Monday, July 23, 2007


In the spirit of the Boot Camp Clik, my latest thoughts are below as the working life and the Yankees beat tend to overshadow them at times. By the way, buy and/or download their discography.

  • How Many Emcees (Must Get Dissed)?: Quite possibly the biggest scandal in the history of American professional sports is unfolding on quite possibly the most divisive league in the history of American professional sports. If you thought that the National Basketball Association was hated by many before, it's hard to imagine how its critics and naysayers would not feed their own fires now that it's been revealed that referee Tim Donaghy has bet on league games while possibly fixing games he officiated. This is going to lead to a long list of Mob names and as rumored, other officials and several current players. "Start Snitchin' " is going to be the battlecry by all of us: fans, media, players, advertisers, media executives, the Feds... Yet, there is one group of people that are going to be unfairly questioned and scrutinized: the San Antonio Spurs. Already considered having a tainted title because of Game 4 in the Western semis - though if media and fans took the blinders off, they would have understood that the Suns weren't going to win anyway - there are going to be some (irrational) people who believe that if were not for a phantom call against Manu Ginobili in Game 3 that the wheels would have not been set in motion for the remaining three games. Are they going to get dissed again for not only being a flash-less team, but for Donaghy's horrendous judgement?

  • Headz Are Readee: SPJ and myself watched the Winky Wright-Bernard Hopkins fight card this past Saturday. With the exception of the first fight - which was long in the tooth like a Yankees game... I'm kidding, it was stopped after one minute in the second round - it was a rather entertaining card overall. Two solid undercards made it worth shelling the $50, although this can't be good. As for the main event, I thought Wright would have won based on the constant holding by Hopkins that unnerved most at the Mandalay Bay, but the 42-year old had managed to win the later rounds based on rendering Wright's jab useless and blood affecting the southpaw from a second round incidental headbutt. Yet, besides Hopkins' comedic promotion of the fight, his post-fight in ring interview provided a great idea. He wants to fight super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe at Yankee Stadium in March. Now granted, the Bronx in March is about as warm as a meat locker, but it's been quite a long time since fights were held at open baseball and football stadiums. Considering that most, if not all, open-air and retractable roof stadiums are publicly funded, but underutilized, a major boxing match would be a great one-time generator of revenue. Even hosting a couple of Golden Gloves tournament bouts or known-local prizefighters in some locales at these venues could be a significant boon for the sport and owners of these facilites hoping to prove that they have 'world-class' venues. Of course, it's the greed of the business that has frozen the possiblity of having a major fight in these stadiums again, but if baseball owners haven't realized that greed isn't exclusive to one or two sports, they've been under a rock for too long. Hopkins just gave George Steinbrenner the perfect and almost nostalgic way to close out the House That Ruth Built - almost nostalgic because the populus at a bout may look a bit different from 1973 when Muhammad Ali defeated Ken Norton. Take the bait, Georgie!

  • I Got Cha Opin: Watching the hype and the actual match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chelsea FC, there was an oncoming dread about the reaction to the newest star in California, David Beckham. With his sprained ankle, it was going to be pretty difficult to play and the decision to come into the contest in the final ten+ minutes of the second half had to have been extremely tough for the Galaxy, MLS and Beckham himself. The decision was made for him by ESPN and the five-hundred writers, bloggers, TV and radio outlets the moment he announced he was coming Stateside. He had to perform to justify the coverage, even if he was better suited to wait another week when he could have had an affect on the entire match. Because there is an annoying tendancy to scan the sports world for drama while interfering with the natural flow of sports, if Beckham did not hit the field at all during the game, the national uproar would be vicious. Yet, the whole time, I felt that Beckham came to the States at the right time and more importantly, the right place. Soccer is a major participant sport amongst anyone born after 1990 and while the money may not be there, the chances of having more homegrown talent are greater now than before. As for Saturday's match, the Hollywood allure was palpable, something that none of the major sports have had this year for one reason or another. Beckham came to a city that is far more liberal and open to entertainment than New York or Chicago lend themselves to believe. They came out in droves to find out what was the big deal behind this Briton. Even though it wasn't eventful by any means, the fact that Los Angeles kept an open mind to his arrival as they would for any other celebrity and/or athlete proves that this investment is worthwhile. LA may be known for a flaky public, but at least the public is willing to give you a chance. More to come on why it's hard to knock Beckham or MLS.

  • Oops Upside Your Head: Non-sports related, but great nonetheless. It's said that the kids aren't getting smarter and that they can't read good - that was intentional, folks. Yet, eight and a half million Harry Potter books were sold over the weekend. 8.5 million books, my friends. Children and adults are living in a fantasy away from the drolls and screams of reality, despite some darker overtones in the stories. I've never read or watched anything related to the Clik at Hogwarts, but if this doesn't restore some sort of hope that people still value a good book once in a while, that's pretty sad. I'd hope that Roger Goddell brought a copy or two for himself for his own sanity leading to the start of training camp.

  • Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka: NBA Jam was the jumpoff, wasn't it?

  • Looking Down the Barrel: The trading deadline nears and the usual suspects are bandied about in terms of which teams are looking to make moves. A year ago, teams were waiting for one GM to blink and start a bevy of trades. Do you think anyone will pull the trigger for any move?

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