Week of February 26, 2016


The Perks of Being a Water Boy

The job of a college basketball student manager is pretty, well, menial. Get coach the whiteboard. Set up the folding chairs for the starters during timeouts. Curfew check. Laundry. I know – stop me before I list too many fun things. As Dana O’Neil put it in her way, way inside college basketball story:

“The demands of the job are high, the pay nonexistent and the tasks menial. Essentially, these are college students who willingly spend their entire days catering to the whims of other college students, while simultaneously trying not to interrupt the rhythms of a maniacal head coach.

So what’s the payoff? Obviously, a great seat to the game, and the chance to play the opposing team’s managers in some of the greatest basketball venues in the world: Rupp Arena, The Dean Dome, or…sometimes, you know, on the practice court. While the quality of the game doesn’t hold up to scholarship athletes they serve, the tradition does lend itself to some funny stories and ringers abound. Greg Oden played for Ohio State’s manager’s team before OSU played Maryland. Juan Dixon suited up for Maryland. The latest improvement to the manager’s game: national rankings. I miss college, dammit. – PAL

Source: The game before the game: Inside the managers’ matchup“, Dana O’Neil, ESPN (2/25/16)

TOB: “I miss college, dammit.” Sumbitch stole my line.


A Long Shot Second Chance

Jordan Murphy was a special teams guy at the University of Colorado. Walk-on. Back-up fullback. Saw action, but was by no means a standout player.  Murphy was also in the Aurora theater on June 20, 2012 when James Holmes walked into the theater in tactical gear and a gas mask, threw canisters of tear gas, and fired a tactical shot gun, a semi-automatic, and then a Glock, killing 12 and injuring 70. Murphy and his friends narrowly escaped. Here’s a story about his path since that night, and where he hopes his path will take him as he prepares for the NFL Draft.

It’s unlikely Murphy will have the movie ending and make a team in the NFL, and he’s okay with that: “So, you know, I’m chasing a dream and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll have a backup. It will be tough not to play football, but if you give it everything you have, give it everything I can, I think I would be able to leave it behind. But I refuse to say I didn’t at least try.”

Stories like this remind us tragedies are more than “trending”, more than fodder for political debate, and certainly more than an opportunity to express what’s wrong with the world today. Admit it – when tragedy doesn’t hit close to home – these are the ways in which most of us respond to shooting sprees in a country where an estimated 40% of the population doesn’t vote. Jordan Murphy’s long shot at making an NFL team serves as a reminder that tragedy lives on, and it can inspire greatness in those with the guts to try. – PAL

Source: “Jordan Murphy lived through theater massacre, now chasing NFL dream“, Jeff Legwold, ESPN (2/23/16)


The Bonus of Signing $184M Contract

Jayson Heyward has made two good moves this off-season: He decided to not resign with the Cardinals, in favor of the Chicago Cubs, and he put some of his new money to good use. When Heyward broke into the majors as a 20 year-old phenom in 2010, he met journeyman backup catcher, David Ross. Apparently Ross made quite an impression on Heyward. The two are reunited in Chicago this season. Heyward is entering his prime, while Ross is ending his career. Ross announced this, his 14th season, will be his last year. Heyward’s response: He upgraded Ross to a suite for every road trip throughout the season. What a cool thing for a super rich dude to show his appreciation. – PAL

Source: “After massive Cubs deal, Jason Heyward gifts David Ross a ‘suite’ early retirement gift“, Nick Martin, The Washington Post, c/o Carrie Muskat (2/25/15)


A Small Gesture Can Change a Life

There are times in life when the mood strikes us, and we throw someone a bone that most days we might not have. Sometimes that gesture means little, other than making someone feel good for a few moments. But other times the ripple effect is greater than we could have ever imagined. This is the situation that Denver Nuggets executive Richard Smith finds himself in. In 2009, Smith went to China to help run the Junior NBA program. Smith’s job was to pick a team of players to travel to other cities in China for a tournament. The winning team of that tournament would get a trip to the U.S. for the NBA All Star game. When selecting the team, amidst a sea of boys, a young girl stood out. She was not the best player – not close. But she was tall – 6’1 – and more importantly to Smith, she hustled and competed. On almost a whim, Smith chose Yue for the team. Her team won the tournament and the trip to the U.S.

After the trip, Yue e-mailed Smith and asked him how she could get to the U.S. to play college basketball. He put her in touch with someone, and as far as he knew, that was that. Until this fall. Seven years later, Yue is a 6’7 freshman at Cal, she’s a 4.0 student, and on the basketball team. Smith found her, almost by accident, when scouting the Cal men’s basketball team.

This is a great story, and a reminder that simple acts of kindness can go a long way. -TOB

Source: How an NBA Exec Helped Fulfill a 6 ft 7 in Woman From China’s Dream“, Les Carpenter, The Guardian (02/24/2016)


Video of the Week: 


 

PAL’s Song of the Week: Electric Light Orchestra – “Showdown

For all of the songs…just check it out below! It’s a good playlist.




“Did you not plan for this contingency? I mean the Starship Enterprise had a self-destruct button. I’m just saying.” 

– Saul Goodman

 

 

 

 

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Week of February 19, 2016

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1-2-3 Sports: Killin the competition since 2014.


A Lesson in Compassion, Selflessness

Former NBA player and Pelicans head coach Monty Williams’ is beloved around the league. So the news of his wife’s death was met with exceptional sadness last week. You may remember Monty and his wife and the role they played in helping Pelicans’ star Ryan Anderson’s through grief after Anderson’s girlfriend, Gia Allemand, committed suicide. Monty’s wife was killed in a car accident when her car was struck by a woman,  Susannah Donaldson, who was driving 92 mph in a 45 mph zone. Donaldson also died. These deaths were senseless, and so avoidable. And Monty Williams is a better man than I am, because in his shoes, I would be so very angry. Instead, at his wife’s memorial, Monty Williams said this:

“Everybody is praying for me and my family, and that is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation, and that family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family. In my house, we have a sign that says ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the lord.’ We cannot serve the lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness. That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. Life is very hard. And that was tough. But we hold no ill will towards the Donaldson family. And we, as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family, because they grieve as well.”

An incredibly selfless and compassionate sentiment. -TOB

Source: Monty Williams Calls For Forgiveness in Powerful Speech at Wife’s Memorial Service”, Kevin Draper, Deadspin (12/18/2016)

PAL: This is one of those situations I’m grateful to have not experienced. When I think about moments of awesome compassion, bravery, or selflessness I just hope that I would be able to respond in the same way, but I seriously wonder. The grief would be so all-encompassing that there would simply be no room for compassion so soon after the tragedy. Also, if you haven’t read that Ryan Anderson story TOB linked to, you should. It will tell you all you need to know about Williams and his wife.


Capitalists for Relegation!

Relegation (and promotion) in the English Premiere league has long fascinated me. In the EPL, the three worst teams each year get demoted (relegated) to a lower division. Meanwhile, the top three teams from that lower division are promoted to the Premiere League. Relegation is supremely capitalistic. It’s hard to fathom as an American sports fan, where fortunes swing wildly from year to year, in large part due to the communist plot that is the draft. Unlike American sports, the EPL does not have a draft to help out its worst teams.

This year, storied English club Aston Villa faces nigh-sure relegation. As this article explores, the relegation/promotion system’s impacts are severe and tough to overcome for a relegated team. The financial hit is huge (at least $100M in TV money, not to mention ticket sales, etc.), and that is just the beginning. On the other hand, getting promoted is great! Leicester City is currently in first place in the EPL, just two years after being promoted (and nearly being relegated just last year). I don’t know how American sports could implement a Relegation system – but it sure would be exciting (and would end tanking once and for all). -TOB

Source: The Ignominy of Aston Villa”, Elisha Cooper, Wall Street Journal (02/18/2016)

PAL: I can’t figure out a way where this would work in any of the 4 major sports in the U.S., but on the surface I sure do love the notion of relegation. There are consequences to your team sucking, and – Tommy’s right – this would end tanking. That said, I’m passing on relegation for the following reasons:

    • I don’t need more “minor leagues” teams, because I don’t care about any minor league teams
    • Hope – or delusion – springs eternal. No matter how bad last year was, we can wipe the slate clean and start over the next season. The reset button is fundamental to being a fan. Hope. I don’t like having that being threatened.
    • One of the great pleasures of following a team is seeing the other great teams and players come through. I want to see the White Sox, the Dodgers, the Cardinals (the worst). I don’t want to see some Triple-A affiliate of said teams.


The Beginning: Baseball in the DR

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I’m always a sucker for the stories about the reality side of a dream. In the Dominican Republic, the dream is ubiquitous – Baseball. Clearly, not all the prospects become the next Robinson Cano or Pedro, even the underachievers can change the trajectory of their families. The photos in this story really capture how far those dreams start from the Majors. It’s about time for baseball again, and this is the perfect first story of the year. – PAL

Source: The Republic of Baseball”, Michael Hanson, The New York Times (02/18/2016)


Bernie the Baller

Last week, just before the polls closed in the New Hampshire primary, news stations aired footage of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders shooting hoops.

As you can see, Bernie is pretty automatic. Surprising! It’s only about ten feet, but still. Impressive. This footage piqued a reporter’s interest and Les Carpenter sought out and interviewed some guys Bernie used to play with in a weekly game at a church gym back in the 1970s. The big take: Bernie was good, not great. He had a nice jumper (actually, a set shot). He was bossy and a little argumentative, but friendly, and he had sharp elbows. Sounds about right. It’s a fun read, and there’s a little nugget on how that weekly basketball game may be responsible for Sanders’ entire political career. -TOB

Source: “‘From Mid-Range He Could Kill You’: Bernie Sanders’ Basketball Days”, Les Carpenter, The Guardian (02/17/2016)

PAL: “[T]here is something about the game that reveals the truth about the person. The facades built in daily life don’t always withstand the heat of competition. As they tire, a player’s real personality always takes over.” Couldn’t agree more with this notion. But that shot is ugly, Bernie. I’m sure it was ugly when you were 30, and it’s ugly now. Just calling it like I see it.


Nothing Says Mediocre Quite Like PowerPoint

This is fantastic. University of Idaho sucks at football, so much so that its conference – The Sun Belt Conference (yes, a real conference) –  is not guaranteeing anything after 2017. So what did the Vandals do? Made a PowerPoint to show that they are…not the worst. No seriously, that’s what the PowerPoint lays out. Some of Idaho’s highlights include leading the Sun Belt Conference in the following statistical categories:

  • Completion Percentage (ok, not a terrible stat)
  • Fewest penalties (really, that’s your second bullet?)
  • Fewest penalties per game (haha)
  • Fewest penalty yards (this is the third penalty-related stat…in a PowerPoint making the case to keep the team in the conference)
  • Tackles for loss allowed

I for one am convinced. Let them remain in the conference! The Sun Belt Conference is made up of teams the teams you’ve heard of play for an easy non-conference win. The teams kind of suck, and so does this PowerPoint. In other words, Idaho is a perfect fit for the Sun Belt. – PAL

Source:The University of Idaho gave the world’s saddest PowerPoint presentation about its football team”, Mike Brown, SB Nation (02/18/2016)

TOB:

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My takeaway? That’s a sorry ass conference.


Video of the Week

Current star NHL rookie Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings aka D-Boss, just a few years ago, as a fresh-faced sixteen year old. Just wearin the American flag, “snippin” wrist shots in his basement.


PAL Song of the Week: Linda Lyndell – “What A Man

Check out all of the weekly picks here. It’s super duper.


“Well ya see, Norm, it’s like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

Cliff Clavin

Week of February 12, 2016

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Older Brothers (Except Me) are the Worst!

This is a pretty amusing story told by Eli Manning, about the way that his brother Peyton used to pick on him as a kid. That is them up there as kids. If you had an older brother, and especially if you grew up in a house with only brothers like I did, you know this story very well:

“[Peyton] would pin me down, you know, put his knees on my arms. He’d just start knocking on my chest until I named at the the time the 28 teams in the NFL. So I got smart eventually I could rip those off pretty quickly. We went college divisions, different things and then if he just wanted to make me cry he’d say, ‘Name ten brands of cigarettes.’ I’m like, ‘I’m seven years old I haven’t started smoking cigarettes quite yet,’ but that’s when I’d just start yelling for mom.”

Been there, Eli. My older brother would do the same, but he’d sing the ABCs and knock me on the chest one time for each letter. And then he’d get to X and pretend to lose his place and start over. Thanks, Sean. Justice came one summer day when my dad came home at lunch time for some reason and caught Sean in the act. -TOB

Source: Young Peyton Had a Very Specific Way of Picking on a Younger Eli”, Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk (02/10/2016)

PAL: Shenanigans like this never happened in the Lang house. My older brothers supported me, mentored me on my spiritual journey…except that time Matt locked my in the hope chest in the family room. I had a bit of the ol’ claustrophobia as a child, you see. He and Libby laughed and laughed while I freaked out in a freaking hope chest. I could have died, Matt.


World Class Athletes & Working Stiffs: The Mavericks Lineup

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It’s official: the Mavericks surf competition is going off today! I was lucky enough to work with some of the surfers competing this year to put together their surfing playlists a few months ago (check out their playlists here). In meeting them, I had to remind myself these are serious badasses. They aren’t big, they aren’t rich, and their ages range from teens to late forties. You wouldn’t be able to pick them out of lineup. Yet, in some folks eyes these unknowns are every bit the world class athlete as LeBron James. Is what they do any less impressive? Nope. And, you know, the chances of them being busted in half every time they drop into a wave is a bit more daunting than an Andrew Bogut foul. Here’s a nice summary of these extraordinary average joes and what they do for their day job. – PAL

Source: “Big-wave surfing: Meet the working stiffs of Mavericks”, Elliott Almond, San Jose Mercury News (02/11/2016)


You Gotta Fight For Your Right to…PB&J?

NBA players have really weird eating habits. If you’ve ever read ESPN’s True Hoop blog, you may have noticed that Henry Abbott like to point out all the times NBA players mention that the Cheesecake factory is their favorite place to eat. The Cheesecake Factory kinda sucks – the menu is way too huge – a jack of all trades, master of none situation. But for NBA players, on the road much of the year – it makes sense. If you want to eat dinner with six of your teammates, it’s a good place to ensure there is something for everyone. Plus, the portions are huge. And it is in every major or mid-major city in the country, and the food is consistent.

I thought of the NBA player/Cheesecake Factory thing when I read this bizarre story about the Warriors this week. After winning the title in June, the Warriors overhauled their diet/exercise program for the players. Gone were cookies, candy, and sodas from the training table and charter flights. Also gone were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This would be very inoffensive to me. PB&J is alright. I liked them as a kid. As an adult? Man, that’s a boring meal!

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“Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter and jelly have no visible feelings for each other.”

But the Warriors players, amidst their all-time best 48-4 start to the season, were in near-revolt, led loudly by assistant coach Luke Walton and quietly by MVP Steph Curry. Did they get their PB&J back? Click the link to find out. This article is really funny. -TOB

Source: How Golden State Went to War Over Peanut Butter and Jelly”, Ben Cohen, Wall Street Journal (02/01/2016)


Quiz Break! You be the judge: Catch or No Catch

Last football story of the year for me. We’ve all watched enough football, and after the last couple of years, I think we can all admit that we really don’t know what constitutes a catch in the NFL. Even TOB, who I hate to admit knows most of the rules in the major sports, was proven wrong while watching the Pittsburgh – Cincinnati playoff game.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.54.50 AMTime to test your skills, folks. Watch these catches, vote catch or no catch, and see if you know as much as NFL officials. Just kidding – they have no idea what a catch is either. – PAL

Source, “Catch. No Catch. You Make the Call”, John Branch, The New York Times (02/01/2016)

TOB: True, when we were watching live, I said no catch on that front flip/butt catch by Martavis Bryant. It was ruled a catch. However, from the article:

“In a telling example of the confusion that this issue has caused, the N.F.L.’s vice president for officiating, Dean Blandino, said the next day, “I don’t think this is a catch.” The ball appeared to be out of his control as Bryant took his steps before flying out of bounds, Blandino said, but there was not enough evidence to overturn the touchdown call by officials on the field.”

I got a 5 out of 7 on the quiz – but it was really a 6 out of 7, because I remembered the Larry Fitzgerald catch and selected “no catch” on purpose, out of protest, because that was not a god damn catch.

PAL: It wasn’t 6 out of 7. You scored 5 out of 7. There is no grey. If you want to protest, then do it on your own time. We’re trying to run a goddamn sports blog here.


Video of the Week

Eli’s reaction to Peyton winning his second Super Bowl, bringing them even:


PAL Song of the Week: Bob Dylan – “On A Night Like This

Check out the entire playlist of weekly picks here. It will bring you virility and wealth. Oh, and a spiritual awakening. That, too.


“What’s the guy, 40 years old? He’s got to meet Julia Louis-Dreyfus! What kind of person is that?”

-LD

Week of February 5, 2016

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Sup Bro 50 Edition!


All Hail Eddie D!

Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. is known as one of the greatest owners ever. Under his supervision, the San Francisco 49ers quickly went from a perennial also-ran to the greatest franchise in the NFL, quickly. Eddie D’s teams won five Super Bowls in 22 seasons, from 1977 to 1998. DeBartolo had to give up the team in 1998, suspended for one year after pleading guilty to a felony. DeBartolo’s crime? Failing to report that he had been extorted, which is just the most unfair crime I can think of. 49ers fans might tell you that Eddie’s real crime was electing not to return to the team after his suspension, ceding control of the team to his sister, Denise, her husband, John, and eventually their son, Jed. *shudder*

San Francisco 49ers Eddie Debartolo Jr. congratulates quarterback #16 Joe Montana and running back #33 Roger Craig after the 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins to win super bowl in 1985. (AP Photo)

But what many probably don’t know is that DeBartolo treated his employees, not just the players, like family. And this isn’t lip service. This is jumping on a cross-country flight at a moment’s notice to say goodbye to a former player, dying in a hospital room. This is jumping on another plane, in the middle of the night, and again flying cross-country – this time to personally tell a longtime employee and friend that her son, a San Jose Police Department officer, had been shot and killed in the line of duty. This is caring for a former player who had cancer. And I’m not talking paying the guy’s medical bills. Oh, Eddie did that. But Eddie actually drove 40 minutes to take the guy to his chemotherapy appointments, waiting with him, and then driving him home. This is paying a former player, who was injured and partially paralyzed during a game in 1989, a lifetime contract. The team still pays the player $100,000 per year.

I could go on, and the article does. A lot of people donate lots of money to just causes. And that is necessary and great. But there is something special reading about how Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. truly cared about people – his employees really were treated like family. I certainly did not know this side of DeBartolo. I’m glad I now do. -TOB

Source: Former 49ers Owner Eddie DeBartolo Has His Own Fall of Fame”, Daniel Brown, San Jose Mercury-News (01/29/2016)

PAL: I knew DeBartolo was adored here, and now I have a better idea of why that is. I also didn’t know that he voluntarily gave up control of the 49ers after serving that suspension. Great article.


Is Hosting the Super Bowl Good for SF?

You know what’s great about getting older? You realize what a waste of time it is to be a cynic. At some point, you just stop caring about what’s cool, and not in an ironic way. When someone asks if you mind meeting up in the Marina you respond, “Man, I just want to have a beer and hang out.”

I want you in that frame of mind as we step out onto the thin ice that is Super Bowl 50. Is it a shitshow in our city while happening 45-miles from San Francisco, or is it just the next thing we love to crap on? Is a temporary inconvenience acceptable for an opportunity to highlight this beautiful city, or is the fact that San Francisco ultimately a wonderful place already accepted the world over and needs no further showcase? Berkeley resident and SI writer Chris Ballard puts forth a pretty measured argument here. Ultimately, I don’t really care, but I don’t mind either. It’s the response that ought to terrify 49ers once Super Bowl City circus leaves town. Moving them to Santa Clara just might elicit the same response from the locals in a few short years. -PAL

Source: It’s one big SB50 party in Bay Area, but many residents want no part of it”, Chris Ballard, SI.com (2/4/16)

TOB: This article touches on a lot of feelings that I have about Super Bowl week. The first is resentment over the 49ers move to Santa Clara. If the 49ers want to play there, then good riddance. But don’t come groveling back to San Francisco now that you need us.

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The second is the wasted tax dollars. The SF politicians who ok’d this – at least $5M in unreimbursed expenditures, not to mention all the lost productivity downtown due to road closures, etc., really get me going, too. As I noted, those expenses are not going to be reimbursed by the NFL (unlike those for Santa Clara, which will be). I read earlier in the week that a county supervisor said that promising not to seek reimbursements from the NFL was part of the bid – that the Bay Area would have lost the bid if San Francisco didn’t promise this.

First, so what? Second, it shows complete ignorance of the NFL’s Super Bowl bidding system. The NFL has made a habit of awarding the game to cities that build new stadiums (recently: Indianapolis and New Jersey). Santa Clara was getting its game. So why did San Francisco care so much if Santa Clara got the bid?

Today I read an article in the New York Times wherein the President of the SF Chamber of Commerce said the city would easily make back the money it put in, and then adds that there is further benefit because the Super Bowl is a “worldwide event that will sell San Francisco.” Dude. It’s SAN FRANCISCO. It doesn’t need to be sold. This is not Jacksonville (offense intended). We don’t need the exposure. Frankly, while the hotels may be slightly more full, San Francisco is popular enough that this isn’t a huge boon to tourism. There are always tourists here. Besides, if they held all the events in Santa Clara, most people would still have stayed in San Francisco. So, we gain very little and give up a lot. Seems like a bad deal. Also, Phil and I went to Super Bowl City on Saturday. It was so awful, crowded, boring and dumb and there was nothing to do but stand in long lines for corporate branded events, that we quickly left to drink some beers and play some pool at a nearby dive bar. We had a great time, and I was reminded why I love San Francisco.


If You Didn’t Win Powerball, At Least You’re Not John Elway

Like many people, my family’s (relatively meager) investments took a hit in the early part of 2016. Reading this story made me feel a little better. In 1999, just before his retirement from the NFL, John Elway was offered by team owner Pat Bowlen a 10% stake in the Denver Broncos for just $15M. He was offered a further stake of 10% more in exchange for giving up $21M in deferred compensation. He was also offered right of first refusal if the Bowler Family ever decided to sell its stakes in the team. Elway declined. It wasn’t because he didn’t have the money – Elway had recently sold his auto dealership empire for $82M. Elway instead invested $15M in a Ponzi scheme. Elway lost almost half that investment, the first in a series of failed investments that Elway made in the late-90s and early 00s.

Elway

Cry for Elway: “the 20 percent stake he passed on, based on a Forbes 2015 valuation of the team at $1.94 billion, is now worth $388 million, which would have been a 646 percent return on the 1998 investment, adjusted for inflation, had he made it.” Today, Elway is a team executive with no ownership stake. Whoops. Like I said – now I don’t feel so bad. -TOB

Source: How John Elway Missed Out on a Fortune”, Darren Rovell, ESPN.com (02/03/2016)

PAL: I spoke to Elway on the phone tonight and asked him to comment. His response: “Why you gotta do that, man? You don’t think it’s the first thing to cross my mind in the morning and the last thing I think about at night before I fall asleep? You really think I worry about Peyton Manning? Nah, bro. But, you know…One love, brother. I mean, I’ve accepted it, you know? Seriously, I have. I HAVE, OK.

TOB: Interestingly, I HAVE talked to John Elway on the phone. I was 16. He was in Tahoe for the annual celebrity golf tournament. A friend worked at Caesar’s and told us that he was one of the few celebrities that did not use a pseudonym. So, a friend and I simply called the hotel and asked for John Elway. I was transferred to his room and he actually answered. We chatted a few minutes. I told him he is awesome, he said “thanks” and “dude” a lot. And that was that.


Send It In…Cristiano?

In a week dominated by the Super Bowl, a simple article about the other football had me texting TOB:

PAL: Link:

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TOB: Haha. That’s an 8 foot hoop for sure

PAL: Watch the video: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQvpYFbUuIo

TOB: Yeah he does have some serious hops

TOB: But that’s still an 8 foot hoop

PAL: But can he dunk?

PAL: I say yes

PAL: Definitely a soccer ball

TOB: Yeah, I think so. If those photos aren’t doctored.

Who are we talking about? Cristiano Ronaldo. Deadspin ran a very simple story: Can Ronaldo dunk? This was based off of a photo that – I agree with TOB – seems to pretty clearly show Ronaldo dunking on a kids hoop that looks as if it were purchased from the sporting goods aisle at Target.

However, further footage* shows how much of an athletic freak this dude is. This is by no means a great story, but definitely a captivating half-assed investigation. I’ve concluded there is no friggin’ doubt Cristiano Ronaldo can flush it on a 10-foot hoop. -PAL

Source:Can Cristiano Ronaldo Dunk?, Greg Howard, Deadspin (2/3/16)

*Yes, TOB, Esq. – assuming these are not doctored photos. I choose to be an optimist. I choose to believe.

TOB: Upon further consideration, he’s 6’1, which isn’t tall but isn’t short. But he’s an unbelievable world-class athlete. The photos are not doctored. Of course he can dunk. He still sucks.  #Messi4Life.


Breaking: NFL Continues to Be the Worst

Quick background: For many years, even once sports became regularly televised, the leagues and the networks lacked the foresight to retain the footage. You may remember our story about how the only footage of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series was discovered in Bing Crosby’s wine cellar after his death. Well, somehow, both the NFL and CBS failed to retain a copy of Super Bowl I, played in 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. The game was believed to be lost to the ether, Green Bay’s dominance only visualized in an ever-dwindling number of memories.

Or use images like this, from halftime of that game. Times sure have changed.

Or using images like this, from halftime of that game. Times sure have changed.

Until 2005. That year, a childhood friend of a then-36 year old man by the name of Troy Haupt read a story about how the NFL did not have a recording of the first Super Bowl, and remembered an old box in Troy’s mom’s attic that said “Super Bowl I”. Troy and his mom found the tapes and had them restored. Haupt, through a lawyer, has been trying to sell the tapes to the NFL for $1,000,000. Some might find this greedy – but consider what it’s likely worth to the NFL in advertising once they decide to air it alone. Really, he might be offering them a bargain. But the NFL, of course, sees things otherwise. They believe that, because they own the content, that Haupt cannot sell it to anyone but them, or be faced with a lawsuit. The NFL originally offered Haupt just $30,000, and now claim they are not interested in the tapes at all. The NFL recently even stepped in and killed a deal between Haupt and CBS.

For his part, Haupt says he wants to sell the tapes jointly with the NFL and donate some of the proceeds to charity. The NFL has no interest. As things stand, the tapes remain in Haupt’s possession, awaiting someone to knock some sense into Roger Goodell.

Source: Out of a Rare Super Bowl I Recording, A Clash with the N.F.L. Unspools”, Richard Sandomir, The New York Times (02/02/2016)


Video of the Week

Damn, Whitney. R.I.P.


PAL Song of the Week: Lord Huron – “Meet Me in the Woods

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“Here’s what it is, it’s a doodle. Some people doodle at work when they let their mind run. They draw houses, penises. Funny how the houses are always colonials and the penises are always circumcised, don’t you think? Well, I doodle too, but I’m not an artist so I draw words and lists.”

-Robert California