Thursday, July 31, 2008

Phil Jackson is NOT in Red Auerbach's League

Red said it best about Jackson.
Jackson never built a team on his own.
That is what we call a "cherry picker".
Call Jackson an intelligent opportunist before a great coach. Doug Collins had raised the baby Bulls built by Krausse, yet the team was missing a piece. That piece was Scottie Pippen. Sitting on the bench and watching MJ toss 40 shots a game with the "Jordan Rules" protecting the team, most coaches would have had, at the very least, the successes they enjoyed. The Laker job eerily falls into place much like the Bulls job. The Logo had built a very good team (again), then stole Bryant for garbage. Dell Harris groomed the young team that was missing a few pieces. The huge piece was Shaq, followed by vet fillers like Harper, Horry, Fox, and other lesser pieces. Again, most coaches would have won championships with those line ups. Jacksons coaching ability comes from Tex Winter running the team as Phil massages egos...including his own.

Red? He built the NBA practically on his own. He is the NBA's Branch Rickey, having done so in a very bigoted New England, by drafting Chuck Cooper in 1950. Red was an innovator who built Boston from the ground up. The franchise still runs by his taught principles today with Danny Ainge, one of Red's "gets" back in the heyday. Red got a lot of "gets". Somehow, he got Bill Russell. He used the NBA rules to draft Larry Bird while he was still in college. He got Ainge out of a failed baseball career. He got Dennis Johnson for nothing from Seattle. He got Robert Parrish and a draft pick that turned out to be Kevin McHale for nothing from Golden State. The list goes on and on. If Len Bias wasn't murdered, Boston would have ruled the NBA another decade and we never would talk about the Bulls or Pistons. They would fall next to Dominique's Hawks teams, and Moncriefs Bucks teams.

Jackson? He's done nothing. He has GM's build his teams that were groomed by knowledgeable coaches, then let Tex coach the team the triangle offense. Tex prefers anonymity, so we have the media mislead us into reading Jackson is some Zen master when all he really ever has been is a detached baby sitter of monsters created for him.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How ESPN Has Helped Ruin Sports

In September, 1979 the debut of ESPN hit the air waves to the few cable subscribers there was in that year. It had no direction, and usually showed Australian Rules Football on a loop practically 24 hours a day. It was not doing well. There was a former DJ who had been in Washington DC a few years named George Michaels. He was the 3rd rated sports anchor out of the 3 networks. Mainly because he was the new guy. He had an idea. Turns out, so did the Rasmussen family.

They got ESPN up before George could convince his bosses to try his idea. Their reluctance makes it seem it wasn't Georges idea, but it really was. Total sports coverage. The birth of THE SPORTS MACHINE hit in 1980. George pioneered ideas into directions not yet thought of, yet that are now part of everyday broadcasts on all of the sports networks on all of the channels available. Even ideas only used by him, such as a local number to call to get free sports updates. This was before the internet obviously, so the Sports Machine Phone Lines were often lit up and busy. One message was lost through time from George, and it is a big one that truly affects society. George would report an event, or present a special interest story on a team or individual. He gave rodeo and wrestling time on his show. George never did let his opinion get in the way of the subject and story at hand.

ESPN has lost the way paved for them by George,. You can blame Disney, or even the Rasmussens for selling out. I don't. I see a bunch of non athletes trying to be part of the special click in the hearts of the viewer. To have their faces side by side on sports Rushmore with Jordan, Brown, Chamberlain, and so on. In their depths, they prefer to be in front of those Heroes. So they try to ignite themselves into our memories with outlandish behavior and exclamations. They disparage and disrespect the trailblazers by ignoring the obstacles they had to overcome, which paved the road to today. Whether you turn on Sports Center to hear Stu Scotts disingenuous " fo - shizzle " babble or the morning show First Take to hear Skip Bayless proclaim everything each day the " greatest of all time ", all you really see is divas trying to outshine the athletes they follow.

ESPN can also be accused of "dummifying" America. Here is a classic example. LeBron James got more air time from ESPN in high school than most of the NBA players did. The kid certainly is not short on confidence or arrogance and certainly ESPN's involvement is part of that equation. The kid passed on education, which is fine. Yet the flash of the spotlight certainly shines on how he thinks as well. LeBrons first move was to follow MJ and TV. Be Like Mike by signing with Nike. Stephon Marbury yapped some foolishness in regards to LeBron and all the kid could mutter was " He's not that good because his sneakers are cheap." This was in reference to Marbury putting out an affordable shoe. King James had been put so high in his ivory tower that he thinks everyone can afford his $200 Nikes made by under aged slave labor in Indonesia for pennies, like Mike. ESPN held the ladder for his climb, and will continue to feed his ego as long as possible. They already have placed him in the Top 100 All Time list. They'd like you to think he is top 10, in fact.

ESPN has no respect of the past. Football today greatly benefits from two rule changes made in 1979. The 5 yard chuck rule, instead of 10 yards, is the biggest. The other was allowing O linemen to extend their hands to block. These rules allow the WR to get open faster, for the pass rush to take longer. Making it easier to play QB, along with the mountain of other rules to feminize the position, the fact none call their own plays anymore and just a few easy to see examples. ESPN will have you thinking today's QB is the best when, in fact, most of today's QB cannot throw a 15 yard out. Perfect example is to watch Steve Young play for Tampa Bay, showing a very weak armed QB not yet reborn in the dink/ dunk west coast system in Frisco. He couldn't throw a 15 yard out if his life depended on it. No reason to expound on ESPN as the sports paparazzi network who digs through trash for stories, or wallows in trash to appease athletes ( like the T.O. incidents ). I think that foolishness is easily seen, but is actually accepted by the fans, for some disturbing reason.

Is there an answer for ESPN? We built this Frankenstein, so probably not. I just don't think most of us realize we should've supplied it with a brain too. You could even blame George Michael for helping ESPN dummify America by his giving P.T.I. its birth on his show. Tony Kornheiser was a Style section writer for the Washington Post who went to help the Sports section when a bunch of Post writers either retired or left all at the same time. The Style section is akin to People magazine, or Good Housekeeping. So, Kornholer ( as we call him in DC ) took his weak Jack Benny act and wrote about balls instead of flower bulbs. That same time the Post hired a beat reporter named Mike Wilbon. Wilbon stuck long enough to get a column. At this time, George Michaels created a weekly show called Redskin Report during football season. During basketball season, he calls it Full Court Press. He does the football show with his close friend and Redskin legend, Sonny Jurgenson. He has Wimpon ( his name in DC ) on to whine how great Chicago was so everyone could laugh at him. Kornholer would try to chime in with weak one liners. It was always funny when George called Wimpon a wimp ( he REALLY is a HUGE wimp )! So, if George hadn't asked those two onto his show there would be no P.T.I. today. Kornholer would probably be punching up a story on the skirts and purses coming out in '08, and Wimpon would be writing yet another article telling us how the Cubs are the best and Tom Boerwinkle to Dave Schellhase was an unstoppable Bulls combo.

So, rest knowing ESPN has given the youth a new dream direction. Instead of winning the game for the team, they can get endorsements, payola and have it be all about them.

ESPN = The ME generation

Monday, July 28, 2008

Favorite Sports Movies

In no particular order:

North Dallas Forty : Excellent football movie that gives a pretty candid view of the 1970's NFL player. You could say the 80's as well. Players shot up with pain killers on torn ligaments to run just one more play. A hero cut after giving his body to his "family". It goes on. Nick Nolte certainly played his part great.

Raging Bull: Robert Deniro plays Jake Lamotta close to the vest and takes this movie into heights that has it on almost every list ever created.

The Rookie: A baseball movie about an unexpected comeback that took the player further than before when he was healthy and young. Best part is that it is a true story.

Rocky: Well written, great acting by Bert Young and Burgess Meredith carry this movie into Legend, even if the boxing scenes were hogwash.

Naked Gun: Yeah it's not a sports movie, but the climatic ending takes place during an Angels game. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) takes over the game from the beginning to save the Queen and become the hero. "Look! It's Enrico Pallazzo!" One of the funniest sports scenes ever on film was Frank at home plate umpire.

Invincible: A true story about Philadelphia hero Vince Papale. Interesting view of his team mates and even his own friend rooting against him. A feel good story not too Hollywooded up.

The Greatest Game Ever Played: Yet another true story. Francis Ouimet was a 20 year old caddy who played his way into the US Open as an amateur versus his idol, Harry Vardon. Interesting to view golf in that era, as they played in driving rain and puddles were as common as sand traps. Makes you wish the modern player would play in rain too. Well directed. Even non golf fans would enjoy this.

City Lights: Charlie Chaplin's best movie. Sad ending after 85 minutes of hilarity. Not a sports movie, but when the Tramp laces up boxing gloves to try to raise some cash, the most imitated and famous boxing scene ensues. Brilliant in every way. Amongst the greatest movies of all time.

Slap Shot: Paul Newman and those triplets. Bull Durham modeled itself after this movie. Great fun about a minor league hockey team full of characters, akin to the NFL's Raiders, on a team teetering on bankruptcy.

Beyond The Mat: Even if you are not a fan of pro wrestling, this insightful documentary will give you a feeling of respect for the wrestlers, both inside and out of the ring.

Kingpin: Hilarious movie revolving around the world of professional bowling. Bill Murray is in top form, and Randy Quaid is great, as usual. Very funny beginning to end.

The Hustler: Loosely based on pool hustlers everywhere, this movie is great because Willie Mosconi as technical adviser and choreographed many of the game sequences. On technical merit alone, this film is a pool player's classic. Paul Newman's speech on excellence is classic.

Caddyshack: Takes place at a country club and it's golf course. Zany, out of control and plain silly. That's just describing Rodney Dangerfields character. At a soiree, he grabs Ted Knights wife off the dance floor and asks her," How would you like to make $14 the hard way?" Bill Murray plays a stoner groundskeeper at war with a rodent.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Debut

This is my maiden voyage on this site. Be gentle please. You only lose your virginity once.

I will ramble on various topics in time, but I will start on sports, for where I have already begun a blog late in 2007 on

If you ever are into seeing it = go to

Here you won't find the most PC person typing slowly, but the attempts are humor are always an underlying theme.

I'm not here to make enemies, nor will I ever disparage others. Feel free to slam me if you must.

I believe in the First Amendment and free speech is one of the best rights we have in America.

Our differences make life interesting, and I respect these qualities.

Let us move forward now with a feeble charge at humor.

I went to a fortune teller a few weeks ago while visiting a friend in another city. I wrote these predictions down, hoping to cash in at Vegas. Granted, the fortune teller was a wino I had bought a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 for, but he did say that his nick name was Nostrodamus. We'll see. My mortgage and kids college funds are riding on this:

Dan Snyder will continue collecting has-beens as if they were playing cards when he pulls out a page from the George Allen playbook and trades three #1 draft picks, and two #2 draft picks for Brett Farve. Farve then blows out his knee stepping over his new team mates for a better picture angle for the paparazzi, is placed on the IR, then retires in December. Farve then un-retires in January and cries on FOX TV, as Bill O'Reilly hugs him. Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato then announces he has traded Farve, two #1 draft picks, and a #6 draft pick to Oakland for Aaron Brooks and the rights to George Blanda. Brooks whereabouts are never ascertained, but Blanda kicks 21 field goals on 30 attempts and throws 11 touchdown passes in 2009. Farve rides the bench as a third stringer behind JeMarcus Russell and Andrew Walter, then retires for the final time.

George W. Bush, still struggling to try to lose the label of being the worst President in US history, will announce he may pardon Marion Jones. But only on the contingency that Roger Clemons is not found guilty of perjury, and that Jose Canseco never writes a book showing Bush knew his Rangers were on steroids, when Bush owned the team, and even supplied the clubhouse with syringes and HGH. Bush then quietly pays Canseco $2,000 to never write about how Bush and Juan Gonzales both did lines of coke off of Tom Hicks' taint in 1998. Bush then goes on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney and is shot in the buttocks by Cheney "by accident". It takes doctors 3 weeks to determine Bush is brain dead due to no changes in Bush's speech or thought patterns.

Adam Jones announces his now wants to be called "Galaga". He then makes the Cowboys offices "rain money" after asking Jerry Jones to give him a lap dance. A melee ensues, and Stephen Jones is shot and paralyzed from the neck down. Adam Jones is suspended by Roger Goodell for 11 months. When reinstated, Adam Jones announces he now wants to be called "Frogger".

Nancy Lieberman recants her previous statement of calling Becky Hammon a traitor. Lieberman then promptly defects to Cuba to be Fidel Castro's private night nurse.

The WNBA announces that every Wednesday will be "Fight Night" in hopes to increase viewership. After that fails, they have the players wear bikinis and wrestle in a swimming pool of chocolate pudding on Wednesdays "Fight Nights". Attendance and interest remains unchanged.

The Cubs get to the World Series and have Steve Bartman throw out the first pitch. Geovany Soto takes his eye off the ball and ends up having his right orbital socket crushed, rendering him out for the series. The Cubs commit 37 errors as the Red Sox sweep the series. Bartman is blamed for the loss and becomes the Salman Rushdie of Chicago. Bartman moves to Tehran and goes into hiding. Lou Pinella is then fired. Alex Rodriguez marries 50 year old Madonna in a lavish ceremony in the Beverly Hills Hilton. Instead of exchanging wedding rings, they swap kabbala bracelets and kabbala nipple rings. The press dubs him "Nim-Rod". Six months later, Rodriguez passes away by succumbing to complications from the multiple STD's that he contracted from Madonna on their honeymoon. George Steinbrenner demands his contract be fulfilled, and Madonna ends up playing 3rd base for the Yankees. The entire organization goes defunct within 15 months due to every member dying from contacting multiple STD's from Madonna. Madonna then releases her 12th CD, titled, "Those Damn Yankees Were Damn Good".