Posts filed under 'Sports'

Major-League Hitting Secret Revealed!

This is just wrong…

The key to turning the Yankees season around could be under Jason Giambi’s pinstriped pants.

The Yankee slugger revealed Friday he slips on a gold lamé thong with a flame-line waistband when he’s trying to get out of a hitting slump – and he’s shared it with his teammates.

“It works every time,” Giambi told the Daily News after his secret was outed on Portfolio.com.

Derek Jeter agreed that Giambi’s thong works, although “it’s so uncomfortable running around the bases.”

“I had it over my shorts and stuff,” he said. “I was 0-for-32 and I hit a homer on the first pitch. That’s the only time I’ve ever worn it.”

Johnny Damon also admitted donning the golden panties “probably three times.”

“I may need to wear it again soon,” said Damon, who is batting a mediocre .255.

What is the secret of Giambi’s golden thong?

“You’re not worrying about your hands or your balance at the plate,” Damon said. “You’re worried about the uncomfortable feeling you’re receiving.”

In the earlier interview with Portfolio.com, Giambi claimed he also hung his thong in the lockers of teammates Bernie Williams, Robin Ventura and Robinson Cano when they had trouble generating runs.

“I only put it on when I’m desperate to get out of a big slump,” Giambi said.

(…)

“Whoever is on slumps, puts it on,” catcher Jorge Posada admitted yesterday. “I don’t know if it works. I haven’t worn it yet.”

Posada added that “a lot of players have worn it,” but he didn’t name names. Asked if the thong got washed between wearings, he gave a cringe-worthy answer. “Ask Jason,” said Posada. “Jason is a little strange.”

The Daily News also reported that they provided thongs to all the Yankee players and the manager to try to break the team out of its slump, but it’s probably only Giambi’s thong that has the Special Thong Hitting Magick in it.

May 17th, 2008 at 03:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports,Weirdness

Richard Burton Played Rugby And Lived To Write About It

This is surprisingly hilarious:

…I knew people like a one-armed inside half – he’d lost an arm in the First World War – who played with murderous brilliance for Cwmavon for years when I was a boy. He was particularly adept, this one, at stopping a forward bursting through from the line-out with a shattering iron-hard thrust from his stump as he pulled him on to it with the other. He also used the misplaced sympathy of innocent visiting players who didn’t go at him with the same delivery as they would against a two-armed man, as a ploy to lure them on to concussion and other organic damage. They learned quickly, or were told after the match when they had recovered sufficiently from Jimmy’s ministrations to be able to understand the spoken word, that going easy on Jimmy-One-Arm was first cousin to stepping into a grave and waiting for the shovels to start. A great many people who played unwarily against Jimmy died unexpectedly in their early forties. They were lowered solemnly into the grave with all match honours to the slow version of Sospan Fach. They say that the conductor at these sad affairs was noticeably one-armed but that could be exaggeration again.

As I said, it’s difficult for me to know where to start so I’ll begin with the end. The last shall be first, as it is said, so I’ll tell you about the last match I ever played in.

I had played the game representatively from the age of ten until those who employed me in my profession, which is that of actor, insisted that I was a bad insurance risk against certain dread teams in dead-end valleys who would have little respect, no respect, or outright disrespect for what I was pleased to call my face….

Apart from wanting to preserve my natural beauty, it would affect continuity, they said, if my nose was straight on Friday in the medium shot and was bent towards my left ear on Monday for the close-up….  So to this day there is a clause in my contracts that forbids me from flying my own plane, skiing and playing the game of rugby football, the inference being that it would be all right to wrestle with a Bengal tiger five thousand miles away, but not to play against, shall we say, Pontypool at home.  I decided that they had some valid arguments after my last game.

It was played against a village whose name is known only to its inhabitants and crippled masochists drooling quietly in kitchen corners, a mining village with all the natural beauty of the valleys of the moon.. and just as welcoming, with a team composed almost entirely of colliers. I hadn’t played for four or five years but was fairly fit, I thought, and the opposition was bottom of the third class and reasonably beatable. Except, of course on their home ground. I should have thought of that…

…Though I was working like a dog at the Vic playing Hamlet, Coriolanus, Caliban, The Bastard in King John, and Toby Belch, it wasn’t the right kind of training for these great knotted gnarled things from the burning bowels of the earth. In my teens I had lived precariously on the lip of first-class rugby by virtue of knowing every trick in the canon, evil and otherwise, by being a bad bad loser, but chiefly, and perhaps only because I was very nippy off the mark…. Genuine class of course doesn’t need size though sometimes I forgot this. Once I played rather condescendingly against a Cambridge college and noted that my opposite number seemed to be shorter than I was and in rugby togs looked like a schoolboy… However this blond stripling gave me a terrible time. He was faster and harder and wordlessly ruthless and it was no consolation to find out his name afterwards because it meant nothing at the time…. This anonymity was called Steele-Bodger and a more onomatopoeic name for its owner would be hard to find. He was, I promise you, steel and he did, I give you my word, bodger. Say his name through clenched teeth and you’ll see what I mean….

In this match, this last match played against troglodytes, burned to the bone by the fury of their work, bow-legged and embittered because they weren’t playing for or hadn’t played for and would never play for Cardiff or Swansea or Neath or Aberavon, men who smiled seldom and when they did it was like scalpels, trained to the last ounce by slashing and hacking away neurotically at the frightened coal face for 7 ½ hours a day, stalactitic, tree-rooted, curved out or granite by a rough and ready sledge hammer and clinker, against these hard volumes of which I was the soft cover paper-back edition. I discovered some truths very soon. I discovered just after the first scrum for instance that it was time I ran for the bus and not for their outside-half. He had red hair, a blue-white face and no chin. Standing up straight his hands were loosely on a level with his calves and when the ball and I arrived exultantly together at his stock-still body, a perfect set-up you would say, and when I realized that I was supine and he was lazily kicking the ball into touch I realized that I had forgotten that trying to intimidate a feller like that was like trying a cow a mandrill, and that he had all the graceful willowy-give and sapling-bend of stressed concrete.

That was only the outside-half.

From then on I was elbowed, gouged, dug, planted, raked, hoed, kicked a great deal, sandwiched, and once humiliatingly taken from behind with nobody in front of me when I had nothing to do but run fifteen yards to score….

(…)

…After being gardened, mown and rolled a little more, I gave that up, asked the Captain of our team if he didn’t think it would be a better idea to hide me deeper in the pack. I had often, I reminded him, played right prop, my neck was strong and my right arm had held its own with most. He gave me a long look, a trifle pitying perhaps but orders were given and in I went to the maelstrom and now the real suffering began. Their prop with whom I was to share cheek and jowl for the next eternity, didn’t believe in razor blades since he grew them on his chin and shaved me thoroughly for the rest of the game taking most of my skin in the process, delicacy not being his strong point. He used his prodigious left arm to paralyze mine and pull my head within an inch or two of the earth, then rolled my head around his, first taking my ear between his fore-finger and thumb, humming “Rock of Ages” under his breath.

(…)

I drank more than my share of beer in the home team’s pub, joined in the singing and found that the enemies were curiously shy and withdrawn until the beer had hit the proper spot. Nobody mentioned my performance on the field.

There was only one moment of wild expectation on my part when a particularly grim sullen and taciturn member of the other side said suddenly with what passed shockingly for a smile splitting the slag heap of his face like an earth tremor,

“Come outside with us will ‘ew?” There was another beauty with him.

“Where to?” I asked.

“Never ‘ew mind,” he said, “you’ll be awright. Jest come with us.”

“O.K.”

We went out into the cruel February night and made our way to the outside Gents – black-painted concrete with one black pipe for flushing, wet to the open sky. We stood side by side in silence. They began to void. So did I. There had been beer enough for all. I waited for a possible compliment on my game that afternoon – I had after all done one or two good things if only by accident. I waited. But there was nothing but the sound of wind and water. I waited and silently followed them back into the bar.

Finally I said: “What did you want to tell me?”

“Nothing,” the talkative one said.

“Well, what did you ask me out there for then?’”

“Well,” the orator said, “Well… us two is brothers and we wanted to tell our mam that we’d ‘ad a…”

…“Well, we jest wanted to tell our mam that we had passed water with Richard Burton” he said with triumphant care.

Great stuff.  I have nothing to add, really…

(h/t Cap’n Goto)

April 6th, 2008 at 01:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Movies,Sports

Which Is Worse?

That Kenny Wright was chased by the police?

Cleveland Browns defensive back Kenny Wright was released from jail after posting $5,000 bail following a foot chase and arrest for a disturbance outside a police station.

Wright was charged with unlawful restraint, evading arrest and possessing marijuana. Police said they found marijuana in his vehicle.

Police said they were investigating an argument in the station parking lot Thursday when the 30-year-old football player took off and led officers on a quarter-mile foot chase. He was caught in a nearby subdivision of the Houston suburb.

…Or that he was caught?

I mean, if he can’t outrun the cops, how’s he going to keep up with Chad Johnson?

1 comment April 5th, 2008 at 05:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports,Weirdness

Mike Hampton = Carl Pavano

Heh heh heh…

Mike Hampton is headed back to the disabled list after hurting himself in pregame warm-ups Thursday night, preventing him from making his first start in almost three years.

Hampton, scheduled to make his first start since Aug. 19, 2005, strained his left pectoral muscle while warming up in the bullpen before Atlanta’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was seen grimacing after throwing a pitch.

“It’s the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with,” Hampton said. “Having to step off the mound and say ‘I just don’t want to do it,’ it’s definitely a tough pill to swallow.”

Hampton said he tried to “push through it a few times” before giving up on the attempt to make the start after repeated questions from pitching coach Roger McDowell.

“I’ve never stepped off the mound and said ‘Here’s the ball,’ ” Hampton said.

Braves manager Bobby Cox said Hampton’s first 23 warm-up pitches were “excellent.”

“Then it started grabbing him,” Cox said.

“It’s unbelievable something else could pop up like that but it did. … He felt it a little bit the other day tossing the ball and we didn’t think much of it, to be honest with you.”

Added Cox, pointing to his chest, “Most pitchers never get something in here but it was one of those strange deals and he couldn’t go.”

Hampton will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 30. Left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes will be called up from Triple-A Richmond and will be available on Friday.

As a Mets fan, I’m not real fond of Mike Hampton or the Braves, so perhaps I am not as sympathetic as I should be…

2 comments April 4th, 2008 at 06:43pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports

Statcrilegious

So, apparently, if you simulate the whole of baseball history 10,000 times over, Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak isn’t that big a deal:

WITH the baseball season under way and the memory of scandal in the sport so fresh, many fans yearn for an earlier era, a time when mythology mingled with baseball. The sport’s most mythic achievement is Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, a feat that has never come even close to being matched. Fans and scientists alike, including Edward M. Purcell, a Nobel laureate in physics, and Stephen Jay Gould, the evolutionary biologist, have described the streak as well-nigh impossible.

In a fit of scientific skepticism, we decided to calculate how unlikely Joltin’ Joe’s achievement really was. Using a comprehensive collection of baseball statistics from 1871 to 2005, we simulated the entire history of baseball 10,000 times in a computer. In essence, we programmed the computer to construct an enormous set of parallel baseball universes, all with the same players but subject to the vagaries of chance in each one.

(…)

To tease out the meaningful lessons from random effects (fluky streaks that happen by luck), we redid the whole thing 10,000 times. In each of these simulated histories, somebody holds the record for the longest hitting streak. We tabulated who that player was, when he did it, and how long his streak was.

And suddenly the unlikely becomes likely: we get a very long streak each time we run baseball history. These results are shown in Figure 1. The streaks ranged from 39 games at the shortest, to a freakish baseball universe where the record was a remarkable (and remarkably rare) 109 games.

More than half the time, or in 5,295 baseball universes, the record for the longest hitting streak exceeded 53 games. Two-thirds of the time, the best streak was between 50 and 64 games.

In other words, streaks of 56 games or longer are not at all an unusual occurrence. Forty-two percent of the simulated baseball histories have a streak of DiMaggio’s length or longer. You shouldn’t be too surprised that someone, at some time in the history of the game, accomplished what DiMaggio did.

The real surprise is when the record was set. Our analysis reveals that 1941 was one of the least likely seasons for such an epic streak to occur.

Figure 2 shows the number of times, out of 10,000 simulations, that the longest streak occurred in a particular year. The likeliest time for the longest streak to have occurred was in the 19th century, back in the misty beginnings of baseball. Or maybe in the 1920s or ’30s.

But not in 1941, or afterward. That season was the miracle year in only 19 of our alternate major-league histories. By comparison, in 1,290 of our baseball universes, or more than a tenth, the record was set in a single year: 1894.

And Joe DiMaggio is nowhere near the likeliest player to hold the record for longest hitting streak in baseball history. He is No. 56 on the list. (Fifty-six? Cue “The Twilight Zone” music.) Two old-timers, Hugh Duffy and Willie Keeler, are the most probable record holders. Between them, they set the record in more than a thousand of the parallel baseball universes. Ty Cobb did it nearly 300 times.

DiMaggio held the record 28 times. Plus once more, when it counted.

Questions left unanswered:

o Who had the 109-game hitting streak???

o Were there any parallel universes with multiple hitting streaks of 56 games or more?

o Did the simulation take into account opposing teams and pitchers making a concerted effort to stop the streak?

o Were there more perfect games and no-hitters than reality or less? Did the Mets pitch any?

o Where can I get a copy of the simulation program?

2 comments March 31st, 2008 at 11:21am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports,Weirdness

Awesome Of The Day

This is a really great story:

The second-longest game in hockey history was played last weekend, as host Kölner Haie beat Adler Mannheim, 5-4, in the sixth overtime of their German DEL quarterfinal, a contest that lasted a total of 168 minutes 16 seconds. But there was something even more incredible about that game.

The winning goalie, who stopped 96 of 100 shots, is recovering from a malignant brain tumor.

Kölner goalie Robert Müller is in his first full season back after undergoing an operation in November 2006 to remove most of the tumor, followed by a full course of chemo- and radiation therapy. At the time he received the diagnosis, he was playing for Mannheim.

(…)

Just three months after the operation, Müller, who said he never thought about ending his career, returned to the ice for the DEL All-Star game, “an amazing feeling,” he said. He was in the Mannheim lineup when the team won the German championship, although he played little.

He joined Kölner midway through the current season and became the starting goalie, though he must keep close watch on his condition. “The tumor couldn’t be removed 100 percent — there is still a little part in my head but it’s shrinking,” he said. “Once a month I get chemotherapy for five days, but it doesn’t affect me.”

The marathon game… was second in length only to the Detroit Red Wings’ 1-0 win over the Montreal Maroons in 1936, which ended when Mud Bruneteau scored at 176:30. Normie Smith had the shutout in that game, stopping either 89 or 92 shots, according to varying sources.

The next Kölner-Mannheim match, two nights after the six-OT contest, was tied after regulation as well, but ended after just 14:30 of extra time when Kölner won again, 4-3. Müller turned aside 56 of 59 shots in that one. The team has reached the semifinals, with Müller sporting a .950 save percentage.

Kölner’s general manager, Rodion Pauels, said that Müller’s playoff performance has left him “without words.”

(…)

Müller says he has gotten a lot of support from fans after coming back from the operation. “It was unbelievable,” he said. “From all over Germany I received greetings and wishes. After my comeback even the fans from other teams welcomed me in the stadiums with applause. That was great.”

Sanguine about facing 100 shots in a single game — “It was a new experience. The biggest feeling was to win the game finally; it was hard to play the game but still okay.”…

I know hockey players are tough, but dayumn.

Also: Mud Bruneteau.

March 30th, 2008 at 10:38pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports

Wedding Announcement Of The Year

matsui.jpg
AP/Kyodo News

The pencil sketch is what makes this brilliant.

Hideki Matsui, whose every move is watched closely by the Japanese media, managed to escape the spotlight and get married without anybody knowing about it.

Matsui was scheduled to be off Wednesday, and two days prior to that, he let manager Joe Girardi know that he planned to fly to New York and get married in a chapel there on his off-day. He told almost nobody, just his immediate family, his Japanese bride’s immediate family and a couple of Yankees officials.

“I met somebody who felt right,” Matsui said through an interpreter, “and that was it.”

A statement Matsui released through the Yankees, said: “The bride is a 25-year-old civilian and had been formerly working in a reputable position at a highly respected company.”

Well, I’m glad he cleared that up. I understand that he presumably wants to protect his new wife’s privacy from the ravening media mob, but that certainly is a… unique way of handling it. And he’s going to have to go out in public with her eventually, right? …Right?

March 28th, 2008 at 10:09pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports,Weirdness

Michael Strahan And His Mini Weiner

miniweiner.jpg

This is the sort of thing that happens when you win the Superbowl:

Wednesday morning in Times Square a small crowd gathered in the cool shadow of ABC Studios to watch Michael Strahan, defensive end for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, drive a car.

Not just any car: Mr. Strahan had squeezed his 6’5” frame behind the wheel of the new Mini Wienermobile, a smaller, sportier version of Oscar Mayer’s somewhat famous Wienermobile, also in attendance. Several news photographers — one of whom later told me he had left the vigil outside Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s Fifth Avenue apartment to be here — aimed their cameras in expectation. Behind them, a pack of tourists had begun to assemble and gawk. The tourists had come to the Crossroads of the World for excitement and spectacle; this would do.Mr. Strahan, his knees wedged beneath the dashboard, flashed his broad gap-toothed smile as he eased the car into gear, moving through the cordoned-off lane at about the same speed at which one might walk back to the huddle after an incomplete pass. A young woman in an official Oscar Mayer windbreaker ushered him forward with hand signals, gesturing him to a stop approximately one foot from the front bun of the larger Wienermobile. All told, the vehicle moved about forty feet. And that was that.

Afterward, as the ever-affable Mr. Strahan posed for photographs alongside the Mini Wienermobile, I spoke to Bill Blansett, an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile representative. Mr. Blansett, wearing a windbreaker that matched his colleague’s, was a Hotdogger, he told me — member of a team of Hotdoggers who toured the country with the six full-sized Wienermobiles and their newer, nimbler sidekick. Being head of his team of Hotdoggers, he suggested I call him Big Dog Bill.

(…)

Finally the photo op ended, and Big Dog Bill escorted me into the passenger seat of the Mini Wiener for a quick spin around the block. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be allowed a test drive, he explained — insurance reasons. He settled into the driver’s seat and requested that I buckle my seatbelt. For a moment I imagined us peeling out and tearing through midtown traffic like an angry cabbie, but no such luck — the Hotdoggers are a law-abiding crew and, according to Big Dog Bill, do not push the Wienermobiles past posted speed limits.

(…)

Big Dog Bill — of whom it must be said seems to have a good sense of humor about his job — pushed a button and the Oscar Mayer theme song (the one that goes “Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener…”) was broadcast over the Wienermobile’s external speakers. We got several stares, and a few smiles, but not the dramatic reaction I was expecting. I suppose I wanted people to pump their fists at us, the way we used to at passing 18-wheelers.

Pretty cool, yet I can’t shake the feeling that it is a sign of the End Times…

March 13th, 2008 at 06:16pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports,Weirdness

ABAwesome

rockets.gif

Apparently, that new Will Ferrell movie has given ESPN Page 2’s sports uniform columnist/blogger(!) an excuse to rhapsodize about the styles of the ABA. And I have to say, it’s some pretty fascinating stuff. Be sure to click on as many links as possible, especially the logos.

March 1st, 2008 at 12:57pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports,Weirdness

RIP, Myron Cope

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yz-byoitQLg

Alas, I cannot find any YouTube videos of Myron in action.

WTAE does have un-embeddable videos of him singing “Can’t Touch This” (in full MC Hammer regalia), “Achy Breaky Heart,” and… “Macarena.” And if that’s not enough for you, there’s a bunch of audio clips here and here.

My first memory of Myron Cope is from over 16 years ago, my first winter in Pittsburgh. He appeared on the local news around Christmastime to perform his surreal rendition of “Deck The Halls,” with a chorus something like “Fa gha gha gha gha, gha gha gha gha.” I heard lots of him after that – he was kind of everywhere. He punctuated his speech with a language all his own, words and phrases like “Yoi!”, “Double yoi!”, “Hm-HA!”, and “okel dokel.”

One of my fondest Myron Cope moments that may have amused only me was several years ago, when I was listening to the NFL draft on the radio, God only knows why. The Steelers had just drafted an offensive tackle named Leon Searcy in the first round, and the very first Pittsburgh media person to get Searcy on the phone was… Myron Cope. Imagine this poor kid, wondering what his new home will be like, and the first person he talks to (after the coach and/or GM) is Myron. I can’t imagine what kind of city of madmen he thought he was headed to.

Goodbye, Myron. I’ll miss you, you one-of-a-kind crazy bastard.

Oh, and William F. Buckley died too, but I don’t really have anything to say about him. But Rick Perlstein does.

February 27th, 2008 at 08:14pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Pittsburgh/PA,Sports

Not Just For Hippies Anymore

Yet another blogger bursts onto the scene:

It was a month or so before the start of spring training, and Phil Hughes had no weekend plans. Hughes is 21 and single, a Californian living in Tampa, and he needed some advice.

“So tomorrow I have nothing going on and have the option of either a monster truck event at Raymond James Stadium, or a George Strait concert at the St. Pete Times Forum,” Hughes asked readers of his new blog on Jan. 18.

“I’m not really a fan of either, but I wanna get out of the house and am going more for the experience than anything. So what will it be? The Gravedigger crushing a few 1990 Ford Tempo’s or ‘All my Ex’s live in Texas?’ ”

Hughes had just joined the online community that week, yet 61 fans posted comments with suggestions. Hughes, a Yankees right-hander, went to the concert and said he had fun.

(…)

Hughes has seen a lot on his Web site, philhughes.wordpress.com, since starting it Jan. 16. Through Monday afternoon, the site had attracted more than 340,000 visitors from six continents.

Hughes has posted entries on 27 of the first 41 days, offering contests, chats, song lists and the occasional cellphone picture — an alligator on a golf course, Ian Kennedy’s changeup grip, buckets of fan mail in the clubhouse.

There are also illuminating and inoffensive slices of a young player’s life. On Jan. 31, Hughes admitted, “I can’t get enough Food Network!” After the Super Bowl, he wrote, “That catch by Tyree in the 4th quarter had my house shaking.” On Feb. 17, he let a teammate have a turn: “Jeff Marquez says hi. He wanted me to post that.”

(…)

As a homegrown Yankee with talent, Hughes was bound to be popular. But his blog has forged an uncommon connection. A young medium has further endeared a young player to the fans.

“I think his blog is a success because it makes Hughes more than a number or a grouping of statistics, it makes him not only human, but approachable,” Alex Belth, who has run the blog Bronx Banter since 2002, wrote in an e-mail message. “It makes him seem not so very different from his readers, no small deal in an era when fans feel the distance between themselves and the players more than ever.”

(…)

“Fans get enough baseball information from you guys; that’s your job,” Hughes said, referring to the news media. “I don’t try to do any of that. I want them to feel they have a connection with me. That’s kind of the main idea.

“To me, baseball players always seemed so larger than life. I guess one of the points I’m trying to make is that it’s not really that way. You can idolize players, but you realize they’re just guys. That’s kind of what I want to get across. I’m not any better than anybody else. I just happen to have this ability that not many other people have.”

Good for Hughes. I hope he makes it big, and that he keeps blogging.

February 26th, 2008 at 07:54am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Media,Sports

Great Moments In Film Criticism

From Neil Best’s blog at Newsday, which is typically about sports. But since “Mike and the Mad Dog” (Mike Francesa and Chris Russo) decided to talk about the Oscars on their very popular sports talk radio show…

Mike just said he thought “Gentleman’s Agreement” was about Quakers.

I have no idea where that came from, but I found it very amusing.

And Chris just called Emile Zola “Emily” Zola.

I love this job.

(…)

(UPDATE: I think they just mixed up “Three Faces of Eve” and “All About Eve” and a movie that doesn’t exist called “Five Faces of Eve” but I just don’t know anymore. It’s all a blur now. I have to stop.)

(ANOTHER UPDATE: Chris called “Patton” a George C. Scott “farce” and “Gone With the Wind” a Vivien Leigh “farce.” Did he mean “tour de force?” I don’t know.)

They should probably stick to sports, where they are a farce to be reckoned with.

February 25th, 2008 at 09:12pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Movies,Sports

Steroids Scandal Officially Jumps Shark

Okay, now they’re just putting us on…

Brian McNamee told congressional investigators Thursday in a sworn deposition that Roger Clemens’ wife used human growth hormone, according to a source familiar with McNamee’s testimony.

The source said McNamee testified that he injected Debbie Clemens with growth hormone and believed she took the drug to get in shape before she appeared with the pitcher in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue in 2003….

Either McNamee or Clemens is completely insane, and quite possibly both.

February 9th, 2008 at 08:47am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports,Weirdness

Eli’s Going To Disneyworld!!!

Eli Wins!
Getty Images

I have never, ever been happier to be wrong.

That was absolutely incredible, especially that miraculous escape and pass to Tyree to keep the game alive.

Also, Tom Petty gave one of the best halftime shows in Superbowl history.

Which basically means that he didn’t embarrass himself.

10 comments February 3rd, 2008 at 10:10pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports

Eventful Sports Weekend

So, not only are the Giants playing in the Superbowl tomorrow (WHOOO!!!), but the Mets have (pending a physical) consummated their trade for Johan Santana, giving up four decent but not can’t-miss prospects for one of the five best pitchers in baseball. Assuming Santana doesn’t turn out to be one of those guys who can’t play in New York (and this is always a big assumption), this should be a huge boost for the Mets’ playoff and World Series chances.

As for the NFC Champion Giants, I have to say that I’m not optimistic at all. Not because of the obvious talent gap – they were almost able to overcome that in the regular-season finale – but because of the talking. Between Osi Umenyiora calling Matt Light a dirty player and Plaxico Burress saying that the Giants have better receivers than the Pats, and sort-of-guaranteeing a 23-17 victory, I have the uneasy feeling that the Giants are a little too full of themselves right now, and not focused enough on the business at hand.

Remember, before the Cowboys game, Antonio Pierce was talking about how it was “the All-Pros vs. the all-Joes” – they had been cheerfully reminding everyone that they’re the underdogs. Not any more. Now that they’ve made it to the Superbowl, they feel like they’re entitled to brag a little. Which they are; it’s just not a good idea.

Also, after Plax declared with uncanny precision that his ankle was “97%”, it sounds like it’s back to being gimpy again, and he has a swollen knee to go with it. He’s been playing through pain, and doing it very well, for the entire season, but it’s still disappointing – I would have loved to see him at full speed for the biggest game of the year. And if he can’t go at all, or if he’s not healthy enough to be a factor, that’s going to be devastating to the Giants offense.

I’m gonna say… Patriots 41, Giants 13. I think the Giants are going to have trouble getting into the endzone, and I think there will come a point where the Pats will go on a roll and the Giants will be too shell-shocked to stop them.

Damn, I sure hope I’m wrong. If Plax hadn’t been yapping, I’d give the Giants a chance, but unless they’re larger-than-life guys like Namath or Ali or Messier, most players who talk big end up playing small. Just ask Patrick Crayton, Anthony Smith, Jerramy Stevens, Matt Hasselbeck…

9 comments February 2nd, 2008 at 01:09pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports

Campaign Finance: Yer Doin’ It Wrong

Senator McCain appears to have it backwards:

One week after Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling “officially” endorsed Sen. John McCain for president, the Beantown hero received a softball of his own: a hefty donation from the McCain campaign to his and his wife’s charity.

On December 6, 2007, Schilling, relatively fresh off of his second World Series title with Boston, hit the campaign trail on McCain’s behalf, making an appearance at the Derryfield School in New Hampshire.

“I understand at the end of the day that he’ll do what’s right for us,” Schilling said, appearing next to the Arizona senator. “I think this election is going to come down to something that’s been absent for far too long and that’s character and integrity.”

Seven days later, according to campaign finance filings, the McCain campaign returned the favor by writing a check for $4,600 to the Curt & Shonda Schilling Foundation, which is dedicated to eradicating melanoma. Both McCain and Shonda Schilling are skin cancer survivors.

(…)

The McCain campaign would not return request for comment. But campaign finance watchdogs see this as a bizarre if not questionable use of campaign dollars.

“In general it is inappropriate for members to be giving away campaign dollars for charities. It’s not why people made their contributions,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “If John McCain personally believed in Curt Schilling’s charity it is one thing. It is another to ask people to give money to his candidacy and have it go to Curt Schilling’s charity. The only way that makes sense is that he is paying for the endorsement, although they are apparently long time friends.”

That really is the strange part. Individuals make donations to charities; campaigns generally don’t. By making the donation out of his campaign funds instead of his personal bank account, McCain might as well be announcing that there was a quid pro quo here. But hey, if rich people can use donations to persuade politicians to do what they want, why can’t politicians use donations to persuade rich people to do what they want?

7 comments January 31st, 2008 at 06:48pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Republicans,Sports

Dick’s Gives Me Pause

So I couldn’t help noticing, that on the product page for a $2.99 dumbbell, Dick’s Sporting Goods offers both an Extended Service Contract and a “Take up to 6 months to pay” option.

Do people really have a lot of trouble with their dumbbells breaking down or malfunctioning? And does anyone really need six months to pay three dollars?

Yes, I have a pretty good idea of the technical reasons why those options are there, but I’m still amused by the absurdity of the end result.

January 22nd, 2008 at 07:05am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports,Weirdness

WOOHOO!!!

This is literally unbelievable. I never would have imagined the Giants going to the Superbowl this year in my wildest dreams. It reminds me a little bit of the 1990 team, which was good-but-not-great in the regular season, squeaked through the playoffs, and then miraculously beat an unstoppable juggernaut in the Superbowl.

I hope two weeks is enough time to get all their corners completely healthy – they’re gonna need ’em.

7 comments January 20th, 2008 at 10:37pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports

Tom Coughlin, Talespinner

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin reminisces about his days in Green Bay (where his current and former teams will compete for a Superbowl berth this Sunday):

Coughlin was once a wide receivers coach in Green Bay, before he came to the Giants in a similar capacity. Like Manning, Coughlin is not a fountain of anecdotes when it comes to frigid environs, or anything else.

“I don’t remember,” Coughlin said. “Of course it was cold. I don’t remember any game that was more cold than others. From Thanksgiving on, you can expect any kind of weather at that point in time. I remember a day in Chicago one day that was really cold.”

I’m not sure if that’s really the full quote, or if Bondy chopped it there for effect. For all I know, Coughlin could have gone on at length about how it was so cold that they had to pour warm water on the receivers’ hands to remove the ball, or he could have just continued on in the same vein: “And then there was this other day in Denver which was almost as cold as that day in Chicago, but not quite, and this day in Buffalo that was colder than both of them, and then there was that day in Dallas that wasn’t very cold at all…”

I also liked the bit about Bret Favre possibly being part Yeti.

Oh, and before I forget…

GO GIANTS!!! WHOOO!!!

January 15th, 2008 at 08:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes,Sports

The NY Daily News Sportswriters Speak For Me

I’ve quoted NY Daily News sportswriter Mike Lupica a bunch of times, but his coworker Filip Bondy has blogged a pretty good point of his own today:

I turned on the CBS pre-game show, NFL Today, and suddenly I was faced with a bunch of men wearing American flag pins in their lapels. If there hadn’t been a couple of African-American guys in on their conversation, I would have thought this was a Republican debate.

I immediately changed the channel, because nobody hates flag pins as much as I do. I already know I live in the U.S. Nobody needs to remind me. This is the only country in the whole world where rich, public personalities need to confirm their citizenry on a daily basis.

A-frickin’-men to that. I think it’s the same kind of overcompensation that leads men to get expensive sports cars…

4 comments January 13th, 2008 at 02:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Sports

Comment(s) Of The Year

Alas, not on my own blog, or even on any political blog at all. No, the best comments of the year are on today’s Blue Screen (NY Daily News Giants football blog). Ralph wrote a post arguing that the Giants should rest their starters at halftime to reduce the risk of injuries heading into the playoffs, even though it would give the Patriots a free shot at capping off their undefeated season.

A commenter named Craig Lynn took offense… at length. Repeatedly. Check it out, it’s quite remarkable.

December 28th, 2007 at 05:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes,Sports

Quote Of The Year

Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden on pitcher Jesus Colome’s abcess:

It was a pretty serious situation. I pray for his buttocks and his family.

I only just saw it today, but it’s my new favorite.

More great 2007 sports quotes here as well, plus bonus snarky commentary!

December 28th, 2007 at 11:26am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes,Sports

The End Times Are Officially Here.

COREY WEBSTER just returned an interception for a touchdown. Now I’ve seen everything.

(And how about 7th-round pick “he’ll just be training camp fodder” Ahmad Bradshaw?)

December 23rd, 2007 at 04:01pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports

How Not To Be Seen

Sometimes, though, standing up is the best way not to be seen.

Kos diarist alysheba has some excellent advice for the busted baseball players on how they can get the media to ignore them completely:

[I]n this instance, the only way to salvage a celebrity’s career – and bring comfort into the hearts of all the nation’s citizens – is to effect a complete and total media blackout.

It sounds difficult, I know. But, ironically, this has never been easier to accomplish than it is right now, at this exact moment, thanks in no small part to the Presidency of George Bush, to his indentured corporate media and, yes, to the spineless Democratic leadership who stubbornly refuse to stand up for anything.

You’ll see what I mean below, where I offer to these fallen legends my fool-proof prescriptions for making the scandal – and themselves – disappear completely…

ROGER CLEMENS: Call a press conference and immediately demand the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney.

It may sound paradoxical, but in order to disappear, Clemens needs to put in some serious face time hammering this issue. I call it my “Crazy Ivan” maneuver (patent pending) – turning headlong into the media’s prurience before their corporate handlers have time to retask them. One serious marathon session of putting that big, square jaw in front of every camera he can find and talking incessantly about the need for impeachment?? 24 hours later it’ll be: “Roger who?”

DAVID JUSTICE: Join forces with Robert Kennedy and announce a speaking tour to raise the nation’s awareness of election fraud in 2004.

As a retiree, David Justice has time on his side – time to think, time to plan, most of all, time to sit through a crash course in the Conyers Report at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, and then take his newfound knowledge on the road! It may sound cliched, but making one’s self the poster-child for what the mainstream media prefers to label a “conspiracy theory,” well, that’s the high road to a low profile.

LENNY DYKSTRA: Quickly orchestrate and, if necessary, self-finance, an endorsement deal for Johnathan Goodwin’s 100 mpg diesel-electric Hummer.

Nothing says “media blackout” like the phrase “alternative fuel.” And for Dykstra’s money, he couldn’t find a better place to hide than under a 7,000 lb. car that scares the shit out of Detroit. I mean, a right wing loon like Arnold Schwarzenegger joining forces with an energy independence advocate like Goodwin? Plus the endorsement of a tobacco chewing millionaire like Dykstra?? There’s no way to shoehorn those oddities into the stock media narrative! And you know what that means: BUH-BYE DYKSTRA HEADLINES!

ANDY PETTITE: Join the Army. Go to Iraq. Stay out of combat if possible, but upon your return have someone pen a book on your (fictional) traumatic brain injury. Stay away from Bob Woodruff at all costs!

Pettite’s got a lot to lose. Given that Bonds was already done prior to today’s news, and that Clemens was close to retirement anyway, Pettite, in my professional opinion as a newly minted publicist, is the real loser today and it appears he may have to go for the sacrifice fly.

He may get some press initially over the whole “celebrity enlistment” thing, but say he’s done with his obligation in three years, he’ll still have a good half-decade of throwing ahead of him. And, again, coming home with the whole sourpuss TBI-thing – that’s a guaranteed “C-ya” in the press and next thing y’know, he’s back on the mound.

But, again, Pettite must stay well clear of Bob Woodruff. The last thing he needs is to get swept up in another one of those “intrepid reporter” plots. That’s the kinda airtime no fallen hero needs!

BARRY BONDS: Rent out the “House that (You) Built” and stage a public hearing on the Sibel Edmonds case, signing autographs as necessary to increase attendence.

If there’s a holy grail of going dark, this might be it.

Alysheba is right. There is no better way to make the corporate media forget that you ever existed. These topics are – I’m going to assume that “dognip” is the opposite of catnip – for the media that control our discourse.

(h/t Phoenix Woman)

December 14th, 2007 at 11:53am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Energy,Environment,Impeachment,Iraq,Media,Politics,Sports

Halftime Is Not Mardi Gras

I prefer the Giants over the Jets, but this is still mortifying:

At halftime of the Jets’ home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, several hundred men lined one of Giants Stadium’s two pedestrian ramps at Gate D. Three deep in some areas, they whistled and jumped up and down. Then they began an obscenity-laced chant, demanding that the few women in the gathering expose their breasts.

When one woman appeared to be on the verge of obliging, the hooting and hollering intensified. But then she walked away, and plastic beer bottles and spit went flying. Boos swept through the crowd of unsatisfied men.

(…)

The mood of previous Gate D crowds – captured on video clips posted on YouTube – sometimes bordered on hostile, not unlike the spirit of infamously aggressive European soccer hooligans. One clip online shows a woman being groped by a man standing next to her.

(…)

Throughout halftime, about 10 security guards in yellow jackets stood near the bottom of the circular, multilevel ramp, located beyond the stadium’s concourse of concession stands and restrooms. One of the guards was smoking a cigarette; many fans do the same during halftime on the giant ramps, which are located at each corner of the stadium. Another guard later said they were not permitted to do anything about the chants at Gate D because of free speech laws. Yet when a reporter tried to interview two security guards after halftime, he was detained in a holding room, threatened with arrest and asked to hand over his tape recorder.

Wonderful. I’m so proud.

1 comment November 20th, 2007 at 07:07am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sexism,Sports,Wankers

Football Thoughts

Since I don’t blog about sports enough (the original “mission” of Multi Medium was to talk about sports, TV, movies, music, and photography in addition to politics and general weirdness – hence the name), and bill asked my thoughts on the Giants-Cowboys showdown tomorrow, I figured I would make a post out of them, for my 2-3 readers who follow sports.

Keys To The Game:

o Does Eli Manning play well? Does he step into the ball and throw it accurately, or does he throw off his back foot and/or into traffic? Eli can be very very good, and he can be very very bad, sometimes even within the same game. If he has even one bad half or bad quarter of throwing to the other team, I don’t think they’ll be able to recover.

o Does the front seven get enough pressure on Romo? They’ve been great for the last six games, but the Cowboys have a good, massive offensive line. The secondary is much improved, but if Romo has time to throw, I think he’ll still shred them.

o Can Plaxico keep it up? He’s been playing incredibly well for someone with a bad ankle and zero practice time, but if he can’t go, or isn’t effective, his replacement would be Sinorice Moss, who has shown absolutely nothing (he’s basically Tim Carter Smurf). I’m kind of hoping the Giants have some Shockey-at-wide-receiver packages in their back pocket, just in case.

Trends:

o Giants have lost midseason NFC showdowns in truly ignominious fashion the last two years – the three 4Q/OT Jay Feely misses against Seattle in 2005, and the 26-yard 3rd-and-22 run and FG miss runback by Chicago in 2006. Couple that with first-round playoff losses both of those years, and the Giants don’t exactly have a great record of rising to the occasion.

o Giants suck after bye weeks, 4-14.

Gut Feeling:

Cowboys come out fired up, Eli gets intimidated/rattled and does stupid things. Giants try to rally in the second half, but Plaxico is out of the game and they don’t have enough weapons. The Giants have been feasting exclusively on weaklings on their six-game hot streak, and the Cowboys are just a better and more battle-tested team.

As usual, I really hope I’m wrong.

1 comment November 10th, 2007 at 12:32pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Sports

Tackling Terror

Jason Elam goes from special teams to special ops teams:

Jason Elam, the kicker for the Denver Broncos, has teamed up with his pastor to write a book titled – no joke – Monday Night Jihad. Apparently the NFL is under attack. Here is an excerpt (via withleather)…

A story that combines all the action of a first-rate spy thriller with the intrigue of professional sports. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Riley Covington is living his dream as a professional linebacker when he comes face-to-face with a radical terrorist group on his own home turf. Drawn into the nightmare around him, Riley returns to his former life as a member of a special ops team that crosses oceans in an attempt to stop the source of the escalating attacks.

But time is running out, and it soon becomes apparent that the terrorists are on the verge of achieving their goal: to strike at the very heart of America.

How sad is it that my first thought was to wonder when the football-star-turned-soldier gets shot by his own men, triggering a massive government coverup?

I’m also curious as to whether the book limits itself to mere scaremongering (Terrorists could strike at any time! We must have a strong manly Republican president to protect us!), or if it makes the broader case for the indispensable value of torture and ‘tapping as well. Obviously, I can’t wait to read it…

November 8th, 2007 at 05:49pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Books,Republicans,Sports,Terrorism,War

Someone To Root For

And I don’t even really like the Olympics…

Phyllis Shipman did not look like the other athletes attending the United States Olympic Assembly last month in Houston. Neither buff nor sinewy and, at 64, several decades older, Shipman represented the sport of archery at the annual gathering of Olympic stakeholders.

“This is so much fun,” she said, not only about the meeting but about her new life as an elite competitor. Shipman is ranked among the top female archers in the United States and is vying for one of three spots on the 2008 Olympic team.

A retired elementary school principal from Oahu, Hawaii, Shipman said she never thought of herself as particularly coordinated or athletic. She signed up for archery while an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania because it seemed the easiest and least sweaty way to satisfy the physical education requirement.

(…)

Thirty years later, in 1997, while accompanying her husband on a business trip, she wandered into a Maui sporting goods store and admired the bows and arrows. “I thought to myself, I used to do this, and maybe, since I was getting close to retirement, it’d be fun to get back into it,” Shipman said.

She bought some used equipment and started shooting on weekends at an Oahu archery range. The other recreational archers there, mostly men, helped her with her form. “I don’t know if it was self-defense or what,” she said.

Within months, she was shooting better than they were and subscribing to archery magazines. One had an ad for a five-day training course at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. She talked her husband into going with her. “I hadn’t left the island in 30 years,” she said.

(…)

Shipman’s coach, M. J. Rogers, said that while her older joints require more exercises for flexibility and range of motion, Shipman’s age carries some advantages.

“Mentally, she’s better off because she’s had a life, career and children, whereas some of the younger ones are setting aside their life — giving up their social life to compete,” Rogers said. “Phyllis is just having fun, so she can relax and focus on her shooting without worrying so much whether she’s up or down on the scoreboard.”

That does not mean she cannot relate to her younger competitors.

“We gave her a hard time when she first moved in,” said Tara Robey, 25, one of four archers Shipman roomed with at the Olympic Training Center in 2003. “And I guess maybe we were thinking she’d be like a mother figure, but we quickly realized she was one of us. We’d joke and maybe think she wouldn’t get it, but she’d keep up and throw something right back at us.

“Phyllis was one of the gang.”

(…)

Shipman is also involved in outreach activities, like visiting critically ill children and their families and helping Hurricane Katrina victims. “I usually get about a 30 percent participation rate but can always count on her to take an extra day to fly in early to help,” Henderson said.

(…)

Whether or not she makes the team, Shipman is enjoying the process. “For so long my life has been around my husband, my children or my school,” she said. “I don’t recall ever developing a part of me.”

She shoots arrow after arrow under a fragrant orange tree in the backyard of her home, which faces Sunset Beach, a popular surfing spot in Oahu.

“I never thought I’d end up in Hawaii and I certainly never thought I’d end up a competitive archer,” she said. “You never know where your path in life will take you.”

Very cool. I really hope she makes it. It reminds me a little bit of how I felt upon getting back into photography, but her skill and commitment to her craft are far beyond mine.

November 6th, 2007 at 11:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports

A-Rod Gets An Offer

This is truly a thing of beauty:

Dear Mr. Boras,

We would be honored if your client, Alex Rodriguez, would enter the Hall of Fame wearing a Toledo Mud Hens cap.

Although Rodriguez has not played in a minor league game since 1996 with Tacoma, we would be delighted if he would represent the World Famous Toledo Mud Hens at Cooperstown.

However, in order for Mr. Rodriguez to enter the Hall of Fame as a Mud Hen, he would, of course, have to play for us. We would like to offer your client an incentive-based contract of $35 million dollars per season. If he is able to achieve the following:
-Hit 75 HR per season (10 straight seasons)
-Drive in at least 1,500 runs (10 years combined)
-Hit at least .350 each season (10 straight seasons)
-Help the Hens win 10 straight Governors’ Cup titles

Now keep in mind, Mike Hessman is our every day 3B and is the reigning International League MVP. We think that it would be a healthy competition at Spring Training between the two of them. Would your client be willing to play a different position?

We have included two Mud Hen hats for you and Mr. Rodriguez and look forward to seeing you wear them proudly.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jason D. Griffin
Director, Public Relations/Broadcaster
Toledo Mud Hens Baseball, Inc.

Brilliant!

Kinda sucks for Mike Hessman, tho.

(h/t Tyler Kepner)

1 comment November 2nd, 2007 at 06:30pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports

Rudy Will NEVER Be Cheered In Yankee Stadium

This is an unpardonable sin:

“I’m rooting for the Red Sox,” the Republican presidential contender told a Boston audience on Tuesday, just a few T stops from Fenway Park.

“I’m an American League fan, and I go with the American League team, maybe with the exception of the Mets. Maybe that would be the one time I wouldn’t because I’m loyal to New York.”

(…)

“Somehow it makes me feel better if the team that was ahead of the Yankees wins the World Series,” he told a group of mostly local reporters in explaining his sudden backing of the Red Sox, “because then I feel like, well, we’re not that bad.”

Later, at a town hall meeting in Lebanon, N.H., Giuliani yukked it up with a couple of audience members who were wearing Sox caps. “If I keep looking at that hat, I may start crying,” he said to chuckles, before adding, “Good luck to the Red Sox!”(…)

The GOP front-runner insisted his sudden conversion to Red Sox fandom was “not just because I’m here in Massachusetts.”

“In Colorado, in the next week or two, you will see, I will have the courage to tell the people of Colorado the same thing, that I am rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series,” he said.

I’m sure Yankee fans will be very comforted by Rudy’s consistency.

October 24th, 2007 at 10:45am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Rudy,Sports

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