Thursday, June 05, 2008

Yep, I'm fucking old.

As I've progressed in life there are often times when I realize just how much I've advanced in age. I'm not yet at the point where this is a regular occurrence but when these moments do take place, they hit me like a ton of bricks. Today would be one of those moments. You see, I'm going on a cruise today. Only its not the kind of cruise that normally springs to mind when you think of a 30 year old drunkard. No, I'm going on a Disney Cruise. Thats right, Mickey, Donald and the whole goddamned cast of jew hating characters will be frollicking about with me and approximately 400 screaming, whining little shits.

This cruise was a Christmas present from my parents to our entire family, and since each of my sisters and there husbands are all firmly entrenched in familial existences, and my girlfriend has a daughter as well, the 'Rents thought it'd be a swell time to get the whole family together for a cruise. Ugggh. Don't get me wrong, I love my nieces and nephews and I love the rest of my family. I adore my girlfriend and her child. What I don't particularly care (read: loathe with extreme prejudice) are the children of other people and/or the presence of pasty white tourists. With that said, I'm guessing my hate sensors will be on overload over the next few days as I wade through a sea of just these types of people. Under normal circumstances I'd simply say "fuck it", grab a drink and head to the casino. Unfortunately, Disney Cruises don't have casinos (Are you fucking kidding me?) and I'm doubtful that the assembled staff members look kindly upon binge drinking.

So, here I sit...bags packed, smile plastered on my face with the hopes that this "vacation" turns out better than I'm anticipating. Wish me luck. God knows I'll need it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm a man! I'm 30?

If you've ever wasted any of your time around these parts you're probably well aware of how unbelievably immature I am. Either because you know me personally, or because you've bothered to read a post or two. Even when I'm writing seriously, or seriously for me, about sports this space is still often filled with ill-timed jokes and frequent profanity. I'd like to think that I'll evolve from this at some point in my life but, as it currently stands, it doesn't seem very likely. By the time you reach your 30s you essentially are what you are, for better or worse. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being me (save for the ever increasing power of my hangovers) its just that every so often I'm reminded of just how juvenile and immature I am. Yesterday was one of those days. I stumbled upon this site, and laughed like a little schoolgirl for the next 10 to 15 minutes. Its a sad commentary really. Clearly all it takes is the frequent and innapropriate use of profanity to make me laugh. I guess its good that all my kids live at least one state away...for all of us.

While I'm on the subject of immaturity, I figured I ought to post the trailer for the new Will Ferrell movie. Now, I know his last couple of movies have been formulaic, lazy pieces of crap but I've got a good feeling about this one. Maybe its the chemistry he shares with John C. Reilly, maybe its because I just spent fifteen minutes on You decide.

Okay, thats an awful lot of proof of my immaturity, not that you really needed any. Anywho, to show you I'm not a complete and total waste of space and $50,000+ in education (I guess thats debatable either way) here's the trailer for the new Chuck Pahlaniuk movie, Choke. The book was amazing, but I'm probably not the most unbiased critic when it comes to Pahlaniuk's work. I'd read anything that he writes, especially if its a book about a sex addict who makes money by faking that he's choking on food in swanky restaurants. I mean, who wouldn't find something like that interesting? Oh right...this paragraph was supposed to help prove that I am mature. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The sincerest form of flattery...

Growing up, I never really understood why people went away for Memorial Day (and Labor Day) weekend. Of course, a good deal of this confusion could be attributed to the fact that I grew up 5 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. There's no reason to travel to sunnier, sandier locales when you reside in one that extremely sandy and sunny. As a result of this, these truly American holidays, as well as the traditions that come with them, were often lost on me. I don't recall a single memorable Memorial or Labor day weekend from my youth. In fact, I can't say I recall any until the last 5 or 6 years when I reached the age of homeownership for me and my friends. At this point, I had moved back to my childhood home (or very near it) so there were no trips to the beach. Rather, the beach was once again down the street (literally) and the weekends were spent on the beach, and later near a pool with lots of booze, food and friends. So, you see, I'd like to tack on the G:TB's Memorial Day weekend travel guide here but there will be no traveling for me.

Instead, my girlfriend and I have decided to throw our first real barbecue since we moved in together last June. (It was really her decision, but who am I to stand in the way of something that allows me to get hammered on the homefront?)

We have a pool, a grill and a group of friends with a propensity for binge drinking so we might as well do the good old American thing and have a Memorial Day shindig at our place. Plus, I've grown tired of monitoring my drinking during the afternoon hours of these Monday holidays, lest I find myself too incapacitated to drive home. This scenario works out much better for me. My girlfriend's the more masterful griller, my bedroom will be a few shorts steps away and the guests will be bringing all sorts of delicious foodstuffs for my continued consumption throughout the day. It should be a grand time. At least until one of my friends throws up in our pool.

However, I don't want to make it sound like I'm not doing anything to ensure this party will be a fun-filed afternoon for all involved. I'll be pouring plenty of shots throughout the day and I've secured some fine entertainment as well. Behold...

I don't see anyway that this isn't one of the greatest Memorial Days ever.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Live Blogging a Soccer Game? Sure, why not?

Since I "work" from home, a couple of the guys at G:TB asked if I was planning on Live Blogging the UEFA Champions League Final between the Premiere League's two most despicable teams, Manchester United and Chelsea. Well, I hadn't planned on it but, why the hell not? I'm going to be watching the game from my couch so I might as well offer my pithy observations on said game. A few years ago, I did this and the game turned out to be a classic. Of course, Jerry (who had yet to embrace soccer) made the comment that this game being considered a classic is one of the many reasons why soccer wasn't a sport he or many other Americans could love. I suspect he'd have a different opinion now that he's become a fellow Arsenal supporter ( I use this phrase loosely) after his prolonged stay in England a year or so ago.

Its tough for many Americans to understand just how big a deal tonight's game is for soccer fans all across Europe, but its an event that dwarfs our "Super Bowl" in both hype and viewership. Combine that with the fact that this game boasts two of the world's most deadly finishers in Cristiano Ronaldo & Didier Drogba and you've got something along the lines of a Colts-Pats matchup in the AFC Championship. Does this make Wayne Rooney the equivalent of Marvin Harrison and Michael Ballack into Randy Moss? I don't fucking know. I'm just trying to make this a little easier to understand for TJ. I know, good luck with that.

Anyway, I hope I've sufficiently Americanized (aka: dumbed down) this for you guys. Hey look, just writing about soccer brings out the previously dormant snobby Brit in somebody. One more thing, because you can't trust Russians to do anything right (save for the occasional revolution) it sounds as if the turf in Moscow tonight may rival the turf from the Dolphins-Steelers Monday Night game in Pittsburgh from last year. That should make for some high scoring, exciting action (sarcasm alert) and thus millions of unemployed Americans who'll use this game as an excuse to never watch another soccer game again. Hey, at least Clarence Seedorf is broadcasting this game in three languages. That'll draw in the common man. Oh, fuck it. Its soccer. You love or you don't. Join the comments.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'd like to invite the Spurs to...go fuck themselves...

I realize I went over this just a post or two ago but last night was yet another example of why the San Antonio Spurs are bad for basketball. They flop endlessly, they complain constantly and, for good measure, they dole out cheap shots against the instrumental players of their opposition. Now, I've heard some people today say that Robert Horry's pick on David West wasn't a cheap shot and, well, I think those people are completely out of their minds. Why exactly was Horry setting a pick in that situation? Watch the Spurs play and let me know if you ever see that pick and placement used within their offense.

I think you're going to be searching for some time. Its yet another in a long line of examples of why the Spurs are the only team that isn't a rival of my favorite teams who I fucking hate with the white hot passion of a thousand suns. Sometimes, I forget how much I hate them and then something like last night's game happens and I remember all over again. I refuse to believe that the way this team plays is coincidental. They are coached to play in this manner. Does anybody remember Horry being a noted cheap shot artist during his days in Houston or L.A.? I certainly don't. Of course, he gets to San Antonio and now he's fucking Vinnie Jones. It all comes back to that arrogant douche Poppovich. Yet another reason why I'll never trust a man who prefers wine over beer or liquor. Its unnatural, like his god damned cratered face.

Yeah, thats good solid defense alright Mark Jackson. Please. Sure, thats what "defense" is quickly becoming in the NBA, because the league and its officials refuse to do anything about the serial flopping that occurs in each and every Spurs game but thats not the way defense is supposed to be played. That's acting and bullshit.

If there's a God, I'll get to meet Bruce Bowen one day. And when I kick in the fucking knees he better go flying back 30 feet like I shot him with a Desert Eagle. A night in jail will never feel so satisfying.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Thanks TJ...

TJ brought me much joy to me this morning with his comparison of cartoon hero He-Man and frequent devourer (?) of heroes, Dana Jacobson. With that in mind, I though it only apropos to post my favorite all time Separated at Birth...Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown and my second favorite all time McDonald's character, Grimace.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flop, Cry...Reward...

Let me say something before I get started here. I love basketball. Truly. I watch basketball of all forms on television. I play in 3 separate basketball leagues. On those days when I'm not playing in these leagues, I have a regular group of 15-20 guys with whom I play pickup basketball. Some of my friends and family may even tell you that I play/watch too much basketball. This love affair with basketball is precisely why I hate the San Antonio Spurs.

Don't get me wrong, the Spurs are both an immensely talented and well run team. However, they are also a team full of whiners, floppers and cheap shot artists. (Okay, that last one was primarily directed at Bruce Bowen but I'm pretty sure Kurt Thomas isn't fully free of guilt here either). As I sat watching the Spurs take down the Phoenix Suns late last night, I found myself intensely rooting for Phoenix. Or was it against the Spurs? Upon further reflection, it was most certainly against the Spurs. I have no reason to root for Phoenix but I cannot stomach watching what the Spurs continually get away with their actions. On two consecutive possessions last night, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan went flying to the floor without any contact from the opposition. Of course, both of these flops were rewarded with foul calls. Fouls that were charged to Amare Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal, respectively and changed the very tenor of the game. While Parker and Duncan each do their fare share of flopping they aren't even close to the most egregious violators of my basketball sensibilities. Manu Ginobili acts as if he's been shot nearly every time there is even the slightest bit of contact and is consistently rewarded by the referees. He's a great player, one of the truly underrated guys in the NBA but his style of play overshadows his talents and somehow makes him less of a star in my eyes. He's certainly not the only soccer-esque flopper in the NBA, just the most frequent and highest profile.

I've officially reached my breaking with both this team and flopping in the NBA. ( I consider the Spurs the primary reason flopping has become so pervasive.) The amount of flopping on picks, drives to the hoop and scrums underneath basket has rendered many NBA games virtually unwatchable and most Spurs games downright infuriating. These antics take away from the game and rewards players who look for an easy way out. The Spurs aren't the only team who do this, just the most successful. When you combine their style of play with the constant stream of incredulous looks they display whenever a foul is whistled on them it makes me want to reach out and punch their leader, Gregg Poppovich, in his pocked marked face. Some may say that the Spurs are merely engaging in gamesmanship and taking advantage of every opportunity afforded them. I say that they're borderline cheating and, most certainly, disrespecting the game.

To this team and organization, winning is the only excuse they need to attempt underhanded tactics (see: The unbelievably lopsided Kurt Thomas trade, which was executed with the assistance of former employee, Seattle GM Sam Presti. Which doesn't even begin to discuss the manner in which they employed the Hack-A-Shaq strategy in the Suns series). I can think of no NBA team that is more worthy of the public's scorn and venom. Yet, it seems as though only a few NBA fans care, or even notice, what this team has perpetrated upon the NBA. They have literally changed the way that the game is played and not for the better.

I'd like to see the NBA institute fouls for flops but that seems unlikely. I'd like to see the Spurs just play basketball and stop trying to find easy ways to win but that seems even less likely. More than anything, I want to see basketball played in a manner in which the most skillful and deserving team wins. Not because they know all the little, dirty tricks but because they outplayed their opponent. However, thats not where the NBA is right now and until something drastic is done its not going to happen anytime soon.

So, until that point I'll resign myself to rooting against the Spurs and for teams that at least attempt to play basketball in an honest manner. I'll sit on my couch, occasionally cursing the way this team plays and silently hope that the NBA, its referees and the fans will see this team for what they are...not just champions (because they undoubtedly are) but floppers and whiners deserving of our attention and shame.