01.29.12

CSTB’s Greatest (?) Hits : (Regurgitating) Pro Bowl Chili

Posted in Food, Gridiron, Internal Affairs at 3:59 pm by

(Baltimore’s Ray Lewis shows a young fan just one of the places on the human body where you’d really like to avoid being stabbed)

(EDITOR’S NOTE : the following was first posted on February 8, 2004. Since our archives from year one are on the fritz, you’ll just have to take my word for it -GC).

Excuse me for having to spell this one out for our European readers. Pro Bowl Sunday is a BIG event for Americans. All over the country, families come together for Pro Bowl Parties. Advertisers pay hundreds of dollars to televise commercials featuring their newest products. Each year on Pro Bowl Sunday, battered womens’ shelters report the number of victims admitted to their care decreases by two percent, testament to the calming nature of the contest . If the NBA All-Star Game is, in the words of Michael Wilbon, Black Thanksgiving, then the Pro Bowl is sort of like Yom Kippur for Gambling Degenerates & Football Obsessives of All Races.

In this household, the Pro Bowl’s importance is matched only by that of the NHL Skills Competition (skate-sharpening, carrying Eric Lindros off the ice) and the entire NASCAR calendar. And with that in mind, here is CSTB’s Award Winning Pro Bowl Chili Recipe :

Ingredients :
750 g of Sainsbury Lean Minced Beef

1 jar of Uncle Ben’s Hot Chili
simmer the minced beef in a wok or non-combustible container until brown.

drain the fat in a colander.

remove half the beef and serve to CSTB’s Proofreader (allow some 20 minutes for cooling or you’ll be very very sorry)

put the other half of the beef back in the wok, add the contents of the Uncle Ben’s jar.

go watch NFL Countdown for 30 minutes

serve over a bed of white rice (if you don’t have any white rice, you can always try to cut the taste by swallowing without chewing)

Serves 1 – possibly two if you can get anyone to come over to your house for the Pro Bowl.

Fake It Till You Make It : Jayson Williams’ Popularity Rebound

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 1:42 pm by

Former Nets / St. Johns standout Jayson Williams, whose post-playing career has included charges not limited to manslaughter, cover-up of said killing and numerous scrapes with the law, is currently serving a one-year DUI sentence at New York’s Riker’s Island after completing an 18-month stretch in relation to the 2002 shooting of limousine driver Costas Christofi. One of Williams’ fellow inmates, Christopher Hughes, tells the NY Post’s Page 6 that Williams, “is beloved by all behind bars with him, from crackheads to gangbangers.”   Michael Alig was presumably unavailable for comment.

“People treat him like a star,” said Hughes, who was released from Rikers last week after serving time for reckless assault. “Every single person shakes his hand. He is like Moses, the Moses of Rikers.”

“Jayson would sign people’s Bibles,” Hughes told us. “I would ask him why, and he’d say, ‘Fake it till you make it.’ I thought he was saying, ‘If I can get them in the door through this signature, then at least I got them in the room to see Christ.’ ”

Williams worked as a suicide-prevention assistant for a week on the midnight shift, to help inmates who were contemplating killing themselves, Hughes told us.

Jayson, also a former Philadelphia 76er, who receives “tons” of mail and spends four hours a day writing back, is also penning a second book, “Humbled,” which includes the bombshell that he was sexually abused as a child.

“It’s raw,” said Hughes, who read excerpts while in prison.

01.28.12

With His Fox Soccer Cameos, Piers Morgan Has Accomplished The Near-Impossible..

Posted in Football, Sports TV at 9:07 pm by

(image culled from The Denim Kit)

…in that he’s somehow managed to make Eric Wynalda come off like a thoughtful commentator.   Next Sunday morning, Fox’s US terrestrial network will air a live broadcast the Chelsea v Manchester United match prior to their Super Bowl pregame coverage. Let’s hope that unlike last weekend’s transmission of Manchester United at Arsenal, unabashed Gooner Morgan is kept off far away from an analyst microphone, lest he deliver the sort of performance described below by When Saturday Comes’ Ian Plenderneith ;

Arsene Wenger’s substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he declared, was the worst substitution he had ever seen. Get that! The teenager had just set up a goal and then off he went for Andrei Arshavin, who failed to track back when Valencia went on a run that set up United’s winner. Again, Morgan table-thumpingly declared it was all Wenger’s fault, then loudly proclaimed: “I’ve had enough of this!”

Rob Stone and Wynalda looked at him, slightly worried. Would Morgan stab himself in the chest as a gesture of protest? No such luck. Rip up his season ticket live on US television? That might have been difficult, given that season tickets at the Emirates are small plastic cards, and a cynic might doubt whether Morgan actually owns one anyway. Make a run for the board? Wealthy, overbearing, clueless about football and with the requisite plummy accent, he’d be the perfect fit, but no announcement was made. Stop supporting Arsenal and change his allegiance to the New York Giants? That might have been in the Fox script, but at that point the football coverage came to a close. We are yet to find out what action Piers is preparing to take now that he’s had it up to HERE with Arsène Wenger.

Of course no one is fooling themselves that this was anything besides theatre, and that Morgan was briefed beforehand to step up and look like the passionate homer. Gloat if you win, get mad if you lose and don’t forget to find a hero or a scapegoat depending on the scenario. It is only a shame (though hardly a surprise) that the opportunity was missed to present football to a wider US public in an intelligent and more balanced fashion.

Madden : Prince Signing Is Ilitch’s Ill-Advised Move, Not Dombrowski’s

Posted in Baseball at 8:38 pm by

After weeks of speculation free agent 1B Prince Fielder had few other options besides the Washington Nationals, Detroit signed the former Milwaukee Brewer to a 9-year, $124 million pact early this week, a scenario the New York Daily News’ Bill Madden describes thusly ; “just when it looked as if the Avenging Agent had finally overplayed his hand and left himself without the ‘One Dumb Owner’ to fork over an Albert Pujols-like contract, in the Tigers’ Mike Ilitch, Boras managed to pluck an old familiar one out of his hat.”  Even worse, Madden suggests GM Dave Dombrowski never would’ve signed off on the deal.  Even Donnie Walsh doesn’t know how Dombrowski can work under such conditions!

With the qually girthy and immobile Miguel Cabrera slated to move to third base (where he hasn’t played since 2007) to make room for Fielder (whose 15 errors were the most of any first baseman in baseball last year) the Tiger infield — which also includes range-challenged Jhonny Peralta at short — has the potential to be one of the most porous in the history of baseball, offsetting the Tigers’ biggest strength, their pitching.

Then there’s the matter of the leadoff spot where Austin Jackson struck out 181 times last year, dropped 44 points off his batting average from the year before and had an on-base percentage of just .317.

You could make the case that, even with the Martinez injury, a leadoff hitter was a bigger need for the Tigers, who still lack an adequate table-setter for their two middle-of-the-order thumpers.

In the meantime, in Fielder, Cabrera and Martinez, the Tigers now have $177 million allocated to first basemen/designated hitters over the next three years. Anyone who knows Dave Dombrowski, knows he would never construct a team like that.

This wasn’t the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs or Phillies wreaking havoc on the salary structure for the small- and middle-market clubs, this was one of their own, and there was nothing Selig or his labor chief, Rob Manfred, could have done to prevent Boras from bamboozling another owner into a ridiculous contract.

Tommorow, A’s Fans Can Spend Quality Time WIth Lewis Wolff..

Posted in Baseball at 2:15 pm by

…and perhaps ask him in what possible universe could Manny Ramirez be considered a good clubhouse influence.  That’s just one of the topics you can address with Oakland’s managing general partner at Sunday’s Fan Fest, as Wolff tells the SF Chronicle’s John Shea, “”I thought it might be a good opportunity to have a little fun and at the same time have some one-on-one with a random selection of fans who would be interested in talking to me…I may be sitting there by myself.”

In Sunday’s link-with-Lew sessions, it seems everything is on the table – unless, of course, Selig calls with a gag order. “I have talked to quite a few people who’ve written me or called me,” Wolff said. “I like doing it. … I like it when someone actually listens to me.”

In an interview with The Chronicle, Wolff gave his take on why the A’s are rebuilding and trading so many quality pitchers, citing the improbability of contending in a division with two teams’ payrolls topping $100 million and a desire to be competitive if and when the A’s move into a new park.

“Each move has been very carefully thought through,” said Wolff, adding the A’s farm system is vastly improved and the draft budget has been increased. “We’re also looking to say, ‘Gee, we’ll hopefully get a new venue in three or four years, and who’s going to be ready for that?’ I think we’ll have a better team (in 2012) or equal to last year’s, which is wonderful. They’ll be younger and learning a lot.”

After restocking with prospects, the A’s began rounding out their roster with experienced players, including Bartolo Colon and Jonny Gomes.

Might be one more. Manny, anyone?

I would have no problems with that on his talent and his ability,” Wolff said of Ramirez, who’s flirting with a possible comeback. “His last experience in Tampa Bay, what I’m hearing, he was a good clubhouse guy.”

01.27.12

Romenesko’s Klein On Witt’s Less-Than-Courageous “Decision”

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron at 8:49 pm by

Last Autumn, it was widely reported that Yale QB Patrick Witt had chosen to skip a Rhodes scholarship finalist interview in favor of leading the Bulldogs into battle for the annual season-ending rivalry contest against Harvard.  Witt’s decision was portrayed as an act of selflessness, though it’s since been reported his failure to interview for the scholarship was actually a matter of the Rhodes Trust learning of sexual assault allegations against him. In November, Witt described his quandry as ” an unfortunate set of circumstances in terms of timing,” a version of events Romenesko.com’s Alex Klein claims Yale’s school paper knew was a lie.  “In choosing to ignore this story,” argues Klein,  “The Yale News not only perpetuated the deceptive, now-shredded narrative of Pat’s ‘heroic choice.’ The paper and its editor are also complicit in Yale’s culture of secrecy surrounding sexual assault.”

We know few details regarding the sexual assault claim itself. But even in the weeks before the Game, when Yale knew about the charge, the university continued to push the “heroic choice” story on the mainstream media, which gobbled it up all too eagerly. This is disappointing, but not surprising. The Yale administration has persistently stifled the reality of sexual assault on campus: a real and serious problem that prompted last year’s Title IX complaint against the university, alleging a “hostile sexual climate.” But responsibility for the culture of silence does not end at the administration’s door — nor at Patrick Witt’s. I have learned in the past few hours that the editors of the Yale Daily News, the nation’s oldest college daily and a bastion of college journalism, knew about the sexual assault charge as early as November.

As current Science and Technology editor Eli Markham told me, the News’ editor-in-chief, Max de la Bruyere, decided to sit on the story in mid-November. “It’s more complicated than that,” he told a leader on last year’s editorial board, who asked to remain anonymous. Multiple current and past members of the newspaper’s managing board, all deeply involved in the day-to-day work of the paper, have confirmed that the News has had the story for over two months. In fact, the Times story that broke last night featured reporting from last year’s editor-in-chief, Vivian Yee. She too approached the paper with a tip-off, but its editors chose not to follow the story. The paper even knew that the sexual assault claim had lost Pat an offer to join the Boston Consulting Group after graduation. Even then, they wrote nothing. For reasons personal, social, or political — who can ever tell on a college campus? — the News’ management chose to ignore the bombshell, protecting Pat’s reputation.

Avery Johnson Might Not Have Asked For Help In Counseling Kris Humphries…

Posted in Basketball, Hip Hop, History's Great Hook-Ups at 5:20 pm by

…but he’s getting plenty of it, just the same. Snoop’s advice is offensive and wrong on many levels.  On the bright side, he still makes way more sense than Jeremy Kyle.