Thursday, November 18, 2010

The 2011 Ford Explorer...YOU BLEW IT

I went to the Charlotte Auto Show this evening, and saw a lot of interesting things, more of which I'll be commenting on at later dates.  One thing really stuck out though.  Ford absolutely destroyed the Explorer.

Now, for full disclosure, I have always been a GM (particularly Chevy) guy.  My family has owned seven different vehicles in my lifetime, and they have all been GMs (and, true to this commercial, I was brought home in a Chevrolet).  That being said, I have always thought the Explorer was one of the best vehicles out there.  (Sidebar: although I like the Explorer, I think Ford did a poor job of handling that rollover crisis they were having about a decade ago.  They publicly blamed it on the Firestone tires...and then they did a redesign which lowered the center of gravity and changed the rear suspension...but trust us, it was the tires.)  The Explorer was everything you expect from an American SUV: powerful, good looking, comfortable.  If you go to the Wikipedia page, you'll see that the first four generations of Explorers (1991-2010) were indeed very good looking vehicles.

However, some time in the last couple years, Ford designers woke up and said "damn, we're tired of the Explorer looking like the quintessential American SUV," and came up with this:
What?  Why?  How did you go from this and this to this?  I don't even know what to say about this, I'll just let you sit there and wonder why I pasted in a picture of one of Ford's other SUVs, only to get on Google image search and find that, yes indeed, the Explorer has been ruined.

One final interesting note: luckily, Ford did not elect to similarly ruin the Expedition.  But I won't be surprised if they do in the near future.

Can anyone explain this?  More importantly, does anyone think Ford made a good decision here?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Enrique has done it again. And by 'done it again' created one of the most addictive, yet idiotic song and music video on the face of the planet. The silliness starts right from the onset:

1. For some reason, Pitbull and Enrique find themselves in front of some random room (club?), and upon opening the doors: VOILA, tons of scantily-clad, hot chicks dancing. What else would they be doing in a room full of 100 strangers? Solution: Run into the room and start dancing, of course.

2. What the hell is Enrique wearing on his head? A dead racoon? His hair looks like a mature Justin Bieber's but darker.

3. Probably the coolest part of this video is when Mr. Iglesias decides to couch surf and turns totally parallel to the ground balancing with only his feet on the couch. SO TIGHT. Where are the wires? There are wires right?

4. The video suddenly turns to crap once Pitbull utters words out of his mouth. Some of his more choice lyrics:

-"I’m a Miami boy..."  OH. Really? I thought you were from Pensacola.
-"Let’s party on the White House lawn...Pick up Barack and Michelle and let’em know that it’s on"  YES. Please do that. Glad the first family has become part of pop music culture.

5. Cut to the end: Pan to another room. Show three woman in bikinis having a pillow fight. Unfortunately for them, someone has slit the pillows and feathers are raining down on them. What a shame. Enrique appears halfway through hanging from the ceiling. Things are starting to make sense now...

Eh...I like it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bush vs. Obama - Who's the better swinger?

You be the judge:

(Skip to 1:35...and listen carefully)

And it's not because Bush plays more...(story)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Think Your Weekend Was Rough?

Fair warning to all you would-be partiers this weekend: if you do choose to drink alcohol, please, whatever you do, don't do any futures trading while you're blitzed.  That's exactly what one London man did one year ago:
Britain’s financial regulator disclosed on Tuesday that Steven Noel Perkins, a former oil futures broker, single-handedly engineered a jump in the price of oil a year ago and cost his firm millions of dollars with a string of unauthorized trades after a weekend of heavy drinking.
“Mr. Perkins’s explanation for his trading on 29 and 30 June is that he was drunk,” the F.S.A. said. “He claims to have limited recollection of events on Monday and claims to have been in an alcohol-induced blackout at the time he traded.” 
The article also mentions that Mr. Perkins lost $10 million for his firm and was fined over $100,000 as a result of these shenanigans.

I don't know whether to be appalled or amazed.  Most people just embarrass themselves in front of their friends or end up feeling terrible the next morning.  This guy placed a half billion dollars in trades! Nice!

Other things to avoid this weekend while drinking include using incendiary devices, attempting to dress yourself, and of course, driving.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Report: Soccer Lags Behind Other Sports on Technology

In a report that comes from the same obvious bin that includes stories like "Men Like Sex" and "Ice Cream is Yummy", Discovery News reports that, unlike almost every sport on the face of the planet, soccer has been extremely slow to adopt technology to aid referees in making correct calls.  Feel free to peruse the article and draw your own conclusions, but I wanted to point out my personal favorite quotation from the article:
UEFA president Michel Platini is in complete agreement, arguing that video replays would interrupt the flow of the game.
Umm, excuse me? Would it interrupt the flow more than, say, a grown man writhing in pain after colliding with someone else with the force of two busy workers who rounded the corner of a cubicle too quickly?  Or perhaps a player from some certain African country waiting to be taken off in a stretcher (scroll to 96:45 on) and then walking away (9th paragraph, starting with "At one point") as soon as he crosses the sideline?  Just saying.

Side note: anyone notice the button at the bottom of Youtube videos that looks like a soccer ball?  Try it out.

Sorry for the link confusion regarding the Ghana super dive.  I can't find a video of the performance incident.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


This is how the world celebrated Landon Donovan's amazing game winner vs. Algeria a few days ago:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Capitol Hill hijinks

The latest hyperbole uttered in Washington D.C. comes in the wake of the massive oil spill currently having its way with the Gulf of Mexico.  The background: executives from 5 major oil companies were hauled in front of Congress so representatives could flap their wings investigate the situation.  One congressman had some interesting words for BP America Chairman Lamar McKay:
Rep. Joseph Cao (R., La.), who emigrated from Vietnam, said: "In the Asian culture, we do things differently. During the samurai days, we just give you a knife and ask to you commit harakiri."
For those readers who may not be experts in Asian cultures, harakiri is a form of seppuku, which is a ritual suicide, historically performed by samurai.  While it's hard to deny that BP screwed up big time, it might be a little extreme to say they should just pull the plug on one of the largest companies in the world.

However, Mr. Cao's words do have an interesting ring.  According to Wikipedia, "seppuku was used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies."  Given the fact that the Obama administration is trying to throw its weight around (most notably by blackmailing them into suggesting that they suspend their dividend and contribute $20 billion to a relief fund) with BP, maybe they should fall on their sword rather than become another US government experiment gone awry.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


What do you feel when you find out there's a new skate park in North Hempstead??


Yeah I thought so.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ode to Minor League Baseball

Even though some might find it a little creepy that they're putting links at the top of your Gmail window based on what's in your emails, sometimes the links are pretty cool.  Case in point: it let me know there's a new minor league team: the Lake County Fielders.  Sound like an odd name?  Maybe the logo will ring a bell:

No?  Does it help to know it's in Iowa?  How about this:
Get it?  Field of Dreams?  Nice one.  That's one of the great things about minor league baseball.  You get goofy nicknames that reflect that character of the places they're in:
Kannapolis Intimidators (Dale Earnhardt was from Kannapolis)
Montgomery Biscuits:
Las Vegas 51s (as in Area 51):
Then, there's always the far less entertaining yet equally unique name of Dash.  That's the Winston-Salem Dash (One of the city's nicknames is "The Dash", in reference to the hyphenated name):
How about the Vancouver Canadians (Vancouver is in Canada...get it!?!?)
(That is not their logo but it is much cooler than the actual one)

And I guess for good measure, we can throw in the Lansing Lugnuts:
Sweet.  In my opinion, it's hard to beat a minor league baseball game.  Everything's (relatively) cheap, plenty of entertainment (outside the game, that is), great atmosphere, and all that's just in case the thought of relaxing in the sunshine and watching baseball isn't good enough for you.  So get out there and support your local oddly named baseball team!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ALERT: Guam about to capsize!

Many have probably already heard about this, but Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) actually asked a Navy Admiral about the possibility of the island of Guam tipping over and capsizing due to overpopulation.

Check it out
(No intent to deceive by skipping to 1:05 in the video, it's just that he spends the first 65 seconds wondering aloud exactly how big the island is)

Now, to be "fair", Johnson later claimed that he made the comment in jest:
On Thursday, the congressman said that he was merely being funny and used the “capsize” term in a metaphorical sense.

"The subtle humor of this obviously metaphorical reference to a ship capsizing illustrated my concern about the impact of the planned military buildup on this small tropical island,” he said in a statement.
Yes, because humor is such an excellent way to get your point across on Capitol Hill

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Headlines that make you LOL

"New York's Hipsters Too Cool For the Census"

Apparently they were too busy looking for vintage t-shirts and rolling up their pants to spend five minutes on a form that "really relatively has nothing to do with your life" (that's straight from the hipster's mouth)

Apparently they don't realize that if they don't fill out the forms, thrift shops and organic food stores won't know where their customers are!

Viacom vs. YouTube

So remember how Viacom (the parent company of CBS, MTV, etc.) used to go crazy about keeping their stuff off YouTube?  Well it turns out it was all a ruse. Says YouTube:

“For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately ‘roughed up’ the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. …
“Viacom’s efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself."

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Let's not mince words. This weekend is all about one person. Unless you're cut off from the world as we know it, Tiger Woods owns the spotlight. And yet it seems like for all the publicity he has gotten in recent months, the golf world is, surprisingly, back to normal.

To all those who think the fans shouldn't be cheering and applauding Tiger; nobody cares about his philandering, they just wanna clap at some well played golf balls. Like this: SICK. To be clear, that is most definitely a hook. That shot that you're able to pump out about every go on the golf course, he owns to within feet of the hole.

To all those who think Tiger should stop cursing on the golf course, and that he's disrespecting the game. Think about it this way. Golf is his job. A job he takes very seriously; admonishing him for cursing is like getting pissed off at Frank in Accounting for yelling at the copier when it has a paper jam (PC LOAD LETTER?). Maybe CBS should do us a favor and not mic him up every time he hits a bad shot (What?).

On that note, I didn't know there were loads of YouTube vids of golf players hitting people on the golf course. Makes sense, if there were a gallery of people around me when I was playing golf, I'd be sending people to the emergency room.

1. Crack
3. ohhhhh....

The first few thoughts I had when I watched opening round coverage were:

1. Tiger is jacked. Apparently he's taken all his emotions out in the gym.
2. The "YOU DA MAN, TIGER!" guys were back in full force. I heard more of these shouts than normal.
3. Who spends money on this?
4. Tiger has more than a legit chance to win. Nowhere has he shown that probably the biggest personal mess of his life has affected any part of his golf game. Not only that but you got a bunch of chokers in front of him: Westwood, Poulter, Mickelson, Kim, Couples, and Barnes. That's about as easy as you're gonna get in front of you without adding the likes of Duval, Calcavecchia, and Van de Velde.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Music...where have you gone.

I am the ultimate pawn of the music industry. No, I'm not trying to make some consumer-conformist-whatever statement, it's just that I simply don't care to peruse the MILLIONS of songs by indie and alternative bands in lieu of mainstream ear candy.

I buy the iTunes top ten...every month. I listen to Top 40 music stations. Yeah. Whatever.

Anyway, this extreme lameness allows me to get well acquainted with today's racket. A racket that has turned from mildly entertaining and comical music (think Beatles to KC and the Sunshine Band to Poison to Madonna to Beastie Boys to Backstreet Boys) to an ego trip (sans Lady Gaga).

You will not be able to listen to a song on top 40 radio without learning how awesome the people are who are singing it. It's...lovely.

Example #1: Taio Cruz's Break your Heart and you'll also enjoy a BBC blog post on it.

"If you fall for me, I'm not easy to please. I'm gonna tear you apart"

But the best part is the beginning, it's an ego love-fest: 

"Woman: This night is gonna hurt you.
Taio: You know i'm not gonna break your heart.
Woman: You wanna bet?
Taoi: Bring it on.

Taoi, you make my knees weak, man. 

Example #2: Kevin Rudolf's I Made It featuring half the rap world and Cash. Money. Heroes. 

Observation a. When you make more than $10 million, you should be better at naming your posse. Cash Money Heroes? Fucking awesome!

"I look up to the sky
And now the World is mine
Ive known it all my life
I made it, I made it!

BTW, Rudolf, you are the old man equivalent of Kesha. It's true. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Just kidding.  I meant Pay Czar.  This isn't Russia. Is this Russia? This isn't Russia.  I'm currently doing a project on this guy and he is pretty rad.

His resume includes:
  • Chief of Staff for Ted Kennedy in the late 60's
  • Special Master of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund
  • Court-Appointed Special Settlement Master in several high-profile product liability cases including Agent Orange and asbestos
  • Administrator of the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund
  • Had a street in his hometown named after him
  • Founding partner of this law firm
He actually has a pretty reasonable view on executive compensation.  His main tenets are small cash salaries and lots of long-term stock compensation.  He also strongly believes in "claw-back" provisions, where if someone receives a bonus based on a performance target, and it later turns out that target was not actually met, that person should pay back their bonus.  To a normal person, that sounds like common sense, but I guess it took this baller to make companies actually do it.

Best of all, he likes to have testy exchanges with congresswomen.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Platform Tennis

Thanks to my new gig caddying at a golf club, I've been introduced to the sport of platform tennis.  Each time I walk down the fourth fairway, I look to my left and think "what in the heck is that thing?"  Well apparently it's used to do this:

Is it just me or does this not even look like a real sport?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tiger Lolz

A lot of the jokes made at Tiger's expense have been crass and/or just not that funny, but Slate made a pretty clever one here, imagining how Tiger's situation might relate to Google's new "Every Search Tells a Story" campaign:

More on Tiger later...

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm a Newsday Twitterholic

...It's probably like yummy in Spanish, except Portuguese. They're definitely the same language.

...or more like early, drunk people.

In other news, pun intended, can find me that commercial where they say "smiles per gallon"? I can't find it on youtube...I would really like that. Thanks Newsday.

Sunday, March 7, 2010



Let's talk about Newsday. If you don't live in the NYC area or NY/CT/NJ for that matter, you may not know that Newsday is Long Island's daily newspaper. It's not bad, I guess, it's got all the things a paper needs to have to be a, ya know, paper; op-ed, real news, comics, sports (LI LOVES THE JETS), and what I go onto for: the Saturday crossword.

If you do crosswords, it's the hardest one out there, harder than the NYT Saturday crossword. But if you don't do crosswords, who cares.

What I wanted to rabbit on about was something far more important. Yes, veryyyy important. Every time I frequent, I'm greeted by one of two things (three if you count actual news):

1. One of those full page "ads" that blocks you from seeing the web site until you close it, except in case it's a notice that you can't access the site unless you're an OptimumOnline customer (cable? really?) or already a print subscriber. The first time I encountered this, I told them "No, I don't live in NY. Yes, I want to use the site." and BAM they gave me a user name and access. That lasted about 3 days, at which point I got an email (IN ALL CAPS; WHICH IF YOU'VE NEVER GOTTEN AN EMAIL IN ALL CAPS IS REALLY ANNOYING, AND YOUR FIRST THOUGHT IS THAT IT'S PROBABLY SPAM) that told me they had figured me out! The jig was up! The Newsday gestapo had figured out my ploy...I would have to pay for access because I neither bought their lousy cable, nor did I get the print edition.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I ignored this, and nothing happened. Well, apparently, I didn't know that this was a new thing to and that it failed...MISERABLY. Check it out. If AJ and I get more than 35 readers over 3 months, we can declare ourselves better than Newsday...what a great accomplishment!

2. Last, but not least, is the title bar. The title bar says "" followed by something catchy about the news in twitter/facebook status update fashion. So today, they had this:

I know what you're thinking, you want that for your blog. Imagine if you were the only one who knew why K-Rod wasn't at Mets camp (was it substance abuse? holding out for more on your contract? Whatever it is, I need to know about K-Rod). Drum roll, please:

In other news, Francisco Rodriguez still is not in camp. His workouts consist of playing catch with his brother at his home here in Port St. Lucie. The Mets have their fingers crossed that he will be cleared after another doctor's visit on Monday. For pink eye, three weeks of contagion has got to some kind of record. Maybe I can check in with the CDC later today.

Pink eye. Yes, a major online newspaper had a twitter update for pink eye. They have officially turned into a middle-aged, stay-at-home mom who twitters too much about their precious son, "Johnny can't make it to school today. Pulled out the Similasan for his pink eye!"

I shouldn't gripe. I keep my eye glued to those statuses. I'll post the funny ones (Yes, they get funnier than K-Rod with pink eye!) in the future...

New Titleist Commercial

It's not all that often that TV commercials make me laugh out loud, but I just did at the new Titleist NXT commercial.  You might remember Scott Van Pelt and Di Stewart doing their "Inside the Cup" spots last year, in sort of a talk show format.  Most will remember these commercials for introducing "flopodopolous" into the golf lexicon.

In the newest round of these commercials, the pair take it to the course:

Bobsledding is hazardous to your pants

Got the blues now that the Winter Olympics are over?  No worries!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Throwing the Penalty Flag on "Marriage Ref"

You've probably seen the commercials for the new show on NBC, "Marriage Ref". Debuting last week, it had a celebrity guests Kelly Ripa and Stephen Baldwin. And if you watched it, I'm guessing you either saw one minute of it and changed the channel, or were glued to your set in disbelief as TV personalities painfully blew their career into smithereens in just 30 minutes.

Actually that's pretty harsh. But then again, maybe not; the reviews it received were pretty abysmal:
Z on TV
Entertainment Weekly
NYT blog

Only ABC seemed to give the program a clean bill of health.

If you haven't watched the show, it's mostly self-explanatory from the million commercial promos that have been run continuously during the Olympics: one couple, a fight, cue light-hearted, comedic banter from Jerry and friends, and then the verdict on camera, live. You have one host, who I don't know the name of, three celebrity panelists, one of which is always Jerry Seinfeld, and a woman on a computer...for checking facts. (Fun fact: dust around the house is mostly dead human skin cells...thanks computer lady)

Anyway, whatever could be wrong with a show, is wrong with this show. It has potential (a great and seemingly unique idea that probably only Seinfeld could conjure), and Seinfeld is amusing (along with Tina Fey who was the only bright spot tonight), but the fun ends there....

The are not funny. I don't know his name, but he should probably be fired and moved to the 2 am time slot past Carson Daly.

Computer lady...why are you on the show? What's your purpose? Very easy on the eyes, but I get that from Eva Longoria and Kelly Ripa.

Panelists...seriously, need some chemistry. There's nothing like three celebrities who aren't necessarily funny themselves put on the spot to make comedy out of some marriage fight. Keep Tina Fey. Lose Eva Longoria (JK, keep her on in a Vanna White role). Lose Kelly Ripa. Give me Steve Martin or Billy Crystal or Will Ferrell...a familiar face that I can laugh with, not at. And what's with the overlaughing? Seriously, are they compensating for the lack of funniness or they just think they're funny? Doesn't matter, makes it awkward.

Couples...probably the only bright spot. They've picked some pretty interesting couples, and some pretty funny spats. Can't complain here.

What should be done:

1. Fire host, re-re-hire Conan O'Brien as host. Major WIN for NBC.
2. Get Jerry a good supporting cast.
3. Fire computer lady.
4. Get rid of bad scriptedness. Hire Conan's writers back instead.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ode to FratMusic

I know a lot of people will read this and think "gosh darn frat boys and their music...why the heck would I want to click this?"  Well I say shut up.  And then click that link.

Click around a bit, and you'll find that there are a lot of playlists, and it's almost guaranteed that you will find something you like.  I use the studying playlist all the time, and almost always use this site when I'm working out.

And you never know what you might discover.  My current favorite song was discovered thanks to this site:


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Call the Close

I stumbled across a new contest being held at CNBC's website called "Call the Close." Basically, you take a stab at guessing the closing number on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. (Side note: even though it is the most commonly reported market number, it's far from being a good representation of the stock market as a whole, since it only represents 30 of the very largest companies. But that is a conversation for another day.)

I've been interested in this kind of thing for a while, and even moreso since reading The Wisdom of Crowds. The book describes the observation that, while almost all individuals are pretty lousy predictors of pretty much anything, as a whole, crowds usually do a pretty good job.

What intrigues me about this contest is that it is a little different from what they talk about in the book. The example that the book opens with is how a bunch of people managed to guess the weight of a cow within a couple pounds. While very few people even got within 20 pounds of being correct, the group's average was extremely close. In contrast to this attempt to guess at a fact, the contest here is to guess at an expectation. Since stock market prices reflect people's expectations, this contest is essentially people forming expectations of other people's expectations (a meta-expectation if you will).

So shouldn't the average guess be really close to the closing price? Well, not really. There is a really big difference between the set of people who are playing contests on CNBC and the people who are out there making markets.

In any case, the first day's results are in: the average guess was 10396.88 (a 71.62, or 0.69% increase), and the actual close was 10403.79 (78.53, or 0.76% increase). That's pretty impressive, considering the stock market can realistically swing plus or minus 2% any given day. Two guys actually guessed within one hundreth of a point to win the first day, and fifteen people guessed within a third of a point. Can't wait to see how long it is before someone gets it exactly.

Link to the contest:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Juuuu-u-u-u-u-u-u-rrrry Duty Calls

With Obama being called to jury duty recently (also opting out because he had a prior commitment: the State of the Union), it got me thinking of famous people/things called into jury duty:


Michael Bloomberg

A cat

Brad Pitt

Washington governor

Soap Opera Stuff

Interesting article from The Daily Beast that outlines what happened to Tiger, and all the run-up beforehand, the night he crashed his Escalade...

Notice the part in there about anonymity: "Both sources spoke on the condition of anonymity, because Elin Nordegren did not give them permission to discuss her conversations with them." Those two ladies are pretty disgraceful in my opinion; your friend confides in you, and you go to the press with it. Not only that but there goes your anonymity. Elin is not a dumbass, I'm assuming, and will probably know who leaked their convo....

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lost is coming soon!

But probably a better recap...

And an unrelated funny Youtube...

Thursday, January 21, 2010


If you haven't heard about John Edwards' fiasco yet, read it here. However, wouldn't it be much more interesting if Edwards admitted his paternity here, rather than here?

If you haven't heard about the Conan/Leno/NBC debacle yet, you apparently go to bed at 10. Well know you can go to bed at 11:35 now, and STILL not know about it. Here's everything you need to know. And a random article I found that's a really quick, interesting read; the type of stuff the HuffPo excels in.

Last night, I watched live as Conan decided that since he would be fired by week's end, but could do anything he wanted, he decided it might be prudent to spend as much as possible on NBC's budget. His first spending spree? A Bugatti Veyron set to the original recording of the Stones' Satisfaction. I thought this was an interesting choice, since I didn't know that a Bugatti was really $1.5 million alone (it is; the most expensive car today). The real deal was apparently a loan, however...

I mean; I guess I would drive it...Considering it has a 8.0 litre quad-turbocharged W16 engine (yes, that's 16 cylinders in a W pattern), and 10 radiators. 10 radiators!!!!

Crossword Time

Starred clues are themed entries.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Choice Words from Coach Cut

From Coach Cut's interview with Sporting News:

SN: What was the timeline over the past few days? 
DC: I had conversations, obviously. I didn't have to have a formal interview, though I might have if they requested it. Just a lot of real casual conversations that began pretty quickly after they had their resignation. That was over two days, I guess it was, from Tuesday night on. I was speaking in Laurinburg, in Scotland County, Tuesday night, and I left my phone in the truck. I'm glad I did that, or it would have blown up on my hip. I get back to the truck, and I've got 80 text messages and 20-something missed calls. I said, "Holy smokes, World War III started, and everybody forgot to tell Scotland County."

Popular guy...

From Heather Dinich's blog on ESPN:
Cutcliffe went against the grain and in a shocking move withdrew his name from Tennessee’s head coaching search. Tennessee has more money to offer than Duke. Cutcliffe has a longer history with Tennessee. His daughter goes to school at Tennessee. He still has ties to players there, and he has family in the state. And it’s easier to recruit and win there.

Of course Cutcliffe was interested.

“I was torn,” he said.

Yet Cutcliffe’s bags remained unpacked in Durham.

It says as much about the man as it does about the coach who boosted Duke to nine wins in two seasons and the most success the program has seen since 1994. 

 But probably the best line he said and most heartfelt, that'll leave Duke with peace of mind:
"You follow your heart in big decisions. I have a lot of ties and a lot of people that I'm very close to, and a lot of respect for the University of Tennessee, but my heart is here. We've worked very hard these two years to change the culture, to change the team physically. You feel like the job's not done, and in this era, it bothers me, what we do as coaches, moving here and there. This is mid-January. Nothing about that felt right to me as a person.

And the main article from GoDuke.

Thursday Night Funstuff

Great story about the Ravens play calling

The first comment on this story is golden.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In the News: UTenn Coaching Vacancy

So it's looking like Duke Coach Cutcliffe will be the next coach at UTenn. Apparently, there's some unresolved feelings about Cut leaving Tennessee in the first place, so this pick might not quell the anger over Kiffin leaving. One thing is for sure though, it looks like since Kiffin went to USC, Urban Meyer's blood pressure is sure to go down...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Excerpts from Personal Foul

I took some time while reading Tim Donaghy's new book, to keep place of some excerpts that were especially wacky. Apparently, not only were the refs pretty loopy, but the players and coaches were regular firecrackers. Crazy.

Without further ado:

On Charles Barkley (p. 64-65):
Barkley was an awesome talent with a big mouth and a knack for finding trouble. Still, he was quite the character and a tremendous fan favorite -- at least in the city he was playing for.
I once worked a Rockets-Clippers game with my partners Duke Callahan and Bernie Fryer. Barkley was complaining about a foul I called and simply refused to let up. Up and down the court, in my ear, in my face -- he was absolutely relentless. Finally, I hit him with a technical foul.
Rudy Tomjanovich, who was coach of the Rockets at the time, jumped into the fray and decided to double-team me.
"You blew that one, Tim. Charles would never act like that unless you were wrong!" Rudy jabbed.
"Really?" I snapped back. "He acts like that every night."
Tomjanovich just shook his head and said, "You're wrong, Tim. And I'll bet you dinner on it."
After the game, I marched straight to the VCR in the referees' locker room and reviewed the game tape. I watched it several times and was convinced I made the right call. I grabbed the portable VCR off the training table, took it to Rudy T, and replayed the tape two or three times.
"Shit," he said. "You're right. I owe you an apology."
I immediately barked back, "I don't want an apology, I want my dinner!"
Rudy said he would send some coupons for McDonald's over to our locker room. Then he added with a sneer, "That fucking Barkley made me look like a fool. I'm gonna bust his balls."
I went back to the locker room to catch a quick shower. Meanwhile, Rudy was apparently ripping Charles a new one -- and Charles didn't like it. He grabbed a Gatorade container full of ice, walked right past security into the referees' locker room, and hunted me down in the shower stall. Within seconds I was doused with the bucket of ice and cold Gatorade. All of my extremities immediately went into shrink -shock and I lurched forward, banging my head on the shower nozzle. With shampoo running into my eyes, I heard Charles Barkley laughing his ass off like a little kid who just egged the principal's car. I turned to curse him out, but he quickly pranced out of the locker room like a ballerina in The Nutcracker.
Obviously, I could have made a big stink and reported Barkley to the league office. That kind of stunt is frowned upon --- even for a star like him -- and a large fine or suspension would have been likely. Before I did something rash, my crew chief Bernie Fryer raised a good point. "If you let it go," he cautioned me, "he'll owe you forever." So I shut my mouth and never notified the NBA. The next time I saw Barkley, he gave me a huge smile and whispered, "Thanks." From that day forward, I never had a another problem with the Round Mound of Rebound.

On Rasheed Wallace's temper (p. 69):

On the night of January 15, 2003, I was working a game in Portland between the Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies when a small on-court incident actually spilled over to the street. It started out like any other game, with both teams ready to go and the Rose Garden Arena rocking. At the 9:45 mark of the third quarter, referee Scott Wall called a personal foul on Trail Blazers forward Rasheed Wallace. Wallace responded by returning the ball to Wall when he wasn't looking, resulting in the ball striking Wall's leg and bouncing away. The ball wasn't thrown particularly hard, but it was clearly an act of disrespect toward the referee. I casually but pointedly told Wallace, "there's no need to throw the ball toward him when he's not looking."
"Fuck you!" Wallace screamed back at me..
I immediately gave Wallace a technical foul and the game continued without further incident. The Trail Blazers won the game and Wallace had a big night, scoring 38 points and shooting 16-of-20 from the field. I certainly had no problem giving Wallace the technical -- his profane comments were completely unacceptable. Besides, like most referees in the league, I disliked Wallace. He was incredibly difficult to get along with and we all wanted to stick it to him every chance we got. Fortunately, he gave us many opportunities. As an added bonus, Steve Javie paid me twenty bucks for winning a bet with him.
After the game, I was walking in the arena parking lot when Wallace jumped from behind a pole and confronted me. "I'm going to get my money back for that bullshit technical foul," he said.
The league assessed a fine of $1,000 for a technical foul, and despite their multimillion-dollar contracts, players don't like giving any of it back to the NBA front office.
"It wasn't bullshit," I said. "You deserved it!" I smiled and walked away, thinking he was just kidding around.
I was wrong about that. Wallace went berserk and ran toward me with his fists clenched and raised up in the fighting position. At 6' 11" and 230 pounds, Rasheed Wallace is an imposing and menacing figure.
When I realized he was completely serious, the thought crossed my mind that I was a dead man.
"You better look out you punk-ass motherfucker!" he screamed. "I'm gonna kick your fucking ass!"
After what seemed like an eternity of unbelievable screaming and tension, security personnel grabbed Wallace by the arms and restrained him. It was the longest 30 seconds of my life and I rememb er thinking, Where the hell is my backup? Where's my crew? Where's security?
We were up all night preparing a written report of the incident for the league. For his few minutes of lunacy, Wallace was suspended for seven games without pay. That's approximately $1.26 million out of his pocket. I'm sure that $1,000 fine didn't look so bad then!

On Shaq's personality (p. 62)
Shaq never gave the referees much lip. If he didn't like a call I made on him, he would just drop the ball, give me a dirty look, and head in the other direction. He has, however, been known to remind referees that the fans didn't come to see Superman sit on the bench.
Above it all, Shaq was a funny guy, quick with a joke or a prank and never a jerk. I once worked one of his games just after I received a particularly bad haircut. As I was retrieving the ball for a free-throw attempt, I sensed the enormous center looking down at me -- after all, I'm only 5' 9". I looked up to make eye contact and he wryly asked, "Who the fuck cut your hair?" I just looked at him and laughed. "I got a bad chop," I sheepishly replied. Actually it had been on my mind all day. Here we are in the second quarter of a rather intense NBA game, and I could feel my face getting flushed with embarrassment. That's Shaq.
Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs never showed much of a sense of humor; he was very serious and never appeared to be having fun on the court. Dick Bavetta and I were reffing a San Antonio game one evening when Bavetta made a call that infuriated Duncan. They argued back and forth for a couple of minutes and finally bet a hamburger on who was right and who was wrong. Getting Duncan to bet a burger on the call was Bavetta's way of getting him to calm down for the rest of the game.

(p. 112)
Stars like Shaquille O'Neal were generally liked by referees and could expect favorable treatment. Shaq was known to occasionally get in the ear of his favorite referees and convince them to let a little air out of the basketball. The league has definite rules concerning each ball's air pressure, but Shaq liked to get that soft extra bounce on his free throws and short shots around the hoop. Of course, the big guy might have scored a few more points if he actually practiced free throws during warm-ups instead of trying to collect phone numbers from pretty girls. Before one particular Lakers game in the Staples Center back in 2003, Shaq sent a ball boy in the stands to tell a woman he wanted her phone number. Only one problem -- the woman was the wife of one of the referees who was working the game that night. Oops, looks like Shaq might be in for a long night.