Allan Ray Waived, Jokes About Name Confusion Prevented

July 28, 2007

I was actually kinda sad to see that Allan Ray was waived by the Celtics and that he will be playing in Italy this season, rather than for the Green alongside newly acquired Ray Allen. The bizarre comedic potential was pretty high there. Oh well.

Luckily for Allan Ray, he will get paid $2 million overseas, rather than the $600k or so his Celtics deal would have called for. And he also won’t be stuck on the bench because the guy getting all of the minutes at his position happens to have his first and last names inverted. On the negative side, the name jokes could have become what Allan Ray was known for; instead, he will still be primarily known for getting his eye poked out during the Big East Tournament, which is a lot less humorous.


Friday the Thirteenth

April 13, 2007

Not so bloggy today because of real world obligations that are keeping me busy. Hey, it’s better than being chased by a maniac in a hockey mask. I’ll throw out a few links and some quick thoughts and call it a day.

  • It’s not about you: Torii Hunter and C.C. Sabathia are missing the point of having players wear number 42 to honor Jackie Robinson on Sunday. Why would it be watered down to have more teams and players join in the tribute? They seem upset that they will get less attention for being good guys and wearing the number now that so many others will be too. But this isn’t about them. It’s about honoring Robinson, and the more people involved the better.
  • He shouldn’t have messed with those hard-core hos: Don Imus was fired by CBS after the national media firestorm over his uncouth comments on female basketball players. As I’ve said before, Imus is a fool who said dumb things, but I think firing him is going too far (I agree with the Letterman take on this). He said something on par with what he and plenty of other radio hosts have said for years. The suspension would’ve been sufficient to put him on notice that he needed to be respectful from here on out. I guess once advertisers pulled out the writing was on the wall.
  • Ewww: Paul Wolfowitz in a sex scandal. Bad images coming to mind.
  • That explains the rush: Atrios posits that Bush wanted Congress to rush back so that he could veto the Iraq spending bill before extending troops’ tours. That way he could blame the soldiers’ harships on the Democrats.
  • (Not) turning the corner: The latest idiocy from Charles Krauthammer looks especially stupid in the wake of yesterday’s news.
  • Mike Nifong’s non-apology: Memphis Bengal has a good take on Durham DA Mike Nifong’s so-called “apology” to the former Duke lacrosse players yesterday. They basically responded by telling him where he could stick that apology and now they are considering suing. Corrupt DAs like Nifong should take notice that it’s only a good idea to press made-up charges against poor people who can’t fight back; wealthy people can, and they will make you pay.
  • So it goes: I am a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut’s writing and saddened by his passing. His official web site is currently adorned with a lone image of a birdcage with the door open. There’s also an excellent tribute over at In These Times, the web site that published a lot of Vonnegut’s essays in recent years.

Selena Roberts Draws the Wrong Lesson

April 11, 2007

The Imus comment is getting far more attention than it deserves, but I feel compelled to pass along what Selena Roberts thinks the less is from all this:

Ho is the new bitch. And bitch is the old sissy. But whatever the label, women are always first to be part of the gag when sexism and misogyny are publicly sanctioned and celebrated — particularly in sports.

Shaquille O’Neal, in his Lakers days, referred to the Sacramento Kings as “Queens.”

And in this sanitized version, a top Division I football coach was once overheard telling his team after a particularly big win: tonight, you guys deserve to take whatever woman you want.

In Johnny Damon’s long-haired Boston days, a punch line used to circulate: He looks like Jesus, throws like Mary.

These comments are red herrings. Leaving aside what the football coach allegedly said, the jibes at the Sacramento Kings and Johnny Damon are entirely different from the Imus/Rutgers imbroglio. They were meant to criticize the male athletes by comparing them to women, who are not as good at sports as men. O’Neal felt that the Kings were an easy opponent, and Johnny Damon is known for having a weak throwing arm. The point is to insult the men being discussed, not to denigrate women as a class.

Relying on these examples, Roberts could be read to be advocating the end of any recognition of differences between men and women in sports, which is ludicrous. There is a reason the Rutgers women were not playing the Florida men in the NCAA championship, and there is a reason no one had heard of the Rutgers women’s team until Don Imus made fun of them.


Don Imus might call them “publicity whores”

April 10, 2007

The Rutgers basketball team is currently holding a news conference to tell us how wonderful they are and how evil Don Imus is. Is this really necessary? Isn’t this somewhat below the pay grade of the president of Rutgers University? Maybe I should get someone to insult me on the radio so that I can tell the media how great I really am.

I’m sorry they were insulted, but no one cares about women’s college basketball. There are plenty of people who are talented at various things and work hard and never get recognized. These young women are only in the spotlight because a famous radio host used some inflammatory language to call them ugly, and I’m sure that was upsetting. But again, I ask, why has this episode received so much more attention than various other insults that fly about on talk radio routinely?


Gloating Part II

April 3, 2007

So I was right in predicting a Florida-Ohio State national final and a Florida victory. Where’s my prize? This at least proves that I am a better predictor of sporting events than marshmallows.

The CBS coverage was the usual. Billy Packer obsessed over the big guys getting winded the entire game — aren’t these guys barely 20 years old and able to run around for forty minutes? — and Jim Nantz obsessed over everyone’s parents. After the game was over, an uneasy Nantz and Packer stood by while an excitable Joakim Noah made no sense. You know, I think he’s right: Packer and Nantz probably did have no idea what he was talking about (at least he didn’t start dancing this time). Nantz ignored the rant and plowed ahead by asking MOP Corey Brewer about his father.

Florida wins

The game itself was unspectacular as the Gators used their balanced attack to wear down Ohio State for the win. Every time Ohio State looked ready to get close in the second half, Florida would score off a loose ball on some back-breaking play. It must have sucked to watch this for Ohio State fans. Greg Oden put up strong stats (25 points, 12 boards) in defeat, even prompting Packer to suggest he might win MOP honors. It was probably enough to cement his #1 NBA Draft status by showing he could produce in the biggest college game there is. Nantz picked Al Horford (18 points, 12 boards) for MOP honors, and both broadcasters proved wrong as Brewer was chosen.

The result is leading to all sorts of discussion about the back-to-back titles and Florida’s place in history. I’ll leave that one to the experts and simply note that it must be pretty sweet to be a Gator fan these days. It reminds me of the “cup runneth over” feeling I had when the Red Sox and Patriots held championships simultaneously a few years back.


NCAA Gloating/Prediction

April 1, 2007

Look at that, it’s Florida and Ohio State for the national championship, just as I predicted before the tournament began. Not that it was a surprise pick, by any stretch — lots and lots of people picked these teams, which were the top two seeds in the entire tournament. But it shows I’m not completely clueless, which is nice.

It’s rather strange to have the college football and college basketball championship games be the same matchup of schools three months apart. Of course Florida dominated the football game in January, as well as the regular-season basketball game back in December. So much for the premise that so-called “football schools” can’t be basketball powers.

I foresee Florida cutting down the nets again, as I originally picked, based on superior depth and experience. The Georgetown game last night showed Ohio State’s vulnerability inside if Greg Oden is in foul trouble, as he has been so often in the tournament. Florida has three big guys it rotates inside that can cause problems, and if you clamp down on them defensively Florida will knock down threes, as they showed against UCLA in the other national semifinal. I think the Buckeyes will need a superhuman effort by Oden to control the paint so that they can extend their defense in order to win, and I don’t quite see that happening.


A Rather Predictable Final Four

March 25, 2007

As you may know by now, the champions of the Big East, Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 10 made the Final Four this weekend. The New York Times has some stats on how much more predictable this year’s semifinalists were than last year’s:

Last year at this time, of the 3.1 million entries in ESPN.com’s bracket pool, only four chose the correct Final Four teams. This year, 161,869 of 3.3 million entries have the Gators, the Buckeyes, the Bruins and the Hoyas still alive.

I correctly picked three of the four, which makes me even less special, though my Florida over Ohio State pick for the final could still come to pass.