Thursday, December 20, 2007
We at Sports Karma have conductive exhaustive, oftentimes orgasmic research coupled with multiple shots of Jaegermeister and penicillin showers, just to find out how serious of a threat a feral Spears clan might be to our communities. The results were so stunning that we actually had to switch from Jaeger to Tuaca, mainly because I hate Jaeger but will shoot Tuaca if I'm really feeling it. We have concluded that at the present rate the Spears' sisters are multiplying, they may have enough progeny to book Jerry Springer for a week straight by 2019. Britney has just had two kids in four years, Jamie Lynn will have one probably eight months from now, and then another one shortly after her placenta falls out of her womb sometime in mid-July.
The effects of feral Spears children could have a potentially devastating effect on communities throughout the nation, especially in small towns throughout Louisiana or in towns with an ususually high number of meth labs. Our research indicates a dramatic rise by 2023 in rabies, flea-bourne diseases, Marlboro Red consumption, farting, bad music videos and completely unwanted Pepsi commercials.
Furthermore, our judicial system and our social workers will be overworked as a result of these random Spears children roaming our streets aimlessly while they prowl through empty garbage cans scavenging for scraps of food. Social workers, a group of people already overworked in almost all of our 50 States, will be particularly impacted as they try to relocate these orphaned, feral Spears children into foster homes, all the while attempting to figure out which terrible backup dancer is responsible for the additional child support necessary to properly raise the wild infants.
Our judges, meanwhile, will not have the opportunity to hear cases that they might otherwise simply due to the deluge of trying to corral deadbeat fathers into court or domestic disturbance calls from feral Spears children breeding in someone's garage. As a result, crimes that were once of a more serious nature like rape, murder, drug possession or Britney's driving habits will be neglected because of this influx.
Clearly, you can see that this is an issue that strikes right into the core of our American way of life. It would not at all be a stretch to suggest that this issue takes precedence ahead of our economy, the War in Iraq, affordable health care and the ever-growing Social Security crisis. If it is not dealt with quickly and effectively, feral, chain-smoking, untalented Spears children could end up as the primary issue of our times, presuming it's not already.
However, just like the Mitchell Report for Major League Baseball, we at Sports Karma see a crisis and have found a solution. We propose spaying the Spears sisters immediately so that they can no longer produce any children. This procedure in humans is typically called a hysterectomy. This operation is fairly common amongst human women and involves the removal of the uterus so that a female egg no longer has a place to be fertilized by the sperm. We feel that this may be the only possible solution to ensure that our communities are safe from the potential threat that Britney and Jamie Lynn currently pose.
I do recognize that some of our readers of a more sensitive constitution may feel that there are ethical questions at hand here. Amongst the questions that we personally had after our research concluded involved the pain and suffering involved as a result of the operation. I want to personally ensure all of our readers that the Spears sisters would be going to a hospital with the finest medical staff in the state of Louisiana. I realize that in the past this operation had been performed in Louisiana using rusty pitchforks and dull shovels, but I just want to reassure you that if you were concerned about their pain and suffering, please rest knowing that they will be in the finest care possible.
It is true that there will be some pain and minor bleeding as a result of the operation, but the doctors have assured us that the pain will be no worse than the movie Britney made where she covered "I Love Rock N' Roll" by Joan Jett. Furthermore, the bleeding, should it occur, will be treated by wound specialists and not by cauterizing it with a Bic lighter.
The biggest problem, however, with our solution lies in the cost. Our internet research concluded that a hysterectomy, on average, costs between $6,000-$7,000 depending on how the procedure is conducted. We have settled on the median price of $6,500 for each procedure plus an additional $1,000 per sister based on any additional time having spent in the hospital. We have roughly concluded that this procedure for Britney and Jamie Lynn together will cost approximately $15,000. Certainly, we know that Sunday War could very easily cover the costs of this operation, but this is a group effort here and Da Vinci and I are both broke bastards that are busy paying for weddings and vacations.
Hence, this is where the generosity of the readers of Sports Karma and the American people come into play. We are asking for a minimum $5 donation to help cover the costs of this procedure. Your donation will not just help pay for this operation, but you will ultimately be helping your country by stopping the spread of feral Spears children. This isn't just about the outbreak of small kids that thoughtless celebrities can't take care of, but about stopping the bad music, the horrific acting, the nervous breakdowns, the drugs, and the tabloid fodder once and for all. Or at least until Hannah Montana decides to squeeze one out, anyway.
And in an exclusive offer for our Facebook friends, if you make a $15 donation today, you will receive a limited edition t-shirt emblazoned with our Sports Karma logo that reads: Please Help Control The Spears Population--Have Them Spayed And K-Fed Neutered. Good Bye Everybody.
Provided that we raise the $15,000, but the Spears family comes up with money on their own, that cash will instead be donated to the Kentwood, LA S.P.C.A. so that they can use the money to spay or neuter the stray dogs, cats or random Spears kids in the community. Please contact us directly through Sports Karma or through our Facebook sites to indicate a willingness to donate. Once we get an appropriate response, I will personally establish a PayPal account and ALL the money collected will be transferred to the appropriate fund. We at Sports Karma will not keep a dime of the money no matter how badly Da Vinci needs it to pay off his student loans or pay for his wedding.
Please help Sports Karma. Please donate. Please help spay Britney and Jamie Lynn today. Your eyes and your ears will thank you.
Friday, December 7, 2007
The most difficult part was watching him make a spectacular drive to the hoop with eleven seconds to go, the Longhorns up by one point, 63-62. His shot missed, but he went to the line to shoot two. He missed the first. That unmistakable rumble happened. That rumble is a noise almost exclusive to the world of college basketball. I remember we made that noise in Austin as the Longhorns knocked out UConn in Austin back in 2001. It starts out almost whisper-like at first, "Hey, we have a chance?" it says haltingly. Then it dawns on everyone almost simultaneously in the building, that whisper building into a confident yell: "HEY! WE'VE GOT A CHANCE HERE!"
D.J. missed the second free throw. Baylor got the rebound, eleven seconds melting away, as they stormed down the court.
"HEY, WE'VE GOT A FUCKING CHANCE HERE! WE'RE BAYLOR AND WE'VE GOT A FUCKING CHANCE!"
I was wearing burnt orange, but my face was alternating colors like a vomiting prism through nauseous sunlight. Five seconds remained, the Ferrell Center was losing is collective mind. I was on the verge of losing collective control of my bowels. The ball bounced into the hands of Baylor's Big White Stiff. He clanked it. The Longhorns won barely. I slinked off the Baylor campus and over to Cricket's to quaff a pint and check my pulse. I consciously realize that an 18-year-old kid running the point for the Longhorns shouldn't raise my blood pressure that much. But still, I turned to my sister and said, "I don't know who's going to kill me first: the Astros or D.J. Augustine."
I privately wonder if Longhorn great, now Toronto Raptor, T.J. Ford was silently dying too watching D.J run the point that he ran flawlessly for two magical years. Over the summer, he came back to Austin to help the sophomore run the point more efficiently. Not only did T.J. come back to help, but the entire team, minus Durant, came back. Last year, it seemed like the young squad, four freshman starters plus then-sophomore A.J. Abrams, just couldn't quite figure out what their roles were. Consequently, they spent most of the time waiting for Durant to do some something freakishly athletic or they just sat around and jacked three's for the entire game.
Now? What we're seeing is the emergence of a group of guys finally finding its identity minus the superstar. Forgive the cliche, but it's true. They really are playing like a team. Damion James has proven that he play inside the paint and bang bodies; A.J. Abrams has emerged as an elite college gunner; Clear Lake High School's own Connor Atchley added some muscle, and developed a three-point shot, and D.J. Augustine--the kid that was supposed to kill me--is now receiving some early-season run as National Player of the Year. I should add, well-deserved Player of the Year run as well, in light of the Longhorns rolling into Pauley Pavillion and beating #2UCLA 63-61.
It's still early, I freely admit that the season is still early. The non-conference schedule is still far from done, especially with Michigan State looming. The Big XII slate looks especially difficult in light of BOTH Kansas teams being tough, and an absolutely loaded South Division ready for conference. Yes, even Baylor is much improved. And there are still questions regarding the Longhorns if their shots aren't falling. How will they respond if A.J.'s not lighting it up from three? Can James sustain a season's worth of beatings down low?
Maybe it's still early to start talking Final Four, especially in light of all the questions. But watching D.J. play like T.J., I know this much: We've got a chance.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Check link or copy/paste this to your browser... http://tinyurl.com/343luo
"Now, I'm just kinda like whatever with it," Nice. Now we know what they do in their spare time, protect, wash, and condition what any sane person would have plucked, and/or shaved at more than one-inch.
In other news, Lou Holtz continues to give the world a huge question sign above their foreheads with his ESPN Pep Talks, especially the New York Knick gem that just came out. My favorite comes from before, check it.
I can't believe this guy could capture every damn nuance of my favorite guy to make least sense on ESPN. Are we sure Lou Holtz isn't Sean Salisbury's real dad? Anyway, I haven't posted in a while since we're right in the middle of Finals at my school. So enjoy the laughs and I'll write something substantial after the 10th. Peas, DV.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Well, what we need here at SportsKarma is a bit of a correction. First of all, I never ran smack about the Aggies (although, in hindsight the title does need to be changed...I will freely admit that needs some correction. That's my fault, ultimately. After all, it was my damned post). What I did was speak truth about the Aggies. What I said was that they took this rivalry to a whole other level by committing an actual act of martyrdom, and continuing to act upon that singular moment. I find that sort of behavior egregrious and completely pathetic. If those pieces of human waste want to perpetuate that sort of behavior, then they would be best suited by moving to an area of the world where that sort of thing is thought of more highly. Like Israel, for example. I'm sure in Israel they would be happy to accept a group of people who built a tower of Babel, set it on fire, and gleefully chant nonsensical rants about how much they hate their opposition. In fact, I'm sure they'd welcome it and cheerfully give them pointers on their next rally regarding VIP newsletters, hiring washed-up NFL coaches, the Dixie Chicken, dry humping in the stands, cleaning up dog poop from The Grass or whatever the hell they're going next to gather about next.
Perhaps, our esteemed blogger has also forgotten in his drunken state that we were the same Longhorns team that gave up over 400 total yards to Arkansas State. Or that our entire offensive line was injured, our secondary from last year are all now playing on Sundays, or that our quarterback has taken way too many blows to the head in his second year at the helm, and frankly, it shows. Maybe he forgot that we struggled with a decrepit Nebraska squad, had to storm back against a mediocre Oklahoma State team, lost to a bowl-less K-State squad or struggled on the road against a Conference USA opponent.
Translation: We weren't that good to begin with, and going on the road to face a squad that treats this game like it's bigger than life or death, wasn't helping us. What I said wasn't going to change the obvious facts. And they were obvious facts.
But in the spirit of what our esteemed blogger speaks of, I'll attempt to be fair. If the Aggies can abide by these 10 things, I will no longer speak ill of our brethren to the east.
1. Stop claiming that a border collie is the head of your alleged military.
2. Stop trying to pick a fight with Texas Tech University. No, seriously stop doing that. Was picking a fight with t.u. just not good enough for you? In their media guide, the Aggies referred to Lubbock as an ugly, dusty town with a couple of train tracks. College Station, you're kidding about that, right? Have you seen College Station? Admittedly, Lubbock is not an attractive city, but comparatively speaking, the Hub City is Clooney to your Buscemi.
3. Please play every game the same way you play the Longhorns. In other words, please attempt to play every game without a lackadaiscal, middle-of-the-road approach that has made you a 7-5 team no matter whether it's R.C, Coach Fran, Sherrill or an NFL retread coaching you.
4. I'm all for chants, but stop your grabbing nuts and bending over while doing them. The only person besides Aggies that grabs their crotch on a routine basis is Michael Jackson and we all know how well-adjusted he is.
5. Please put another bar in town. It's very hard for 40,000 students plus the locals to drink at only three spots. Drinking in College Station is like going to an overcrowded Brazilian soccer stadium. It's filled way beyond the point of capacity, filled with zealots, weird chants and the off-chance that the homemade moonshine available for swilling might make one go blind.
6. There are articles of clothing available to the rest of the world that are made in colors other than khaki and maroon. Please attempt to familarize yourself with them.
7. Please stop telling the rest of the outside world, "Well, you don't understand our traditions b/c you're not an Aggie." No, we don't understand your traditions b/c they're friggin' weird, and make your academic institution look like a 2nd-rate version of Jonestown.
8. I know it's been covered before in other places, but no really, stop making out on the sidelines after every touchdown. Farm animals kissing is only cute when it's posted on the Photos of the Week section of Yahoo.
9. Please make sure your Science and Technology departments are doing something more useful than developing maroon carrots. Please instead make sure they are using their time and intelligence for something more useful, like...I dunno...cancer research or something like that.
10. Please have the Texas A&M president write a formal apology to the parents of the deceased in the 1999 Bonfire Tragedy. Please stop any Bonfire-related activities, renegade or otherwise, permanently. Please also issue a statement that any students caught participating in such activities will be suspended immediately and for one full year (Fall and Spring semesters) afterwards. Please include in your statement that Texas A&M University has learned from such tragedies and vows never to repeat such acts in the future.
If the Aggies can do all ten of those things, then you shall never hear from me ever again regarding this subject. But since I expect the Aggies to start mending their ways on about the 5th of Never, you can fully expect me to pile on when appropriate, point out the obvious when necessary, and to never back down from denigrating the continued stupidity of an institution that just doesn't know when to stop and reassess its otherwise pointless activities.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go pound a bottle of Oban 18-year. I don't drink mediocre scotch.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Well: CRAP! UT has now lost to the aggies 2 years in a fucking row. TWO! And like the picture above, it wasn't just a loss, it was rape. An ass rape.
I have to say, we at SportsKarma need to be more careful with our blogs. Responsible blogging if you will. Tray, yes, I'm calling you out... We run a board about Sports and Karma. We should therefor follow the laws of Karma. That means no smack talking about the opponent on game week. You talk smack *AFTER* you beat them. You don't go ahead and give them locker-room material! That was a BAD IDEA.
Inside sources say that Franchione "the Little Debby eater" gave all of his players transcripts of Tray's last post before the game. That is why the aggies were so fired up. They just hate "t.u" and they now hate Tray.
Well, I know that I had to drink MASSIVE amounts of alcohol to forget the painful loss. BAD IDEA. I gathered some of my friends and headed to a bar in Monterrey, Mexico. Got the V.I.P treatment with bottle service. (It's CHEAP in Mexico!) And proceeded to drink 2 bottles of Johnnie Walker's Black Label. (TWO! One for each consecutive year we've lost to the fucking aggies) There were only 5 of us, and one of them was a girl, and girls just don't drink as much. So, we got wasted. Very wasted. Another BAD IDEA. Since none of us could drive, we ran around the streets at 5am trying to hail cabs. It was cold. It was raining. BAD IDEA. So I was incredibly drunk, cold, and wet, and got home as the sun was rising. Long story short, I now have a freaking cold. And I only have Tray to blame. =0)
So please...for the love of GOD!!!! PLEASE DON'T LOSE TO THE AGGIES AGAIN NEXT YEAR CAUSE I'LL PROBABLY DIE IF I DRINK 3 FUCKING BOTTLES!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I was a student when It happened. You wanted to insert your smarmy Aggie joke and resume your moral superiority like nothing ever happened. But you couldn't. Parents of the dead were there and sobbing uncontrollably. Their children weren't coming home for Thanksgiving. No more Christmas's. Those parents would never get to see their kids graduate and get their first job or make their first million bucks. They were fleeced of their grandchildren and their memories permanently hijacked. And their children weren't dead b/c of something unpreventable like the Virginia Tech shootings. No, they were dead b/c a bunch of logs fell on them. And why did a bunch of logs fall on them? B/c they were improperly stacking the logs which would have been the Aggie Bonfire.
The Aggie Bonfire is supposed to symbolize the burning desire that they have to beat t.u. Great. First of all, they may have a burning desire to beat the crap out of us, but their record against the Longhorns suggests otherwise. Common sense would have dictated that rather than the students build a 57-foot high monument to inefficiency, they'd be better off just practicing harder and getting better recruits. Alas, that wasn't the case. So the students were committed to building, and burning, an effigy. They were going to build a 57-foot high monument to someone they didn't like very much, but weren't very good at beating either.
Meanwhile, the parents continued to sob.
In Austin, we mobilized and started immediately raising money. White ribbons, our respective schools mutual color, were ubiquitous and inescapable on the 40 Acres. Nightly prayer vigils were held. We cried on campus w/ the Aggie Parents. Some of those fallen in the rubble were our friends, our brothers, our sisters. This wasn't another Aggie joke. We watched in horror as kids our age died. We weren't supposed to die. Not this young. And certainly not like this. Not for this.
And yet they did. And when we all went back to our respective homes over Thanksgiving break, we couldn't muster the proper enthusiasm for the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry. I know I couldn't. In fact, I even remember thinking that it would be nice for them to win it, if for no other reason than for them to have something to cheer about. And sure as hell, they did win. That would be the last time I would ever have anything positive or friendly to say about A&M ever again.
After the game, one of the brainwashed masses in the stands told ABC Sports that "we're gonna have a Renegade Bonfire next year b/c that's how much we hate t.u." The College Station faithful roared w/ approval at this remark and cheered him on while he babbled incoherently like a steroid-fueled pro wrestler. I remember sitting w/ my family, just about ready to puke, at these remarks. We raised money for you. We prayed for you. We sent our campus representatives to help you. We sent our best psychologists and grief counselors to your campus to care for you, so that the sadness and tragedy of the last week would not overwhelm you. We damn near helped you win a football game. And this is how you repay us. You verbally murdered us in front of a disbelieving national audience.
I'd like to believe that the student and the surrounding people in the stands were just hyped up on Jack Daniel's and stress. But Monday morning after the game, the Aggie faithful took to the morning talk shows and said that "tradition must continue in Aggieland." Really? A completely dangerous and pointless exercise of building a 57-foot high effigy of someone you apparently hate must go on? Your kids who just died for this idiocy must see to it that this continue? Over a football game? It's that important to you? Really?
This wasn't like Judas selling Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver. This was closer to Saddam Hussein gassing the Kurds. This was just an evil and pointless act that bordered on insanity. The Aggie Bonfire was apparently going to continue. The Texas A&M administration no longer sanctioned it, but wasn't going to stop it either. Robert Gates, now the man appointed to find Osama bin Laden, washed his hands like he was Pontius Pilate, and declared that he wasn't going to stop it.
So tradition has continued in Aggieland. They still every year about this time build their Monument of Hate. They light that Monument ablaze every November, and it hasn't mattered that the logs came tumbling down on that fateful day in 1999. The administration, the student body, the alumni never stopped to consider that, even in the name of tradition, some traditions must come to a close. Gladiator fighting was a tradition in ancient Rome. Burning witches at the stake was a tradition in medieval times. They both had to come to a close b/c they were stupid, killed many innocent people, and devalued the sanctity of human life.
The Aggie Bonfire cheapened human life on that day. It devalued the sanctity of human life. It was stupid. It was ignorant. It was, by their own admission, hateful. And still it continues.
A few years ago, I made the residential edict that no one would be allowed into my house wearing Texas A&M gear. My parents still think this is a strange proclamation. But I have no room in my house for someone that explicitly or implicitly encourages such behavior, such pointless martyrdom.
All I can hope for as a University of Texas graduate is that every year, we kick Texas A&M's ass to a point somewhere beyond embarrassment or shame. If the score is 200-0 in the third quarter in our favor, I would go for two. You see, it's gotten to a point where Texas-Texas A&M isn't like any other rivalry. Most schools hate each other because they are distinct geographical rivals. Oklahoma-Texas being a prime example. A&M chose to hate us for some strange reason, I'm not totally sure why. But on that day when they crossed the bounds of human decency over a football game, I want them to be reminded forever of what they said and what they did. I want them to be reminded that of all the Aggies jokes in the world, when they wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, they are the saddest, and perhaps cruelest, joke of all.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Awesome. A word that just gets thrown around. Seems these days, people think EVERYTHING is awesome. But they are wrong. The brilliant, kick-ass, picture above proves my point.
Few things are awesome. Even fewer people are awesome. And guess what... I met a fellow blogger who is in the quest of proving her awesomeness. Meet T n’ Airre (yes, it’s a play on T&A) (http://tnairre.blogspot.com/). She has embarked in a yearlong journey to compete and win an international air guitar competition. I am honored to be part of her support & preparation crew and I’ll give y’all updates on her progress from time to time. I will no-doubt have great tales in the months to come, as she strives to achieve total greatness.
To become a true rock star, she’ll have to party like a rock star. She’ll have to live like a rock star. She’ll have to BE the rock star. She’s started off on the right foot by installing a stripper pole in her living room. Her parties have now gone up a notch.
She’s also agreed to teach class at my next party (details coming soon). The party can be thoroughly described by two words: Drunk Yoga. Did I mention she's a professional yoga instructor?
Well my faithful readers, it’s time for me to sign off. But… before I return to work, I’ll leave you yet another truly AWESOME picture….
Thursday, November 8, 2007
As soon as Papelbon was unleashed from the bullpen, I said to him: "Congratulations on your second World Series victory in four years."
Watching Papelbon pitch was like watching tag team pro wrestling when I was a kid. No matter how dire of shape the good guy was in, all it took was that tag to change the tide of the match. Papelbon played the role of Shawn Michaels or Ax or Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart perfectly. He'd come storming out of the corner, full-throttle, pistol whipping the opponent until no one was left in the ring. Like Hawk (or Animal), he was the perfect Cooler. The Human Victory Cigar if there ever was one.
While he poured beer on the World Series trophy, I remarked to my sister: "Man, wouldn't it be nice for the Astros to have a great closer again?" Maybe Houston doesn't have a Papelbon in wait right now, but as we go into the offseason of one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory, at least it's nice to have a clean slate.
By all accounts, Brad "Lights Out" Lidge was a good guy, and yes, at one point perhaps the most dominant closer in baseball. He could overpower batters with 97 MPH heat, and break their will with a slider that darted faster than Adrian Peterson in the secondary. In 2004, and most of 2005, my favorite moment of being an Astros fan was watching, or more often, listening to Milo Hamilton orgasmically praise Lidge as he ruthlessly crushed another hapless chump in the 9th inning. Those years the Astros advanced to the NLCS and the World Series respectively.
But Lidge forever changed on That Night. Yes, I know the Astros made the World Series anyway. But That Night completely altered the course of a franchise that seemed on pace to be in baseball's upper-echelon of elites. This was a franchise that won the NL Central in 1997-1999 and 2001. This was a franchise with one of the leagues most dominant, and likeable, superstars in Lance Berkman. This was a franchise with two of baseball's best veterans, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, heading into the twilight of their Cooperstown-bound careers.
But as Albert Pujols, who shall forever on this website be known as the Antichrist, annihilated a hanging Brad Lidge slider, he sent the Astros into a funk that they haven't recovered from yet. Lidge gave up even more embarrassing bombs in the World Series, including one to Olsen Twin-skinny Scott Podsenik. The Astros were swept by the White Sox, and everyone was waiting for the Astros to trade Lidge. After all, once a closer loses it like that, he doesn't get it back, right? Mitch Williams, Donnie Moore, Byung Hung-Kim, Calvin Schiraldi...I mean, none of them got it back, right?
We waited for them to trade him during the 2006 season when we fell 1.5 games short of the Cardinals, and he blew seven saves that season, including two against them. If he saved three of the seven he blew, the Astros win the NL Central again. Instead, we watched the Antichrist and his teammates celebrate their championship.
We waited for the Astros to trade him at the mid-season mark when the Astros were floundering in what was easily the worst division in baseball. At this point, watching Lidge pitch and choke away leads to the Pittsburgh Friggin' Pirates was akin to watching your old and beloved, but completely decrepit dog take a crap right in the middle of the living room floor. Sure you were upset, but you also couldn't stay mad either. It was more pathetic than anything else as you watched him lose self-control right in front of you. It should have been just a matter of time that the Astros play the loving master, and take Ol' Pup Lidge to the vets to say Last Doggie Rites. But they didn't until now.
I know that the Astros got a lot of heat for hiring Ed Wade, the ex-Phillies GM. He had been accused of running the Phillies organization into the ground. You know, the same Phillies organization that just won the NL East? Tons of people jumped onto the chat boards in Houston and ripped Wade like he was the reincarnation of David Carr. And maybe he really is that incompetent. Starting in April, we'll have 162 games to see where he stands, and what moves he will make. He's already offered Roger Clemens the opportunity to work in the front office should he decide to stay retired. And he pulled off a coup by finally, mercifully, trading Lidge along with the infrequently used Eric Bruntlett to his old team, the Phillies, for five minor league prospects. Maybe none of the prospects pan out. Maybe they do. Who knows, and sometimes, it's nothing but a crapshoot anyway.
But regardless of what the Astros get from this trade, we acquired one thing that stands out above everything else: Hope. With Lidge gone, we can finally begin to clean up the stains off the carpets of season past, and begin with renewed vigor a chance at the NL Central title and beyond. We still have Roy Oswalt, we still have Lance, we still have a plethora of solid young talent that showed their mettle as September call-ups. Maybe our bullpen still sucks, maybe it doesn't, but at least on Opening Day, I won't be having flashbacks to That Night. Maybe we can still put those nightmares to bed, and begin anew.
But as we begin anew, I can't help but feel sorry for Brad Lidge. He should have done himself the favor and just retire after the Antichrist splintered his soul. But he forged ahead, and now he's pitching for perhaps the most unlikable city in America. A city where Santa gets booed, players with potentially broken necks are jeered and D-Cell batteries are thrown at the opposition. Philadelphia's so heartless even the Grinch thinks they need to cheer up. And now Lights Out has to pitch there. When he made a mess on the carpet, Ol' Pup Lidge was doing it on the carpet of the supportive suburban family of four with a heart of gold. Now when he makes a mess on the carpet, Lidge is doing it at Michael Vick's place.
I hope he makes it out of Philly alive. But like so many old dogs, I'm just not so sure he will.
Anyway, once an ad comes out on TV for your new album for Target, and for the Sale price of $9.99, you realize something is hmmm...
"How do you say in your language....?"
Ah, yes, "Fucked up".
Welcome to the pages of SportsKarma Britney... Now you know that Karma really is a bitch.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Baby with birth defect named reincarnation of a god...
Ok. Wow. What. The. FUCK!?!?!?
All science, religion, and everything else aside... after reading the article, and seeing that image... here are some common thoughts one might have:
"The extraordinary eight-limbed baby was born in a poverty-stricken region of Bihar, India - on the day devoted to the celebration of the four-armed Hindu deity Vishnu."
thought #1: - Wow, what a strange day to be born with 8 legs...
thought #2: - I bet that mother could use a hand...
thought #3: - And I thought the arms race was a thing of the past.
thought #4: - I gotta hand it to the mother, that's some decent handy work.
thought #5: - I bet she's an army brat.
thought #6: - I bet clothes for that kid cost an arm and a leg.
thought #7: - How many H1-B visas will she need?
thought #8: - Future "Employee of the Month" at the Nike factory.
thought #9: - And THAT'S why mom shouldn't have slept with Spider Man.
thought #10:- I heard when the doctor came back into the room after she was born there was a spider web that said "that's some baby!"
OK, so I'm gonna go out on a limb here....... but if ANY of you are laughing at this then you guys are really insensitive. She's so cute! With a smile like that, she's sure to have a leg up on life.
Friday, November 2, 2007
So while the concept of underrated has always been a topic for Caitlin and me, I figured more people might enjoy an expansion of this topic as it has always brought us great amusement. Below is a list of 20 underrated people, places and things plus an explanation of why they're there. Excluded from the list are Craig Biggio, blueberries, Carol Burnett and Tennessee. They're already documented as being underrated.
Hakeem Olajuwon: One of the most dominant big men ever, he secured 2 championships, leads the NBA all-time in blocked shots, and in his prime he utterly destroyed David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Shaq in an 18-month span. Yet he always seems overshadowed by Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem in the lineage of great centers. This doesn't seem right to me.
Idaho: Beautiful state, charming people, a city greatly on the rise in Boise, and one of the state's universities gave us one of the most memorable plays in college football history (Boise State's Statue of Liberty play). Tons of stuff to do outdoors including fishing and kayaking on the Snake River and world class skiing in Sun Valley and Hailey. And yet Idaho's neighbors Oregon and Washington get more love in the Pacific Northwest.
French Toast: Waffles and pancakes both have restaurants named after them, but I'll still take French toast over either one of them.
Kitchen sheers: One of the handiest kitchen utensils, I always use them especially when trimming the fat off of certain things like skirt steak. And they're easier to use plus safer than a knife and fork.
John Fogerty: The man penned some of the most memorable songs of his era, wrote some of the greatest rock n' roll in a 7-year span w/ Creedence Clearwater Revival, but is constantly overlooked by others of his era that burned out more quickly than he did. Hendrix, Joplin, and Morrison seem to gain more critical acclaim. But John Fogerty is still alive. The others aren't.
Iceland--Volcanoes, geysers, statuesque blonde women, and rounds of golf at 3 AM are all pretty awesome. The literacy level is at 90%, the country boasts little crime and it has one of the greatest parties scenes in Europe w/ the capital city of Reykjavík. It continously boasts one of Europe's best economies. It's also home to one of the world's most unknown liquores in aquavit. And yet the UK and Ireland dominate most of the headlines.
Brisket--Has brisket ever not delivered the goods? Ever? Ribs may get more critical acclaim, and sausage may be more versatile, but in terms of a great Texas BBQ, brisket is the one thing everyone can agree on.
Bass guitar--Yeah, I know I'm incredibly biased in this regard, but here me out. The bassist is typically the most unknown guy in the band. There's the lead singer that's the focal point, the guitarist gets the solos, the drummer is typically the loudest and craziest guy in the band (see Keith Moon, John Bonham or any of Spinal Tap's drummers). But the greatest rock star of all time, Gene Simmons, plays bass proving that despite being completely unknown bassists can still have a presence above and beyond the other three guys in the band.
Portugal--Spain is oftentimes romanticized, and I suppose w/ good reason, but Portugal is closer to the ocean, just as warm, and they've got a cool offbeat language. Lisbon might be the most unknown major city in Western Europe.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage--In his absolute prime w/ the WWF, we probably couldn't classify him as underrated. In fact, he's a great example of someone who was overrated then, but completely underrated now. He was an acrobatic pioneer in his day, someone who popularized top-turnbuckle manuevers now seen quite commonly in pro wrestling today. He was never quite as popular as Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant or the Ultimate Warrior, but looking back on it, he may have had more impact than those three in terms of how we watch pro wrestling.
The Muppet Movie--Given the popularity of films like Shrek, it seems more and more implausable that The Muppet Movie doesn't gain more acknowledgment as the Godfather of these types of movies. Forget about The Rainbow Connection for just one moment, and consider this. Jim Henson managed to get Steve Martin and Richard Pryor both in their comic primes to do cameos. He got Mel Brooks to play a mad German scientist, and got Madeline Kahn to reprise her role from Blazing Saddles. Read that again. He managed to weasel prostitute references into a kid's movie! How this film doesn't get mentioned as one of the great comedies ever is beyond me.
James Young--He was the lead guitarist in Styx. The band itself is properly rated (a tad overrated seeing as how they stuck around wayyyy too long and fired their trademark lead singer), but JY is wildly underrated, and isn't even in the discussion of great rock guitarists of his era. But any doubt as to whether he should be there should be dismissed when listening to the Paradise Theater album. JY whips out tasty butt-kicking riffs on Half-Penny Two-Penny, shifts to funk riffs halfway through the album, and caps it off w/ a shrieking, gutbucket blues solo on Snowblind that's so bad-ass, it feels like he should be wearing a top hat and writing riffs for his forthcoming 1987 album called Appetite For Destruction.
Pete Rose--Like O.J., society has focused more on what he's infamous for rather than what he was famous for originally. And probably w/ good reason too. But when the topic of greatest hitters of all-time come up, why is Pete Rose, the all-time hit king never in the discussion? He has more of them than anyone else in baseball history! Ted Williams, DiMaggio, Tony Gwynn, Ty Cobb, yeah they were all tremendous hitters w/out question, but doesn't Pete Rose deserve the same kind of respect despite his gambling issues? Even Shoeless Joe gets more praise for his hitting ability than Pete Rose has.
Acadia National Park--Conde Nast Magazine once called it the most beautiful place on Earth. But in the list of national parks, it doesn't even seem to register compared to Yellowstone or Yosemite. And it's not like it's impossible to get to either. It's about three hours north of Boston off of I-95 making more accessible than the aforementioned two. Coupled w/ the fact that a ferry ride from the park's center in Bar Harbor, Maine takes you to Nova Scotia, Acadia deserves more love than it's getting.
Dana Carvey--Most people forget this b/c Saturday Night Live in his era was absolutely loaded but he was the biggest and possibly the best cast member of that lot. And that was a cast that included Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Chris Farley. He gave us Ross Perot, George H.W. Bush, Garth, The Church Lady, pulled off an incredible one-man skit as Tom Brokaw announcing the death of Gerald Ford, but despite all of this, he still doesn't receive his due as one of the pantheon members of SNL.
Playboy--How is one of the world's best-selling magazines underrated? Consider this: The market is currently saturated by soft-core men's magazines that have more or less what Playboy offers. Porn itself is so saturated itself just by virtue of the Internet. One can literally find what Playboy offers just about anywhere on the Internet. And yet Hugh Hefner consistently finds America's best writers--everyone from Stephen King to Issac Asimov has contributed in the last decade--lands cutting edge interviews w/ big-name politicians, and has one of the best sports sections in any men's magazine. It is always relevant, but never mentioned amongst the best magazines of any genre. And frankly, it should be.
Christopher Moore--One of America's finest humorists, he actually managed to write a hilarious book about the first 30 years of Jesus's life w/out anyone being offended. That, in and of itself, is worth noting. He has put out innumerable best-sellers spoofing vampires, science, religion, and angels amongst others, but is still in the shadows of more famous humorists like Dave Barry and Kinky Friedman.
The Boondock Saints--Truth be known, this movie about two Irish-Catholic brothers that take on the Russian Mafia is starting to become properly rated. It should be considered in the Pantheon of great film noir movies made of the last twenty years, but it still hasn't gotten the acclaim of anything Tarantino has released. Willem Dafoe gives an Academy Award-winning effort as the gay FBI agent, but never even sniffed such a nomination. He was better here than he was in Last Temptation of Christ.
Albuquerque, New Mexico--Still a hidden American jewel despite its consistent growth. 300 days of sunshine year-round with no humidity, fantastic, damn near Pantheon level grub (check out Los Cuates) and world-class hiking through the Sandia Mountains. Put that together w/ really friendly people, a major university in town, and a recent study that said it was the fittest city in America, and you have a really likeable place. Regionally, though, Santa Fe, Denver and Phoenix get more love. Speaking of those places...
The Mountain Time Zone--Monday Night Football starts at 7 PM. It ends around 10:30 PM. That's enough time to get off work, head home, get something to eat, and then go out w/ your friends and listen to the likes of Kornheiser and Theismann verbally abuse the English language. Well, OK, that sucks, but the rest of it is pretty cool. The NCAA Tournament starts at 10 AM, and virtually all major sports events start at decent hours that won't leave you sitting in traffic when they start or going to bed in the 5th inning either.
We at Sports Karma are always looking to glorify the underrated, so please feel free to post comments as to what else needs to be added.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
What am I doing wrong?
Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York. I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.
Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?
Here are my questions specifically:
- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms
-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings
-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?
- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?
- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?
- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY
Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament. Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.
Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity...in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!
So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!
So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.
Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.
By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.
With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way. Classic "pump and dump." I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
But some things remain. And when Brad's in Austin, time doesn't necessarily reverse itself. We just add a little bit more to the clock.
I arrived at Chris's a half-hour later. I pulled up a chair and a glass of ice, and poured myself a little Jameson's 12-year on the rocks. Brad was in town from Los Angeles partly for Saturday's Texas-Nebraska game, but more for a job interview in Houston the next day. In years' past, we would have greeted each other at the door w/ a salutation more appropriate for Flounder and Blutarsky. Instead, he was discussing the recent passing of his father. Kevin chimed in about how he just became a father. I discussed how my father and mother just got divorced. And Chris countered, even while all of us were being unusually maudlin, about how he was still one bad mother. We laughed, but not hilariously. I poured another Jameson's for me, and made sure the rest of the crue's glass was full.
I woke up Friday morning feeling like a Bukowski novel, and smelling like the gastric innards of a Dublin distillery. I'm getting older, and in this case, definitely not wiser. I staggered like a punched-out welterweight through my kitchen and slammed some Advil back w/ an Austin water chaser. Jim Rome was on my radio ranting about the Yankees or the Red Sox or college football or something. Maybe he was reading emails, maybe he was venting about how we need a college football playoff, maybe he was interviewing my father taking the third string QB gig w/ the Rams. Whatever. It was irrelevent. Even my ears were bloodshot, nauseous, and on the verge of puking. I went to work eventually.
Saturday morning, I woke up booze-free, but my cell phone was buzzing around 10:30 AM. Brad was already on the 40 Acres, and was a few beers down to boot. God Bless Him. Tailgating on a Saturday afternoon during the college football season is a Southern artform. The canvas is typically an asphalt lot against a blue sky filled w/ mesquite smoke. The colors can vary but typically our Southern Picassos paint w/ rich, pecan whiffs of brisket and a spill of Stubb's spicy BBQ sauce. Jack Daniel's, Shiner Bock and Bloody Mary's are used liberally by the swirls of elder alums, and scantily clad sorority hotties alike.
We weren't scheduled to beat the hell out of Nebraska for at least another four hours. "Get your ass down here," Brad said. I showered up and arrived in the shadows of our alma mater and Royal Texas Memorial Stadium around 12 noon. Kevin and Brad met me in the Shiner Bock tent. Kevin's originally from Shiner, TX, the little town that bears the name of my favorite beer. He knows a few people that could get us into their tent for all their fixings. And their beer. Lots of their beer. The brisket was cooking, ready for consumption, and they had at least seven more cows worth of meat, so skimping on the grub wasn't necessary. I grabbed a Shiner, and a plate full of meat, slathered it in BBQ sauce and began to coat myself into a greasy frenzy. College football Saturdays in TX rock, no matter where you go, unless you go to College Station where I'm not even sure the Aggies allow anyone to eat or booze until they get their jihad chants just right. But I don't think anyone would argue that there is nowhere else better in TX than a Longhorn tailgate. The band next to us was playing a revved-up, punk cover of Folsom Prison Blues. The tipsy girls were walking by, yelling "Hook 'em" to no one and everyone in particular, including the band. Nebraska was about to get killed. I sipped my beer, took another bite of my brisket and grinned. And then Domingo showed up...
Domingo was one of my ex-roommates from college, now living out in the Bay Area. We were notorious troublemakers in school, perhaps our most famous moment being down in South Padre Island, where we spent approximately a whole week drunk, and mated w/ more women than Gene Simmons. And apparently, SPI wasn't nearly enough for him b/c the minute he touched down in Austin, Hooters' waitresses were giving him their numbers. Seriously. He has pictures to go w/ their numbers and everything. It must be his accent b/c Lord knows I can't figure out what else it might be.
Domingo was going to the game, but Brad and I weren't. Eventually, after gawking at his pictures, we parted ways. He was going to Houston after the game. Brad and I needed to go downtown, and assault our liver w/ gin. In fact, we needed to go to the nearest sports bar, and assault our livers w/ gin now. We had a glorious number of games to choose from including our Longhorns. We ordered up some grub, grabbed our gin, and Brad presented me w/ some big news: He got the gig in Houston. Mad love to him. His first drink was on me. And since he'll be a two-hour car ride a month from right now, I figure this won't be the last drink on me either.
Halftime rolled around, and Kevin called us. The game sucked, and not b/c we were beating them so badly. They were actually up by two touchdowns. He said he wanted to meet us up at the bar. We weren't going to deny the man a seat as long as he paid for the round of drinks. Somewhere around the 3rd quarter, Kevin showed up, and whipped out his cash. If memory serves me right, this was Kevin's first round, my seventh, and Brad's 22nd. He had some catching up to do.
Eventually, we won. We certainly didn't beat the hell out of them, although we should have. 28-25 was the final score. Still enough, I still live here in Austin, Brad will live in Houston, and those fat slobs HAD to go back to Lincoln. Sucks to be them.
We meandered down to Chris's place after the game for more gin, victory cigars, and to lay out the plans as to how we were going to lay waste and conquer downtown Austin that night. First stop: Cedar Street Courtyard.
I don't know who told Brad this, or sold him on this idea, but he was told that Cedar Street Courtyard in the heart of Austin's Warehouse District was this supple land where MILF's grew on aspen trees, and the booze flowed like lapping tongues of ocean. All I know is that we showed up, and there were a bunch of women shaking their asses to a band playing Bon Jovi covers. They were screaming at these middle-aged jackholes like they really were Jon and Richie. They were throwing panties at them. Not us. Fuck 'em, I said. I wasn't really in the mood to deal w/ some chick who gets out once a month and was going to throw her goods at a guy pretending to rock. Chris and his girlfriend, Mandy, were w/ us, and they wanted to grab a bite to eat next door at Saba. It's this cool tapas bar, that's always playing chill house music from Sasha, Digweed and the ilk. I couldn't wait to split fast enough.
Brad and I ordered more booze; they ordered up grub. Slackers. Saba actually sits directly on top of Cedar Street Courtyard and just to the east. We could look down at the fray and make fun of everyone dancing like an idiot to You Give Love A Bad Name while we jived to Digweed. Somewhere around my second Saba drink, Brad and Chris were talking about the last time they were boozing this close to a window. You know, as opposed to the last time they were boozing next to a Guatemalan hooker or a three-assed giraffe. Whatever. They concurred that the last time they were swilling it up w/ this kind of view would have been at a 2004 wedding in Fort Worth where Kevin first hooked up w/ his future wife. They pressed their ball sacs up against a window to taunt him while he was making out w/ her. Kevin saw what was going on, saw their walrus-sized nads, and couldn't stop laughing while he was tongue wrestling w/ his soon-to-be spouse. Brad declared that this must be done again. Again, I say, whatever. I wasn't at that wedding, and frankly, I like my gonads where they belong. But Brad believed this is a task that must be followed through after Chris and Mandy were done w/ their food. And he's preached to Chris w/ the fervor of Billy Graham and Joel Osteen that he must do this too. Brad became the Oral Roberts of ball sac showing, preaching to our intimate congregation that Chris MUST show his lordly goods to the masses below or God would call him Home.
After the tab was paid and the dishes were cleared, Brad pushed the table out slightly, and stared down at the Bon Jovi-loving masses like he was tucking in his shirt. He wasn't tucking in his shirt. He gave the crowd what they should have wanted to see, but they never stared back in appreciation. Or even wanting. And unlike crusaders of the past, Brad went on this pilgrimage alone. Neither Chris nor I joined him. Mandy has no balls so she was clearing on the outs. He walked away from the window w/ his junk in tact and left the window unstained. But permanently scarred.
Last up on the night was the Belmont. It's on 6th Street, but it's not where the massive string of collegiate dive bars are. It's further up the way, pocketed next to a sushi restaurant. We were greeted by a concrete courtyard, bebop jazz and a swoon of bourbon-glazed female eyes. We stepped inside past the courtyard, and found ourselves a sleek, black booth hidden in a wooden enclave. If you've seen Swingers it looked like the Dresden--a place where Double Down Trent and Sue took Mikey to down martinis and get him out of his woman funk. Brad and I looked at each other immediately and started reciting lines from the flick. We were two big bears w/ claws and fangs just trying to kill the bunnies. But the booze still took center stage over the bunnies.
We were drinking, we were chuckling, we were mellow and cool to the stylings of Miles and Monk. Our booze consumption at this point was rivaling the legendary tales of Modern Drunkard. Brad, himself, had been drinking since 9:30 AM Saturday morning. I admit our prowess isn't immortal, but we wondered aloud if a Zen-like space exists between the mere mortals and the Rat Pack.
However, I doubt that Dean and Frank would have laughed as hard as we did when we saw the Belmont's table top advertisement for their happy hour appetizers. They were passed appetizers. Yes, you heard me. Passed.
Brad and I laughed not like Dean and Frank, a hearty, man-like, Jack Daniel's induced howl. Rather, we were the gin-spitting Beavis and Butthead, a maddened cackle without any sort of suppression. "Passed appetizers?" Brad bleated. "Seriously, does the waiter come up to you shit in a bowl and tell you to share?" "What about passed pate?" I asked. We collectively roared at that. The bourbon-glazed female eyes that were originally staring us down were now shifting away in uncomfortable disgust. Not that we cared or even noticed. We were the Demigods of Swill ruling Austin w/ a mighty fistful of ninety-proof power. Houston will be conquered next month. But as the lights came on to kick us out of the Belmont, we stood wobbly but strong overseeing our booze-soaked kingdom. Coltrane played our coronation music while we sauntered out into the streets. The jubilent drunks filed out on to 6th Street and into their cars that they shouldn't have been operating but did anyway. Our taxi was there to take us away from the masses. We sped away in our yellow car chauffeur. Far from the people that wished they were us.
I woke up late the next day and watched football for most of it. I met up w/ Brad over at Kevin's place and we played w/ his kid, trying to help her crawl amongst her blocks. It was like we picked up where we left off on Thursday night. Brad's father had passed. Kevin is a father. But, no matter how many responsibilities we share or grievances we carry, we still proved w/out question that we were still a collective one bad mother. It's refreshing still to know that even after all these years, after all the crap that's happened in our lives, we can still bring it.
Kevin's daughter fell asleep w/ her busy blocks all around her. He put her in the crib, came back downstairs and flipped on the Patriots. He poured us some Jack, and we quietly watched Tom Brady decimate the Redskins. Like Brady, we had our championships.
Just like him, we're looking for more.
Friday, October 26, 2007
The gangster movie. My favorite by far, no other genre can show the true emotion of warfare in society and put it in our terms. I’m not just talking about serious action movies, I’m talking about the "bloodletting between family members, love, death, destruction, riches and spoils, just to let it all crash and burn in the end" movie.
I have a funny feeling that “American Gangster” will be the next incarnation of that great movie. I’ve always said that trailers tells you a lot of a movie, and I have a feeling that this one is going to come out with guns blazing. Denzel was meant to play this role more than he was meant to play “Training Day”, although, that was a good movie as well, but not a Gangster movie in the least. “American Gangster” is coming out on MY BIRTHDAY, November 2nd, that is a testament to how much Hollywood knows I love Gangster movies!
I feel that in order to continue, I must address the monicker "Gangster movie". Typically, this would (for me) include any movie that included the Mafia world of organized crime, i.e. Italians doing what they do best, slicing up garlic with a small blade and killing people. Now I realize that there are lots of different "ethnicities", if you will, that must be included in the deathly fun of organized crime. And for that matter, lots of films that have decided to take the topic on hand. So organized crime and any of its many endeavors, i.e. money laundering enterprises, regular organized "thuggery", gambling, drug dealing, drug doing, murdering, assassinating, racketeering, prostituting, smugling, cheating, back-stabbing, etc. yet done within the premise of family and morality will qualify.
Anyway, I digress. In order to welcome “American Gangster” to the family of movies that I love, here is a list of my favorite gangster movies from 11 to 1. There's eleven because here at SPORTSKARMA, we turn things up to 11, that's just how we roll. For the record, without even seeing it, I feel like “American Gangster” would fall right on number 6. I hope it knocks me off my feet, and threatens the livelihood of the almighty “Top 5”, although when you read the list you will see that the "Top 5" will slip a wire around your neck while you're sitting on the passanger seat, put a car bomb on your Nissan Sentra, take a baseball bat to your head while you're sitting down having dinner, or mow you down with an M16 while on a coke induced rage, so if you are planning to enter the holy ground of the
"Top 5", "American Gangster", you better bring your A-game.
11. "Bugsy" – A story of a man and a dream, though Bugsy is hardly the real story of Benjamin Siegal, the criminal mastermind who turned Las Vegas into a desert pleasure town, Warren Beatty has captured the essence of the man. Bugsy got several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Beatty. Unfortunately it came out during the year of Silence of the Lambs which was the Best Picture in 1991 and Anthony Hopkins beat Beatty for Best Actor. The scene when he's reading that newspaper, I knew something was going down. Anyway,if you love Vegas, then you have to watch this movie. Period. I couldn't find a good clip out there, so rent it if you want to check it out, it's worth it.
10. "A Bronx Tale" – Directed by Robert De Niro and written by Chazz Palmieri? Wow, I bet you didn’t know that one. Another great movie where Bobby plays the part of the aged old man, and Chazz plays the local gangster who owns the town and wants to corrupt the young son of Robert De Niro. While watching the movie, I had the itch to see Bobby De Niro go “Goodfellas” on this guy! Wail on him with a shovel! He’s a punk!
9. "Carlito's Way" - The story of Carlito Brigante and his fall from grace. For me, this was the "What if Scarface had actually survived and then someday decided to walk away from it all?" movie. Of course, Tony Montana was Cuban and in this movie, Carlito Brigante is Puerto Rican. But whatever, that's the way I like to think of it when I watch it. John Leguizamo and Sean Penn get major props, they almost stole the movie. Sean Penn has been on my “Top 5 People I want to kill” list since then, right between Jaleel "Urkel" White and Vanilla Ice. I don't care if he was playing a character! You must die Penn!!
8. "Blood in Blood Out: Bound by Honor
The Mexican Opus to end all. Rife with Mexican emblems, the mix of "East Los", the racial struggles of the Mexican versus the Chicanos, the entire life-span of three half-brothers, Miklo is the greatest-bad actor in the world, hands down. I always wanted to go to East Los Angeles to see that damn tree and throw my "Vatos Locos" signs. By a miracle of modern technology, you can see the ENTIRE MOVIE on YOU TUBE and MYSPACE. Here is the link to the 1st of 6 parts, you can see the rest by clicking the links once on YOUTUBE or MYSPACE.
Blood In Blood Out Part 1
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7. "Casino" Probably the bloodiest most violent deaths recorded on film. Man, everytime I watch it, it gives me chills to see Joe Pesci go down like that, but hey, it's a gangster movie, what do you expect. Sharon Stone plays the ultimate stone cold psycho wife, my goodness she was nuts!! Bobby just shake the crap out of her man! The only thing annoying about this movie was the constant narration, every person was thinking and talking, good lord, I was getting annoyed quickly.
6. "Donnie Brasco" - Al Pacino plays the part of an aged gangster waiting for his promotion, Johnny Depp plays the undercover cop that is supposed to bring them down. He was so damn good playing that part, everytime I watch it, I'm screaming at the screen "Hey, you're AL FUCKING PACINO man, get your balls and go tell that puto boss of yours to say hello to your little friend! Remember? DO SOMETHING!" Or pull the Ole "I know it was you, you broke my heart!" to Johnny Depp. Also, this movie started the craze of the “Fogedaboutit”, man that didn’t get old real fast…
5. "Scarface" - So many lines to pull from "He's a fuckin' cockroach" "Say hello to my little friend" Edged out by the following because it's my freaking countdown. I was more in line with the following on the list than by Scarface, although my friend Edgar is like a rapper with the Scarface references, I'm surprised he doesn't own a huge black leather chair with the "TM" inscribed in gold lettering. Amazing movie, Tony Montana is a coke fueled beast. Gotta love the ending when he snorts the whole pile of coke on his desk. Does everyone know that Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay??? DUH! No wonder it is what it is. The world is yours baby, it's yours.
4. "The Godfather Trilogy" What, NOT number one?? I know, Godfather III was bad, II would be number one, but by default it has to be associated with number III. Awesome movies, once a year I watch the whole thing while drinking a nice Glenlivet on the rocks. Godfather II was the best, I wish they could have worked a Robert De Niro and Al Pacino scene together, but that would have required Vito Corleone to travel forward in time to be with his grown son Michael, or Vice Versa.
3. "Untouchables" Damn it Sean Connery! Don't you know anything?? I thought you were supposed to be this great beat cop who had a sixth sense!! Man, that was a lot of bullets to put into one man, then he’s spitting out blood and drags himself to get his wife’s necklace. One of the greatest movies ever, period. Great cast, great story, great lines. Man, this could have been number one if it wasn't for the next two. Robert De Niro was the greatest Capone on screen. The man loves baseball, if you know the reference, then you're OK on my book.
2. "Goodfellas" The definition of Gangster movie, the rock and roll story pretty much, from the top to the bottom baby. I felt like this movie could have been titled "Behind the Music: Goodfellas". All the descriptions, inside the jail, the whole Joe Pesci killing the other mobster in the bar, what that means in the future, it was like several movies in one, lots of stories all intertwined. Very neat script, sharp like an exacto knife! This is one of the greatest scenes ever, you could cut the tension with a knife!
1."The Usual Suspects" I put this movie on one night not expecting much, (that I had to wait to rent it is a testament to how little I knew) It was about 10ish when I put it in, I saw the entire thing, went to get some cereal and watched the whole thing over again. True story. So good, it makes my balls itch. Absolutely the best crime gangster movie. Edges out Godfather Trilogy because Godfather III was a complete waste of time. Beats the trilogy by a nose. Kyzer Soze lives in my nightmares!!!
So there you are, I came back, edited some stuff, put in the clips, did it all for you, let me know what you think, we need some comments in the website so we can see if we’re going in the right direction!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
I can only imagine the horror of watching what ensued next, unmercifully capping w/ Kevin Youklis's bomb off the Coke bottle. I'm only guessing, but That Inning must have been the sporting equivalent of the final 15 minutes of Braveheart.
Indians Fans, and all of northern Ohio, I will not try to be creative any longer in my descriptions, although you must admit this has been damned creative writing on my part, up to this point. But while you lament what could have been, and buckle down for an unsavory winter on the shores of Lake Erie, I come to offer you a proposition.
You see, Cleveland, I moved to northern Connecticut, right in the heart of Red Sox Nation, in November 2003, shortly after Aaron Bleepin' Boone nailed Tim Wakefield's knuckler and made New England as happy as an Alice In Chains song. I remember seeing distressed Red Sox fans sit alone at empty dive bars on frozen November nights, slamming shots of Yukon Jack, and pondering the existential furies of their fathers and grandfathers. Cleveland, I'm sure you're there right now, and believe me, this is not a healthy thing.
So, it is w/ all of that in mind that, Cleveland, I propose to you the following: Move me to your city. Please read my post regarding the origins of Sports Karma first, and after you read it, I would like for you to contact me, or this blog personally, so that we can set up arrangements for you to move me to your city for one year. If we get enough responses on our blog, I will personally arrange a PayPal account for the donations, and I will set up a separate bank account for the monies to be set aside.
Ultimately, I would like to raise $150,000. On the surface, that may seem to you like an extravagant amount of money. However, once moving costs and living expenses are figured in, I would like to use this money for town rallies at your local clubs and sports bars. I want to advertise our cause and these rallies through the local sports talk radio stations, TV stations and newspapers. Any further money donated to our cause I will give back to the Cleveland Boys and Girls Club. The money you help raise I will not give to any other city, but it will stay within your community.
Cleveland, I personally want to bring the Sports Karma to you. The acclaimed preacher Joel Osteen has in the past remarked to people struggling with their faith, "You've dwelt on that mountain too long." It is time for you to rise up, get off the mountain, and reclaim your glory. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post directly to this website.
And most of all, Cleveland: Believe!
So right now I'm bored, hung over, and very tired. I guess I'll just write about last night, since there isn't anything better to do at work…
First of all, I'll clarify: I'm not a writer, I'm not a poet, I'm an engineer.
My forte is not story telling and using eloquent phrases;
but numbers, robots, and drinking in may places.
I do not wish to impress you with my rhetoric and prose,
but rather state the fact that my Thursday was better than yours.
It was a cold windy night in San Francisco. Typical autumn evening, not much planned for a Thursday night except... well a small concert. The place was a world famous concert hall. You might have heard of it… you know, a little place called The Warfield. Epic performances have shaped that small venue, so much that now major names sacrifice the number of possible attendees and tickets sold just for a chance to play in the historic auditorium. To play in a place where Hendrix, Zappa, James Fucking Brown and countless other "legends" have rocked out and poured their sweat onto the stage… well, that's just magical. And magical often is a word used to describe concerts there. Anyway, I digress…
So who was going to play? Who could, in 2006, a year… a decade, with no real rock stars, live up to the challenge? This time, it would be two giants, who after being dormant since last century, last millennium, seem to be rising from their ashes, dusting off, and getting ready to kick major ass!!!! You might know the guys from their past, but let me tell you, you will soon know them for their present and their certain successful future. Both acts featured lead singers of world famous rock bands that refuse, and I repeat… REFUSE to lie down and die. Who are these people? How about a man called Sebastian Bach, and a god who goes by the name of William.Axl.Rose.
Did that sink in yet? AXL F'n ROSE. Yes. He IS back. And from someone who saw him in his "prime" 15 years ago, I can tell you that, like a good scotch, Axl has gotten better with time. Hard to believe? Read on…
The tickets were marked with "doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm ". Naturally, people showed up earlier than that. Who would dare miss even a second of this epic show? The single file line formed and stretched 3 blocks down busy Market Street (one of the most famous streets in SF) and then around the corner for 2 more blocks. The line was interesting to say the least. Young rockers, old rockers, people who never grew up, and people, who grew up listening to Guns, but now have been tamed, fallen victims of corporate America. I was one of these people, and all of us had that special twinkle in our eyes. The twinkle that knows that this night will be special. This night, and this night only, we were going back in time. To better and happier times. Back before 401K worries "Large cap or small cap?", back before rent was due "Shit! Did I pay the utilities?", back before having to put up with shitty music on the fucking radio for 99% of the time. Back to a time when you could go to the store, buy a GnR cassette, and run home to your tape player, max out the volume, and rock out to Appetite for Destruction, Lies, Use Your Illusions I & II. Yes my friends. Those were the days. And for tonight, those days were here.
7pm turned to 8pm. 8pm turned to 9. The lines did not move one inch. Yet, no one complained, no one seemed impatient. Everyone knew, bearing the cold, bearing the wind, no matter how long the wait, tonight would be special, and worth it all.
9:30 rolls around and suddenly, the doors are opened. Quickly we storm in. I look at my ticket again, it reads "floor, general admission". SWEET!! BTW, this is a side story, so ask me later how I got two tickets for a sold out show whose face value was $85 for only $50 each. The day of the show, mind you, and people were selling seats in the back (not even in the general admission standing area) for over $200!!! Anyway, again, I digress…
Anyway, we make our way to the front of the floor and pick a spot, center stage, 8 feet from the stage. From the corner of my eye, I see a familiar face. I stop the waitress before she passes by. It's a hot short girl with nice jugs, damn I love the type. Anyway, I recognize her cause she also works at The Fillmore (another world famous concert hall in SF). She knows I'm a good tipper and she remembers me (I went to another concert at The Fillmore last Sunday) so she keeps bringing me the drinks all night. I danced with the Captain and my good friend Jack. Tonight was a NO BEER night, partly because I had donated blood earlier in the day and the nurse told me not to drink beer tonight (hahahaha she didn't say anything about liquor, right????) and partly because I didn't want to have to go pee every five minutes and miss part of the show.
Anyway, after a few tangos with Mr. Daniels and Mr. Morgan I was ready. This would be a night to remember. Skid Row. Guns n' Roses. If ANYONE could put the WAR back in Warfield, it would be these guys.
10:00 pm. The lights go out. The crowd roars. This place is packed, and you can feel certain energy in the air. Flash of light, music and everyone, I mean EVERYONE is jumping. Here.We.Go!!!!!!!!
Sebastian Bach nailed it. He played his old stuff, he played his new stuff. He played everything. And the intensity was amazing. The crowd was really into it, and his show by itself would have been worth the price of the ticket. However, he was not going to be the main attraction, and he knew it. He let us know that he was done and told us to get ready for "Guns and Fucking Roses!!!!!!!!!!" Then he left the stage. I did tell you that this was a special night, right? Well, he did such a bad ass job that we asked for him to return. The whole concert hall echoed his name. Within minutes he was back on stage. One more song! and he brought out a surprise guest. As his musicians go into "Youth Gone Wild", Sebastian brought a familiar face to the stage. Anthrax's Scott Ian (bald guy with a long pointy beard) ( http://www.mtv.com/news/images/i/ian000202.gif) came out and totally shredded on the guiiiiiitar. They both jumped around, as did we, and everyone sang at the top of our lungs. After all, WE ARE THE YOUTH GONE WILD at least for tonight.
Now it was 11:00 pm . Sebastian Bach, the opening act, had just played a killer show for an hour. Not bad huh? This would bet even better. During the break, I take a quick pee break and get more drinks from the big jugged hottie. Life is good. I realize that I have been on my feet since 6pm, 5 hours. And the best is yet to come. Good thing I brought comfortable kicks. 11:30 , lights out.
The whole place is shaking. Trembling. San Francisco earthquake? Not a chance! Its GnR baby!!!!!!! The loud screams and stomping on the floor are almost deafening. Almost. From the distance, you hear a very familiar guitar riff. The same way Appetite for Destruction begins; the same way Guns n' Roses was introduced to the world, this would be the same way to begin show. And of course, Axl had to welcome us, "Welcome to the Jungle"!!!!
Mother fucker the sound was good!!!!!!!! Words can not describe it so I won't even try. Axl walks out, gives a famous scream, then BOOOM!!!! A loud explosion and tons of fireworks and lasers shoot out in every direction. Fire, smoke, explosions, lasers, rock and roll, and Axl… did I just die and go to Heaven? This can't be real, can it? I only paid $50 for this, is that even fair?
The song was perfect. Axl's singing has gotten better in my opinion. Enough old school effect to stay true to it roots, but with the new touch of the new musicians. The three guitarists are amazing. Each could be a lead guitarist for any rock band, yet all three are here on the same stage. They have big shoes to fill, but they are doing fine.
Next song in the album? Next song in the concert! "It's so Easy". And these guys did make it seem easy to just kick so much ass. They followed that with one of my all time favorites, "Mr. Brownstone". At this point, I look over at my friends and they tell me that I look like a little kid on Christmas, smiling ear to ear. Yes, this is even better than that. Now it's time for "Live and Let Die". Fuck this is so good, everyone is singing, everyone is jumping, and everyone is dancing in the slow parts. More light shows, more fireworks and explosions. This is just too much for me to process!!
Then it's time for one of the many solos to come. Everyone leaves the stage except for Guitarist #1 (sorry, I don't know the new guys' names). Guitarist #1 plays an awesome solo and plays with the crowd changing the tempo and allowing us to be part of it by our clapping, marking his tempo for the solo. Then, he leads into what could be arguably the most famous guitar riffs of all time… "Sweet Child of Mine". He is joined by the rest of the band and holy shit I think I just soiled myself. This is just too good.
Like you guys know, this song has multiple solos, for each solo (and this was common throughout the night) each of the 3 guitarists would play a part, or two or more would play in duet. Midway through the song however. Axl stops the music. He points at a guy in the middle of the mosh-pit and yells, "YOU! RED SHIRT! Get the fuck out!" Immediately security pounces on this idiot and kicks him out of the show. As they kick him out, Axl asks "Did your mommy pay for your ticket? That's why you don't care about wasting others money?" ahhahaha Axl explains that he saw the guy punch some people and that he doesn't want some douche to ruin the good time of everyone else. He smiles and says "Where were we?" and they jump into one of the solos and continue the song. The old Axl would have jumped down and kicked the dude's ass, but this is a more mature, more refined Axl. Hahahaha Axl even asked the dude "What, you think you're a bigger asshole than me? I'm the biggest asshole in here!".
Next is a version of "You Could Be Mine" that was truly orgasmic. I mean three lead guitarists, standing on tall speakers, battling out with riff after riff. I think I came a little.
Then they slowed it down a little bit, with "Knocking on Heaven's Door". This was another one were the fans were loud!!! Axl calls, we answer. No question about that. After that they rolled a grand piano onto the stage. This could be interesting. "Hey!! I know that guy!!!" I say (he had been in the back corner playing percussions and keyboard the whole night, but I hadn't paid much attention to him). Ladies and Gents, it's Dizzy Reed, the only other member of the original line up that still tours with Axl. And he played a masterful piano solo. Wow, this guy is real talent. It's weird to see a dude without a shirt, covered in tattoos, with long threadlocks for hair, playing such a beautiful, classical piano melody. But this was a special night, so anything flies. As he is playing, all the lighters come out looks soooo cool. Spotlight on Dizzy and he shines. Then they break into a new song, sorry don't know the names yet. But it is loaded with piano melodies and guitar solos. Awesome. Can't wait for the CD to come out. Axl stands on the piano to sing, guitars all around him, Dizzy pounding on the piano. My head is about to explode this is so damn good. This is the tits!!
Now, its guitarist # 2's turn for a solo, everyone leaves the stage to rest and this guy enjoys the spotlight. This dude is fast. He is shredding that guitar!! He is then joined by Guitarist #1 and they are dueling with a very familiar melody. WHAT THE FUCK IS IT???? The guitars sing, no one has a microphone, so the guitars have to do the singing, they sing, "You are beautiful no matter what they say, Words can't bring you down. You are beautiful in every single way, yes, word's can't bring you down. Don't you bring me down today." Now these are two dudes dueling on guitar, making this song less gay than the original version hahahaha. Then they start dueling in other songs, back and forth, one trying to outdo the other.
Then they go into another one of the new GnR songs. It was pretty cool. Then they roll out the grand piano again, and this time Axl sits down to play. He plays a very long solo and then leads into "November Rain". Wow. Talk about a hard song to match to the CD. They did it better. More solos. This was insane. In the final guitar solo, there was a huge fire ball that went from the stage to the fans (I felt the heat) then giant sparklers that kept going for the duration of the song. These guys were playing guitar surround by flames from the sparklers, and if you hadn't had an orgasm yet, this was the time, my friends. Joy joy joy-gasm faces all around. No one could believe what was happening as the fire/sparkler waterfalls kept falling on the stage and everyone keeps rocking!!! How these guys didn't catch on fire, I'll never know.
Then, Axl brings out Sebastian Bach to the stage. Holy fucking shit. This is about to go up another level. They sing a little piece of "Nice Boys" a-capella. Now if you don't recognize this song, here's a hint. It was first released in their debut sampler called Live like a Suicide in 1986. (before their first real disk, Appetite for Destruction 1987) It was later re-released in their second real album Lies, in 1989. Anyway, they just sing a few parts of that song, and then the guitars break into "My Michelle". Only this time it's not just Sebastian Bach as a lead singer, it's not just Axl Fucking Rose as lead singer… it's both of them. They trade lines, sing together, etc… wow. Just wow.
Then Mr. Bach leaves and GnR plays "I used to love her:" Followed by a brilliant rendition of "Patience". Every single solo, was, well, not a solo, at least 2 guitars played each solo together, in harmony. Then, it was Guitarist #3's time to play a solo, and he too rocked. I can not say enough about how good all three of the guitarists are. It was a real treat to experience that. He played a little bit of a stolen solo from John Petrucci (guitarist to Dream Theater), but hey, it's cool to do that as a tribute. Then, he did something allsome. He played "Don't Cry" without really playing the rhythm section. He played solo, playing just enough notes to let the crowd sing the lyrics, while he played some beautiful melodies on the guiiiiitar. This was one of my favorite parts of the show. Next time you see me, ask me to show you the video on my cellphone, I have parts of every song on there (that's how I can write this description w/ so much detail). This was an amazing song. No one singing except for the guitar and the people. Beautiful.
Then Guns came back out and played "Rocket Queen". WOW! They were playing EVERYTHING! That was it. They exit. Not for long. Just like in "Get in the Ring" the crowd yells "Guns…. And… Roses!" "Guns…. And… Roses!" "Guns…. And… Roses!" for a few minutes.
Then the boys come back, and play a new song. And then… the only way to put icing on the cake. " Paradise City " Near the end of the song, where it gets all crazy ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!!!!!!!!!!! More fire bombs, smoke explosions, LASERS, lights, and then, BOOOOM confetti, everywhere. PAPER IS FALLING FROM THE SKY!!!11!!!. PAPER IS FALLING FROM THE MOTHER FUCKING SKY!!1!1!! Big pieces of red, white, and blue paper all over the fucking place. It looks like it's snowing, and it goes on for minutes. Everyone is covered in it. People's heads are about to explode. System overload!! All that is awesome is GnR and GnR is all that is awesome. Just when you think it can't get any fucking better, Guitarist #1 jumps off the stage and lands on the crowd. Now people's heads ARE exploding. Pop. Pop. Pop. More heads explode. I cum, again. The mother fucker is crowd surfing on his back, and still shredding on his guitar. He passes by me and I help him keep cruising, he goes for a while and then they push him back on the stage. All three guitarists are shredding their fucking guitars. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH muther fucker!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
"Good night San Francisco !" They exit the stage. Then come back, all 8 of them to bow down to a standing ovation. It goes for minutes, they keep bowing and we keep clapping and screaming louder and louder. I look at my watch, its 2:15 am. These dudes played for over 2 hours. Bach played for 1 hour. I just saw people's heads explode. Hundreds of people cum in unison. Like I said earlier, this is a place famous for magical performances and I can't fathom anything more magical that what I just saw tonight. This was my night. This was my night.
What did YOU do this Thursday?