12.28.09

Because The Alamo Bowl Can Only Hold Your Attention For So Long…

Posted in Internal Affairs, Rock Und Roll at 3:08 pm by

Night 2 of Transmission’s Free Week at Red 7 features a 7-band bill that’s sure to put the “aw” back in “sprawling”. And if you get impatient and/or someone you’re harassing isn’t at Red 7, Harlem, Woven Bones and The Stuffies are playing Emo’s the very same night— and that’s free, too.

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth
Dikes Of Holland
Air Traffic Controllers

The Young
Cruddy
PIllow Queens
MVCLZ

N8 & The Eddy Curry Suppression Ring : The Brotherhood Of Benchwarming

Posted in Basketball at 11:44 am by

(a rare photograph of Eddy Curry leaving his feet)

“They leave the locker room together almost always after games and when the media looks like it is about to approach, usually a code word is uttered,” writes the New York Post’s Marc Berman of the Knicks duo he calls “The DNP Boys”, lumbering, chronically injured C Eddy Curry and concentration-challenged PG Nate Robinson.  “They’ve been friends before this but now they are inseparable as they share a corner of Mike D’Antoni’s doghouse.”

“Me and Nate have always been tight,” Curry said yesterday. “He’s always been one of my closest friends on the team, especially after Jamal (Crawford) left. Our families are real tight even before this. Right now it’s magnified because we’re always the last people on the bench.”

Robinson’s status appears more hopeless than Curry’s. The motivation to play Curry is stronger because he has two years left on his contract and could be traded to open up more 2010 cap space. Robinson is in his final year.

Curry is genuinely hurt, partly because Mike D’Antoni has kept him out of the loop. New acquisition Jonathan Bender, whose dealing with a sore hip, is still a health risk. So Curry should remain patient.

My only problem is D’Antoni’s communication skills, which is poor considering his rep as a player’s coach. Knowing how sensitive Curry is, would it have been so tough for D’Antoni to sit Curry down and tell him he is giving Bender a shot and to stay ready? Seems simple enough.

Unless Berman figures Curry will someday provide sensational copy on the level of the Stephon Marbury scoops the columnist was gifted the past two years, I cannot imagine under what possible circumstances he’d advocate giving the All-Decade Underachiever anything besides garbage time minutes in D’Antoni’s uptempo offense. Unless he’s rooting for Curry to drop dead, which doesn’t exactly jibe with all the TLC the New York media routinely foists upon the former Bull.

12.27.09

Are You Ready For Mark Jackson’s Avatar To Sell You Something?

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 6:55 pm by

From PR USA.net comes something I can only characterize as one of the most confusing press releases I’ve ever read :

VZillion, Inc. (Pink Sheets: VZIL), innovator of the virtual Internet, has signed Mark Jackson, one of the NBA’s most acclaimed point guards and sports analysts as VZillion’s Sports Innovations Agent — a go-to source for sports figures, entertainers and other high profile individuals searching to expand their brand as well as their revenue stream. In this role, Jackson will develop corporate and celebrity sports relationships and be an advisor to the sports innovations division of VZillion. Jackson will also be ushered in to serve on VZillion’s advisory board.

VZillion has in place several on-and-offline strategies to accomplish its goals, launching Virtu-Real apartments (real entity with virtual representation) to entrepreneurs seeking to create marketing and advertising opportunities that will allow their brand partners to reach their target audience in truly unique ways.

“As we enter 2010 and beyond, we look forward to having Mark Jackson champion this new role,” said Antonio Collier, founder and president of VZillion. “Mr. Jackson will be a vital part of bridging the virtual and real sports world and will provide new cooperative resources and lead strategies for not only the celebrities involved but to introduce general audiences to the power virtual environments have on everything from Madison Avenue to Wall Street.”VZillion utilizes 3D Virtu-Real apartment concept to deliver exclusive content in the form of live concerts, virtual shopping networks, sports & television programming and many other engaging and immersive experiences. VZillion will offer freemium services and collaborative environments and provide content and the monetization strategies needed to succeed on the Web.

Mack Brown – Earning $5.7 Million To Lead A Wildly Profitable Non-Profit

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 3:10 pm by

That University of Texas football coach Mack Brown generates — along with his unpaid roster — a tremendous amount of loot for the UT athletic department cannot be disputed, regardless of how distasteful you find reports of Brown’s recent salary increase. However, the Austin American-Statesman’s Eric Dexheimer considers another debate, one that has Brown heading an “educational charity” with non-profit status, paraphrased by Dexheimer as “the latest symptom of a haphazard public policy that lumps UT’s football program into the same category as its law school and Blanton Museum of Art.”

To tax analysts, the issue is not how much money the Longhorns football team makes ” $87.6 million last year ” or whether the coach deserves his salary. Rather, said John Colombo, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, the question is: “Is Texas paying Mack Brown $5 million for his contribution to the educational environment at the university, or because it wants to win football games?”

The large sums generated through advertising and media rights by schools with highly competitive sports programs raise the question of whether those sports programs have become side businesses for schools,” a May 2009 study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office noted.

The foundation for the tax breaks for university sports programs were set decades ago in laws and tax codes that acknowledge the educational value of athletics, as well as the social value of amateur sports. Yet today’s commercially sophisticated college-sports spectacles bear little resemblance to what the programs looked like when the laws passed.

“What Congress contemplated as the Harvard-Yale game in 1950 is not the same thing as Texas-Alabama in 2009,” said Colombo.

UT President Bill Powers Jr. said the athletic department, whose annual budget is about $138 million, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Education figures, has given $6.6 million toward academics in recent years. It also subsidizes the cost of teams in unprofitable sports, such as women’s rowing and volleyball.

Yet the CBO study found that much of the money earned by athletic departments pays for expenses ” stadium construction and coaching salaries ” whose sole purpose is simply to enhance large, revenue-producing sports programs. “I know that there is $32 million at the University of Kentucky that isn’t going toward women’s tennis,” Colombo said. “Because it’s going into John Calipari’s pocket.”

I’m usually quick to recite the typical sports radio defense for Brown’s obscene paycheck — ie. when the science department can draw 90,000 + on a Saturday afternoon, then they’ll have something talk about — but that $6.6 million contribution seems a little on the modest side against the backdrop of UT’s budget cuts. Even just to maintain goodwill, it seems the announcement of Brown’s pay raise should’ve been accompanied by a gesture towards towards someone outside of the athletic department.

12.26.09

There’s A Job Opening In Gainesville : Meyer’s Surprise Exit

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 9:20 pm by

Within minutes of the shocking announcement that University Of Florida head coach Urban Meyer was stepping down — days before his 12-1 Gators play Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl — the twit/twat/tweetosphere was abuzz with all sorts of tasteless speculation. But enough about my posts, an anonymous source tells the Gainsville Sun’s Pat Dooley that Meyer, “just doesn’t have anything left in the tank”, a December 6 hospital visit under the guise of “dehydration” being sufficient cover for what are now being called “constant chest pains”.

As the Times’ Pete Thamel correctly points out, there’s no obvious in-house successor for Meyer, and barring a complete breakdown in Pete Carroll’s relationship with USC AD Mike Garrett (which couldn’t possibly happen, right?), Florida might need a hand in headhunting.  And I’m more than happy to assist — the choice has to be UCF’s George O’Leary.  He’s got experience coaching one of the nation’s marquee programs (albeit briefly), and he already knows a thing or two about the brutal training conditions in the Sunshine State.   Heck, it’s the holiday season, Gator Nation can have this tip for free.

Why Impersonate A Panthers OL? Because No One Would Trust Jake Delhomme

Posted in Gridiron, mistaken I.D., The Law at 5:47 pm by

Charlotte, NC police say a local man currently wanted on cyberstalking charges is a person of interest in the identity theft of Panthers OL Travelle Wharton. From the Charlotte Observer’s Eli Portillo :

On Wednesday, team officials said someone has been impersonating Wharton (above) to sell prepaid gift cards at area night clubs. The suspect has scammed people out of almost $25,000 since last December.

CMPD officials said Saturday they are searching for Christon Jermaine Brewer, 24, who’s been wanted for misdemeanor cyberstalking since June. On a wanted poster, CMPD said Brewer is known to use Wharton’s name as an alias.

Vic Chesnutt Dies at 45

Posted in music at 2:29 pm by

vicchesnutt

I realize that others can, and will, speak more eloquently to the music of Vic Chesnutt than I.  Still, news of his death yesterday felt like one more punch taken in a miserable year.  Sorry, as usual when an artist dies, I think of myself first and what I just lost.  I can only point to how much he got done, how deeply he affected those who knew him, and his example of what can and can’t be taken away from a person.   He was 45.  Considering how he reportedly died, on Christmas Day, I found this lyric quoted by Ben Sisario in his New York Times obit of Chesnutt particularly moving:  œI™m not a victim/Oh, I am an atheist.