01.27.10

The Final Pass (Hopefully) Of Favre’s Career : The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Posted in Gridiron at 5:53 pm by

Video swiped from Townie News. If I work for Sears’ advertising agency, I’m figuring out a way to pair this guy up with Brett for a Super Bowl commercial.

ESPN : Fully Respectful Of Paul Shirley’s Right To Express Himself (Somewhere Else)

Posted in Basketball, Free Expression, non-sporting journalism at 4:01 pm by

“He was a part-time freelance contributor. The views he expressed on another site of course do not at all reflect our company’s views on the Haiti relief efforts. He will no longer contribute to ESPN.”

So reads the unattributed statement from ESPN Media Zone. And full credit to the widely-vilified Shirley — it’s awfully difficult to cause the network to disassociate itself nearly this fast from a person who’s kept his pants on.

01.26.10

Shirley To Haitian Relief : No Thanks, I Didn’t Give At The Office

Posted in Basketball, Natural Disasters, We Aren't The World at 8:21 pm by

Former pro hoops journeyman / author Paul Shirley has won considerable acclaim throughout the sports blogosphere for his thoughtful takes on subjects ranging from the plight of NBA 12th men to whether or not Oasis are better than the Beatles (OK, less acclaim for the last one). Today, however, might be the day when much of that goodwill goes straight down the toilet. “I haven’t donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don’t give money to homeless men on the street,” argues Shirley. “Very few have said, written, or even intimated the slightest admonishment of Haiti, the country, for putting itself into a position where so many would be killed by an earthquake.”

I don’t mean in any way that the Haitians deserved their collective fate. And I understand that it is difficult to plan for the aftermath of an earthquake. However, it is not outside the realm of imagination to think that the citizens of a country might be able to: A) avoid putting themselves into a situation that might result in such catastrophic loss of life.  And B) provide for their own aid, in the event of such a catastrophe.

Imagine that I’m a caveman. Imagine that I’ve chosen to build my house out of balsa wood, and that I’m building it next to a roaring river because I’ve decided it will make harvesting fish that much easier. Then, imagine that my hut is destroyed by a flood.

Imagining what would happen next is easier than imagining me carrying a caveman’s club. If I were lucky enough to survive the roaring waters that took my hut, my tribesmen would say, “Building next to the river was pretty dumb, wasn’t it?.” Or, if I weren’t so lucky, they’d say, “At least we don”t have to worry about that moron anymore.”

Sure, you think, but those are cavemen. We’re more civilized now, we help each other, even when we make mistakes.

True enough. But what about when people repeat their mistakes? And what about when they do things that obviously act against their own self-interests?

I recoil at the notion that I’m SUPPOSED to do something. I would like to help, but only if I feel that my assistance is deserved and justified. If I perceive that I am being told to feel a certain way, and if I can point to a pattern of mistakes made in similar situations, I lose interest.

Later in his essay, Shirley admits, “children cannot very well control their destinies”. The same could be said for parents born into a cycle of poverty.

Coming Soon : A Charlie Hustle Film With Way Less Tom Sizemore

Posted in Baseball, Cinema at 6:27 pm by

“I got tired of hearing about all the gambling stuff, and wanted to concentrate on the past,” director Terry Lukemire tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter, explaining the raison d’tre behind “4,192 : Crowning Of The Hit King”, a feature-length Pete Rose documentary scheduled for release later this year.

Rose, who turns 69 in April, has done four lengthy on-camera interviews here for the “in his own words” part of the film. Lukemire and his partner Aymie Majerski, 37, pitched the movie to Rose last summer.

Reds announcer Marty Brennaman and “some of baseball’s biggest icons” also will be interviewed for the film, according to the Barking Fish announcement being released Tuesday at the Sundance Film Festival.

Lukemire and Majerski would not say how much Rose was being compensated for his role in the film, or how it will deal with his gambling and his official banishment from Major League Baseball.

“We’re not giving away certain information at this time. If we gave away the house, nobody will want to rent it,” says Majerski by phone from Park City, Utah, where she was attending Sundance.

Hopefully the above project will come to a happier conclusion than Rose’s last encounter with independent filmmakers.

WaPo’s Wise To Vescey : You Make Me Sick

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism, Sports Radio at 4:44 pm by

The New York Post’s venerable “Hoops Du Jour” columnist Peter Vecsey (above)  took aim at the Washington Post’s Mike Wise earlier today, accusing the former of tailoring reports of the infamous Gilbert Arenas/Javaris Crittendon locker room pistol exchange to something uncomfortably close to Agent Zero’s preferred version of events.  Keep in mind, this comes after Vecsey’s own account has been challenged by WiseDC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg carefully tuned to Wise’s afternoon show on Washington’s 106.7 The FanTuesday and in addition to hearing Vecsey accused of accepting interest free loans from former Nets owner Joe Taub, Wise provided the following rip job (link courtesy Jason Cohen) :

“Peter Vecsey would be a flat-out joke in my business, but he’s not funny. He’s mean-spirited, and he’s just about heartless. I’ll never forget the time I came back from talking to a kid who tried to commit suicide in Dallas after he ingested a bottle of aspirin. Leon Smith was his name, and he never should have come out of high school, and the Mavericks should have had a much better support system for an obviously troubled young man who just happened to have talent. Vecsey made cruel jokes about this kid’s suicide attempt afterward in his column. Now, I don’t care if you slam me or anybody else, but Leon Smith was raised in a foster home called Lydia Children’s Home in Chicago. He was a ward of the state of Illinois due to neglect from his parents when he was 5 years old.”

“When you do something like that, when you make fun of that kid, you’re not just insensitive, you’re a rotten human being. You’re a lousy person. You don’t deserve the respect of a punk-ass kid at the Rucker League thinking, ‘Man, Peter Vecsey used to be something, didn’t he?’ You old bitter man. You make me sick.”

Steinberg goes on to quote a number of Vecsey’s gags at Smith’s expense (eg. “Leon Smith’s Nets tryout could be viewed as another suicide attempt”), and while he deserves full credit for spending serious Google time today, I’m curious if Wise tried to publicly defend Smith from such abuse when it was happening a decade ago.  Rather than, y’know, the same day he was publicly named as Gilbert Arenas’ best buddy.

Hell Hath No Fury LIke A Husband Denied PTI

Posted in "Wife Beater" Is Not A Fashion Statement, Sports TV, The Law at 2:46 pm by

(“what Sado Marquis is to Chicago’s Mentally Ill… Jerome Smalls is to Norwalk’s domestic violence scene”)

The Hour.com’s Chase Wright reports a Norwalk, CT man was arrested Sunday on charges of threatening his spouse after learning she’d pulled the plug on cable television.

Officers responded to Jerome Smalls’ home on West Main Street on a call of an armed subject shortly before midnight on Saturday, Norwalk police Sgt. Lisa Cotto said.

At the residence, police interviewed a woman who alleged her husband threatened her with a kitchen knife after he learned that she had recently canceled the family’s cable package, Cotto said.

Smalls was most upset for having lost his favorite sports channels, specifically the 24-hour sports network ESPN, she said.

The wife told police that she canceled her husband’s favorite programs because the family could no longer afford it, Cotto said. The husband told officers that he was upset because he believed the luxury of cable was well within the household budget, she said.

Surely there’s a way the above incident can be used as fodder for a forthcoming “This Is SportsCenter” commercial? Who’s to say the skill sets of Scott Van Pelt and Steve Levy might not include hostage negotiation?

Self-Portrait Enthusiast Oden (Allegedly) Displays Non-Injured Body Parts

Posted in Basketball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 1:19 pm by

The NSFW pics can be found at World Star Hip Hop, whose editors helpfully add, “this is one of the stars from the NBA team ‘Portland Trail Blazers'”). There’s some priceless commentary on the site, including the following bon mot ; “People send naked pics 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What’s the big damn deal? ‘Cause he’s an NBA player? Please!!!!!” Nice to see recent events haven’t kept Sean Salisbury from trolling the ‘net.