Thursday, May 31, 2007

What the LeBron

I just finished watching one of those transcendant performances that raise the stars in the NBA to legendary status. LeBron singlehandedly beat the Detroit Pistons tonight. Marv Albert said it was an all time great performances and it was not an exagerration. This will go down as one of the greatest showings in the playoffs. You could tell as Albert started getting excited about LeBron's scoring late, Steve Kerr was a little hesitant to anoint him with anything. But when LeBron started sinking ridiculous shots like that one from middle of the floor just in front of the 3-point line after sweet behind the back dribble to get by Chauncey Billups. Or the jumper with three guys around him along the wing. I was standing at the end of the game I was so into the performance. It was obvious something special was going on, and you really just don't get to watch it all that often.

I mean I just want to leave you with this:

Lebron had 48 points. Lebron had 25 straight points to end the game. Lebron scored 29 of Cleveland's final 30 points. Words from a blog just can't do it justice.

I was actually standing in my room throughout the end of regulation and the two overtimes.

Overlooked among all the greatness being displayed on the floor was the worst coaching by both teams I have ever seen. They mentioned it on TNT, but Mike Brown's mismanagement of his timeouts in overtime was just despicable. I really thought he would end up wasting a phenomenal performance. Seriously, my jaw dropped when he took that timeout with 30 seconds and the Cavs up just two. And to make matters worse, all he did in that timeout was draw up a give it to LeBron and see what happens "play". Couldn't you have relayed that to LeBron while 'Sheed was shooting free throws on the other end. The TNT announcers, specifically Doug Collins who usually serves a giant douche who can sound out vowels and also doubled as an atrocious coach, said they would need that timeout to move the ball up the court for a last shot and when it came down to it, they ended up forcing up a desperation heave.

And why on God's earth was LeBron allowed to handle the ball. Charles Barkley and the rest of the gang spent the entire postgame discussing how Detroit didn't do enough to get the ball out of LeBron's hands. I was in shock when they weren't double teaming LeBron more down the stretch. The few times they did utilize a double team the possession ended up with a Sasha Pavlovic miss or goofy Anderson Varejao tripping over his gangly legs.

I was going to make a crack about how Mike Brown is just a fatter version of Tommy Amaker but this picture was just too good to be true.

Some Other Quick Thoughts From THE GAME of this year's playoffs
- If anyone gives Chauncey Billups max money, they are absolutely insane. This guy is not great, just good. That three at the end of regulation was real nice though.

-This Pistons team is showing its age in this series. I think the torch is being passed now. This is their fifth straight season getting to the conference finals or further. It was a good run, but this team is on the downhill.

-Imagine LeBron with real, actual teammates. How good would he be then? As a Wizards fan the only good thing about having LeBron suffer with Larry Hughes is that it makes me so happy Grunfeld didn't give hima huge deal a few years ago.
But seriously, David Stern needs to exert his power secretly and get LeBron a team with some actual pieces, and some actual talent.

-By no means does this LeBron lovefest mean I think they have any real shot against the Spurs if they do close it out.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Settling into the city

It's been an absurdly phenomenal past couple of days moving into NYC and getting acquainted with the city. I'm staying at the FIT (yes, that's the Fashion Institute of Technology) dorms on 31st street between 9th and 10th avenue. I'm literally two blocks from the mecca of boxing, basketball and what have you, Madison Square Garden. And since I'm such a huge sports fan I literally get tingles everytime I get near a basketball arena, so it's been extremely difficult walking down 8th as I giddily smile the entire time.

Another thing about this place is the expenses. People told me it was expensive but I had no idea how expensive. I went to the oldest bar in New York last night, which serves just light and dark ale, nothing else. From there I went to this sweet jazz club in East Village, and the dude played a jazz version of that Aaliyah song from Doctor Doolittle (the one with Eddie Murphy). And after all was said and done I had spent like 100 bucks and gotten thoroughly blackout.

I thought I would leave you with this: If you've been watching the Cavs-Pistons series on TNT you'll have noticed recent ads for a new movie, 1408, starring Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack. Now if you've ever lived or been to SAE, you'll know it's located on 1408 Washtenaw in Ann Arbor. And this new movie is a horror movie about a hotel room that is haunted and people never seem to be able to leave the place. The parallels are awesome because I really think I lost a part of my soul over the past two years at 1408 Washtenaw. I think we should use this movie in pledge term, maybe convince the pledges that this movie was based off something SAE.

One of those actors that never really gets any awards, but most movies he's in are pretty solid, especially if you are a romcom person. Oh yeah, and now he could be a part of Iota Beta lore.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Preakness Post

To say this year's Preakness was craziness would have been an understatement. I wrote about it in Monday's Daily as you can see from the link in the pre-Preakness post, but I don't think it begins to explain just how insane the whole weekend was. I figured this year's edition would have some awards rather than simply recap what went occurred. It all started on a Thursday and it went down hill from there:

The Someone Mistook me For a Hispanic Award
This one is for a certain girl who on Thursday night was mistakenly identified as being Latino by a random person at a bar. And it wasn't DiFazio. See, on Thursday night a bunch of us went into downtown Bethesda and got wasted. At said bar, I saw this kid who I used to play soccer with back in the day. He's from Argentina and instantly took a liking to this certain someone who isn't actually Latino. He was kind of creepy and went up to me later in the night, and whispered in my ear "Who is the tall one?" like he wanted to murder her or something. SO who was this girl? Well it was Becca and after asking her if she was interested, I told the creepy dude she had a boyfriend.

The I'm Too Cool For School Award
This one is a no brainer. My little bro Jeff ran away with this. My parents didn't want him drinking period, let alone on a school night, so he "went to bed" at 10pm. Little did I know, but he set his alarm for 1am, so he could wake up and late night with all of us. The kid delivered too. He got thoroughly shitfaced from 1am-330ish even though he had a test in World Studies the next morning.

Laammmmeee Award
We should just rename this the Justin Michael Reagan Memorial Award because he just outdoes himself everytime. On Thursday night, while on a vacation from school, he decided not to come to the bar with everyone else and instead cuddle at Chod's house.

The Unnecessary Yelling Award
This one was an easy one to hand out. While everyone else was recovering from a long day of drinking in the sun once we got home from Pimlico, Hyatt decided to take it up a notch. See he decided it was a genius idea to pound Red Bulls along with his beers. He proceeded to call Brad a caveman for awhile before eventually heading to the bars for Kyle's birthday. He also determined, to nobody's delight, that Brad survived on three essential things: Meat, Beer and Shelter. I'm pretty sure you had to be there to understand how annoying/hilarios this whole situation was.

The Jason Magro Smells of Excellence Award
I don't know if anyone smelled Brad after Preakness, but if they did it probably meant they had to take a few steps back after doing so. Kid just smelled awful.

That's all I got, I've been real busy getting ready to move to New York, so the posts have been few and far between lately. I should be up and running by the middle of next week and blogging like I used to.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Michigan Football Reunion

So this past weekend, the 1997 Co-National Champion Michigan Wolverines had their 10-year reuinion with a charity golf tournament at the U-M Golf Course. A lot of the big names were there including Brian Griese, Steve Hutchinson, Charles Woodson, Jon Jansen, and Anthony Thomas. But the biggest name of them all, Tom Brady, trumped them all. Yes, obviously his career in the NFL is probably better than anyone who ever played on that particular team, but that wasn't why he trumped them this weekend. Apparently, big Tom brought his girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen, along for the festivities. That doesn't even begin to go into detail about how his ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, is currently pregant with Brady's kid.

But whatever, back to Gisele. Apparently everyone there was just dropping their jaws at the sight of her and the fact that the guy who was the backup QB on that national title team is pulling by far the best ass out of all of them. They shouldn't feel that bad though because, let's be honest with ourselves here, Brady is probably pulling better ass right now that 99 percent of the world. Oh yeah, so after the charity golf tournament there was a big private party at Studio.

Smokin' Hot

Don't get me started on why these former Michigan athletes love Studio so much, but they do. I mean for God's sake, you make millions of dollars. There are better places in Ann Arbor to party. Seriously though, people in SAE think Studio is crap and these pro athletes just love the place. Remember back when the Super Bowl was in Detroit a couple years ago, former Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson reserved the place for the Colts if they happened to make and win the Super Bowl. But then Big Ben made that miraculous trip on the INT in the AFC Championship Game. That's what you get for planning a party at Studio. Wait a minute, it just hit me: maybe these guys love the Jewish sorority girls because those are about the only people I know who are frequent Studio goers. That's the only sane explanation to me.

I'm definitely going to have the Preakness recap post up tomorrow. So much went on that it's taking me awhile to write the thing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Pre-Post to the Preakness Post

I really didn't think I would be able to top last year's Preakness festivities, but we may have just finished up the epic of all epic weekends. I'm definitely going to go into more detail later, with a complete synopsis of all the winners and losers. The Daily actually had me write a little commentary on what it was like to be on the infield at Preakness and I think it turned out alright. You can read it here:

That's all I got for now. Happy 21st Battey.

Used to be a Niners fan. Now he roots for the Skins.

Friday, May 18, 2007


It's finally arrived. The horse race none of us actually watch but go to anyways because we get to pay 45 dollars so we can drink large quantities of alcohol in a giant field.

Preakness, it's a beautiful thing. Obviously the race hasn't happened yet, but I had a free moment here to update everyone on what's been going on lately. I've got a ton of friends in town, all here to enjoy the fruits of uninhibited drinking. Last night we made our way to Bethesda for some bar action where it was a sort of reunion after a semester abroad for many. I've been running around all over Maryland trying to keep up with everyone whose in town. I literally think I've promised over 20 people to sleep at my house and am just now realizing the painful consequences. Tomorrow we leave for Pimlico at around 9am and I'll definitely have a post about this whole thing up on Monday or something. I've also got a column in Monday's Daily about what it's like to attend a Triple Crown Race.

And to Pete and Graham...ummmm...If I were in Dallas right now I would probably try and make my way over to Texas Stadium, break in, and take vomit on each and every star on the turf. Then I would stand under the opening of their roof and proudly sing 'Hail to the Redskins' with my hands wide apart a la Terrell Owens (in a cocky way like when he played for the Niners, not how he does it now).

Loud and proud, just like in the picture

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

David Stern has no soul

When I saw the hipcheck by Robert Horry to Steve Nash, I actually didn't think that much about it. Yes, the foul was unnecessary and deserved the flagrant 2 it got, but I didn't think much would come of it given the importance of the Suns/Spurs series. And then yesterday happened and now we have a game 5 without Amare Stoudamire, without Boris Diaw, and without Big Shot Rob. And while most said Horry's suspension was warranted, I disagree. This is the playoffs. It's supposed to be physical and hard fouls like Horry's add intrigue into the series. I don't think David Stern and Stu Jackson understand how important the outcome this series will have on the rest of the league. I'm of the belief that the winner from this Spurs/Suns series will win the NBA Title, but more importantly this is the series that has the most potential to create that lasting, special moment that every playoffs has. Remember last year's Dirk Nowitzki drive to the hoop and foul in game 7 of the conference finals? Or MJ's shot/offensive foul against Bryon Russell back in the day? And what about Derek Fisher's miracle shot with the Lakers a few years back? Those are memories that stick with NBA fans forever and now a potential one could have been altered because Stern has once again overstepped his boundaries, like he always seems to be doing these days.

Seriously, everytime I see an interview with this guy, I leave thinking what an egomaniac he is. For God's sake, you're 5-foot-whatever, old, and probably haven't played competitive sports since age 10. Yes, he has had a great impact on the globalization of the game, but that's what he's supposed to do, not impact actual games. The Suns had a giganticly huge momentum-building win in San Antonio where they finally showed the moxie and toughness of a championship-caliber team down the stretch. And let's be honest with ourselves here, both the Spurs and the Suns and championship-quality teams when at full strength. But without Stoudamire and Diaw, who is Stoudamire's backup, the Suns are likely going to have to count on little-used reserves Pat Burke and Jalen Rose (Holler!). Not to mention the Suns were having a hard enough time dealing with Tim Duncan when Stoudamire was playing. Now, Tim will have even more free reign to do what he pleases in the post.


This isn't the first time Stern has fucked up either. I was vehemently against all of his shenanigans involving what players dressed like on the court. For him to tell someone like Allen Iverson to take off an arm sleeve is totally crossing the boundaries. And then when he instituted the new ball, despite the backlash it caused from many players, he looked like a giant douche when he was forced to revert back to the old ball in January. I understand that Stern and the commissioner's office want to avoid bench-clearing melees like the infamous Palace debacle a few years back, but Amare and Diaw came nowhere near the scuffle. It just seems unfair to me that the team that initiated this whole mess (the Spurs) are gaining an upper hand because a bunch of dickhead executives feel the need to show how much power they have.

Count me as a Suns fan for the rest of this series. I was already leaning towards them because of various reasons including my disgust with Bruce Bowen, no matter how good at defense he is. Also, when did Tim Duncan turn into the biggest crybaby in basketball. I bet Timmy was that kid in school who got caught cheating on a test redhanded and then bitched to the teacher about how everything was culturally biased and ended up getting away with it (I hope everyone caught my Blue Chips reference there). Seriously though, according to the Big Fundamental he has apparently been everytime he shoots the ball and hasn't yet committed a foul all season long. Oh wait, I forgot he raised his hand a couple times in game 5 to indicate he had in fact committed a foul when he would wrap both arms around Amare when he had sure dunks.

But in the end here, David Stern is only hurting his own league with this ruling on the suspensions. This is the marquee matchup of the playoffs with the Mavs out, and it's being ruined because of some egomaniac who seems to have lost his grip on reality.

I bet these jackasses planned this out together.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

EJ, The Jet, and Chuck

Last night was a tremendous night to be watching the NBA Playoffs. For one, you had a doubleheader of Cavs/Nets and then the Spurs/Suns. Then there was the fact that the games were being televised by TNT, which meant my favorite pregame/halftime/postgame combination would be alive and kicking. And for icing on the cake, the one and only Shaq was a guest analyst alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley. Personally, I hate it when games are on ESPN because it means we get a boatload of bullshit from their bushleaguers like Jamal Mashburn, Kiki Vandeweghe, and Dee Brown. I really don't understand why ESPN doesn't just go with Tim Legler and Greg Anthony all the time because they are definitely solid. But they certainly aren't at the level of the TNT guys.

What makes TNT's studio guys the best is that you can tell NBA players actually watch them. You hear it in their interviews when they call out Chuck or make fun of Kenny. And there's some real genuine comraderie within the show. They've all been doing it together for so long now that even Ernie Johnson can crack on Sir Charles. But if none of the guys knew anything about basketball the shenanigans would be meaningless. That is not the case though. Barkley consistently has reasoned responses to the game's action and definitely gives actual insight. Kenny's got his pictures where he details a key aspect of the ongoing game. And last night was even better because Shaq was in studio just ragging on Chuck and Kenny. He was dissing Kenny for being nothing but a three point shooter and Chuck for not having any titles. But Kenny and Chuck shot right back with The Jet showing off some video of Hakeem The Dream annihilating Shaq in the Finals when he was with the Magic. And Chuck had video of a near-brawl started by Chuck in which Barkley definitely got the upper hand.

They stuck together when Shaq tried to get cute and make fun of them on their own show.

But after all of the joking around (It was hilarious when they showed a montage of Shaq's funniest quotes) there was actual talk of the games like how the Nets need to turn up the tempo if they want any shot at getting past the Cavs. And Chuck was able to draw on personal experiences when it came to Boris Diaw and Amare Stoudamire leaving the bench after Big Shot Rob hipchecked Steve Nash into the boards. Chuck concluded that he wouldn't be surprised if both were suspended one game because the NBA is very strict in sticking with its "don't leave the bench during a fight" rule. And Kenny pulled no punches when he called out the Suns' coaches for their bullshit about how Amare was leaving to go check in. From my vantage point, I agreed. Amare was looking to knock some heads not wipe his feet on the little rubber mat to check in. A few weeks ago everyone on the TNT set was talking about the Emmy they won for best pregame and having watched over these playoffs, I'd have to agree. Those three are consistently entertaining, and actually say something meaningful when they talk.

To sum up the show you had to watch the end of Inside the NBA (the postgame show which is officially my favorite show on television). Kenny bet Shaq that if he made 2 of 3 free throws, two guys would pour a bucket of water on both Kenny and Charles. What made the situation more hilarious was seeing Charles stand instead of his normal sit behind the desk. The man has literally put on 100 pounds since retiring and he was wearing beige khakis and white shirt, a blazer, sparkling white sneakers, and his gut hanging over his belt. He really looks like that disgruntled 70-year-old who seems to live in every neighborhood around America and is always yelling at the kids to get off his fucking lawn before he sicks his dog/shotgun on them. SO of course, Shaq takes the bet saying if he doesn't make it he'll donate a 1000 bucks to Kenny and Charles' chrarities. And of course he misses his first two. Being a betting man, Shaq wants double or nothing. But this time it's only Kenny who gets the water on him. And again Shaq misses both. Which prompted this from Sir Charles to end Inside the NBA, "No wonder ya'll are the worst defending champs of all time".


Friday, May 11, 2007

We Forgot About Someone

It's going to pain me to write this but...I was thoroughly impressed with the Detroit Pistons last night. Not only did they come back from a 19-point deficit against the Chicago Bulls, they also propelled themselves atop my list of Eastern Conference team that will make the NBA Finals. It's funny how everyone kind of pushed the Pistons under a rug this season after their historic start last year. This season most analysts acknowledged how good they were, but kind of shrugged them off for more interesting teams. Well, the Stones are letting it be known loud and clear that they are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. I really thought the Bulls were going to give them a run for their money in this series, but maybe the Heat were really that bad and the Bulls really weren't that good. That's about the only way I can explain it.

I seriously hadn't seen a team with basketball players over the age of 12 go that cold for such an extended part of the game. It was almost depressing watching the last five or so minutes of the fourth quarter because it wasn't as if the Pistons were really pulling away. It was really the Bulls just fading away into oblivion. Let's be honest with ourselves, coming back from 3-0 in an NBA series is nearly impossible (and in fact has never been done). And I can already hear the catcalls from the peanut gallery: But what about LeBron and the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals? Well unless LeBron takes his game to a level we didn't know he's capable of yet, then I just don't see the Pistons losing that series. The bottom line is that they simply have more quality players than the Cavs.

Access Denied Big Ben

Some Other Ramblings
-It's a must win in Oakland tonight for Golden State. They absolutely gave away game two the other night. I definitely didn't see a Utah Jazz conference finals appearance in my dreams before the playoffs.

-I want to be at the pregame ceremony where Dirk Nowitzki accepts his MVP trophy. It will be awesome comedy as David Stern hands over the award in front of a hostile crowd. You know there's no chance in hell Stern is going to have a smile on his face.

-I give the Tigers a lot of shit...mostly because Krauss likes them, but have you looked at their record lately? Sheff has been crap most of the season, and the bullpen has taken a step back and yet still, the Tigers sit at 21-12 atop the AL Central. I don't know if my pride can take having to sit through another pennant race in the Metro Detroit era.

-Word just broke the Ricky Williams tested positive for cheeba again. I got a feeling playing professional football will be out of the question now that Roger Goodell has a hard-on about player conduct. But take solace in this Ricky...we've got a running back opening on the Mudbowl team and there are no drug tests involved to play.

Hey, even the best of men give in to the ganj.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Long Time No See

Man, it's been literally over a week since I've posted on here and if you got scared that I'm not doing this anymore...well you're wrong. I just had a ridiculous week back in Ann Arbor without internet access, so I couldn't really update. But I'm back and the blog should be better than ever now that I've got a summer full of awesomeness on the horizon. I'll check back in later tonight after some time to collect my thoughts.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Who's Gonna Beat the Spurs?

The San Antonio Spurs, the most consistent team in basketball, will win the NBA Championship this season. Mark my words. But seriously, who in the Western Conference is going to beat them. Their series with the Suns is a study in contrasts with the Spurs wanting to slow it down, and the Suns trying to speed it up. Unfortunately for the Suns, the game matches up extremely well for San Antonio. Think about it, I have a real good feeling this series is going to be miserable for one, Steve Nash. He's not only going to have tp be at his best on the offensive end, but he's going to have his hands full on defense attempting to guard Tony Parker. In their three meetings during the regular season (the SPurs won two of them), Parker averaged over 28 points per game. And Parker might be the one guy in the NBA who might be able to stick with Leandro Barbosa. My gut tells me that Parker is going to wear down Nash when all is said and done since Nash is a mediocre defender at best.

Then, I have to believe the Spurs are going to stick Bruce Bowen on Shawn Marion. Some would say that is a giant mismatch, given that Marion has about three-four inches on Bowen. But don't forget that Marion is not a traditional post-up player, so it's going to be hard for him to take advantage of the size differential, unless he completely alters his game. And on the perimeter, we know what a tenacious defender Bowen can be even if he may have lost a half-step the past couple seasons.

All the key cogs, including Amare and Shawn, will need to be at their best to beat the Spurs.

Now, if you look back to their Western Conference finals series two years ago, the one Sun who absolutely obliterated the Spurs was Amare Stoudamire. I can't envision Amare not having a good series, but do I think he's going to replicate the 35-point, 20-rebound averages of two years ago?...Hell No. The Spurs are going to have this series move at snail's pace if possible because the last thing they need is to run up and down the court with the Suns. And by keeping it slow, Amare's stats are bound to go down. But here's why I think they set up so well with the Suns. For short amounts of time they probably will be able to run with the Suns. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are great open floor players, who would do it more if they didn't play for Gregg Poppovich. Now if the Spurs are going up and down every possession, they will be in trouble. You can't really compete in an up-and-down game with a roster that includes Nash, Barbosa, Stoudamire and Marion.

And before we get ahead of ourselves, let's remember that the Spurs have one of the best big men of all time in Tim Duncan. And while he doesn't put up the ridiculous numbers that Amare sometimes has, I would take him any day of the week. Duncan is one of those players that whenever the Spurs need a big basket, he'll get it for them. Besides, the Spurs slower tempo means less possessions and therefore less scoring opportunities which explains his sometimes lower stats. Amare is not a good on-the-ball defender and if the Spurs were smart they'd try to get him into foul trouble whenever he's left guarding Duncan in the post. A key for the Suns is going to be getting Duncan into foul trouble. They have two big men, in Amare and Boris Diaw, who can take it to the hole or post up and it needs to be taken advantage of. Get Duncan on the bench and the Spurs lose any semblance of a post game, which will affect their entire offense.

Nash will have to play at an MVP-level on both ends of the floor to win this series. We should truly find out what kind of legacy he'll leave with this series.

The bottom line is that I truly believe the key to this series will be Steve Nash. He will not be able to get away with just igniting the offense and setting up his teammates like in the Lakers' series. Tony Parker exploding and Duncan being his usual-consistent self will be enough to get by the Suns. Nash is going to have to be the complete player that most two-time (and possibly three-time) MVPs should be. For once, he might have to play some defense. This is a series that could come to define Nash's career. He's got the two MVPs but we all know he wants a championship, and this is probably his best shot. He's already 33 and he's got a gimpy back, meaning he's got one, maybe two good years left in him. And with Shawn Marion likely leaving after next season, the time is now for Nash to prove himself as one of the best in the NBA. But I just don't see him doing that. There's no way in my mind he'll be able to stick with Parker this series. And you have to believe Gregg Poppovich has a plan to slow down Nash, and it probably involves Parker wearing him down on the defensive end. The Spurs just held the Nuggets, the second-highest scoring team in the NBA, to under 100 points in every game of their first-round series. They won't replicate that against the Suns. They just have too many weapons. But they'll do it enough to win the series.

Spurs in 6.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Baron, a Poor Man's Gilbert?

Since Baron Davis has been unquestionably the best player in the NBA playoffs so far, I started perusing YouTube to find some clips of his awesomeness from the past. I don't think people realize that this isn't the first time Baron has gone off in the postseason. In 2002, in just his second season in the league, Baron was unreal for the Hornets in the first round, only to get eliminated on some bogus call by a ref.

But as I was looking at some of his nastiness over the years, I stumbled upon this, click the link below:

Baron Davis at his finest

I understand it's over five minutes long, but Baron Davis working the drive-thru of a McDonalds in Oakland will never get old to me.

A star is being born in these playoffs. Baron is going to be the 2007-08 version of Gilbert Arenas.