Matt Holt: Just write the AM/PM story.
Me: (Sigh) Okay.
First off, scroll down the page and read the articles I wrote last week. They’re better than this article, and judging by the site hits over the holiday weekend, you may have missed those pieces. So please, have a look and return.
All right. Now that that’s over with, here’s the AM/PM story.
So Matt Holt (@TheMattHolt on Twitter…ladies) and I are making a quick stop at AM/PM, when I notice that ARCO offers a $25,000 reward for reporting shoplifters. Yes. Twenty-five-thousand American dollars. That’s absolutely ridiculous.
In case there’s any doubt about how serious they are about this reward, the little sign tacked to the door reads something like the following:
“Crime doesn’t pay here…BUT STOPPING IT DOES!!!!”
It’s almost like a game show, I start thinking to myself. You’re a winner if you capture a petty thief. It’s like hitting the $10,000 slot on Plinko twice. Then hitting the $5,000 slot on top of that. And if you’ve ever watched The Price Is Right, you know that sh*t never happens. Ever. It’s akin to stopping the yodeler from yodeling his way off the cliff in Cliffhanger. It’s impossible. I swear to God that little Swiss man is suicidal. If I got selected to play that game, I’d probably just walk right off the stage. It’s not even worth it.
“Eff it, Drew, I forfeit. Take me to spin the wheel. Let’s go. This is some bullshit. That little jerk was gonna kill himself, anyway.”
So I say to Matt Holt, “You know what, it doesn’t seem worth it to pay someone $25,000 to turn in a shoplifter. In fact, that might just increase the chances of someone shoplifting.”
Think about it. It’s not even debatable. If you knew you could get $25,000 at the back end, it would be worth it to arrange for some sort of misdemeanor candy bar heist.
“You could get ten friends to steal candy bars,” says Matt Holt, “then go halfsies with each of them after you turn ‘em in.”
“And you could cover all their court fees and bail money, too,” I surmise.
Which begs the question of why no one does this.
Now, of course, there is no guarantee that you will receive $25,000. ARCO pledges to pay up to that amount. Very sneaky with their language is ARCO.
But there has to be some sort of range, right? Really, what kind of shoplifting endeavor could ever warrant a $25,000 reward.
“Sorry, boss. I came into work this morning and everything was gone. The cash registers, the ghetto ATM, all the food, the gas pumps, the squeegees. Oh, and they siphoned all the gas from our tanks, too. And they stole all the toilet paper rolls from the bathroom. They stole the foundation, in fact.”
Now in that instance, yes, you would certainly want to award twenty-five-grand for the effort of tracking down the perp. Makes sense.
But what do you get for snatching up some kid that tries to sneak off with a Caramello?
“Sir, I found this child with this Caramello about to leave your store. You’ll notice it’s a King Size. That’s probably worth at least ten-, fifteen-thousand to your establishment. I’m prepared to take a check.”
Where do we draw the line? And is this just a big trick that ARCO’s playing on us? We need answers!
If you’d like to be a part of my posse that attempts to test the ARCO rewards program, here’s what we need:
-A grease man
-A gymnast, like the Chinese guy in Ocean’s Eleven
-Someone who knows a good lawyer
-Someone who’s handy with pyrotechnics
-Three hot chicks (for no real reason)
Once the crew is assembled, I think we’re ready to collect our rewards. No hostages. No prisoners. This will be a peaceful, non-violent mission.
And when it’s all said and done, we’ll all be financially better off for it.
Filed under: Other Sports
SBTB on romance
First of all, we give Zack Morris too much credit. Way too much. We can all agree that the man was an absolute player. If you had a vagina, he wanted to be near it. If you had breasts, he wanted to talk to you.
Throughout the course of his high school existence, Morris dated, kissed, or tried to hook up with the following cast of characters: a paraplegic, a homeless woman, an obese gossip who didn’t “look like Elle McPherson,” the captain of the cheerleading squad, his best friend’s girl, his other best friend’s little sister, his other best friend’s ex from out of the country, the school nurse, a biker chick, his girlfriend’s little sister, his immediate superior at the Malibu Sands Beach Club, a wrestler, his best friend’s adopted cousin, the school bully, a chick from USC, and a mom in Hawaii.
That’s an impressive list to say the least.
But let me ask you this. Did you ever see Morris take any of these girls past the proverbial first base? Huh? Did you? Because I did not. Which means that for all his “play,” Morris was nothing more than a glorified friend. Sex was never even hinted at with any of these women. Sure, there was some kissing here and there, some flirtatious glances, lots of hugs.
But foreplay? No.
What did Zack Morris do for all those years on television? He taught young men the world around how to make the first move…but nothing after that.
And now? Now there are guys in every corner of the globe that grew up watching this supposed master at work who can’t do anything but slap hit. They knock singles around the yard all day long. Extra base hits are out of the question. Runners in scoring position are non-existent. The collective slugging percentage of males in the 20-40 age range is lower than it should be because of Zack Freakin’ Morris. Thanks a lot, jerk.
SBTB on sports
If you go to Valley, you will lose.
If you go to Bayside, you will win.
SBTB on friendship
So long as your best friend is the star of the show, he can sabotage you, lie to you, trick you, exploit you, or take advantage of you as often as he wants and you’ll still find it in your heart to stay friends even after you’ve had your girl stolen, your business run into the ground, or photos of you in a bikini sold for profit.
SBTB on cardboard cutouts
They’re apparently really easy to get. Even if you just want a life-size paper replication of the girl you have a crush on. No problem. Store it in your closet. Do dirty things with it. Whatever.
SBTB on race relations
Race. A touchy subject, I know. But worth discussing.
Ask yourself this question: Did you ever see an Asian on SBTB? Because I didn’t. Were Asians not good enough? Who was setting the curve in the classroom without Asians? Did the Bayside badminton team ever even win a game?
Here was a production that showcased handicaps, the impoverished, and the retarded (I assume Screech was retarded). And yet we couldn’t get an Asian. Absolutely ridiculous.
I’ve been to Southern California. There are Asians everywhere. Unless they all went to Valley, this was a complete indictment on a viewer’s understanding of geography, demographics, and the law of averages. Epic fail.
Oh, and let’s not forget what SBTB taught us about black people:
If you are black and rich (Lisa Turtle), people will like you. If you are black and smart (Brian, from the “Date Auction” episode), people will think you’re a prick. No wonder it took more than a decade post-SBTB for America to land a black president. Barack Obama had to convince the entire United States that Lisa was wrong about intelligent African American males. She’s wrong, everybody! Bitch.
SBTB on the space-time continuum
If you need the world to stop for you, simply call “time out.” It almost sounds too easy. It is, however, a facet of reality.
SBTB on academics
It seems unlikely that you could score a 1502 on the SATs, get accepted into both Yale and the acclaimed Stansbury University (the Harvard of the West), help your school to a Knowledge Bowl victory, and repeatedly trick the principal into believing any number of alibis and excuses, yet still fall a credit short of graduation.
Perhaps that isn’t as pressing a question as this, however: What are the odds of you having all your classes in the same classroom with the same people all year long?
SBTB on sex appeal
If a pot-smoking movie star and a college student moonlighting as a restaurant manager show significant interest in your girl, what do you do?
Lock that sh*t up by getting married in Las Vegas before you turn 21. Duh.
After she’s had a boob job, too. (Which she most certainly did. Mosquito bites in high school, sweater pillows in college? There’s something fishy going on here.)
SBTB on your potential
You can be part of an all-girl singing group that gets discovered by a music producer.
You can model in France.
You can say no to drugs.
You can take down an oil company.
You can sneak into a club with a fake ID.
You can join the junior ROTC then quit, but not, but still never mention it ever again.
You can outwit the United States government on more than one occasion.
You can get out of detention whenever you want.
You can date Zack Morris without the use of your legs.
You can do anything in a tiny gym.
SBTB on drugs
There is a hierarchy of drugs, which is as follows (listed from least severe to most):
Marijuana -> Prescription pills -> Highlighter pens -> Cocaine -> LSD -> Whatever homemade chemical has Mr. Yuck’s face on it -> Heroin -> Speedballs -> Crystal Meth -> Caffeine pills
God forbid you ever ingest caffeine pills! Not only will they keep you up all night, they’ll make you sing songs out of key and cry, as well. This is serious business, people, I am f**king warning you! Caffeine pills are the love child of Satan and Osama bin Laden.
Filed under: Other Sports
*Editor’s note: I have no good opening line, so let me just say this. This is a piece by my good friend Jerry Brewer. You’re probably more familiar with his work in The Seattle Times or on The Brewery blog. We’ll be trading material here and there over the next few weeks, months, years, however long this can carry on. You might also see some other guest spots from my pals in the media every now and then, as well. The goal is to give you, the readers, a different voice, while simultaneously allowing these very funny individuals to branch out from their mainstream confines. Check it out and let us know what you think.
By Jerry Brewer
What the hell am I doing here?
Alex Akita? Love that guy. Love his passion, his humor and his ability to be inappropriate and endearing at the same time. Love that when you talk to him in person you’re amazed that such brilliantly irreverent writing can come from a man so laid back.
He didn’t force me to write that opening paragraph, either. I’m a polite person, but I’m not effusively polite without merit. I think Alex is a great voice for this market, and I hope that he can make money off this site in the future.
But I have a confession: I ignored Alex the entire time he worked at The Seattle Times.
It led to the most awkward e-mail conversation a year ago.
Me: I love your writing.
Alex: I actually used to work at the Times, man. Sports clerk, worked nights. I can’t believe we never met. I enjoy reading your stuff.
Me: (After having deleted various excuses that were flat-out lies) This is embarrassing. I really need to go into the office at night, huh?
One of the many luxuries of my sports columnist gig is that I don’t have to work out of the office; I’m normally there just one day a week. The negative? I wind up being the jerk who doesn’t know all of his co-workers.
(Quick aside: This reminds me of Walter Jones’ hilarious retirement press conference. Teammates used to joke that Big Walt didn’t know the names of all the guys on the team. Jones countered, “I knew the guys that I needed to know.”)
The lesson? Don’t be oblivious, fool. There are good people around you.
It’s simple, but it’s searing.
And it’s the long way of explaining what the hell I’m doing here at SSN.
We’ll talk about sports the next time I visit here, but first, you need to understand what’s going on.
I convinced Alex on an idea recently: frequent crossovers between his site and my piece of Seattle Times’ real estate, The Brewery. I think we can both help each other, and about two beers (maybe three) into our discussion, Alex agreed.
The concept is to get different voices on our blogs. So every so often (once a week, maybe once every two weeks), we’ll pretty much re-enact the movie “Trading Places.” I’m the Eddie Murphy in this. Alex is the Dan Aykroyd. Actually, Alex is probably more Eddie-like and I’m probably more Aykroyd-like, but I’ve got to represent the brothas, even when making an innocuous comparison.
You remember “Trading Places,” right? Billy Ray and Louis Winthrop III? If you haven’t, take the pacifier out of your mouth and order it on Netflix. It’s a classic movie.
Anyway, Alex and I talk a lot about The Biz. In fact, his recent post “The Biz,” in which he talks about a dude named Larry … well, I’m Larry. Alex is the untrained, free-flowing sportswriter who expresses fan passion like no one I currently read. I’m the dude who was basically sent to a journalism lab at age 15 and learned every nuance of the business even before college, but for all the training that I have, I fear that this polish will make me too robotic to write the good stuff that consistently resonates with the average person.
So, we’re two different people with different backgrounds who have one common goal: We want to advance the game, so to speak. We want to improve the quality and diversity of the sports conversation in Seattle. We want to inspire people to express themselves with the written word and ensure they understand that it doesn’t matter what their style is, as long as it’s interesting.
I consider my writing style smooth and thoughtful, with a heavy emphasis on humanity. I consider Alex’s style a combination of inspirational messages and irascible rants, with a heavy emphasis on humor and self-deprecation. We appeal to very different audiences — mine a little older, his a little younger — but there’s plenty of crossover within those audiences.
It’s a scary but exciting time in media. Many traditional journalists fear this era because we’re losing some of our clout as we struggle to find a new business model. But the demand for information and insight has never been greater, and non-traditional journalists (bloggers, etc.) have diversified the competition, and people are doing some inspired work, partly because the uncertainty of The Biz is turning it into a grand hustle for respect and credibility. You have to earn your spot all over again, and while I wish newspapers had more financial security, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have to prove yourself.
So, we’re going to give this content swap a try. He’s going to challenge me to write more loosely when I visit SSN. I’m going to challenge him to tighten things up, particularly the language, to appeal to the broad Seattle Times audience. It’s an interesting experiment, and we’re hoping we’ll both be better because of it.
I’m just hoping that Alex doesn’t do the ignoring this time now that we’re co-workers again.
Jerry Brewer is The Truth, dating back to 1993. Give it up, Paul Pierce. Recognize. I’m the original one.
Filed under: Other Sports
The premise is simple. You are presented with two scenarios, of which (and here’s where it gets dicey) you can only have one.
In addition, there are two very specific rules to the game:
Rule 1.0 a. You cannot have neither.
Rule 36.5 b. You cannot have both.
Now, I know it seems easy enough, but I live by the rule that there should be no rules. So I typically blow 36.5 b. out of the water and take both. It really bugs the rule-makers out there. Call me a renegade.
While the game has its roots in ancient Sri Lankan culture, it was made popular in the Seattle area by 950 KJR radio host Dave “Softy” Mahler. A proponent of YCOHO from the very beginning, Mahler has staked an entire career off the idea that you, me, and everyone can only have one.
In the spirit of YCOHO, I’ve come up with some scenarios that you can debate with friends. I’ve offered my preferred choice under each scenario, occasionally ignoring the rules along the way. Keep in mind, these are merely the humble opinions of one individual. I encourage you to think outside the box when faced with the prospect of only having one. So without further ado…
1. Dustin Ackley OR the flying, talking dog from The Neverending Story.
Wow. A tough call right off the bat.
Ackley, of course, is one hell of a baseball player. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, an All-Star caliber talent, franchise cornerstone, fantastic hitter, all of the above.
But that flying dog…
I mean, think about it. If you were running late and needed to get somewhere fast, that dog would take you there. You could just jump on his back and off you go. Plus, he’s good at conversing. Maybe you want to talk to someone. This dog right here, he’ll talk to you.
Buuuuttt, the downside of the flying, talking dog is that you have to feed him, and I imagine that based on his size, that could get expensive. And the crap you’d have to pick up, my god! You’d be burning sh*t every night.
So, with all that said…
Alex’s choice: Dustin Ackley.
2. The Seahawks win the Super Bowl OR you get to inhabit Kim Kardashian’s body for a week.
Oh boy. This is a real nail-biter.
Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see the Seahawks win a championship. That would be an absolute dream come true. I’m a diehard Seattleite through and through. I’d remember the moment forever.
But come on. Kim K.’s body for a week? Do you know what I would do in that situation?
First off, I’d tell Kris Humphries to stay the f**k away from me. That’s a given. I’m not trying to go out like that, Kris. We’re not on the same team.
Second, I’d go sit in front of the mirror, take off all my clothes, and probably look at myself for at least a day or two. Really see what’s going on there. Front side, back side, the whole falafel.
(Did you catch that last one there? I said “falafel” instead of “enchilada.” You know, because Kim’s Middle Eastern. Get it? Okay, whatever.)
After that, I can’t say what I’d do because it’s not age appropriate for all my readers. But you can probably guess. And if I could work in a lot of contact with Kourtney Kardashian, that would also be great. Not Khloe, though. Never Khloe.
The resolution? That’s easy.
Alex’s choice: Both.
3. Chone Figgins OR Jose Lopez OR a really good sandwich that unfortunately gives you food poisoning.
The three-headed YCOHO! An absolute show-stopper.
Let’s think about this carefully before making any rash decisions.
We can all agree that the three options are pretty horrible. No getting around that. But which is least horrible, that’s the key.
Figgins, of course, is all-around horrible. He’s underwhelming on and off the field. His personality is certainly nothing to write home about, and on top of that he’s small. Small doesn’t help. Small isn’t big.
Lopez, on the other hand, is clearly big. Too big, arguably, but that’s neither here nor there. In a fight, he could probably subdue Figgins by sitting on him, so that’s obviously an advantage. But he is slow. And kind of lazy. Seems like a nice enough dude, though. We’ll go ahead and move him past Donkey From Shrek.
Now for the wildcard. This fantastically amazing sandwich that, wouldn’t you know it, gives you food poisoning. Pros: Tastes good going down, nourishes you temporarily. Cons: Doesn’t taste as good coming back up, removes all nourishment from your intestines, sidelines you for at least a day.
I’ve had food poisoning once. It wasn’t very pleasant. I spent all night puking and distinctly remember reading an SI article on Drew Brees while trying to fight the dry heaves. I now associate with Brees with one of the worst moments of my life, which I’m sure a lot of Indianapolis Colts fans can identify with. But I digress. The important thing to take away here is that I had food poisoning and it sucked.
However, with food poisoning comes a day of rest, which is always warranted. Plus, you lose at least five pounds from all the puking, so it’s a nice weight-loss opportunity, as well.
I’ve made up my mind.
Alex’s choice: A really good sandwich that unfortunately gives you food poisoning.
4. Eric Wedge’s mustache OR Alanis Morissette’s bush in that one video.
Great moments in body hair history. Oh, and I did some research and the video in which Alanis’s blurred-out bush appears is entitled Thank U. So there you go, music historians. You’re welcome.
Of course, there are some major differences between the two hirsute creations to take into account.
Wedge’s fuzz adorns the middle facial region, while Alanis keeps her rug down closer to the lower abdomen area.
Wedge’s lip locks are carefully manicured into a shapely Fu Manchu; Alanis’s pubes are left to roam wild and free. If you’re more of the conservative nature, Wedge’s premeditated design might be more your thing. If you’re slightly more liberal, the abstraction of Alanis’s womanly whiskers likely hit closer to home.
There is an issue of rarity at play. It’s not every day that, as a young kid, you turn on MTV and see a blurry patch of carpet staring back at you. Then again, it’s not every day you see a ‘stache like Wedge’s.
The easy choice would be both. I realize that. Buuuuut, Alanis is kind of played out. And with the advent of free porn on the internet (they have that now), anyone can lay eyes on a female’s nether regions, furry or not.
So I think the decision, while slightly more difficult than usual, has to go down like this:
Alex’s choice: Wedge’s mustache.
See how easy that was! The greatest game you’ve ever played, and anyone can play it! Get to it, don’t delay!
And when it’s all said and done, just remember, you can ONLY HAVE ONE!
Filed under: Other Sports
Is love having a girlfriend that will perform sex acts on other people for money, then perform those same sex acts on you for free?
Is love the confidence that you can set your dove free, out into the world, out to explore the nether reaches of other gentlemen, knowing full well that she’ll return to you with exactly the same passion and exuberance she once departed with?
Could love be the sharing of finances? Finances that have been garnered through any means necessary, out of adoration for the other soul in your life. Finances handed over for the sake of the relationship, for the better of both of you. Finances that won’t just pay the bills, or put food on the table, or raise the kids, but also serve as a beautiful metaphor for two hearts beating as one.
Is love hanging out with one of your closest friends, having a conversation about life, knowing you’re baring all your emotions to this life-long confidant of yours, all while two willing females massage your respective genitalia with their mouths?
Can love take the form of a building — like the Eiffel Tower — or a marine mammal — like the walrus — when a relationship between you, your pal, and one heck of a talented female has been consummated out of legitimate ecstasy?
Is love worth going to jail for?
Is love worth sacrificing your reputation for?
Is love worth the risk?
Frankly, I don’t know what love is. I have loved, yes. I have been loved, yes.
But when it comes to love, your guess is as good as mine, as good as society’s, and as good as Venoy Overton’s.
I don’t know what love is and it’s not up to me to judge.
But I do know this. Love comes in all shapes and sizes, in all forms, in all actions. Love can be powerful, love can be subtle. Love can hurt, love can soothe, love can mend, and love can break.
In the end, however, love is a feeling, an emotion, and it should be treasured.
Let love, be love.
Filed under: Husky Basketball
Take Chone Figgins, for instance. Here’s a guy hitting .191 being introduced for each at-bat to the sounds of the infamous Andre Romelle Young, better known to the masses as Dr. Dre. Doctor Freakin’ Dre!! One of the most renowned musical artists of our generation! Straight aural sex! And Figgins, of all people, is out there ruining his sh*t.
It doesn’t seem right. A .191 effort at the dish deserves the type of lyrical misery that fails eighty-one percent of the time. What kind of music can justifiably be viewed as an eighty-one percent failure? Rebecca Black? The Jonas Brothers? Kajagoogoo? There are so many options, of which Dr. Dre should not be one.
The act itself is commonplace, of course. These days, every hitter in the game has his own walk-up music. In most cases, the player handpicks his audio accessory. And in almost every case, crappy songs are rarely selected.
One thing I have noticed is that walk-up songs tend to be divided along racial lines. Here’s a quick ethnic breakdown of every genre of music that bangs on your eardrums at baseball games:
Country. A favorite of white players from the backwoods of rural America.
Rap. Reserved for African Americans and the occasional badass white player from the suburbs (ex. Brendan Ryan).
Techno/Dance/Bubblegum Pop. Reserved for Ichiro.
Rock/Metal/Alternative. The choice of ACPs (Average Caucasian Players).
Salsa/Latin. A preferred option for the litany of Spanish-speaking hitters.
When it comes to choosing an introductory tune, players rarely step outside the box, so to speak, to gather their music. You’d never catch Justin Smoak leaving the on-deck circle to Lil’ Wayne. Likewise, Franklin Gutierrez wouldn’t be caught dead taking his practice cuts to Kenny Chesney. And so what we seem to have is this perfectly-manicured culture-clustered utopia of melody and harmony.
I get that. I understand it. If Latin Jones needs Menudo to get on base, fine. Far be it for any of us to alter his taste in symphony. We can leave the genre alone. Out of respect to the individual. In most instances, at least.
But what if everything else was fair game? What if only the good players got to handpick their ditties? And what if everyone else was subject to earning their cut based on performance? Seems pretty fair, yeah? Play well and you’re rewarded with a walk-up song of your choice. Struggle, and the fans choose for you. Yep, that’s how it should be.
I say we start with a baseline batting average of .220. If your rate of success is under the baseline, you can choose your genre and that’s it. After that, the fans vote on what your track will be. Country music guy? Enjoy Dwight Yoakam. Big on hip-hop? Try some Vanilla Ice.
For those hitters who really can’t hack, the genre goes out the window, as well. We’ll set the bar for this level of humiliation right smack dab on the Mendoza Line, an even .200.
So guess what? If you’re batting .199 or less, get ready for a little dose of Yanni. Or maybe William Hung is more your thing; you might be getting some of that, too. Hey, did you know that David Hasselhoff had a brief singing career? Well, you will. Joe Pesci once released his own album, too…best of luck getting on base to that garbage.
Fact is, if you aren’t performing, you aren’t getting the freedom to ruin our favorite songs by associating them with your suckitude. It should be up to us what we pair with your swings-and-misses. If that ends up being Wilson Phillips, then so be it.
Who knows, maybe Figgins’ underwhelming season is just a blip on the radar in an otherwise-solid career. I sincerely doubt it, but it’s possible. Nevertheless, Dr. Dre’s rhythmic influence will live on forever. And frankly, Dre didn’t earn that Ph.D to have his art tainted. So, Figgy, it’s time. Time we hit with you a new joint. This is as kind as I can be. It could be worse. At least this is funny:
Filed under: Mariners
Jersey chasers, as we know them, tend to be female. They gravitate towards athletes from all walks of life — superstars and scrubs alike — to promote their own reputations against the backdrop of ephemeral friendships with equally-ambitious females based more or less on the cattiness of competition and status. That, or they just want to have sex with those athletic demigods who don the requisite jerseys. But I prefer the former definition because it was filled with bigger words and took me longer to write.
Be that as it may, I’ve often found fault with the traditional outlook on these usurpers of the uniform. While we critique women, fine creatures that they are, for their pursuit of these physically-gifted pantheons of humanity (translation: rich, athletic guy who will likely cheat on you at first opportunity because there are a million of you and only a few of him), we frequently ignore the presence of the male jersey chaser.
Yes, friends, the male jersey chaser does exist. And while he is often ignored by the masses, it is important that we pay him his proper due. For the male jersey chaser, in spite of an utter lack of acknowledgement, has maintained quite the stranglehold over the sports world for decades.
Now, contrary to what you might think, the male jersey chaser is not seeking a romantic endeavor from his prey, as his female counterpart has been known to covet. Unlike the fairer sex, who surely quantify their successful pursuits of the jersey by the amount of liquid lust deposited in and around their various orifices, the male jersey chaser is anointed by a handful of unique characteristics.
What do those characteristics entail, you ask? Fantastic question.
First, you have the irony of the male jersey chaser’s own collection of jerseys.
This cavalcade of replica sportswear serves as a testament to the MJC’s love of athletics, as well as a physical representation of the actual beings that the MJC is tailing.
The MJC has a tendency to don his imitation battle gear in any and all settings, paying no heed to the more socially acceptable situations in which your average sports fan would ordinarily wear a fake uniform: sporting events and themed parties essentially encompassing all such scenarios. No, the MJC is a rare breed. He views the jersey in the same light that Mister Rogers viewed the cardigan sweater. It’s more than just apparel; it’s a staple of everyday attire.
Second, you have the male jersey chaser’s horde of memorabilia.
Sure, every warm-blooded American male has a little baseball card collection as a kid. Some of us might even broaden that collection to include autographs or game-worn gear. The MJC, however, takes paraphernalia to new heights.
From stashing Jeff Nelson’s bone chips, to preserving Luis Gonzalez’s discarded wad of chewing gum, to carefully placing a wayward strand of Joakim Noah’s grungy locks in a fire-proof vial, the MJC arguably goes too far with his possessions. To the point of turning his man cave into a Ripley’s-esque museum of grotesque oddities that most of us would rather ignore.
Third, you have the dual faces of the male jersey chaser.
There are two prominent and very distinct types of male jersey chasers to be aware of: the Trailer Park Male Jersey Chaser and the Big Money Male Jersey Chaser, both very different in their roles and whereabouts within the male jersey chasing scene. Allow me to explain.
Your average Trailer Park MJC is a lightly-educated oaf who justifies an otherwise underwhelming existence with his passion for sport, and more specifically, sports teams. Whether it be the college or pro ranks, the Trailer Park MJC is blinded by the colors of his squad, going so far as to exude bald-faced ignorance when presented with bad news about his particular ball club.
The Trailer Park MJC is often spotted within close proximity of all events that are sponsored or hosted by his preferred franchise or school. He calls to players by their first names, regardless of how often he is greeted with relative dismissiveness. He befriends them on Facebook, follows them on Twitter, lives and dies by the character constraints on their reverent ramblings. He is, without a doubt, a stage five clinger. In lieu of family, friends, or normal social behavior, the Trailer Park MJC lives vicariously through the athletes he hounds, the bodies within those jerseys he so ably chases.
And then you have your Big Money MJC.
Save for that passion for sport and sports teams, the Big Money MJC and the Trailer Park MJC have very little in common. Whereas the Trailer Park MJC will hustle and scrounge for his jerseys, your typical Big Money MJC can simply afford to buy his way into those moisture-wicking garments of the athletes he desires.
The Big Money MJC is often thought of as a “booster” or “supporter” of the teams he pays homage to, funneling generous portions of his hard-earned paycheck into the pockets of athletic directors, front office personnel, coaches, and players on a regular basis. Rather than sidle up to athletes via the internet or beyond roped-off viewing areas, the Big Money MJC more or less buys his players by depositing the face of Benjamin Franklin right there in their ever-so-welcoming laps (I’ve heard that many a female jersey chaser’s face ends up in that precise area, as well).
In fact, one might liken the practices of the Big Money MJC to modern day slavery, though no one would be foolhardy enough to make that comparison because we all know how ludicrous analogizing something to the likes of unwillful servitude or, say, Hitler really is. So we won’t make that comparison. Even though one conceivably could do that. If they were so inclined. And, likewise, so brazenly foolhardy.
Nevertheless, there is certainly a part of the Big Money MJC that feels as if he owns the players who adorn the jerseys he chases. And that, above all else, is what fuels his desire to keep chasing.
So we have replica unis, weird memorabilia, and two very different social circles that help us identify our male jersey chasers. But what, pray tell, is so special about the jersey that makes these men chase in the first place?
Perhaps it’s that desire we all have as children to not just live the lives of our idols but become those heroes we worship. For many of us, that level of veneration does not ever cease, even as we transition into adulthood. While a female jersey chaser would just as soon trick an athlete into having her baby, a jersey chaser of the male variety would like to first be the athlete he pursues, and unable to attain that, at least befriend that athlete.
What the male jersey chaser does have in common with his female cohort is that quest for status, a perpetual struggle to one-up the people around him. It’s a facet of human personality, and irrefutably an underlying trait of a successful individual. To associate oneself with a person of vast repute is to be better than the next guy, and to be better than the next guy is something most men strive for.
There is a certain disingenuous malevolence to the act of jersey chasing in and of itself. But much like the way dogs chase cats, cops chase robbers, and rappers chase paper, jersey chasing, apart from everything else — and whether you’re male, female, or somewhere in between — is nothing more and nothing less than nature at work. You can’t stop it. You can only hope to contain it.
Filed under: Other Sports
Imagine that you have these two friends, a man and a woman, and they decide to make a baby. You’re thrilled, right? These are your friends, after all, and spawning this tiny little human is just a freakin’ miracle. Fact is, you couldn’t be happier for them.
So one day, you’re kickin’ it with these friends of yours and they get around to asking you what you’d name their baby. Being the jokester that you are, you neglect the flattery of the moment, opting instead to giggle and say, “Rufus.” You laugh, and they laugh, and everyone’s having fun, at which point you all take another hit off the bong (joking…don’t do that, kids…especially when you’re pregnant, bad idea) and go back to enjoying your evening.
Anyway, a couple days later, after you’ve all had a chance to recover, your two friends sit you down once again and say, “Alex, we have some good news.”
And you’re like, “Fantastic, I love good news.”
And then they look you square in the eye and say, “We’re naming our baby Rufus, just like you said.”
At first you laugh, but then you realize they’re serious and you can’t believe what you’re hearing. You’re filled with disbelief and delight all at once. What an amazing accomplishment. You’ve just named this baby! Your friends’ baby, no less. So you hug them, you thank them, and then you hope to God that this poor child turns out okay and doesn’t get his ass kicked all throughout his formative years for having a name as ridiculous as Rufus, a name you gave him, no less.
Many years later, young Rufus has matured. He has come to fruition, has your godson. And wouldn’t you know it, he’s an absolute superstar. Quarterback of the football team, all-state bowler, member of the math club, plays a mean piccolo, valedictorian…you know, typical stuff. Amidst all the hubbub, there you are, proud godfather that you are, having named this freak of a human being and witnessed his development, witnessed his path to glory. In this snapshot of your very existence, this microcosm of your mortality, you, friend, have found your Shangri-La.
All of which leads me to the Ryan Divish Story.
This Emmy-award winning (in my own mind) piece of journalistic excellence was composed by my dear friend Lindsey Thiry, who many of you may remember as the Mariners’ original Rally Fry girl. These days, Lindsey is the sports reporter at KFBB in the bustling metropolis of Great Falls, Montana. A few weeks back, whilst looking for a story, she stumbled upon my other dear friend, Ryan Divish, and wouldn’t you know it, they made a baby.
(Not really. But kind of.)
Lindsey decided to do a True Hollywood-esque profile on Divish. To say it was magnificent would be an understatement. Not only did this glorious biopic exceed all expectations, Lindsey was operating under remarkable pressure in putting this piece together. Forced to make lemonade out of a lemon, she also had the ENTIRE sports media contingent in the Greater Seattle area anxiously awaiting the end result of her efforts. And when it was all said and done, we came, we watched, and we marveled at the Spielberg-like transformation of this stocky, big-domed, half-Asian man into a larger-than-life, puka-shell-wearing demigod.
And before this thing went live, Lindsey asked what she should name this baby. And I, half-jokingly, suggested From Havre to Heaven. The rest is history.
Ultimate pride. Ultimate. Pride.
Filed under: Other Sports
Because this was the steroid era of American sitcoms.
11. Zack Morris, Saved By The Bell
Zack Morris wasn’t the greatest athlete in the world, but he had his moments. As a freshman, he placed third at a cross country meet, then later starred on the track team in the mile, earning himself the nickname “Running Zack” in the process. In later years, Morris would injure himself as a member of the school’s basketball team, propose the construction of a domed stadium for his teammates on the baseball squad, lead a group of misfits to victory in a week-long set of physical challenges sponsored by the U.S. Army, prove to be a talented beach volleyball player, and even organize a charity wheelchair basketball game for a paraplegic girl he wanted to sleep with.
10. Stephanie Tanner, Full House
Not often remembered for her athletic prowess, Tanner was a dominating right-handed pitcher for her Little League baseball team, the Giants. Armed with a wicked out pitch dubbed the “Tanner Twister,” Tanner faced a critical dilemma during one contest when her opponent-slash-boyfriend, Brett, asked her to serve one up and essentially throw the game. After conferring on the mound with her sister, D.J., Tanner whiffed her love interest for the final out of the ballgame.
9. Sam Malone, Cheers
A former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Malone was the owner and lead bartender at a popular Boston watering hole by the name of Cheers. Though his playing days were behind him by this point in time, Malone was perhaps most recognized for having once relinquished four consecutive home runs to the lowly Seattle Mariners.
8. Telly Radford, Salute Your Shorts
Radford was the star athlete amongst her peers at Camp Anawanna. Excelling in kickball, softball, tennis, basketball and seemingly every other sport ever invented, Radford dominated the competition in two brief years at this summer outpost.
7. Brad Taylor, Home Improvement
A race car fanatic as a child, Taylor spent his later years running up and down the pitch as a star high school soccer player. As his prep days were nearing their end, Taylor became a sought-after college recruit, and would even receive an offer to play professionally for England’s Birmingham Chubbs. While his pro career never came to fruition, Taylor earned a college scholarship, carrying on his playing career at the post-secondary level.
6. Julie Connor, Hang Time
A blonde, blue-eyed tomboy with a killer jumper, Connor was a modern-day anomaly as a female playing on an all-boys high school basketball team (this, in spite of Title IX). Academics were apparently not a priority for Connor, as she starred for six seasons as the Deering Tornadoes’ starting shooting guard. Though she faced a number of hurdles as a minority in her sport — sharing a locker room, at times, with her male teammates, for example — Connor persevered and helped blaze a trail for future female athletes in sitcoms.
5. Steve Urkel, Family Matters
A true rags-to-riches story, Urkel made his athletic debut in a high school basketball game for the Vanderbilt Muskrats. The team’s equipment manager at the time, Urkel was pressed into action after all but four members of the squad had either fouled out or were injured. In a dramatic turn of events, the scrappy point guard led the Muskrats to an unprecedented come-from-behind victory that culminated in his being carried off the court on the shoulders of his teammates.
4. Eddie Winslow, Family Matters
A standout hoop sensation and one-time teammate of the aforementioned Urkel, Winslow was a prep superstar on the hardwood. In his early high school years, Winslow was targeted as a future NBA player by, among others, his own father, Carl Winslow. Though his playing career would be cut short by other financial opportunities — namely, a managerial position at hot dog conglomerate Mighty Weenie — Winslow will always be remembered as a high school basketball legend in the city of Chicago.
3. Mark Cooper, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper
A struggling NBA player who became a substitute teacher to make ends meet, Cooper was one of the original sidekicks on Don Nelson’s famed Run-T.M.C. Golden State Warriors squads. Though he couldn’t quite hang with the likes of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin, Cooper was invited back to try out for his former club on at least one occasion. Though his playing career was ultimately cut short, Cooper would continue on in athletics as the boys’ basketball coach at Oakland’s Oakbridge High School.
2. Will Smith, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground was where Will Smith spent most of his days. Though he regularly chilled out, maxed, relaxed, and acted all cool, Smith often could be found shooting some b-ball outside of the school. His life would be flipped — turned upside down — when a couple of guys who were up to no good started making trouble in his neighborhood. Smith got in one little fight and his mom got scared and said, “You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.” Once he made it to Bel-Air, Smith became the focal point of his high school basketball team’s offense. Advanced metrics would later show that he was one of the greatest basketball players at any level in the history of the sport.
1. A.C. Slater, Saved By The Bell
Named All-City in four sports, Albert Clifford Slater was an athletic demigod at Southern California’s Bayside High School. The quarterback and captain of the football team, the captain of the wrestling team, and a solid contributor on both the basketball and baseball teams, Slater found success in every arena he entered. Above all else, Slater was an extraordinarily talented grappler, and was offered a full-ride scholarship to the University of Iowa. He would turn down the Hawkeyes, however, to stay close to home and attend Cal U with his two best friends, Samuel “Screech” Powers and the aforementioned Zack Morris.
Filed under: Top 11
There are a lot of haters out there. Especially on the internet. Haters fester behind screen names and Twitter handles and relative anonymity. Anyone with a warped perspective and an IP address can lob rhetorical grenades in character-controlled settings, on message boards, comment fields, you name it. If it can be hated on, it’s bound to be trashed.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Ignore the haters. Take the high road. Use their words of degradation as fuel, as motivation.
That’s all well and good, but seriously? F**k that. You can say it all you want. Say all the right things. Pretend it’s no big deal. But you know what? If someone was hating on you like that to your face, you’d probably pop ‘em in the jaw. And they’d deserve it, too.
Think about it. How many times have you watched a movie where the protagonist spent much of the story getting picked on, only to have his one shot at vengeful glory go unrequited because he was the bigger man? How did you feel when he walked away from that moment of redemption? I’ll tell you how I felt. I felt cheated. Because I’d watched this guy get bullied throughout the entire freakin’ film and now here he is with a chance to deck his mortal enemy and he’s walking away. WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DUDE?! EQUALIZE HIS ASS! NO ONE WILL BLAME YOU! THIS IS YOUR CHANCE! THIS IS YOUR EFFING CHANCE! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
For those of you who have seen the epic triumph of American cinema that is A Christmas Story, you, like me, were probably thrilled beyond your wildest dreams when Ralphie jumped on Scott Farkas and started beating the hell out of that mofo with absolutely no remorse. What a great, great scene. A bully — a hater, if you will — getting his due from the kid he’d been terrorizing for years. Flippin’ fantastic.
All of this leads me to the Thousand Sun Army.
What is the Thousand Sun Army, you ask? Great question. Allow me to explain.
The Thousand Sun Army is inspired by all the internet haters out there. The Scott Farkases of the world wide web. Cyberbullies, one might say. Or pricks, to the less refined. Fact is, haters need to be vanquished. Not ignored. Not treated as motivation. Vanquished. And not just vanquished lightly, either. Vanquished with the power of a thousand suns. That’s so much sun. Think of a thousand Dan Majerles lined up on the basketball court ready to take you on, one-thousand-to-one. That’s the power of a thousand suns. Kind of. Except I was initially talking about the sun in the sky. But then I wanted to make a Dan Majerle reference because Dan Majerle is hilarious, yet effective. So I made the reference, but now…okay, whatever.
Point is, the power of a thousand suns is not something you want to mess with. Which is why I’m naming my vigilante, outlaw, internet Interpol after a grand’s worth of solstices. You hate on somebody on the internet, you will be crushed. Your user name will be blasted into galactic purgatory and you will suffer a veritable donkey punch to the ego at the hands of my soldiers. We will not tolerate internet insensitivity!
You’re probably asking yourself how we plan on patrolling the entire internet. That’s a good question which we don’t have an answer to just yet. But picture this. Picture Joe Dickhead sitting on his ugly, cheap-ass couch in his tighty whities, smirking as he types up a message of malevolence on his laptop when, lo and behold, in storms the Thousand Sun Army! Cue the horns. Heroes to the rescue!
“Gimme that computer, bitch!” That’s what we plan on saying every time we raid a hater’s lair. It’s not all that catchy, but it’s intimidating and could easily be put on a t-shirt if we needed to make some extra dinero.
“Wh-what’s going on?” Joe Dickhead would stammer. But instead of answering Joe Dickhead, we’d grab his Gateway POS, throw it to the ground, slam it shut, and start stomping on it with tremendous ferocity.
Meanwhile, another soldier would be pouring ice down Joe Dickhead’s shorts, while yet another soldier still would be spraying silly string around the room.
A skunk would be released in the vicinity of Joe Dickhead’s bedroom, as a shaving cream pie was whipped up nearby.
A bucket of green Nickelodeon Gak would be dumped from the ceiling onto Joe Dickhead’s unsuspecting portliness, as feathers blasted onto the limey, oozy mess.
In the corner, another soldier would be rigging the sound system to play William Hung tunes on an endless loop at maximum volume. She Bangs, She Bangs would then infiltrate the space.
Now fully prepared, the shaving cream pie would be thrust into the Gak-and-feather-covered grill of Joe Dickhead. Our recorder, the soldier responsible for filming all our vanquishments, would capture the last seconds of this disgrace as we made our exit.
Standing in the middle of a room covered in all sorts of weird-ass sh*t, with weird-ass music playing in the background, and a skunk creeping around the house spraying all sorts of weird-ass aromas in every corner, Joe Dickhead would be a caustic combination of pissed, flummoxed, embarrassed, and humbled. The only thought crossing his mind right then and there: What the f**k just happened?
“Don’t be a hater, bitch,” we’d shout on the way out. “And for the record, this sh*t’s going on YouTube. Hate on that. Peace!”
That’s the Thousand Sun Army. Think before you hate. Beware.
Filed under: Other Sports
If you could hire a mildly-successful-but-currently-washed-up band to play your wedding at an affordable rate, would you do it? I would, and I’d hire Hanson. Then, I’d make them cover Bruce Hornsby all night.
“Look, bro. We don’t even know Bruce Hornsby. How are we supposed to cover him?”
“Don’t ask questions! This is my wedding! I’m paying you $20 an hour to be here! You’ll play what I tell you to play!”
I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t you just hire Bruce Hornsby? Well, for one thing, I’d wager he’s more expensive for events like this. We’re working on a budget here.
Plus, there’s the whole appeal factor. Hornsby’s not nearly as recognizable or exciting as Hanson. He just isn’t. Hanson could walk into a room and everyone would be like, “Holy crap! How does this guy know Hanson?” Whereas with Hornsby, the only people who’d be impressed would be churchgoers over age 50. That’s not a knock on the guy. I still like his music. But I’m weird. And I get that. So it’d have to be Hanson.
Speaking of musical groups past their prime, I’ve gotten around to thinking that if you’re trying to get laid and you can’t find the right line to make the magic happen, quote 98 Degrees. Just do it. It’s worth a shot. If nothing else, it’ll make the person you’re with nostalgic. Don’t underestimate the power of nostalgia. I sometimes wear Polo Sport simply because of the nostalgia factor. “Oh my God! He smells like my first kiss back in middle school!” Hell yeah, girl.
98 Degrees lyrics are potent. I’m talking Travis Henry potent. It’s almost unfair how potent they are when compared to other boy band lyrics. Check this real quick. With minimal effort, here’s what I can do with My Everything:
“Look baby, I know we’ve been seeing each other for a while, and I just want to tell you that my life is yours alone. I’ve been in relationships before and all, but yours is truly the only love I’ve ever known. And I just want you to know that when I’m down, when I’m just not feeling it, your spirit pulls me through. When nothing else will do. Really, I guess what I’m trying to say, is…you’re my everything.”
Don’t thank me. Thank Nick and Drew Lachey and those two other guys. They’re the real heroes here.
Off the top of my head, here are three of the coolest movie scenes in the history of the world:
1. The scene in Back to the Future II when the second version of Marty from the future realizes he must drop sandbags on Biff’s gang to prevent these dudes from harming the first version of Marty from the future, who is at that moment playing Johnny B. Goode on stage at the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance following the all-important kiss between his future parents, George McFly and Lorraine Baines. This epiphany by Second Version of Marty not only saves the life of First Version of Marty, it preserves temporal sanctity for the entire effing universe. Epic.
2. The penultimate scene of Love & Basketball. If you’ve seen the movie, you know it by heart. It’s the uber-climactic ending to a sports fanatic’s love story. Everything works to perfection. The hoop action, the slow motion game-winner, the line (“Hey…double or nothin’.”), the reaction, the tears, the embrace. If you can watch that scene and not feel something, you’re not human. It’s that freakin’ good.
3. The Power Line concert scene from A Goofy Movie. Here’s a visual. Because I love you guys. Now go do The Perfect Cast.
Filed under: Other Sports
Two years ago, I wrote up a comprehensive preview on 950 KJR’s (Bigger) Dance. It was in-depth, wordy, and fairly popular for how long and drawn out it was. I broke down every matchup in extreme detail, showcasing my knowledge of attractive women and doing my very best to help my readers to victory in everyone’s favorite office pool. Overall, I give it a D-minus. Certainly not my best work, though the photos were worthwhile.
This year, I figured I’d take another crack at it. But in fewer words and with some help. Try to bump the level of quality up to a more satisfactory range.
A firm believer in the power of the opposite sex in this annual celebration of the feminine figure, I enlisted the help of three females in previewing this year’s field. Special thanks go out to Kalisa Beyer, Charmin Flojo, and Zareen Rahman for helping me put this thing together. In addition to their commentary throughout, take a look at their respective Final Fours and champions at the end of the article.
Without further ado, on to the preview…
Region 1: Cranberry
Eva Mendes vs. Dianna Agron
Rule No. 1 in the (Bigger) Dance: If the masses don’t recognize a name, they won’t vote for the girl. Hence, while Dianna Agron is a fairly attractive newcomer from Glee, she stands little chance against a vet like Eva Mendes. Winner: Mendes.
Cameron Diaz vs. Keeley Hazell
Shawn Kemp has Cameron Diaz winning it all in his bracket. I hate to break it to you, Reign Man, but Diaz has no chance of going the distance and little chance of thwarting Keeley Hazell Who is brought to you today by the number 32 and the letter F. Kind of like Sesame Street. But not really. Winner: Hazell.
Katy Perry vs. Amy Adams
Katy Perry is “huge right now” has “really got it all going for her,” according to one of our expert insiders. This same insider (Zareen) has Perry going all the way. Another insider (Charmin) says Perry is “absolutely gorgeous” and “has a nice, natural rack.” Nice, natural racks are my FAVORITE racks! Winner: Perry.
Scarlett Johansson vs. Sandra Bullock
The battle of women who have fellated Ryan Reynolds (he’s come a long way since Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place…good for him) ends with Bullock’s opening-round exit. Winner: Johansson.
Megan Fox vs. Anna Faris
It’s hard to pick against a University of Washington alum like Anna Faris, but this is Megan Fox we’re talking about here. The Mrs. Brian Austin Green. Winner: Fox.
Elin Nordegren vs. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde is pretty hot, but Elin Nordegren has the whole sympathy thing working in her favor, plus she’s an available woman these days. In addition, Nordegren has that veteran savvy you can’t coach in a tournament like this. Winner: Nordegren.
Anne Hathaway vs. Emma Stone
Anne Hathaway’s star is fading, but luckily for her, no one knows who Emma Stone (Superbad) is. Should be a cake walk for Hathaway. Winner: Hathaway.
Rihanna vs. Tiger’s Girlfriend
Let’s not waste any page space. Winner: Rihanna.
Region 2: Black Cherry (heh…but seriously, folks)
Beyonce Knowles vs. Lea Michele
Lea Michele is smokin’ hot. But then again, so is Beyonce. Plus, Beyonce has that all-important name recognition. Winner: Beyonce.
Chelsea Handler vs. Bar Refaeli
Does anyone else think Chelsea Handler looks like a fifty-year-old trying her hardest to look thirty? Because I do. That said, she’s funny. But this isn’t Last Comic Standing, so… Winner: Refaeli.
Miley Cyrus vs. Kim Kardashian
Jennifer Lopez vs. Halle Berry
How can you pick against either one of these cagey veterans? Our insiders are decidedly split on this matchup, and I’ll admit I’ve gone back and forth on my decision. In the end, though, everyone wants to see an instant Ass Classic in the second round between J-Lo and Kardashian. That’s enough to sway me. Winner: Lopez.
Kaley Cuoco vs. Minka Kelly
Two lesser-known entities in The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco taking on Mrs. Derek Jeter, Minka Kelly. Kelly’s appeal from her Friday Night Lights days should be more than enough to help her overtake her competition. Winner: Kelly.
Kourtney Kardashian vs. Olivia Munn
It’s kind of amazing that the only married Kardashian sister (Khloe) didn’t even make the field. I mean, yeah, she does look like Chyna and all. But at least she’ll be spared from a first-round exit. Unlike Kourtney. Winner: Munn.
Blake Lively vs. Keri Hilson
It’s a shock that Keri Hilson even made the field. If there was a First Four, Hilson would be a part of that. This should be an absolute massacre. Winner: Lively.
Taylor Swift vs. Selena Gomez
First of all, Selena Gomez is like 15 years old and dating Justin Bieber. Instant fail. Taylor Swift, on the other hand, has the female population in her back pocket. “You have to go with talent on this one,” points out Zareen. “And therefore, Taylor Swift is clearly the winner.” Done. Winner: Swift.
Region 3: Limeade
Irina Shayk vs. Reese Witherspoon
Irinia Shayk is super sexy. But again…name recognition. Reese Witherspoon might not have the same pizazz that her opponent possesses, but she’s fundamentally sound. Winner: Witherspoon.
Jessica Alba vs. Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson? Really? I didn’t know we were allowing Division II entrants in this field. Winner: Alba.
Jessica Biel vs. Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic may have the sports background, but Jessica Biel is a perennial favorite. Winner: Biel.
Brooke Burke vs. Eva Longoria
Two of our insiders (Charmin and Zareen) have Eva Longoria reaching the Final Four. Apparently, Skechers Shape-Ups haven’t done for Brooke Burke what they did for Kim Kardashian. Winner: Longoria.
Kendra Wilkinson vs. Sofia Vergara
Hey, Kendra. How’s that marriage to Hank Baskett working out? Winner: Vergara.
Danica Patrick vs. Erin Andrews
If I could have a long-term, committed relationship with any of these 64 women, I would pick Erin Andrews. Without a doubt. Zero questions asked. Winner: Andrews.
Brooklyn Decker vs. Lady Gaga
One, this is Brooklyn Decker’s year. Two, Lady Gaga is rumored to be a hermaphrodite, which in layman’s terms means she is kind of a dude. Winner: Decker.
Britney Spears vs. Malin Akerman
I’m gonna put my money on everyone harboring memories of Britney from a decade ago and do the unthinkable with my pick. Winner: Spears.
Region 4: Blueberry
Lucy Pinder vs. Gwyneth Paltrow
I’m pretty sure Lucy Pinder’s breasts are bigger than Gwyneth Paltrow. All of Gwyneth Paltrow. Winner: Pinder.
Vanessa Hudgens vs. Ashley Greene
There are naked pictures of Vanessa Hudgens floating around the internet. Plus, she dated Zac Efron. And that automatically locks up the female vote. Winner: Hudgens.
Jennifer Aniston vs. Carrie Underwood
An absolute nail-biter that will likely go down to the wire, my heart said Jennifer Aniston, but my head had its doubts. “You can’t really top Jennifer Aniston,” said Zareen. “Plus, there’s the whole ‘feeling bad for her because she’s still single’ factor.” Added Charmin, “Three-quarters of America has probably seen Aniston’s backside already…it looks good.” Good enough for me. Winner: Aniston.
Mila Kunis vs. Charissa Thompson
I don’t even know who Charissa Thompson is. Winner: Kunis.
Arianny Celeste vs. Marissa Miller
I don’t even know who Arianny Celeste is. Winner: Miller.
Kate Middleton vs. Yvonne Strahovski
Kate Middleton has bad teeth. Winner: Strahovski.
Rebecca Haarlow vs. Natalie Portman
Rebecca Haarlow? Really? She’s a homeless man’s Erin Andrews. Winner: Portman.
Amanda Seyfried vs. Jenn Sterger
Jenn Sterger deserves to win simply for having to endure the image of Brett Favre’s shriveled, gray manhood on her phone. Winner: Sterger.
Eva Mendes vs. Keeley Hazell
Where has Eva Mendes been the past few years, anyway? I feel like I haven’t seen her since Hitch. Hazell, meanwhile, was in her own homemade porno. You have to appreciate the entrepreneurship of the amateur film-maker. Winner: Hazell.
Katy Perry vs. Scarlett Johansson
A year ago, we would have had Johansson in a landslide. This year, it’s a different story. By virtue of the W, Katy Perry needs to leave Russell Brand for Ryan Reynolds now. Winner: Perry.
Megan Fox vs. Elin Nordegren
So long as Fox can outlast Nordegren’s rough play, she’s got this in the bag. Winner: Fox.
Anne Hathaway vs. Rihanna
Rihanna is hot right now, but Hathaway is classic cool. She’ll pull the upset here. Winner: Hathaway.
Beyonce Knowles vs. Bar Refaeli
Refaeli has that Butler-esque potential that you just can’t pick against. Winner: Refaeli.
Kim Kardashian vs. Jennifer Lopez
The “Battle of the Butts” as one insider has dubbed it, Kalisa goes on to point out that Lopez’s longevity might give her the upper hand here. I tend to disagree, however. And in case you have any doubts, allow me to show you this again:
Minka Kelly vs. Olivia Munn
I don’t like the Yankees, but I have to respect a winning tradition. Mrs. Derek Jeter moves on. Winner: Kelly.
Blake Lively vs. Taylor Swift
The star of Gossip Girl versus America’s lyrical sweetheart might divide the female voters. Rest assured, however, that the men will recognize that true beauty has a more plentiful chest. Winner: Lively.
Reese Witherspoon vs. Jessica Alba
Witherspoon only made it this far because she played the Duquesne of opponents in the first round. Name recognition got her one victory, but the Cinderella story stops here. Winner: Alba.
Jessica Biel vs. Eva Longoria
Our Bigger Dance historian (Kalisa) highlights this matchup as the must-watch contest of the second round. With two newly-single ladies who have fared historically well in past tournament’s squaring off, she gives the edge to “pint-sized Latin firecracker” Longoria. I tend to think that Tony Parker’s dis on Eva will be just enough to keep her focus off the hardwood and open the door for Biel. Either way, it’ll be close. Winner: Biel.
Sofia Vergara vs. Erin Andrews
Erin Andrews is the only woman who I can’t seem to pick against. Every year I believe in her. Every year she lets me down. And yes, Sofia Vergara has a wonderful bosom. But damn it, I can’t defy my one true love. Winner: Andrews.
Brooklyn Decker vs. Britney Spears
Did I mention this is Decker’s year? Winner: Decker.
Lucy Pinder vs. Vanessa Hudgens
Even Zac Efron would motorboat the hell out of Lucy Pinder. Winner: Pinder.
Jennifer Aniston vs. Mila Kunis
Keep in mind that, while hot, Mila Kunis is still the voice of Meg on Family Guy. Aniston, meanwhile, was Rachel from Friends. Advantage, Rachel. Winner: Aniston.
Marissa Miller vs. Yvonne Strahovski
This may be the blowout of the second round. Notice I said “blowout” and not what you may have accidentally misread. Winner: Miller.
Natalie Portman vs. Jenn Sterger
Pictures of Favre’s dick will only take you so far. Winner: Portman.
THIRD ROUND (Sweet Sixteen)
Keeley Hazell vs. Katy Perry
Now it’s getting serious. For all the love that two of our three insiders have for Perry, I can’t ignore Hazell’s past successes in this tournament, as well as her on-ball ability. Winner: Hazell.
Megan Fox vs. Anne Hathaway
Both these girls need to eat more. They were hotter when they weren’t suffering from Mary-Kate-and-Ashley-Olsenitis. That said, Fox’s star is still just slightly brighter. Winner: Fox.
Bar Refaeli vs. Kim Kardashian
No denying that Refaeli is the favorite here. That said, I really, really like Kim K. Superstar. (And yes, that is indeed a reference to the how-to video Kim made with Ray-J. Every woman needs to watch that film. It’s a tutorial.) Winner: Kardashian.
Minka Kelly vs. Blake Lively
Think of Mrs. Derek Jeter as Derek Jeter and think of Blake Lively as a ground ball to Jeter’s left. Ground balls to Jeter’s left are his natural enemy. Sure, he makes a lot of nice back-handed plays to his right. But have you ever seen him do anything to his left? No. Winner: Lively.
Jessica Alba vs. Jessica Biel
This isn’t even fair. A bout between recent champions in the Sweet Sixteen? Unheard of. I wish I could pick both, but in the infamous words of Softy Mahler, you can only have one. I have to go with my ethnic side and take the more exotic hottie in this one. Winner: Alba.
Erin Andrews vs. Brooklyn Decker
I love you, Erin. Please forgive me. But this is Brooklyn Decker’s year. Winner: Decker.
Lucy Pinder vs. Jennifer Aniston
Lucy Pinder is 27. Jennifer Aniston is 42. Think about that. Pinder’s breasts are fifteen years younger than Aniston’s. (This is the weird sh*t that goes through my mind.) Winner: Pinder.
Marisa Miller vs. Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is cute in that girl-next-door sort of way. If Marisa Miller lived next door to you, however, you’d have to check in with your doctor every four hours. Winner: Miller.
FOURTH ROUND (Elite Eight)
Keeley Hazell vs. Megan Fox
Can I just say it, finally? Megan Fox looks like she’s on all sorts of drugs and the barrage of tattoos have done her no favors. She lost all her curves, too. What a disappointment. Come on, girl. Winner: Hazell.
Kim Kardashian vs. Blake Lively
Look, I’m not gonna lie to you. I am totally and wholeheartedly voting with my dick on this one. Winner: Kardashian.
Jessica Alba vs. Brooklyn Decker
THIS IS BROOKLYN DECKER’S YEAR!!! Winner: Decker.
Lucy Pinder vs. Marisa Miller
Frankly, there isn’t enough room for the upper bodies of both Pinder and Hazell in the Final Four. It’s an occupancy issue, really. Winner: Miller.
FIFTH ROUND (Final Four)
Keeley Hazell vs. Kim Kardashian
This is where experience and coaching really take over. Kardashian has raw talent on the hardwood. We’ve all seen the game tape. No denying her expertise. Hazell has that critical X-Factor however: Size up front. Winner: Hazell.
Brooklyn Decker vs. Marisa Miller
This cannot be understated enough. It is Brooklyn Decker’s year. Winner: Decker.
SIXTH ROUND (Championship)
Keeley Hazell vs. Brooklyn Decker
One more time, in case I haven’t made it clear enough: Brooklyn. Decker’s. Year.
Your 2011 Queen of the Hardwood: Brooklyn Decker.
How our expert insiders picked…
Insider No. 1: Kalisa Beyer
Final Four: Keeley Hazell, Lucy Pinder, Brooklyn Decker, Blake Lively
Queen of the Hardwood: Keeley Hazell
Insider No. 2: Charmin Flojo
Final Four: Megan Fox, Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria, Mila Kunis
Queen of the Hardwood: Kim Kardashian
Insider No. 3: Zareen Rahman
Final Four: Katy Perry, Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Aniston
Queen of the Hardwood: Katy Perry
Filed under: Other Sports
I was five years old when I lost my first tooth. My dad was hitting me ground balls on a bumpy, dirt playfield up the street from our house when it happened. My brother was there. He was two, toddling the foul line. We played here all the time. We would continue playing on this worn earth — with its bad hops and quick skips and potholes for bases — until we were in high school. We outgrew the surface. We kept coming back anyway.
We liked it here. It was our sanctuary, our space to roam. No one bothered us, no one got in the way. We were free to hit, to field, to throw. And from an early age we spent our weekends doing just that.
We’d play in the heat, in the rain, in the cold, during the day, until the sun went down on dusky, mosquito-filled summer evenings. We’d wade through sticker bushes to track down overthrows and foul balls. We’d walk away with scrapes and cuts from foolishly diving on the gravelly turf. My dad threw batting practice. We took turns hitting, my brother and I. We had one fielder to track down as many base hits as he could. Once all the balls were used up, we walked the outfield and rounded up our collection, then began hitting anew.
There was nothing we couldn’t do here. We were the best baseball players in the world in our own minds. No one judged us, no one critiqued us. We just played.
But on this day, there were tears.
I didn’t know what happened. One moment the ball was headed straight for my glove. A glove with George Brett’s name on the palm, no less. A second later I looked down and there was blood everywhere, a tooth in my hand, and a ball that had rolled off to no-man’s land after connecting squarely with my mouth.
My dad did his best Flash Gordon impression and was by my side before my eyes had welled with saline. I dropped a tear or two, then we celebrated. It was a big moment. The first sign of youthful maturation.
Everyone remembers losing their first tooth. Most people aren’t fortunate enough to lose it at the expense of their favorite thing in the world.
My grandma has this cane. It’s really just a baseball bat with a rubber stopper on the end and a curved handle emerging from the top of the barrel. My uncle made it for her about a decade ago.
The bat itself is a Little League-sized Louisville Slugger, thirty inches in length. Glittery letters spelling out “GO MARINERS” adorn one side of the ash canvas. The opposing facade is branded with the synthetic engraving of Alex Rodriguez’s signature. I know. Terrible, right? It’s the bat’s only flaw.
The cane, however functional it may be, is a testament to sports fanaticism. My grandma used to take it with her every time we went to a game. She doesn’t go to games too often anymore. But the cane still sits there in her living room. It gets picked up and swung every time my brother and I find ourselves in its presence.
My grandma watches every Mariners game on a 42-inch television set. Interestingly enough, my other grandma, my maternal grandma, does the exact same thing. They have matching TVs. And likewise, they’re two of the biggest Mariner fans I know. When they dial each other up, the conversation turns to baseball. When they talk with the family, the conversation does the same. They know the team inside and out. Michael Saunders won’t misplay a ball without them finding out. If the M’s lose, accountability lies with my grandmothers. Letting them down would be a mistake.
Every true blue Mariners fan wants to see this team win a World Series title. I just want it to happen in my grandmas’ lifetimes. Is that too much to ask?
I was 10 years old in 1995. When Edgar hit The Double and Junior slid safely into home, I remember jumping. Just jumping. For ten minutes, maybe fifteen. I had a “Refuse To Lose” sign in my hand. Everyone was standing, screaming, crying. And I was jumping.
Our seats were in the nether reaches of the 300 level, first base side, directly across from DiamondVision (aka the Big Screen), orange bleachers. It was pandemonium. Everyone was taller than me. Jumping was necessary to see anything.
I still get goosebumps when I hear the call. After Dave Niehaus passed, the goosebumps bonded with misty eyes. The two reactions go hand-in-hand now. It won’t ever change.
If I could go back, I’d still be jumping. There was nothing else I would have rather been doing at that moment in time.
My parents made me take pitching lessons when I was sixteen. I wasn’t really interested in lessons, but they thought it would be good for me.
So I went to Stod’s, a converted grocery store in Bellevue’s Newport Hills neighborhood. Every kid who grew up playing baseball on the Eastside knows about Stod’s. The place still exists today. It’s owned by former Mariner pitcher Bob Stoddard, hence the name “Stod’s”.
The venue is far from sexy. It’s as simple a facility as you could find for baseball. The interior still looks like a 1980s Albertson’s. Same with the exterior. Instead of aisles of canned goods, you have pitching machines and makeshift batter’s boxes. The setup is crudely quaint.
Every week over the course of one winter, I trekked down the block from my grandma’s house (she lived nearby) and went to throw with Stod. He’d catch me most days. Why hire a catcher when your most affordable backstop also runs the joint?
The bullpen was constructed in what appeared to be a former loading area. A radar gun sat halfway between the pitcher’s mound and home plate, right about where sacks of potatoes once laid, I imagine. On good days, I’d hit the upper-eighties with my fastball. On bad days, I’d still hit the upper-eighties, I’d just hit Stod in the knee or the shin once or twice, too. I threw pretty hard in spite of my size, but had little control. And when I tried to maintain control, I didn’t throw all that hard. Rock, meet hard place.
I rarely pitched for my high school team. Occasionally, I’d do it in the summer or fall leagues I played in. Pitching lessons were a way to stay busy when nothing else was going on.
I’ll never forget what Stod told me one day after our weekly throwing session. I walked off the mound. He rose out of his crouch. We met halfway between the slab and the dish, the splitter’s diving point.
“Ya know,” he began, “when you first walked in here, I thought you kinda sucked. But after all these weeks of pitching, you’re not bad. You definitely have some talent. You don’t suck.”
I smiled. He was serious. I still smiled.
When I was little, I wanted to play baseball every single day. One time, my grandma (my maternal grandma) was watching me when I had the urge to taking some batting practice. I was maybe six or seven or at the time. I talked her into going into the yard and pitching to me.
She underhanded the ball with impressive accuracy. I made solid contact a few times before lining a shot off my grandma, herself.
She was okay. Bruised for weeks, but okay.
I was a senior in high school when my coach told me I’d be making my first ever start on the mound for the Bellevue Wolverines. I was a third baseman by this time. Pitching was something I did on my traveling teams. This was foreign to me.
We were slated to face the juggernaut that was the Newport Knights. Their lineup featured six or seven guys that would play at the next level. I got the honor of serving up their breakfast because my coach didn’t see the value of wasting one of our aces on a squad that could bomb on anybody.
I walked into the game with confidence. By the second inning, I walked out of the game shelled.
A gangly freshman came into relieve me. He had just been called up from the jay-vee squad a few days prior. He was a talented kid. By the time he was a senior, he’d earn First Team All-State honors, then go on to play briefly for the University of Washington. He was also my brother.
Relieved by your kid brother. Well…yep.
Tim Lincecum pitched for one of our conference rivals, the Liberty Patriots. I faced him three times during the high school season. He struck me out three times.
The third time I faced him, we had a runner on first, nobody out, and I got the bunt sign. I was a damn good bunter, which in turn meant I wasn’t the world’s greatest hitter. I never failed to get a bunt down, though. It was my niche.
Lincecum and I were both seniors that year. He knew enough about me and enough about the situation to know that I’d be bunting. His fastball hummed in the low-nineties. At this stage in his fledgling career, he didn’t really need another pitch all that badly. With his awkward motion and penchant for hiding the ball, that deceptive delivery seemingly added an extra five-to-ten miles per hour to his four-seamer.
I squared to bunt expecting a fastball. Curveball. Devastating. Fell off the table. I offered at it anyway. Missed. Strike one.
F**k, I thought. Who the hell throws a curveball to a slap hitter in a bunt situation? I bet he wouldn’t do it again.
I squared to bunt again. Another curveball. I offered again. I missed again. Pitch fell off the table again. Like trying to capture a firefly.
F**k! Two strikes. The bunt sign was off. He had me off-balance with back-to-back hammer curves. He’d come at me with heat here. Probably bring it up and in. Waste a pitch. Back me off a bit to set up another curve.
I dug in looking fastball. Lincecum delivered. Pitch was right down broadway. I took a monster hack. Pitch fell off the table. Curve. Dropped like an elevator.
Three straight curveballs. I walked back to the dugout shaking my head. What a dick.
Filed under: Other Sports
In case you’re totally lacking for things to do, please feel free to click here and watch this brief informational video of KUBE 93′s Eddie Francis, esteemed Q13 Fox sports anchor Aaron Levine, and some other guy talking about sports.
You may notice that the other guy wore his clean pair of grey Chuck Taylors as opposed to the dirty pair that he usually wears…that was a conscious move. And yes, it is possible to have dress Chucks and casual Chucks…
Don’t judge me.
Filed under: Other Sports
I have a plan. Next year, I will fill out two brackets. This goes against everything I stand for. I usually only fill out one bracket. I don’t have the time or the desire to select the winners of 64 NCAA Tournament games more than once. One bracket entered into multiple pools. That’s how it works for me. Which is why this is so unprecedented.
My plan has a lasting impact, however. I really feel like it could be a game-changer. Two brackets: one filled out while sober, one filled out while absolutely hammered. I’m not talking buzzed or tipsy. Hammered. The kind of drunk you get when you start grabbing body parts and making ridiculously bad jokes. That kind of drunk.
Not only that, I want to gather all my friends, hunker down in a residence for the evening, then debate our drunken selections while we make our picks. We will film the event so that we can remember it all and have recorded evidence of the justification behind every single pick we make. Why Morehead State? Because in our current state, we’d enjoy more head. Stupid stuff like that.
Now I know what you’re thinking. This could be really bad. The video evidence, especially, could be absolutely incriminating. But really, how else are we supposed to have a winning bracket unless we throw all our inhibitions out the window and just wing it? That’s how it’s done, right? Taking educated stabs at logical predictions never, ever works out. You have to be a little crazy to win a major bracket pool. Or in our case, a little tanked. It makes sense. Just wait. One year from now, you’ll see.
The Ugly Cry is played out
Standard operating procedure for powerhouse teams losing in this year’s tournament is to cry. And not just cry, but absolutely bawl like little children in front of millions of viewers before the game has even come to an end. We’ve already seen it happen with Duke and Kansas, to name two, and frankly I don’t get it.
Look, I’m not gonna lie to you. I’ve cried in my day. I don’t make a point of it. It’s not something I try to do. But sometimes you can’t always fight the tears. That said, when I do cry, I do my very best to not cry ugly. It’s just like smiling in a photo or trying not to look overly giddy when a girl you’re into says yes, she’ll go out with you. It takes a little bit of effort, but the results are worth it. Looking your best in even the worst situations takes a combination of practice and skill. That’s something that elite college athletes should have a level of familiarity with. But alas, when it comes to crying, they possess none of that.
Watching Duke’s Nolan Smith quiver, pout, scrunch his face up, then open the floodgates is more laughable than lamentable. Even though most of us can empathize with the loss, it’s hard to feel bad for someone who looks that goofy when they sob. And it’s not like Smith is the only one. There are plenty of others out there.
I understand the desire to win. I understand the sadness surrounding the end of your college career. But save it for the locker room. Save it for the plane ride home. Save it for a private place where you can weep as openly and as gruesomely as you’d like. You’re a top-tier college basketball player. Girls want to attach themselves to your genitals. Guys want to be you. There’s a good chance you will make a lot of money one day based solely on the fact that people know who you are. No one feels sorry for you right now. And you’re embarrassing yourself on national television.
Look, you made the NCAA Tournament. That’s a hell of an achievement. But you know what? As soon as you entered this tournament, you stood a 63-in-64 chance of being disappointed. There was a 1.5625-percent chance that you would not be disappointed. So the odds were definitely not in your favor. You could have prepared for this ugly cry long ago. And you did not. That’s your bad. Grow a pair.
The entire Commonwealth of Virginia is celebrating
Suck it, Tony Bennett. You’re the coach of the worst basketball program in the state of Virginia. Or should I say, the Commonwealth of Virginia.
VCU is absolutely destroying people. They are the S.A.R.S. of college basketball right now. We don’t really know what they are. We don’t really know how they came to be this powerful. We don’t really know how to stop them. We don’t really have a cure for this madness. All we know is that they are destructive as sh*t and taking out everyone and everything in their path. I wouldn’t fault Butler for wearing S.A.R.S. masks during the Final Four. Probably a wise decision.
And what’s up with their coach? Shaka Smart. This man has a porn star name and yet he’s as good as they come. He’s thirty-three years of age, too. Jeebus. This only gives me seven years to make something of myself. That’s a lot of pressure. How many American males out there feel inferior today because of the successes of Shaka Smart? Millions. And rightfully so. Smart is like Brad Stevens for the common man. And if you’re wondering why Stevens isn’t the Brad Stevens for the common man, it’s because of the glasses. Sure, lots of us (myself included) have vision deficiencies. But by wearing the glasses, you’re declaring yourself to be better than the common man. That’s Brad Stevens. He’s too good for us. Which is why Shaka Smart wins.
My advice to Smart is this: don’t leave VCU for at least one more year. Coaches always make the mistake of taking the bait after their first one-night stand with success. It’s like telling someone you love them after one date. You just don’t do that. Even if you’re feeling that way, you don’t do it. And that’s why Smart needs to stick around the Commonwealth for a little longer. The jobs he’ll be offered this offseason will pay more and have more recruiting potential, but ultimately they’ll suck. They’ll be the bottom of the barrel in major conferences. The DePauls of the world, the Mississippi States. Ugh. Take a lesson from Dan Monson and don’t bail on your team for a little while. It’s not worth it.
Speaking of VCU…
This is VCU’s point guard Joey Rodriguez:
This is my friend, Jan:
As you can see, they are the same person.
Filed under: Other Sports