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Friday, December 29, 2006

What a Sad Life He Does Lead

Meet Umakant Sharma. He's an Indian chess player. And he's been banned for 10 years by the Indian chess federation for cheating.

The federation noticed that Sharma logged a rapid number of rating points (however that's done) and became suspicious. It seems that the strategic genius had sewn a Bluetooth into a hat that he would pull down over his ears and communicate to his "accomplices" who would have a computer make all the right moves. I would have started getting suspicious when he started, you know, talking out loud to himself about his next move.

Sharma, and any competetive chess player, I think, could benefit from the time off. Maybe, you know, work on his social skills. I also think that Shaun Alexander would be quite disappointed.

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Mike Tyson's on Drugs!

Okay, so that' s probably not a shock. But he was caught this time, driving under the influence early Friday morning by the Scottsdale, Arizona 5.0. Tyson was also arrested for possession of cocaine after he left a Scottsdale nightclub and almost ran into a sherriff's vehicle.

Sgt. Larry Hall said that "[Tyson] showed signs of impairment, and voluntarily submitted to field sobriety tests." He was then arrested after "'showing more signs of impairment' during field sobriety tests."

I've got to imagine it was difficult to determine his sobriety considering that, when sober, Tyson can't even spell his own daughter's name.

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I'm Much Poorer than Barry Zito

This whole Barry Zito getting too much money thing didn’t really faze me all that much, since some Japanese club is walking around with 51.1 million of Boston’s dollars for essentially doing nothing but stepping aside. And on top of that, I don’t really care what the Giants do with their money. Yawn. But I just checked my last direct deposit of the year, and even with my second job I’m not getting close to $18 million a year. Or half that. So to figure out exactly what percentage of Zito’s new yearly salary I make, I whipped out the calculator and realized I had no clue how to calculate it. So I e-mailed economics genius and famed number cruncher, my brother. I’m a mathematical embarrassment to my family. Read on.

Not Black: Barry Zito is making $18 mil a year. Let’s say, for arguments sake, that I make $40,000 a year. What percentage of his yearly salary is my pay? do i just divide the 40000 by 18mil? I don't even know. Help?

Brother: No, because that would give you 450. Zito is not make 450% more than you are. Consider this. If someone is making 100% of what you are, then you are making 50% of what they are making. Therefore, if someone was making 100% more than you, then they would be making 80,000 a year and you would be making 50% of that.

So, 40,000 goes into 18,000,000 450 times. To make that into a percentage, you have to multiply 450 by 100. You are making %50 percent of that. Therefore, Zito is making 450,000% more than you are. So you are making 225,000% less than him.

That's ridiculous.

Not Black: are you serious??? holy shit. so then how would i reverse that into the statement: I'm not even making ___ percent of $18million?

Brother: How do you reverse that? Are YOU serious? Think about it...if you are making 225,000% less than Barry Zito. Than you are ______% of Zito's salary??

Not Black: Sadly, yes, I'm serious. Please help.

Brother: 1/225,000 of a percent. (Now, that I can calculate)

Officially, if I made and even $40,000 (and I rounded UP, by the way), I'd make 4.4444444444444444444444444444444e-6 percent of Barry Zito’s new yearly salary. Before taxes.

Get me Scott Boras on the phone.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jason Taylor Won't Lose to a Cheat

Remember Shawne Merriman? He’s the Chargers outside linebacker who was suspended in November for testing positive for steroids. He’s also Jason Taylor’s main competition for the NFL’s defensive player of the year. Taylor, defensive end for Miami, ain’t too pleased that he could lose to a cheat, and he won’t take it sitting down. He told reporters Wednesday:

You really shouldn’t be able to fail a test like that and play in this league, to begin with…To make Pro Bowl and all the other awards, I think you’re walking a fine line of sending the wrong message.

Now, first things first: no one cares about the Pro Bowl. With that aside, Taylor’s got a very valid point. And the famed bloggers at I Dislike Your Favorite Team bring up another good point: If you tested positive in high school, not only would you be kicked off said team, but said team would probably have forfeited every game that you played in that season, ruining any chances off playoff contention. Maybe the NFL should rethink a policy that lets players who test positive for a banned substance win a post season award. I think that’s called “common sense.”

(Note: I wasn’t going to write about this, but I chose to because one, Jason Taylor is right. And two, my brother got a kick-ass orange No. 99 jersey from his girlfriend and wore it Christmas Day for the Dolphins-Jets game. Awesome.)

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Taking Sports too Far?

In an appauling attempt to improve her game, tennis star Jelena Dokic plans on having her breasts reduced. The UK's Daily Record reports that the 23-year-old Serbian, ranked No. 4 worldwide in 2002, has dropped to the 500s, blames her chest size and plans on fixing her "problem" with surgery. Is it possible that Dokic is taking her obsession with winning just a little too far?

Being from the opposite end of the spectrum I have to ask, wouldn't she like to try steroids first? Those seem to be doing well for some people. I mean, seriously...exhaust all options before going under the knife. This is a slap in the face to small breasted women everywhere. Or at least to me.

If I had her problem I'd just quit tennis.

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27, My Ass

I'm what some people call a "sore loser." So it pained me this morning when I went to espn.com and found that my beloved state is ranked Number 27 on the list of Overall State Football Rankings. Now, I'm not good at math, but being number 27 puts Massachusetts in the bottom 50 percent. (50 states...carry the 1..hm.)

So in the spirit of immaturity, I would like to say that Massachusetts, though ranked lower in football, is at least smarter than the following:
  1. Mississippi
  2. Iowa
  3. Nebraska
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Tennessee
  6. Alabama
  7. New Jersey
  8. Louisiana
  9. Wisconsin

And better looking. Bitches.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Romo Needs to Get His Head in the Game

When I first saw that Terrell Owens was complaining about not getting enough passes after Monday’s 23-7 loss to the Eagles, I admit that I jumped to conclusions, assuming that he was being a big whiny bitch and throwing his QB under the bus again. But as it turns out, he’s not the only one complaining. Receiver Terry Glenn is also fed up. “The whole offense is frustrated,” he said. “They are looking around saying, ‘Why can’t we do anything when we have all these weapons?’” They should probably take it up with Tony Romo.

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NFL Official Doesn't Know How To Duck

So an official was injured in Sunday’s Patriots-Jaguars game. It seems that Garth DeFelice doesn’t know the meaning of the term "duck," and was drilled in the neck by Jacksonville QB David Gerrard. DeFelice, who was taken to the hospital after being X-rayed at the stadium, has a history of neck problems. He also seems to have a history of not getting out of the way. During a Redskins-Broncos game last year, DeFelice suffered a concussion after being run over. After the game he told the Sporting News, “You’ve got to get a better shot than that to keep me out.” Well, Garth, Gerrard took that challenge personally.

And not that I'm placing blame or anything, but Jacksonville only lost 24-21. That pass completion could have been big. That’s all I'm saying.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

High School Wrestling Sparks Herpes Outbreak

Thanks to The Big Lead for this one.

Vacation started early this year for the kids at St. Peter’s Prep in New Jersey thanks to a herpes outbreak brought on by the wrestling team. Unfortunately, this is not the sexually transmitted herpes, which would have made for copius amounts of laughter. This particular form of the disease is transmitted when skin touches an open lesion. Still pretty gross. Five players from the team tested positive as well as one wrestler at Nutley High School, which had a match against St. Peter’s this season.

The school closed after classes on Monday and will reopen on January 3rd. The wrestling area has been disinfected, so it will be safe for the boys to roll around on the floor together when they get back.

Commence Dirty Jersey jokes.

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There's only one boss around here, and that's Barbaro. The BBTH.

Thanks to the fine folk at Deadspin, I've become privy to the world of Barbaro Message Boarding Goodness, filled with over-30s who clearly haven't gotten laid in years.

Like, for example, 56-year-old Laura S. of Snohomish, Washington (that's not made up...I think). Ms. S writes:

Way to go, Mr. Big Boss Top Horse! A pedicure! Are you in seventh heaven, or what! Ask your manicurist to do the other three hoofies too, Barbaro! Gotta get ready for Christmas, you know! Keep up the great job you'll be home in no time!

Mr. Big Boss Top Horse, huh? Anyone else think Laura's in need of some serious companionship?

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Ode to the Unsung Hero

We've all been overshadowed at one time or another -- by someone smarter, more talented, or maybe prettier. Okay, well, maybe not me, but I'm sure the rest of you have.

Regardless, some of us don't take it so well, so in the spirit of the holidays and of good sportsmanship, I would like to honor one of the most recent, uncrazy, unsung heroes. So unsung, in fact, that when we clicked on the "News & Notes" section on his Yahoo! page, of the whopping six articles in which he's mentioned, he headlines none (ESPN.com says simply, "no news available").

Meet Ivan McFarlin, the 24-year-old forward who got to tag along with Allen Iverson to Denver, Colorado. Even two unkown players in the form of draft pics get a higher billing than McFarlin. Poor guy. But as they say, one person's baggage is another's "team player." And so we honor the life of Ivan McFarlin. With what little information we could find.

[Note: any information that could not found has been assumed and added by me. This information is in italics. Think "historical fiction."]

Ivan McFarlin was born on April 26, 1982 in Missouri City, Texas, a thriving suburb of Houston that boasts as the "antenna farm" for the area's radio and TV outlets -- seemingly as much an unsung hero as Ivan himself.

McFarlin was the youngest of three brothers and spent his childhood on the blacktop. He went on to a successful basketball career throughout middle school and highschool and went on to play at Oklahoma State. After college, he chose to stay under the radar and opt out of the draft, finding a team as a walk on instead -- and from what we can gather, this seems to be his first year. He was brought on by the Sixers where he averaged 1.4 points in 11 games. He has now been uprooted from a city that he loves, to cheer on Iverson and warm the bench in Denver.

And so we salute you, Ivan McFarlin, without who this historic trade may never have happened, because clearly Iverson alone wasn't enough.

Now, we feel the need, not only to fill content, but to spur on the Christmas Spirit by inviting you to donate to the Missouri City Police Officer's Association Toy Drive. For more info, click here.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Iverson Trade Watch is Over...

...Let the discussions begin.

After over a week of camping out at ESPNews and scouring various Philly websites, word came down that the Philadelphia 76ers have sent Allen Iverson to the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets, fresh off losing Carmelo Anthony to a 15 game suspension, now have the number two scorer in the league in Iverson. The Sixers picked up Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 2007 first-round draft picks. Since Miller and Smith combine to average fewer points than Iverson alone, there isn't much to watch over at the Philly camp until draft talks stir up. So all attention is focused on the soon-to-be Iverson-Melo combo and how two superstars – once Anthony gets back on the floor – will fit together? One of them will have to take a back seat.

All I can promise you is this: Anthony will not be the one stepping back. Fresh off of a 15 game suspension -- barring any appeal -- during which he'll have watched another alpha dog lead his team, do you honestly think he'll be okay with letting Iverson take over the lead? At 22-years-old...doubtful.

Iverson will be the one to make-or-break this trade. He needs to be the seasoned professional who overcame the huge chip on his shoulder in his early career. He needs to be ready to contribute to the team by taking some points off of his average. Anthony is not mature enough to accept that role. Commence waiting for their debut.

But in the meantime...check out a great round table discussion on the trade at The Fanhouse.

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Some Spanish People Have No Heart

I'm going to presumably say that the Spanish soccer federation has no heart.

Four people died and another 35 were injured after a bus heading to a soccer game collided with a truck on Wednesday. The bus was carrying fans of the Spanish club Recreativo Huelva to a match against Real Madrid. CBSsportsline.com reports that three men, including the bus driver, and one woman were killed with 22 more fans hospitalized. And you know what the soccer federation did? It refused a request from Recreativo to call off the match. In attempt to look sympathetic, however, it ordered the two teams to wear black armbands and all league games on Wednesday to be preceded by a minute of silence. After all, we assume, that wouldn't cost any money.

Meanwhile, Recreativo president Francisco Mendoza did not attend the game saying that “soccer matters the least at this time,” while Real Madrid announced on its website that ticket proceeds from the match will go to the families of those killed and injured, and that a ceremony for defender Fabio Cannavaro would be postponed.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Loss of a Great Mind

Judith Regan’s Christmas bonus from publisher HarperCollins? A pink slip.

ABC News reports that Regan, known for her work behind heavyweights like Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern and Jose Canseco, who most recently attempted to sell a little book called “If I Did It,” by one O.J. Simpson, and who is responsible for an upcoming controversial “inventive memoir” based on the life of baseball great Mickey Mantle, was canned. The announcement was made, we don't know how appropriately, at the company holiday party by HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman.

David Hauslaib, publisher and editor of the NYC gossip blog “Jossip,” said he’s shocked over the decision since Regan teamed with Rupert Murdoch in 1994 to build what would eventually turn into News Corp. – parent company of HarperCollins. “I hesitate to call Judith a diva,” said Hauslaib -- and frankly so would I, “but that’s certainly the reputation that’s attached to her. She makes and breaks writers.” Hell, I didn’t even know that divas existed in the writing world, but hey, sign me up!

Regardless, the “enfant terrible of American publishing,” as Regan is called, is predicted to make a comeback. She'll needs something big though. Maybe an Isiah Thomas tell-all would work.

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Who Says You Have to See to Hunt?

People in Texas love themselves some guns, and the fine political folk down there want to remind y'all that all men have the right to bear arms. Not just those men who can see good.

Republican representative Edmund Kuempel is sponsoring a bill that would allow legally blind people to hunt. The gun would be equipped with a laser which would guide the visually impaired by telling them in which direction to aim. But wait, here's the weird part: according to abcnews.com, the law that Kuempel is fighting has nothing to do with the hunters being, you know, without the sense of sight. He's fighting the state law that prohibits the use of laser sights, spotlights and headlights when hunting because it could scare the animal, causing it to stand still, giving the guy -- with the gun -- a seemingly unfair advantage. As far as Texas seems concerned, a blind guy has every right to go hunting as long as there's no lights involved.

Now, I'm not from Texas, but from what I understand of people who hunt there, sense of sight doesn't seem to make much of a difference anyway (see: Cheney, Dick).

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SWAT Team Called Into Prep School Game

My god, people. If you've been told once, you've been told a thousand times: stay away from prep school sporting events.

Dallas SWAT and operation disruption units had to be called in to control a riot that erupted at a boys’ prep school basketball game. About 1500 people were in attendance at the Carter-Kimball match up when a fight erupted with 5:04 left to go. The Dallas Morning News reports that the cause of the brawl is still unclear, but that police had to use pepper spray to bring things under control. “The fight started inside, and it got bigger and bigger and went outside,” said Dallas police sergeant Gil Cerda. “It got pretty big and out of control.”

I can only imagine how scary it could have become with people flipping their BMWs and Lexuses (Lexi?) in the parking lots. Good thing SWAT showed up in time.

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