Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pacman gets gobbled

I've heard some talking heads say that Pacman Jones is the Cowboys biggest offseason acquisition. Maybe he is, but he gets pwned by T.O. right here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Nuge, just because

I heard this song on XM 90's last week, and it made me think of the outstanding video where Ted Nugent kicks out the door of some shack and does a guitar solo that deflects bullets. The Nuge busts out his superpower 3:14 in.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beware of falling Persian emissaries

Going Greek

Mediocre Atlanta Hawks swingman Josh Childress is leaving the NBA to play in Greece with a team called Olympiakos for a reported $20 million over three years, after taxes. Childress is the fifth player to leave the NBA for Europe this offseason joining Primoz Brezec, Bostjan Nachbar, Juan Carlos Navarro, and Carlos Delfino. Brezec averaged 2.2 points per game last season, the other four averaged between nine and twelve. Childress is the high man at 11.8. This doesn't include Brandon Jennings, a high school student who signed with Virtus Roma instead of going to college.

I have no issues with Jennings headed overseas and legally drawing a salary instead of being paid under the table while the NCAA and whichever college pays off his AAU coach gets rich off of unpaid labor. But for someone to jump the NBA for a foreign country when a reasonable offer was on the table (Atlanta reportedly offered five years, $33-36 million) is both a testament to Childress's motivation being money and the fact that Atlanta has cemented it's spot as the worst sports town in America.

The Atlanta Braves are on their way to missing the playoffs for the third straight year after making it 14 years in a row. The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL in 1966 and have never had consecutive winning seasons. The Atlanta Thrashers have one playoff appearance in five seasons (half the teams in the NHL make the playoffs) and could easily be perennial cellar dwellers for the next decade after they inevitably lose Ilya Kovalchuk in two years. Which brings us to the Hawks.

The Hawks made the playoffs last year despite being eight games under .500 for the first time since the strike shortened 1998-99 season, giving the Celtics a tougher series than the Lakers. Since 1999 they have won 255 games over nine seasons, or 34.6% of their games. They trade for Mike Bibby, make the playoffs, finally have some buzz surrounding the team, and their sixth man bolts for Greece. Sucks for them.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The funniest song ever?

I've been watching Flight of the Conchords and, although it may not be for everyone, it may be the funniest show on television. I saw this bit last night and just about pooped myself.

Bowie's in space
Bowie's in space
What you doing out there, man?
That's pretty freaky, Bowie
Isn't it cold out in space, Bowie?
Do you want to borrow my jumper, Bowie?
Does the space cold make your nipples go pointy, Bowie?
Do you use your pointy nipples as telescopic antennae to transmit data back to Earth?
Bet you do, you freaky old bastard you
Hey Bowie, do you have one really funky sequined space suit?
Or do you have several ch-changes?
Do you smoke grass out in space, Bowie?
Or do they smoke Astroturf?
Receiving transmission from David Bowie's nipple antennae
Do you read me, Lieutenant Bowie?
This is Bowie to Bowie
Do you hear me out there, man?
This is Bowie back to Bowie
I read you loud and clear, man
Ooh yeah, man!
Your signal's weak on my radar screen
How far out are you, man?
I'm pretty far out
That's pretty far out, man
Ooh- ah- ooh!
I'm orbiting Pluto
Ooh- ah- ooh!
Drawn in by its groovitational (groovitational) pull
I'm jamming out with the Mick Jagger-nauts
Ooh, and they think it's pretty cool
Are you okay, Bowie?
What was that sound?
I don't know, man
I have to turn my ship around
Ooh, it's the craziest scene
Yeah, I'm picking it up on my LSD screen
Can you see the stratosphere ringing?
To the choir of Afronauts singing
Bowie's in space

You just got knocked the f out

UFC had a televised event on Saturday, headlined by Anderson Silva versus James Irvin. Fortunately, I kept watching after that, because this was the coolest thing I saw all weekend. The magic happens 0:24 in.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

When does an NFL season begin? According to the NFL the first day of the league year is March 1. The preseason this year begins with the Hall of Fame game, three weeks from yesterday, featuring the Colts and Redskins. The regular season now opens on a Thursday (September 4, Redskins at Giants, coincidentally), but most teams open on that Sunday. But if you define the season starting when teams are allowed to start practicing in pads, the the 2008 NFL season began yesterday with the Washington Redskins first practice. It didn't go well.

The Redskins lost starting end Philip Daniels for the year an hour in. They also lost end Alex Busbee for the year and Fred Smoot for the day. By dinner they traded a 2009 2nd rounder and a 2010 6th rounder for 2006 Defensive Player of the Year and 2008 Dancing with the Stars runner up Jason Taylor. What I had heard during the draft was that the high bid for Jason Taylor was a 3rd round pick, which is a steal for a guy you can be reasonably certain will get you 10 sacks. It's generally accepted that a draft pick from the following year is worth a round less, so next year's 2nd is worth this year's 3rd, and a 2010 6th is worth less than a 7th this year. In other words, the Redskins package is the equivalent of what Miami turned down during the draft.

The most obvious result of the deal is that the Redskins now have arguably the best set of defensive ends in the NFL, with Taylor and Andre Carter. Mike Florio really breaks it down at Sporting News, and seems to favor the Dolphins slightly in the trade. Peter King is fascinated by how quickly the trade went down, and thinks that any package for Favre has to be greater than the one for Taylor. I think there is a far greater market for Taylor. Taylor step right in and can start on any team in the NFL; Favre would have to learn a new playbook and wouldn't start on at least five teams.

I think Washington went from being a 6-10 or 7-9 team to 9-7. Looking at the NFC East on paper, the only team that looks better than the Skins is the Cowboys. The Giants lose Strahan and have the subtraction by addition of Shockey. Washington was weak last year at receiver, and they really weren't generating a pass rush until late in the season. Now they add two of the top receivers in the draft and a top five defensive end.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I've been waiting 20 years to post this cover

It was inevitable for someone to post shots from the Watchmen trailer next to the corresponding graphic novel panels, and Ropesofsilicon did the heavy lifting.

Looks like they made the cover of EW, not quite the classic lineup picture though. There's a great cover story with the first legitimate details I've seen and a look back with Moore and Gibbons.

Slashfilm has the details on a ET homage thanks to an odd MPAA stipulation.

Patrick Wilson implies that the movie will end like the comic, as if there was any doubt. (Okay, I had a little doubt.)

This is an operating table

The two graphic novels most associated with the maturation of the comics industry are Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. Watchmen is finally becoming a movie, and I caught this little tribute to DKR in Batman: The Animated Series last night.

You got served!

Well this is the coolest thing I've seen today.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Watchmen trailer is online, awesome

Looks like it's not on Youtube anymore, but here it is in HD on Apple. Also, here are the lyrics for The End is the Beginning is the End by Smashing Pumpkins (I love to do that) which is playing in the background.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The first lady of Burgerland

NBA trades continue to baffle me

Marcus Camby has made NBA All-Defensive First Team the last two seasons, after being Second Team the two seasons before that. He won NBA Defensive Player of the Year the year before last, and was second in the NBA in rebounding last year with 13.1 per game. He's signed for two more seasons at a very reasonable $10 million per, so his contract expires when Lebron, Wade, et al will be free agents. So how come he has zero trade value? (The right to swap second round picks in 23 months can be approximated as zero.)

NBA trades baffle me. I came to the conclusion in February that Portland did a great job getting Channing Frye for Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau, Fred Jones, and $30 million. But this one takes the cake. Do you mean to tell me that no team could offer anything for Marcus Camby? Or is it that nothing is more valuable than something. It's not like the Nuggets traded Camby to a team in the East either; the Nuggets and Clippers have been within five spots of each other in the Western Conference the last four years.

I keep having to remind myself that the Clippers aren't the team dumping salary here. The fact that they're the team making a killing plants a seed of doubt in my mind that it's a wise move. The best apart about this trade is that the Nuggets will be even more entertaining to watch - they were 29th in the league in points allowed last year at 107.0 (also the second most since 1997) and could challenge 110 this year.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The case for Favre in Washington

I'm going down the list of possible destinations for Brett Favre, and the Redskins are starting to look more and more like the most likely destination. Right away, you can eliminate Chicago and Minnesota, because Green Bay still controls his rights and there is zero chance they deal him within the devision. Miami has frequently been mentioned, but I can't see Favre renegotiating his contract to play on a team coming off of 1-15. Likewise Atlanta. Baltimore is a possibility, but the Ravens are focused on rebuilding and are downplaying their interest. The Jets are a logical destination, although they haven't been mentioned as prominently as the other teams and should be concerned about retarding the development of Kellen Clemens by potentially moving him to third on the depth chart. Tampa Bay is a strong contender, since Jon Gruden is a former Packers assistant coach and he loves to accumulate quarterbacks.

Mike Francesca today indicated he had heard Washington and Carolina were in the mix. Out of all of these teams, the Panthers are the only one with an above average quarterback, as Jake Delhomme was on his way to a career season last year before he hurt his elbow, and is expected to be back at 100% (or more) next year. Also, the Panthers have already traded their first round pick for next year, so they may be wary or trading another high pick. That leaves the Redskins. They don't seem to have the cap room, although that's never stopped them before. It may hurt the development of Jason Campbell but, again, that's never stopped them before.

Looking at the obvious problems with acquiring a starting quarterback for a single season (building cohesion with the receivers and offensive line, learning the playbook, fracturing the locker room), the two most likely outcomes for the Favre saga are Favre starting for the Packers in week one or staying retired. But since I didn't see the retirement story getting this far, I'll acknowledge Tampa Bay, Washington, and the Jets as the likely contenders.

Potentially decent sporting event ruined by hokey announcers

Watching Josh Hamilton crank three 500 foot home runs in five minutes would have been a lot more enjoyable if it weren't for ESPN's typically saccharin announcers trying to top each other each dinger.

Karl Ravetch: It's important to know he was addicted to drugs.
Steve Phillips: And he's doing it under the bright lights of Yankees Stadium.
Chris Berman: And so many people are watching him.
Joe Morgan: What impresses me is that he was away from the game for three years.
Rick Reilly: Josh Hamilton is proof of a supreme being.

Seriously? Maybe they were making slightly too big of a deal? If most of us show up to work with alcohol on our breath, we're fired on the spot. This guy goes on a five year bender with hardcore narcotics and happens to be so ridiculously talented that he can dominate after pissing away over 10% of his career that I'm supposed to feel good about it? Hey kids, maybe you can be born a great natural athlete so you can shoot smack in trailer parks for a while, and then come back and make eight figures.

Friday, July 11, 2008

(Karl Alzner is) The Shiznit

The DC Sports Bog has had a fantastic week. First Dan Steinberg's skewering of the Washington Nationals abysmal television ratings generated a buzz around the city. Apparently the Nationals draw an average 9,000 households a game, last in the league. Next to last? The Royals, at 28,000! In a much smaller market! The best part: the Nationals don't feel the pinch, since their revenues were guaranteed by the MASN deal. So who suffers? You guessed it - Peter Angelos!

And then, Steinberg turned Karl Alzner from emerging prospect to cult hero by the revelation that he carries a discarded fake mustache worn by Snoop Dogg in the jacket of his only suit! Out of every athlete's superstition that I've ever heard, this is the only one I could relate to. If I found a fake mustache used by Snoop Dogg, I'd definitely pocket it, and were it at a hockey game and if I played hockey for a living, I'd be inclined to bring it to games.

So is Snoop Dogg a closet hockey fan, attending the game in disguise? Of course, this could be Snoop Dogg's evil brother, watching the evil (but equally dapper) Wario Lemieux. Or did Snoop just wear it to avoid drug arrests? None of the above: the mustache was meant to show support to Anaheim enforcer George Parros.

The smiling idiot will be played by the understudy

I just saw this on Withleather; I still can't believe this stiff is the third highest paid player in the NFL (Manning, Roethlisberger).

Getting the band back together

The Washington Capitals have but one free agent left to sign, first pair defenceman Shaone Morrisonn, and are $332,788 under the cap, safely assuming Brian Pothier is placed on long-term injured reserve. If Sami Lepisto and his $700,000 is left off the roster, a safe assumption after general manager George McPhee said the team was looking to carry six or seven defencemen this coming season, then the Caps are over a million under the cap. If Chris Clark opens the season on LTIR, then the Caps would be $3,666,121 under the salary cap, Morrissonn's salary (to be determined by arbitration, I'd say around $1,800,000) notwithstanding. That number would dry up if Clark was activated, but it's a way to get around the salary cap if/when the Caps are over by less than a million dollars.

Here's what the Caps lineup should look like next year to start the season:

Alexander Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Viktor Kozlov
Brooks Laich - Sergei Fedorov - Alexander Semin
Tomas Fleischmann - Michael Nylander - Boyd Gordon
Matt Bradley - David Steckel - Donald Brashear

Mike Green - Shaone Morrisonn
Tom Poti - Jeff Schultz
John Erskine - Karl Alzner

Jose Theodore
Brent Johnson

Once Clark gets healthy, hopefully Eric Fehr and/or Sami Lepisto works their way into the lineup, and Alzner established himself as a top four defenceman, the lines could look like this:

Alexander Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Viktor Kozlov
Chris Clark - Sergei Fedorov - Alexander Semin
Brooks Laich - Michael Nylander - Eric Fehr
Matt Bradley - David Steckel - Boyd Gordon

Mike Green - Shaone Morrisonn
Tom Poti - Karl Alzner
Sami Lepisto - Jeff Schultz

I'm assuming Brian Pothier will be forced to retire due to concussions, and that the Capitals will be able to stay below the cap and won't be forced to make a trade, but that is a potentially devastating lineup, for my money the best in the east.

Fire enough bullets...

SI has a great piece today on Shawn Kemp, Jr. at the Reebok All-American camp. He's 17, and has contacted many of his half brothers and sisters around the country on Myspace, which must be a boon to the various illegitimate children of professional athletes. This reminds me of a great line from Huggy Lowdown: Shawn Kemp didn't make the All Star Team, but if he got all his kids to vote for him he'd be a starter.

Like Lil' Bush without the evil

I'd like to be invited to a Oaks Christian High School party. Not to try to feed alcohol to underage girls, or at least that wouldn't be the only reason. Because the sons of Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, and Will Smith are on the football team, so I imagine the parties have some spectacular catering.

It seems the 6'2" Nicholas Montana has transferred to the Westlake Village, CA private school where he will compete with Trevor Gretzky, for playing time behind starter Tony Macarena (no connection to the song by Los del Rio), who is throwing to Trey Smith. Notre Dame starting QB Jimmy Clausen was named USA Today Offensive Player of the Year there for the 2006 season.

All of this begs the question (posed by Puck Daddy): Wayne Gretzky's Waikiki Hockey versus Joe Montana's "I'll be in my room masturbating" versus Barkley vs. Barney versus Michael Jordan on Super Fans for best athlete SNL skit? If you're wondering where Peyton Manning is, check the videos and transcripts to see how far the once mighty Saturday Night Live has fallen.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

9 days to go

Just a week and a half until the release of one of the most anticipated movies of all time, a movie I predicted months ago would place in the top five of all time grossers. The early reviews of The Dark Knight have been gushing. From Variety:

An ambitious, full-bodied crime epic of gratifying scope and moral complexity, this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some.

From The Rolling Stone:

The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination.

The cast is absolutely stacked. Heath Ledger (1 Academy Awards nomination), Michael Caine (six nominations, two wins), Morgan Freeman (four nominations, one win), and Eric Roberts (one nomination) bring the hardware, and it's shocking that Gary Oldman isn't on this list. Katie Holmes has been thankfully replaced by the less culty Maggie Gyllenhaal. And I truly expect Christian Bale to emerge as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood over the next calender year.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Biggest offseason winner: Frank Caliendo

When Chris Mortensen dropped the bombshell last week that Brett Favre was considering a comeback, I was completely dismissive. I mean, consider the source. Mortensen has been loud wrong pretty frequently over the last few years, and this story sounded a little far fetched to me. Why would Favre risk his legacy by so clearly putting his own interests ahead of that of the team's? Coming out of retirement would make many of the Packers' offseason moves inconsequential, including drafting Brian Brohm in the second round and Matt Flynn in the 7th, and failing to address the middle of the pack rush defense.

And then Peter King, who's so in the tank for Favre that he's practically a caricature of Frank Caliendo's John Madden impersonation, dropped this nugget:

I fully expect Favre's agent to send a letter to the Packers within the next 10 days, stating that Favre, 38, wants to be taken off the National Football League's reserve/retired list.

Wow. And King is far from alone in speculating that if Green Bay doesn't welcome him back, Favre next two most likely destinations are division rivals Chicago and Minnesota. It's like the Packers had an amicable break up with it's girlfriend, they've moved on to someone new, and then the ex says "You're welcoming me back with a smile on your face or I'm moving in with your best friend."

The happiest guy in the world about this, even more than the kid who wore Favre's jersey for four straight years: Frank Caliendo. He's got to feel like like he just won the lottery. If Favre is playing next year, he'll be doing Madden impersonations on every media outlet from August to May. "My Brett Favre's back and your defense is in trouble..."

The Dark Knight that got away

Spill's got Michael Bay's rejected script for The Dark Knight, and it's outstanding. My two favorite excerpts:

We pan to a beautiful woman: platinum blonde with a huge rack. She is the hottest woman in the world, but she wears glasses because she is also the smartest woman in the world.


JOKER unleashes an all-out barrage of missiles, like the biggest fucking missiles you will ever see. BATMAN shoots his own back, and they collide into each other in the middle of the highway releasing a violent explosion, and then, an explosion within that explosion. Afterward: one last explosion, this time in slow motion, with tanks flying out of it.