Thursday, June 22, 2006
And since we're on the subject, that's a pretty open-ended statement, because I'm not really clear on what the question is. That's all well and good if the question was "What if my house burns down, my wife leaves me for my best friend, and none of my 9 kids are mine?" Then, there's only two possible answers: "Jesus," or "Beer." But what if the question is "What's two plus two?" Answering "Jesus" will probably make Jesus happy, but my teacher at Clown College isn't likely to be impressed. That is the just the kind of idiot answer that'll get you kicked out of your special ed classes, kids. At that point, they'll figure you're just a lost cause and you'll spend the rest of your life being that person who gets paid to eat things in the back of the bar. And it's just a matter of time before "rat poison" is one of the things you're getting paid to eat, stupid. Then, you'll get to see up close just how pleased Jesus was with that answer. I'm betting you'll just be the odds-on favorite to get laughed at by Jesus that day.
Therefore, the lesson here is, don't listen to bumper stickers unless they have directions to a bar or a strip club. I don't want my bumper stickers telling me who the president is, because I've already got plenty of newspapers and TV channels that I already avoid for trying to share that information with me. And I don't want my bumper stickers trying to convert me. It's hard enough slamming the door in the faces of Jehovah's Witnesses on Saturday mornings and now, I have to ignore it on the freeway, as well.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
30. Portland. The worst team in the league. You shouldn't expect anything less from a team that employs Darius Miles and insists that Zach Randolph is an elite player. And the future doesn't look bright, because you can't see that far down the road. They keep drafting high school players. You're better off burning down everything and starting over.
29. New York. I have written more than enough about this team. But the drama persists, because they still haven't decided what they're going to do about Larry Brown. I have a suggestion: Get the fuck out of his way...and show Isiah the door. And trade most of the team, starting with Marbury. If no one will take his contract, you can always shoot him. I'm sure the contract is insured. There's only one positive thing that I can say about this team: At least they're not the absolute worst team in the league.
28. Atlanta. After a few years of having no hope, I can actually see some positive things going on there. Billy Knight is still irritating me, though, and Mike Woodson is likely to be fired soon. And there's still a whole lotta drama in that front office. But Josh Smith is improving by leaps and bounds every day. And they've got the number 5 pick in the draft. Joe Johnson is steady and Al Harrington is still good trade bait. With the right moves, the Hawks could be on their way. Just make sure Billy Knight isn't in the driver's seat. I mean, seriously...I wouldn't have drafted Marvin Williams over most anyone that was taken in the first round, let alone Chris Paul.
27. Minnesota. It's bad enough that Kevin Garnett has had to play most of his career in a place where it's almost a certainty that no one will see him play. But for 10 years, Kevin HcHale has wasted this man's talent so much that you'd think he had a vendetta against him. One of the top 10 players in the league and you couldn't get him not ONE good player to stand alongside him? Not even by accident? A draft pick...something? Just trade him...you can't do nothing with him.
26. Charlotte. Nothing really to say here. They're doing what expansion teams do at this stage: Lose and lose big.
25. Golden State. Stop hiring these damn college coaches. That's about as bad as drafting high school players. You need someone who can put Baron Davis in his place and Mike Montgomery is not the man to do it. That's why you still didn't make the playoffs, regardless of all the talent on this team.
24. Toronto. They fired Rob Babcock and hired Bryan Colangelo as general manager. They have a good young front line. Watch as this team fleeces some, stupider idiot team out of draft picks and good players. It'll probably be New York.
23. Houston. They have a good young center in Yao Ming, who's finally starting to get it together, partnered with one of the most dynamic scorers in the league. Unfortunately for them, that scorer is Tracy McGrady and has proven to be a fragile as peanut brittle. The plus to that is that it forced Yao to stand on his own and it worked. Then, he broke his foot. They can't win for losing. And they lost a LOT.
22. Boston. Too good to get a good draft pick, too bad to make the playoffs. Much like Minnesota, they're wasting Paul Pierce's best years on a youth movement with high schoolers that might not ever produce. Never thought I'd say it, but I'm sure they regret losing Antoine Walker and Gary Payton. How's that Al Jefferson/Kendrick Perkins combo working out for you, Danny Ainge?
21. Seattle. Well, at least Bob Hill is a head coach again. I hope he wins a championship, while standing on the back of that fraud, Gregg Popovich.
20. Orlando. On the verge of becoming a power in the East once again, thanks to Dwight Howard. And ironically, in a year when both Brian Hill and Penny Hardaway returned to Orlando. Of course, Hardaway was released the next day, but for about 12 hours, it felt like the good ol' days...back when Penny was getting Brian Hill fired. Only this time, it was the other way around.
19. New Orleans/Oklahoma City. As long as they make Chris Paul happy, they'll be alright. And good job, Byron Scott. Your team did far more than I ever thought they would.
18. Philadelphia. You might as well trade Allen Iverson. It's not like you've tried to get him help since he's been there. And he actually wanted to be in Philly. How do so many idiot GMs keep getting jobs? It's not hard to build around a superstar talent. It really isn't. And if it is, it can't be nearly as hard as these retards are making it.
17. Utah. This team has made it about as far as it's going to in its current form. Jerry Sloan can only get rose petals out of shit for so long. Nothing against Andrei Kirilenko. He's actually very good. The best power forward you've never heard of.
16. Milwaukee. They're in a prime position to make some noise in the East. All they need is a defensive swingman and for Andrew Bogut to keep developing like he is. TJ Ford has been deadly and Michael Redd seems to have forgotten that got his big contract LAST YEAR. You don't have to play so hard, big boy. You're already paid.
15. Sacramento. I never thought the Ron Artest/Peja Stojakovic deal would work out like it has. Artest anchoring a terrible defense actually made it good. It would have been better if Mr. and Mrs. Doug Christie were still in town, though. Even still, they almost toppled the Spurs in the playoffs. Let's not get crazy, though. Artest is still Artest. He might start off next season driving a car into the scorer's table or something.
14. Chicago. The Eastern Conference's scrappiest team. They won 9 out of 10 to make the playoffs, then beat Miami twice, including once at home. I am so proud of this team, especially after dropping that dead weight, Eddy Curry, and picking up a comparable player AND two first round draft picks (which are sure to be good, because the Knicks are SO bad). A big guard and a post player should be the order of the day. And to get Tyson Chandler on weight gainer. Maybe they could lipo Michael Sweetney and inject it in Tyson Chandler.
13. LA Lakers. Please, please, please...get off Kobe Bryant's dick. And for that matter, same with Kwame Brown...myself included. I really ran that guy down, but I was proud as hell to see him man up in the playoffs. Sure, he fumbled a few balls and he made some mistakes. But for the first time, he showed some of the promise that made him the number 1 pick in the draft. Here's hoping that he improves on what he showed against Phoenix. And for the first time, Lamar Odom didn't look like he wanted to hurl the ball into Kobe's face.
12. Indiana. It completely baffles me how this team keeps winning. I...I just don't get it. No backcourt players to speak of, soft inside. They shouldn't ever win games. And yet they do. I think my head is about to explode.
11. LA Clippers. Their best season in 30 years. There's a lot to like here. Sam Cassell, the old vet, hitting big shots and teaching this team how to win. And yes, he still looks like a bug. Elton Brand, MVP Candidate and walking 20-10. Shaun Livingston, the future of this franchise. Even Corey Maggette, who I still believe should have stayed in school, played well. And on top of all of that, on top of dominating the Lakers, on top of being the feel good story of the year, they made the second round of the playoffs and pushed Phoenix to 7 games. Everyone should be proud of this team.
This team will probably make the playoffs just to spite me. I hate Isiah Thomas.
10. Washington. Without Gilbert Arenas, this team would be dead in the water. Sure, they'd flounder around for a little while, like the snake that hasn't realized that his head was cut off. But once they realize that Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler can't do it without the guy who really lives to take the big shots, let the losing streaks roll. Other than that, they're a good team.
9. Memphis. Probably the most boring team in the league. And that's saying something when you've still got San Antonio around. Of course, maybe that's the strategy. For those who remember back that, Mike Fratello was also coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers back when the plan was to purposefully slow the game down to a crawl. They were winning games in the high 70s, boring their fans to sleep and in the process, I believe...their opponents. I believe that could be what's going on here. I'm getting sleepy just writing about them.
8. Cleveland. LeBron James is going to be the best player in the NBA. I'm sure the NBA would love for him to be in New York instead of podunk Cleveland. Other than this, I find no other reason to talk about Cleveland. And Bone sucks.
7. Denver. It must suck to be Carmelo Anthony. First, he's overshadowed by Lebron James from the gate. Then, he's overshadowed by Dwyane Wade. And I personally have jokes about how Darko got a ring before ALL of them. And on top of all of that, he's had a better team around around him from day one. And they continue to underachieve, year after year.
6. New Jersey. Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson. You have potentially the most explosive fast break in the league. Why are these dumbasses walking the ball up court and running a half-court offense? Why aren't they the Phoenix Suns done right? You can't run a half court offense when you have no one in the middle! Washington knows this. Seattle knows this. Phoenix knows this. Why can't New Jersey seem to catch on? And where the fuck is Kerry Kittles? Why can't someone pull some strings and bring him back?
5. San Antonio. Some very key truths were realized about this team. One, they need to get that Tim Duncan/free throw situation under control. I mean, my God...Shaq was laughing at you. Two, Tony Parker needs to find a jumpshot. Somewhere. Anywhere. Three, perimeter defense. You have none. Four, speed. Preferably on the perimeter, so your defense can use it. Who exposed all of this? Dallas, the team who has all of that. If Tim Duncan should shoot free throws, he'd be Dirk Nowitzki. If Tony Parker could shoot, he'd be Jason Terry. And they've got Josh Howard defending on the perimeter, not Brent Barry. It's no wonder Dallas went to the Finals.
4. Phoenix. For the last two years, they've gotten closer and closer to shoving the theory that defense wins championships up our asses. I don't think there's anything left to say.
3. Detroit. I wrote this entire two parter because of this team right here. I wanted to vent my frustrations at them and couldn't make it a long enough entry. Detroit, you have let success go to your head. That's why you didn't win. You have fallen into the belief that you are an elite team, and you are not. You thought that you were Shaq's Lakers or Michael's Bulls, that you could turn it on when you needed to. And who's the worst offender of them all? No, not Rasheed Wallace (although he needs to learn that he's unstoppable on the low block and eminently stoppable beyond the arc...guess where he spends most of his time?). Chauncey Billups. Apparently, you have officially bought into your own hype. All this "Mr. Big Shot" stuff went straight to your head, because every chance you got, you were trying to hit yet another ill-selected three pointer. All of you need to realize that if Larry Brown was there, there wouldn't have been any of that. He wanted you to play a certain way because it works. You got a championship playing that way. All that freewheeling crap you tried this year, sure it works in the regular season. But you know better than any other team that it doesn't work in the playoffs. And your defense? Atrocious. I hope you all learned your lesson. I also hope there was a fleeting chance that someone in the Pistons organization would read this.
2. Dallas. I remember when this team was setting records for regular season futility. Now, I just got finished watching them play in their first Finals. It's like watching that little half-stupid cousin of yours grow up. You remember that day you saw him with a pot on his head and ramming it into the wall and you thought, "I should probably get used to looking at him through bars." And fast forward to today, when he's 22 years old and picking up his GED, and you think, "I just knew this joker was gonna get shot robbing liquor stores." That's kinda how I feel watching the Mavericks make the Finals. They're the retarded cousin who defied the odds to not be the losers that you expected them to be. But they're still losers.
1. Miami. Not the best team in the NBA, not by far. They defied the odds, too. The new generation of NBA fan said that this kind of team was dead. A team that relies on one or two superstars to carry a team to the championship. A team not unlike Shaq and Kobe or Michael and Scottie. The wave of the future was supposed to be teams that played as a team, and didn't run isolation sets all the time. Especially after that 2002 World Basketball Championships fiasco. Well, the Miami Heat said, "screw that noise, jack...we're riding the Dwyane Wade bandwagon until the wheels fall off. Old school 'till we die." Except that "old school" was actually just 4 years ago. Who would have expected that mess to actually work?
But these Finals were among some of the best, I think. Dallas made a believer out of me, toppling the defending champion Spurs. I won't say that the Finals were decided by the refs, but if a couple of calls had gone the other way, Dallas could be holding up that trophy instead of Miami.
There were a ton of shining stars in the playoffs this year, players who rose to the occasion to get their teams into the playoffs and beyond. There were a bunch of great series, probably the most great series overall that Ive ever seen. It seemed like, even in the first round (the best first round, ever), I was telling people, you need to watch this. These are the series, players, moments that if you didnt see, you should be kicking yourself in the ass. So many big shots. So many great performances. So much heart displayed. So many close games. So many game 7s. It really cant get much better than this.
Theres only one moment thats not here, that should be: David Stern having to hand the Larry OBrien trophy to Mark Cuban and pretend to be nice to him. Would have been hours of amusement.
Dwyane Wade. Mispelled name aside, he was the brightest star on the grandest stage in the NBA. If not for this man, Shaq might not have beaten Kobe back to the Finals. So, in your face, Kobe Bryant. And speaking of Kobe, that's where the Michael Jordan comparisons should begin and end. Comparing Wade and Jordan is like comparing battleships and horse racing. Compare Jordan to the guy who completed bit his game, not the guy who plays nothing like him. The only things similar about these guys is the athleticism and the fact that Wade is from Chicago. That's really about it. If, in your eyes, he hasn't stepped out of MJ's shadow as of tonight, you need to just go ahead and gouge those eyes out.
Anyway, the boy is just a cold-blooded assassin and one of the true good guys in this league. He's not out there talking trash, he doesn't play dirty, he's confident, not cocky. He seems to be very respectful of the game and lastly, the boy just can't be stopped. His midrange game is just nasty, plus, he's got AI-type quickness to go with his MJ-like explosiveness. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm older than he is, I would wear this man's jersey proudly.
LeBron James. We saw the emergence of yet another superstar. Once they get someone to play with this guy, you might as well pencil him in for his championship, too. Don't compare him to Michael, either. They don't even play the same goddamn position.
The battles between this man and Wade are going to be some kinda spectacular. The games they had in the regular season were just a teaser for what the playoffs will bring in the future. Like Wade, LeBron James just couldn't be stopped. There was no answer for him. All season long, he carried the city of Cleveland on his back and took it right into the chest of the Detroit Pistons. The game that this man has at 21 years old is just scary, because basketball players don't reach their peak until about 27 or 28. And the poise and confidence he plays with alreadydid anyone else see when he rattled Gilbert Arenas at the free throw line? The last time I saw anyone do what he did to shake a player at the line, it was Charles Barkley, whispering his words of encouragement. That was bold. So, if he's this good NOW...how good will he be at 28? He had NBA level court vision and an NBA physique at 17. I guess by 28, he's just going to be playing with his eyes closed and hovering above the floor at all times.
The Suns/Lakers series. Probably the best series in this year's playoffs, for my money. Which was none. The Lakers were written off from the door, except by people who actually watched the Suns and Lakers play. I wasn't betting against the Lakers and boldly proclaimed that if the first round was still a best of five, the Lakers would take it. And well, I was almost proven right. Phoenix (especially Tim Thomas) foiled the hopes of a city (LA) to have a Hallway series between the Lakers and Clippers in the next round. A seven game series, played entirely in one building. Thanks for screwing that up, Phoenix. But it was a hard fought series between two teams who had achieved more this season than they had any right to. Which brings me to...
Steve Nash. I still don't think he's the MVP, but his passing skills and deadly jump shot, especially at the end of games, make him one of the elite players in this league, defense be damned. For what this team is doing, he doesn't need to be great on defense. He keeps the offense doing what it needs to do. And what it needs to do is trample your ass in the fast break.
Kobe Bryant. All his detractors should be sufficiently shut up. Yeah, he didn't have the best game 7 against the Suns, but he was doing what you all wanted him to do: pass the ball. See, Kobe is damned, no matter what he does. When he scored 81, you said he was hogging the ball. When he was passing to his teammates, you said he wasn't shooting enough. I'm sure I said it, too. But one other thing I said: Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA, period. If you don't believe it, you're just a hater, because he's already proven it. Kobe Bryant is the single most unstoppable force in the NBA today. And he plays defense. End of story.
Shaquille O'Neal. He's done. You should have realized this midway through the season. The thing is, it happened around the same time that Dwyane Wade no longer needed him, so he still got a ring, anyway. And he'll be making $20 million a year for four more years. And his wife is a dime. Fuck you, Shaq. I'm so jealous of you that I can't stand it.
Cavaliers/Pistons series. You thought LeBron James was impressive going shot for shot with Gilbert Arenas. To me, he was even more impressive here, taking on the Detroit Pistons. I think he might have found his nemesis. Ironically, its the same nemesis that foiled the championship dreams of the man hes most compared to. Even though theyre no longer allowed to mug people on the court. And LeBron took advantage, pushing Detroit to the brink of elimination, casting aside Rasheed Wallaces victory guarantees, and even beating the once-invincible Pistons at home. This series was filled with twists and turns, starting with Detroit casually blowing out Cleveland in Game 1, to Game 5 ending with Detroit on the ropes, down 2 to 3, to Games 6 and 7, with Cleveland coming close but not being able to deliver the knockout blow. Game 7 ended with reality reasserting itself, but how much longer will Detroit be able to hold down another emerging superstar?
Gilbert Arenas. On a steady quest to prove that he is one of the elite players in the league. Gilbert, I see you. You're easily one of the top three guards, behind only Kobe and Wade. Another player who willed his team into the playoffs, and was possibly on the wrong end of some shady calls. With the heart this man shows in the playoffs (this year and last year), he deserves a better team than the one he's got, I'll tell you that. Can someone get this man some up front help? Brendan Haywood isn't getting it. I don't care if he played at UNC or not. Brendan Haywood is NOT the answer.
Suns/Mavericks series. Normally, I hate games where defense isnt really played, but this was a great series, regardless, and defense was still played at crucial moments. And even though the Suns were outmatched defensively, they still wouldnt die. Steve Nash and Tim Thomas gave Dallas all they could handle.
Dirk Nowitzki. No, he's not Larry Bird. And due to Miami's defense, he didn't look as good in the Finals as he should have. But he was playing in the Finals. And why was he playing in the Finals? Because he got his ass to the Finals. When his team was down late in games, who hit that big shot or grabbed that crucial rebound? It was Dirk Diggler, dammit. And he did it all season, especially when it mattered. Except in Game 6. But I won't hold that against him.
Tim Thomas. An ugly motherfucker. Coming out of college, he was supposed to be a star, with his Scottie Pippen-like repertoire. He never lived up to that potential. When he played for Milwaukee, during the Ray Allen/Glenn Robinson days, he still never managed to step his game up to help that team get over the hump. He bounced around the league, and never seemed to be trying, even though you knew he could be a great player. This is why I hated him. Also, he once hit on my ex-girlfriendback before I met her. I knew there was a reason I didnt like him. At any rate, he finally started stepping his game upand, almost as if you was sticking it to me personally, he did it AFTER he was released by the Bulls. After that, he was just cold blooded. He was the guy who stuck the knife in the Lakers heart. He played big minutes against the Clippers, and almost single-handedly kept the Suns alive against Dallas. Hes good but hes ugly. Dont forget that. Hes an ugly motherfucker. Make-you-mad type ugly.
Ben Gordon. Who? The starting shooting guard for my Beloved Bulls, that's who. Hitting big shot after big shot to carry his overmatched team over the Miami Heat, that's who. I personally appreciated this man's efforts in the playoffs more than any other, because he gave me reason to believe that Miami would go down at the hands (or cloven hooves) of the Chicago Bulls. We are just a few pieces away from seeing the Bulls return to prominence once again. Hopefully, next year, we wont be making a mad dash to make the playoffs again. And hopefully, the hot hand of Ben Gordon will be taking us there.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I know I'm a little behind the times, but I was doing some reading and Kanye West came up and I wound up reading some stuff that he's said in the last few months. I know what's below is kinda all over the place, but I just wrote it as it came to me, no editing or anything. It's just how I feel about Kanye West. I don't like him. At all.
Damn, I can't stand Kanye West. He's to the point where I don't even want to hear him produce anymore. He's a very talented producer, but he's one of those kind of people you don't even want to compliment because you know it's going to go right to his head. I don't care what no one says, though...he's a shitty rapper. But his beats are hot. And that's why his shit sells. The average music fan hasn't changed. The words NEVER matter. It's always the beat. And Kanye is fooling himself if he thinks that his words are starting some sort of revolution. If I'm wrong, then why do Lil Jon and the Yin Yang Twins keep selling? Why didn't 2Pac's Me Against The World sell 8 or 9 million? Fuck Kanye West. It's one thing to be confident or even cocky, when it's funny. But to just be an out and out ass like this guy...I hope someone beats the fuck out of him. And no, his style of dress is not fly. He looks like a retard. And that shit where he says that kids want to learn because he can bring up history in some clever way? That he's an inspirational speaker? Come on, man...you're smelling yourself a bit too much. He's a smart guy, but you ain't no second coming. And that brings me to that shit about him being in the Bible. And I know I ain't no Christian and I have no love for the Bible, but that's just taking it too far. What the fuck has this joker ever done that would warrant him being in a book that has been around for 1700 years? He sold a couple of records? He influenced the weak minded into wearing their collars up or wearing two Polo shirts on top of one another...with the collars up? That's just some temporary stuff. In 10 years, that shit will be looked at like it had Cross Colours written on it. Let me know when you do some real shit. Let me know when you pull someone out of a burning bus or something. Selling records ain't impressing no one, son. Not even in this materialistic society we live in. You're just here for the moment, until the next big thing comes along. And that Bible crack is just being totally disrespectful to an entire sect of people, many of which have supported your half-ass music. You're not a deep rapper, not a witty rapper, you're not the greatest producer ever, you're not anything greater than anyone else around you. I remember when I saw you on Punk'd. Up until that moment, I just wasn't a fan of yours as a rapper, but on there, the world saw the REAL Kanye West. Just acting an ass for no reason. Now, what if that guy was a real guy...just trying to do his job and you're pretending like you're above the law and disrespecting that man. Yeah, it turned out to all be fun and games, but you didn't know that. You were just being a little child, and the people around you are kissing up to you. And to see you run off with that film...good thing they weren't real cops, because they should have shot you in the back. If for no other reason, it's because you run like you're retarded. There's nothing good about you, Kanye West. You've got them stupid ass kids fooled and probably a whole bunch of women (they still buy R. Kelly CDs, too), but I ain't falling for your shit. You can put out Jesus Walks and Gold Digger and distract people from the real you. They'll say, "...but that song is hot!" And I'll call them idiots. Being a loudmouth doesn't make you outspoken. A lot of times, it makes you look like a fool. And you've done that time and time again. The real wise people know when to shut the fuck up. Clearly, you're not one of them. Fuck you, Kanye West.
They say you can't catch lightning in a bottle. Or is it lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place? Or even, you can grease a monkey like a bolt of lightning, but it's still gonna singe your nose hairs. I don't know what I just said, but I know this: They should have just left D-Generation X in our memories.
Two 40 year old men cannot be D-Generation X. You can't be edgy AND responsible at the same time. Or maybe you can. I don't know because I'm not responsible. But I do know that these two men can't do it.
A Christian can't be a degenerate at the same time. Well, except for heads of churches. They manage to work in being adulterers and child molesters. But when you're supposed to be working on being the best Christian you can be, you can't go around flashing your ass and playing strip poker on live TV. Well, you could, but people would call you a hypocrite and you might possibly get struck down. Apparently, God doesn't like dick jokes.
Which brings up a completely different issue: Christianity is ruining everything. Yes, I said it. Sure, Shawn Michaels has turned his life around when he was saved. But with that also went his balls. Well, his anger and arrogance went, too...but mostly his balls. And when you've lost your balls, you've lost your edge. That's how Eddie Murphy gets stuck making movies like Pluto Nash. No balls. The difference is, God didn't take Eddie's balls: his wife did, so there's still hope for him, because they still could split up. But God has Shawn Michaels' balls. And there's no coming back from that. Not without a drug habit, anyway.
What God has indirectly done (well, what God's followers have done, through clever brainwashing) is ruin one of the great comedic minds in wrestling. He also got Vince Russo, too, because a sign that says "I'd Rather Be In Chyna" has Vince Russo written all over it. What is it about Christianity that effectively neuters all comedy? Why can't they be "liberal" Christians like Chris Jericho? Chris Jericho can call a man a jackass on PPV Sunday, because he was in church earlier that day. Well, I'm assuming. He might not have had time because he had ring rats to kick out of his hotel room. But the point is, he can praise God AND lower his morals at work. Porn stars and rappers do it all the time. R. Kelly was fucking children on tape and he's pretty sure he's still going to Heaven. So if The R-uh can get in after urinating on adolescents and bragging about making off with people's children (what do you think "The Pied Piper" was all about?), then Shawn Michaels giving crotch chops shouldn't be a big deal.
Sure, he's saved his eternal soul, but he's ruining his Q rating. That's a pretty big deal in today's America.
And then there's Triple H. He's a pretty funny guy. He has his moments. But nothing screams "Blue Oyster" like Triple H's handlebar mustache. Especially when you're wearing a cut off t-shirt and your pants are around your ankles. Fabulous!
Triple H...Motorhead is not cool. Shave that shit off. Shawn...don't let him get Motorhead to remix the DX theme. It WILL suck. You're better off getting Kirk Franklin to do it. Except if you do, I WILL kill you. I hate Kirk Franklin. I do not want him in my life. Ever.
Anyway, that's what's wrong with THIS version of DX. It isn't cool. In the 90s, there were three things that epitomized cool in wrestling. The Outsiders, The Rock, and DX. And 50f the Outsiders are now perpetually drunk, The Rock is too rich to care, and that just leaves us with DX. And being a born again Christian is pretty much the anti-cool. Nothing ruins a good time like someone bringing up religion. I know this because Alex and I once were drunk and walking through the streets when we were stopped by Herman's dad who wanted to talk to us about Jesus. There was nothing left to do but sober up and go home. Didn't even want to go to that party down by the pier. We might have gotten some morality on it and ruined the whole thing.
Something else that's the anti-cool...marriage. Which both of these guys are into now. Responsibility...and, of course...that goddamn handlebar mustache. I can't say enough about it. Why don't you just wear a police outfit AND leather, ass-less chaps?
Plus, Triple H isn't always funny on his own. He played well off of Shawn Michaels back in 97. Except Shawn Michaels isn't allowed to go into the gutter anymore. And for that, I blame his wife. Because if Shawn Michaels wasn't married, he would have brushed this religion thing off as soon as he started hanging out with Kevin Nash again. Ironic part is...Kevin Nash was the one who introduced him to his wife...who was one of the Nitro Girls...and I think, a stripper. You got converted to Christianity by a stripper. If that doesn't make your religion a sham, I don't know what does.
Shawn, you can put this religion gimmick to the side for right now. It's okay. That's why they added that loophole to the deal. It's call "repentance." It's how murderers and rapists beat the system! Just put the Bible down for six months and come back to it later! God will forgive you! Trust me!
Well...don't trust me. I'm a heathen. In fact, don't listen to me at all. I'm on the expressway to Hell. My seat is already reserved. I'll be spending eternity strapped to a chair in front of a TV watching the fourth season of the Real World. And the only commercials will be for the "Guys Gone Wild" videos.
Basically, it was cool to tease us with it, because they didn't have to follow up on anything. But since they've gone full steam ahead, they're being exposed. And by "they" I mean, the writers backstage. They weren't even creative enough to steal from the old DX stuff. Instead, they stole from "You Can't Do That on Television." The next Nickelodeon show I expect them to steal from: That's So Raven. You'll know it when they start going "Oh, snap!"
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Hm...soccer is actually very entertaining. Who knew? I mean, except for the rest of the world.
I spent the early part of my Saturday watching the World Cup and, no, I wasn't being forced at gunpoint. And I actually found myself getting into it. Ghana was playing the Czech Republic and the way I was acting, you'd think have thought my Beloved Bulls were on TV. Obviously, I was pulling for Ghana. Us black folks gotta stick together.
But, Thad....why's it gotta be a racial thing? Well, lemme tell you. For one, I'm not a fan of soccer. Being an American, the only football we know about is the one were you can hit people in the chest at full tilt for daring to run across the middle of the field (I heart Brian Dawkins). So I needed a hook. And basically, anytime black folks overall can have something they can be proud of, it's a good thing. I mean, we can only brag about Michael Jordan and Jay-Z for so long. They're both retired. Eventually, the luster wears off.
And it's a sport that's not really represented too much by us on the world stage. I mean, you could argue for Caribbean countries or Brazil or something like that, but it's not like they really identify with us a whole lot. Cubans flat out insist that they're not black, even though some of them have kinkier hair than I do. So for an African nation to have a good showing in the World Cup, it makes me proud, even knowing some of the stuff I've said about Africa over the years. Because when I look at the TV and see a black face just like mine whooping ass on the world stage...none of that stuff matters anymore. I don't know what it was. I just know that while I was watching that game, I felt a connection with that team from Ghana and I wanted them to win. And it wasn't even the haze from having just woken up that made me feel that way.
It made me proud, as a black man. That's what it all boils down to.
Ahem...but anyway, back to soccer. While I was watching, I began to see why people love this game so much. Man, if you're a basketball fan, you should be able to get into soccer. At least watching the best teams play. It's like watching the best basketball offenses run. If Phoenix actually attempted defense, they could be a soccer team.
I was surprised at how similar it was to basketball. Rotating the ball, clogging the lane, trapping, isolation plays, fancy dribbling, crossovers, alley-oops...it's all there. And then every time the teams finally work the ball inside to get close to the net, it's like a close basketball game with 10 seconds left everytime. So, world, I finally see the appeal. It really is a beautiful game. I still don't understand why killing your teams when they lose is still such a big part of the game, though. I'll just assume that it's a cultural thing that gets lost in translation.
And with so much national pride on the line, it's hard to not get caught up in games like these. When watching the US play against Italy, I was just swelling up with pride. I actually got goosebumps hearing the Americans in the stadium sing the national anthem. I sang along at the end. Yeah, I know. And again, I've talked a lot of shit over the years. And again, none of that mattered at that moment. Those 11 players on the field were representing us. All of US. Even Marcus Beasley, who was pissing me off for STILL not playing that hard. I tell you, if we were in the business of attacking our soccer players, he would be at the top of the list. And while no one will probably know what I'm talking about, those who watched UConn the last couple of years will understand this: Marcus Beasley was giving a Rudy Gay-like performance out there.
But just the fact that he made me angry says a lot. Between watching Ghana and the US play, I just thought about a lot. And I never thought a soccer game would make me think so hard about a lot of things.
With Ghana, I just felt an unity with Africa that I haven't felt in a long, long, time. Hell, I've probably never felt it. I mean, I don't know those people. They sold my ancestors into slavery, for all I know. I was born in Columbus, MS, not Columbus, Africa. But for once, I felt a pull to that continent, so far away. If only for a little while.
With the US, I love my country, don't get me wrong, but a lot of the things it does really piss me off. But that doesn't make me any less patriotic. I liken it to a family member or a friend who's lost their way. You might criticize what they do, but that doesn't make you love them any less. They're still your friend. They're still your family. And because you love them, you criticize them, because you want them to get better. That's how I feel about America. Basically, I want it to fuckin' act right.
Yes, I promise you...two soccer games made me think about all this. I didn't plan it and I don't know why it happened, but it did. But for a day, I was a soccer fan. I probably won't keep watching it, and I probably won't start checking to see who else is in it (I heard Angola was in it, too), but to the African teams that are in it, good luck and kick ass for all of your people over here, too. We're proud of you and if we're not, then we should be. To the US team, we ARE proud of you for not backing down to Italy, one of the best teams iin the world, and doing it with only 9 players for most of the game.
Hell, some people might wonder why we should be happy with a tie. If you had watched the game, you wouldn't be wondering that. Go USA!
Friday, June 16, 2006
Reading the Sports Guy today at ESPN got me thinking about this...
I was sitting there watching the Knicks and Rockets in the Finals when it came up on screen.
OJ and AC were riding in a white Bronco down the freeway followed by a ton of cops. Aw, shit...they're gonna shoot the shit out of these two.
By this point, everyone knew about OJ being suspected of killing his wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson. Everyone knew about all the evidence that was found and how it all pointed to him. Personally, I didn't think a man could be so stupid.
But no one could have expected OJ on the run. "The Juice Is Loose" was the catchphrase of the day. OJ's lawyer was on TV begging him to turn himself in. All up and down the freeway, there were people in cars trying to catch a glimpse on what was supposed to be OJ in the back of the Bronco, holding a gun and getting ready to off himself. Streets on the expected pathway back to OJs home were lined with people who were holding signs and cheering OJ on. I guess they wanted what we all secretly wanted and didn't want at the same time: for OJ to do the deed on live TV. It was the ultimate reality TV at a time before "reality TV" became a worldwide phenomenon.
And this was only the beginning. In addition to interrupting, to be honest, the most boring Finals series I've ever seen, and playing right into the hands of this emerging voyeuristic culture of ours, the "Trial of the Century" was about to start.
Every decision involving this case was big news. But the most important was that they'd show it on TV. The obsessive fires that started that day on the freeway would continue throughout the next year every day. It was the greatest boring TV ever shown. Yet, people were glued to their sets to see what would happen next.
Along the way, America was divided once again. It wasn't that long ago that we all saw Rodney King or heard about Malice Green. At that time, black people didn't trust the police and with good reason. Racial tensions were still pretty high. It might not have seemed that way in certain areas, but in the eyes of black people,young black men especially, getting beat down by the police was still a very real possibility and we were all afraid.
And the division between white and black fell ever so distintly: did he or didn't he do it? At Biloxi High School in Mississippi, there was no doubt amongst white people. He did it. End of story. Amongst black people, he didn't do it. Or maybe he did. We weren't so sure. The thing was, it didn't really matter to us if he did it. Would he get off was the question.
And everyone had a conspiracy theory. OJ didn't do it, and Nicole was killed by people who OJ owed money to. OJ did it, but he planted everything like that on purpose. OJ did it, but he's stupid. My theory was that OJ didn't do it, but he knew who did. Everyone had an explanation for why OJ did what he did and when he did it. Why, clearly he was out of town meeting with the people who killed Nicole. They called him out there. Duh.
We all became familiar with the lawyers involved. Marcia Clark became an instant celebrity. She was kinda rough looking at first, but after the trial was over, she was on celebrity pages, all dressed up and made up. She almost looked attractive. Almost. And of course, Johnny Cochran. For those who didn't know Johnny Cochran, we were in for a show. For those who knew him, we knew what to expect. And he didn't let any of us down.
"If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit."
It was a notion so simple, yet so ridiculous that to this day, no one can believe it worked. Wasn't his blood IN the gloves? What does it matter if the gloves fit or not? And of course they didn't fit. He was wearing rubber gloves inside of a glove that shrunk during testing. And that simple rhyme became Johnny Cochran's catchphrase and what he was known for until the day he died. And that bit of freestyling became what he was known for. Everyone forgot about how the prosecution and the LAPD blew it months before. And there was that whole Mark Furman fiasco. Here in Atlanta, a couple of years ago, Johnnie Cochran was featured in commercials and all his dialogue rhymed. It was almost embarrassing, because after all that happened, THIS was the lasting legacy of the OJ trial.
And what of the verdict? One of the most tense moments of my young life. One of those "Where were you?" moments. The last one I can readily think of before this was when the Challenger exploded. Yes, it was that big. I was in high school, in Ms. Hayden's Spanish class and the school actually stopped teaching so we could all listen to the verdict on the radio. You'd think that we actually knew the guy who was on trial or one of the murder victims.
And well...we all know what happened. And white people in the school were MAD. Of course, we were acting like black folks just got freed from slavery. What really happened, though? In a colorblind world, a clearly guilty man got off from a double murder. But we don't live in a colorblind world. And to us, one of US just got away with doing what white folks had been doing to us for years. Like I said, it didn't really matter if he did it or not. We got off. It was almost like all of Black America got off. For once.
It took me years for me to figure out why I was so happy that OJ got off. I still haven't truly admitted to myself that he did it. All I ever say is, he knows who did. That's as close to admitting his guilt that I can ever get.
And what happened to OJ after this? Well, he got sued again and lost to the Brown-Goldman Family Alliance for civil damages. He's still paying them money that he doesn't have. He lives in Florida, living off of his NFL retirement check. No more commercials, no more movies. Just OJ...playing golf and pissing off white people at the sight of this...criminal walking freely in the streets.
Of course, there were book deals aplenty to be had, and everyone took advantage of them. Johnnie Cochran became a household name and even Michael Jackson went running to his side at one point. Everyone knew that this was the man who could pull some BS out of his ass at the slightest provocation.
What did we all learn from the OJ trial? Well, I don't know about anyone else, but black folks learned that no matter how bad they screw up, they too, can get off of with the right mix of lawyers and BS to distract the jury. I still don't know if that's a good or bad thing.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Special shout-out to Flea, who will never see this because I'm sure he'll never come here, but thank you, Flea, for speaking my mind once again.
Okay, I'm not actually reviewing the book, written by conservative Bernard Goldberg, but his book got the wheels in my head turning.
I always wondered what was so evil about being a "liberal."
"Conservatives" had thrown this word around for as long as I can remember as some sort of insult. I never quite understood what could possibly be so evil about these mythical "liberals." Why, they just seem to want equality and justice for everyone, my naive ass thought.
And while in my old age, that might not be entirely true, I can at least say that i see how and why "conservatives" view "liberals" the way they do. Now, while I don't entirely agree with the views of the author (due to the fact that he doesn't just wear his bias; it's tattooed on his face), I can see where these "liberals" are pissing people off, assuming the stories in the book were told properly.
The whole thing is a revelation to me. Liberals are clearly just feeling-Nazis out to make us all loving, hugging, caring, robots who take care not to offend anyone ever and accept the abuse of feminists. Conservatives are clearly here to save us all. Oh, and their wallets. But mostly us.
Now, first thing is, I don't view myself as liberal OR conservative. I reject all these political labels because when you identify yourself as something, when others think that label defines your whole life or something. That's the part where I'm likely to get upset and start saying things like, "don't presume to know me, you jackbooted, Bush-loving...etc, etc."
The second this is, the problem with all of this is that people are acting as if ALL of their views are right and there is NO room for any views but their own. Knowing that this sort of thing goes on, I've tried very hard not to be this way, because all you're going to wind up doing is pissing folks off. I know this because I've been that pissed off person. I've had friends who do this. You'll know these people because they bait you into asking the right questions that allow them to espouse their views that they've been pondering about for the last 20 minutes.
So both liberals and conservatives...liberals are trying to have everyone be considerate of everyone else, which won't work and conservatives don't want to be considerate at all. Except for money. There has to be a middle ground. And that's me. I'm the middle ground.
A word to these..."liberals." Stop bothering everyone with all of your causes. EVERYTHING is not a call to activism, or "jihad." Just because five people are bothered by something doesn't mean that we all should stop doing it. I'm not going to stop calling "little people" midgets and I don't need you to come to my defense everytime someone said something that MIGHT be construed as racial (the Fisher DeBerry incident). Also, just because a white person says something negative to a black person, be it name calling or otherwise, it doesn't make it a racial issue. I can honestly say, sometimes black folks need to be called a name. Everything funny isn't offending someone. Sometimes stereotypes are true. Stop making everything a call to arms and stop calling conservatives "Nazis." Just stop, dammit. Just stop. Use some common sense before you start complaining about something.
"Conservatives." I am not a Christian. I never will be a Christian. When I have kids, I will not tell them that evolution is a farce and that the stories told in the Bible are historically accurate. I will never support prayer in schools. I believe in the separation of church and state. I know that everyone in this country isn't a Christian or Catholic and to presume anything otherwise is just being selfish. Just because I don't support the President does NOT make me anti-American. Just because I can be honest with myself and my country about injustices inflicted against others does NOT make me anti-American. Just because I don't trust the government to not intrude upon my civil liberties does NOT make me anti-American. Whipping the uneducated masses into a frenzy about gay marriage and scaring people about terrorism every two years (read: ELECTION TIME) does NOT equal "smart politics." And stop calling liberals "Nazis."
This kind of stuff is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these two groups. There's so much mudslinging and selfish politics going back and forth that there's no time for actual civilized discourse. And all these people are doing is lining their own pockets at the expense of the nation and calling it "a good thing," and convincing people that the system doesn't work. And the way you people are acting, it clearly doesn't. Shut the fuck up sometimes...and listen to what someone else is saying. It's not bad for someone to disagree. Completely blowing off the ideas of others because you don't like them is.
And a final word to Bernard Goldberg...Jon Stewart was right.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
First, I'd like to say goodbye to John "Earthquake" Tenta, who passed away from cancer this morning at the age of 42. He was probably the first wrestler to ever traumatize me as a child, when he sat on Jake "The Snake" Roberts' snake. Thanks for the memories (and that sleepless night), John.
Has anyone ever heard of East Coast Bias?
I think it's just something that baseball fans from the Midwest made up out of jealousy.
Apparently, the media (probably the LIBERAL media, at that) has a bias towards the East Coast, and the New York area in particular. The entirety of damning evidence is as follows: The Yankees/Red Sox rivalry is promoted and televised everytime it comes on TV. Yeah, I think it's pretty stupid, too.
So, since these fans are sick of the Yanks/Sox (specifically, Cubs fans), why, it must be some sort of bias that causes the networks to show these games. It has to be bias that prevents them from making a big deal out of the Cardinals/Cubs rivalry. It can't possibly be anything logical, like, say...New York being by far the largest city in the country. Or the fact that both the Cardinals and Cubs have sucked for as long as I've remembered to pay attention.
Chicago, there is no media bias. If there was, the Knicks and Giants would also be on TV all the time. Why aren't they? Well, because they suck. And it wasn't that long ago that Chicago was the center of the basketball world. While that made me happy, being a Bulls fan, I'm sure a lot of people were getting sick of seeing the Bulls. It all sounds like you're just mad that you're not New York and that New York is New York. I'm sorry, Chicago, but you can't be New York. You're going to have to settle for being Chicago. I swear, it's like Chicago has that little brother syndrome. There, there, Chicago. One day, when you get big, you can pick out your own clothes and stay out late, too.
That's basically what this is all about, because any idiot can go look at the numbers. New York City alone has like...8 million people in it. That's not counting the surrounding areas. 8 Million, off the top. New York has as many people in it as LA and Chicago combined. With wiggle room. Not counting people from New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and the entirety of New England. Oh, yeah...and Northern Virginia, who wants to be the sixth borough of New York. Now, you're looking at like...15-20 million people. Now...maybe 6 or 7 million of those are baseball fans, right? Three million of them are Yankees fans, with another 2 being bandwagon fans. About a million are Red Sox fans. The rest, being baseball fans, will probably watch just about any game you put in front of them. So you've got 7 million people who will watch this game just because it's Yanks/Sox. Not counting the rest of the country, who will probably pay some attention, just because it's the only baseball rivalry they know about. I live in Atlanta and have been connected to this city in some form or fashion for almost my entire life. I don't even know if the Braves HAVE a rivalry with anyone. I hate baseball. But I'll pay attention to the Yanks/Sox and even watch the games in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, in Chicago...the Cubs suck. Meanwhile, in St. Louis...the Cardinals suck. Well, probably. I can't be bothered to research the merits of Cardinals baseball. But, I think it's a safe bet. These are two teams that couldn't put together teams that took advantage of the fact that at one point, they had two of the best homerun hitters ever, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. In fact, neither team made the playoffs the year that they both broke the home run record. At least, as far as I can remember. Remember...baseball = irrelevant.
So why would there even be any national interest in the Cardinals/Cubs rivalry? The Yanks and Sox are winners EVERY YEAR. And everyone knows the Yankees and it stands to reason that everyone would know about their rival, right? Why not show their games? All that anyone has ever known about the Cubs is their "curse." Y'know...the one that came second to Boston's curse. I don't think the Cubs are cursed. They just suck. And no one's paying any attention to the Cubs unless they're going down in flames in the playoffs, because that's what we really want to see: The city of Chicago, looking like it's going to throw up.
So get over it Chicago, because you're the only one complaining, as far as I can tell. I don't even think St. Louis cares. New York and Boston don't even respond to the allegations, because they're too busy swimming in their hidden money vault. Just face facts: you have a third rate team in an irrelevant sport. The ONLY rivalry in baseball that has any national interest is Yanks/Sox. I just heard about the Cardinals/Cubs rivalry two years ago and that was by accident. I watch ESPN pretty much every day and I can't even name another baseball rivalry. And it has to sting that the other team in your city (which has also sucked for a long time) came out of nowhere and won the World Series. This season, you're also getting passed up by Detroit. Let's face it: during baseball season, it sucks to be YOU. And that's what it all boils down to.
To end the question of East Coast Bias, it's not bias if the majority of people live in the East Coast. It's always been that way. Once you leave the East Coast, major cities because pretty sporadic. You got Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas...and then nothing until you get to California. And they don't care about Chicago because they've got their own problems, like the earthquake that's going to reduce them to rubble and the fact that a killer cyborg from the future is running their state. Rolling blackouts, wildfires, Suge Knight in and out of jail...bitch to someone else, Chicago...California ain't hearing it.
Kanye West is the biggest rapper out right now. Be happy with that, Chicago. A mediocre talent has taken over the rap game, succeeding where Crucial Conflict, Twista, and Da Brat all failed.