Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oh how the tradewinds blow

Post #47 Topic: NHL Trade Deadline

I’m kind of surprised that I’ve been doing “this” for this long. I guess that speaks volumes as to law schools failure to “consume” me, as so many of my peers had promised me was beyond inevitable. Or perhaps my incessant meaningless hammering at my keyboard can be attributed to my adoration for the written word. Then again, its probably just that I have strong opinions, am steadfast in sticking to them and feel that it is my duty to inform the world of the rights, and protect said world from its oh so many wrongs.

Either way, this is my 47th post and all I have to show for it is a missing “F” key and an extra-sensitive “K” key. Extra-sensitive? Yes indeed. With most keys, seeing a letter appear on your monitor requires at least a little physical pressure. But not with my “K” key. My “K” key has feelings; and a whole lot of them. That gosh darn key is so sensitive that I can add a K to any document simply by brushing my finger over it. Sure its not as sensitive as the new Mac’s which require being “thought” on, but imagine my professor’s shagrin when they see the following: “In International Shoe kkk the plaintiff feared that the kkk defendant would enter a motion for a kkk summary judgment”. Needless to say racism has no place in law school; rather, it is solely reserved for schools of Public Policy (Maxwell throw ya hands up k).

The reason that I’m so thrilled that I’ve lasted so long in an overly-saturated game with millions of illiterate high schoolers trying to become the next Bill Simmons or Rick Reilly is that by lasting, I have allowed myself a chance to analyze and critique the NHL trade deadline, which I consider to be one of the most exciting days in sports, bar only the coup de final in the yearly steroid competition – Le Tour De France.

Unfortunately for my dedicated readership, there were far too many moves for me to cover all of them. SO… the following are some of the better, worse and more surprising deals from yesterday’s (2/26) deadline.

Tampa Bay trades Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist to the Stars for Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern

Tampa: Tampa accomplished several of their most important objectives of this deadline. As of now it appears that Tampa will not make the playoffs, meaning the rest of the season can be used to determine whether Mike Smith can be a #1 goaltender, which Tampa has been lacking since the Bulin Wall left post cup run.

Prior to the trade, Tampa was very strong up front; Lecavalier, Richards, St. Louis…But after those three the only threat was Vaclav Prospal (who is now also gone). With this trade Tampa has addressed a serious need… cheap depth. Jeff Halpern is well traveled, but his value has never been disputed. From Washington to Dallas, Halpern is a career 40 point guy who backchecks and has leadership qualities… a nice fit for any rebuilding team’s 3rd line. In Jussi Jokinen, Tampa adds a 24 year old shoot out specialist who is on pace to reach 50 points for the 3rd time in his young career… Jokinen will fill the 2nd line RW spot nicely.

Dallas: Dallas gets what Dallas needs, a marquis player who can take the weight off of Mike Modano. With Modano likely leaning towards retirement, Richards becomes the young face of an otherwise aging franchise. His 2-way play, 90 point potential and Conn Smythe trophy past will serve Dallas nicely in their attempts to compete with the pride of the conference: Detroit and Anaheim.

Washington trades a bag of coffee beans (in the shape of a freshman defenseman at Notre Dame, a non-hockey powerhouse school) for Sergei Fedorov.

Washington: I am almost at the point where I take back what I said earlier in the year about Sidney Crosby. Sure he is the Most valuable player in the league. But if the question is who is most dominant, the answer is undoubtedly Alexander Ovechkin. Ovechkin has turned into a 1 man wrecking crew with the potential to score 60 goals before he even turns 21 – impressive. Ovechkin is surrounded by great players too; Mike Green, Alex Semin, Niklas Backstrom and now… Cristobal Huet (the #1 goalie Wash. needed to replace fan favorite but aging Olaf Kolzig). Only problem is that none of these guys have playoff experience. None know how to grind out wins in game 7’s. None know the intensity that is, although now a cliché, required to win a cup championship. In comes Sergei Fedorov. Sure Sergei can’t pocket ‘em like he used to, but he can still skate. Sergei should do wonders to educate fellow countrymen (the two Alex’s) on the recipe for playoff success. Fedorov is also solid defensively and can be used as a shutdown shadower on some of the other Eastern Conference big boys… Fedorov at this price can only be considered a phenomenal deal, and one that immediately propels the Caps to the position of Southeast Division favorites. Plus, with the attention in Washington being on the young nucleus, Fedorov gets one more chance to rejuvenate his career.

Buffalo trades Brian Campbell to the Sharks for Steve Bernier and a 1st rounder

Buffalo: I say Buffalo wins this one. In a market full of NTC’s (no trade clauses) and only 2nd tier defenseman being available, Campbell may in fact appear as the #1 PP QB that teams drool over. But don’t be fooled. Here is a guy that can put up the points, but can not avoid the repetitive defensive lapses. While he might help the San Jose blue-line, Campbell emerged out of nowhere as a powerhouse last year, and as so many have before him, he may in fact be poised to recede into obscurity on what happens to be a stacked San Jose team. Take into consideration that there was NO WAY that Buffalo would resign Campbell and you see how Darcy Regier (Buffalo GM) was acting in his team’s best interest.

While I don’t know much about Bernier, all reports from the West say approximately the same thing – that Bernier is a young power forward, defensively responsible with 35 goal potential and 1st line written all over him. Bernier will look great on a line with Thomas Vanek and Tim Connolly, and if the Sabres can get their finances together, this line has the chance to truly grow together.

Also, scouts say this is one of the deepest drafts ever (although it seems as if this analysis is levied every year). A 1st rounder in a deep draft is nearly invaluable, especially with the Shark’s current record slating Buffalo for a 16th-18th pick courtesy of the cartilage monsters.

Colorado trades a 1st rounder and a conditional pick for Adam Foote.

Colorado: Foote’s prior success in Colorado can’t be ignored, and with the recent addition of Foppa (Forsberg), this team looks like the one that took the cup in ’01. Only problem is that ’01 was nearly a decade ago and other than the additions of Peter Stastny and Wojtek Wolski, the parts have aged accordingly. With an inconsistent netminder (Theodore/Budaj), the Avs aren’t even promised to make the playoffs (currently they sit outside the frame). Mortgaging your future for a cup run is one thing. Doing so (again in a deep draft) just to make the playoffs is another, far less wise one.

Rangers trade Al Montoya and Marcel Hossa for Fred Sjostrom, Josh Gratton and David Lenevue:

Pheonix: Not quite sure to be honest. Hossa is a grinder but Sjostrom is a younger, faster, more offensively inclined version… not sure how this works out. Al Montoya has potential to be a #1 goalie and its sad that the Rangers gave him up for a lot less than his original worth, but the truth is that the Rangers have king Henrik in net for the next 6 years, making Al expendable. Strangely, Phoenix has their own #1 Ilya Bryzgalov who appears to have the starting position on lock.

Rangers: Lenevue is a favorite of Rangers’ goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, and according to pro scouts, can be groomed to be a solid backup netminder. With Henrik in the crease, Leneveu will see limited action in the future, a role perfect for his recent inconsistencies. Sjostrom will for now assume Hossa’s spot on the 4th line. Gratton will be fighting in Hartford (see previous post) until his contract expires.

Detroit trades a 2nd and a 4th for Brad Stuart

Detroit: Detroit just got a lot deeper. Brad Stuart has never amounted to the star he was expected to be when he started in San Jose, but he’s solid. Although he’s a glaring minus this year, he plays on one of the league’s worst teams. That -16 should turn around quickly in Detroit where he will not be forced to face opposing team’s top lines (hello Mr. Lidstrom). Throw in his 21 pts and his 21 minutes per night and Detroit looks a lot stronger in a fiercely competitive West.

Pittsburgh trades Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito and a 1st to Atlanta for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis

Pittsburgh: This trade is curious. Hossa serves as a SEVERE upgrade on Crosby’s left wing over Colby Armstrong, who was struggling to find the net despite being paired with the game’s most creative setup man. Pascal Dupuis is not as rough as Christensen but is quicker, has a better nose for the net and is GREAT on the PK – two significant upgrades. Seems like Pittsburgh won this, but depending on Hossa’s off-season decision and Esposito’s progress in juniors… this could easily tilt in favor of Atlanta.

Here though, lies the real problem. Sidney reupped for 10 a year. With Malkin leading the league in scoring in Sid’s absence, his RFA status this coming summer will command him a similar pay-day. Jordan Staal will also require a new contract, and despite his sophomore slump, there is no doubt that the enormous potential is there. Throw in rookie D-man Kris Letang (future Norris trophy candidate) and M.A. Fleury, and questions arise as to whether the Pens have enough to make a competitive offer to Hossa this summer when he becomes a UFA? Seems as if the answer is no, in which case, the last-ditch attempt at this year’s cup may in fact come back to haunt these suddenly relevant Pens.

Atlanta: Hossa was not going to re-sign – so good riddance. Besides this is Ilya Kovalchuk’s team – beyond any reasonable doubt. In return they receive 2 scrappy players who can look out for Kovalchuk when Holik retires (hopefully sooner rather than later for Atlanta). These two will fill valuable 3rd line roles on a rebuilding team, not the 1st line minutes they were negligently assigned in the Igloo. Given their low price-tag, this was clearly a value-laden trade that enables the Thrashers to be competitive in the approaching off-season.

Esposito is an enigma. Two years ago, prior to his draft, he was considered the most dangerous offensive weapon (behind Rangers’ Alex Cherapanov). Bad attitude and bad numbers have lead to a serious dip in his stock. However, with a little discipline and a little improvement in the work ethic department, Esposito could be the perfect sniper compliment to play on Ilya’s opposite wing. See earlier discussion for 1st rounder value.

So where does this leave us? Well… I’m not sure it leaves us any where other than we already were. Yes the Penguins got stronger in the east, but Marian Hossa has a history (albeit a brief one) of disappearing in the playoffs – case in point, the rangers 4 game sweep of the Thrashers in last year’s first round. The other big team in the east, the Senators, made a minor move adding Martin Lapointe. While Lapointe should address Ottawa’s toughness concern, his impact will be marginal at most. Elsewhere in the East, the Devils remained essentially the same and the flyers picked up Prospal but again, impact TBD.

If anything, the Capitals truly established themselves as a contender in the east, ironically leaving the Canes behind in what became their own trade deadline storm. Montreal… whom many expected to be the forerunners for the other Hossa brother remained quiet, executing only one deal in which they awkwardly traded away their #1 goalie – perhaps their hopes are that Carey Price can be the next Patrick Roy, or Ken Dryden.

As for the good old broadway blueshirts… Things seem ok, and as far as the season has gone, just ok is just fine with me. Despite a wrenching loss to Les Habs last week, the rangers have won 3 out of 4, picking up a total of 7 points over that stretch. According to Glen Sather, rangers’ GM… the Rangers were happy with their position, and felt the need to address only minor issues.

And I’ll take it. Chemistry is important when it comes time for the playoffs. Last year, prior to acquiring Sean Avery (who I increasingly believe the Rangers need to resign), the locker room was a mess. The Avery injection worked wonders in uniting the locker room and propelling the Rangers to what was nearly a historical Cup run. Assuming Renney and Sather know their stuff, the Rangers chemistry is peaking as we speak, and the rags should be ready to roll come the beginning of April.

Other Notes

Not to boast but DAMN I look good in a suit.

The only thing sadder than when your fallback shirt is no longer wearable is when your two fallback shirts both become unwearable at the same time. RIP “So many fish so little time” and “Delt Fall Rush 2003”. May you both rest eternally in our minds next to “I am Tiger Woods”.

If you have a cleaning lady, and she doesn’t clean… is she just a lady? I recommend to Webster’s collegiate dictionary the adoption of “lady of the mop” to describe shitty cleaning people.

Going to a candy store really is fun. However old you are, when you step foot into a house of confectionaries, the rest of the world (and its Fed Tax assignments) seems to disappear. Which got me thinking, wouldn’t it be smart if Dentists sold candy in their offices?

Independence day is an amazing movie. Sure the effects are slightly out of date but seriously, go back and watch it. After all, Will Smith don’t have to cuss to sell records.

Real playas don’t eat pasta. Only fuck with the shrimp and the lobsta – you know who.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hartford - the Harvard of Minor League Hockey

Post #46 Topic: Just a small town girl

Short Post:

Went to Hartford on Saturday night to do what I have been for a very very long time dying to do; See a Hartford Wolfpack game. The wolkfpack are the NY Rangers AHL affiliate. Essentially, Hartford serves as a mini-storage facility for the Rangers’ prospects who have yet to earn their keep at the professional level (although the AHL is considered professional hcokey), or for those fringe prospects who have yet to be packaged as the “extra” in a deadline deal.

But Hartford wasn’t always so low on the hockey chains. In fact, die hard Hartforders will tell you that the Whalers have won a Stanley cup more recently than the New York Ranges themselves. To those dedicated “franchise” fans, it matters not whether the Chalice was lifted above the insurance capital of the North East, or in one of two Carolina’s (the name CAROLINA Hurricanes suggests that the victor was in fact a united Carolinian effort).

So why did I want to go to such an event? Partly because of the history. The Civic Center in Hartford is officially a historical hockey site. Greats from Ron Francis, to Brendan Shanahan to Chris Pronger have graced the Hartford ice. Although the franchise is now defunct, as a relatively young hockey fan its nice to trace my roots back to the origins of what is now one of the most meaningless franchises in all of sports – Stanley Cup or not (see Tampa Bay).

Partly because I had already driven to Hartford to go to the bars. I know, this is a stupid reason to go anywhere (except New Orleans), but I was already there and had a couple hours to kill in between my second viewing of Roxbury (for which I can now officially say every single line) and the commencement of my standard Saturday night activity… commemorating the close of the shabbas. Ironically, I couldn’t even get into the bars. I got rejected for having a fake id. Remember having a fake id, and how embarrassed you were when all your friends fake id’s worked and yours didn’t leaving you in the cold looking like a deer in headlights? Well take that embarrassment and multiply it by 50. Fortunately, the arguing skills of a “to-be” attorney will always trump that of fat, washed-up, tooth-missing bouncer from Hartford… so score one for the good guys, and take one (or 13) away from Hartford’s aggregate beer consumption over the course of that Saturday night.

Partly because the Rangers have a couple of real-good prospects playing down there, guys that could be substantial impact guys within no more than a year. And I wasn’t disappointed. Rangers recent 1st round pick from Finland, Lauri Korpikoski netted two goals (one on an empty net but who’s counting). Russian phenom, Artem Anisimov although going scoreless also demonstrated why the Rangers have labeled him a “can’t miss, future cog in the organizational wheel”.

Partly because the trade deadline is approaching. The Rangers don’t have a lot of roster players that can be moved (for various reasons that you can find on any other (inferior) sports news site). Instead, what the Rangers have is a breadth of prospects that, unlike any point in recent Ranger history, can be utilized almost exclusively in order to bring back the PP QB that the blueshirts are so desperate for (dear god don’t sign Brian Boyle to a 5 year deal…). I wanted to see what was in the deck, and the cards are certainly looking good.

With that said, there’s something refreshing about the Wolfpack and their fans. Imagine an NHL type atmosphere, only slightly more concentrated in a slightly smaller stadium in a slightly less relevant town. You still get the fans with the jerseys with the players names on the back, despite the reality of the AHL being that players come and go often far too fast for any fans comforts. You get the cheesy chants, the heckling of opposing players. You even get the deep-seeded hatred for the cross-town rival (the ‘Pack were battling the Sound Tigers of Bridgeport… The ISLANDERS farm team). You even get the cheesy promotions… my rowmates were fortunate enough to each be offered a $25 dollar gift certificate to Hartford’s finest restaurant… Dominos.

These fans really are dedicated. They get there an hour early to start drinking, and don’t leave until the 1st star of the game has been announced. And for the night, I became a Wolfpack fan. Afterall, I challenge any of to come up with a better way to erase the memory of a stunning 6-5 defeat to the Canadiens after leading 5-0 then celebrate with a team that actually holds leads (they won 5-2).

Having returned, I have to say that minor league hockey is impressive. Other than die-hard fans of professional teams, few people stay current with the AHL’s day to day going-ons. But for 6,000 people in those stands (that’s the reported number but it looked more like 600), the Wolfpack is the bigs, and the Hartford civic center is the world’s most famous arena.

Other Notes

I heard this joke last night but I had to repeat it. “I wear a lot of axe body spray, but I live in the ghetto so technically its called ask body spray.”

Is Hot Rod the new Roxbury??? Stay tuned for details.

What percentage of animals that are called man-eating _____ (such as man eating snake) actually eat men. And if they eat men, how do we know? That’s like the tree falling in the woods argument? Or maybe its like the chicken and the egg… one of the two.

Does febreeze work as breath freshener? I one time called up a spray-cleaner to uncover whether it was safe to make pledges drink it. Surprisingly, the woman on the other line assured me that the stuff was safe to drink (someone’s being mismanaged). Maybe if I squirt a little toothpaste and PLAX into my febreze bottle and mix it up I can get minimize my toiletries.

Cuban girl from thursday night... If you're reading this, oh nevermind.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Post #45 Topic: Wingin’ It!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been “Wang Drunk”. Yes, there is indeed such a thing. It’s a seldom-referenced phenomenon that occurs when an eater ingests a lot of wings in a short period of time. I’m not talking about your standard dozen; I’m talking like 50 wings in 15 minutes – wang drunk. Notice the spelling of wing – W-A-N-G. No this is not some homage to the Ladies Man, rather, it is the appropriate way to spell the adjective that describes the type of drunk you get when you eat too many wings. Why? Because most people who get wang drunk are country bumpkins, and they uniformly pronounce WING as WANG. Intoxicated off of grease and chicken. Barbecue, Honey Mustard, Hot… doesn’t matter. If you haven’t been wang drunk in your life then my friend… you simply have not lived.

When I was a freshman in the Onondaga Valley, I was fortunate enough to be assigned one of these “bumpkins” as my roommate. He was the 1st person I had ever met that did not know what a computer was. I was his VERY 1st JEW! When I got the roommate assignment, I noticed that he was Italian. Call me insensitive but I was expecting a 6 foot 4 vinnie scallopini to roll up ready to hit the clubs and crush the bradgiole. What I got was a 5 foot 10 toothpick with a southern accent, and an affinity for unpasteurized milk and hunting turkey vultures.

He was expecting me, a jew, to roll up in a fleet of Jaguars with an entourage and a stylist. Fortunately for my initial reputation we only came in 1 Jaguar, which had no room for my entourage or my stylist.

My roommate, we’ll call him Jon (mostly because that was his name, but also because Jon is a pretty popular name and would otherwise have been the firs alias I would have come up with), was from nearby; right outside of Syracuse. Funny thing about Syracuse is that within 10 miles it turns into sprawling farm lands – this was where Jon had grown to lay his head.

In the neighboring vicinity of this farmland existed a little bar called Knoxies. This was the kind of place that if you didn’t know someone in the area… you would never come across. (Legend has it that Knoxies’ actual location changes every time you go there – very secretive stuff). Several months into the semester, Jon informed my new floor mates and myself that Knoxie’s had a 10 cent wing promotion every Monday. Given my eating habits, Monday night Knoxies became a staple in my Syracuse tenure.

Almost as quickly as the world turns, I developed an enormous tolerance for wings. Almost without stopping for a breath I could inhale nearly 50 of the buggers, bone clean, no meat to be found. Slowly, our enjoyment for eating wings developed a slightly competitive nature. If Adam could eat 30 in half an hr, I could certainly eat 40 in 35.

Soon the competition era was phased out by the “team concept” era. Gather your 4 best wing eaters and see how many wings you can clean in an hr. Our numbers were instantly legendary. In our 1st attempt we ate as a group 115 (there is some debate as to how many I ate that night. I claim I had around 60, others say it was closer to 40. Our WANG drunkenness prevented us from keeping any accurate historical records). Soon 115 became 120, 120 became 130 and 130 became 140. Then, one fateful night, me along with my friends Conor, Jay and The Jaguar (see earlier posts), decided to throw caution into the wind… we would eat 160 wings amongst the 4 of us (Conor would proceed to dip every bite in blue cheese, adding a significant load to the already substantial weight of our wing conquest).

To say that we ate all 160 would be a lie, a prime example of brutal dishonesty. Truth is that I dropped one wing to its perilous death on the sawdust-ridden floor. There’s no 5-second rule in god’s country! To this day I remain ashamed of my negligent behavior. But the record was set that Monday night in November in my sophomore year, and the record would stand for the rest of my Syracuse days.

SO WHAT? WHO CARES? Well, as I demonstrated that historical night, Wings are the unheralded essence of life: I digress.

A little over a week ago, NHL fans witnessed one of the most horrid accidents in the history of Athletic competition, barring the ancient Grecian sport of javelin swallowing which has since been banned in all but 4 countries (and three provinces).

Behind his own net, Richard Zednik was fighting for the puck. When his teammate and captain Olli Jokinen was checked into the boards, Olli’s skate jerked up towards Zednik’s face. The next image the camera showed was of Zednik bracing his neck skating to his bench. Blood was everywhere as Zednik has sliced his carotid artery, a potentially fatal incident. Literally speaking, blood was everywhere. The crowd was silent, teammates were panicking and trainers assisted in rushing Zednik to the local Buffalo hospital (who knew they had medical care near Canada). The next several minutes were occupied by a terribly difficult decision making process; whether or not to continue the game.

These decisions are never easy ones, as evidenced by Jiri Fischer’s on-ice collapse in Detroit several years ago. Apparently the powers that be felt it better to complete the game, and thus the puck was once again dropped, albeit amidst a cloud of doubt and concern for the life of a “consummate teammate and professional”, Richard Zednik.

Within two days the sporting world received the word the Richard would be ok. According to the doctors, Zednik reached the hospital just in time to receive what is considered “life-saving surgery”. Although Zednik would be unable to return to the ice this year, dr’s opined that Zednik would most likely be back in competitive form for the start of next season. Given the almost inevitable trade of Jokinen and the Panther’s otherwise inexperienced roster, playoffs for the Florida club are considered a pipe dream.

So where am I going with all this? When Zednik awoke from his post-surgical sleep, he not surprisingly found himself hungry. Hospital food? Nah! Pasta and veggies? Fugheddaboudit! Apple sauce and cream of corn? Perhaps tomorrow! When Richard Zednik awoke from his deep sleep, the only things on his mind were Buffalo Wings… and a lot of them.

When in Rome eh? According to nurses, Zednik didn’t even hesitate when asked what he wanted to eat. But Wings are notoriously unhealthy and Dr’s were concerned that the grease might not be the best antidote for a recovering patient. So the Docs ran a few tests, asked a few questions, and eventually determined that wings were exactly what the Dr. ordered. Richard Zednik, ladies and gentlemen, defines the word “man”. Being in Buffalo, there was of course no shortage of the things (my junior year I “asked” my pledges to drive the 2.5 hrs to Buffalo to bring me back a dozen wings… my pledges were good pledges!). Given the severity of the injury, 1 local wing joint felt inclined to donate wings and pizza to feed the entire hospital staff that day. According to reporters, after biting into his 1st wing, Zednik appeared as healthy as ever.

I love wings, and I really can’t stand the fact that EVERYTIME I’M EATING THEM, some ass has to remind me of how unhealthy they are. To all those people… IF THEY’RE HEALTHY ENOUGH FOR A DYING MAN, THEN BY ALL MEANS THEY’RE HEALTHY ENOUGH FOR ME. Let that be the end of the wing-health discussion.

So what’s the moral of the story? Some people drink Soy Milk, which ironically contains NO DAIRY and therefore IS NOT MILK. Some people stay away from carbs and some from grease. Some people watch their weight and others eat to feel good. But take it from a man who was literally inches away from losing his life that when you’re down and out, or even when you’re just a little hungry, never underestimate the powers of a delicious buffalo wing.

P.S. Hockey is the best sport and the only sport in which people don’t cheat.

Other Notes

What’s with all of the pirates walking around NYC?

Jazz killed weezie. Weezie re-killed Jazz. Weezie is killed by… Kermit Ruffins?

Hi I’m Dwight Howard, nice to meet you world. I’m going to be here for a while so you better get used to me. OH, and Phil (Jackson), I’ll see you when my contract in this theme park is up, save me a seat next to Kobe.


Speaking of Weezie, quote of the century: “if you understand me, you must be Jesus Christ”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And i think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Post #44 Topic: The NHL Stands Alone

Here’s a quickie. Not because I don’t have a lot to say on the matter (which I always do), just because this point can be effectively be made in few words.

NFL: The Patriots, several time NFL Super Bowl Championship cheated. They cheated by videotaping other team’s practices, and using those tapes to prepare for SUPERBOWL CONTESTS. This is the ultimate in cheating. It’s one thing to cheat during the regular season, its another to cheat your way all the way to the championship.

NBA: The refs fix the games. Simple and plain the NBA is fixed. Last year 1 NBA referee was incarcerated for betting on games in Las Vegas. The response was that “just because I bet on games doesn’t mean I cheated”. Right!!! That’s completely logical. Why then would you be betting on games in which you were the referee, and not any other random games. Perhaps because you as a referee, Mr. Donaghy, had a little say in the result of the game! While you may not have caused the games to be decided differently, your bias undoubtedly had some impact on what is supposed to be the pure competitive nature of the game. Furthermore, thanks to your carelessness, we were compelled to ask you whether there was more cheating in the league. Your answer, that at least half of the refs in basketball have bet on games in which they have reffed, was both appalling and unsurprising… anything for a quick buck, even if it means leaving your faithful employer out to dry.

Preposterous. Simply disgusting. I personally believe that Las Vegas would be an excellent place to hold any franchise. The constant influx of tourism would ensure patronage and the ever-expanding population of Las Vegas could guarantee a dedicated fan-base. BUT, because idiots like yourself Mr. Donaghy HAVE TO take advantage of the access that your profession offers, Las Vegas will always appear as nothing but a sinful location where NO BASKETBALL TEAM, could ever be managed fairly. Who the F*ck wants to cheer for a team in Oklahoma City??????

MLB: I sat and watched the Clemens hearing for two hours this morning, and then kept up with the progression of the hearings courtesy of Jayson Stark’s well-written blog on the issue. Here is what I noticed: This guy McNamee is a creep. His stories criss-cross each other, he has a shameful history of lies and deceit, he doesn’t “remember” things, ala Alberto Gonzales, that are crucial to the hearings, and overall he is a very untrustworthy guy.

However, prior to the hearings, this is what I knew. That McNamee pointed his finger at both Knoblauch and Petitte who both admitted their guilt. Unless McNamee is using that leverage as some fuel for some personal vendetta he has against Roger, then Roger can not be believed. There is too much evidence: The syringes, the bloody-ass (yes the bloddy-ass, read highlights of the proceedings), Clemens’ wife, Pettite’s claims against Roger… the list goes on and on. Thus I conclude: Roger Clemens is a cheater, and a liar, and has done nothing but to perpetuate the bad image that has engulfed baseball since Mark McGwire disappeared to 2pac’s island hideaway in order to avoid the bad press that would inevitably arrive once the essence of baseball’s steroid culture was injected into mainstream media (perhaps one of the smartest thing that a ball-player has ever done (whew that was a long sentence, read it again slowly)).

NCAA: Thank god the NCAA is clean right? WRONG! Just today Kelvin Sampson was busted for violating the terms of his “parole” set as punishment for the recruiting violations he committed during his Oklahoma tenure. Get this: This guy got in trouble for something and subsequently had restrictions put on his recruiting limits. He then broke those rules when he arrived at Indiana, resulting in a suspension. At this time one would assume that Sampson would have grown wise to the watchful eye of the NCAA. BUT NO! He kept cheating. Making calls when he wasn’t supposed to, sending messages that were explicitly prohibited, even involving other innocent coaches in his “slimey” scheme. What a schmuck. What are we to assume? That Sampson is the only one doing this? There are over 256 NCAA division 1 programs. If it took Sampson this long to get caught, and others have been caught in the past, something tells me that there are at least a few other major programs that should be convicted of similar offenses.

The NHL stands alone, the NHL stands alone, Hi-Ho the Dairy-O, the NHL stands alone.

Other Notes

Everybody stutters one way or the other so check out my message to you. As a matter of fact don’t let nothing hold you back, if the Scatman can do it so can you IM THE SCATMAN.

Recently, my sudden obsession with Jazz overcame my love for Weezie, essentially “killing weezie”. Well as we all knew, Weezie is a warrior, and not one to be held down. Having uncovered the release of The Draught Is Over Part IV, I am proud to say that Weezie has awoken from his tomb to kill that very musical genre that originally laid him to rest. All hale Weezie – our lord… our savior.

Does Mike Huckabee really not believe in evolution? Seriously, does he stand by that claim? I for one have never actually heard him say that. BUT… I hope even more so that no American is stupid enough to vote for a non-evolutionist, especially after the damage that our electoral stupidity has caused us in the past (cough cough George Bush cough cough).

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mind your own cock

Post #43 Topic: 20 Bucks on el Cocko de Pedro

In 2004 the Red Sox won their first championship since god invented wonder bread. The ace on that famed Red Sox team??? Pedro Martinez. Pedro’s performance that season was so commanding that the Mets gave the aging, oft-injured hurler a four year guaranteed contract when the less risky and more appropriate move would have been to give him two. But the Mets wanted to win, and when a team wants to win… they can bet on Pedro.

This year, the Mets have Johan Santana in the equation, the best pitcher in baseball. Nonetheless, according to the New York Post, “The Bible of New York Sports ~ DCMSG”, Willie Randolph is yet to determine who his opening day starter will in fact be. Thing is that the Mets need a big opening day in order to win back some of the fans that their recent collapse caused them to lose. The Mets need to start out on a good note, one of promise, potential and for all intensive purposes inevitability. So, the debate is who is more “sure-fire” to win on opening day, the last opening day in Shea EVER. Chances are that the eventual answer will be Johan, but don’t discount Pedro. When it comes to big opening days, you can bet on Pedro.

Yesterday (February 6th, 2008), Pedro took on one of baseball’s best all time pitchers, Juan Marichal, in a historic pitcher’s duel. Only this time the contest didn’t take place on a mound. No the contest didn’t even take place on a “moundless” pitcher’s “spot” in a still underfinanced baseball hot bed, Dominican Republic. When you want to double your money in a cock-fight… you can bet on Pedro.

DISCLAIMER: I do not condone animal fighting, or any sort of animal abuse for that matter. I was one of the biggest critics of Michael Vick who’s actions I believe earned him an ocean view condo in a little place called hell. But there is one difference between that and this instance, and no it doesn’t have anything to do with my belief that dogs are self-conscious (realize that they’re alive) animals and chickens are only D.S.I.W. (drumsticks in waiting). Instead, the difference is that Vick was an idiot in the US and A, while Pedro committed his sin in Dominican Republic.

In the D.R. (as my people call it), cock-fighting is legal. Not only is it legal, but apparently, cock-fighting is a “country-wide obsession”. It’s a historic piece of Dominican culture that is notorious for its ability to create spontaneous social gatherings that have united residents of the island for perhaps centuries. Britney Spears to Americans is like cock-fighting to the Dominicans (no pun intended). We talk about her at the water-cooler, and make predictions about what will happen next. We even invest in her by buying her albums… see the relationship? If it weren’t for cock-fighting, what would Dominicans talk about at the dinner table (joke I swear).

Enough senseless defending; my point is clear. In the Dominican Republic, cock-fighting is not considered wrong. Its not illegal, not looked down upon and not hidden from public eye. Its social, political, cultural, economical (if that is a word???) and, as some would dare to say, vital.

But aren’t we free to judge him how we will? Sure, go right ahead. But first heed this warning.

Isn’t a large issue of this upcoming election whether or not and if so, to what extent we as Americans should be willing to impose our lifestyles on others? I personally believe that this imposition should be kept to a minimum, and reserved only for the most necessary times. Is it really necessary for us to get involved with whether or not another country is right in allowing its citizens to bet on cock-fighting. I know the bird died and I know its cruel... TO US.

So listen America. Stop judging Pedro for doing something that was as much a part of his pastime as baseball was ours. Seriously, drop it. We can ask him to follow our rules while he’s here, but while he’s not here… HE’S NOT HERE! I’m sure Pedro is appauled at a plethora of the activities that we so disgustingly engage in every day, but we never hear him say anything do we?

Of course not!!! Pedro saves his political message announcements for his trusty locker room midget!

Other Notes

Getting your hands dirty is a terribly over-used cliché. Stop using it.

There are probably a couple jobs that are safer than under water welding… PICK ONE.

If you put some chicken fat gel (yes it exists) inside an uncooked dumpling wrap with a piece of raw chicken… and steam it… you will have a really delicious dumpling.

Butter crackers are making a comeback.

R.I.P. Weezie… killed by Jazz, which is the most New Orleans way to go.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Return of the Shaq

Post #42 Topic: Here comes the Suns

I didn’t get a chance to address last week’s major NBA trade which had Pao Gasol going to the Lakers for a bag of coffee and an ESPN the Magazine fleece. At the time I learned of the trade I immediately considered the Lakers as the new favorites in the West. Some people say the Mavs are the favorites but lets face it, the West is won and lost through the big men, and Dasagana Diop is no more than a big big baby (I’m ballin, you just Erick Dampier son, I’m dirty, I get my Bill Lambier on ~ Weezie). With that in mind, some people claim that the Spurs remain the team to beat, and while I acknowledge their contenderness, the Spurs are getting old. While Parker and Ginobili haven’t been around forever, they are foreign players who came into the NBA later than the traditional college freshmen. Factor in 5 straight seasons of deep playoff basketball and you get extraordinary wear and tear. Michael Finley is old, Robert Horry is old, Brent Barry is old, and oh yeah… TIM DUNCAN IS GETTING OLD. Plus, the team has been decimated by injuries this year. Although I wouldn’t eliminate the possibility that the Spurs might contend, I would say that their chances have slipped since last year.

Then there’s the Jazz. The Jazz are certainly a great team with a large upside, a lot of young talent, and an experienced playoff coach. I just don’t know if I love the dynamics of this team yet. Sure Carlos Boozer is an interior force to say the least, and Deron Williams is one of the top 5 point guards in the game today (Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Deron, Tony Parker, Stephon Marbury (joke) Steve Nash). But I don’t love the supporting cast. I don’t like Kirilenko, and based on last summer’s events don’t believe that he likes the Jazz either (no sturgeon to poach in Salt Lake). Mehmet Okur doesn’t do it for me… if you have to rely on a big man hoisting threes then your team is clearly missing an element. An element the Jazz thought they provided by acquiring Kyle Korver… Unfortunately for them Kyle Korver is Kyle Korver! Paul Milsaap is good on the boards and that’s about it, and Ronnie Brewer is not consistent enough to be considered that necessary 3rd weapon behind Boozer and Williams.

Immediately exclude, in no particular order the Sonics, the Clippers, and the Kings… these teams can’t get their acts together; perhaps the Sonics are on the right track but that will literally take 4-5 years to determine (durant’s expected full development time). The Blazers are good but are too too young to stand up to the veteran-laden west. With a healthy Greg Oden my opinion on the Blazers changes drastically.

The Warriors are good but I will NEVER put my money on any team captained by Stephen Jackson. The wolves suck… and that’s all that can be said about them. The Nuggets are good but can’t rely on their big men (Camby and Nene), to remain healthy long enough to make them legitimate contenders. The Nuggets also suffer from the Jazz’s syndrome – no 3rd option.

That leaves the Hornets who I believe can make a decent run. They got the size (West and Chandler), they have the depth in scoring, they have the long range jumper (assuming Peja is healthy) and they have Chris Paul who LEGITIMATELY gets better every game… seemingly by leaps and bounds. For argument’s sake lets say the Hornets are competitors but longshots.

This left the Lakers for one. The Lakers have been a pleasant surprise this year. With the development of Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom has been able to shift to that 3rd option role where he is meant to shine. And more importantly, Kobe is finding himself more open as Bynum is commanding double-teams in the post, and boy does Derek Fisher seem happy to be back Throw in Pau Gasol and the Lakers suddenly became my favorite to take the west (not to neglect that Phil Jackson bleeds championships). Gasol is 7 feet, but athletic enough to run the court. His European pedigree means he has good court vision, makes good outlet passes and can dish the ball out from beneath the basket to an open Kobe. When Bynum returns, the Lakers might just find themselves with the most devastating front court tandem… Throw in Odom as the 3 and the lakers should be feared.

That leaves the Suns. To get to the point, the suns traded Shawn Marion for Shaquille O’neal. If you are a dedicated DCMSG reader you will recall me saying that Marion is one of the most valuable players in the league. He plays defense, dives for loose balls, can shoot outside and play the post, makes good passes and more importantly for the Phoenix style of play, Marion runs the court. Shaquille O’Neal on the other hand does not run the court AT ALL.

So Shaq is slow and old and Marion is young and fast… Clearly the Heat won this one right? WRONG! The clear winners in this scenario are the Phoenix Suns. The following are the reasons.

The Suns were lacking a low-post presence. They have enough scoring elsewhere with Bell, Barbosa, Nash, Stoudemire, Diaw and others to continue scoring at their 100 per night clip. What they didn’t have was someone who could really clog the lane on the defensive side, keeping opponents away from driving in what had become notorious as one of the most porous defenses in the entire NBA. But not anymore. Not with Shaq down low. Old and hobbled or not, opponents think twice about driving the lane with Shaq down there. Running into the Diesel is uncomfortable and likely enough to make the Duncans, and the Gasols and the Pauls (damn he’s good… DAMN) think twice about charging the lane.

The Suns were lacking a proven winner. Shaq has won and won often. He knows how to preserve himself in the playoffs, knows when to lay his body on the line and knows when to get in his own teammate’s faces. This presence will be invaluable come the stretch run.

The Suns needed someone to play considerable minutes that DOESN’T NEED THE BALL to be effective. The Suns already shoot enough, averaging nearly 3 points per game better than any other team (other than the Warriors). They have a roster full of guys who want to shoot the ball. Now, they’ve swapped one of those guys that wanted 25 shots/night (and god knows how good he’ll be now that he’s gonna be getting those shots in Miami) for a guy that knows his role, and will consequently be happy hoisting up 10 shots a night. Upon being traded, Shaq said to Steve Nash, “Don’t worry, you can count on me”. As he’s demonstrated in the past, Shaq’s word is usually worth its weight in gold. Sure the Suns might score less, but those guys (see right above) will get better chances to heat up which means until the Suns are down by 15 with 3 minutes left… they will not be out of any game whatsoever.

The Suns can still run and gun. Fastbreaks don’t require full-team participation, and Nash will still have Amare to run with. Previously, when the Suns ran they all ran. Now Shaq can guage the success of the fast break and stay back if necessary, forcing the opposition to think twice before exploiting fast break turnovers, and turning them into their own drives to the hoop.

Shaq gets rejuvenated by changing locations. It happened in Orlando when he lead them to the championship. It happened in LA when he won 3 titles. It happened in Miami where he won one more. If the Suns’ brass was right, it very well might happen again in Phoenix.

Shaq is going to get open looks down low. Other teams still have to double nash and Amare, and what better person to find an open Shaq than Steve Nash? ANSWER: NONE!. In fact, one could venture to say that Shaq has never played with a PG that is so skilled at dishing the ball.

Marion didn’t want to be there. He said it past summer, and voiced it again recently. Sure he’s a bright young star, but he’s a bright young star that needs a chance to shine. In Phoenix Marion played a 3rd fiddle… if Pat Riley is smart, he will play the 1st in Miami.

We get to watch the painfulness of Shaq shaking Kobe's hands TWICE AS OFTEN!!!

Perhaps the most convincing factor in determining the Phoenix Suns victorious in this latest exchange of behemoth assets is their desperation. The West has long been dominated by the Lakers and the Spurs. Steve Nash is now 33; who knows how long he can maintain his torrid on-court pace. In other words, the Suns need to win now. With other Western Teams emerging as legitimate contenders (Blazers, Hornets, Jazz, LAKERS!!!), the suns time is now. The Suns play like a hockey team with each member being conscious of every other member’s position at all times. Its important that they added that final piece before those “familiar” players left Phoenix for more financially lucrative offers. Over the past 10 years, no player has been as efficient as Shaq at taking a near-winner and turning it into a bona fide champ. Note to the rest of the west: Here comes THE SUN!

DCMSG’s NBA FINALS PREDICTION: Lakers over the Celtics in 6.

Other Notes

Fish make great pets. When they die you don’t need to cry about it; you can just dip them in flour and fry them for a delicious treat.

Is there really another American Pie movie coming out? This makes 7. That makes 6 more than they should have made to begin with.

Someone do something to get TV writers back; last night Colbert wasn’t only not funny, he was inadvertently racist and racism is NEVER FUNNY – NEVER!

Why do some people smell so good and others smell so bad? There are some people that I like to sit next to just because they smell amazing. There are also some classes that I am angry I chose to take just because of one smelly person who sits halfway across the room.

Stop it with the high-pitched sneezes people… seriously.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Post #41 Topic: Pretty Super Bowl as far as bowls go.

I was not here, in NY, for the Super Bowl so I missed the opportunity to compliment Eli on how amazing his performance was. Although I must note that anyone who reads my column will appreciate that I wrote my OWN COLUMN TWO WEEKS AGO talking about how good Eli was and had been. So thank you other NY reporters for taking my thunder and bottling it only to sell a couple more 25 cent papers. Before the Post or the Daily News can come up with some creative reporting… I think I’ll stick to my e-z widers. Anyway, here’s what I noticed.

A lot of people were shocked that Eli went to Tyree with the clock winding down. Even more people were surprised that Tyree, as if being held up by the hand of god, was able to make what is now being heralded as one of the most amazing single playoff performances in the history of any sport. I wasn’t. Syracuse breeds champions. The proof is in the pudding and the pudding is in my knapsack.

Is anyone else waiting for Randy Moss to say something stupid? You can take the boy out of the Minnesota Vikings but you can’t take the Minnesota Vikings out the boy (see last post). Moss has been, for an otherwise “boisterous” person, relatively quiet this year. All of his typical pet peeves seemed to magically disappear: He was getting the ball, his teammates were protecting his quarterback, etc., etc., etc… The Patriots were co confident that the Brady-Moss combo would prove fruitful again that they went as far as to predict a 42 point performance. But a responsible sports analyst would have recognized that the peak of the nearly perfect season took place several weeks ago, at the end of the regular season against… THE GIANTS.

Since then Randy went two consecutive playoff games with only one catch, and was then accused of rape. Suddenly, Randy wasn’t getting the ball, Brady wasn’t being protected and the season actually collapsed. This excites me for two reasons. 1. Boston fans deserve crushing defeat. 2. Randy Moss is like a dormant volcano twelve thousand years overdue for an eruption… Mark my words… he will do something stupid.

The Roxbury commercial was an emotional roller-coaster (if you didn’t see it you should either shoot yourself or download it on youtube, depending on whether you’re closer to a computer or a gun… YOU CAN ALSO FIND IT ON THIS SITE ON MY LINKS ON THE RIGHT COLUMN). During that 30 second split, I laughed, I reflected and I cried

Laughing: Roxbury is the best movie of all time. If you disagree then you haven’t seen it more than once in which case you should not be reading this right now)

Reflected: All the good times I’ve had with Roxbury and all the good times to come.

Cried: I get off telling people how good Roxbury is. It makes me an individual. Then, when my pestering finally pays off and these people watch it, they forever applaud my recommendation. NOW, what I’ve come upon is a sudden spreading of Roxbury fever for which I can take no credit. Tears of a clown…

Brandon Jacobs may not be the most athletic runner in football. He may not be able to cut, he may not have that 2nd burst of speed potential, he may not be great at finding holes and he may be enormous (he is the latter), but what he does do is soften up defenses better than pretty much any runner in the league. Now given my football knowledge is limited, but Brandon Jacobs really wore down New England’s defensive line… Impressive.

Wes Welker is the MVP of that Patriot team. Brady might be the best, and Moss the most talented, but Wes Welker is an automatic shot of energy on every play.

Lastly: This is a long shot but hear me out. New England cheats. They cheated this year and according to the populous opinion, they’ve been cheating ever since 2003 (perhaps earlier, if you consider Drew Bledsoe taking steroids as cheating). The Patriots taped the FAVORED Rams’ final walkthrough before their Super Bowl Bout, Brady’s first blip on the NFL Great’s radar. As a math person, I know that in between points A and B exists a line. Here, that line is FULL OF CHEATING. Now, had the Patriots won yesterday, the NFL would have been destroyed, obliterated and ruined. Cheating in football (resulting in Super Bowls) would make baseball’s steroids problem seem like a splinter in your finger that annoys you but not quite enough to have you worry about getting it out. Cheating in football would have made the past 5 years of NFL competition essentially worthless. Tom Brady would have been dethroned, Belichek degeniused, Bruschi de-heroed, and Vinatieri (remember him???) would be de-clutchified.

Now if the Patriots had won, the cheating talk would have been front and center. This Superbowl’s validity would immediately be questioned and NFL pundits everywhere would be calling for Roger Goodell’s head (who throws away the evidence other than O.J. (NFL THEME????)). Reporters would immediately expect the worst and the NFL would face a lot of heat.

The Giants’ win avoided this problem. The Giants, lead by Eli Manning are the feel good story of the year. Everyone loves the underdog… especially when the favorite CHEATED en route to becoming the favorite. If Clemens’ cheating didn’t make Barry Bonds laugh then the Patriots winning sure would have.

So what am I saying? I’m just saying that its awfully convenient for the NFL that the Giants won, and that this Superbowl (perhaps the 1st in years) was not marred by CHEATING… While fixing sports seems too outrageous to be realistic, let us not be so quick to forget what we learned last year about the NBA.

Other Notes

Crawfish Etouffe

Shrimp Gumbo

Rabbit Jambalaya

Crawfish Boil


Fried Oyster Po-boy


Shrimp Creole

Fried Alligator (on an off the stick)

Fried Chicken on a stick

Fried Shrimp on a stick

King Cake

Bread Pudding

Fried Banana Pudding

Turtle Soup