Archive for March, 2011

Baseball Preview: Tweet Edition

// March 31st, 2011 // 2 Comments » // Uncategorized

In honor of opening day, which was one of my favorite days of the year as a kid because we were allowed to stay home if the Red Sox were playing a day game, I am breaking out a baseball preview for all my fellow attention span deficients.

AL EAST

5th Place @Baltimore: New coach, new punch in the lineup, but same AAA pitching means you will still be scraping the bottom of the AL EAST barrel.

4th Place @Toronto: Classic two face. You look great one day and like Popeye Jones the next. In Baseball’s best division that just won’t do.

3rd Place @Tampa Bay: No Crawford, Garza, or Pena, and Farnsworth is your closer? Is it too late to put the Jays in 3rd?

2nd Place @New York: You will score runs but major concerns about the rotation will hurt your playoff chances. Too bad Sabathia can’t pitch every game.539w2

1st place @Boston: Talent wise, you could be the greatest Sox team I have ever seen, but can you be as fun to watch as the 2004 idiots?

AL CENTRAL

5th Place @Kansas City ummm……did you guys see that the Chiefs made the playoffs?!?

4th Place @Cleveland maybe bringing in Charlie Sheen to close games would at least be a winning publicity stunt.

ozzie-guillen-choke13rd Place @Chicago I would love to watch Ozzie talk about baseball. But do you guys really want that sort of erratic presence as your skipper?

2nd Place @Minnesota Ron Gardenhire is the Anti-Ozzie. If Morneau, Mauer, and Co can stay healthy you could make a run at 1st Place.

1st Place @Detroit If Cabrera can keep hitting homers instead of the all you can eat buffet, you guys could be scary come October.

AL WEST

4th Place @Seattle Too bad your town has such great coffee, otherwise you could hibernate til football season. On second thought..

3rd Place @Oakland You guys always seem to have great young pitching. Might I suggest joining forces with the Orioles?

2nd Place @LAA If I could slide you down a spot and put boredom in second. I would. It has a better chance ofjosh_hamilton1 success in the West.

1st Place @Texas No Cliff Lee could mean trouble come playoff time. But your offense is good enough to win a bad division.

NL EAST

5th Place @Washington After what happened to Strasberg, I strongly recommend a bubble boy campaign for Bryce Harper.

4th Place @Florida If the Dolphins draft Jake Locker, you should consider Bo Jacksoning him.

3rd Place @New York In honor of opeing day, I will not pick on you until you embarrass yourselves…

346272-6-20100416122036image2nd Place @Atlanta You might have a shot at the wild card. Especially since you play in a division with the Mets.

1st Place @Philadelphia Will you guys ask your fans not throw up on any little girls this year? Please and thank you.

NL CENTRAL

6th Place @Pittsburgh Hope is a good thing, maybe even a great thing..and until the season starts, you guys have some.

5th Place @Houston How does it feel to devolve into a talent pool for playoff contenders to fleece in the fall?

4rd Place @St. Louis Just pay Pujols please. Seeing him play out his career in a $300m Yankee uniform will make me feel dead inside.

3rd Place @Chicago High hopes for you guys this year. Like third place in your own division high!!

2nd Place @Milwaukee If your pitching stays healthy you are my dark horse NL World Series pick.

1st Place @Cincinnati Will need to improve to stay atop a vastly improved NL Central. But Joey Votto is a friend of ours..so faghettaboutit.

NL WEST

5th Place @Arizona I hear the weather in Arizona is perfect…for golf.bos_gonzalez_trade_203

4th Place @San Diego Thank you very much for Adrian Gonzalez. Enjoy the mediocrity you received in return.

3rd Place @LA Dodgers You bore me.

2nd Place @Colorado A talented core of players but a few crayons short of a playoff box of Crayolas.

1st Place @San Fran You should have an easy time in a weak NL West, but can you keep your young arms healthy all year?

I, a rabid Red Sox fan, will be traveling to Yankee stadium today…You see the sacrifices that I make in order to bring you a birds eye view of opening day.  I expect a reimbursement check for the rain coat, and for fifteen $12 beers I will be enjoying.

Junk Male

// March 30th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

A grey haired QB sends pictures of his junk to an intern, you see his picture.  A football star steps out on his wife and you see his picture, his girlfriend’s picture, and a picture of his poor wife.  Basketball player has a run in with some “talent” at a strip club and his picture spreads through the internet faster than Chlamydia at that same strip club.  Football player gets caught with his pants down at the mall, and at the jewelry store and his mug is everywhere.

The media shows you the face of nearly every athlete or celebrity when they run amok.  Often times even celebrating their troubles through television interviews.  So why should it be any different when a regular guy, who happens to control one of the largest college football events in the country, commits fraud and tries to cover it up?  The story of what Junker did is readily available to anyone with internet access.  But if this had been a story about Brett Favre or Dez Bryant (who by the way is really taking The Playmaker 2.0 to the next level isn’t he?), it would have come equipped with a big fat high definition picture of them.  Junker’s mistakes are hidden behind a Fiesta Bowl logo.

That sort of hypocrisy will not stand.  We here at the Fat White Guy feel that former Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker deserves to be put on blast, just like all of the athletes, whose efforts his bowl game exploits for a profit, do when they screw up.  That is why we are posting the biggest picture of the man in the yellow coat that we can find.

junker-john2

——Corey cjmalo15@gmail.com

This Aggression Will Not Stand Man

// March 29th, 2011 // 5 Comments » // Uncategorized

27_obama_lg1

So let me get this straight.

We are taking action against Libyan dictator Moammer Gadhahi for his atrocious crimes against the Libyan people. But that action is not going to include committing US troops to the ground in order to expedite a regime change by force. At least not force by US hands.

The role of the United States, according to President Obama in his speech on Monday night, is to take political steps, such as enforcing no fly zones and freezing billions of the dollars that Gadhafi has stolen from his people. Furthermore after leading efforts to “defend the Libyan people from harm”, the United States will take a step back, entrusting our allies in the UN Security Council to support rebels as they attempt to reclaim a country that has been held in Gadhafi’s tyrannical grip for over 40 years.

Say what?

You mean to tell me that the President of the United States isn’t using the situation in Libya to flex his war mongering muscles? Obama, with the opportunity to go on national television, bang his fists angrily on the table at this horrific injustice while spewing grammatically incorrect, inflammatory catch phrases meant to spur the collective cowboy in all of us, took a road that is so infrequently traveled by modern US Presidents that it kept me riveted for nearly all of his thirty minute speech.

JFK said that the US would pay any price, meet any burden, in the defense of liberty.troosevelt11

Teddy Roosevelt liked the West African proverb, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’

George W Bush was more of a speak really loud, and carry a huge stick that you wield so awkwardly it pokes innocent bystanders in the eye, causing them to turn against you, kind of guy.

Obama, who points out that the US’ involvement in Libya is a part of an international coalition that even has Arab countries on its side, seems to be saying what many of us have been saying for years. Speak in a firm tone, own a big stick, but make sure you consider all of the possible consequences before carrying it around.

Most people, whether up to date on their current events or not, know something about the war in Iraq. Despite arguing six ways to Sunday about the need and or justification for the war, we can agree that at its core, it was a military action to remove a bad, bad man from power and return the country to its people right? Good.

The problem with that scenario is that no one bothered to ask the people if they wanted that, or if they were ready for it should it eventually happen. Is the world a better place without Sadam Hussein in power? Absolutely. But is the day to day life of the average Iraqi citizen better than it was twenty years ago?

As kids we complain about the oppressive rules that our parents force us to abide. We bitch and moan about the homework our teachers hand out and the countless sprints that our coaches force us to run at practice. But imagine if someone swept in and took away our parents, teachers and coaches, then looked at us and said, “Well there you go. Happy now?”

It would be a disaster. We would be eating candy and spaghetti three times a day, staying up all night watching TV, while abandoning all conventional forms of personal hygiene. We would be completely unprepared to contribute to society and would run completely out of gas at the end of the game.

So is shattering the infrastructure of a country, basically leaving it in a state of infancy, for the sake of removing a leader really the way to go? From his speech it appears that Obama doesn’t  think so.

President Obama, who has been criticized for not being the strong beacon for change we elected, seems to be taking a position here that I hope he can build upon. Many Republican leaders have condemned Obama’s stance, saying that he is for regime change but doesn’t want to go in and get his hands dirty. John McCain has said he agreed with the President’s reasoning for intervening in Libya, but was confused at how he could condemn the actions of Gadhafi, butrefuse to commit ground troops.

john-mccain1I can see McCain’s point, and on the surface it seems like hypocrisy, however for our president to seize this opportunity to truly change the way we handle ourselves in international affairs is, if nothing else, refreshing.

By taking the lead and standing up for the Libyan people, Obama has shown that this kind of aggression will not stand. By not jumping at the chance to strap on his boots and go to war, Obama even avoided saying the word war in his speech on Monday, he has shown the ability to act how the people want him to act.

A good leader should be strong, just, and able to sacrifice it’s ego to do what’s best for the people. Saying we are going to be a world leader means leading by example. It doesn’t mean being a bully, rubbing the other kid’s noses in the dirt, and then saying it was for their own good.

Obama suggesting that we can still be a world leader, while taking a strong yet supporting role in conflicts like the one in Libya, is a radical change from the way the US has done business in the world.

It is the kind of change that can be debated, argued, analyzed and eventually judged as a success of a failure.

But it is also the kind of change we wanted to believe in when we elected him.

—–Corey cjmalo15@gmail.com

UltimateNFLdraft.com Teaser!

// March 28th, 2011 // 4 Comments » // Uncategorized

The FWG Network has a fantastic NFL Mock Draft Site.  We would like to showcase our unique take on the NFL Draft by providing you with a sneak peak of www.ultimatenfldraft.com.  If you like what you see visit  www.ultimatenfldraft.com for a complete breakdown and follow us on twitter @ultnfldraft.

ENJOY!

1)CAROLINA


Needs: QB, DT, WR, TE

The Panthers needed Andrew Luck, and I for one wish that they had could have gotten him.  Not because I am a Panthers fan, but because poor Steve Smith has been languishing for the last few years.  Number 89 is probably sitting somewhere right now, polishing his gun, muttering under his breath… “I miss Jake Delhomme..I actually miss Jake mother f*#@*ng Delhomme.”  I like Smith, he is a scrappy and fun to watch.  As a football fan I would rather see him catching passes from an actual NFL Quarterback than spending 15-20 in a county lockup after he kills Jimmy Claussen for overthrowing him 66 times in a row.

Sadly for Steve Smith, the Panthers won’t have the chance to draft Luck.  Instead, they will choose between from a group of defensive players.  Marcel Dareus, DT from Alabama, Nick Fairey, DT from Auburn, DE Da’Quan Bowers from Clemson, and Patrick Peterson, CB from LSU, or QBs Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton.

Corey’ s Pick: Cam Newton, QB Auburn.  I think Marcel Dareus, who wreaks havoc in the middle, is a better fit for the Panthers, who need to shore up their run defense, than Da’Quan Bowers or Patrick Peterson.  Dareus has really come on strong and has jumped over Nick Fairley in recent weeks.  Fairley was impressive at the combine but came in smaller than most people expected and has seen his stock drop a bit.  With all of that said, Cam Newton is a name.  And the Panthers need to make a splash this offseason.  There should be enough quality defensive players when the Panthers pick in Round 2 to justify taking a QB here.  Newton, playing with a father sized chip on his shoulder, should show up ready to work and be named the opening day starter.  The more I have thought about it, the more this pick makes sense to me.

2)DENVER

Needs: Anyone who can make a tackle.

The Broncos picked an offensive player with their first five picks last year.  If not for the Peyton Hillis forBrady Quinn debacle, this would be a team loaded with offensive weapons.  I firmly believe that Brian Xander(Broncos GM) had slept with Josh McDaniels’ sister, causing the coach to torpedo his roster.  How else do you explain acquiring Brady Quinn on purpose?

As is, they are solid on the offensive side of the ball.  I don’t believe in Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow, but it seems that the Broncos do.  The defense, well that’s a different story all together.  They were beaten to death with their own shoes week in and week out last year.  Giving up almost 30 points and 400 yards a game.  Until they resigned Champ Bailey,I could have seen them going with CB Patrick Peterson from LSU, but now a DE seems like the best pick.

Corey’s Pick: Da’Quan Bowers, DE Clemson. Pairing Bowers with a healthy Elvis Dumerville gives the Broncos their own version of Freeney and Mathis.  They play against the Chargers twice a year, and will see Brady andManning, so they need to be able to pressure the quarterback.

3)BUFFALO

Needs: QB, OL, DT

The good news is that the Bills ranked 3rd against the pass last year.  The bad news is that they ranked near the bottom of everything else.  The best available players are likely to be DT Marcel Dareus and Patrick Peterson, who is, you guessed it Bills fans, a corner back.  The one position you don’t need a major upgrade at.

The Bills are on record as saying that they will not pick a quarterback, believing they can win with Ryan Fitzpatrick.  I do not believe that.  However I do believe in the Bills track record of not drafting well.  Last year they picked speedster CJ Spiller, not considering how an undersized rookie running back would find holes behind a shoddy offensive line.  Last year’s draft was filled with skilled offensive linemen.  Including Maurkice Pouncey and Brian Bulaga, both still available when the Bills selected Spiller, who helped their respective teams make the Super Bowl.

A once in a generation talent like Peterson, or a beast like Marcel Dareus, should be be too good to pass up on here.  They have been working out potential QBs recently. including Cam Newton,so maybe they aren’t as sold on Fitzpatrick as they would have us believe.  Still I believe they go defense here.

Corey’s Pick: Marcel Dareus, DT Alabama.If they are sold on Ryan Fitzpatrick, and since there are not too many options worth a top 3 pick at OL, then they need to continue building a good defense.  Dareus has shown the ability to dominate the line of scrimmage and will immediate improve the Bills rush defense.  He should also help keep the other team out of the end zone after the turnovers and three and outs.

Want more??  Visit us today at  www.ultimatenfldraft.com

FWG Interview: Julia Scully

// March 28th, 2011 // 4 Comments » // Uncategorized

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with author Julia Scully.

Corey: When I was eleven, the most adventurous thing I did was ride my bike on the railroad tracks behind the local prison, occasionally heckling the inmates.  When you were eleven you were serving shots of whiskey to gold miners in your mother’s Alaskan roadhouse.  Then later on you took the all-male world of photography by storm, and sat in on one of the longest running poker games in New York.  You’re kind of a bad ass huh?

Julia Scully: Although I’ve heard the term, I’m not sure I know what a “bad ass” is.  But I doubt that I qualify.  Yes, I served whiskey to gold miners in my mother’s Alaskan roadhouse when I was eleven.  And I still play poker in what’s probably New York’s longest running poker game and I climbed the ladder of photographic publishing when it was mostly a man’s field.  But I never saw myself as a rebel or a rule-breaker — not even as a feminist.   I just kept my head down and tried for what I wanted and was always surprised when I got it.

97816022312901C: Your memoir, Outside Passage, starts off with you and your 13 year old sister arriving in Nome, Alaska.  Not exactly a modern metropolis, was it?

J: It’s hard to convey to someone who’s never been there, just how bleak, isolated, tiny and  God forsaken Nome was.  The town sits on perma-frost at the edge of the Bering Sea surrounded by barren tundra.  There is not a single tree in Nome or for hundreds of miles around.  The population was 1800 – today it is a whopping 3500. Ice-bound most of the year, it was — and still is — completely isolated with no roads connecting Nome to any other town or village.  The problem is that people have seen pictures of Southeastern Alaska with its forests and mountains and they imagine that is what I’m talking about.  That is not Nome. It is hard, too, to convey just how far away from that image Nome is — almost 3000 miles from Seattle.

On the other hand, Nome is only about 150 miles from Siberia, which explains a lot about the terrain. People often ask me “Wouldn’t you like to go back?”   I always say, “If I came from Siberia, would you ask me if I wanted to go back?”

C: At what point did you know you wanted to write?

J:When I was about 14, I read Sinclair Lewis‘ “Main Street” about a woman’s dissatisfaction with small town life in Minnesota.  The story helped me understand my own feelings about living in a small town.  For the first time, I realized that someone could talk to me, reach out to me, through writing.  While I didn’t make the next step to understanding that I could express my own ideas and feelings that way, too, I felt I wanted to be part of the world of writing, of books.

C: There are many examples of genius or historical discoveries that were made by accident. You’re career inphotography was shaped by such a discovery wasn’t it?

disfarmer_mp_pict_01

J: You’re referring to my part in the discovery of the wonderful portraits by Mike Disfarmer.  That was an important event in my career and, in some ways, was a turning point.  Through writing about his work and about the time, the place and the people he photographed, I discovered many parallels to my own life and experience.  I found that when I wrote about his world, I was vicariously writing about my own.  From there, it was a small step to write directly about my own experience and the result was “Outside Passage:  A Memoir of an Alaskan Childhood.”

C: Who was the most interesting photographer you worked with?

J: There are too many great photographers for me to be able to name one or two.  What I can say is that I learned a lot about the creative process from meeting and interviewing many of them.  The same issues exist for artists in any medium — photography, writing, painting — even dancing.  For example, I remember interviewing George Silk, one of the best of the Life Magazine staffers.  He was explaining to me how when he goes out shooting he will see a subject and decide to take a shot of it.  As he is looking through the viewfinder, he realizes what he is about to take is a cliche.  Yet, he knows he has to click the shutter in order to get past that cliche, and on to something original, something he will discover.  I found the same to be true in writing.  When I am writing a first draft, I can tell that it is bad, corny, trite — any number of disparaging words that go through my head.  Yet, like Silk, I’ve come to understand that there is no shortcut.  I can’t just go directly to the “good stuff.”  You have to work your way into the writing as you have to work your way in to your subject in photography.

sarah_palin_with_a_gun

C: Being from Alaska, how do you feel about lumped in with someone like Sarah Palin?

J: Infuriated.  I’ve written an as yet unpublished article, “Sarah Palin Ruined My Life” which says it all.

C: What are you working on these days?

J: I’ve recently completed a proposal for a book about my long career in photographic publishing during the most dramatic and revoutionary decades in the medium’s history.  I had a front row center seat to all the events and was, in fact, part of them.  The book will be full of juicy back-stories about the big names in the field as well as being a personal history of how I learned to survive and win in what was essentially a boy’s game.  Included, too, will be the details of what a famous editor termed my “fully lived romantic and married life.”

C: Well Julia, you are an exceptional writer, you were on the ground for one of the most inflential times in the history of photography, and you had a part in shaping that history.  You also served whiskey when were 11, had a fascinating romantic life, you played in New York’s longest running poker game,and are refreshingly humble about all of that.  Throw in the fact that you don’t like Sarah Palin and we here at The FWG Network have made a ruling.  You’re officially a bad ass.

Julia Scully is the author of “Outside Passage:  A Memoir of an Alaskan Childhood” and of “Disfarmer:  The Heber Springs Portraits”.  Check them both out today!

Heads or Tails?

// March 25th, 2011 // 5 Comments » // Uncategorized

derrick-williams-arizonaI grabbed a bite to eat last night with my friend Jon, who is a big Arizona fan, before the games tipped off.  He tried to sell me on the Wildcats chances against a heavily (-9.5) Duke team

“We shoot the three better than anyone in the country.  Plus we won the Pac 10 and Derrick Williams is a beast.”  All valid points.

“No shot.”  Then I explained, much like I did in yesterday’s piece Seinfeld, Prison Practice and Other Sweet 16 Notes, why Duke, with Kyrie Irvin back at the point, was too good.  “Come on man, you’re just being a homer.”

Jon insisted I was wrong.  And I was.  Conventional wisdom, as well as years of watching sports told me that Duke was a virtual lock, unless all their players decided to pull a Donaghy.

Since conventional wisdom let me down, and let me down hard, I present a completely arbitrary look at tonight’s Sweet 16 match ups.

7:15 #2 UNC Vs #11 Marquette

My friend Doug and I commented last night how nearly all the guys in our generation grew up rooting for UNC.  Not because of the storied history, or the never ending stream of super star players.  We were fans because they had the coolest apparel.  They had the great hats with a miniature foot on the back that featured a dark black tar spot on the heel.  Something about that color just appeals to adolescent guys, especially ones who grow up with out a serious allegiance to a particular university.  Which most of us don’t develop until actually attend college.

That was back in the day, when I was young.  I’m not a kid anymore.  I think UNC sucks on defense, they gave up 80+ to Long Island and Washington, and they turn the ball over too much.  Maybe I’m bitter because I picked Washington and the Huskies got hosed Tommy!

Arbitrary Pick: Marquette 79 UNC 76

7:27 #1 Kansas Vs #12 Richmond

My good friend Amanda, from high school lives in Richmond, has since high school.  It was in that fair city, while visiting her in college, that I first discovered Pho, which is Vietnamese noodle soup where raw pieces of beef cook in the broth.  It is the best thing when you are hung over, sick, or looking for a good meal under $10.  I actually just had Pho twenty minutes ago.pho_2000__1231618472_1216

Unfortunately for the Spiders, soup ain’t crack, cause thats what I would need to be smoking to pick Richmond over Kansas.

Arbitrary Pick: Kansas 73 Richmond 63

9:45 #4 Kentucky Vs #1 Ohio State

I don’t particularly like Ohio State.  I really, really don’t like THE Ohio State University.  Imagine if everyone spoke like this.  I am THE Corey Maloney.  I am writing this on THE HP laptop and after eating THE big bowl of spicy noodle soup I would like to take THE biggest dump all over THE Ohio State Buckeyes mascot.

Actually that was kind of fun.

Kentucky freshman G Brandon Knight is the kind of explosive player who, if he gets it going early, could keep the Wildcats in this one.  Ohio State is the most balanced team in the country so unless they are scarred by watching me defecate all over their beloved mascot, I expect them to take care of business tonight.

Arbitrary Pick: Ohio State 68 Kentucky 60

9:57 #10 Florida State Vs #11 VCU

You are probably thinking that I blew it by using the only connection I had to Richmond, VA in my discussion of Richmond/Kansas.  Well you would be right.

Lucky for both of us I can talk about Florida State.

The Seminoles have a balanced attack, featuring wildly underrated signal caller Christian Ponder who ca hurt you with his arm and his legs.  Their defense…wait…what do you mean basketball?

You’re telling me that Florida State BASKETBALL is playing VCU tonight with a chance to make the Elite 8?  Ok buddy.  Whatever you say.  The good people of Richmond could have used that crack a few paragraphs ago.

Since I can’t reasonably be expected to analyze Florida State Basketball, I’m going to flip a coin on this one.

Heads.  VCU 71 Florida State 63

Hope everyone enjoys the games tonight.  Best of luck to anyone’s who’s bracket doesn’t have more holes in it than a Jim Tressel explanation on alleged misconduct.

—-Corey cjmalo15@gmail.com

Big Buck Hunter

// March 25th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

buck-showalter_pointing-sidebar  

If you happen to be in the market for an absurdly huge set of cojones this Easter season, look no further than Camden Yards and the dugout of the Baltimore Orioles.

 

There you’ll find a grizzled baseball manager with a John Wayne swagger and the heart of a rabid wolverine. Right there next to the Gatorade cooler, Buck Showalter lurks in the shadows with only his signature blood-red eyes and frothing fangs visible.

 

Without warning or any kind of common reasoning, Old Buck used the lazy, beer-drinking, sunbathing days the players like to call Spring Training as a platform to rip into his divisional opponents. Showalter called out Jeter and the rest of the Yanks for always having borderline pitches go in their favor because they are good actors.  He also targeted Red Sox saint Theo Epstein, making the claim that anyone could do the Vice President/GM’s job if they had the Red Sox payroll to work with (try telling that to Brian Cashman).

 

Sure, some of the things Showalter said were pointless and occasionally downright stupid, but the point is he wasn’t afraid to say them. He might be right about the Yankees getting calls, but isn’t that the umpires fault for falling victim to their cheap parlor tricks? The comments about Theo were just plain foolish. Epstein has made some mistakes but if he was never a part of the Red Sox, everyone in New England might still be talking about the curse, and if Theo was part of the Orioles organization, Buck would  have a much more competitive team than he does now. No, it’s not about the content of his statements, but the way he delivered those words. He seemed to yell everything with such off-the-cuff, in-your-face realism, that it made even non-fans of the Orioles want to stand up and join his crusade.

 

A few similarities come to mind when comparing Buck Showalter and his antics to another manager in the AL East.

 

This is not to say the end result will resemble anything like Tampa Bay’s march to the World Series, but Buck seems to be mirroring a similar approach Joe Maddon and his team took back in 2008 when they brawled with both the Yankees and Red Sox in the same season. The message from Maddon’s team at the time was clear. They weren’t their older brothers’ punching bag any longer and it was finally time for payback.

 

We’ve all seen the Australian fat kid video by now. It was a similar situation in the AL East prior to 2008. This year, Buck has decided to take a page out of Maddon’s playbook and now it’s finally his chance to play the role of the chubby nerd who overcomes adversity.

 

No one should boo this man for his brash comments. He’s sick of the way the Orioles have been a laughing stock in their own division, and whether he can do anything about it is not really a concern. All Buck is doing is trying to motivate his young players, and if his comments have a positive effect on his team in any way, he’s done more for the organization before the regular season starts than any Orioles manager has done in the last twenty years.

 

In closing, the burning question apparently still lingers. What’s the next stop on Buck Showalter’s national interview tour? Pierce Morgan Live? The O’Reilly Factor? Howard Stern? Anything but George Lopez. That show is the worst…

 

—-Seth Newton

Seinfeld, Prison Practice, and Other Sweet 16 Notes

// March 24th, 2011 // 3 Comments » // Uncategorized

george

7:15 #3 UCONN Vs #2 SDST

Normally, when a team is completely reliant on one player (see Lebron’s Cavs), they fizzle out on the big stage. These great players need a nucleus of other good to great players in order to survive. Look at Friends and Seinfeld as examples. friends-cast

Chandler, Joey, Ross, Monica, Phoebe and Rachel managed to capture lightening in a bottle and keep it there for ten years. That is almost unheard of today. But when they went out on their own, Jennifer Aniston being the Scottie Pippen of the group having achieved a modicum of success once the band broke up, they didn’t have what it took to carry the load on their own.

Seinfeld, a perfect example for comic synergy, failed to produce any quality spinoffs for Jerry, George, Elaine or Kramer. All of them were good at what they were doing before the show. The collaboration elevated their games to unprecedented heights, and they were never able to get back to that level after the buzzer sounded.

In Kemba Walker we seem to have a rare talent, capable of carrying the whole show on his own. kemba-walker2

Imagine for a second that you gave Jason Alexander (the strongest actor on Seinfeld hands down) Joe Piscopoe, Paula Poundstone, and Pauly Shore instead of Seinfeld, Julia Louise Dreyfus, and Michael Richards. Do you think he would be strong enough to carry that show? No? Well that is basically what Kemba Walker is doing. With an overachieving cast, each capable of 2-3 minute stretches of quality work at most, after that things get a little uncomfortable, he destroyed the Big East Tournament and now has the Huskies one win away from the Elite Eight.

Watching Walker play over the last few weeks has turned me into a fan. Normally such a huge burden would sit heavily on a player’s shoulders. They would sulk when their teammates let them down, and stomp demonstratively down the court when they don’t get the ball (again see Lebron’s Cavs). Not Walker. He seems to love playing basketball and seems to love his teammates. This love has elevated his supporting cast the way that fear elevated Michael Jordan’s.

Since my bracket is fubar, I am rooting for Kemba Walker and UCONN to take out the #2 Aztecs.

Half Assed Prediction: UCONN 68 SDST 62

7:27 #3 BYU Vs #2 Florida

NCAA/BASKETBALL

Jimmer Fredette, another one man show, is a scoring machine who went to prison voluntarily to improve his game. It’s hard not to like the guy, even if he doesn’t pretend to care about anything other than scoring. Unfortunately for Jimmer, who has been on fire in the tournament so far, this will be the game where BYU really misses Brandon Davies(click here for story). He is an athletic big man that might have helped the Cougars combat the Gator front line they will face tonight. The Gators have a number of ways to beat you, and against the undermanned Cougars I expect them to go inside early and often.

The Cougars impressed me by beating a quality Gonzaga team but I don’t think they have enough to trade punches with a bigger, faster, and stronger Florida team for 40 minutes.

Half Assed Prediction: FLORIDA 67 BYU 62

9:45 #5 Arizona Vs #1 Duke

Duke showed that it was vulnerable to a team that cam spread the floor and make 3’s when they came within an inch of losing to Michigan. This could make it hard to content with an athletic Wildcat team who have a legitimate super star in F Derrick Williams. The Cats will need to get hot from the three early on however, if they want to hang with Duke.

One of the best teams in the tournament getting their best player back just before RD 1 seems unfair. But it is a reality that Arizona and Coach Sean Miller will have to contend with. ncaabasketballtournamenteastregionalboston8nugjoaamwpl

Duke plays solid man to man defense and I think Kyle Singler can do enough to slow Derrick Williams down. Williams is still going to get his points but I think he will get worn down by Duke’s pressure D. Having irving available means that Duke can play Singler at the 4, where he can wreak havoc stretching the D with his inside/outside game.

I expect Arizona to come out fired up and keep it close for a half. In the end Duke is too good and pulls away early in the second half.

Half Assed Prediction: DUKE 74 ARIZONA 59

9:57 #8 Butler Vs #4 Wisconsin

This is a matchup of fundamentally solid teams that beat you the same way. They play great defense, they rebound, and they don’t turn the ball over. It’s not flashy but it has proved effective for both. Butler is making its second straight deep run in the Tournament and came within inches of a national title last year. The Badgers are making their 5th trip to the Sweet 16 in the last 11 years.

bo-ryanSince neither team beats themselves, this game will come down to whoever can execute better. I think that gives the edge to the Badgers. Bo Ryan’s team is scary efficient on the offensive end, especially when they get it going from down town.  Ryan is a scary dude and his team is one of the best FT shooting teams in the country, a stat that can’t be underestimated in a close game.  

The Duke/Arizona matchup has more sex appeal and will probably be more entertaining for the first 35 minutes.

So go ahead, ignore the action down in New Orleans until Duke has wrapped up a trip to the Elite 8. But make sure you tune in for the last few minutes because this one is a lock to go down to the wire.

Wish: Gus Johnson gets assigned to this one.

Half Assed Prediction: WISCONSIN 60 BUTLER 59

Check in tomorrow for a preview of Friday’s matchups.

——Corey cjmalo15@gmail.com

Pay Per View? No Thanks Lady

// March 24th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

times121

I have a confession to make.

I’ve never read the New York Times cover to cover. Shit, I have never even strongly considered it.

Embarking on a beginning to end trip through “all the news that’s fit to print” requires a couple things that I either don’t have, or don’t like to use.

The first of which is attention span. While writing this I have watched parts of Conan, an episode of Seinfeld, checked ESPN.com and my email four times each, made three trips to the kitchen and gone to the bathroom twelve times. Asking me to sit still and read The New York Times would be like hiring Lawrence Taylor as a bouncer. I would do a good job at first, but eventually I am going to get careless and miss something really important.

If you have the required attention span embedded in your DNA, the next thing someone would need in order to conquer the Grey Lady is a serious interest in current affairs. These affairs include, but are not limited to politics, religion, economy, sports, art, food and culture. Like you, I have an interest in a few of these things. However, I lack a serious jones to hear in depth, intellectual coverage on all of them, all at once. That’s not to say that I don’t care, or am in some way unsympathetic to the plight of the world. I am just not hotwired in a way that allows me to care long enough, or care hard enough, because it is an intellectually taxing quest, to finish the paper from beginning to end.

There are probably a handful of you out there shaking your head at the last sentence. The old schoolers. who feel that nothing creative made it out of the 70’s alive, and that our generation lacks the capacity to appreciate such ideas because of things like Twitter and Facebook, are probably wagging their fingers right now at my lack of substance.

For the record, I read all the time. But I would be judged in your eyes for what I don’t read. Which brings me to the third thing needed to navigate the “newspaper of record”. You need to drink the kool-aid. This band of finger waggers, of which I am sure some of my generation sings back up for, feel a sense of superiority because they read The Times. Carrying The Times, which is no less elitist than saying The U, or THE Ohio State University, makes some people feel like The Reader.2008_01_02_gwh_upfront1

We have all been in conversations with these people. People who know more than you do, and on the rare occasion that they don’t because you read the same article they did, they move on to another subject. This continues until they settle upon something you can’t match wits on, leaving them free to offer their so called ‘opinions’ uninterrupted.  The next time you are going to see one of The Readers, spend the few days prior studying The Times. When you see them gearing up to impress the crowd, steal their thunder. Keep it up until they run out of headlines to talk about and then, watch them flounder and gasp for air. It can be like you’re very own Good Will Hunting moment.

I have prejudiced feelings towards reading The Times because of these people. It has nothing to do with the paper itself. On the rare occasions where I have picked it up, I have found the writing to be nothing less than stellar, edifying, and capable of walking a fine line between cerebral and entertaining. As it has for 160 years, The Paper commands respect silently, by letting its content do the talking. But even if I possessed the necessary attention span and political spirit, that prejudice won’t let me finish the whole offering, perhaps because I fear turning into one of them myself.

With technology allowing us to read almost anything on the internet, people like me had the opportunity to read The Times’ content without carrying around a bulky status symbol that is bad for the environment. We could pick and choose what we wanted to read free from the guilt that comes with throwing away a whole bunch of paper after only reading one of its pages. It should be noted here that this guilt does not kick in with The Post or The Daily News, who seem woefully out of place anywhere but a trash can.

It seemed a perfect mix to offer my generation. A generation that is searching for its place in the cultural, educated pantheon of adults, but having a hard time focusing because of the degenerative attention span condition that seems to be universally hereditary. Giving us the ability to read what we want, on our terms was a win-win. You need us to patronize your newspaper in order to attract more advertising, and we need you to care about us in order to justify our place at the table.

Think about how much time the average 20-35 year old spends online on a daily basis. If The Times managed to attract some of that segment by offering their content in the medium that we frequent most, it would be an investment in their future. It is like the tobacco companies marketing to kids with the Joe Camel and Marlboro Man ads. Get a customer hooked while they are young, and they will be loyal for life.

groucho-marx1Instead, The Times seems to be echoing Grouch Marx’s famous line:

“I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.”

The younger generation is the club now, and by providing its product in a variety of ways, such as iPhone apps, and by making it free for all of us to see on the internet, The Times was indicating a desire to be a member.

It was as if you stopped wagging your fingers long enough to tweet us an olive branch.

We would have gladly accepted, and embraced The Times as a voice for the people had they not announced that they now plan to charge people who want to read their content online.

Say what you want about our generation, but there is no better way to alienate young people than to try and get them to pay for something, when they can get a similar something for free with minimal effort. But I guess that’s the point isn’t it.

The reason I have never read The New York Times cover to cover is because that is the way The Times wants it.

For some reason The Times has chosen now, a time where print newspapers are on their death beds, to stick it’s head in the sand.  No one under the age of 35 is going to pay to read The New York Times online, and their insistence that we do, seems to be alienating just for the sake of alienating.

The Grey Lady is getting old, and she appears to be satisfied to spend the rest of her days withering away in the dark, asking old friends for money to hear her stories.

—-Corey Maloney cjmalo15@gmail.com

Mall Rat

// March 23rd, 2011 // 7 Comments » // Uncategorized

What?? Banned from the mall!? NOOOO

Dez Bryant:"What?? Banned from the mall!? NOOOO"

Clearly Dez Bryant loves the smell of commerce in the morning.

The Dallas Cowboy WR, who began to make good on his enormous potential before fracturing an ankle on a kick return against the Colts, was tossed out of an upscale Dallas shopping center last weekend. I am ignoring the Cowboys folly in having a potential star wide out returning kicks for now. Instead I will be focusing on why Bryant ended up getting thrown out of a place that allows hordes of underage rabble-rousers to roam its halls for hours at a time without ever purchasing anything.

This wasn’t the first time that Bryant had been in trouble at the NorthPark Shopping Center. Previous deviations from mall protocol include; cutting in line, parking in the fire lane, and causing a ruckus at one of the mall’s restaurants while arguing with a woman.

Unless the only other mall in Dallas is like the island of the misfit toys flea market that Brodie and TS are forced to visit when they are chased out of ‘their’ mall, then one has to question the intelligence of a man who is public enemy number one among one mall’s rent-a- cops.

When Bryant arrived in Big D, many people were salivating over his skills and comparing him to former Cowboy’s great Michael Irvin. They even gave Bryant the honor of wearing Irvin’s #88.93miner

I normally have a problem with these types of comparisons, and the undeserved hype they bring with them. Harold Miner was pegged ‘Baby Jordan’. Miner averaged 3.2 points for the Cavs in 1995 and retired a year later after failing to make the Toronto Raptors roster. Other than winning the dunk contest Miner has no more in common with Jordan than I do. Actually MJ and I are both rumored to be degenerate gamblers. So we have that going for us, which is nice.

In the case of Bryant, giving him Irvin’s number was setting the bar far too high for someone who couldn’t hold Roy Williams jock strap. Ok so he refused to carry his pads, but you get the idea. Irvin won 3 Super Bowl rings and was named to the All Decade team for the 90’s. He was named to five Pro Bowls and at his prime was one of the most dynamic receivers in football, earning him the nickname, The Playmaker.

Dez Bryant was supposed to fill those shoes as soon as he stepped on the field. Seems like a lot of pressure for someone whose character issues caused him to slide down to the end of the first round where the Cowboys drafted him, doesn’t it?

That brings us back to the NorthPark Shopping Center. Many, as I did earlier, would question Bryant’s acumen at being busted numerous times at the same mall. However, upon digging a little deeper I find there to be an understated genius to Bryant’s actions.

mike-irvin1The people of Dallas wanted Michael Irvin 2.0. Since Bryant doesn’t do coke, and since he doesn’t keep time with hookers, he needed to find another way to become The Newsmaker. What better place than a mall. Where they employ overweight ex cops as security, and where you get in trouble for cutting lines, instead of snorting them and the unidentified woman you argue with at Oriental Express isn’t charging you by the hour.

Then there was parking in a fire lane. The same kind of dangerous, hot headed behavior Irvin was exhibiting when he “accidentally” sliced a two inch gash in teammate Everett McIver’s neck. McIver never pressed charges about the incident, which started because Irvin didn’t want to wait to get his haircut, and demanded McIver give up his seat. Irvin was rumored to have given McIver a six figure hush payment. Bryant proved he didn’t want to wait for a legal parking space just like Irvin didn’t want to wait for a chair at the barber shop.

You would think that after the coke, hookers, and a vicious scissor attack on a teammate that Michael Irvin would have seen the error of his ways and calmed down. If you thought that, then you don’t know The Playmaker.

Since retiring from the NFL in 1999, Irvin has been arrested while in the company of an unidentified woman, and more drugs, in a Dallas. Then in 2005 he was arrested again for an outstanding warrant from unpaid parking tickets. During the arrest the police found a small pipe and a plastic bag with marijuana residue. It was apparently his brother’s and Irvin had just forgotten to throw it away. Then there was his comment on ESPN radio that Tony Romo’s relatives on his mother’s side had been into some “slave brothers”. This was meant to be a joke about how athletic Romo was.

Bryant was falling short on the field, and still horribly behind in off the field shenanigans, and he decided to act. Not for him, but for all those desperate Cowboys fans who see him as the second coming. By getting thrown out of the NorthPark Shopping Center he again showed a shrewd ability to get into just the right amount of trouble. The offense this time? His friends had their pants too low, exposing their underwear. Bryant took umbrage at the treatment by mall security and was subsequently banned from the mall.

He won’t face jail time, but his actions got him in the news and took him one step closer Playmaker status. Bryant even tweeted, “Headed to North Park tomorrow to get these Lebrons….I am not banned from North park lol.” Showing a Irvin like disregard for the law.dez-bryant2

So don’t blame Dez Bryant. You wanted him to be Michael Irvin. You gave him his number and put it in his head that he needed to live up to The Playmaker’s legend. If anything you should be applauding him for being smart enough to stay out of any real trouble, while still doing enough to ensure that all those men and women in Dallas still have that troubled, iconic wide receiver rocking the #88 to cheer for on Sundays.

Just do yourself a favor Dez, next time you decide to channel your inner Playmaker, steer clear of the chocolate covered pretzels.

—-Corey cjmalo15@gmail.com