10.31.08

Spaceballs: Ex-NFLer Ken Harvey’s Exciting Investment Opportunity

Posted in Gridiron at 3:46 pm by

Space. It’s just up there, cold and far away and — at least for the time being — comparatively bereft of good recreational opportunities. Yes, there’s ice cream (of sorts). Space-walking is popular. Repairing crumbling space infrastructure will at least keep you busy. But it took 11-year NFL vet Ken Harvey — whom I remember best as the guy in the Redskins uniform standing over a parade of the lousy pre-Fassel Giants quarterbacks he just sacked — to see the lucrative sports-related opportunities in space.

He calls it SpaceSportilization, which is kind of a bad idea on its face, but I’m not judging. If only because I don’t want to wind up like Danny Kannell. That is, prone. The New York Times‘ Michael Brick breaks down Harvey’s proposed “Float Ball” empire:

It would combine elements of basketball, football and the Lionel Richie video for œDancing on the Ceiling into a sort of free-for-all, compelling weightless players to bounce off walls, obstacles and one another while herding weightless balls of various colors to either end of the playing space, which would be placed inside the cabin of a zero-gravity plane or, possibly, on the moon. Eventually, one day, if all went well, some sort of custom arena would be constructed. On Mars.

œThere™s a bonus, said (Harvey) to an attentive audience of National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineers, technicians and scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center recently, œwhere you have to pick up a person holding a certain ball and throw them through a hoop as a sort of extra point.

…Inside the campus, a collection of low-slung brick buildings dating to the 1950s, he was escorted on a tour of communications centers stranded in time, working rooms behind glass replete with mainframe computers, heavy phones and framed portraits of astronauts. The only thing missing seemed to be sweaty guys in thin neckties leaning over smoldering ashtrays. His guides spoke of long-ago flush times for space exploration in the cold war. œYou had somebody to compete against, Harvey said, œlike Redskins against Cowboys.

When the time came for his presentation, Harvey descended the steps of a flag-decked auditorium. Stocky and bald-shaven, dressed in a patterned tie, gray suit, brown loafers and interlocking silver bracelets, he stood before a projection screen that displayed grainy images of the SpaceLab scientists performing gymnastic routines.

His audience, about 40 NASA specialists, fell silent. Harvey ran through a series of slides covering the troubled economy, the promise of space tourism, citations of sports in the work of science fiction novelists and precedent-setting events like Alan Shepard™s lunar golf shot. He cracked jokes, digressed liberally and quickly won over the group. œYou may say, what the heck is all this? Harvey told his audience. œYou™re talking about sports and entertainment complexes on the moon.

Advanced concepts like the Float Ball league, he argued, would develop in time from astronaut fitness programs, virtual reality games, zero-gravity flights and educational efforts designed to instill post-space age children with new interstellar dreams.

This may be too inside-baseball, but I’m looking at the list of category tags here on the WordPress page, and there is nothing available for ‘Space Sports’ or ‘Throwing a Guy Through a Hoop as an Extra Point.’ So, of course, apologies for a poorly tagged post.

Philly Photog To Riot Phans : You Flipped My Ride, Now Fix It

Posted in Automobiles, Baseball, Mob Behavior at 2:40 pm by

From the “25 Years To Win A Major Championship, 25 Seconds To Flip Over A Car Dept.” :

I couldn’t afford a full coverage insurance policy on my car so my insurance company won’t cover a vandalism claim. I also had to hire a towtruck to flip it back because Triple A doesn’t cover this either. I can’t afford to buy a new car or to have this one fixed – if it’s even possible. I work as a freelance videographer and a car is crucial for me being able to work and get to my different jobs.

There was alot of people on Broad Street last night. If all the people who were hanging out near Broad and Washington (where the car was flipped) gave me ten dollars I could probably buy a new car… or if all the people who actually flipped my car gave me a thousand dollars that could work too.

Incredibly, Sarah Palin Might Not Be The Least Qualified Vice Presidential Candidate

Posted in politics, Sports Journalism at 1:17 pm by

Much as I’d love to sneer at yet another regurgitated Phil Mushnick column —- guess who’s upset about late night World Series games? — the New York Post’s bearded conscience of all things sports media has on this rare occasion, scooped yours truly and I’m genuinely embarrassed.

Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr’s name has been dropped on CSTB a handful of times, but did I ever take the time to notice his running mate was none other than a one-time fixture on the crap sports radio / program-length paid announcement circuit?  Luckily, Phil was on the case :

When we enter voting booths Tuesday, we’ll see notorious TV time-buy scamdicapper Wayne Root’s name on the ballot as a legitimate candidate for Vice President of the United States (Libertarian Party).

Root has the endorsement of the NBRO (National Boiler Room Operators).

Booo! Fitzy Channels Count Floyd

Posted in Free Expression, Gridiron at 10:28 am by

Almost as creepy as the real thing, too.

Morrissey To MLB : Shorten The Season

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 10:26 am by

“If baseball insists upon playing 162 regular-season games, three postseason rounds and the World Baseball Classic every four years,” warns Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal,  “weather problems will continue to disrupt the World Series.”  And that’s to say nothing of Ken’s paymasters insisting on evening start times for the Fall Classic.   The Chicago Tribune’s Rick Morrissey seems equally troubled, insisting “when the Phillies were jumping on each other Wednesday night after winning the World Series, they weren’t celebrating. They were trying to stay warm.” (link taken from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

A wonderful solution would be for baseball to start the season April 15 rather than April 1 and end the regular season Sept. 15 instead of Sept. 30. That’s correct: a 130-game schedule.

Come to think of it, cutting April and September entirely from the regular season wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The season is wayyy toooooo lllllooooooonnnnnnng.

Now I know this would play havoc with statistics. Records we hold dear would likely never be broken again because of the shortened schedule. But let’s keep in mind that the steroids era has taken a sledgehammer to the record books anyway. The home run records, in particular, are silly.

Anyone who has had to sit through a game in the spring knows it can be a wretched experience, at least in Chicago, especially when the wind has kicked up and the cold air hasn’t received the memo about summer being somewhere on the horizon.

What we saw this week made no sense. Why allow weather to be the biggest factor at the exact time the games mean everything?

Assuming the owners don’t like my idea of a shorter season”assuming, while we’re at it, that they don’t like being flogged with a birch switch”what about playing the World Series at a neutral, warm-weather site? Sacrilege, I know. But if football can do it, why can’t baseball?

When precisely isn’t weather a major factor?  If the World Series is too important to be played under frigid conditions, can the Texas Rangers petition to play the entire summer at a neutral site?

10.30.08

Please, Enough About San Antonio’s Shaq-Hacking Prank

Posted in Basketball at 6:25 pm by

Of course the Suns beat the Spurs last night —- how could San Antonio be expected to compete after their head coach was suddenly replaced by Dr. Gene Scott?

D’Antoni Denies Calling Knicks Fans Assholes (Can You Believe These Assholes?)

Posted in Basketball at 5:22 pm by

I didn’t think Thursday’s Knicks blotter would include a story to top the Chef Oakley auction, but here we go. Under normal circumstances, a Knickerbocker season opening victory at MSG would be cause for celebration, even if it came against a club that lost 67 games last season. As long as Stephon Marbury stays in a New York uniform, however, it’s not gonna be quite that simple, as Newsday’s Alan Hahn illustrates.

Mike D’Antoni on Thursday admitted he did hear the chant of “We Want Steph!” from a section of the sellout crowd at the Garden in the second half of Wednesday’s season-opening 120-115 win over the Miami Heat. But while television replays showed D’Antoni yelling, “Are you f— kidding me?” toward the crowd, what is unclear is if he was directing his anger at the chanting fans — who were calling for benched guard Stephon Marbury — or the referees.

“I just thought they didn’t quite get it, but they’re great fans and they’re into it,” D’Antoni said when asked about the situation. “It’s almost like on draft night, no matter who you draft they’re going to boo because there’s somebody the fans like and somebody they don’t … You’ll hear it from the people that don’t and that’s OK. It’s no big deal.”

A majority of the fans seemed to agree with his decision to leave Marbury on the bench for the entire game. But late in the third quarter, with the Knicks ahead by 23 points, some fans in the upper bowl started a chant of “We Want Steph!” After a few attempts, the chant was overcome by loud boos from the rest of the sellout crowd.

But the moment that involved D’Antoni came with 11:10 left in the fourth quarter and, it should be noted, after a foul was called on Mardy Collins. The Knicks were leading at the time, 93-77, and the big lead was already starting to slip away.

A reporter from ESPN Radio said there was also video evidence that D’Antoni added, “What a bunch of a—.” Newsday can only confirm D’Antoni’s first comment.

After D’Antoni addressed the media immediately following practice, he came back a short while later to re-address the issue and said his words were not directed at the crowd.

“There’s no way I would do that to the fans,” he said.