Friday, November 28, 2008

Shame On You America

This is going to be short as I am trying to enjoy the holidays with my family.  Thanksgiving was a success.  We enjoyed the dinners (both at my parent's house and at my in-laws).  There is nothing better than eating a delicious meal surrounded by loved ones, enjoying the comforts of hearth and home, and discussing the many things for which we are grateful.  It was a wonderful day spent thinking of others and thanking the Lord above for our many blessings.

Put that in stark contrast with today's activities.  "Black Friday" as it is called across this great nation of ours, is upon us.  It is ironic that this day of aggressiveness and greed would follow so closely behind Thanksgiving that it is now tramping all over the coattails of the Pilgrims themselves.   I refuse to enter the stores on this day as it only makes me shed a single bitter tear for our once proud country.  My pregnant wife entered the fray this morning at some ungodly hour and was pushed, shoved, and run over by greedy men and women alike.  She was unable to reach the back of the store in time to purchase an item that she had her eyes on because in her delicate state she was unwilling, and perhaps unable, to elbow old women out of the way, or pin a child between a shopping cart and the shoe racks by his neck.

I hope you all got everything that you "needed" to make your yuletides bright.  I thought the country was in a recession, but I guess when you can get a progressive scan DVD player that normally costs $39.00 for $25.00 recession be damned.  Who cares if you have to ram your cart into the back of somebody's heel or shove a pregnant woman into a stack of $3 CDs to be first in line at the greed-fest.

Shame on you America. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

BYU v. Utah - The Aftermath

Sports fans can’t seem to give credit where it is due. Why can’t we give credit to whoever beats our favorite team? There is always some excuse instead of saying the better team won. Well, congratufreakinglations, Utes fan. You get to go to the BCS for the second time while listening to BYU fans tell you that you’re overrated, even though you beat the Cougars by 24 points.

Even though I am a BYU fan, I will not be telling you that I think Utah is overhyped or doesn’t deserve to go to the BCS. You won't get any pictures of the game in this post, but the fact of the matter is this: Utah is 12-0. Period. I’m not going to go with the “you didn’t really play anybody” argument either. Going undefeated in D-1 football (I’m still not calling it the FBS) is quite an accomplishment no matter who you play. On top of that, Utah beat three top-25 teams this season in Oregon State, TCU, and BYU. Anyone who watched the TCU-BYU game knows how good the Horned Frogs are. And for the record, the name Horned Frogs deserves two thumbs up.

As I stated in my post last week, seeing Utah beat BYU at anything makes me sick. I get irritated when I find out Utah beat BYU in women’s soccer, but last Saturday was pretty bad. Then I get to read Body’s (see comments to Utah post) post about the “mighty Utes” yesterday and it only exacerbates things. Mighty Utes. In my book that should be an oxymoron. But it isn’t—the Utes are good.

I’m already sick of hearing (and reading) about how the Utes are overrated. If this comes from a Florida or Texas fan I can handle it, but when it comes from a Cougar fan after a 24-point beat down it comes off as you just being a sourpuss. As a BYU fan, I now make this plea to other Cougars fans: Please don’t piss and moan about the Utes being a fraud or "not that good." Don’t go with the “we only lost because Max Hall was playing for both teams” crack. Don’t just say “the Utes suck, BYU gave them that game.” When you make these arguments, we all look bad. Please stop. All I’m saying is, if you’re going to run your mouth (as we all know BYU fans love to do, myself included) please make a legitimate claim. Don’t just spit out whatever is in your head out of frustration. The Utes doubled up BYU on Saturday. It’s a fact. It sucks, but Cougars fans whining and blaming it on everything other than Utah being a good football team makes us look like idiots. The outcome of the game doesn’t mean BYU sucks, it means that Utah played better, won the game, and finished unbeaten.

I have friends that are BYU fans that will surely tell me this post sucks or that I’m selling out. I’ve already heard it from people in conversation over the weekend. We seem to take losses so personally - I’ve heard two years worth of it from Utah fans. I hear about how BYU shouldn’t have won the last two matchups and that it was luck, or the refs, or the fault of one defensive lapse… Hearing that crap for two years got old. BYU made the plays to win the game. This year Utah made the plays, and I have to deal with it for the next year. So I’m going to sack up, put the big pants on, and give credit where it is due. Nice job Utah. Congrats. And I look forward to revenge next year.


I'm not one to gloat too much, and so this will be brief.

It gave me great pleasure to finally see Utah play up to their potential on Saturday. Most of this year, they have struggled and scraped by against the good teams they have played, having to come back against Oregon State, and basically getting a miracle win handed to them by the Fates against TCU.

Not Saturday. Saturday, they put a major-league butt whipping on BYU. The Final was 48-24, but believe it or not, it wasn't that close. Utah dropped SEVERAL easy interceptions on drives BYU eventually scored on. Max Hall could have easily thrown seven or eight picks if the Utes could catch. That being said, the score was 27-24 at one point and I was thinking "here we go again."

BYU was exposed as a little bit of a fraud this year, having played a cream puff schedule. Those of you who follow the Mountain West will know that BYU didn't fare well in the 2 games they had against decent competition. (Utah and TCU.) They only beat 0-11 Washington on a cheap penalty flag at the end of the game. Oh well, that program is still solid and is headed in the right direction. One of these years they might get a BCS bid themselves.

Not this year, though. Nope, that honor resides with the mighty Utes. Hopefully they represent themselves well. Either way, we got the win that matters most against or rival, and will get everyone in the conference a big payday, so you're welcome BYU and other MWC trash. (I never said I wasn't going to gloat, just that I wouldn't gloat too much.)

Maybe next year, we can ride your cottails to a big payday, but probably not.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How Many Athletes Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?

While I do not normally participate in the mundane telling of preconceived jokes (knock, knock.  Who's there?  Nobody gives a damn.  Etc.), today I would like to explore a number of famous athletes and their ability or inability to screw in the proverbial light bulb.

Kobe Bryant
Though it has been established over the course of Kobe's life that he certainly has the ability to screw things, it remains uncertain whether or not one of those screwable objects is a light bulb.  It would be trite and a bit too easy for me to simply say something like:  "How many Kobe Bryants does it take to screw in a light bulb?  One.  All he has to do is hold the light bulb and let the Earth revolve around him."  One thing is certain though, Kobe has a great team of high-priced lawyers to help him if he is ever accused of screwing in any light bulb, be it consensual or forced.  One can only assume that with Kobe's seemingly unlimited skill set, the task of screwing in a simple light bulb would be taken in stride, though a little beneath him (no pun intended).

Adam "Don't Call Me Pacman" Jones
Pacman has a myriad of problems: guns, alcohol, drugs, strippers, strip club shootouts resulting in the death of innocent bystander, ADHD (not confirmed, but come on now), and pro wrestling.  While his laundry list of offenses and shortcomings is incredibly long I don't think that it includes trouble with petite motor skills.  Screwing in a light bulb should be no problem for a man who uses his hands for a living, after all his profession involves holding, pushing, grabbing, catching, flashing gang signs, and making it rain.  Surely screwing in a light bulb can't be more difficult that locking fingers in a mercy fight with Triple H, or firing several rounds of ammunition into the air to warn all haters that he ain't messin' around.  Never having had the experience, I can only assume that it takes finger dexterity to work a roach clip, but I could be wrong.

Shaquille O'neal
I think there is no doubt as to whether or not Shaq could screw in a light bulb.  Of course he can.  The question is whether he would use magic to accomplish this feat or a more traditional method.  "Kazaam!  The light bulb is in."  With the big fella reaching heights of over seven feet tall he certainly would not need a ladder to do his screwing, and if you ask his ex-wife he doesn't even need to be home or with her to do his screwing either.  Shaq would most definitely give himself a hilarious nickname while doing this task.  Something like "The Big Electrician" or "The Big Honey-Do List Accomplisher".  Perhaps if the ceilings were incredibly high and none of Shaq's posse were around to screw the light bulb in for him he might get out a ladder and begin the task of screwing by himself (not like that you sick bastards.  Get your minds out of the gutter).  Maybe while he was up there standing high above the ground it would be a more opportune moment than at a hip-hop club to ask his "best friend" Kobe how exactly his ass tastes.

Tim Duncan
I could go into a bunch of crazy reasoning as to whether or not Timmy could screw in a light bulb, I could try to use slight of hand, wit, or sarcasm.  I could talk about how on the island Tim grew up on they probably didn't even have light bulbs, or how he plays lights out most of the time, or some other such drivel, but we all know that the answer to this question is just as simple and fundamental as this big man's game.  Yes.  Yes he can.

*Derek Fisher would use his kid's cancer to get out of screwing in a light bulb.
*Greg Oden would break his wrist, knee, and ankle trying to screw in a light bulb.  Plus his osteoporosis is too highly advanced because he's probably like 87 years old.
*Rex Grossman would fumble the light bulb when accepting it from the hardware store clerk and then recklessly throw it into a group of light bulbs from the opposing team.
*Tiger Woods would screw the light bulb in from 120 yards with a soft pitching wedge and insane backspin.
*Ray Lewis would allegedly murder his light bulb outside a club, pass the blame on to one of his buddies for a promised sum of money once said friend served his time, and then win defensive player of the year.
I had a couple of other examples, but not very much time, so enjoy and feel free to add anything you would like.  I've got to go screw in a light bulb. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

BYU-Utah: The Holy War

It’s time for the Holy War. It should be called the Holier Than Thou War if we must go that route, but I don’t get to run the show. I am definitely biased when it comes to this matchup, so I should mention that up front. I hate the Utes. I also respect the U, but I hate everything about that team and I hope BYU pounds the crap out of them. I realize that’s not going to happen, and that is one of the things that makes this rivalry great.

I’ve been to at least 10 or 15 BYU-Utah games and it’s always crazy. I remember going to the game at Rice-Eccles in 2000 and thinking that I might not make it out of the stadium in tact. BYU and Utah fans hate each other. The fact that Boyd and I get along is an anomaly in this rivalry. It's probably because we look at things more realistically than most BYU or Utah fans. It’s hard being a Cougars fan because I often get lumped into the Embarrassment or My Cup Runneth O’er categories. But I’m still a die-hard Cougars fan (by the way, Utah lost to SW Baptist in basketball last week – at home. I know, I know, college hoops sucks, but it needed to be said).

Notice how great these teams have been over the past 2 years or so: Utah has won 19 of its last 20 and BYU has won 20 of its last 21. Both teams are winning at a 95% clip! The teams have split the last 12 meetings. In the last eleven games between BYU and Utah, only one has been decided by double digits (Utah won 52-21 in 2004, the year they broke the BCS under Urban Meyer). The last three games have been unreal, with one going into overtime, one decided on the last play, and the other being decided in the final two minutes. I’m stoked because the game on Saturday should be no different. In looking forward to Saturday, here are my big questions:

Can the Utah secondary keep Austin Collie from having a big game?
Will the U go about defending Collie with business as usual or will they specifically put McCain or Smith on him? Smith is bigger and more physical, but McCain is faster and the better cover man. The Ute defense will catch a break if Dennis Pitta can’t play, because they will be able to really focus on Collie. My guess is that Collie will extend his streak of 100-yard games to ten.

Can the BYU offensive line protect Max Hall?
Probably not. The BYU offensive line was shellacked by the TCU defensive line and Utah’s is almost as athletic. The Utah coaching staff will have some new wrinkles to throw at the Cougar line and will likely be able to force Hall to get happy feet. Seemed to work for the Horned Frogs...

Can the BYU defense slow down the Utah offense?
I’d be surprised. The BYU defense ranks 21st in scoring defense and has had two shutouts this year, but those stats are deceiving. This defense is just not very good. Utah runs an offense that uses a lot of misdirection to keep defenses off balance. The BYU defense has looked terrible against teams that run those kinds of offenses this year, so why would it be any different Saturday? Look for the Utes to put a big number on the board.

Will anyone choke?
I ask this question because both quarterbacks are so freaking clutch. Brian Johnson has led the Utes on some impressive fourth-quarter drives. He led an amazing comeback against Oregon State earlier this year, a last minute touchdown drive against TCU, and last year against BYU he took the Utes to the end zone to take the lead in the final minutes. Max Hall has done the same thing for the Cougars. Hall has led the team on game-winning drives against Utah last year, and UNLV, Colorado State, and Washington this year. Both are cool in the clutch and have impressive records as a starting quarterback (Johnson 24-7, Hall 21-3). I wouldn’t bet against either of them.

Which team will be more prepared?
Based on what I’ve seen in the past three years with Kyle and Bronco it should be about even. Here is where the edge comes in – Kyle appears to be much better at making adjustments. If BYU starts fast, expect Utah to counterattack by throwing something different at them. If Utah starts fast, expect BYU to make adjustments when it’s too late.

Who will win?
As a BYU fan I want nothing more than to see the U lose their BCS opportunity in a flameout. I think BYU has the better offense, but Utah has the advantage on defense and special teams. Throw in the home field advantage and the Utes are looking good. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m picking Utah 38-30.

Eighties Cocaine Quiz

She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie, cocaine. JJ Cale wrote an awesome song, made even more popular by Eric Clapton. Now, I don't know why, but for some reason, everyone, and I mean everyone was using cocaine in the 80's. I even heard babies were growing their pinky fingernails long to make it easier to get high. Ok, that isn't true, but one group of people that definitely was using cocaine was athletes. Every time you turned around, some famous athlete was getting busted for using cocaine. Some great careers were ruined by this stuff. I decided to make a quiz to see if you all remember who was using in the Eighties. I hope you don't do too well on this, or it might be a little suspicious. Assume one point for each correct answer. Answers and key provided at bottom of quiz.


1. What future Hall of Fame player would kick off the 80's cocaine craze by being caught in 1980 with 3 grams of cocaine at a customs office in Toronto, Canada?

A. Steve Carlton
B. Jim Palmer
C. Keith Hernandez
D. Lenny Dykstra
E. Ferguson Jenkins

2. This MLB Player spent over $40,000 on Cocaine in 1982, and claimed that he slid headfirst while stealing a base so as to not break the vial of coke that he hid in his hip pocket during games.

A. Vince Coleman
B. Juan Samuel
C. Tim Raines
D. Darryl Strawberry
E. Dave Parker

3. In a voluntary drug test to "End the gossip," this MLB player tested positive for cocaine in 1987 and missed a third of the season while in rehab.

A. Tim Raines
B. Dwight Gooden
C. Willie Wilson
D. Lee Mazilli
E. Steve Howe

4. This NBA baller complained that his liftime suspension in 1986 for multiple positive cocaine tests was unfair because the league never suspended Chris Mullin for being a drunk.

A. Roy Tarpley
B. Len Bias
C. John Drew
D. Michael Ray Richardson
E. Chris Mullin

5. This player was suspended a record 7 times for cocaine and alcohol abuse and proved that if you have a left arm and can throw even reasonably well, they will give you shot after shot at playing in the big leagues, even if you are tanked full of coke.

A. Steve Howe
B. Darryl Strawberry
C. Willie Wilson
D. Chili Davis
E. Randy Johnson

6. Named the 1984 NBA Comeback Player of the Year for "cleaning up" from cocaine addiction, only to be banned from the league in 1986

A. Roy Tarpley
B. David Thompson
C. Len Bias
D. John Drew
E. Kevin McHale

7. Once considered a sure-fire MLB Hall-of-Famer, had his career derailed in the early 80's due to cocaine usage. Testified during the Pittsburgh drug trials.

A. Tim Raines
B. Jim Rice
C. Willie Wilson
D. Darryl Strawberry
E. Dave Parker

8. This star proved that you can excell at Line Backer in the NFL if you are all hopped up on coke. He was not only high on the stuff most of the time, but could probably smell any cocaine the opposing quarterback was hiding in his uniform. (It was the 80's after all.)

A. Lawrence Taylor

Had to be one freebie in there.


Scoring Key
0-1 You used recreationally in the 80's, but preferred cheaper drugs like marijuana or LSD.
2-3 You used at parties, and maybe had a bender or two, but never took it into the 80's buisness office. You probably also had a mullet.
4-5 You, along with Richard Pryor, were freebasing all of the time, just to get high a little faster. You probably had Dwight Gooden on speed dial.
6-7 You certainly did things, both of a sexual and non-sexual variety, of which you are definitely regretful in order to get your cocaine on.
8 Get to rehab. Now. I don't care if you've been twice. Do it for you family. Do it. Do it.

Answer Key:
1. E. Ferguson Jenkins
2. C. Tim Raines
3. B. Dwight Gooden
4. D. Michael Ray Richardson
5. A. Steve Howe
6. D. John Drew
7. E. Dave Parker

Monday, November 17, 2008

Facts about Tim Tebow

One of my friends is a huge Florida Gators fan. It borders on obsession. He sent me an email awhile ago that made me laugh. Because the Gators are currently making a push as the best college football team in the country, here are 15 facts about Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.

15. Tim Tebow once stiff-armed a horse. Its descendants are known as giraffes.

14. Tim Tebow caught the roadrunner, and then beat the hell out of Wil E. Coyote for being a pansey.

13. Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas.

12. Tim Tebow can eat just one Lays potato chip. Don't tell Tim Tebow what he can't do.

11. Tim Tebow invented black. In fact, Tim Tebow invented the entire spectrum of light. Except pink. Bobby Bowden invented pink.

10. Tim Tebow invented the bolt-action rifle, liquor, sexual intercourse, and football. In that order.

9. God wanted to create the world in 10 days, but Tim Tebow only gave him 6.

8. Tim Tebow once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. It made him blink.

7. Tim Tebow once ate an entire cake before his friends could inform him that there was a stripper in it.

6. The grass is always greener on the other side. Unless Tim Tebow has been there. In that case, the grass is most likely soaked in blood and tears.

5. Tim Tebow recently had the idea to sell his canned urine as a beverage. This is now known as Red Bull.

4. For some, the left testicle is larger than the right one. For Tim Tebow, each testicle is larger than the other one.

3. Superman's only weakness is Kryptonite. Tim Tebow laughs at Superman for having a weakness.

2. Tim Tebow won the Tour de France on a unicycle to prove to Lance Armstrong that it wasn't a big deal. Tim Tebow thinks yellow wrist bands are gay.

1. After sex, Tim Tebow smokes. Not cigarettes - his penis literally smokes.

Monday Morning Mash-Up

It is a glorious Monday morning here in Salt Lake City, Utah. I don't feel like doing much, so I'm going to let others do the work for me today. Here is my mash-up of websites I enjoy reading. Check them out, you might find something you enjoy.

The Starting Five(Non-Sports):

NO. - You may wonder why I link to a blog that hasn't updated since January and I say just read what's there. It is wonderful.

just Phil-This is a new blog made by one of our frequent commenters, Phil. This blog is sublime, yet achingly poetic -A great website that takes movie, tv, music, and video games and averages the critical scores to give you a more accurate feel for what critcs think about things, rather than just getting your local newspaper hack's dumb-ass opinion. (now you can get 30 dumb-ass hack's opinions.)

Cheeth - Cheeth is a wonderful journey into the insights and wild musings of a 5'6" red-haired Mormon living in the small city of Japan

The Answer Is Always More Cowbell-The wealthy musings of a mad genius, often written in semi-stream of consciousness.

The Role Players (Sports):

TrueHoop-Henry Abbot of writes an excellent NBA blog use this to find a lot of Celtics stories, but it can be used for any major sports team to find stories relevant for their fanbases. site that links to a lot of popular sports sites. You could call it a hub, if you wanted.

Check 'em out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Food and the NBA

Okay, this is going to be a little crazy.  I was sitting here watching a couple of different NBA games and then I got to thinking about how hungry I am.  As I was trying to decide what to eat I got to thinking about a list of my favorite foods.  I then said to myself, "Self, I love the NBA so much and I also love food.  I love the Celtics and I love pizza.  Mmmm, pizza.  Hey, if NBA players were food who would be spaghetti and meat balls?"  (I told you it was going to be crazy).

Pizza-Paul Pierce
This was an obvious choice for me because both are my favorite.  I loves me some Paul Pierce just like I loves me some pizza.  Pizza has so many different options.  You can go with plain cheese, hawaiian, or pepperoni which is a favorite in my household, but your choices don't end there, not by a long shot.  Sausage, olives, mushrooms, onions, peppers, ham, bacon, hamburger, and tomatoes are all delicious backed into a pizza pie.  Some people like goat cheese and artichoke hearts on their pizza (which sounds disgusting to me) but never having tried it, I can't say if it's good or not.  To me, Paul Pierce is like pizza.  Pierce can give it to you so many ways.  He has the sweet outside shot and on occasion if he sets his mind to it can rain threes down on you from any spot around the arc.  He can post up, he can slash to the basket, he has a midrange game, he can fade away, he plays in the middle of the key, on the wing, or from the baseline.  Pierce can shoot free throws so you can foul him and send him to the line because he'll kill you.  Some people will argue that Kobe should be pizza, but Kobe is too much of an A-hole to be sweet, beautiful pizza.  Pizza would never cheat on his wife or allegedly rape his lady friend, that's more a sushi or lamb chops move.  And Lebron can't be pizza because he can't shoot and believe me when I say it, pizza can shoot the lights out.

Fillet Mignon-Tim Duncan
I enjoy a succulent steak whenever I can afford one (I'm not talking about a steak at Sizzlers now, I'm talking about a beautiful piece of center cut fillet about three inches thick and cooked to perfection by a real chef, not a guy who works at the taco cart part time and will drywall your basement for beer).  Steak is a staple of american cuisine.  It is basic, simple, but extremely delicious.  Steak is best when seasoned with salt and pepper.  It is ordinary but satisfying.  Tim Duncan is known as "the Big Fundamental".  He is not flashy or exciting, but the quality of his game can never be questioned.  Like steak Duncan is a staple of american cuisine, er basketball.  Duncan's salt and pepper are Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.  These players compliment Duncan just as these simple seasonings make a steak even more delicious, and as we have seen this season, without his salt and pepper Duncan is still a stud but just not as good as he could be.  P.S. Tim Duncan has a two head instead of a forehead.  This has nothing to do with food, but it is an interesting FYI.

Ice Cream Crepes-Dirk Nowitzki
I had this really good dessert the other day and it made me think of Nowitzki.  The thin crepes were filled with vanilla ice cream, surrounded by fresh berries, and drizzled with a butter chocolate sauce.    The combination of these flavors was a bit foreign yet extremely delicious.  After a few bites however, I realized that my plate must have just come out of the dishwasher and was still a little warm.  This desert could not stand up to even this limited heat source and the ice cream had melted before I could get through the entire dish.  Dirk Nowitzki is also a little foreign yet his game is extremely delicious.  A seven footer with that type of range should not be allowed to exist.  Nowitzki is surrounded by some fresh berries in Josh Howard and Jason Kidd and a few sour ones in Erick Dampier and Gerald Green.  Jerry Stackhouse  and Jason Terry add the chocolate sauce (and not like you are thinking, when I say chocolate sauce in this case I mean sauce made from chocolate not whatever sick and twisted thing you disgusting bastards are thinking.  Get your minds out of the gutter).  And lastly, just like my ice cream treat, Dirk Nowitzki melts under the mildest application of heat like the playoffs or some other pressure packed situation like free throws when the game is on the line.

Honorable Mentions:
Spaghetti and Meatballs-Shaq (because meatballs sound fat)
Devils Spit Hot Wings-KG (because of their shared intensity)
Anything cooked on the Hibachi-Gilbert Arenas (because dude thinks he's cookin' suckers)
Moo goo gai pan-Yao Ming (obvious reasons)
Anything that is cooked with a huge flash of fire and then leaves a really bad taste in your mouth-Vince Carter (he has now quit on TWO teams)

Feel free to add your NBA favorites, bake until golden brown around the edges, let cool, and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Time For College Basketball

I love college basketball and the season is about to start, which means it's prediction time. As a side note, I would like to mention that before the season started last year, I predicted Kansas to win the National Championship. I'm not saying I'll be right again, but I'm hoping I look good when it's all over. So, without further ado, here are my 2008-2009 college hoops predictions.

Most likely to hang 50 in a game: Stephen Curry, Davidson.
Don't be fooled by the fact that he looks like he's just about to hit puberty. Curry scored 26 ppg last season and hung 40 on Gonzaga in the first round of the tourney last year, including 30 in the second half. He then proceeded to drop 25 in the second half against Georgetown in the second round. Curry is the real deal and could very possibly hang 50 on someone this year. He scored less than 15 points in a game twice last year in 36 games.

Most likely to be the #1 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft: Blake Griffin, Oklahoma.
Griffin is a bit raw but his athleticism is off the charts. He's 6-10, 250, and has a "great body." He went for 15 ppg and 9 rpg last year while being plagued by two separate knee injuries. He finished strong last year by averaging 21 ppg and 15 rpg over his last 8 games as his health improved. If Griffin stays consistently healthy this year he'll play his way into being the top pick in the next NBA Draft, where Stephen A. Smith is sure to say something asinine.

Most Famous Player: Percy Miller, USC.
You might know Percy as the son of Master P, the founder of No Limit Records. Make 'em say Uhhhhh! Or you might know him as Lil Romeo. You don't know nuthin' about Lil Romeo, son. Side note - why do rappers think that having Lil in your nickname is cool? Have you ever considered how stupid some of these rap names are? Lil Wayne, Lil Scrappy, Fabolous, Young Jeezy, Lil Flip, Birdman, Slim Thug. I don't get it. Anyway, Miller must be the only college basketball player in America that drives a $300,000 Maybach. Word is that USC offered Lil Homeo a scholarship so that they could sign DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan is an insane athlete and could knock Griffin out as the #1 pick in the draft. Miller's 13 ppg in high school was apparently enough to get him a Pac-10 scholarship... Forgive me for being skeptical.

National Player of the Year: Stephen Curry.
Everyone is automatically penciling Tyler Hansbrough in as POY, but Curry has so much juice from his performance last year that I think he'll get the award.

Most Amazing Uniforms: Marquette

Watch Out For These Teams
: Virginia Tech, USC, Saint Mary's, Alabama, UNLV.

These Teams Are Overhyped: Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Georgetown.

Elite Eight: Notre Dame, Duke, UCLA, Gonzaga
Notre Dame returns almost everyone, including the best post player in the country not named Hansbrough. Luke Harangody averaged 20 and 11 last year, but the Irish lack depth.
Duke has a great backcourt and tremendous wings, but no consistent inside presence. The backcourt is good enough to get them this far.
UCLA brought in an incredible recruiting class to go along with the best point guard in the country, Darren Collison. The Bruins will again play great D and own the Pac-10, but the consecutive Final Four streak ends at 3.
Gonzaga is stacked, and Austin Daye could take the country by storm. If Daye breaks out and Josh Heytvelt decides to stay off of shrooms, the Zags could make a Final Four trip.

Final Four: Louisville, Michigan State
Louisville is stacked and Pitino teams generally get better as the season goes on. The Cardinals have a legitimate shot at winning the championship this season. Earl Clark is a future lottery pick.
Michigan State is fast and athletic, and Kalin Lucas underappreciated. He'll ease the blow from losing Drew Neitzel. Lucas is a blur with the ball, and the Spartans have a bunch of young players who will bust out. Keep an eye out for Durrell Summers.

National Runner-up: North Carolina
Everyone is picking UNC to win it all, as the smart money is on the Tar Heels to bring Roy Williams another title. The Heels have last season's National Player of the Year in Tyler Hansbrough and the fastest point guard in the country in Ty Lawson. Not to mention Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, and Marcus Ginyard. Oh, and they had a top 5 recruiting class. All this coming back for a team that went 36-3.

National Champs: Connecticut
So, with UNC so stacked, I'm picking last season's 4th place team in the Big East to win the title. Why? Because I don't like to go with the obvious pick. The reasons for the UConn pick are simple: every significant player returns improved, Calhoun is a great coach, and the Huskies match up well with UNC. If any player in the country can neutralize Hansbrough it's Hasheem Thabeet. At 7'3 and 260, Thabeet can block shots, rebound, and his offensive game has continued to get better. He added a jump shot to his game last year, and his power moves are beginning to look Shaq-like. The Huskies have talent at every position, with A.J. Price, Jeff Adrien, Jerome Dyson, Craig Austrie, and Stanley Robinson. The Huskies will do what they did in 1999 - beat an invincible ACC team to win it all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two “Sports” That Are Not Sports

Boyd wrote a post a while back about what constitutes a sport. Did you know that speed walking is considered a sport? Well, the technical term is racewalking, but it is considered a sport, or at least an athletic event. Since no one defends a goal of any kind, we’ll call it an athletic event. Racewalking is an Olympic event, and has been since 1908! The fact that this is an event at the Olympics should shatter all credibility for the games (even moreso than the Chinese gymnasts who had their Huggies protruding from their leotards). In racewalking, one must keep a foot in contact with the ground at all times and judges are on hand to monitor a racewalker’s form. They even hand out red cards for violation of rules. Similar to soccer, which also sucks.

Racewalking has been around since the late 1800s and it has sucked for just as long. How is this considered a sport? Watch how these people swing their arms like they’re part of a retard gang doing a pimp walk. While looking up information on racewalking I came across a blog written by an apparently famous racewalker. She went on some diatribe about how jogging sucks and she insults joggers by telling them that jogging is bad for your knees and that they must buy their shoes at “Joggertown.” If racewalkers are all this clever and run smack like that then you can count me in. Where do I sign up? There are many resources available to the speed walker, such as books, how-to DVDs, and classes. For those of you who are interested, click here.

This clip sums it up beautifully.

This brings me to my all-time favorite “sport” - NASCAR. NASCAR is flat-out unacceptable. What family time could be better than Cletus teaching his son how to be an athlete by sitting him in a Fisher Price car and having him learn to turn the wheel to the left? I must give credit where credit is due: NASCAR has influenced society in positive ways, including street racing, window stickers, Calvin pissing on a Ford logo, cars with no mufflers, and the Confederate Flag.

The other day I had a neighbor invite me to his house to watch a race on a Sunday afternoon. He says, “I know you’re a big sports guy, so I thought maybe you’d want to come watch Nascar with us this Sunday.” After I stopped laughing I politely declined. Amongst all my dislike for Nascar, I must admit that any “sport” that markets specifically to rednecks has a certain charm. Kentucky Fried Chicken advertised and sold NASCAR collectible buckets of chicken. This is ingenious - everyone knows that the NASCAR-loving segment of the population is enormous within the fried chicken-purchasing population. What other population would run out to buy chicken because someone stamped collectible on the side next to a picture of a guy wearing a thick bodysuit while sporting a great cropduster? Tennis fan certainly wouldn’t flock to KFC with their Polo collars popped to get collectible Pete Sampras buckets.

I don’t know how many people are going to read this post, but it’s inevitable that some noob is going to get on here and tell me that I’m ignorant and that I have no idea how hard racing is, that I've disrespected the South or rednecks, or that I'm an idiot who just wants to complain about something. I know, I know, NASCAR is a 200mph chess match and holding the wheel to the left while putting your foot down on a pedal requires loads of athletic ability. Watching all these advertisements on wheel is like watching a crappy 3-hour commercial. And people actually pay to see it. I’m not trying to convince anyone not to watch NASCAR. If you like it, fine. But don’t tell me that it’s a sport and don’t tell me the drivers are athletes. If you rednecks leave a comment, please at least try to be coherent. I'm tired - Goodnight, now.

NBA Birthday Slumber Party!!!!

When we were children our parents would allow us to have a slumber party with 5 or 6 of our best friends on our Birthdays. I would invite Phil Yawn, Adam Allred, Edwin Johnson, Nicholas Correa and a couple of wild cards, maybe a Kevin Lee or a Les Mounteer. Anyhew, we we would stay up half the night playing video games, maybe go out and toilet paper somebody's yard, and have a pillow fight that may or may not end in me getting punched in the face by an angry Indian boy because someone had forgotten to take a baseball out of thier pillow case and repeatedly bashed said Indian boy over the head several times with the ball. But no matter.

This morning, I got to thinking about these parties and asked myself what NBA players I would invite to my birthday party if I were a 10 year old boy again. I couldn't invite too many crazy players, because that might end in my Dad coming out and telling us it was time we went to bed, or he might have to take Ron Artest and Ricky Davis home. No, I would want mostly fun guys, but also, 1 crazy guy to keep things interesting. Here is my list and rational behind each pick.

Paul Pierce, Celtics
I want this guy because he is my favorite player. His nickname is "The Truth," so if he breaks something accidentaly, he'll fess up and not try to cover it up. My Dad hates being lied to. Paul seems like a pretty fun guy, and said that he partied for weeks after the Championship. Also, if we were out in the neighborhood looking for a girl's house to toilet paper and some older boys tried to rough us up, Paul would be tough and stand up for us. After surviving multiple stabbings, you can't question this guy's toughness.

Tim Duncan, Spurs
Tim has to come to my birthday slumber party. He's good because he's kind of shy, will laugh at most of my jokes, and won't try to steal too much attention from me. He'll fit in with the other guys that come to the party. I could never invite Kobe or LeBron, they would try to make the party about them. This is my special day, guys. Keep the focus on me. The other reason Tim would for sure be at my birthday party is because my Mom would make me invite him. She would say "Why don't you invite that little Timmy Duncan? He's so well behaved. Yeah. I'm sending an invitation to him."

Andrei Kirilenko-Jazz
Why AK47? Because we need someone to make fun of, don't we? At every party, some kid gets picked on and ends up wanting to go home. We would mock Andrei for his poor English and bad hairdo until he wanted to go home. We would make jokes about Borscht and the fall of Communism until Andrei cried for Mommy and left.

Shaquille O'Neal-Suns
Who would be more fun at a slumber party than Shaq? After our late night tomfoolery, when we were all lying down in our sleeping bags trying to finally sleep, you know Shaq would be the one farting and sending everyone into bouts of hysteria until Dad came in and told us it was time to go to bed. Then, as soon as Dad was back down the hall, another monster fart. Silly Shaq.

Gilbert Arenas-Wizards
I told you we needed one crazy guy didn't I? Gilbert seems like an endlessly entertaining guy. He would have us all laughing at his crazy jokes and stories. He would eat all of his cake and leave the frosting for last. He would be the one to poop in a bag and leave it on the porch when we were out toilet papering. When things got rowdy, you know Gilbert would be in the center of them yelling "Hibachi!" Mom sure would be glad when Gilbert's Dad came to pick him up the next morning.

Who would be at your party?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best Nickname, Part II

T-Bone had a recent article with his top nicknames. You can find that posting here. Some of his choices I agree with, some I don't. (The Mailman is an awesome, awesome nickname, bro. Get the net.) The fact is, this topic is a wealth of amazing names, so here come a few of my own personal favorites.

Chocolate Thunder-Darryl Dawkins
This nickname is so good for so many reasons. Dawkins was a master of thunderous dunks and he was black, thus "Chocolate Thunder." Dawkins broke many a glass backboard in his days and was probably responsible for the invention of the breakaway rim. Dawkins had so many monstruous hammer dunks, that he even came up with fancy names for them, my favorite being the In-Your-Face Disgrace. Also, he claimed to be from the planet Lovetron. In other words, Darryl was insane. Lastly, this is a favorite because when I think of Chocolate Thunder, I think of crapping my pants. To me, that is what the true chocolate thunder really is.

The Iron Horse-Lou Gehrig
You gotta like any nickname with metal in it. Iron, copper, brass, gold, platinum, molybdenum, you name it. Lou Gehrig of course got the "Iron" part of his nickname because of his consecutive games played streak. I could guess where he got the "Horse" part from, but this is a PG-13 Blog. When I think of actually riding an Iron Horse, it makes my own horse-like nuggets hurt.

The Round Mound of Rebound-Charles Barkley
This is so much better than "Sir Charles." I mean, basically it was the sports media calling a dude fat, but also paying homage to his rebounding skills. Barkley wasn't even that fat when he played, yet he got dubbed the Round Mound. I'm surprised David Wells never got a good fat related nickname, by the way.

Dinner Bell Mel/The Mealman-Mel Turpin
Continuing the trend of fat man related nicknames, you probably have never heard of, or don't remember Mel Turpin, but he was a fat sandwich who played for Cleveland, Utah and Washington in the 80's. Mel was one of the biggest (pun intended) draft busts in history, not because he didn't have ability, but because he was so fat that he physically couldn't hack it in the NBA. People like this (Tractor Traylor comes to mind), who can't stop their damn eating for a few seasons really make me sad. Please, Glen Davis, stay Big Baby and don't become Bigger Baby. You already struggle to jump a phone book.

Mr. October-Reggie Jackson
You gotta love it when your nickname comes from being a clutch playoff performer. Reggie may have struck out more than anybody in the history of baseball, but he didn't strike out in the nickname department as this one is awesome.

Mr. Clutch-Jerry West
Again, like Reggie Jackson, this is an awesome name to have. First off, we have repeat of the clutchness theme, and second, we have usage of the word "Mr." It's pretty cool when people call you Mr. as part of your nickname. As for Mr. Clutch, it's good because people are basically saying "we can't describe you in any way but to say that you are great when it matters most." Mr. Clutch couldn't beat Mr. Bill Russell enough to be more than "Mr. One Time Champion," though, so suck it, Laker fan.

Mr. May-Dave Winfield
This one is great because it is exactly the opposite of Mr. October. Winfield also played for the Yanks, where he was awful in the World Series. That old bastard George Stienbrenner gave Winfield this nickname himself. It's splendid because it uses "Mr." very mockingly.

The Microwave-Vinny Johnson
I hated the Bad Boy Pistons, but you've gotta give Vinny credit for earning this nickname. Dude would come in off the bench and start lighting fools up. He could heat up instantly, just like a...microwave.

Fat Elvis-Lance Berkman
This is great because Lance is fat and looks like Elvis. Sometimes things just work out magically and this is one of those times. I'll tell you what, if someone started calling me Fat Elvis, I sure wouldn't rock Elvis sideburns like Berkman does. He deserves a lot of credit for that. Only in baseball could you have a talented player be compared to the Fat Elvis, rather than the thin Elvis. See, in real sports you can't be a fat lard and be good at them. Just saying. Let's just pray that in the latter years of his career Berkman doesn't end up dead and sweaty.

Bert "Be Home By Eleven" Blyleven
Chris Berman is neither here nor there for me, and his nicknames are usually dumb, but for some reason, this one sticks with me as particularly amusing. I can't explain it. Blyleven is such an awful last name to have, but Berman managed to put an amusing spin on it. Did you ever see the time Blyleven said all those F-bombs on live TV? Look that up, bro, it's very entertaining.

Mrs Doubtfire-Colin Montgomery
I didn't want to go to golf, and I refuse to go to Hockey, but this one is too good to pass up. It's funny on so many levels. Monty sucks in America, giving him the impression of being a softy, and he also kind of looks like Mrs. Doubtfire with his big old man-boobs and curly hair. Thanks, Monty. You're always good for a laugh.

Ghosts of Vick's Dog's
This was the name of an opponent of mine in Fantasy Football the year after the Michael Vick incident and I thought it was an instant classic. Bye

Friday, November 7, 2008

I hate you BCS, or BSC, whatever.

Okay, so I'm not much of a college football fan.  I'll admit that I'm a homer.  I love the University of Utah because that is where I got my degree and I just can't stand my other option, BYU.  So when it comes to College Football, I don't have much of an opinion on much of anything.  But there is one topic in NCAA Football on which I do have an opinion, one thing that I am certain is slowly destroying the game, and that is the BCS.

Today on Sportscenter the football gurus are debating whether or not the University of Utah should be allowed a BCS bowl bid.  They are ranked 8th in the BCS standings and this was before they beat TCU last night (ranked 12th in the BCS).  Why is this a debate?  The Utes are ranked 8th for hell's sake, they are 10-0 and have beaten three pretty good teams (Michigan at the Big House, Oregon State, and TCU).  If Texas or USC have one loss they are still in the top ten in the BCS and no one ever questions their ranking, so why the Utes?  I'll tell you why, it's because the BCS is retarded that's why.

The BCS is run by a computer and that's the first thing wrong with the system.  Does a computer have the ability to distinguish if a team with a big lead puts their second string defense in at the end of a game and allows two late insignificant touchdown?  Does a computer know about field conditions and how wind, rain, snow, and fog can keep a normally explosive offense from scoring the points they most assuredly would in better conditions?  Does a computer know anything about heated rivalries that have been forged over years of hate-filled competition and how in such rivalries win/loss records are insignificant?  The answer to all of these questions is no.

The next thing that is wrong with the BCS is that it causes teams and
head coaches to be A-holes in order for better numbers to be added to the complicated math problem that spits out the BCS standings.  Urban Myers, head coach of the Florida Gators, called two time out in the last five minutes of their game against Georgia last week.  The Gators were up 49-10.  Myers was trying to score more points so that a better margin of victory against a quality opponent like Georgia could be added into the computer and help raise his BCS stock.  This is the kind of thing that makes coaches kick an onside kick with two minutes left in the game and leading by three touchdowns.  This is the reason you see teams beating other teams by seventy points.  The BCS is bad for the game.  It allows no room for sportsmanship, class, or mercy.  We all know that USC is better than Washington State so do we really need to watch the Trojans kick the hell out of the Cougars 69-0 to prove it?

Are the coaches poll or the AP poll a better solution to the BCS?  I don't think so.  There is too much room for favoritism, speculation, and coaches don't care about what other teams are doing.  They are too busy trying to prepare their team for their next opponent to take the time to look over all of college football and make educated votes.  I think the AP just waits for the coaches poll to come out and then they reverse the order of a couple of teams and then post their poll.  It's all too non-scientific for my taste.  Is a playoff system the answer to this BCS mess?  I'm not sure that it is.  How many teams do you let in?  Eight?  16?  32?  The playoff system would create just as much controversy as the BCS has over the last few years, if not more.

Here is my solution.  The NCAA needs a dude like Mel Kiper Jr. of NFL Draft fame.  They need a dude with a computer for a brain and nothing else to do but look at the landscape of college football and decide who should be where in the standings.  They need a dude who doesn't care if a team is from the Mountain West of the SEC.  They need a dude who can crunch the numbers, look at the matchups, and calculate all of the intangibles to come up with some rankings that actually make some sense.  At first look this may seem impossible.  How can any one man be asked to do such a thing?  But if any of you have watched Kiper Jr. run the NFL Draft show you know that the dude is a complete genius.  He has info on who each team should draft and knows about guys best fit for the ninth round that you have never even heard of before.  Kiper Jr. is a walking talking computer with a kick ass Eddie Munster hairdo.  If Kiper Jr. doesn't want to do the job I'm sure the NCAA can find some guy who has won his office fantasy league for the last ten years and knows stuff about players you or I didn't even know existed.

Okay, so when it comes down to it, I don't have a real solution to the BCS mess, but I do know that something must be done before College Football becomes so mired in controversy that nobody can stomach watching the games.

Go Utes!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hard Work Never Killed Anybody, But Why Take The Chance?

I'll be honest with you - I have some stuff going on right now that prevents me from getting into this post too much today, so it will be relatively brief.

In a confirmation of my diagnostic criteria for My Cup Runneth O'er, my boy Dyer called me the other night and explained that the Jazz still have a shot at 82-0. Next up for Dyer will be him calling me three minutes into a game with the Jazz up 4-0 and telling me that the Jazz could go for a shutout. I wouldn't put it past him.

I want to congratulate the Chicago Bears for not screwing up the Lions' perfect season. Detroit has now signed Daunte Culpepper in efforts to blow the opportunity for a completely blemished season. Good thing Daunte sucks now. I'm still hopeful...

Maybe the Clippers can go 0-82. After all, they are the Clippers.

Have you been watching the rookies in the NBA this year? The stats are impressive, with seven averaging double figures in ppg already. It may not last, but it's good to see. The top two picks are each averaging over 17ppg.

Is anyone excited about college basketball starting? I'm usually a college hoops junkie but it just doesn't seem all that appealing this year. Maybe it's because North Carolina looks like they could beat a few NBA teams. When you already know who's going to win it all, it's not as fun.

Speaking of winning it all, I know it's early, but seeing the way the Lakers are playing so far makes me wonder if I should have picked them to win the Championship. They look awesome, even with Andrew Bynum looking pretty mediocre so far. Of course, he did have 17 boards last night, so what happens when he puts it together?

Does anyone want to see Alabama or Penn State in the BCS Title game? Personally, I'd rather see Florida-Texas, or USC-Oklahoma. I'd almost rather see Ball State-Utah at this point. Alabama is a boring team to watch and I don't want to watch the title game and hear the announcers talking about Paterno and his impending death the entire time.

I am currently in a state of fasting and prayer in hopes that Manny Ramirez will re-sign with the Dodgers. I need as much of Man-Ram in my life as possible.

How about Urban Meyer calling two timeouts in the final minute of the game last week with Florida up 49-10? And people wonder who taught Kyle Whittingham the hilarious "onside kick when up by 43" trick he used last year when Utah was crushing Wyoming.

Brett Farve leads the NFL in interceptions this season with 12 and has been booed repeatedly by Jets fans in the past few weeks. Please, Brett, go away.

A couple was arrested during the Bills-Jets game this past Sunday because they were caught mid-coitus in the women's bathroom. Chris Berman, a longtime Bills fan, did the play by play. He could ... go ... all ... the ... way! These people couldn't even wait until after the game? I understand that sometimes you need some love and affection, but considering how dirty the can at a football stadium must be, the sex drive must have been off the charts for them to go at it in a bathroom stall. They were probably just excited to be in the presence of Greatness (i.e., Brett Farve).

Six Long Weeks

Six weeks may not seem to be a long time.

As you may or may not recall, six weeks ago today I reported in a brief post that I was feeling ill and felt there was a possibility my appendix was the culprit. Here are the details from the situation.

The night before, I had gone to sleep feeling quite lousy. I had an abnormal bit of indigestion and heart burn. I went to the bathroom and dry heaved a few times, and thought that maybe it was something I ate. I lied down and had a fairly sleepless night. I kept awakening with a pain in my side, but at the time, just felt it was something I had eaten. (I believe I had Italian that night, which commonly causes these types of gastrointestinal issues for me.)

I awoke Wednesday morning and felt equally as ill as the night before. I got up, prepared myself for the day, and went to work. I sat down at my computer to come up with something for the blog, but couldn't. I just didn't feel well. The pain was centralizing in the lower right hand side of my gut, and I began to suspect appendicitis, as I wrote in my post that morning.

I wrote my post rather hastily and left my office as my work required me to go to the doctors office of an abused child to supervise the check-up of said child. On the way to the appointment, I called my wife on my cell phone and told her I was not well, and that I was nervous it was appendicitis. She laughed at me and said I was just "being dramatic." She also told me to ride it out, and if it lasted until tomorrow, then I should go see the doctor. I agreed that this was probably a wise course of action. When I arrived at my client's Doctor's office, I reported that I felt I would need to go to my personal doctor's office and be checked out. My clients told me I did not look well.

I got in my car and started driving back to my office, when the pain started doubling. At this point, the indigestion and sick feeling were gone, but the pain was now directly in the area where my appendix would be. I figured it was my gall bladder or my appendix and I called my Doctor up and made an appointment for later that day.

I went home where I met my wife, and told her I had the appointment. She laughed and asked if I wanted her to come. (she had plans with her sister.) I told her no, that I would call her if it was indeed something serious. I waited until the time of my appointment and left.

At the Doctor's office, my Doc had me jump up and down, which hurt. I described my symptoms to him. He then started poking and pushing me, most of which was quite uncomfortable. He told me that he thought I had appendicitis and that he wanted me to go to the emergency room and be CT scanned right then.

I left the office and went to Alta View Hospital, which is but a short drive from my Doctor's office. I arrived, checked in, and was immediately taken back to a patient area. After 20 or 30 minutes, a nurse came and took me in to be CT scanned. The CT took about 25 minutes and was mostly fine, except for the part when they inject an intravenous contrast that makes you feel like your whole body might melt for a minute or two. The nurse then wheeled me back to the waiting room.

It only took about 2 minutes for a doctor to come see me and tell me that my appendix was infected and needed to be taken out. I would be taken to the OR room in about 1/2 hour. I called my wife, who had inexplicably gone to Ogden (50 minutes or so from where I was.) She still, for some reason, found this all funny and said she was on her way. I told her that if I got taken back before she got there, and if by chance I died in the operation, that I loved her. (I have done this every time I have gone in for surgery. There is just something so sadistically funny about saying "If I die, I loved you" as they are wheeling you in for an operation.)I then called my parents, Ross and Eleanor, and they said they were on their way.

The waiting time was more like an hour, and my wife did make it to the hospital with my baby about 15 minutes before they took me back. (I also told my 9 week old baby that if I died, I loved her:) Then the Surgeon came in and explained what he was going to do, and all of the ways I could die from it. I joke, but he really made me nervous with all of his prattling about how he could hit my artery and kill me. This is a typical surgeon thing to do, as it seems surgeons are born without common sense or courtesy, though this guy was pretty nice and gave me his time, which I appreciated, even if it was time he used to scare the balls off me.

After another 30 minute wait, I was wheeled back and spoke with the anesthesiologist, who went over my medical history with me. Then the doctor came over, they wheeled me in to the operating room, and had me scoot my naked butt over onto the operating table. The anesthesiologist then told me I would be getting sleepy and the next thing I knew, I woke up in another room.

I have had 3 previous hernia surgeries, a tonsillectomy, and wisdom teeth removal in the past under general anesthesia, and I always remember waking up in the recovery room. Not this time. I apparently blanked that whole thing (over an hour) out and remember coming to with my wife, baby, and parents in the room. I felt pretty lousy and that was when they broke the news to me that not only had they removed my appendix, but when the surgeon opened me up, he saw that my twice repaired belly button hernia was coming undone again. He had to re-secure the mesh with some heavy duty screws he fastened into my gut. I was in considerable pain and was also very, very groggy.

I had to stay overnight in the hospital unfortunately, but I slept pretty well because of all the drugs I was on. In the morning, I spoke to the Doctor, who gave me no assurances that my hernia would not open again, in fact quite the contrary. (He was a pleasant dude, but Lord, was he the harbinger of bad news.) He let me know if it opened again, he would put in a whole belly patch that would do the job. He also let me know how much worse that would hurt than what I had just went through. As I was in fairly bad pain, that news did not lighten my mood. Then he told me the bad news: If it had just been my appendix, I would have to take it easy for 2 weeks, but because of the hernia, I had to go six. Six long weeks. No lifting. No exercising. No sports. No sex.

Well, my friends, six weeks have come and gone and today I start my life again. This morning, I shoveled my driveway. When I get home from work, my wife better be in some skimpy lengerie, and tonight, I return to the basketball court 20 pounds heavier, even slower than before, but happy to be out there. I hope I don't twist an ankle. Six more weeks would be a killer.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Votes

Boyd gave us our ballot options yesterday - and fine options they were - and I decided to make my responses public, along with a bit about why I voted the way I did. Click here to cast your votes. In an important update, Angela Lansbury is indeed still alive. I have verified this through a quick 5 second search using the Internet. Patrice - you can rest easy, baby. It's all love here at the Strap.

1. Best NBA Player - Kobe Bryant
This could be an entire column, but I'll save that for another time. Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player in the world. LeBron James is a great player (and more of a team player) and is probably the best athlete in the league, but Kobe is the most skilled player in the league right now. Kobe is the most dynamic offensive threat since Jordan and is a better man defender than King James. The math is simple: better on offense + better on defense = better overall. Basketball is played at both ends of the floor, so Kobe comes out ahead here. On top of that you have Kobe's pride, mentality, and competitive nature - Kobe doesn't want to be known as the best player in the NBA, he wants to be known as the best player ever. And he plays like it. I just can't pick James over Bryant at this point. That said, LeBron is better at his age than Kobe was at the same age, and LeBron seems to have potential to get even better, whereas I would say that Kobe probably doesn't have the ceiling that LeBron does. My vote goes to KB24 right now, but LeBron will eventually surpass him.

2. Best Point Guard - Chris Paul
Paul gets the nod for two main reasons: his hands and decision making. Paul is the best decision maker in basketball. His ball control is amazing and he turns the ball over much less than most point guards. Paul seems to get every loose ball - he led the league in assists and steals per game last season. He also finished second in scoring and fourth in rebounding among all point guards. Jazz fans, prepare your rebuttal.

3. Most Hated NBA Player - Ron Artest
I like Artest much more than Ginobili, but I voted for the Tru Warrior because I think more people dislike him. He is too insane to not be hated by millions of NBA fans around the United States, particularly due to his role in the brawl at the Palace (even though Ben Wallace doesn't get enough credit for instigating that melee).

4. Most Likely to Be In a Boy Band - Wally Szczerbiak
How can you choose anyone other than Wally or Kevin Love? Kevin Love looks like the Color Me Badd guy and has the last name for it, but the guy is too tubby to be convincing. Look at how the only Nsync guy anyone knows is Timberlake - because the other guys were fat or ugly. Now, Wally on the other hand has the look - washboard abs, tousled hair, and a strong jawline. I said it. Wally could fit right in with a boy band.

5. Best 80s Wrestler - Ric Flair
This was a tough one, but due mostly to his amazing promo skills The Nature Boy is the choice. Flair was insane, great on the mic, good in the ring, executed the Flair flop, and wore pageant-quality sequined gowns. Wooooooooo!!

6. Sport You Care Least About - Soccer
Soccer is the most boring sport on the freaking planet. I have a bunch of friends who will get up at 3 in the morning to watch World Cup soccer. I just don't get it. It's like people with their purse dogs - I just don't get it. Can someone please explain to me why I should care about soccer?

7. Best Condiment - Ketchup
Ketchup gets the nod here for versatility. Ketchup enhances the hot dog, corn dog, hamburger, meatloaf, onion rings, french fries, eggs, etc. No other condiment can compete with that kind of multifaceted excellence. BBQ sauce is wonderful (and I actually prefer it on most things) but doesn't have as many applications.

8. Best Sports Babe - Elisha Cuthbert
You can't go wrong here, but I like blondes, so Cuthbert gets my vote.

9. Most Likely to be the First Picked on Hell's Football Team - Orenthal James Simpson
The Juice has truly earned my vote (who voted for Ray Lewis?). I could list all of OJ's illegal accomplishments, but suffice it to say that his criminal history is long and impressive. The guy wrote a book called If I Did It about the murders of Nicole and Ronald. That takes some serious balls and probably punched his ticket to hell on the spot. Then OJ was arrested for robbery in Las Vegas and when questioned by the media he reportedly said, "I thought what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Nobody can touch the Juice.

Sports Votes

Americans will soon get together in droves to vote for the next group of politicians that will probably fail us. It's an exciting time of the year. Who will it be? Barack Obama or John McCain? Republican or Democrat? Who knows? At this time, I'd like to extend the chance for you, the faithful readers of this blog, to offer up your Sports Votes. Topics were chosen by me in a non-democratic matter. Remember, it's your right and priveledge to vote here, so don't take it for granted.