Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bad Album Covers: Ken and Joyce

I am going to look at two album covers today. These don't exactly push the envelope like some, but I can't stop laughing nonetheless. I would love to see Ken and Joyce get together for a duet.

1. Ken, that's your stage name? Why no last name? You have to be frigging kidding me here.

2. Listen Ken, I am sure you enjoy this singing gig of yours and all, but did you really need to take the close up for the album cover? One can't help but look at it, it's right there for the taking.

3. Ahh, I can't take my eyes of his mustache and perfectly trimmed hair. My god, it's like a helmet with mutton chops.

4. Hold the phone, his hair is completely different in the photo on the right. I mean even his 1970's butterfly collared shirt is different. This means one of two things. Ken either took two days to shoot this album cover or he had an extensive wardrobe/hair style change during the shoot. Considering I could draw this album cover in a day, I am guessing he hit the wardrobe to give the second shot a bit more edge.

5. By request only? Fine... Give me: NWA - F**k the Police, R.E.M - End of the World, and Bowie - China Girl. Seriously, I wonder if he is still waiting for someone to make a request.

1. Hahahahahahahaahhhaaaha.

2. Oh god, this is just to much. I don't even know where to begin. Let’s tackle it piece-by-piece:

-How many birds are living in this frigging perm? I am setting the over/under at 7.

-I am hoping that she is wearing a pair of groucho glasses and that is not really her nose.

-As for the glasses, look at those specs! They remind me of the rims Clarke's mother use to wear.

-Way to much reddish purple going on here Joyce. It hurts my eyes and I am pretty sure the Salvation Army would not accept that dress as a donation.

-Put the flower down, just put it down. I'm not sure why it is involved, but if it is supposed to be some symbolic message... just stop, we don’t want it.

-50 cents? I would say that is the ceiling price on this puppy. I wonder how many copies she sold? Ken and Joyce together couldn't have broken the thousand mark. No chance.


Last night's demolition in Minnesota put Tom Brady 52 games over .500 as a Patriot. I think that's about all we need to say about that.

Bullpen Mechanics

A poster named “ChadBradfordWannabe” has been providing some great pitcher analysis over at Baseball Think Factory. These are just amazing reads, with in-depth analysis, that is often hard to find. He breaks down the pitching motion frame-by-frame and looks at every movement through out the entire process, often comparing it to previous years. He has completed 4 to date: Brandon Webb, Oliver Perez, Francisco Liriano, and Mark Mulder. The Mulder piece is even more interesting because he is on the market. We knew his K-rates were plummeting, while he was walking many more batters. We knew his hip was a mess and that he would miss the beginning of the season. However, after reading through this article, you start to see why every number associated with him is heading in the wrong direction, including age. At the same time, Buster Olney is reporting that the Red Sox may be interested. That’s fantastic, just what we need… Wade Millar part deux.

Other 2007 Free Agent Starting Pitchers

Monday, October 30, 2006

Learn to Live With What You Got

"Ten-year journeyman Damon Huard continues to show how important it is for a team to have a viable, experienced backup quarterback. And in the Kansas City Chiefs' 35-28 victory over Seattle on Sunday, he demonstrated more than that. Playing with a groin injury suffered late in Thursday's practice, and with his availability uncertain until Sunday morning, Huard displayed tremendous grit in gutting out the entire game and earning his fourth victory in six starts in 2006. ....the veteran signal-caller, who until this season had not started a game since 2000, and who has now surpassed his career high for starts in a season, completed 17 of 25 passes for 312 yards, with one touchdown pass, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 124.1"

Damon Huard is kicking ass. Is this a result of watching the great Tom Brady prepare and perform for three years? Remember, Huard was the backup going into 2001 Pats camp and Brady wrestled that mantle away from him and two weeks later, Drew is bleeding internally and the rest is history. Meanwhile, Drew still thinks he should have been handed his job back. Hey Drew, I think the only mistake was that you should have been 3rd on the depth chart going into the playoffs.

Seriously though, you have to think that success rubbed off on Mr. Huard...he was more than ready when the bell rang for him this season. Good for him.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friday Afternoon Spikes

Deadspin is a powerful force

Godspeed, Red

16 titles in the first 40 years of the league when he was actively in control. The Green was his until Len Bias took some of the life out of him. Very few decision makers in American sports have ever been near Red's level of success. Boston will miss you.

One Eyed Willie

I think I'd have to start here, but honestly, there's a lot of options:

The Update Update

The cabinet of the government of Freeze Popville are all SNL historians. It's a tough job when the show is going through a not-so-funny phase. However, Seth Meyers, who is generally rather unfunny, is doing a really good job in the #2 seat of Weekend Update. I think he and Poehler actually may be a better punchline team than Fallon/Fey. For instance, he delivered this joke last week on John C Reilly's show with a master touch:

"Mike Tyson has proposed a boxing match between him and Ann Wolf, a female middleweight boxer. Many believe the bout would be similar to Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King's famed battle of the sexes, but only if Billie Jean King had been punched to death."

He nailed that one. In fact, when you look at the transcript, I think he made most of the jokes funnier than they are on paper. Good for him. He surprised me.

The John C Reilly show was real good. Jaime Pressly and Dane Cook had two bombs back to back, but we all know that the show is now very good when you have a talented host and terrible when you don't. Harpoon Man, House of Carters and The A Holes are all funny....good luck to Hugh Laurie tonight. You're carrying the cast, House.


Buck and McCarver's Moonlight Fantasy

So the Cards win the Series fairly easily. It feels really strange, right? On one hand, you have an 83 win team winning the World Series. On the other hand, if someone told you on April 1st that the Cardinals would win the World Series, that would sound about right. Obviously some of the elements in retrospect are quite bizarre: Jeff Weaver=Curt Schilling, Isringhausen-free bullpen is just fine, Pujols didn't have to dominate, Yadier Molina had the biggest hit of the postseason.

I'm very disappointed that I couldn't find a fan's Blair Witch celebration video yet on Youtube....what's the world coming to when you can't see a cell phone video of a stadium celebration 14 hours later? Get with it, Cards fans.

The Rain

In honor of the crappy weather we're having here in New England this afternoon I have to post an all-time classic video from Oran "Juice" Jones. Note the decided change in tone this video takes around the 2:20 mark...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Old S.I. Review (December 6, 1993)

13 years later it seems awfully hard to believe but, yes, the cover story from this issue really did pose the question, "Can the NFL Be Saved?" Peter King wrote it around a framework of 10 problems facing the league at the time along with his solutions. Interesting read. Some of it comes off pretty funny but overall it's not as off-base as you might guess. Anyhow, I'll get to that shortly. Let's start tackling the issue from the beginning....

Puttin' On The Ritz

If you're looking for a giant, dimly-lit picture of Lenny Dykstra talking on the phone from a hotel bed at the Paris Ritz while his wife Terry stares off into space, well, look no further. That was the big Contents page photo in this issue. Makes you wonder what they passed on if that was the best that could do.

"Might" is the Key Word

The highlight of the Letters page is a submission from reader Donald Schmitz of San Jose nominating race-car driver Nigel Mansell for 1993 Sportsman of the Year. After listing some of Nigel's incredible (his word, not mine) accomplishments Donald wraps it up by stating, "Mansell might be the biggest British import since the Beatles." Ummm, sure. If you say so.

L.T. on the NASDAQ

The Scorecard section has a tremendous blurb about Lawrence Taylor's fledgling company, All-Pro Products. Described as "one of the hottest new stock offerings of 1993," All-Pro opened at $5 per share on November 9th and was trading at $15.50 on the NASDAQ by November 26th. Rumors had it that L.T., about to enter the final year of his contract with the Giants, was so pleased with All-Pro's hot start that he was considering forsaking $2.5 million and walking away from football.

And what, you ask, did All-Pro sell? Well, the company had one product in the winter of 1993, a sports drink called Metro-Pro, which was marketed as "an urban drink for males." Unfortunately, Metro-Pro is also described in the piece as having "a less than pleasing taste." All of which helps to explain why All-Pro was operating with "a total revenue of $36,220" since inception and "losses of over $900,000."

But despite those discouraging financials, All-Pro was forging ahead. L.T. "and his associates" were said to be tinkering with a new formula for Metro-Pro. And, what's more, plans were underway to develop "a virtual-reality home entertainment system," although the prospects for that venture were considered uncertain, "given that no one connected with All-Pro has experience in developing that media."

Sadly, I'm sure you can guess how this all turned out in the end. Here's the section of timeline from L.T.'s bio on espn.com that covers this era in his life...

-L.T.'s No. 56 was officially retired at halftime of the Giants-Vikings Monday night game on Oct. 10, 1994.
-Needing money, Taylor wrestled Bam Bam Bigelow in Wrestlemania XI for $500,000 in April 1995.
-Also in 1995, his business, All-Pro Products, collapsed. Because of stock fraud by two former traders, the company was worth practically nothing. It had been valued at $10.8 million after going public in 1993. L.T. lost several hundred thousand dollars.

Poor L.T. One minute you're getting your number retired and riding high in the stock market and the next minute your wrestling Bam Bam Bigelow to pay the bills.

I'm sure it all seemed like a good idea at the time.

Raffy vs. Will Clark

The Scorecard section also has a brief mention of the Texas Rangers deciding to sign Will Clark as a free agent and let Rafael Palmeiro walk. The move is largely praised on the grounds that numbers don't mean everything and that Clark will get in the faces of guys like Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez and Jose Canseco and teach them how to be winners.

The best is Raffy's reaction, described thusly...."Palmeiro blasted the Rangers for signing a "mediocre" player, then inexcusably ripped his former Mississippi State teammate, saying Clark had "no class" and was a "lowlife."

Yeah, because you're such a class act, Raffy. See you in Congress....

Fixing the N.F.L.

On to Peter King's story on the ailing state of the N.F.L. The opening paragraphs of the story paint a picture of professional football in the winter of 1993. Steve DeBerg and his "dental floss arm" was trying to keep the Dolphins in the AFC East race with Dan Marino out. Northern Exposure was seen a legit threat to the ratings of Monday Night Football. Deion Sanders, described as "the rascal that half of us love and half of us love to hate," was missing time with the Braves. And no less an authority than broadcaster Matt Millen (Matt Millen!) was quoted as saying, "Is it just me, or is this the worst football we've ever seen?"

Peter then tosses out 10 problems facing the league along with his solutions. Let's quickly run them down:

Problem #1: Parity is a monster unleashed.
Solution: Exempt the two highest salaries on every team from counting against the payroll.

Comments: That's actually not a bad idea. Even today. I wouldn't mind tweaking the system to allow teams an opportunity to hang on to a few veterans that would otherwise be too expensive. It's just funny to see parity, which is almost always cited as one the NFL's greatest strengths today, being lamented for damaging the league just 13 years ago. And it's even funnier when the guy talking about it is Matt Millen..."Parity is fine, if we have good teams beating each other. But bad teams with good records are beating each other, and usually the games are full of sloppy play." I don't like sloppy play either, Matt. If only they would let you run your own team...

Problem #2: One quarterback injury and a contender falls like a house of cards.
Solution: Use the World League to stockpile bright, young prospects and give guaranteed contracts to backup QBs.

Comments: First of all, you have to love any solution that involves the World League. That's always a good idea. But what's even better is the list of backup QBs from playoff contenders that Peter rattles off in this section. Check out these beauties...Ty Detmer (Packers), Tommy Maddox (Broncos), Kent Graham (Giants), Browning Nagle (Jets) and Peter Tom Willis (Bears).

Problem #3: The double byes are a double disaster.
Solution: Get rid of them.

Comments: Amen. And they did. No need for a team to get two byes per season.

Problem #4: There are more good college games on TV than pro games on a given weekend.
Solution: Allow NY and LA to get an extra TV game so they're not penalized for having two NFL teams. Give networks the ability to switch good games to prime time slots later in the year.

Comments: Well, that second part of that solution is about to come true in a few weeks. As to the first part, I imagine LA became less of a concern when they lost both franchises. Overall, I guess this is still a concern but I've got the NFL package on Directv so I'm not as worried about it myself. I might be singing a different tune if I got caught in that Atlanta-Pittsburgh bonus coverage mess on CBS last weekend.

Problem #5: Kickers are becoming too good.
Solution: Add the two-point conversion.

Comments: Kickers were too good 13 years ago? And that would be solved by adding two-point conversions? I'm not sure I understand.

Problem #6: Unlimited substition is killing offense.
Solution: Only one offensive and defensive sub allowed per play.

Comments: Apparently, nobody was going no-huddle in 1993.

Problem #7: There’s not enough big plays.
Solution: See Problem #6. Get rid of unlimited substitutions.

Comments: I had no idea unlimited substitution was such a big deal. When did this stop becoming a big concern? Or is still a big problem and I’m just not aware of it?

Problem #8: Artificial turf causes too many injuries
Solution: Get rid of it.
Comments: Amen.

Problem #9: The 40-second clock is causing offenses to misfire.
Solution: Add 5 seconds to the play clock.
Comments: The best part of this one is that the immortal Jack Trudeau of the Colts is cited as having wanted to audible 4 times in a recent game against Cincy but felt he couldn’t do it because the play clock was winding down. As if Jack Trudeau’s inability to audible was a legit concern. Jack Trudeau!

Problem #10: The game has no character and almost no color.
Solution: Do a better job marketing the players.
Comments: Here’s the actual first line of Peter’s final solution for the NFL…"Follow the NBA’s lead.” When’s the last time you heard that advice? Yikes. But that’s as good a line to end with as any. The NFL is king of the hill now. 13 years ago? "Be more like the NBA." Classic.

The Wit and Wisdom of Tomba La Bomba

Couple good quotes from the legendary Alberto Tomba in an article about the 1993 World Cup of skiing.

On his prospects of winning gold in the upcoming Lillehammer games…
“Everybody expects Alberto to win because he win gold before, but I cannot say what I can do.”

And on rumors of his retirement in the wake of Michael Jordan’s departure from the Bulls…
“As I understand, he stop because stress from the press is too much for him. For me, too, in Italy. He is a great champion in U.S. Me too, in Italy. Maybe the solution is this: He goes to Italy and plays basketball, and I stay here and ski.”

Midseason Report on the 1993-94 Sonics

The 1993-94 Sonics will forever be remember for losing as the #1 seed in the West to the 8th seeded Nuggets in a famous first-round upset. S.I. did a profile on them in this issue back in December of that year. Some highlights from that piece…

-"We’re crazy at times. We yell and cuss at each other maybe more than most teams.” –George Karl

-“If we were happy all the time, we wouldn’t be the Sonics.” –Gary Payton

-A story about Shawn Kemp trying a crazy spin move in the post against Billy Owen that resulted in an offensive foul, followed by Karl telling him to “just play basketball,” followed by Kemp swearing at Karl.

-Tons of praise for offseason acquisitions Detlef Schrempf and Kendall Gill. Probably too much praise in retrospect.

-Genuine debate about whether their go-to guy in the clutch was Schrempf, Kemp or Ricky Pierce.

-The last line of the story talking about Seattle going deep in the playoffs. Didn’t quite work out that way. Unless you consider a 5-game opening round series a deep run.

The Bowl System Sucks: 1993 Edition

While the image of the NFL might have been different 13 years ago you can take comfort in knowing that everybody hated college football’s postseason just as much then as they do now if not more. The 1993 regular season ended with two undefeated teams, Nebraska and West Virginia, but the Mountaineers were shut out of the Orange Bowl, and a shot at the national championship, in favor of Florida State.

Here’s what West Virginia coach Don Nehlen had to say about it…

“It’s the biggest misjustice in the world.”

And then added the following in reference to FSU’s November loss to Notre Dame…

“To have the opportunity to play for the national championship the good Lord says you’ve got to do every single thing right for 11 straight weeks.” And Florida State, in his mind, “didn’t get it done.”

Other voices in the article include Bobby Bowden, who summed up his 33-21 win over Florida thusly, “Almost a rout and almost close,” and Michael Wilbon, who called Nebraska, “the second biggest fraud in college football every single solitary season.” His number 1 fraud? Michigan.

Nails in Europe

In the feature on Lenny Dykstra touring Europe in the offseason as a goodwill ambassador for baseball come these two quotes….

“Now, Paris is France. But London, that’s just London, right? It’s just London?”
-Lenny, working on his geography

“My goal is to build a financial empire. I know people laugh about all the stuff I say and do. But believe me, before I take a dirt nap, I’m going to build myself a financial empire.”

Inside The NFL

Prolific issue from Peter King who, in addition to his cover story, still found time to do his weekly Inside the NFL piece. And the lead story there was, ho hum, a story about Drew Bledsoe’s growing pains under Bill Parcells. Honest to God. 13 years ago and that was the story. Drew’s a good kid. He’s learning. Getting better. Still makes mistakes. Etc, etc. And you wonder why Parcells might be frustrated with him now. He was having the same conversations 13 years ago.

Another tidbit I enjoyed was a blurb about Barry Sanders missing time with an injury and this quote from Lions coach Wayne Fontes…"A lot of people are counting us out but we’ve won without Lomas Brown. We’ve won without Herman Moore. We’ve won without Pat Swilling. We can with without Barry.” Well, yes and no. The ’93 Lions went 3-2 down the stretch without Barry and won the NFC Central but were bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

Finally, here’s SI’s Top Ten Power rankings with records at the time…

1) San Francisco 8-3 (Finished 10-6 and lost in the NFC title game)
2) Dallas 7-4 (Finished 12-4 and won the Super Bowl)
3) Miami 9-2 (Finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs)
4) Kansas City 8-3 (Finished 11-5 and lost the AFC title game)
5) Buffalo 8-3 (Finished 12-4 and lost in the Super Bowl)
6) Houston 7-4 (Finished 12-4 and lost a Divisional game)
7) Pittsburgh 6-5 (Finished 9-7 and lost a wild card game)
8) N.Y. Jets 7-4 (Finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs)
9) N.Y. Giants 8-3 (Finished 11-5 and lost a Divisional game)
10) Denver 7-4 (Finished 9-7 and lost a wild card game)

Wheatley vs. Faulk

Reprinted from Inside College Football in a section comparing two players by talking to teams that played against both of them in the regular season...

Wheatley vs. Faulk. Minnesota coach Jim Wacker, defensive coordinator Marc Dove and two defensive starters were each asked which back he would pick if he were an NFL general manager. The result: Wheatley 3, Faulk 1. "Faulk tried too hard to make big plays," said Gopher middle linebacker Russ Heath. "Wheatley likes the big play, too, but knows when it's not there and comes up with some sort of gain."

Career NFL stats:

Wheatley - 124 games, 4,962 yards rushing on 1270 carries, 3.9 yard per carry average, 40 rushing TDs, 125 catches for 900 yards and 7 TDs.

Faulk - 174 games, 12,279 yards on 2836 carries, 4.3 yard per carry average, 100 rushing TDs, 767 catches for 6,875 yards and 36 TDs.

Past S.I. Reviews...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Bus is Getting Bigger

No.. Not in that sense, although I would only give it a year and a half or so. Andrew Marchand, wrote a piece on the quick success that Jerome Bettis has found off-field and on-air. He is writing an autobiography, opening a sports bar, ratifying man laws, appearing on "Football Night in America", finding his way into all types of commercials, and starting his own line of clothing called "Bus 36 Athletic Line" that will be sold at Big & Tall stores across the country. A decade ago, “The Bus” was trademarked, as well as his other nickname “The Battering Ram”. He is apparently earning more than ever. This is all nice I suppose, but I am peeved he took the battering ram, I have been trying to get people to call me that for years now.

ESPN and Big Market Trends

This year ESPN saw its Sunday Night Baseball ratings increase 18.8 % from last year. What was their trick? Well, they can thank 6 specific cities for this increase.

The 5 highest rankings of the year:
1. Mets vs. Yankees. May 21, @ 3.5
2. Boston vs. Yankees. Aug 20, @ 3.3
3. Angels vs. Boston. July 30, @ 2.5
4. St. Louis vs. Chicago. April 9, @ 2.3
5. Mets vs. Yankees. July 2, @ 2.3

The lowest ranking in 2006.
San Diego vs San Francisco. Sept 10, @ 0.9

With these year-to-year trends, ESPN is going to end up showing exclusively Boston, NY, Philly, Chicago, L.A, and St. Louis games. I mean hell, they are basically already there. Those six cities accounted for 22 of the 26 Sunday Night games on ESPN. Of those 22 games, they were playing each other 9 times. Someone made the point to me that more fans are gravitating towards large market teams these days, regardless of where they grew up. This just may explain why that is happening. It also explains why most people I know from these cities have a deep rooted hatred for Morgan and Miller. We are forced to listen to their nonsense consistently. For example:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tyra Going Nuts

I hesitate to post this because I feel like it's one of those things everyone's probably already seen and I'm just late getting to the party. But, on the other hand, if there's even one person that hasn't seen this yet it's worth posting again. Talk about being completely off your f'n rocker...

Hands Free Parking

I meant to post something about this the other day but it slipped my mind until Yahoo mentioned it today. In any event, have you seen this new Lexus that's coming out that parallel parks itself after pressing a button? Are you kidding me? They can really make a car do this now? That's ridiculous. I think I'd parallel park 15 times a day if I had that technology. Just to do it. And what about kids taking their driving tests? Forcing you to parallel park was always the biggest ace in the hole your instructor had. What now? Can you just hit the button and call it a night?


Saturday, October 21, 2006

5 weekend recommendations

1. If you happen to find yourself behind a car with some popcorn comment bumper sticker on it, describing how f'n witty that particular schmuck might be, do me a favor and just ram into them. No injuries, no after affects, just a little, "No one cares that your kid is an honor student”. To drive incentive, here is a point system.

-20 Points for a sticker that reads something like, “If you can’t read this, thank the public schools”. Really? This one pisses me off on many levels, but the chances are some underpaid, overworked middle school teacher, who deals with absolute punks on a day-to-day basis, will, in fact, smash into your car. Try sending your kids to private school from K-12 and you will see how messed up an adolescent life can actually become for 25k a year.

-10 points for ‘Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you’re an asshole.” Shut up idiot.

-5 points for any fictitious comment that is trying too hard to produce a laugh from complete strangers driving behind you, i.e. “if you don't like the way I drive, get off the sidewalk!”, “wife and dog missing, reward for dog!” , “Stop Inbreeding, Ban Country Music”. Just stop the nonsense.

-Of course, ignore all of this if you are behind the Hussey’s blue wagon.

2. Use up your pennies. They may be on their way out and god knows you have a change jar with 500 pennies in it. I am fine with pennies being phased out, but why the hell do people have to take shots at the value of a penny. Let’s have some decency here folks… the penny has some strong links to the past. The penny was introduced by Benjamin Franklin and the copper was provided by Paul Revere, who was a silversmith. By weeding out pennies, we are taking honest Abe’s mug shot off our hard earned money. Are we going to create some new denomination of currency to get him back on the face of capitalism? I love the story of Sacagawea, she mothered herself through that voyage across the land with Lewis and Clarke. She is an inspiration, a role model, all that junk… but she is no Abe Lincoln. I can’t imagine a free American market that traded currency without Abe. Bullocks.

3. If you do not watch Heroes, do so Sunday. NBC is running a marathon of all previous episodes. This show is amazing. Every episode gets better, they leave you wanting more weekly, the characters and plot line are truly interesting, and during any given episode it has at least a couple “Holy F**k” moments. I thought it would be a little weird, but it is not. Watch it. Do it, Do it.

4. Remember to wiggle after you pee, it can get embarrassing if you don’t. I am not sure if this applies to our women readers… but wtf, go for it.

5. Head on over to NPR. They have two great concerts streaming now from the last two weeks. Wilco and Regina Spektor played, on separate dates, at the 930 club in DC. Just awesome shows.

- Wilco Show
- Regina Spektor

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"The biggest winner in the history of Plinko!"

Still home sick today. Still feel terrible. Figured I'd at least cite one of the great sick day traditions of all-time though....namely, The Price is Right. I didn't have many sick days when I was a kid because Mrs. Clarke was a stickler for perfect attendence. It was always, "go try it and see how you feel. If you're still sick you can get dismissed." I had to be running a fever in the 102-104 range to get a day off. But, anyhow, on the odd chance I did catch a sick day you can be sure I was catching that day's Showcase Showdown. And, if I was really lucky, I'd get a Plinko to boot. Like this one...

The Punch Out Chronicles IV: The Sensual Spaniard

Don Flamenco

Madrid, Spain
123 lbs
22-3-9 KO's

-Don grew up in Madrid and his life was filled with love. However, the love came in very unconventional way. Paving the way for Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan, Don was raised by his two fathers. The Flamenco’s were a tight nit unit during the early years, spending weekends at the opera and traveling around Europe. Don thoroughly embraced the romantic culture that his fathers encompassed him with. While most kids where outside playing neighborhood games, Don was devouring the works of Miguel de Cervantes and Lope De Vega. At the age of 9, he acted in his first play. It was a small production, but Don knew he had found his calling. His love for the stage was unparalleled, acting in 26 plays by the age of 12. Then, something tragic happened. His biological father, Antonio, took off. Don was left with his second dad, Manueal, and tensions grew high. When Don was 14, Manueal left as well. Don was alone, scared, and had no one to turn too. With nowhere to live, no food on his plate, he took to the streets and learned to survive. His scrawny stature and feminine traits forced him to learn quick. He began fighting and slowly developed some street cred. At the age of 18 he came out of the closet and joined the Minor Circuit.

The Scoop

-We see Don twice during our journey to face Iron Mike. The first time we encounter him, he is ranked 3rd on the Major Circuit. The second time, he has made his way to the World Circuit, where he is ranked #2. Don is a one trick pony. He comes at you right away and starts to taunt you.. inviting you to throw a punch. He almost always dodges or blocks the first one and counters with a montrous uppercut. At this point, he becomes the easiest guy to defeat in the game. Easier than Glass Joe, Easier than Von Kaisar. The idiot doesn’t block. As long as you keep throwing punches at his long, akwardly shaped head he will never land a punch. The key is to throw a left, than a right and continue switching fists till he hits the canvas.
-It can get pretty uncomfortable in the ring with this guy. He is not your average taunter, infact he says little to his competition directly. Lets have a look at his quotes:
1) “People like my hair, don’t mess my hair!” Well, I am by no means an expert when it comes to hair, but I can’t believe you are in the right line of work if your hair is a priority. Especially when you take more shots to the head than Grant Fuhr. Furthermore, after looking at your candy corn shaped head, you really don’t have that nice of hair in the first place. In fact, I would like to meet these so called "people" that like your hair.
2) “Flamenco strikes back! Return of Don” That would make me laugh. Return of Don? Haha
3) “Hey! Mr. Referee Mario. I like your hair!” This is just a gem. Keep in mind, Don is in the middle of an ass whooping. He has taking at least 15-20 jabs to the face by the end first round. However, he enjoys Mario’s hair so much, than he needs to express his feelings. He can’t wait another second before complimenting Mario on his fine haircut. I like saying this line to myself with a spanish accent, or to the “Hey Mr. DJ” song.
4) “I am a beautiful fighter. I have such style!” Listen you narcissistic prick, your not that good looking. Okay, sure… your uppercut has some style, but in return you get bashed in the face repeatedly by a 17 year old kid. Get with it you psycho.
5) “Carmen my love… I dance so sweet for you!” Two things: 1. You should really try to keep your head into the fight here pal. As aforementioned, you’re getting pummeled by a minor. 2. This is a quote from the famous play Carmen, however the play is French. Why not just make his entire character French?
- A few more quick notes on Don. The guy has some dance moves, I have to give him there. No one can jig to a nice Spanish folk song like Don. Furthermore, he enters the ring with a rose in his teeth, but somehow it disappears right in the middle of his dance. So chalk up illusionist to his long list of talents. Finally, he has a gigantic nose and looks a decade older than 23.

-Block. Block a frigging punch. I mean come on. The first time we meet you it’s a joke. That’s right, I said it Don…You are a joke! Leave the f’n rose and the dancing at home and show up ready to fight.
-Style points mean little in the ring. Your prolonged, exaggerated upper cut is just nonsense. I am not sure why you can’t throw up your mittens after you deliver the ridiculous uppercut and BLOCK A FRIGGIN PUNCH, but you can’t, so get rid of the whole routine together.
-Stop thinking about Carmen, Referee Mario’s hair, your hair, pixies or what ever else is running through that narrowly shaped, football like head of yours. Fighting is your career, learn to focus. Also, maybe, just maybe Referee Mario doesn’t appreciate you coming on to him while he is working. I am guessing you run around saying this type of crap to lots of people. I would watch out, that could turn into a long, ugly, and expensive class action law suit.
-I must admit, you bring more to the table the second time we encounter you Don. You are very passive and it becomes increasingly difficult to time that quadruple left jab. While you still allow us to land a number of sequential face shots after your upper hook, you did learn to block it eventually. However, I still think your heads in the wrong place and that is, ultimately, your biggest flaw.

Who does this guy think he is…
-Seriously. I mean the guy who beats Mario 3 in like 6 minutes has something to brag about, that’s cool. Not this junk. This guy apparently puts on a blindfold (its pitch dark and we have no idea) and beats Don Flamenco. Turn off the sound and try it tough guy… anyone can beat up on Don, pick on someone your own size. To top it off, you don’t even utilize the L,R,L,R,L,R combo. You could have ended that fight a full Nintendo minute earlier. Chump.
-I feel bad for this kid’s friend. It sounds like he really looks up to him because he can do this. I hope to god it gets better for him down the road. Keep your head up bud, it can’t get any worse.

The Punch Out Chronicles Archive
Piston Honda
Von Kaisar
Glass Joe

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lyrics Analysis (Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car)

Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car
By Billy Ocean

Hey you, get in to my car (How romantic)
Who me?
Yes you, (...couldn't be! Then who?)
Get in to my car
Woooooooooh. Wah! Hey! (That's poetry, folks)

Who's that lady
Coming down the road (I don't know but I hope she likes automobile metaphors.)
Who's that lady
Who's that woman
Walking through my door (Odd line considering Billy spends the rest of the song begging this lady/woman to get into his car.)
What's the score (Looks like it's 4-0 Mets heading into the 8th. Why do you ask?)
I'll be the sun
Shining on you (That seems very unlikely.)
Hey Cinderella
Step in your shoe (Awesome)
I'll be your non-stop lover (Tempting offer but does anyone really need/want a "non-stop lover?" I mean, that sounds awfully tiring if nothing else.)
Get it while you can
Your non-stop miracle (Someone's not short on self-confidence.)
I'm your man

Get outta my dreams
Get in to my car
Get outta my dream
Get in the back seat baby (Why the back seat? That's a little weird. Do you want to play taxi driver or something? I mean, I don't know. Why not just let her sit in the passenger seat?)
Get in to my car
Beep Beep, yeah (Maybe the best part of the entire song. The background singers that breathlessly belt out this line, and others, in the choruses are absolutely tremendous. Cheesy and hilarious and tremendous.)
Get outta my mind
Get in to my life
Oh I said hey (Hey) you (You)
Get in to my car

Oh baby

Lady driver
Let me take your wheel (And what, precisely, does that mean? I guess you could claim the "wheel" is symbolic of the direction of this woman's life or some nonsense like that and say that Billy wants to fill a void for her or whatever. I think that gives Billy too much credit. Way too much credit. My best guess? Billy wants to touch her private parts and this is his attempt to make his intentions known without coming right out and saying it.)
Smooth operator (Nice homage to Sade)
Touch my bumper (Bumper) (I'm sorry. Did you just say 'touch my bumper?' I'm speechless.)
Hey, let's make a deal (When did this turn into a game show?)
Make it real
Like a road runner
Coming after you (Isn't the road runner usually running away from the the coyote?)
Just like a hero
Outta the blue (You know what, Billy? You get in this girl's pants, then you are a hero.)
I'll be your non-stop lover
Get it while you can
Your non-stop miracle
I'm your man

Get outta my dreams
Get in to my car
Get outta my dreams
Get in the back seat baby
Get in to my car
Beep beep, yeah
Get outta my mind
Get in to my life
Oh I said hey (Hey) you (You)
Get in to my car (Pretty sure that makes 18 lines that start with the word "Get" so far in case you were wondering.)

Oh baby, lets go!

I said open the door
(Get in the back) (Again...why such a big deal that she sits in the back?)
Tread on the floor (That's just a non-sensical phrase.)
(Get on the track) (And so is that)
Yeah (Yeah) yeah (Yeah)
Yeah (Yeah) yeah (Yeah)
Let's go!!
Oooh, wooow, yeah
I'll be the sun
Shining on you
Hey Cinderella
Step in your shoe
I'll be your non-stop lover
Get it while you can
Your non-stop miracle
I'm your man

Get outta my... get outta my...
Get out my dreams

80's Ads

I'm home sick today and I don't have much motivation. It was all I could muster to type "1984 commercial" into Youtube and post my top 3 results...

First up...the worst tugboat crew ever...

Next, it's MJ for Pepsi...

Finally, it's a cheesy Care Bears ad with a bonus two-second clip at the end...

Monday, October 16, 2006


One of my duties at my day job is monitoring emails that come into the company sales box. And on a Monday morning, like today, that often entails a couple hundred emails or so; a large portion of which is spam. All of it gets deleted, of course, but there are always a few subjects that stand out and add some brief enjoyment to my day. Here, as an example, are my favorite spam subjects from today...

“I felt it myself when my girlfriend left me!”

“And it smells of sulfur to this day”

“Test the sweets of the life yourself”

“Check out for H-O-T-N-E-S-S!”

“Exploitation and pillage”

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fun with Video

“Gonna Make You Sweat”- C&C Music Factory

Was not sure how to do this or how it should be read. I would suggest hitting pause at the time intervals depicted below, it seems to work nicely that way.

00:03- Interesting way to start the video, but I am going to have to call you out on that move. You initially throw rock, then flinch and follow through with paper. You have to be more decisive.
00:04- I saw that coming from a mile away. You should have come back with paper. Going with scissor on the redo? That is not acceptable rock-paper-scissor management for someone your age. Also, are you missing a finger? You have very awkward hands.
00:07- Solid thumbs up. I appreciate you taking the loss so well. You sure like bracelets.
00:11- What the hell is that thing. Not “cool”
00:14- Yes! That is a great dance move. The hump, you have to love the hump.
Brief Update-Here we get to meet the group and we are introduced to Zelma (Davis). However, she is not really singing, but just moving her yapper. Martha Wash was the actual singer. That has got to stink, not being allowed into the video... but then again, it may not have been a Bad Choice
00:33- Okay, this guy has got to be kidding me. Michael Scott on a harbor cruise can execute dance moves more properly.
00:42- Wow. You just don’t see that Kid n’ Play, eraser head, hair cut everyday. Only if Machon could maneuver his hair into that formation.
00:51- Were sunglasses really that cool? I remember them being a big deal, but this is getting out of control. Also, here comes this dink who can’t buy a dance.
01:01- Why do people in videos feel the need to jump like this? Does anyone besides cheerleaders and half-dressed men in dance videos do the jump/spread eagle move? No, the answer is no. Try that out. Rip your shirt off, throw on some shades, and start doing spread eagles in the air.
01:11-01:15-“Guys grab a girl, don't wait, make a twirl It's your world and I'm just a squirrel. Trying to get a nut so move your butt”. That’s funny.
Brief Update- I can’t get over this guy dancing. He is just pumping out signature, early 90, moves left and right. Throwing kicks and spread eagle jumps all over the place, this is f’n wonderful.
01:32- Train girl? If that means what I think it does, well… I’m speechless.
01:41-That chick has a bicycle wheel. I hope she finds the rest of her bike.
01:48- Pause the screen. Tell me that doesn’t creep the ever living crap out of you. Also, once again with the sunglasses.
01:53- I JUST CRAPPED MY PANTS. This guy is an all-star. I mean this is first ballot material.
02:04- What is the chances that guy has been to Paris?
02:09- Yes, I can say C&C. Why do you ask?
02:16- Hey, there’s a white guy.
02:29- Phew, she found the rest of her bike.
02:59- I don’t want to sweat to I bleed. That just does not sound inviting. Also, is it illegal to “pay the price to roll the dice”? I would guess the croupier would take care of that.
03:24- Music is not your life Zelma. Lip synching may be, but that is not really music now is it.
03:38- Two things. 1. Those are “Button Your Fly” jeans and that’s great. 2. Why the hell is he doing that.
03:56- Thank god. This guy has made my day. I dare you to get up right now, kneel down on the floor, lean back, and start violently humping the air, while pumping your fists like pistons.
03:59- What the hell does Double Dutch have to do with anything.
04:01- Moving to thumb wars are we…
04:03- Shake it off there fella, you really put your all into the eagle jumping, leg kicking, humping everything in the neighborhood, nonsense dance moves today. Job well done.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Old S.I. Review (December 8, 1980)

Decided to go a little bit older for this week's S.I. review. This one's from December 1980. The coverboy was Vince Ferragamo, the disgruntled (at the time) QB of the Rams, in the season after leading L.A. to a Super Bowl loss to the Steelers. Sugar Ray Leonard had just become the welterweight champion of the world, Georgia was ranked #1 in the college football polls, DePaul was the #1 college basketball team in the land & HBO was advertising a brand new concept of "no cut, no commercial" entertainment.

Let's have a look inside...

Booze, Cars & Smokes

The first thing that struck me when I started flipping through this issue, even before any of the sports content, was the ads. And what I couldn't help but notice was that...almost every freaking ad was for a car, booze or cigarettes. And, yeah, you'd kind of expect that I suppose. But I'm talking, you couldn't go three pages without seeing one. So I counted them. And here's the final tally. 15 ads for booze. 10 cigarette ads. 9 for cars. Almost a quarter of the entire magazine was an ad for one of those things.

Scorecard Wrap-up

Lots of good stuff in the Scorecard section in the front of the issue. Some highlights....

-"To tell you the truth, I'm not too thrilled."
-Twins president Calvin Griffith on the prospect of moving into the Metrodome for the 1982 season.

-There's a section on the state of the baseball card market. Here are some of the 1980 quoted prices vs. (in red) current ebay asking prices:

1979 Bob Horner rookie: $2.50 ($2.25)
1979 Willie Wilson rookie: $1.50 ($0.99)
1980 Ricky Henderson rookie: $0.75 ($20-$40 depending on condition)
1975 George Brett rookie: $7 (about $50)
1967 Brooks Robinson: $97 (about $30)

-Described as "the Nevada whiz kid," 19 year-old Greg LeMond got a mention in a bit about the rising fortunes of U.S. cycling. The blurb also claims that Jacques Boyer was set to become the first American to ever ride in the Tour de France in the summer of '81. My question. Is that true? No Americans competed in the Tour de France until 1981?

-Jerry Buss, portrayed as a "celebrated ladies' man," had this to say about the possible effects of pay TV on ticket prices to professional sporting events...

"I think stadiums will eventually become TV studios. Spectators may get in for $1 or so."

You have to admit, Jerry pretty much nailed that one on the head. Ticket prices have definitely gone down in the last 26 years thanks to pay TV.

-"I understand the TV show That's Incredible! has been filming on the USC campus. They shot 12 football players attending class at the same time."
-Washington State hoops coach George Raveling

Ba dum dum! Gotta love a good early 80's zinger. Good work, George.

No mas

The lead story is the Sugar Ray Leonard - Roberto Duran "no mas" fight that tarnished the champ's legacy and re-established Sugar Ray at the top of the boxing world after his '79 loss to Duran. Much is made of Leonard's "fake bolo" punch in the 7th round and Duran's "Latin American machismo," but my favorite part was author William Nack's recap of the pre-fight diets of both fighters (since some claimed stomach cramps, caused by overeating, played a part in Duran's decision to quit). According to Nack, here's what Duran ate on the day of the fight...

Breakfast: Large thermos of consomme, half a thermos of hot tea and an orange.
Lunch: Two T-bone steaks, french fries, four glasses of orange juice, two glasses of water and a glass of tea.
Dinner: Half a steak and tea.

I'm no expert but it does seem like lots of steak and tea was maybe a bad idea before a championship fight. Roberto's camp swore he ate like that before every fight though so who knows?

"Louisville's Living Legend"

My favorite article, by a landslide, was a piece on Utah Jazz rookie guard Darrell "Dr. Dunkenstein" Griffith. Griffith, who would go on to win the Rookie of the Year that season, was hailed for leading Utah to a 13-11 start after a 4-20 start the year before. His game was described as "a little bit of Earl Monroe on David Thompson's legs, with Jerry West's penchant for doing big things late in games."

One highlight for me is the story of Darrell dunking on the Spurs' George Gervin...

Against San Antonio, he helps George Gervin miss 19 of 23 shots, swats two of them away and scores 29 himself. One of his baskets comes on a flying, screaming slam-dunk - the ball triggered from his right ankle - that nearly removes one side of Gervin's face. The play so excites Jazz Guard Billy McKinney that after the game he requests stomach medication.

And another highlight is a story about Griffith dunking over a Belgian player in an exhibition game played in Bulgaria when he was a freshman at Louisville which includes this quote from Griffith regarding his post-game press conference with Eastern bloc reporters...

"I told them it was a God-given talent. That confused them because I don't think they believe in God."

(According to Wikipedia, basically the entire country of Bulgaria are Christians under the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.)

"In your face, Red!"

But the best part of the Griffith article is the utterly misplaced hubris of Jazz announcer Hot Rod Hundley and GM Frank Layden in thinking they had pulled one over on Red Auerbach and the Celts. To wit:

"If you want to name one reason - one reason - why the Jazz are so much better, it's got to be Darrell Griffith," says broadcaster Hot Rod Hundley. "He's great, and I'm the guy who believes there hasn't been a great guard in this league since Oscar, Cousy and West retired. In your face, Red Auerbach!"

(Quick note-Magic Johnson was in his 2nd year in the league at this point. He wasn't a great guard?)

In your face, indeed. The Boston general manager could have had Griffith if he hadn't traded the first pick in the college draft to Golden State for Robert Parish and the Warriors' first-round choice, the third in the draft. Auerbach figured the Warriors would take Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll and that Utah, picking No. 2, would draft Minnesota's Kevin McHale. Cagey Red would then take Griffith. At least this seemed to be what Auerbach wanted when he talked to Jazz General Manager Frank Layden.

"Red kept calling me up, saying, "I know you're going to take McHale. He's terrific. You can't pass up a big center," recalls Layden. "I kept telling him we wanted Griffith, even before Red traded his first pick away. He must have thought I was bluffing. In my wildest dreams I can't see why Boston did not keep the No. 1 choice and take Griffith.

Yeah, you guys really got the better of Red on that one. Parish and McHale never panned out at all.

Ferragamo Quotes

The Ferragamo piece in a nutshell...talented guy having a good season but mad about being underpaid and unappreciated. A few choice quotes from the article...

"Ferragamo throwing the ball is like Mozart working a sheet of music - the performance is classical."

(Looking back, that may have been overstating it a little bit.)

-"I rate myself at the top. I'd like to get paid accordingly. But I'm not writing the check. If they have respect for you, you'll get paid. If things don't work out, we've got Canada or the free agent market."
-Vince on Vince

(And he wasn't kidding about Canada. He ended up signing with Montreal.)

-"I'm like Frankenstein. I've created a monster. Ferragamo believes he's as good as I've been telling him he is. The trouble with Vince is that the last guy who talks to him has his brain. And he hears voices everywhere."
-Vince's former attorney, Paul Caruso

Great Alaskan Strip Joint Review

Finally, in a surprisingly long write-up on the Great Alaska Shootout (won by James Worthy and UNC) is this gem from Louisville's Derek Smith...

When Derek Smith journeyed to Anchorage two years ago with the Louisville Cardinals, he participated in such cross-cultural activities as snowmobiling, dogsledding, ice fishing and bobsledding. "One night we went out looking for hambugers, and I ended up in a striptease joint called The Booby Trap," recalls Smith. "I hope it's not closed; I'm looking forward to going back."

Back 2 Back Crazy Swayze

I'm very excited that Clarke decided to roll with Swayze's pop classic today because I just read something in this week's Entertainment Weekly that is simply too good to ignore. Patrick Swayze has this direct quote:

"People say that it was Ghost or Dirty Dancing that blew the lid off my career, but it was North and South, a miniseries I did in 1985."

Buddy....please stop fooling yourself. This Civil War miniseries got you the roles you needed, I get it. But blew the lid off your career? No, it wasn't Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner. It wasn't the pottery scene. It was your on-screen charisma with James Read as two friends, one from the north and one from the south, struggle to maintain their friendship during the war. That's what made you a megastar. People talk about that screen moment ALL the time.

I would have even bought Point Break...we all know you're a bit embarassed to be attached to Ghost and DD. You shouldn't be. They're classics. They are TOTALLY in your leeague.

Lyrics Analysis (She's Like The Wind)

She's Like The Wind
Lyrics by Patrick Swayze

She's like the wind through my tree (I almost hesitate to evaluate this line at all because it's so kind of famously cheesy and bizarre on its own. But I can't resist asking...what the hell does that mean, Mr. Swayze? She's like the wind...through your tree. Your tree? I don't understand. At all.)
She rides the night next to me (She rides the night next to me? Again....what the hell does that even mean? How? How do you ride the night? I know Lionel Richie talks about running with the night. Is this the same kind of deal?)
She leads me through moonlight
Only to burn me with the sun (So let's get this straight...this chick a) is like the wind through your tree, b) rides the night next to you, and now c) leads you through moonlight only to burn you with the sun. OK. Cool. Quick question if you don't mind me asking....are you on drugs? Or have you been drinking paint thinner? Or maybe sniffing glue? Because I think you're experiencing a very large disconnection from reality here.)
She's taken my heart
But she doesn't know what she's done (SHE doesn't know what she's done? Well, that makes two of us. Wind through trees and riding the night and burning people with the sun. I mean, the whole thing is a bunch of crazy jibber jabber.)

Feel her breath on my face (Is breath on the face anything like wind through the tree?)
Her body close to me (That's kind of implied by the first line.)
Can't look in her eyes (Not even a peek? Why not? Is she like Medusa? Does she wear an eye patch?)
She's out of my leeeague (I added the extra "ee's" there. Had to be done. Awesome delivery from Patrick. Just awesome.)
Just a fool to believe
I have anything she needs (Probably right....but then...she is breathing on you and whatnot. Seems like she's buying whatever you're selling. Man up, bro. Cut the sad sack routine.)
She's like the wind (Stop with the wind. Just let it go.)


I look in the mirror and all I see
Is a young old man with only a dream (Funny. You'd think a phrase like "young old man" would be the easiest thing to rip on in the entire song. I actually don't mind it. A "young old man"...I can see that. I doubt it applies in this case. But it's not as bad as it sounds.)
Am I just fooling myself (Probably. You're probably hallucinating too for what that's worth.)
That she'll stop the pain
Living without her
I'd go insane (I'm pretty sure you're totally insane either way.)

Feel her breath on my face
Her body close to me (Could've used "adjacent" here to mix it up. Opportunity lost in my book.)
Can't look in her eyes
She's out of my leeeague (She's all over you, man. Cowboy up!)
Just a fool to believe
I have anything she needs (You know what? I don't buy this act. Not from Patrick F-ing Swayze. It's false humility. Drop it, Patrick. You're better than that.)
She's like the wind

(Fade to whatever....)

Fashion Show at Lunch!

I'm pysched, as always, for a new Office tonight. But let's pause for a moment before the new episode to acknowledge two great scenes from last week...

Best. Lost. Ever.

OK, well, maybe it wasn't best ever. But, for a Red Sox fan, you couldn't ask for a much sweeter scene to unveil contact with the outside world.

The look of complete and utter shock on Jack's face summed it all up. Jack, we were just as stunned in real time.

Go For It!

Feeling a little sluggish? Need something to kickstart your day? Well, let Kelly, Jessie & Lisa get you going...

"You'll never see me in the lost and found!"

The Magic Fluto

It' s time to give some props to a guy working his tail off at the Boston Globe (finally). Fluto Shinzawa's Bruins Blog is actually very good, especially for recaps of practices and morning skates. He has definitely reached Reiss levels for bringing something totally useful to the table....once known for their columnists, is the Globe now cutting edge for major newspaper sports blogs? Let's see them nail it for the Sox and the Celts before we call that election....


Monday, October 09, 2006

Motor City vs. Oaktown

Machon is not sure who he will be rooting for during this years ALCS. There is no real emotional pull for me to go either way. I am glad that Detroit has a winning ball club again, but they are not getting any sympathy votes with the Red Wings and Pistons in town. So let’s compare the two cities off the field.

-Founded in 1701 by the French and originally named “Fort Pontchartrain du D├ętroit”.
-City was referred to as the “Paris of America” in 1800’s due to the quality of the architecture in town.
-In the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, individuals such as Henry Ford, Walter Chrysler, and the Dodge brothers landed Detroit the label of “automotive capital of the world"

-Oakland was claimed by the Spanish Empire in 1772.
-Population boomed due to the gold rush in 1848
-The first cable car left Oakland and arrived in Berkeley in 1891.

Edge: Detroit. Looking back, the automobile seems to have been a bit more economically important than the cable car.

-Motown Records brought us: Aretha, The Temptations, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and many more.
-Jazz. Detroit’s legendary jazz spot the “Black Bottom” became the regular stomping ground for the likes of Duke Ellignton, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billy Eckstine to name a few. Arguably, one of the three or four most important jazz cities(see St. Louis, New York, Chicago, New Orleans)
-Detroit Rock City. Native Detroit rockers include: Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder, Ted Nugent, Kiss, Iggy Pop and the Stooges.
-Today, Machon’s two favorite bands out of Detroit are The White Stripes and Sufjan Stevens.
-Can’t forget Eminem and D12 and Kid Rock.

-MC Hammer, Digital Underground, Del The Funky Homosapien, Too $hort, 2Pac (grew up in Baltimore & NY, but lived in Oak longest), Green Day, En Vogue, Tony! Toni! Tone!,.
-Many of South Centrals finest lived in Oakland including Snoop and Ice T.

Edge: We like to Hump Around as much as the next guy, but Detroit in a landslide here.

Cinema and Television
-Detroit: Detroit Rock City, Hoffa, Out of Site, Beverly Hills Cops, 8 Mile, Exit Wounds, True Romance, “Martin”, Presumed Innocent, Grosse Pointe Blank, Evil Dead, The Crow, The Virgin Suicides.

-Oakland:Rent, Hulk, Comedian, Matrix Reloaded, Too Legit: The M.C Hammer Story, The Rain Maker, The Cable Guy, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Basic Instinct, Mrs. Doubtfire, Made in America, “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”, Sneakers, Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Edge: This is a tough one, but there won't be any draws this week, so let’s find us a winner. I really think the movies are pretty equal. In my opinion, Basic Instinct and True Romance cancel each other out. So I Married an Axe Murder and The Cable Guy should cover Beverly Hills Cop. You know what, I am going with Oakland here. I always enjoyed “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” more than “Martin”. Oakland also receives some bonus points for Jessica Rabbit.

Detroit: Xzibit, Tom Sizemore, David Alan Grier, John Hughes, Gilda Radner, Jerry Bruckhiemer, Tom Selleck, Diana Ross, Ed McMahon, Smokey Robinson, Rosa Parks, Robin Williams, Stevie Wonder, Kid Rock, Tim Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Joe Louis, Madonna, Jerome Bettis, Thomas Hearns, Charles Lindbergh...

Oakland: Mark Hamill, Max Baer, Bill Russel, Tom Hanks, Rickey Henderson, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Morgan, Jack London, Ezra Pound, Brandon Lee...

Edge: Detroit. The Detroit crew had their part in: The Godfather Series, Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan, Point Break, Pimp My Ride, ALF, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Uncle Buck, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Rock, Remember the Titans, Days of Thunder, Top Gun, Three Men and a Baby, “Stop in the Name of Love”, The Supremes, “Heeeeerrrrreeeee’s Johnny”, My Girl, Civil Rights, Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, Mork, “Superstition”, Joey C, Home Improvement, “Like a Virgin”, etc. This list is scracthing the surface. Also, Joe Louis Knocked out Max Baer in 4.

Little League Affiliation
Detroit: Clarke was a Tiger.
Oakland: Machon was an Angel, but they recently became the Athletics. So the question is, do my Little League loyalties remain with the Angels or do I make the move north to Alameda County with the franchise?

Edge: Oakland. Machon was only a couple outs a way from a perfect game against the Tigers. Then they pinch hit John Erlick, who has a strike zone the size of walnut. On a 3-2 count, Teddy Ballgame (the legendary Swampscott umpire) called a questionable pitch ball four. Machon keeled over in disappointment, the catcher did not notice this and hurled the ball off Machon's frontal lobe. Extremely embarrassing .

Final Verdict: Detroit (3-2), better break out the Cecil Fielder Jersey

Friday, October 06, 2006

Album Covers: Part 3

Machon has been reviewing a number of album covers for this piece and while Millie Jackson’s covers are not as absurd as some, her consistency is unprecedented. As Bill James says, you have to look at both peak and career value for accurate results. So, let’s have a look at three of her best.

Back to the Shit

-The obvious question is, why? Why did she do this? Did she write the majority of this album on the can? Maybe she thought that the songs on it where crap. I don’t know, but I can’t imagine too many people where walking up the aisle at their local Coconuts and stopped in their tracks when they saw this one. “Millie Jackson, taking a dump! I got to have that”.
-However, once you read the title of the tracks it starts to make more sense. For example, the 4th song on the album, “Love Stinks”, is followed by the classic (and Machon’s favorite) “Muffle that Fart”. (by the way, I went directly to itunes in pursuit of this song. Unfortunately, they only have two songs involving Millie and she sings backup on both.)
-That has to be a tough dress to take a crap in, but she seems to be enjoying it. Also, why are her shoes off?

For Men Only

-Let me be the first one to say, I hope she either A) used the other hand or B) washed thoroughly, before letting these guys do whatever in gods name they are about to do.
-No need for a wrist band here pal. She is not that attractive and with three guys, grip should not be too much of a problem.
-Where the hell did the construction worker come into play, and why not take the helmet off?
-Speaking of the previous album, would these guys be acting like this if they saw that cover? Call me shallow, but as soon as I see a grown woman taking a dump in a dress with no shoes on, well… lets just say it does not help her stock rise.

E.S.P (Extra Sexual Persuasion)

-Alright, I have been trying to wrap my hands around this title for a while. She is implying that she does not have E.S.P in the sense that she can acquire information by means of some 6th sense. Instead, she will persuade you sexually, extra sexually. Fine, but why dress up like a fortune teller?
-She is clearly out of her F’n mind.
-Song number 5, Sexercise Pt 1 & 2. Wouldn’t it be just Pt 1? Millie is sort of losing me here. Two parts would imply there are two sections. For example, Sexercise Pt 1 could be the second song, while Pt 2 would be heard later in the album. But then again, see the point above.
-That is a huge mouth
-Song number 7 is titled “Slow Tongue”, Machon is guessing it is a tribute to Clapton.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Old S.I. Review (October 21, 1991)

Back with another summary from an old Sports Illustrated. This one is from October '91 and features Kirby Puckett on the cover with the headline "Twins Peak." Kirby had just led Minnesota past Toronto in the ALCS. Pittsburgh had a 3-2 lead over Atlanta in the NLCS. Los Angeles had two pro football teams. Joe Montana had an ailing elbow. And everyone was set for the Tyson-Holyfield superfight to take place in about a month. Let's take a look inside...

At least they weren't doing the Tomahawk Chop....

In case anyone was wondering if there's a giant picture in the front of the issue of Ted Turner (wearing a 1991 NL Western Division Champions hat and tinted shades) and Jimmy Carter (looking absolutely delighted) doing The Wave at a Braves playoff game, the answer is yes. Yes there was. I have newfound respect for Jane Fonda though. She's sitting next to Ted and refusing to join in. Good for you, Jane. The Wave sucks.

Dream Team Feedback

In the Letters section there are 4 reactions to the selection of the original Dream Team for the '92 Olympics. Two of the letters praise US Basketball for not selecting Isiah Thomas, calling him "a crybaby" and "an insult to the word professional." One letter predicts the U.S. is going to struggle to win the gold which a)is laughable in a sense because that '92 team definitely did not struggle to win gold, but b)seems ahead of its time now. And the other letter basically argues that this is going to be the death of amateur athletics in the US.

Allez les Nords!

Reader Miles Tompkins of Nova Scotia was very fired up over Eric Lindros' refusal to play for Quebec and had this to say...

You're right, Bonnie Lindros. Who would want to be an 18-year-old hockey star in Quebec-beautiful town, good educational facilities, low crime rate, clean as a whistle. And yes, Carl Lindros, a lot of stuff is going to happen there in the next ten years-with the Nordiques' young talent (with or without Lindros), I'd say about four Stanley Cups.

Well, not so much. Quebec never won a Cup. And, of course, in 1995 they relocated to Colorado. But Colorado did win the Cup in '96 with some of that young talent that Miles was talking about in '91. And they won another one in 2001. So Miles wasn't completely talking off his ass in suggesting Lindros would have been better off staying with Quebec.


"It was really pretty easy. There were a lot of heavy coaches to choose from."
-Alan Brown, of Slim-Fast, discussing the selection process for a weight-loss competition they sponsored in '91 with NFL coaches. The winner? Chuck Knox over Art Shell, Dan Henning, Joe Gibbs, Bill Parcells & Buddy Ryan.

"I don't care if it's a boy or a girl as long as it's a shortstop."
-Meat Loaf's quote (yes, Meat Loaf---the singer) to a reporter before the birth of his first child.

"Zimmer, who did less than Morgan did as a Red Sox manager with more talent, will now serve as a reminder as to why the Red Sox haven't won the World Series in 73 years."
-Dan Shaugnessy (surprise) on the firing of Joe Morgan and the decision to keep Don Zimmer on as the 3rd base coach.

"Love the way you do that chop."
"I love your music."
-MC Hammer and Jane Fonda exchanging compliments outside the Braves clubhouse.

Stiffing Rijo

S.I. gave a thumbs down in October '91 to the Cincinnati Reds for refusing to award Jose Rijo a $62,500 bonus for pitching 205 innings. Jose won 15 games in '91 despite missing 5 weeks with an ankle injury and ended up pitching 204 1/3 innings.

Thanks Mookie

Here's my favorite thing in the entire issue....in the ALCS wrapup there's a mention of how Joe Carter badly sprained his ankle going after a ball in Game 4 and then valiently offerred to DH in Game 5 with the Blue Jays season on the line. Which he did. But he ended up going 0 for 5 with 3 K's and left 6 guys on base in a 9-3 loss that ended the series. And here's what his teammate Mookie Wilson had to say about it...

"If the man had been in a car crash, broken both arms and come out here clapping his hands, that would have been spiritually uplifting. But that was not what we needed. We needed hits. We didn't get them."

Hey, thanks for the support Mookie! Mookie, incidentally, retired that offseason and wasn't around in '92 and '93 when Toronto won back-to-back titles and Joe Carter hit one of the most famous home runs in World Series history.

Barry Bonds: Jerk in any era

The NLCS wrapup, which was penned with the Pirates holding a 3-2 lead (in a series they would ultimately lose) was (surprise) full of stuff about Barry Bonds being an ass. On the day of Game 1 (good timing) Barry called Andy Van Slyke "the great white hope" and cited race as the reason that he was signed to a long-term deal over Bonds and Bonilla. Then as Van Slyke addressed the issue with reporters in the locker room Bonds yelled over, "Hey Andy, don't listen to those (expletives), Great White. (Expletive) them guys. They're always starting something."

Bonds was 3 for 20 in the series to that point with zero RBIs and was so impotent that Bobby Cox had walked Bobby Bonilla twice to get to Bonds in key situations. But Barry was unconcerned. "I hope we win this so I can play in the World Series," he said. "You know what I can do. Everyone knows what I can do."

On Texas Owning Oklahoma

What comes around goes around, I guess. Much was made (until last year) of the fact that Oklahoma, under Bob Stoops, owned Texas. Well, back in '91 it was the exact opposite. Texas beat a favored OU for the 3rd time in a row in '91 so all the postgame talk was about how Texas had OU's number. OU coach Gary Gibbs played the part of (pre-National Championship) Mack Brown. Cale Gundy played the role of Chris Simms. Much was made about Texas getting all the breaks and being tougher than their more talented opponents. It's basically the exact article that might have been written in 2004 in reverse.

No Love for Chip Beck

Chip Beck shot 59 at the Las Vegas Invitational but nobody seemed to think it was all that big a deal because the course was too easy.

Articles Unworthy of Extended Discussion

A feature on Jason Hanson, the kicker. A feature on Oscar de la Hoya. A feature on athletes from former East Germany. I read them all and they were all largely uninteresting. I assure you.

Emmitt Smith

I almost included a long feature from Dr. Z on Emmitt Smith in the unworthy category except for the sheer ridiculousness of his high school stats. In 49 high school games he ran for 8,804 yards and 106 touchdowns. He had 100 yards or more in 45 of those 49 games. His high school coach summed it up as follows...

"For four years we did three things, and won two state championships doing them. Hand the ball to Emmitt, pitch the ball to Emmitt, throw the ball to Emmitt."

Good Thing Zidane Wasn't Kicking for the Illini

Illinois beat Ohio State 10-7 back in '91 for their 4th straight win over the Buckeyes on a 41-yard FG from Freshman Chris Richardson with 36 seconds remaining. Chris explains the trash-talking OSU was throwing at him before the kick...

"They were saying I couldn't kick it. They were saying uncomplimentary things about my mom. They knew I was from Dallas, and they told me to go back there. They knew how much I weighed. Everything about me, they knew."

Oh, and the QB for Ohio State that day? Well, the starter was Kent Graham. But the backup, who came in to lead two stalled drives? None other than Kirk Herbstreit.

Inside The NFL with Peter King

I'll just reprint Peter's Stats of the Week here...

-Redskins wideout Art Monk, whose seven catches in Sunday's 42-17 victory over the Browns gave him 756 in his career, needs to average 7.1 catches a game for the rest of the season to break Steve Largent's NFL career record of 819.

-A Don Shula-coached team had never trailed by 42 points, until Sunday, when his Dolphins were blown out of the water 42-7 by the Chiefs.

-In the 11 quarters since Jim McMahon went down with a strained knee ligament, Eagle quarterbacks Brad Goebel and Pat Ryan have thrown 10 interceptions and no TDs. Of 37 Philadelphia possessions in those 11 quarters, none reached the end zone, and Goebel and Ryan have combined for a quarterback rating of 16.4. McMahon is expected back next week.

Tyson-Holyfield Promo

Towards the back of the issue is a full page ad from SharpVision promoting the upcoming Tyson-Holyfield fight. Here's some of the copy from that ad...

It's going to be big. It's going to be punishing.
It's going to be one of the most explosive entertainment events of the year.

Actually, it's going to be none of those things. Tyson's going to go to jail on rape charges in a few weeks and that fight's not going to happen until 1996.

Final Item

I debated about what to end with here. On one hand, Richard Hoffer's Point After column (or what is currently the Rick Reilly space if you prefer) is the story of how Stanford, celebrating it's 100th anniversary, invited sister school Cornell out to California for the homecoming game. There's some hemming and hawing about the merits of such a move and discussion about how badly Cornell was going to get killed (which, ultimately, was 56-6). But in the end the general feeling is that the kinship felt between Stanford and Cornell (displayed in a quote from Touchdown Tommy Vardell) in this exercise outweighed any negatives.

And I was all set to end with that. But then I saw this on the "For The Record" page...

Rescued By Oakland A's outfielder Jose Canseco his 100-pound pet tortoise, Rafael, which had been wandering on the roadside near Canseco's Blackhawk, Calif., house. Rafael, one of 15 tortoises Canseco owns, escaped from its simulated natural environment (which includes moss, bark chips and a waterfall) built beside the slugger's backyard pool. Canseco, who was preparing to have all of the tortoises driven down to his Miami home for the winter in a customized van, located Rafael after a motorist used his cellular phone to notify police about the roving reptile.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Game On

One more hockey clip to celebrate opening night...

Lyrics Analysis (I Wanna Sex You Up)

Veteran Freeze Pop readers know the drill by now. My comments, as always, in red....

I Wanna Sex You Up
Color Me Badd (First of all, I love the extra 'd' in Badd. Somehow it makes sense.)

Come inside take off your coat I'll make you feel at home (Word)
Now let's pour a glass of wine cuz now we're all alone (That doesn't really rhyme but whatever.)
I've been waiting for you girl just let me hold you close to me
Cuz I've been dying for you girl to make love to me (And that rhymes "me" with "me." Well done. So far I count two uses of the word "cuz" and about 4 two-syllabel words out of 50. There's nothing here so far to suggest anything beyond a 1st grade education.)

Girl you make me feel real good (I think Shakespeare wrote that line.)
We can do it til we both wake up (No you can't. You can do it until you both fall asleep. But unless you're some kind of a wizard that can do it in your sleep that's the end of it.)
Girl you know I'm hooked on you
And this is what I'll do

I wanna sex you
All night
You make me feel good
I wanna rub you down
I wanna sex you up (I think we can all agree....a timeless chorus there.)

Let me take off all your clothes
Disconnect the phone so nobody knows (You don't have to disconnect the phone, you know. Simply letting it ring will do the trick. Only answering the phone would cause problems. And even then, you'd have to tell them what was going on for them to know. But you know what? Maybe you should just disconnect the phone. I don't trust that you won't mention the rubbing and whatnot.)
Let me light a candle
So we can make it better (Do any of the lines in this verse rhyme?)
Makin love until we drown (Until you drown? Why would that happen? Please tell me a pool is not involved.)

Girl you know it feels real good
We can do it til we both wake up (Shaking my head)
Girl you know I'm hooked on you
And this is what I'll do

I wanna sex you up
Makin' love until we drown (Fine. If you say so. I give up.)
I wanna sex you up

All I wanna do is
I wanna sex you up
All night
Girl you make me feel good
I wanna rub you down
I wanna sex you up (I may be off but I count 25 references to "I" or "me" to this point. A little self-centered, no?)

Make sweet lovin all night long ("Sweet love" or "sweet lovin?" "Make sweet lovin" sounds like something Tarzan would say.)
I wanna sex you up
Feels so right it can't be wrong (I bet it could be wrong though. And probably is.)
Don't be shy girl rescue me (From what? The drowning?)
I wanna sex you up
Open up your heart and I'll set you free (Doubtful)