Thursday, February 23, 2012
It's that time again. Roll out the red carpet, toot a couple lines and get ready for celebrities to congratulate themselves for 4 hours. I'll be watching the NBA All star game this Sunday night, and I assume many of you might be doing the same, but this is what all your girlfriends and wives will be talking about on Monday. As a disclaimer I'd like to say that I didn't see most of the movies nominated this year but I'm going to take a couple stabs at who I think will be giving tearful speeches at the podium Sunday night anyway. What are my predictions?
The Guy from The Artist
TGFTA narrowly beats out George Clooney, only because Clooney's won already and the Academy would love to give this to a guy who barely had any lines. "Acting!"
This is a tough one since Glenn Close, Meryl Streep and Williams all are nominated for really show offy performances that the Academy loves to give awards out for. Play ugly, retarded or drug addicted and you're guaranteed at least a nomination. Close played a woman in drag, Streep supposedly transformed into Margaret Thatcher but Michelle Williams is getting tons of buzz as Marilyn Monroe and it would be a feel good story for her.
I'd like Jonah Hill to win just because I've probably seen every movie he ever did (including Moneyball, one of the few flicks nominated that I saw). And Max Von Sydow is reportedly very good in the mostly otherwise hated Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, but since I already picked one guy who barely has any lines, Plummer gets the nod.
The Oscars loves films that deal with race, even if they're not even that great (Crash, The Blind Side), so I expect to see the lady who played one of the maids in The Help take home an Oscar even if the movie gets shut out in every other category.
The Guy Who Directed The Artist
I think the Artist will take this one, although I'll be rooting for hometown hero Woody Allen to win for his biggest hit to date. The Artist seems to be the type of movie that will dominate the Oscars, even if you don't know anyone besides Bottle who's seen it yet. It's just artsy enough but not too artsy to alienate people. Artist domination.
What else? The Artist for the reasons mentioned above.
Look at that picture! This is one of the hottest rappers out right now? He looks like what would come out if Lenny Kravitz had sex with a crack head, gave that baby up for adoption, and then that baby was raised by gay beat poets. Rick Santorum saw this picture and said, "yeah, you know what? Maybe abortion isn't always bad". I'm not against some forward thinking fashion, but I'd say Wiz looks like he robbed a grandmother on her way home from church, but I think the grandmother would kick his ass if he tried. Even the two dudes next to him have a look on their face like "yeah I know he looks like an anorexic Maxwell, but hey he's paying for us". One of those guys is his boy Chevy Woods, so I guess I can't hate on him for trying to get his foot in the door with whoever, but c'mon Juicy J! You're like 40 years old, been in the rap game for a hundred years, you have an OSCAR, for Christ's sakes! There's got to be a better meal ticket than this. And Flex must be thinking "I used to DJ with Biggie and Wu-Tang. I used to set the trends and influence urban music when I dropped bombs on the exclusive Nas and Jay-z songs. I was instrumental in the culture. Now I do Lugz commercials and shill for weirdos that look like this. Where did I go wrong?". Or maybe he's just thinking, "what's that smell? Smells like burnt chicken grease and pistachios". This picture is also further proof that Amber Rose would bang a toilet plunger if it had a record deal and a video in rotation on 106 & Park. And to top it all off, he can't rap. At least Kanye justifies wearing skirts by being talented. For shame, hip hop! We can do better!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I've said many times that I will no longer wait in line for a few things that tend to generate huge lines in New York: hamburgers, pizza, burritos, roller coasters, movies and of course, sneakers. All those other things usually attract a line of white people that doesn't last longer than an hour, that is with one exception. SNEAKERS. Waiting on line for Nike's newest rerelease of a Jordan or Foamposite has been around for a while - "NEW fuscia snakeskin Jordan 4's on sale at midnight! - and will be for as long as Nike enjoys money and kids in the hood remain conformists but recently the "waiting in line for days" thing has spiraled helplessly out of control. You see it at Apple stores for the newest iphones, Best Buys for one day sales on tv's, and at Foot Lockers for the aforementioned perp shoes. What has happened to people? While technology has transformed our lives so that we can shop, meet potential romantic partners and basically live an entire life sitting on our asses in our homes, certain products still have people camping out for days like the government is handing out the antidote to a flesh eating disease. Case in point is this Friday's release of the All Star and NASA themed Foamposite Galaxys which has some wastes of life camped out since LAST SATURDAY to cop a pair. I'm here to tell you: you assholes are stupid.
I love sneakers as much as anyone (please check out the many perp shoe entries on this very blog) but there is no sensible reason for anyone to stand in line for longer than 10 minutes for a pair of sneakers. I get the need to meet the approval of your classmates, coworkers, fellow inmates, or just people on the subway, but you know what's really cool and makes people envious? SNEAKERS THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS. And you know who has those Jordans you waited in line for 3 days for? THE OTHER THOUSANDS OF ASSHOLES WHO WAITED IN THAT LINE! And thousands of other similarly minded idiots who have taken off from work (ha ha, just kidding) or cut school or violated their parole curfews to camp out in front of Foot Actions around the country just so they can have the same footwear as someone's baby. There's nothing remotely cool about that. 95% of the sneaker game is getting that exclusive that no one else has, not the same pair of kicks that your best friend's grandma will be rocking. That ain't fresh. That's just retarded. Any sneaker head worth his childhood Eastbay subscription knows the key to being "fresh to death" as the kids say, is exclusivity as well as an individual take on a style that everyone has. If you're wearing the exact same sneakers that everyone else has including their mothers, babies, baby mothers, fathers, grandfathers, dogs and cats, and pastors, you are NOT FRESH. You losers need to get your asses on line for a real job that wouldn't allow you to take off for a week to squat on Herald Square and then worry about finding a sneaker connect. There hasn't been this many annoying people in tents since Woodstock '99, Or Occupy Wall Street. For those of you who do have jobs, hurry up and get off that line because the Jalapeno poppers at Applebee's are not going to serve themslves. Get a life, you unoriginal swaggerless donkies.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Linsanity took an inevitable turn into the absurd and racist for about a half hour late last night when some joker thought it would be a good idea to use "Chink" as a Jeremy Lin related headline pun. Even the New York post would probably find that to be in bad taste and the reaction so far has been as expected. Most people might not know that this isn't the first time the Worldwide Leader in Sports has used questionable judgment in their story headlines. We were able to get our hands on some of the other great moments in racist ESPN headline history that didn't see the light of day. Until now, that is.
Victor Cruz: From Dirty Jersey to Spic and Span
Victor Cruz was the Puerto Rican Jeremy Lin and ESPN couldn't pass up an opportunity to capitalize off the salsa dancing half Puerto Rican's heritage and New Jersey upbringing.
Chuck Hayes: Spear Chucker
Former Houston Rocket Chuck Hayes was a victim of an unfortunate first name.
Danilo Gallinari: Guinea Big!
The Italian former Knick came up huge in a win and so did the ESPN headline writers.
Troy Murphy: What A Drunken Irishman
They didn't really try on this one.
Mark Sanchez: Wetback To The Future
Where we're going there are no roads (or tasteful headlines!)
Chien-Ming Wang: Gookie of the Year
Taiwan's former favorite son was a rookie sensation and Asian.
Sheryl Swoopes: Wanna Be Like Dyke!
The WNBA's first active player to come out was also a pioneer in the field of offensive headlines.
Ryan Braun: Juicy Jews
Braun's steroids accusations provided ESPN with the chance to break this headline out. Oy Vey.
As you can see, last night's headline was no fluke. Stay tuned, folks.
It had to come to an end eventually right? With the unbelievable luck the Knicks have had these past two weeks you knew that eventually things would return to at least a semblance of normalcy. The Knicks came out flat against an awful Hornets team and were running uphill the entire game, a hill that proved too steep to climb even for America's sweetheart. Speaking of Lin, he hit a couple of big shots in the 4th, but once again his propensity for turnovers reared it's ugly head (really the only negative that the Knicks have seen during this run) and this time it really cost the team along with the awful three point shooting. Shumpert played with energy when most of the team didn't, but he also played out of control at times. We'll see what happens when the Knicks welcome back Carmelo and also welcome for the first time J.R. "super perp" Smith this Sunday. The team wasn't going to win every game, but you would have hoped the let down wouldn't have happened against the equivalent of a D-league team dressed like a King cake. Hopefully the bandwagon fans haven't tossed all of their Linsanity shirts aside just yet, though, the season is about to get interesting. Or should we say Linteresting? No, let's not say that. The actual Knicks team will be suiting up soon that consists of Carmelo, Lin, Amare and the rest. Let's see what happens, it should be fun despite the disappointment tonight.
Friday, February 17, 2012
PTU's first Quater comments of Knicks vs Hornets.
M@D: Lin looks tired.Johnny Bagels : Yeah slow start. Need to wake up.
Snoot: Knicks look bored so far , He needs more stamlina
Johnny Bagels : (Jokingly ) 2 points 5 turnovers. Trade him.
Snoot:Kaiman is posting and toasting the knicks
Snoot:Really looks like whole team doesn't feel like playing this game
M@D:Lin looks he doesn't even want to be there.
Johnny Bagels:Terrible first quarter, they'll come back.
Hater J: I hate Lebron James
Johnny Bagels:For the bandwagoners, nba teams have bad quarters.
Stay tuned for 2nd Quarter reaction
Posted by M@D $cientist at 8:46 PM
Breaking news...more details here via business insider:
Is there anything Lin can't get done? Maybe he is available to play shortstop for the Mets.
Update via the NYTimes: It appears the official announcement of the deal will be delivered by Governor Cuomo along with the Chief Assholes of TWC and MSG this afternoon.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Special Prologue by Snoot: Johnny Bagels and Hater J have had some intense email exchanges debating whether the fact Jeremy Lin is Asian is impacting his rapid rise to fame. The vicious email wars wore down on Bagels and he decided not to finish this post. I thought it was a shame for this work to go unpublished, so below you will find the mostly finished thesis of Johnny Bagels. Also, I spent time photo-shopping World Peace's head onto Lin's body and wanted an excuse to post it...ENJOY!
Noted scholar Floyd Mayweather made a somewhat controversial statement yesterday that has caused a bit of an uproar. In typical idiotic Money Mayweather fashion, he took to Twitter to give his view of the recent Linsanity craze that has been sweeping the nation:
"Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise".
This is characteristically stupid and racist and Floyd is just doing his usual race baiting clown act but- I can't believe I'm going to write this- there's an element of truth to what Floyd Mayweather said.
It's patently ridiculous to say that black players do what Lin is doing every day. Sure, it's true that black, white, European or whatever players score in the realm of 25 points and dish out 8 assists every day, but what makes Lin's week and a half so special is exactly that: it's been done in a week and a half. No player ever in the history of mankind has ever scored this many points in his first 6 starts (all wins of course). Not to mention he came out of seemingly nowhere to do this, literally hopping off the couch to rescue a sinking ship. But the truthy part (to quote Stephen Colbert who dedicated part of his show recently to Lin) of what Floyd tweeted is also found in the short time span. The hype machine has been working in overdrive for Jeremy, so much so that he's already made the leap to non sports media star, something that takes most athletes at least their full rookie season to accomplish. How different would the Linsanity craze if he were not the first ever Asian American player in the league, but a run of the mill black dude?
Without a doubt, a black J Lin- for our purposes let's refer to him as Jamaal Jones- would still be a huge star and bring about a great deal of hype if he shared the rest of Lin's story. Jamaal Jones grew up in Palo Alto California to middle class parents, eventually worked his way to Harvard despite attracting barely any offers to play college ball, found a spot on a couple different NBA teams without being drafted and then was chosen to be the Knick's last resort at point guard to unbelievable results. That would be a big deal in the sports world, especially since it happened in the largest market in America for the Knicks. But Jamaal Jones having a great week for the Knicks would not have entire Sportscenter episodes dedicated to him, never mind the CBS nightly news and the aforementioned Colbert Report or the countless other newspapers and tv shows he's been discussed on in the past 11 days. None other than Sarah Palin would not be toteing a bootleg Linsanity tshirt. President Obama had to throw in his two cents. It's deeper than sports. To say that the underdog Ivy Leaguer who slept on his brothers couch last week is enough to cause this level of hype is severely understimating how big Linsanity is right now. It's a bona fide phenomenon, one that is helped in great part by the fact that Jeremy Lin is the first ever Asian American to play in the league, and he's dominating. People don't like to believe that they are affected by stereotypes, but the fact of the matter is, Asians are looked at in America as at best meek and subservient and at worst, weaker than other people physically. An Asian who's not a giant like Yao Ming excelling against African Americans stands out. Just like a black golfer or hockey player stands out. This is nothing against black athletes. It's more a human nature thing to have your attention drawn to what is different. Looking at this phenomenon from a human interest perspective -and not anything else- casual sports fans and those strange souls who have no interest at all in bats and balls are not going to care about some guy playing well for a week in the NBA in February. They just won't. The NBA barely draws any attention anyway, but if Jamaal Jones averaged 25 and 8 and led the team to a 6 game winning streak, it wouldn't matter if he was living in a dumpster 2 minutes before that Nets game tipped off, and he graduated with honors from every Ivy League school on the East coast, a great percentage of Americans would not so much as bat an eyelash. Without the cache of being the Jackie Robinson of ABC's, the story goes from inspiring story of the year to merely inspiring sports story of the year that might get a profile on Nightline or something, but not complete and utter mass Linsanity. There's been a handful of sports stars who have transcended their sport through out history (Fernando Mania, etc). None of them did it by leading an 8 and 15 team to a great week in February. Yes, everything moves faster now and there is of course Twitter and Facebook and ESPN news and even people like us can have blogs examining race in sports. But that doesn't change the fact that a yellow dot stands out in a sea of black and white.
I should stress once more that I am not trying to denigrate black or Asian people in any way. This isn't anything against black or Asian people nor am I saying Asians are any better than other types of people, and I'm not even saying that the majority of Lin's new fans are consciously rooting for him because he's Asian (except for maybe the Asian ones). I'm also not implying that the hypothetical America I'm describing wouldn't root for the hypothetical Jamaal Jones because they were racist or that Jamaal Jones deserved it. What I am saying (and I can't stress this enough) is that him being a minority in his sport (the only God Damn one as a matter of fact) helps Jeremy stand out in a way a member of the majority race in the NBA would not. But it's also true that you can't deny race being the part of any story in America (at least that's what I believe). We don't like to admit it but it informs everything. Presidential elections, what tv shows movies and music we choose to watch and who we choose to hang out with and date. And it affects how we root for athletes. If Tim Tebow were black, regardless of how outspoken he was about his faith, the fanaticism for him would be greatly diminished. He's a broad shouldered, blue eyed, blond haired person who loves Jesus. The ideal athlete for much of America. Take that away and you take away some of his appeal. Eminem is a terrific rapper, (maybe the best ever) but there's a reason he's sold more albums than the entire Wu-Tang clan combined, and it's not his funny lyrics.
But all that is besides the point. Race isn't the only factor in Lin's jaw dropping popularity, not by far. It's not even the biggest factor. It's one of the many factors that have made this the perfect storm of hype. The Harvard and undrafted thing, the New York thing (which is right up there with any other reason), the prevalence of social media and the race thing. Take away one element and the perfect hurricane that is Linsanity is severely downgraded. Not that the hype is undeserved. It's more like Lin deserves the attention that most Americans would not give NBA basketball in February. People always look at the discussion of race as taking away from a person's worth since you're focusing on something they can't control. Race is a dirty word in most circles, particularly in sports, where even acknowledging an athlete's color is grounds for a public crucifixion. But it's naive to think that race doesn't play a part in how everyone is perceived for good or bad. People might first take notice of Lin because he's the small Asian guy dominating a mostly African American sport but they'll stay for the insane passes, clutch shots and finishes at the rim. Even in the current age where that "15 minutes of fame" is seemingly given out to anyone with a Twitter account and a the ability to let cameras follow them around, there has to be a catch to hook people beyond a sweet story and a nice crossover dribble. His race is the gimmick that has to be part of his story, just like if he were 5 feet or 7" feet 8' tall. He would be the ridiculously tall or dwarf like basketball player who's tearing up the league instead of the first ever Asian player who's tearing up the league. It's so much deeper than sports. The fictional Jamaal Jones (if he actually existed) would be another ultra talented black guy in shorts with a charming back story. Sarah Palin wouldn't even give him a second look.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
We all know Valentine's day is a pain in the ass for most people. If you're in a relationship it's a drain on the bank account and the one day that men have to do all the things that we thought we were done with a month into the relationship. And if you're single it's a reminder of how alone and incapable of love you are (or something). Blah blah blah. Everyone knows this, so just shut up about it and grin and bear it for one day of your miserable existence. If you're in a relationship, be grateful that someone can put up with your holiday hating ass for another 24 hours without stabbing you with a tuning fork, and if you're single (for Christ's sake) please stop bitching about how much you hate Valentine's day. Maybe the reason that you have no one to spend Valentine's day with is you are a whiny, drag to be with. You don't have to keep reminding people that it's "just another day" because if it were just another day then you wouldn't be telling people "it's just another day". When was the last time you walked into work on August 7th and said "it's just another day"? If you did, then you are a very odd person and that might also be a reason that you will not be sharing a creme brulee with anyone tonight. Valentine's day is kind of a cruel joke of a holiday, and is even worse if you just started dating someone recently. Does the relationship that just recently took the leap from occasional hook up to actual dinners require a gift? It's a tricky subject but in this day and age of no strings attached fuck buddies, it's more and more common to have a romanceless purely physical relationship with someone. So if you choose to enter such an arrangement where things will never escalate past emotionless banging, you can't be upset when you have no Ferrer Rocher chocolates coming your way in the middle of February. It's like the mafia: this is the life you chose, now you must deal with the repercussions. If you want the thrill of easy cash and no-show construction jobs, then you have to live with the threat of a bullet to the head or a possible RICO indictment every day. Same goes for Valentine's day. If you want the no commitment relations then you have to live with the annual girl's night out on February 14th.
So Valentine's day is here to stay. Deal with it. If you're in a relationship, have a nice meal out, leave the kids with grandma and go home and wake the neighbors with your aggressive love making. If you're single, go out with your other single friends and get wasted or watch some porn or whatever. Just don't bore us all with how much you hate it, because believe me, we all do.
Happy Valentine's day everyone!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Let's just get out of the way right from the top here the fact that awards shows are inherently ridiculous. They're a big waste of time and amount to not much more than a collective jerk off by whatever industry is being celebrated. But last night was a slow TV night (first post football Sunday, the Knicks were off and I don't watch The Walking Dead) so I watched the majority of Sunday night's Grammys. And it was as stupid and occasionally entertaining as I thought it would be. What did we learn?
- Bruce Springsteen's new single was exactly what you expect from the "Boss" (sorry Rick Ross). Last night was the first time I heard it but the lyrics seemed to mostly be the same stuff he always talks about. Americans, hard working working class people, flags, diners, trucks (I didn't pay attention too much). I still get a kick out of seeing Silvio Dante rocking out up there though.
- Rihanna looked like the hottest Tina Turner impersonator in history, and did a song with the always annoying Chris Martin who then did the one Coldplay song I like in what looked like the booth from Big Tigga's basement. Chris Brown performed a couple times and the dude can dance and all that crap but he's still a prick. Nobody hits my girl Ri-Ri. I lose faith in the human race when I read that girls are still into him. I would lick the bottoms of her feet after she stepped in glass.
- Glen Campbell looked pretty good for his age and performed really well for a guy with Alzheimer's. Too bad Rhinestone Cowboy sucks so hard.
- Jay-z and Kanye were conspicuously missing from the entire proceedings. I know Jay was boycotting the Grammys for a while because they didn't show any love to rap and then he lost out best album to "Big Willie Style" one year or something but he performed Swagga Like us a few years ago so I think that's over. Kanye was being typically bitchy about not winning anything last year so maybe it was a show of solidarity between the two to skip it. But as much of a turd as Kanye can be, you know an awards show isn't the same without his dumb ass threatening to do something stupid. UPDATE: It's now come out that Hov and B were just hanging out with Bottle in Carroll Gardens eating pizza instead of going to the Grammys.
- The Foo Fighters did "Rope" which was the single from their last album and was probably my favorite track off of it, and then Deadmau5 did their remix of it that appeared on that same album. It was all ok. I'm so sick of hip hop that I've been getting into Dubstep lately ( also thanks to Motown Marxist). Skrillex makes me want to do ecstasy and punch someone in the face.
- Nikki Minaj had the most talked and tweeted about moment of the night, doing some faux Lady Gaga blasphemy shit. I wasn't really offended by the religious stuff (this is how far we've come since the Like a Prayer video that dared to have Leon play Christ) but the song was what rectal cancer sounds like (I think that priest's look up there says it all). STFU, Nikki. You got a great possibly fake ass and some nice cans and you're probably the second best rapper in your crew, but the black Gaga thing is cool for drag clubs in the West Village, playing gay exorcist on national TV isn't though. It was just meant to be shocking and get talked about (which of course is what I'm doing right now) but it came across as desperate and stupid Catholic League baiting bull shit. As for that second best in your crew title I just gave you, that's not a big deal when your competition are two retarded kids, a sensitive former child actor, a ghoulish creature who wore pajamas on tv last night, and some no name mixtape rappers who never made it, and Busta Rhymes.
- Weight Watchers works.
- LL Cool J was a serviceable, bland host in the style of a Ryan Seacrest or some other boring guy like that. The lip licking thing is too much though. I was thinking of Jamie Foxx's stand up routine as Mr. Smith gave his eulogy for Whitney Houston all the while looking like he was in the Doin' It video.
- The Beach Boys are still pretty good.
- Victor Cruz is everywhere these days. Since the Super Bowl win he's been at Fashion Week's opening night, made numerous talk show appearances, took the first pictures of Blue Ivy, created the Ipad 3, and now scored the best seat in the house at the Grammys: right behind Adele who won everything. He even did a little of his salsa on stage. Cruuuuuuuz.
- Speaking of Adele, she won everything. I think she won best rap album and got a lifetime achievement award for being Willie Nelson but I could be wrong. Good for her, at least she can actually sing and the Grammys proved they aren't totally out of touch by awarding a deserving popular artist instead of The Eagles or Steely Dan or some other baby boomer band that nobody under 30 even knew had an album out.
That's all for me. I missed about an hour or so of the show but from what I gathered on Facebook and from text messages I didn't miss much. See you next time for the similarly pointless Oscars.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Whitney Houston was found dead Saturday, and while details are still sketchy, you know what the first thought that everyone had was: Cocaine is a helluva drug. Or crack, or xanax or whatever else it is that Houston was putting in her body over the past 15 years. It doesn't really matter what it was that eventually killed her, it's safe to say the cause of her death was as natural as the face of that other iconic singer who died a few years ago. And the reaction to Whitney's death was similar to that of Michael Jackson's, albeit to a much lesser extent. Facebook and Twitter exploded with the usual range of ridiculous reactions. Everything from tasteless jokes to unbelievable hysterical sobbing farewells to judgmental scoldings. And almost all of these types of reactions are misguided. In the social network era, there seems to be a competition to outdo each other with either the funniest, most outrageous comment or the most serious, overly tragic 3 sentence eulogy or the finger wagging, holier than thou lecture. Why do we have to say anything about a celebrity's death though? If I came up to you Saturday morning and brought up Whitney Houston, chances are you would either have no reaction at all or make a joke about how cracked out her and Bobby were and how stupid their "hell to the no" reality show was a few years ago. You most likely would not have started talking about how she changed your life. She was a huge star 20 years ago, and has basically been a sad reminder of the powers of addiction for a decade. It's unnecessary to say "she deserved it" anymore than any person who's addicted to something deserves it. Because she was famous doesn't mean we should make them out to be a saint nor should we take this time to lecture everyone about drug use. It's always sad when someone dies, but Whitney Houston being found dead might be the least shocking death since ODB. Every death of an innocent person is a tragedy regardless of fame, but let's not pretend like we didn't see it coming. Let's just let her rest in peace now and not exaggerate our love of a once mega star who we all laughed at for the better part of a decade.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
I"I make the bets so you don't have to, Nor should you"
This weeks M@D Gamble is a basketball parlay, I am sure once Johnny Bagels reads this one , he will advise me that I am just throwing money out the window, but hey that why they call it G@mbling.
So here is my 4 team Parlay
Posted by M@D $cientist at 7:47 PM
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
They said it couldn't be done. All the haters said a bunch of jerks from Brooklyn couldn't turn their daily email exchanges into a marginally interesting blog. But here we are. A year later and still churning out the occasional post about basketball or gambling or sometimes gambling on football but never gambling on basketball (go figure). Entering our second year of existence, it's important to look back at what we did wrong, what we did right and what was horribly misguided. So stay tuned for more insightful commentary from all of us here at Pardon the Unemployment. Cheers.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
I've been to playoff games, all-star games, games vs. the Lakers and Celtics and other great teams, as well as all types of late season important basketball contests at Madison Square Garden. And, somehow, an early February game between a 9 and 15 Knicks team without Amare Stoudemire and (for most of the game) Carmelo Anthony and a Utah team led by Raja Bell and Al Jefferson that's 2 and 5 on the road for the season ended up being one of the top 5 most exciting, fun games I've ever witnessed. And it wasn't just because the Super Bowl champs were positioned strategically around the court to maximize the good vibes like the Garden always does with the Giants, but because of a short Chinese guy from Harvard named Jeremy Lin. I had such a blast yelling MVP for a guy who before this weekend had a season high of 7 points that I came home and watched the "Knicks in 60" replay while I ate my Honey Bunches of Oats. You hear the announcers saying stuff like "his spirit just lifts the team" and the crowd loves "everything he does" and how after the ball ended up in his hands off a lucky bounce for the game clinching 3 in the final 2 minutes Clyde Frazier said "some things are just meant to be" and I could only think of one comparison. A marginally talented replacement player who makes up for offensive deficiencies with uncanny toughness, deceptive quickness and great finishing who's lifted a losing team out of the doldrums through an infectious spirit that's already developed a fan base and demonstrated the ability to attract casual fans and practically a laughable cult following. Not to mention I saw at least 5 or 6 cheaply made tshirts dedicated to him tonight in the crowd. Yeah, he's the Chinese Tim Tebow.
Of course we're talking about a two game sample here. Lin could finish the rest of the season averaging 4 points and find himself riding the bench or playing in the D-League by the end of April, or could be replaced by Baron Davis (if he ever puts on shorts again which is looking less and less likely with every missed practice), but it's been a good weekend to be an Asian Knicks fan. The crowds at MSG are usually pretty subdued for regular season games that don't involve guys like Kobe or LeBron at least until the 4th quarter, but something weird happens when Lin is in the game. Every move he makes is cheered wildly by the crowd, there's an audible anticipation every time he goes to the hoop. I imagine this is a lot like how Greg Oden was treated by the Blazers fans as Bill Simmons talks about. The guy can do no wrong. Jesus knows the unwarranted hype for Tebow was beyond annoying, but Lin is a far less divisive type of dude, unless you hate Asians I guess. He does have actual point guard skills though and can at least run a simple pick and roll with Chandler, which is more than we can say about the other out of position shooting guards and forwards who were bringing the ball up previously. But that's not all that is great about Linning time. It sounds real corny, but he shares with Tebow that ability to lift a team just by showing up on the court. Take a look at the video below of all of his points and most of his assists. Grown men are giggling like little girls (including the Knicks bench and a couple Giants players) slapping fives and pumping their fists. People have their hands on their heads and their mouths wide open like they just witnessed a miracle. And everyone is smiling from ear to ear. When's the last time that happened at the Garden? Here's a sample of some of the giddy 327 comments on the Knicks Facebook page last night after the game (spelling and grammatical errors included):
Jeremy!!! keep ballin hard with wisdom and with passion bro... to shine the glory of the Gospel ^_^
Jeremy Lin makes me believe impossible.
let's not forget:
May be the missing piece of the puzzle
and of course:
林 加油 我们华人都支持你
Jeremy might be a born again Christian like Tebow as well but that will always come second to him being an Asian American- the first to ever play in the NBA. Tebow is another blue eyed blond haired white person who is also an outspoken Christian, which totally dominates his narrative. Lin is the little Asian guy that could, his religious beliefs aren't important to anyone. It's sort of part of being Asian that you grow to accept racist jokes (it doesn't bother me) and Carmelo's bow seems to be something like that, but I'm hoping it can become the new "Tebowing". However long the love fest lasts, at least we have something exciting to wake us up from this miserable season. He's making all of us believe impossible for at least a weekend. Behold the greatness if you haven't already in the video below:
Monday, February 6, 2012
The Giants pulled off another near miracle tonight, defeating the Patriots thanks to stone handed Patriot tight ends (and a hobbled Gronkowski), terrific play by their receiving corps, and perhaps most importantly, a great performance by Eli Manning, who has put to rest any debate over whether or not he is an elite quarterback in the NFL (something that even we debated not too long ago). Who would have thought that Peyton's little brother would have one more Super Bowl ring than he did at this point? As we now bask in the glory of another Big Blue championship in a season that seemed like it was all but over 2 months ago, and enjoy the toilet paper and horn honking chaos of another impromptu victory celebration in Brooklyn, let's savor the moment. The Giants are world champions.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
"I make the bets so you don't have to" "Nor should you"
Its time for my weekly installment of M@D Gamble, This weeks wager is Super Bowl Prop bets. The prop bet I am interested in is who will be Super Bowl MVP. I am going away from the Norm and of course I am gambling: I am betting on a running being an MVP this year. With so much attention being paid to the QBs and the passing game, I see both coaches trying to get up the pass with the running game, with a broken tackle or two one these 3 men above could break away for a long touchdown or two and perhaps effect the game enough to become its MVP.
SO the bets are:
Ahmad Bradshaw: 20/1
BenJarus Green-Ellis 30/1
Brandon Jacobs 40/1
Those are my Bets. OF course I am rooting for the Giants.
Friday, February 3, 2012
It's finally almost here. I can say without a trace of sarcasm that the Super Bowl is better than Christmas for me these days. Christmas was awesome when I was a kid and just raked in the goodies without a care in the world, but now it's all stress and spending money that we don't really have to buy people things they don't really need. The Super Bowl, on the other hand, is the GREATEST DAY OF THE YEAR no matter your age, race or class (unless you don't have a TV or friends I guess). And it's awesome every year, but it's even more kick-ass when a New York team is involved. So this year should be even more of a glorious day to be a human since the G-men are involved. The only downside to the hometown team playing in the biggest sporting event in the world is finding a place to watch the game. Most bars will be charging an arm and a leg to set foot on their premises and eat a chicken finger, and trying to find that right mix of Giants fans and non annoying friends is a real hassle. Perhaps you should consult this stupid guide to hanging out for the Super Bowl
If you're going to a bar, make sure it's a Giants bar. This might seem obvious, but the number of transplanted folks from all those other places has resulted in there being a bar dedicated to every single professional and college team you can think of (besides the Nets). The last thing you want to do is end up somewhere like Professor Thom's because it sounds like a place where intelligent folks gather to catch a beer and watch some football, and then find yourself surrounded by Massholes named Kevin and Sully who jerk off to Tom Brady's Gillette ads every night.
If you're staying home, make sure you have the right foods in place. Stay away from the buffet with all types of gourmet dinner and snooty hors douvres. Stick to the basics: chips, dip and salsa, possibly pizza or EPH, lots of different types of beer and liquour and of course THE BIG SANDWICH. There are but only so many instances in life that you are face to face with evidence of a higher being who has created beautiful things for his children to enjoy. A big sandwich isn't really that unless you're some kind of a fat bastard but it's pretty fun to eat something that's as tall as you. Plus, it's a good excuse to remember that Simpsons episode.
Don't have any children around (if possible). This may be difficult to avoid. If you're the one throwing the party and you have a couple rugrats, there's not really anything you can do about it. But there will be gambling, alcohol consumption, adult language, drug use and fornication (what kind of Super Bowl parties do YOU go to?) and other things that children should not be a part of. Finding a sitter may be tough but if possible, tell Grandma she has a little visitor this week and spare us all the crying, puking and shitting themselves while we try to enjoy the big game. Besides, if you have friends like us, there will be plenty of that going on already.
Don't have any douchebags around (if possible). This one is also difficult to avoid, and may be totally out of your control. You can ensure your guest list will be d-bag free but you can't be so positive your friends won't bring their asshole significant others or douchey stragglers who weren't invited to other parties (with good reason). You know the type: talk during the game at the worst times, comment pretentiously about how they don't understand football or how lame every commercial is ("that was great") or they're the type of douche who knows WAY too much about football. Fucker got Red Zone on Fios last year and now he's Tom Friggin' Landry. Try not to have him around but if you're usually that guy, don't be that guy.
So, everyone enjoy the game. Get shitfaced and eat too many nachos and hopefully you had the foresight to use one of your vacation days Monday.
My prediction: Giants 35 Patriots 24.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I'd like to put to rest any debate over whether or not Blake Griffin's play the other night was indeed a dunk or just an overhyped, glorified lay-up: It was a dunk. His hand grazed the rim and he pushed the ball through the hoop, which is the definition of a slam dunk. Kevin Durant tried to downplay it as nothing but 2 points (plus a free throw) and also implied it wasn't really a slam, but he was just protecting his teammate, and a number of other people have said it's not really a dunk. That hasn't stopped Sportscenter from dedicating hours to it or people making Twitter handles and Facebook pages dedicated to this one play in a regular season game in January, yet there are still some Griffin deniers out there. But whether or not it was or wasn't a dunk is besides the point. Whatever it is it's an amazing athletic feat to have your head nearly 3 feet above the rim and throw the ball down with extreme force while a 270 pound beast hangs all over you. Maybe we should come up with a new name for these types of plays if the prevailing thought by the contrarian (read Bottle) is that it's not really a dunk unless you grab the rim. Dwight Howard had a similar "dunk" to win the dunk contest a few years ago and he had a few haters because of it, but it's impossible to deny that the "throw" through the hoop is one of the more impressive moves a person can make on the basketball court. In order to throw the ball through the hoop you have to be a good foot above the rim. Anyone can go up and do a boring two handed jam like Kevin Love or any other garden variety White guy or Black guy who plays like he's White. But throw the ball through the rim and now you're really doing something. Maybe the popularity of Lob City (and all the new Clippers fans who have suddenly popped up out of nowhere) will start a new trend of "throw" dunkers. Who can get up high enough and throw it down the hardest without touching the rim? I'd wager that there are maybe 10 other people in the world who could accomplish a "Mozgov" on a regular basis, even if there are probably millions of people who could "dunk".
Now let's never talk about this play again.