Monday, December 21, 2009


Malcolm Gladwell:

How random are our reactions to celebrity misbehavior? You'd think there would be some general moral principle at work here, but there just isn't. Barry Bonds and Shawne Merriman allegedly did exactly the same thing: took performance-enhancing drugs that gave them a decided advantage over their peers. Bonds became a pariah. Merriman went to the Pro Bowl. Leonard Little left a party, got into his car and hit and killed a young woman. He blew .19 on the Breathalyzer. What happened to him? He did 60 days. Six years later, he was arrested for drunk driving again. He still plays for the Rams. Michael Vick did bad things to dogs and went to jail for two years and become the personification of evil. I mean, I love dogs and I was appalled by Vick's behavior. But in what universe is it a bigger crime to fight pit bulls than it is to get wasted and kill an innocent person? (Let's not even get into Plaxico Burress, whose case proves, I guess, how unexpectedly seriously New York state courts take the crime of stupidity). And now we have Tiger Woods, who fooled around on his wife and hit a fire hydrant. And in the middle of this absurd circus, the reigning King of Kings of the NBA and role model to millions is a man who not that long ago was accused of rape and lucked out of a trial because, by all appearances, he was able to buy off his accuser in a civil settlement. Huh?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Albert with Ray Rice, Sidney Rice, Tom Brady, and Joe Flacco


Michael with Brian Urlacher and other fellow Chicago natives

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Crazy Commish

The Crazy Commish with Kevin Durant, David Stern, Clay Bennett, & Howard Schultz


Ajay with former Clippers and DeSean Jackson

Sammy & Jeff


Tim with Donald Sterling & Kim Jong Il


Harry with Drew Brees and Brian Westbrook

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Live Football

Random thoughts from watching the 49ers and Seahawks live in San Francisco last weekend:

  • Football is best watched on television. The high definition telecasts, commentating, and ability to turn your attention to other games in between the long gaps in between plays and drives is simply better than the traffic, heat, jammed cell phone reception, and annoying fans that you must deal with when at the actual game.
  • That being said, the live experience is still something that I still would love go for once a year. You simply cannot replace the feel of the game that you get from actually being there in person. The intensity of third downs, the crowd noise, the difficulty of an offense operating deep inside their own territory, and so much more can only be properly comprehended live.
  • Watching what is happening on the sidelines is fascinating. For example, T.J. Houshmandzadeh came off the field after a series screaming at his position coach demanding the ball. He had to be restrained from shouting back at a 49ers fan in the stands. He later walked up to head coach Jim Mora presumably to express his frustration, but Mora either did not notice or pretending to be too busy to wisely avoid the confrontation. Seneca Wallace later came up to him, tapped him on the helmet in encouragement. Of course, the next two drives saw Housh get a couple catches, including one endzone target. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks' most prominent offseason acquisition fits in, as Seattle has never really had such an alpha, perhaps diva, wide receiver.
  • I was also fascinated by the many substitutions in between every single play. On defense, Seattle will rotate most of its defensive line in and out of the game, presumably in an effort to keep them fresh. On offense, Seattle changed their running backs nearly every play. While I understand the strategy involved, how certain players are better suited in certain roles and situations, playing towards the matchups, and am sure the coaches have even more reasons that I can come up with, I also think that this all makes it difficult for some players to get into a rhythm and flow in the game.
  • Next year the Seattle Seahawks visit the San Diego Chargers, an occurrence that only takes place every eight years. After that, I think it will finally be time for me to look to find my way up to Quest Field and experience a home Seahawk game...with 67,000 of my peers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

San Francisco

The past two years I have made a long weekend out of a couple road trips up to Berkeley. Each culminated on a Sunday in which the Seattle Seahawks were in San Francisco to take on the 49ers. Last year I had the thrill of seeing Seneca Wallace and Leonard Weaver combine for 338 yards of total offense as the Seahawks trounced the 49ers, 34-13. Recall it was Mike Singletary's first game as the head coach of the 49ers, when he pulled down his pants in the locker room at halftime in an effort to show his team what body part was getting kicked out on the field. As fun and fascinating as it was to witness such a game, it was of course a meaningless one.

One year later, we perhaps had an even more enjoyable weekend up in the Bay. This season though, the Seahawks and 49ers each entered this Week 2 matchup 1-0, with realistic hopes of the game being a meaningful one this time around. Of course, Matt Hasselbeck gets nailed by Patrick Willis trying to run for the endzone. He gets up, waves for Seneca Wallace to replace him, and slowly collapses onto the field in pain. Although Seneca scored on the very next play, the game was a disaster for the Seahawks.

I know injuries are a part of football, every team has them, deep rosters are built to survive them with players who step up, the good teams power through, and all that good stuff. But I hope I do not have to remind anyone of the unprecedented disaster that was the Seattle Seahawks health situation last season. I do not mean to begin whining or making excuses, but here is a quick summary of injuries to Seahawks starters just two weeks into this young season:

Seattle Seahawks starters injured before Week 2:

Walter Jones (LT)
Mike Wahle (LG) retired
Chris Spencer (C)
Leroy Hill (OLB)
Deion Branch (WR)
Marcus Trufant (CB)
Brandon Mebane (DT)
Josh Wilson (CB)

Seattle Seahawks starters injured during the game at San Francisco, none of whom returned:
Matt Hasselbeck (QB)
Lofa Tatupu (MLB)
Sean Locklear (T)
Josh Wilson (CB)
Justin Griffith (FB)

Count ‘em. That is THIRTEEN STARTERS, including the four best players on the team.

As for those 79 and 80 yard touchdown runs by Frank Gore, note that the Seahawks were missing their starting DT as well as two of the NFL's top linebackers. When you have such a defense, there is simply an enormous drop off when the top guys are out with injuries. You can take it to the bank that those 79 and 80 yard touchdown runs by Frank Gore would never happen with Lofa Tatupu on the field. I know this is unreasonable, but take those two runs away and Seahawks win 10-9.

That being said, this season is not the same as last as most of these players are said to be returning soon. However, if they do not return to form, then we are heading for a similar fate.

Full Month

While the blog has been inactive for a full month, it seems I have inadvertently made the switch to Twitter to pass along links and tidbits of information. This blog traditionally has seen some downtime during the fall, as most of my recreational writing is spent on those infamous power rankings in our fantasy football leagues, which many of you are part of and get to enjoy.

As much as I would like to say what is going to happen with this blog and make a concrete declaration, the fact of the matter is I simply do not. It is quite possible the blog could be in its twilight, as I could remain preoccupied at work, revert to spending time on the rankings, and continue tweeting away. But I when I do occassionally find something to write long rants about, this will remain the outlet as always. How often and to what quality each will have remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oh Matt, you so funny 12

Asked for a reaction to former Packers teammate Brett Favre signing with the Vikings, Matt Hasselbeck:

"Oh, he did? I didn't hear that. Seriously? Wow. I was watching ESPN all day and never saw that. Didn't even know. Tell him congratulations."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tweet Links

The addiction to Twitter continues to grow as we enter football season. Be sure to check out a bunch of great links on the right side of the blog, or follow me @Vishal620.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Washington Redskins tight end and blogger Chris Cooley writes about some of the NFL's ridiculous fines for uniform infractions including:

$5000 fines
- High/Low whites on socks
- Pants not covering knees (no skin should show below the waist)
- Bandana
- Wrong nasal strip
- Hand towel alterations - towel must be 7 to 8 inches and have no tape on it
- Tape not the same color of the shoe.
- Jersey untucked (usually there is a warning for this one)
- Jersey cut too short
- Sleeves coming out of jersey - only QB can have this and only a certain amount can come out
- Chinstrap undone ($7500)

$10,000 fines
- Personal messages
- Any second offense fine
- Wrong attire 90 minutes previous and after a game - clothes must be Reebok apparel
- Tinted visor - must have a doctors note for a tinted visor

There is also a special fine schedule for the post season. The minimum fine in playoff games will be between 10 and 20 thousand dollars. The minimum in the NFC Championship is between 50 and 75 thousand and for the Super Bowl the minimum is 100 grand. It's been made very obvious the NFL and it's sponsors want the players to dress accordingly.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Adam on Peter

Adam Schefter pens a tribute piece to Peter King.

These are two of the best NFL columnists, and I cannot possibly imagine following football without them.

Is it football season yet?

Monday, August 10, 2009


After another enjoyable and exhausting weekend in Vegas, I had to wake up early this morning in order to make an 8:30am meeting. Of course, I beat the Los Angeles traffic and am one of the first people to arrive at work only to find out that the meeting has been postponed to 10:00am. Alas, I now have some time to learn how other "meetings" go (via Rumors and Rants):

Pete Carroll’s meetings with his USC Trojans have become the stuff of internet legend over the past few seasons. From having players fake-arrested, to impromptu visits from Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell, the coach Carroll tends to keep the teams meetings, like the rest of his program, on the light side of things.

Last night was no exception.

According to Ben Malcolmson’s USCRipsIt blog:

It was American Idol night at the start of USC's team meeting Sunday.

In a scene made for a movie, freshman linebacker Marquis Simmons wowed the Trojans with a rendition of "Lean on Me" that had the roomful of players, coaches and staffers standing, singing along, locking arms and swaying to the tune.

What started off as an impromptu sing-off between Simmons and fullbacks Stanley Havili and D.J. Shoemate at the onset of the meeting turned into a runaway for Simmons, who easily won thanks to never-before-seen audience participation that brought laughter, smiles and joy to all crammed in Heritage Auditorium on this Sunday night. And to top it all off, Coach Carroll played piano during the song, making it quite a festive environment.

An impromptu sing-off developed between fullbacks Stanley Havili, D.J. Shoemate and freshman linebacker Marquis Simmons. It culminated when Simmons’ rendition of “Lean on Me” was aided by audience participation. The result was the whole team chipping in to help the freshman - even Carroll, who accompanied him on the piano.

Congrats to Simmons for blowing away the competition and winning the contest.

In case you were wondering, my work meetings are nothing like this. Gotta love Corporate America.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Hall of Fame Bonding

It has become the ultimate cliche, a swollen self-parody of itself. But it's still the ultimate Hall of Fame male bonding place. That's why we went in June. And in July. And now in August. And we'll be back again.

And maybe in a few years we'll be sitting at that Saturday buffet talking about our wives, kids, and mortgages, but at least we'll still be laughing and busting each other's chops like always.

Vegas, baby.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Oh Shaq, you so funny

Shaquille O'Neal on Mason & Ireland in Los Angeles (via

We heard you in an interview and your response to the worst player you ever saw was a tie between Kurt Rambis and Mychal Thompson. What didn’t you like about Thompson’s game?

“I never even really seen his game, they just told me to name some horrible players. Those were the guys that came to mind, never really waste your time and saying things as a youngster, ‘Oh, I wanna be like Mychal Thompson. Oooh, look at his baseline fadeaway. Wow. Daddy, can you teach me the Mychal Thompson fadeaway? Sure, son. Forget Kareem, let’s work on Mike’s moves. If I could be like Mike.”

What do you think of Kurt Rambis as a coach?

(Shaq makes distortion noises over the phone, hangs up and calls back). “That’s what I like about him, and if you ask me the same question again, I’ll lose another connection.”

You’ve played in all warm cities, do you have enough clothes for Cleveland?

“I have a lot of clothes, I just hope PETA doesn’t get upset when I bring out some of my old stuff. (Host: You gonna break out the old fur?) I didn’t use that word! I just said old stuff. I just said stuff.”

Rashard Lewis was suspended for taking testosterone, do you think a lot of NBA players are taking performance enhancing steroids?

“I don’t think, I’m gonna go with no. However, I can say, a lot of guys including myself, we do go in to these GNC stores and for example, we look at a bottle and it says, ‘Fan Man Buster Plus’ and it has a nice little picture on the thing, we’ll buy it without even doing the research or looking at it. But, I think now guys really have to look and see what’s on the back so we’re not taking anything. But, again, most people when they read the labels they just buy it, ‘Fat Booty Buster Plus - lose your fat booty in 10 days.’ But, I don’t think the guy was like, ‘Let me use a steroid.’ I’ve known Rashard a long time and he’s not that type of guy.”

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer League in Vegas

After my legendary 21st birthday weekend in Vegas last month, my cousin decided that we needed to return in July for his own birthday weekend. While I have been to Vegas tons of times as a kid, this recent double dip in Vegas as an adult has allowed us to since accumulate loads of epic stories that are indeed Hangover-esque. Vegas has certain places that all men must simply shell out and experience for themselves. Words cannot express how amazing clubs like Tao, Moon, and Playboy are. For the purposes of this rant though, let's focus on the fact that our last Vegas trip happened to overlap with the NBA Summer League:

  • We choose to stay at Palms Casino which is run by the Maloof brothers, owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings. Palms is off the Strip, making it affordable for the younger crowd and a hotspot for ballers and celebrities.
  • Just for kicks, I am going to randomly sprinkle in names of just some of the many notable people we happened to run into or interact with while walking around the casino in between my random thoughts...
  • Jamario Moon, Devean George, Greg Anthony
  • The life of an NBA player is lonely. Granted, majority of the Summer League participants are 18-20 year olds who are far removed from their comfort zones, are too young to really do anything in Vegas, and have yet to cash in on the NBA riches so consequently are not rolling with entourages. That being said, it still sort of surprised me to see so many players wandering around alone, grabbing McDonald's after a Saturday night game, and seemingly having a lot less fun than we were.
  • Jermaine O'Neal
  • The crowd at Summer League is something else. Instead of having some 19,000 random people, say at Staples Center, who happen to be either rich enough to afford those overpriced tickets or stumbled into them by some chance, the couple thousand people at Cox Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack at UNLV all want to be there. For just $20, you get an all day pass to both arenas. If you know anything about Vegas, there is absolutely nothing else of value that you can do for just a cool $20 bill. So now, these games are affordable enough and yet far enough so that you get a crowd of fellow basketball enthusiasts who can easily afford it and all want to be there. The conversations you hear in front and behind you are exactly the ones we fellow geeks have and love so much. Everyone knows their stuff, everyone knows everything about their teams, and so everyone learns from each other. Hell, there was even one attractive woman who knew more about the Clippers Summer League roster than I did.
  • Kenyon Martin
  • Shaun Livingston may have been the best player on the young and promising Stolen Sonics. He looks good and seems to always be calm and in control, consistently making smart plays and good passes. If he keeps improving at this pace, the Thunder got yet another brilliant steal...get it?
  • Kevin Durant
  • Vegas was True Clipper Fan Central. There were loads of longtime and diehard Clipper fans who made the drive to Vegas. The Summer League was essentially a bunch of Clipper home games, fully equipped with Clipper Darrell's trademark chants and waves. Obviously number one overall pick Blake Griffin was the main attraction, but future centerpieces DeAndre Jordan and Eric Gordon made the Clippers the one summer league team that had the most significant overlap with their real roster.
  • Baron Davis and Corey Maggette. Go figure.
  • Blake Griffin. Take this all with a grain of salt, because it is Summer League and the number one pick is supposed to tear it up there. That being said, Griffin could not have looked better. Normally big rookies are still coming into their own and learning how to control their large bodies. Griffin has mastered his, knows his abilities, and has great balance and control of his body. We even caught him coaching up DeAndre Jordan, who has a full year of NBA experience under his belt that Blake does not. Blake is a beast on the boards and has the athleticism to run and handle the ball. Knowing that he was the star of the summer league, opposing players were playing dirty with him and we even witnessed him getting thrown to the ground and suffering the shoulder injury. Give him credit for shrugging it all off and toughing it out. When teams started loading the box on him and double teaming him, he made many smart passes that will pay off when you have the likes of Baron Davis and Eric Gordon running around the perimeter. Hats off to the Summer League MVP, and here's hoping that the Clippers don't screw up this soon to be All-Star.
  • DeAndre Jordan may benefit the most from being exposed to Blake's solid fundamentals. Jordan has the habit of chasing blocks instead of boxing out and rebounding. But from watching him all season long and this summer in person, he has already improved in a variety of ways. Of course, DeAndre got a a bunch of impressive alley-oop throwdowns, and had a fun entourage in the crowd to react to and with immediately afterward. Ready for a bold statement? DeAndre Jordan has the athleticism of a very raw Dwight Howard or...wait for it...Shawn Kemp.
  • Baron Davis entered the building to a round of applause and waves. He sat down with Mike Dunleavy and was actually talking and smiling (!?) with him throughout the game. This caused Clipper Darrell to not only Tweet about it immediately, but run over during a timeout and give them both a giant bear hug.
  • That was not even the funniest moment of the day. That honor goes to seeing and hearing the head coach of the Washington Wizards summer league team, Sam Cassell. When he gets an NBA head coaching job, there needs to be a reality show that just follows a mike'd up Sam Cassell. The great thing about the summer league is that with free seating and no loud in game music or arena effects, we can listen in on the players, coaches, and referees. Cassell was by far the most hilarious and interesting coach I have ever witnessed. During a pair of free throws, he walked on the court just to chat with his old buddy Kim Hughes. During a timeout he wandered off to crack some jokes with Clipper Darrell. The best though, was when he was screaming defensive assignments to the Wizards: "Get up on him! Get up on him! Get up! Get up!" And as the Clippers rotate the ball and hit a three, he screams loudly enough for everyone in the building to finally hear, "F@#%!"
  • Some rich and flashy front office executive who got pissed at me for hitting at the Blackjack table and stealing his card.
  • Twitter is changing the world, and this is very evident in Vegas. It was cool to follow bloggers like Kevin Arnovitz and Marc Stein who are sitting right by you writing about the events that are happening write in front of you. By following the players and celebrities themselves, we were able to find out who was were at any given time, and it just a surreal feeling to find out who is hanging out at the same places we were.
  • Buffet. Ballers. Blackjack. Enough said.
  • Tracy McGrady...who never stood up from the poker table.
  • Paul Pierce...wearing a green polo of course.
  • Hugh Heffner and that one popular Playmate
  • And finally...wait for it...Mike Tyson!
  • One last thought about Vegas in general. Drinking is fun. Gambling is fun, perhaps even occasionally profitable. We all agree sports is fun in every manner. Clubbing can be fun. And girls are fun. But throw all these elements Vegas!? Oh my.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Yours truly is in the midst of the most ridiculous and eventful one month period of his life. While I continue to adjust to a completely different life on personal and professional levels, I assure you that I will chime in on the crazy madness lately:

  • The Lakers won the title and deservedly so. Let us keep in mind that they did so without ever meeting or beating a healthy Houston Rockets team, a healthy San Antonio Spurs team, a healthy Boston Celtics team, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. So before we declare them to be the best team of the year, remember how the cards fell for them to when the title.
  • We have not seen Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson peak.
  • We have seen Shaq peak.
  • We have not seen Lebron James peak.
  • We have seen Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson peak.
  • The era of the quick point guard is only beginning. I am looking at you, Mr. Longoria.
  • The anticipation and preparation for the summer of 2010 continues to build.
  • The USA Soccer team stunning Spain and advancing is a story that deserves to be followed, written about, and talked about...if only Americans knew enough to do so.
  • Oh yeah, we have the NBA Draft tonight. Expect more madness to follow.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Weather Report

Weather Report:

Well, it appears our African-American friends have found yet something else to be pissed about.

A black congresswoman reportedly complained that the names of hurricanes are all Caucasian sounding names. She would prefer some names that reflect African-American culture, such as Chamiqua, Tanisha, Woeisha, Shaqueal, and Jamal. She would also like the weather reports to be broadcast in language that street people can understand because one of the problems in New Orleans is that regular folks couldn't understand the seriousness of the situation due to the racially biased language of the weather report.

I can hear it now: A Houston weatherman says:

"Wazzup, mutha-fukkas! Hehr-i-cane Chamiqua be headin' fo' yo ass like Leroy on a crotch rocket! Bitch be a category fo'! So grab yo' chirren, yo' Ho, be leavin yo crib, and head fo' da nearest guv'ment office fo yo FREE shit!"

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Disney Finals

Considering every game of the NBA Finals is broadcast on ABC/ESPN and takes place just miles away from either Disneyland or DisneyWorld, I am surprised that Disney has not jumped all over this dream marketing opportunity aside from just a measly t-shirt.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sonics Live on...

In 06, Gary Payton hits two Finals game winners and earns a ring in Miami.

In 07, Brent Barry wins a ring with the Spurs.

In 08, Ray Allen destroys the Lakers in route to a ring.

In 09, Rashard Lewis magically stuns the Lakers in route to a ring.

The SUPERSONICS live on as champions...

Monday, June 01, 2009


I could be writing about the tons of storylines coming out of the NBA right now, ranging from the Clippers winning the draft lottery, Lebron and the Cavs failing to win the East, the emergence of the Orlando Magic, The Finals, the loads of topics to choose from with the Lakers...

But instead I am actually excited about the Electronic Entertainment Expo, specifically the release of a pair of trailers for the upcoming Halo games.

Halo 3: ODST

Reach Falls Teaser.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Via TrueHoop:

Alok Pattani of ESPN Statistics and Information Research has done something fabulous: He has come up with basketball things that are about as likely as this or that team winning the lottery:

• The Kings are 25% likely to win the top spot, which is about as likely as Kevin Martin scoring more than 30 points in any given game.
• The Wizards have a 17.8% shot, which is about how often they lost a game by 20 or more points this season.
• The Clippers are 17.7% likely to win. That's roughly how often Eric Gordon scored 25+ points.
• The Thunder have an 11.9% chance at the top spot. That's about as likely as Kevin Durant shooting over 60% from the field for a whole game.
• The Timberwolves have a 7.6% chance of winning the lottery. That's about as common as this year's Timberwolves winning consecutive games.
• The Grizzlies have a 7.5% chance of winning, which is about as likely as the Grizzlies having a 50-win season.
• The Warriors, with a 4.3% chance, are about as likely to win the lottery as they are to hold an opponent below 90 points in a game.
• The Knicks likelihood of winning, 2.8%, is about the same as their likelihood of shooting fewer than 20 3-pointers in a game.
• The Raptors are as likely to win (1.7%) as Jose Calderon is to likely to miss a free throw.
• Michael Redd is as likely to make five straight 3-pointers as the Bucks, with a 1% chance, are likely to win the lottery.
• The Nets are as likely (0.9%) to see Devin Harris, as a Net, having a 40-point, 10-assist game as they are to win the lottery.
• The Bobcats chances of winning (0.7%) are roughly the same as their likelihood of going on a six-game winning streak.
• The Pacers have 0.6% chance at the top spot. Troy Murphy, as a Pacer, scores 25+ points about 0.6% of the time.
Shaquille O'Neal is about as likely to make eight straight free throws as the Suns are to win the lottery, with a 0.5% likelihood.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Soulsearching in Laker Nation

Via TrueHoop:

On Silver Screen and Roll, a guest post from someone calling himself Frying Dutchman explains that his heart will always be high on these Lakers, but his mind is extraordinarily frustrated with what he sees as a lack of effort:

If the Lakers win the championship, part of me will be disappointed. The part of me that thinks that effort and hard work are important and should be rewarded. The part of me that gets angry at how unfair the world is. Because that's exactly what it will be. If the Lakers win it all this year, it will be unfair. Unfair to the game of basketball. Unfair to all the past champions. Unfair to the Houston Rockets, who lost their 2nd best player in the regular season, and got better. Who lost their best player for the playoffs, and came out and played harder. It was bad enough when Shaq would take half the regular season getting into shape, but this? Those teams never took entire playoff games off. The Lakers today were the Detroit Pistons, a team with much of the same talent that had them go to the EC finals 5 years straight, and yet this year saw them limp into the playoffs before getting swept as a mere formality. The Lakers today were the LA Clippers, a motley assortment of players who could care less about the team. The Lakers today weren't champions, and they don't deserve to be champions.

My heart doesn't work on logic, so I'll be there in front of my TV rooting the team on like I always do for Game 5. But in the back of my mind, I'll be hoping that one of these teams comes along and finally gives these Lakers the lesson they deserve, that some group of guys dedicated to each other and to playing the game as best they can ALL THE TIME drives the point home to my team and makes them suffer for it. We all thought it would have happened last year, but it didn't. Maybe it can't happen, maybe its a lesson the team will never learn. But my mind will be hoping for a hungrier team to come and ruin the Lakers season again, because my mind does work on logic. My mind seeks justice.

Even if it costs my heart the chance to celebrate a championship.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Clipper Darrell

My fellow brown writer Arash Markazi has a great feature on my main man Clipper Darrell. It is especially cool for me to be reading about these guys who I have had the opportunity to have multiple conversations with during my times wandering around Staples Center during Clipper games.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Big Baby

I have loads of thoughts on what was another great classic weekend of NBA Playoff basketball, but I will leave it as just a few:

  • The Los Angeles Lakers are not a championship team. The title teams of Jordan's Bulls and Duncan's Spurs would never take opposing teams so lightly like the Lakers did Sunday. The Lakers played with more laziness than I would on a Sunday matinee game, except that is their career that they get paid to perform on national television. My dislike for the Lakers and their many bandwagon fans is well documented, but now I have really turned against this particular team. Playing defense and showing effort seems like such a chore to this group of overly skilled yet sadly lackadaisical individuals.
  • The Lakers winning the title would be an insult to basketball enthusiasts such as myself, and even more so to other playoff teams such as the Cavs, Celtics, and Rockets who leave it all on the floor every game.
  • Remember how Kevin Garnett shouted at Glen "Big Baby" Davis with such intensity that he cried on the bench earlier this season? You could not have written the end of that story better than with Big Baby hitting an unlikely game winner filling in for Garnett during the playoffs.
  • If defense breeds championships, what to the Lakers deserve? I vote for a fishing trip.
  • Each series has been led by the team with more former Seattle Sonics. Just saying.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ron Witnesses Murder

Ron Artest on the madness during last night's physical Lakers Rockets game, which featured two ejections:

"I understand it's the playoffs. I remember when I used to play back home in the neighborhood. There was always games like that. I remember one time, there was um, one of my friends, you know, was playing basketball and they was winning the game. It was so competitive they broke a piece of leg from a table and they threw it. It went right through his heart and he died right on the court. So I'm accustomed to playing basketball really rough."

Monday, May 04, 2009

Oh Yao, you so funny

Yao to teammate Ron Artest as he left the podium after a win:
"See you in the club"

Yao on whether he viewed the Rockets as underdogs against the Lakers:
"Well I just learned that word a few days ago. Like NBA says...where amazing happens."

Boston-Chicago: Amazing

Boston-Chicago Top 10

The Top Ten Moments of the Boston-Chicago Series.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Laker Bandwagon

My Facebook profile picture, shown above, has gotten a lot of attention as the Lakers begin their playoff run. In response to all the Laker fans commenting on the accompanying status update, here is what my main man Ali G had to say:

V, the funny thing is, I lived in L.A. during the Suns murdering the Lakers years and these "diehards" were nowhere to be found.

The true diehard Louisiana sports fan hit the nail on the head, and I responded with this rant that turned out so good, I had to post it:

So glad you said that as I could not agree with you more. I am not so much a Laker Hater as I am in disgust with their fans. I understand winning breeds the bandwagon, but I cannot stand how all these people who know nothing about basketball, never watch full games, or even follow the Lakers during the season are suddenly talking trash, displaying flags, and cheering on the local team only when they happen to be the best in the league.

A large number of supposed fans still do not even know who Tex Winter or Shannon Brown is. And the next girl who exclaims "I love Ariza!" and cannot even tell me his first name deserves to be Rihanna-ed by Chris Brown.

I am not saying that knowing about certain people is the absolute qualifier to determine if you are a fan or not. In fact, we all love the nature of sports and how a team's success can bring groups of people and an entire city together. I encourage everyone to enjoy this quality that is the brilliance of sports, but please stop pretending like you have been there for it all. It is an insult to those who truly have.

Ali G, you are absolutely right. When the Lakers are mediocre, these "die-hards" are nowhere to be found. But that is the nature of Los Angeles. As great as this place is, we are just a sorry sports town. Like I admire and respect you sticking with your Saints and Hornets despite 3-13 and 58...oops, sorry.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Perhaps this is why men are reluctant to share with their mom. Turns out Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel, 19, is really somehow dating Freida Pinto. Go figure.

Excuse me, while I go listen to Latika's Theme before dreaming/sleeping...

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Got up too early in over excitement for this wonderful Saturday featuring a quadruple header of NBA Playoff games and the NFL Draft, so I decided to play around with the NBA's new video library. I immediately sorted their "amazing" clicks by team, only to find out in horror that the Seattle Sonics are not one of the franchises listed, and consequently might as well have had all their memorable highlights wiped away. Ouch.

Updated: However, upon further examination, there are clips of the Suns, Nuggets, and Bulls beating the Sonics in the playoffs. Great. Just great.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Stuff

Much thanks goes to all the visitors who made yesterday the most popular day in this blog's three year (!) history. I encourage new readers to check out some of the older stuff and skimming through the archives on the right sidebar. For the regulars, note the new addition of my Twitter feed on the top right as well as a cool NBA widget way down at the bottom that I find quite helpful viewing the schedule by clicking on the 'Upcoming Games' tab.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Team Revisited

My main man Ajay Patel and I have developed the habit of swapping e-mails that tend to have more insight than our respective blogs. I have been meaning to translate this to you guys for a while now, until our most recent exchange brought upon a rant that just had to be shared.

AP: Would you rather be in your situation with the Sonics, having gone through all the glories and success (not being measured in championships here), but having it taken away from you, or would you rather be more in my boat, a [die hard Clippers fan] who is on a perennial loser at this point until we get rid of our owner?

I do not really know what glory and winning is, because I've tasted it once, but it was too short; it's like giving a hungry man one bite of delicious food, it just leaves him hungrier than he was before.

I know this is a biased question, in the sense that I expect an answer along the lines of 'of course I'd want the Sonics, I am a Sonics fan through and through,' so I don't really know what I'm trying to get out of this question. I guess I'm asking you to take a step back from your current state and try and look at this in an unbiased frame of reference.

VM: In regards to the Sonics/Clippers dilemma, I have mixed feelings. Allow me to explain…

Working at the Clippers, you get this new feeling of indifference that everyone else has in the front office. Aside from the occasional Steve Novak game winner, Mike Taylor dunk, Eric Gordon getting hot, and the sheer shock and joy during an upset of the Celtics, the people who work for the Clippers really do not care about the outcome anymore. You know how you are rooting for teams to win or lose every series? I cannot do that anymore. I simply do not care if say, the Spurs or Mavs win their series. But I certainly enjoyed the show that Tony Parker put on last night. Apply this feeling to every series. I am enjoying them, but I cannot heavily invest myself or find a rooting interest. I am not sure why this has happened. Perhaps it is the Sonics demise. Perhaps it is the fact that I am getting older and have pretty much seen it all in basketball having watched closely for nearly two decades already.

It is an odd feeling. It is sort of like watching '24' this season and not caring about Jack Bauer's health because you know he is going to survive somehow. But we still enjoy the dramatic and thrilling twists and turns along the way. Or like in 'Friday Night Lights,' you have to know that Coach Taylor, Tim Riggins, and Lyla Garrity are not going anywhere. So instead of getting wrapped up in the emotion of the story and the "will they really leave the show?" subplots, you start to overanalyze the writing and appreciate the brilliance of it all even more.

So this indifference does lead to a better perspective. Having seen every team courtside this year, having talked about basketball nonstop with fellow sports geeks, having sucked the knowledge and insight out of the top journalists, commentators, executives, and coaches, the perspective that I have on basketball is at an all time high this year for me. You and I are pretty smart basketball players and observers, but this year I find myself noticing things that I never noticed before. The guys who I watch and chat with during playoff games have been making fun of me because I will often make an observation only to have the color commentator say the same exact thing moments later. This has been happening repeatedly every game. I no longer watch basketball as a fan, I am watching games as someone who is…well, very close to the game.

Now, as a fan. In the season finale of the Clippers, ironically a 41 point loss to the Thunder, there was a whole mess of green in the stands. That is, there were more Sonics colors in the crowd than Thunder colors. I made friends with a group of them. There is a certain nostalgia factor that comes with having your team completely gone. We appreciate our history now that we do not have a present.

One thing that I will forever miss is that nervousness that comes with great games that your team is involved in. I distinctly remember running around my living room not being able to sit still on Sunday afternoons whenever the Sonics were in a close game on NBC. Some of the most enjoyable days of my life was when the Sonics beat the Lakers. I recall the year the Sonics swept Shaq’s Lakers. Just imagine the pride I had at that point. The Celtics and Bulls have just opened their series with two of the best games ever to open a playoffs. I loved seeing Ray Allen redeem himself and take over Game 2, but I felt bad that, well, I did not FEEL the emotion that should come with a game like that. You have seen me when I watch the Seahawks play some of their ridiculous games, often against the Rams. The emotion that comes with those ups and downs, hopes and fears, joys and despairs…simply cannot be replaced by anything else.

Sure, I understand, appreciate, and learn about the game more, and a lot of it can only come with indifference. But perhaps it is better to be ignorant to these things, and enjoy the bliss that comes with being a passionate fan.

Note that for the final several years of the Sonics’ existence (wow that is painful to say), they might as well have been the Clippers. The front office was a mess, owner was useless, our star players were gone, and we only made the second round once. But the Sonics run in the 1990s are the main motivating factor for whatever passion I have for basketball today, so I would not trade that away for anything. Even during the last few years, there was always hope that we would return to the glory of winning. And that hope was rightfully justified. I do not recall a team with such a bad record that everyone thinks has such a bright future like the Thunder do right now. Problem with the Clippers is that the hope there is NOT justified. Even with a couple young promising stars, this same core that won 19 measly games is pretty much going to be the same for the next couple years. And you can say that for most seasons they have. Of course I would rather have a team, even if it meant a losing one, but only if they were in fact MY SEATTLE SUPERSONICS. But the Clippers? It is just so demoralizing, that if I had to do it again for another year, I fear that I would die even more inside.


Cavaliers Playoff Proposal

Saturday, April 18, 2009


As I sit here enjoying the brilliance of the NBA Playoffs, I cannot help but miss the emotion that comes with watching and following a team that one is heavily invested in. Not that I needed another reminder, but Forbes Magazine reminds me of our misery in this regard.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thank You, John

Legendary color commentator John Madden retired today. As much fun as it was to pick on him when he would say something so blatantly obvious and funny, there was no one better at offering analysis and giving viewers a sense of the game. It seemed every time I sat down to watch a prime time game called by Madden, I would learn something new about football. Considering he retired decades ago, John Madden managed to somehow bring a contemporary coach's perspective to his broadcasts. His legacy may live on through the memories created in his video game and well as the Madden Curse. In any event, John Madden will be missed. Good thing we have the brilliant Cris Collinsworth to fill the large void.

Monday, April 13, 2009

If Your IM Buddy List Was Honest

From Holy Taco:

Your IM buddy chat window is filled with pseudonyms for all of your friends, but when you read it, you know who you're really talking to:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Zach Gilford

Just when you thought I could not love Friday Night Lights any more than I already do, Sports Illustrated's Jimmy Traina sits down to interview Zach Gilford, who plays Matt Saracen on FNL. Zach Gilford admits he is dating Amber Lancaster, who is a Maxim model and...wait for it...former Seattle Seahawks cheerleader.

UPDATE: Twitter's brilliance comes into play as FNL gets picked up for the next two seasons. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts...Can't Lose!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Riggins & Renewal

An interview with Taylor Kitsch, who plays Gambit in Wolverine and Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights, only makes me love the show even more.

The only time I have been this excited about a potential TV show renewal was when NBC shelled out for Friends.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UC changes

New changes to the University of California eligibility standards have reopened the doors of conversation on the demographics of students, where we find this nugget:

And although Asians account for only 12 percent of the state's population, they represent 37 percent of UC admissions.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Normally this is where you would find some sort of tribute or analysis to what was yet another great Super Bowl, but I could not help but feel a sense of deja vu as the Steelers took control of the Super Bowl thanks to a series of flags, which also reminded me of the early motivations for how this blog got started in the first place.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Rethinking the Laker Hate

Disclaimers: The following does not have as much to do with me meeting and speaking to most of the team a couple weeks ago as you think. (Rubbing it in the faces of those who would have appreciated it far more is more enjoyable). The following is also a gradual process that has been on my mind for quite a while now, so it is not some quick blasphemous about face.

Via True Hoop:

Josh Tucker of Hardwood Paroxysm: "Look, I get that you hate the Lakers. I really do. But going off like a ticking time bomb every time the Lakers get a break, and then looking the other way when they get a raw deal, doesn't make you clever, witty, or insightful. It makes you boring, predictable, and tired, not to mention completely unoriginal.

While we're at it, so does criticizing Lakers fans for being 'bandwagon fans,' or for being arrogant, smug, or condescending. Your anti-Lakers bandwagon is just as cliché, and your self-righteous attitude toward Lakers fans is just as arrogant, smug, and condescending."

Hmm. I have to say I agree. For years, my rationale towards the Lakers had a lot to do with their annoying fans who knew nothing about basketball, rarely followed or watched the sport enough to justify their irrational passion, and only proclaimed their love for the team when they were winning. But now, my old maverick way of thinking has become the norm amongst Laker Haters. The hatred of the bandwagon is...well, bandwagon I often find it painfully difficult to hold a conversation with Laker fans. They are just too irrational and ignorant to debate intelligently and learn from each other.

However, as I have aged and matured so have my peers. Working in the front office of an NBA team full of knowledgeable and experienced professionals, I am beginning to appreciate the wisdom of SOME Laker fans. Before you dismiss me as a traitor, understand that I have always had an appreciation for the Lakers tradition and legacy, and I have always followed the team. Anyway, this is just so you all know where I stand.

That being said, I still look forward to the Lakers crushing their fans when they lose to Boston/Cleveland/Orlando in The Finals.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Random Rants: Mancrush

I love Gary Payton on TNT. He brought back the Charles Barkley elements of fun and laughter, with the added element of severe trashtalking.

Yours truly has the distinct honor of working tonight's game at Staples Center between the 9-32 Los Angeles Clippers and the 9-34 Oklahoma City Thunder. The loser takes possession of the worst record in the NBA

On a less sarcastic note, I truly did have the honor of hanging out courtside for the recent Lakers Clippers game. Props to the Clippers scrubs for keeping it a competitive and entertaining game, until Kobe Bryant and company just decided to quit playing around. I have many stories from this eventful night, which some of you have already heard the highlights of.

One of the great things I took away though, is that it is truly an amazing experience to see the Lakers in action. Not only do they feature the best of the best of the best athletes and basketball players, but Kobe Bryant himself is on a whole another level. We often hear commentators speak of Kobe's eyes and body language, and how you can tell when he is about to take over a game. I always thought this was a bit of an exaggeration, but it is truly something that you can witness up close. When Kobe kicks it in to a higher gear, everyone paying attention courtside notices first. Then he makes a play on defense, brings the ball up, maybe some of the crowd picks up. on what is about to happen. Then everyone oohs and ahhs before cheering as he schools whichever pour soul is guarding him, gets to the rim, and makes a ridiculous athletic move that we have grown to accustomed to seeing for years either on television or far away buried in the crowd. But watching this all unfold just a few feet away is a whole another experience. It seems like Kobe is faster, stronger, smarter, and just better than everyone else in the building as he moves around and leaps over defenders. There is a reason why it costs $2,500 to sit courtside for a Lakers game. It may be ridiculous, but so is the show you get to see up close.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How My Heart Sinks

Tons of thoughts formulated moments ago while watching President Barack Obama's inauguration at UC Irvine's Anteater Bar & Pub, but none more important than the following.

When Obama said, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers," the bar full of students and teacher assistants had scattered applause and cheers immediately following the term, "non-believers."

Witnessing this, my heart sank. It saddens me that such a young and intelligent group full of hope and potential would actually be proud of the fact that they do not know the Lord. In fact, some of them seem to be proud of rejecting the Lord, presumably because they have never had the proper opportunity.

Folks, as great as Obama seems to be, as great as his rhetoric and inspiring words are, and even as great as his presidency may indeed turn out to be, he is no God. He cannot not solve your problems. He cannot bestow tons of blessings on you. He cannot wash away your sins, and he sure as hell will not die on a cross for you. Instead of idolizing and anointing Obama as some living deity, these same otherwise smart people should check out what Jesus had to say, and see that his actions actually followed through on his powerful words.

So if you want to cheer for something, it begins with the Bible and prayer.
If you want to have someone to cheer for, look no further than the Man upstairs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Top 50 Sportscasters

The top 50 Sportscasters as voted by the American Sportscasters Association:

1. Vin Scully
2. Mel Allen
3. Red Barber
4. Curt Gowdy
5. Howard Cosell
6. Bob Costas
7. Jim McKay
8. Keith Jackson
9. Al Michaels
10. Dick Enberg

11. Jack Buck
12. Ted Husing
13. Jack Brickhouse
14. Don Dunphy
15. Graham McNamee
16. Ernie Harwell
17. Marv Albert
18. Harry Caray
19. Jon Miller
20. Bill Stern

Chick-hearn.jpg21. Chick Hearn
22. Marty Glickman
23. Jack Whitaker
24. Jim Nantz
25. Chris Schenkel
26. Lindsey Nelson
27. Russ Hodges
28. Ray Scott
29. John Madden
30. Bob Prince

31. Joe Buck
32. Milo Hamilton
33. Bob Wolff
34. Chuck Thompson
35. Chris Berman
36. Phil Rizzuto
37. Marty Brennaman
38. Clem McCarthy
39. Bill Walton
40. Foster Hewitt

41. Harry Kalas
42. Johnny Most
43. Bob Elson
44. Brent Musberger
45. Pat Summerall
46. Merle Harmon
47. Dick Vitale
48. Dick Stockton
49. Tony Kubek
50. Bud Collins

Leave it to Calvin and Hobbes

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 Year in Review

2006 Year in Review

2007 Year in Review

  • Ohio State falls in the BCS Championship again, this time to LSU, 38-24.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers acquire Pau Gasol in one of the most lopsided trades of all time, immediately cementing their return to status as one of the NBA's premier teams,
  • The New York Giants stun the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, highlighted by one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history.
  • March Madness ends with the Kansas Jayhawks defeating the Memphis Tigers 75-68 in overtime. Five Jayhawks were drafted into the NBA.
  • I am sure lots of stuff happened, but I was too busy playing GTA IV to notice.
  • I am sure lots of stuff happened, but I was too busy watching the NBA Playoffs to notice.
  • In the NBA's dream mathup, The Boston Celtics only need five games to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in The Finals, featuring a 24 point comeback and a 39 point championship clinching blowout.
  • The Madden Curse strikes early as the Brett Favre soap opera peaks, eventually resulting in his unretirement and reinstatement followed by the subsequent trade from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets.

  • Michael Phelps becomes the story of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, capturing eight gold medals and breaking a ridiculous number of records.
  • The Seattle SuperSonics are officially nonexistent as the Oklahoma City Thunder debuts its name and colors. Ugh.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies defeat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series, which had its clinching game posponed for two days due to rain.
  • Barack Obama wins the 2008 Presidential Election.
  • One year after the New England Patriots complete the first ever 16-0 season, the Detroit Lions balance it out with the first ever 0-16 season.