08.31.07

Mushnick : Conversant With Curtis Jackson’s Street Name

Posted in Gridiron, Hip Hop, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 11:46 am by

(Fiddy, moments after being told Phil Mushnick has pre-ordered ‘Graduation’)

I guess the Conscience Of NewsCorp wasn’t won over by 50 Cent’s Vitamin Water commercial. (While I don’t watch a ton of classical music coverage on TV, I’m pretty sure they don’t feature play-by-play commentary). From Dr. Phil in Friday’s NY Post :

ESPN proudly announced that its big, Saturday night, prime-time college football schedule on ABC would be accompanied by the work of gangsta rapper Curtis Jackson, street named 50 Cent. That’s right, 50 Cent, ESPN was happy to report, has been engaged by the network to write “special lyrics” that will serve as ABC’s “Saturday Night College Football” opening.

ESPN/ABC’s press release reads that 50 Cent “has taken the street culture by storm.” But I’ll bet that none of the champs who selected 50 Cent for this endeavor lives anywhere near that street nor that storm.

ESPN’s press release doesn’t include any hints, let alone specifics, but 50 Cent’s lyrics are among the vilest, most hateful, violent and vulgar ever recorded for mass production and mainstream consumption. His artistry demonstrates a consistent fondness for two things: himself and guns.

Of course, the next time ESPN or ABC shows the likes of Bruce Willis or James Gandolfini courtside at a major sporting event, Phil is unlikely to criticize the network for glamorizing gun violence. As always, certain types of artistry (and certain audiences) are held to very different standards in the Mushnick household.

The Brew Crew Suckle At The Teat Of Hugo Chávez

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 11:32 am by

Though fading fast in the NL Central — last night’s 5-4 loss to the Cubs dropped the Brewers to 2 1/2 games back, there’s a bit of good news for Milwaukee’s bottom line, as reported by the Biz Of Baseball’s Maury Brown.

The Milwaukee Brewers will unveil a massive Citgo sign in the shape of a gas pump just outside the right-centerfield fence. The new sign will light up each time the Brewers hit a home run.

According to the SBD, the “22-foot-high pump contains an LED board where the price of gas would appear, but it instead will display the distance of every homer.”

No word yet on whether or not Hugo Chavez will have editorial control over Bob Uecker, or if the Venezuela prez might be compelled to make an appearance in the booth himself.

The Widow Cobain : Alan Partridge Nearly Killed Owen Wilson (Ah-Ha!)

Posted in The World Of Entertainment at 10:55 am by

Though I’ll admit there’s something slightly weird about the way Radio Norwich’s former overnight host has become part of Hollywood’s hoi polloi, there’s just a bit of irony in Courtney Love accusing Steve Coogan of aiding and abetting Owen Wilson’s failed suicide attempt.

Especially in light of the Coog’s alter ego taking such a firm stance against Class A drugs.

Cheer Up, Red Sox – The Squirrel’s Got Your Back

Posted in Baseball, Going To The Zoo at 10:44 am by

The following is probably slim consolation for Boston after being humbled by Chien Mien-Wang yesterday, but it’ll have to do.  The New York Times’ Teddy Kidder considers the implications of a squirrel seen running up and down Yankee Stadium’s right field fole pole Tuesday evening.

Believe it or not, the squirrel™s actions closely resembled those of Ratatosk, or œgnawing tooth, a squirrel in Norse mythology that climbed up and down a tree that represented the world. Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic scholar and poet, recorded the story in his 13th-century work œProse Edda.

As the story goes, Ratatosk carried insults as it traveled to opposite ends of the tree, fueling a rivalry between the evil dragon residing at the bottom of the tree and the eagle perched at the top.

œOh, that™s perfect, said Roberta Frank, a professor of Old Norse and Old English at Yale University, when told of the squirrel™s antics at the stadium.

Frank was born in the Bronx and is a Yankees fan. She said in a telephone interview yesterday that in the Bronx version of this myth, the Yankees would probably represent the eagle and the rival Red Sox would represent the dragon. The Yankees, after all, are the home team this week, more or less making them the good guys. And if there were a sports team identified with an eagle, it has to be the Yankees, who have begun any number of postseason games with a visit from Challenger, the bald eagle who swoops in from center field.

But being the eagle is not such a good thing, Frank noted.

œThe dragon will destroy the world in Norse mythology, she said, adding that the eagle would be on the losing end of a battle that was only made worse by the malicious squirrel.

Country Time’s Dead Arm Confirmed By The Non-Medical Community

Posted in Baseball at 10:01 am by

Phillies 11, Mets 10

On paper, you had to figure a matchup of El Duque versus Kyle Fucking Lohse would favor the visitors, but instead, the Mets would conclude August with their 5th consecutive defeat, and 4th in a row to the surging Phillies. And there’s no way to discount how severely momentum in the NL East has shifted over the past week.

The series at CBP had a serious postseason vibe, but only the hosts showed anything approaching poise. Barring a turnaround over the season’s final month, we might well identify Aaron Rowland’s 45 foot squib from Tuesday as the begining of the end for the ’07 Mets. And while Marlon Anderson’s take-out-that-wasn’t was the pivotal play in Wednesday night’s loss, the following are the grim points to ponder after Thursday’s marathon.

* – At what point does the notion of knocking down Pat Burrell become acceptable to the Flushing Pacifists? Burrell’s pair of homers on Wednesday increased his career total against New York to an inexplicable 41. How thoroughly does Burrell own the Metropolitans? Chipper Jones would like Burrell to adopt his kids.

* – Solely based on this season’s results to date, there’s no way you’d take Jose Reyes ahead of Jimmy Rollins.

* – Given the recent futility of Guillermo Mota and Aaron Heilman, it’s not totally unexpected that Willie Randolph would summon Billy Wagner as early as the top of the 8th inning. But it’s a pretty desperate scenario when a closer who’s openly professed to having a dead arm is taxed beyond his usual capabilities. While the Mets are hoping Pedro Martinez will represent an improvement in the starting rotation over Brian Lawrence, a miracle recovery from Duaner Sanchez might be of greater need.

Quote of the week award goes to Metsradamus : “You would think that people would know better than to call me fresh after a loss like that. But one call I did take was from Art Howe. He congratulated the team for battling.”

Though I’m fully in agreement with a portion of CSTB’s readership that Majestic’s MLB licensed pullover shirts are an undignified look for a big league skipper, it’s astonishing to think the league would have a security official harass Terry Francona in the middle of a game. And if Tito cites “circulation issues” for a reason why he’s reluctant to wear a full uniform, I’m inclined to take him at his word.

08.30.07

Page 2’s Caple, Persona Non-Grata At The Cask & Flagon

Posted in Baseball, Mob Behavior, Sports Journalism at 12:03 pm by

Though a Red Sox fan as a younger man, ESPN.com’s Jim Caple says of his fellow rooters, “as soon as the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, Boston fans took on a swaggering persona, acting as if they alone invented sports fandom and behaving as if nothing else in baseball mattered but them.” Even worse, he throws in a reference to “Can’t Buy Me Love”.

No one can stand to be around Red Sox fans anymore. And they’re everywhere — a recent USA Today article labeled the Red Sox baseball’s new biggest attraction. Forget a fence between the U.S. and Mexico. What we really need is a wall, a moat and a minefield around New England to keep the spoiled citizens of Red Sox Nation from sneaking into the rest of the country and taking over seats in major league ballparks that should go to hard-working local fans. Everywhere the Red Sox play these days turns into a road version of Fenway Park, with Boston fans occasionally drowning out the hometown fans with their “Let’s Go Red Sox!” chants. They were so over the top at a recent game in Seattle, I was surprised the Mariners didn’t play “Sweet Caroline.”

Whether this is an inspiring show of team pride by passionate fans or an annoying lack of manners depends on how close you have to actually sit to these people.

They call themselves Red Sox Nation, the same arrogant way the Cowboys call themselves America’s Team. And the whole thing is getting a little old. Could I get a little help here from Miss Teen South Carolina? Where the hell is Red Sox Nation anyway? It seems to me Red Sox Nation only exists when the team is winning, like a country that only shows up on U.S. State Department radar when oil is discovered. Wherever Red Sox Nation is, I just wish Bush would invade it.

Having watched listened to many of Boston’s recent away games in Anaheim and Seattle on the radio — and been left wondering if there were any home fans in attendence judging by the noise each time the Red Sox scored, I think Caple’s got a point. One, however, that Jeff Johnson was a little more successful in making, but just the same, can’t other cities generate a requisite sense of entitlement enthusiasm for their ballclubs?

Is Yi Jianlian China’s Danny Almonte?

Posted in Basketball at 11:12 am by

Milwaukee’s protracted negotiations the Guangdong Tigers concluded yesterday with Yi Jianlian signing his rookie deal, news that should be met with wild enthusiasm at Long Wong’s (œthe World™s greatest Chinese-American sports bar). Before the party gets out of hand, however, the Journal-Sentinal’s Bob Wolfley has questions about Jianlian’s age.

Is Yi 19 years old as FIBA contends? FIBA is the ruling body of international basketball.

Or is he 22, which other sources say he is?

During the teleconference Wednesday from Hong Kong conducted with U.S. reporters, the Bucks were asked a simple question.

How old is Yi?

“He’s listed at 19, isn’t he?” came a comment from the Bucks’ end.

Bucks general manager Larry Harris then answered.

“Well, I would say this,” said Harris. “Obviously FIBA keeps their records and that’s what we go off. He’s listed as 19. It’s been a question that has been out there. But as far as we are concerned, we have to go off the documents that we have. He is 19 years old. Being with him today, he’s a fine young man. That’s what we are going with.”

But others insist Yi was born Oct. 27, 1984, which would make him 22. FIBA lists his birthday as Oct. 27, 1987.

Observers say that Yi’s correct age is listed for him at the Guangdong government social insurance site. That site lists the birth date for a Yi Jianlian as Oct. 27, 1984.

Moreover, a Chinese source e-mailed a reporter a class picture of Yi’s when he graduated from the sixth grade in the No. 3 class of the Xinxiu Elementary School in Shenzhen.

“Kids in China usually start going to school at 7 years old,” said the source. “And they should be at 13 years old by the time they finish the sixth grade, or at least 12 years old if they started when they were 6.

“Unless Yi started elementary school at 3, he can’t be 19 now,” the source said.