09.28.10

Ex-Nets Owner Ratner Confronts Plummeting Value Of Hole In The Ground (He Helped Dig)

Posted in Basketball at 6:38 pm by

With today’s unveiling of the latest designs to date for the Nets’ proposed Barclays Center, developer/creep Bruce Ratner admitted it would take longer than a decade to complete the entire Atlantic Yards project. Trouble is, as Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s Matthew Schuerman points out, Ratner’s quoted 10-year-timeline “was also used by the city, state and Ratner™s own consultant to determine that the financial benefits to the public outweighed the roughly $300 million in direct subsidies the project is receiving.”

The longer the construction schedule, the longer it will take the government to accumulate the benefits”in terms of income taxes from people who move into the complex, property taxes on the new buildings and other sources.

Daniel Goldstein, a chief opponent of the project who until recently lived in the project™s footprint said that Ratner™s admission undermines the official reason for state support of the project: to remove the blight on the six Brooklyn blocks that make up the footprint.

œWhat we have now is a site that was not blighted turning into a dormant site, nearly 20 acres of vacant lots and parking lots for 20, 25, 30, 40 50 years, Goldstein said. œWhat was not blighted has become blighted for a very long time.

NFL Investigates Nick Collins’ Inability To Take Racial Abuse Laying Down

Posted in Gridiron, Mob Behavior, Racism Corner at 4:20 pm by

The following item from WTAQ.com comes on the heels of Green Bay essentially handing a win to their Chicago hosts in the closing moments Monday night ; apparently, the Pack’s graciousness should extend to shrugging off the ugliest of epithets.

FOX6 in Milwaukee is reporting that safety Nick Collins got into an altercation with fans following the 20-17 loss at Soldier Field.

Collins was “provoked by a Bears fan” and Collins threw an object at the fan. The defensive back had to be restrained by wide receiver Donald Driver. Collins told reporters in the locker room that a fan used a racial slur with him and that he responded inappropriately.

The NFL says they’re investigating the incident.

While they’re at it, they’re hopefully investigating Solider Field security, too.

If You Were Wondering What Mick Foley Thought Of Tori Amos…

Posted in music, Professional Wrestling at 1:00 pm by

… Then today is shaping up as a really excellent day for you. But while the (high) literary quality of Foley’s paean to d. original Joanna Newsom won’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with Foley’s super-readable memoirs, it’s still somewhat surprising to see the artist formerly known as Mankind opening up about his deep and abiding affection for Amos’s work in Slate. The essay, which was adapted from Foley’s (fourth!) upcoming memoir, is longer than the average pro wrestler’s tribute to weird chanteuses, but I can vouch for its worth as someone who doesn’t really care much about either wrestling or Ms. Amos. On sheer improbability alone, Foley’s piece is a winner.

It wasn’t until a year and a half later, on a tour of Japan, that Tori Amos and “Winter” started playing a role in my wrestling career. I had just left Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling, a bold move that had not been particularly popular with my wife. We’d just had our second child, and leaving a job with a guaranteed six-figure income (low six, but still six) might not have been the greatest example of responsible parenthood. This seemed especially true during my first tour for IWA Japan, a small promotion with a heavy emphasis on wild matches: barbed wire, fire, thumbtacks, and blood”lots of blood.

…I was terrified. This is a normal human response to the very abnormal prospect of being dropped head first, neck first, and, yes, even balls first on jagged metal barbs. How exactly does a gentle, caring man (me) transform himself into a willing participant in such a barbaric spectacle? I needed to find some kind of inspiration in a hurry.

I looked out the dressing room door and saw the Japanese preliminary wrestlers taking down the ropes, beginning the process of putting the barbed wire around the ring. The wire they used was the real stuff: cold and uncaring, capable of tearing flesh in a hurry. I knew I had about 30 minutes before the wiring process was completed”a half-hour to undergo a drastic mental transformation. I took out my battered Sony Walkman and, after great deliberation, bypassed the obvious hard-rock selections. Finding solitude in a far corner of the frigid backstage area, I saw a cloud of my own breath as I pressed the play button. “Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens/ Wipe my nose, get my new boots on.”

…And then I realize I’m going to be all right. Head first, neck first, balls first”it really doesn’t matter. By the fourth listen, I know I’m going to tear that place apart.

I imagine that I speak for most of CSTB’s readership when I say that I am greatly looking forward to The Iron Sheik’s take on Ani DiFranco.

St. Pete Scribe To Longria : Stop Biting The Hand That’s Too Cheap Or Apathetic To Feed You

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 3:04 am by


(rare photographic evidence of Tropicana Field with a sizable crowd in attendance)

A  4-0, home loss to Baltimore Monday night would’ve clinched an AL playoff berth for Tampa had the host prevailed, delaying by at least a day what in all likelihood will be the Rays qualifying for the postseason for just the second time in franchise history.  This nearly-momentous occasion was witnessed by fewer than 13,oo0 paying customers, a circumstance that caused Rays 3B Evan Longoria to complain, “for the fans to show the kind of support they’re showing right now, you kind of wonder what else you have to do as a player.” P David Price echoed Longoria’s sentiments, tweeting that Monday’s attendance was “embarrassing”.  In the considered view of the St. Petersburg Times’ John Romano — who freely admits these turnouts are brutally poor (“for a market that wants to be big league, for a fan base that claims to be rabid, 12,446 has to be considered highly disappointing”) — “it is poor judgment to criticize the very people who help fund their paychecks on the first and 15th of every month.”  Except of course, Longoria and Price were criticizing the people who don’t fund their paychecks.

It’s not that Longoria, or other Rays players, forfeit their opinions because of their bank accounts. All of us have rights to our own opinions. Still, the players have to understand how this sounds to the mother or father trying to decide whether tonight is the night to juggle the family budget so they can afford the cost of tickets and parking and a hot dog.

The simple truth is athletes and entertainers in this country are ridiculously overpaid. Now I certainly don’t blame them for that. They have special talents, and they are cashing in on America’s fascination with celebrity and sports.

But you can’t make more money than an entire neighborhood, then question why the people in that neighborhood aren’t showing up to watch you perform.

Because, in the end, the problem is not Tampa Bay’s fans. The guy in the car next to you is not at fault. The teacher at your local elementary school is not to blame. The problem is the market itself. It has some inherent problems, and those problems are larger than a single ticket buyer.

It has to do with a lack of corporations and high-paying jobs. It has to do with challenging geography and fixed incomes. It has to do with a lack of community identity. And, yes, it might have to do with a particular stadium.

I would absolutely agree with anyone who says that Tampa Bay is not a great sports market.

I just think it defeats the purpose when Tampa Bay’s biggest stars are the ones saying it.

09.27.10

Tim Kawakami’s Preface To Mike Singletary’s (Professional) Obituary

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 11:42 pm by

With the sudden resignation of Don Nelson as head coach of the Golden State Warriors over the weekend, Tim Kawakami was denied a favored subject/target for the upcoming NBA season.  Undaunted, the San Jose Mercury News columnist can focus full attention on the 0-3 San Francisco 49’ers, whose 31-10 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday provoked the firing of oft-castigated offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, he of the allegedly ungodly delay relaying plays to QB Alex Smith. “If he cannot snap himself and his team immediately out of this, then Sept. 26, 2010, probably was the beginning of the end for his fascinating 49ers tenure,” declares Kawakami, who might run out of professional coaches to fire before December if Tom Cable treats Sebastian Janikowski the way he might a mouthy spouse and/or non-deferential assistant.

It’s fair to ask: In a league dominated by master strategists, have the 49ers gone as far as they can go with a coach who disdains intricate strategy and who hired Jimmy Raye as his offensive coordinator?

This is a team with talent — at least as much as the Chiefs, and probably more. This team is very motivated. And yet, the 49ers are on the brink, already in September, and the Chiefs are 3-0.

Now they have to go to Atlanta next Sunday, which is a direct line to 0-4. Then a home game against red-hot Philadelphia, which could mean 0-5. Can Singletary turn around the ship that swiftly?

“Once we look at the film, we will,” Singletary said. “We’ll do what we have to do to get it right.”

That’s what he said. He has said similar things in the past. But this time, Singletary didn’t sound at all too sure — of the result, or of himself. And if he’s not sure of himself, then I don’t know who else could be.

Yet Another Samurai Sword-Wielding Incident That Ends Badly

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 5:33 pm by

(video still from KIRO.tv)

A Lacey, WA man was subdued by a SWAT team Friday following a dispute over a baseball car at a nearby convenience store. Words like “samuri sword” and “tear gas” figure prominently in this tale, and BBTN’s Gamingboy poses the most obvious question of all ; whose card was it? Given that the sword-wielder was described as “delusional”, I think the answer is pretty clear.

Inside Donnie Walsh’s Panic War Room

Posted in Basketball at 2:12 pm by

Carmelo Anthony was a surprise participant (sort of) at Nuggets media day this morning, if only to remind the local press that he’s still under contract to Denver.  With no shortage of bidders — including the Bulls, Nets and Sixers — for Anthony’s services, it would seem all hopes of ‘Melo in a Knicks uniform have been dashed.  And if that doesn’t sit well with New York team president Donnie Walsh, how might you think it’s going down with history’s most generic blues guitarist? CBS Sports’ Ken Berger describes the level of desperation at The World’s Most Dysfunctional Arena :

As the Nets’ deal moved closer to completion Monday, one team sources say is more involved than commonly thought is the Knicks. After New York fell short in its pursuit of LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade, it would be devastating for the Knicks to watch Anthony go to their cross-river rival — especially since that rival is moving into the city limits to Brooklyn in two years. While Knicks president Donnie Walsh has been in far from panic mode, he has been “working every angle” in an effort to get back in the game with Anthony, according to a rival executive familiar with Walsh’s approach.

“He’s the master,” the executive said. “I’ll put it this way: If there’s any way to get something done that he feels good about, he’ll get it done. He’ll leave no stone unturned.”

The characterization  of Walsh as a feverish wheeler-dealer is in stark contrast to reports from last summer, that depicted the veteran hoops exec as something of a tragic, near-death’s-door figure during attempts to woo LeBron James. So which is the real Donnie Walsh?   The drooling invalid whose liquid meals are prepared by Schlumpy and Steve Mills?  Or the dynamic deal-maker that captured the city’s favorite new Jew (after no one else wanted to pay him nearly as much)?