I know that sweatbands also make you look really cool, and LeBron looks really cool, especially when he wears clothes with his name on them. I just don't think that this is the reason that LeBron wears his headband. Perhaps it is effective. It's covering his male-pattern baldness.

LeBron didn't wear his headband so high as a rookie in 2004. He didn't wear it so high when he won the MVP at 25 year old in 2009, though it was a little higher. I suppose the hair loss hit him extremely hard in the last few months. Perhaps it was the stress of "The Decision," and becoming reviled by a once adoring public. Perhaps he's actually 35. Perhaps he has one unfortunate gene. I don't know, and LeBron probably doesn't know.

I admit I won't be cheering for the Heat. But I don't actually consider the above "hatin'." I just think LeBron is very very silly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Lakers Need a Coach Part I: Send In the Clowns

You see, LA just got out of a long term relationship. Their old boyfriend was a dick. He was pompous, pious, and frequently aloof. But, he got the job done. The Lakers need to take a break. They need to honestly and slowly look in the mirror before they do something hasty. Like putting Mike Dunleavy, Sr. on their shortlist. Yes, that famous last name that evokes...something, could return to coach the Lakers a second time.

You might think that Mike's sole qualification is knowing how to get to Staples Center. But you'd be wrong! Just listen to his glittering CV, detailed in the article linked above:
Dunleavy is currently awaiting judgment in his arbitration hearing with the Los Angeles Clippers, who stopped paying the balance of his contract after they fired him as general manager last year. Dunleavy earlier had resigned as coach after going 215-326 with the Clippers.
Ah, yes! The best relationships are with people going through a messy divorce. And since the Clippers are the Bizarro Lakers, that means he had a winning record. Science!
Though his recent history with the Clippers was unsuccessful, Dunleavy is still viewed as a strong tactician with an impressive history of postseason success.
This is all true! Whenever you saw Mike coach, your first thought was "tactics." By standing still on the sideline, he preserved the element of surprise. You were genuinely surprised when you saw him do anything.
He also has a long history with Bryant, whom he courted and nearly convinced to join the Clippers as a free agent in 2004.
OK, what? "Long history"? He asked him out and was turned down. By that logic, a girl holding a "MARRY ME JUSTIN" sign at a Bieber concert goes WAY back with him.
Dunleavy is the winningest and was the highest-paid coach in Clippers history.
World's tallest midget, sexiest leper.
Dunleavy has a career record of 613-716 as a head coach with the Lakers, Milwaukee, Portland and the Clippers. Besides the 1990-91 run with the Lakers, he came within one game of the 2000 Finals with the Trail Blazers before a fourth-quarter collapse in Game 7 propelled Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant to their first of three championships together with the Lakers.
Baffling! Are the Lakers so short on hope that they are excited to recruit their former punching bag? Isn't this the kind of thing you do after all the good candidates have turned you down? Is it Christmas already?
Dunleavy has maintained a friendship with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss and his son, Jim Buss. As recently as last year, he watched Lakers games with Buss from his suite at Staples Center.
That is good. It will make things more awkward when he is fired!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Shaw Kemp is Loyal (?), Overweight

In a move that totally should not make you giggle, not even a little bit, Shawn Kemp is standing up for fidelity! Yes, the noted basketball player with noted potency refused courtside seats to see the Thunder play in OKC, out of loyalty to the Sonics. Good for you Shawn! When you decide to apologize for drinking, smoking, eating, impregnating, eating, impregnating, sleeping, and eating your way out of relevancy, please let me know.

Shawn's ethical concerns aside, the Oklahoma City Thunder are the best story remaining in the NBA Playoffs. Dirk finally figured out how to be the man. The Bulls could spare us all the misery of a Miami Heat Final. But, OKC is out there proving a smart, well run small market team can compete and win. Their series with the Memphis Grizzlies emphasized that point through seven superb games. Both teams are Pacific Northwest ex-patriates, but Memphis undeniably had the tougher road. Who would have assumed a trade for Pau's younger brother and Kwame Brown would pay off? But it did. Marc Gasol played like he wanted it, Pau Gasol looked like he wanted his vacation.

But the biggest surprise on the Grizzlies has to be Zach Randolph. Z-Bo has spent his career as a 20-10 "so what" player. Someone who can get great numbers but never fits in a winning system. Zach made that label a thing of the past. He stared down the Spurs, calmly closing out games when people expected him to choke. He got the Grizzlies to Game 7 against the Thunder, despite OKC's powerful defensive frontcourt. If there's one hope to hold in your heart, besides Miami losing, it's that this season wasn't a fluke for Memphis. Team basketball matters. Seeing five guys on the court who know how to play together makes games fun to watch. Forty-eight minutes of one on ones and contested shots is miserable to watch. The Grizzlies have earned a spot in the NBA's elite, and here's hoping they fight for that chair next year.

The Heat are Inevitable, Terrible to Watch

Last night, the Celtics exited the playoffs. Depleted by injuries, aging, and bizarre trades, Boston played like a team with nothing to look forward to. They could get leads but could not hold them. It is difficult to imagine them being a true title contender next year. Now the push to build around Rondo will begin, but the defensive enforcer he needs is Memphis bound, hoping to move to the conference finals. Danny Ainge may have defended that trade, but he will likely live to regret it.

The deep, soul-crushing depression you feel is knowledge that Miami has advanced. The statute of limitations on being mad about the Decision has lapsed. But, there is plenty of mileage left on how painful it feels to watch the Heat play. Four teams still in the hunt practice a fluid and entertaining style of basketball: Dallas, Chicago, Oklahoma City, and Memphis. They pass, move without the ball, and call plays. Two teams do none of these things: Atlanta and Miami. Fortunately, Chicago has a chance to prevent an Hawks vs. Heat conference final tonight. Here's hoping they do.

Let's not begrudge Miami for wanting to win. Yes, the template they have set up is destructive. Only a few markets can afford to go on the type of shopping spree they did. The NHL is in better financial shape, which should tell you something! (Very few people watch hockey!) The collective bargaining mess will take a lot to get worked out, the two sides are still far apart. But let's put all that aside. Even if the Heat are leading everyone to destruction, can they at least learn to play together? Please?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rugby Shows Bold Leadership in the War on Fauxhawks

The Price of Freedom

In a move that will likely poison the well for Jersey Shore: Australia, an Australian Rules Football player was banned from a match for his pointy haircut. The referee (correctly!) noted that Nathan Van Someren's gel sculpted sharkfin was dangerous, and like so many Red Rider bb-guns, could take your eye out. But beyond the physical dangers of the fauxhawk, we should consider the metaphysical and aesthetic. Do bad haircuts injure your soul, or wound the minds of those forced to look at them? Having no information to support this, yes. Sports in general, not just rugby, would benefit from some fashion policing. Consider reforms like the ones listed below:

1. Chris Andersen is banned for life. He could fix the fauxhawk, but the tattoos are now so far out of control that there is no hope. Tattoo artists: when a man asks for "FREE BIRD" on his neck, it's time for an intervention/exorcism. We have passed the point of this being fixable. Unless he is willing to play in a green man suit! That would be pretty neat.

2. Tom Brady is banned until he accepts he's going bald. Or, in the alternative, develops enough dignity to not wear the Bieber. (Bieber comb-over. Biebover?) Think of the children!

3. D-Wade is suspended one game for every time he wears fake glasses. This insensitive behavior makes light of the struggle many Americans experience every day. Also, bow ties are stupid.

All these ideas are good!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Lakers Have Some Time To Think

Sunday, the wheels came off what may go down as the most unmotivated attempt to repeat as NBA Champion. The Lakers played all year like a team that could turn it on when they needed to. Against New Orleans, this was a sound strategy! Dallas, not so much. Peja Stojakovic played to exorcise demons that had haunted him since Sacramento's near-miss, and JET simply knew where to be, every time. Amazingly, Dirk has found the balance that eluded him all of his career. He knows when to shoot, when to drive, and when to let his teammates take over. For all the ridicule heaped on Mark Cuban and his fantasy teams, the Mavs have become a beautiful thing.

That is a story but not the story. The story is that Phil Jackson will be returning to Montana to do whatever it is he does there! Let's forgo the normal "Is it for real?" speculation because, well, there is no answer for that. Every indication is his retirement is sincere (until the Knicks job comes open mid season.) Instead of predicting what he will do, I would rather credit him for being the most effective coach in the history of the NBA via his dickishness. Sincerely! Being incredibly self involved prepared Phil for his work very well. He is not a regular nice person, and the people he manages are not, for the most part, regular nice people. It worked really well. Good for him!

But anyone who thinks it's a good idea to take that job and fill his seat should check themselves lest they wreck themselves. Their team is ancient and only getting older, loaded with expensive mistakes and question marks. Kobe is still really really good but not so good that he can conceal the team's shortcomings. Remember when they traded Shaq and Jerry Buss was touching himself thinking about having pious shoe polish head in LA? It'll be like that. Everyone in their right mind will turn down the job, and then an NBA institution with serious health problems will take over. Larry Brown with a gaping wound? Cheryl Miller with shingles? Raef LaFrentz with rug burn? All possibilities!