Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Adventures of Mark McGuire and Doctor Obvious

The big news story of Monday was Mark McGuire’s admission that he had used performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. While I doubt that the astute baseball observer would consider this news, this is confirmation of what we have long suspected. To me, it seems that this admission is ill-timed, and will present McGuire with quite a challenge as the new Cardinals hitting coach. Prior to his admission, my thought was that he would be a great hitting coach, although perhaps that wouldn’t be apparent right away. His advice would begin with “swing really hard,” or “try to take a walk.” If guys were struggling at the plate despite his genius advice, I assumed that he would take them to the back room, show them some “supplements” and wait for the transformation. By mid season, I expected that the Cardinals would be one of the best hitting teams in baseball, due to McGuire’s expert insight into the mind of the hitter, or something like that. Now that he has come clean, that will presumably prohibit him from offering his pupils the real secret to his success. Now what will he do? Maybe Poo-holes can teach the team how to hit; lord knows he’s qualified.

In the spirit of McGuire’s statement of the obvious, I have compiled a list of other admissions that I hope that we will see someday.

Cecil Fielder admits that he is fat.

So does Prince.

Gilbert Arenas admits that for the good of his career, maybe he should have left his guns at home.  So does Plaxico Burress.

Hillary Swank admits that she has shark teeth, but isn’t British.

Brett Favre admits that he will retire after this season, and then changes his mind. Chris Chelios keeps playing in the AHL.

Jay Leno admits that he has a big chin.

So does Brian Mulroney.

Kaley Kuoco admits that she is very hot.

Mike Milbury admits that maybe trading Bobby Lu was a bad idea. So does Mike Kennan.

Eklund admits that he has no insider contacts, and makes crap up (e5).

Mel Gibson admits that he's not down with the Phairisees.

My brother admits that the younger brother is always superior to the older brother.

Admissions that I’d love to see, but I’m not counting on:

Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa admit that they used steroids. Clemens and Bonds won’t because that would mean that they would go to jail; Sammy won’t until he unforgets how to speak English.

Derek Jeter admits that he is overrated and has never understood why everyone loves him since he is, after all, a douche-bag.

I can dream can’t I?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!/The Return of Chongs/Gilbert Arenas and a Closer Look at the NBA CBA

I don’t like the NBA. I can’t watch an NBA game because they are pretty ridiculous from start to finish. They begin with player introductions that make it clear that NBA basketball is not a team game, rather a bunch of guys who fill out a roster around a star or two. I have seen Labron throw caulk dust over his head, and Shaq pretend to be a bowling ball knocking down other teammates who pretend to be pins. This sort of stuff is fine for pro wrestling, but is embarrassing for a real sport. The actual game play could be highly athletic, but last time I watched it required little skill as most of the points were scored on dunks or close in tip-ins, meaning that the only qualities needed by the players are height and the ability to jump slightly. When fouled, guys react like they have been shot, or had their houses burned down, or both. Endings are anticlimactic as the last two minutes of close games are ruined by the timeouts that are called every four seconds to drag out a close finish over 20 minutes. Perhaps worst of all, one of the most dominant players over the past 20 years or so couldn’t a hit a free throw if his life depended on it, but his reality show was pretty cool.

Off the court, things are even worse. We’ve all heard about how former NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on lots of games, including ones that he was officiating. Recall that Kobe Bryant, the NBA’s golden boy, was accused of rape, and settled with his accuser out of court in 2003. Ron Artest was involved in beating up fans during a game, and admitted to drinking at halftime during his career. Latrel Spreewell tried to strangle his coach, and Jayson Williams was charged with murder/manslaughter in the death of a limo driver. And of course, around Christmas and New Years Gilbert Arenas admitted to storing firearms in his locker, and he and a teammate even allegedly drew guns on each other in the locker room during an argument about gambling debts.

The Arenas firearm issue brought one very interesting item to my attention. Apparently the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement between the player union and owners includes a clause that firearms are not allowed to be brought to the workplace. Now I would have thought that this would be fairly obvious, and wouldn’t need to be explicitly specified in the agreement. I would have guessed that most guys would know that they aren’t supposed to bring guns to work. I can’t think of very many workplace environments (other than police and military) at which weapons are required. I certainly don’t bother bringing any guns to my office job. So this has led me to wonder what else might be included in the NBA CBA. Fortunately, I was able to obtain said document, and here are 10 included clauses that caught my eye.

1. Please wear clothes when in a public venue. You do not need to wear clothes when showering, and you can wear pajamas while sleeping and swim trunks while at the beach or pool. Please wear your team uniform and sneakers whilst on the court. If you have a serious injury (such as a hangnail) and can’t play and still wish to hang out on the bench, please wear a cool suit.
2. If you need to pee or poop, please use the urinal or toilet. The urinal is for pee only, but you may pee and/or poop (or even vomit) in the toilet.
3. You are a professional basketball player. This means that you are paid to play basketball games, practice skills and drills, and participate in other team functions. You are paid in dollars, and this money can be exchanged for goods and services. The money that you earn can be used to purchase items that you want or need (e.g. house, car, food) or may be given to others to perform services for you (e.g. pay for someone to cut your grass).
4. Sunday is the first day of the week. In order, the days following Sunday are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
5. The team coach is in charge of setting the lineup, devising a strategy, making substitutions, etc. Please listen to what he says. The general manager is in charge of building the roster. Please listen to what he says.
6. Drugs are bad, m’kay, so don’t do drugs. M’kay.
7. A lot of people like to drink coffee, especially in the morning. Starbucks is a popular place to purchase coffee.
8. Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of 5 players try to score points against one another by placing a ball through a 10 foot (3.048 m) high hoop (the goal) under organized rules. You don’t need to worry about all of the rules, especially traveling.
9. String theory is a developing branch of quantum mechanics and general relativity into a quantum theory of gravity. The strings of string theory are one-dimensional oscillating lines, but they are no longer considered fundamental to the theory, which can be formulated in terms of points or surfaces too.
10. Many people like to have pets. Dogs are a popular choice as they are smart and affectionate, and can be trained to do tricks. Some people like cats because they are more independent and lower maintenance than dogs. My cat’s breath smells like cat food.

Who knew?

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Most Unrealistic Thing About 300

Thinking about Frank Miller's spin on comics, got me wondering how it is he can reimagine old stories and retell them so that they are cool. I started to think of the movie 300 and the special effects, the over the top cinematography and the cast of characters. Everything was larger, more grotesque, more bloody, more slow motion-y. It also made the story unrealistic (not that that was the focus for Miller). So I got to thinking - what was the most unrealistic thing about the movie? I now KNOW the answer but here are some close answers...

1. Maybe it was the 12 foot tall god king Xerxes? I don't care how deep his voice was, still not too masculine in my mind.

2. Maybe it was the oracle floating in the air, with see through material?

3. Maybe it was Bill Parcells mutated lobster-arm brother?

4. Maybe it was the special guest star appearance of the Hunchback of Notre Dame? I think Frank gor his stories confused on this one.

All good options, but not the correct answer. The correct answer is...

300 greek dudes, no body hair!?!?! Has anyone ever been to the mediterranean? Seriously, its like everyone there is constantly wearing sweaters at the beach. It should have been the same dudes, but with this guys body hair.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This Story is Nuts!

I can’t imagine anything that would be more embarrassing than being asked to take a gender verification test. South African runner Caster Semenya has been asked to do just that, since she has shown rapid, significant (and thus suspicious) improvement in her performance as of late. Given these improvements, and the fact that she is involved in track and field, aren’t performance enhancing drugs a more likely explanation than a questionable gender? Occum’s Razor would lead us to that conclusion. So I feel bad for her, and I hope that it turns out that she is a woman who happens to be good at her sport. I have no quarrel with her, but as you might imagine, this article got me thinking, and mockery will now ensue.

What really strikes me as odd about this story is the line “IAAF spokesman Nick Davies says the ‘extremely complex, difficult’ test has been started but the results were not expected for several weeks.” Really? How difficult and complex could such a test be? Isn’t this as simple as distinguishing between snatch and cock and balls? Shouldn’t such a test take like 5 seconds? “Yeah Jerry, she pulled her pants down. It’s definitely a sniz – I don’t see any twig and berries. Check off female on the form.” Done.

I’ve been wracking my brain for other athletes who might need gender verification tests, and none really come to mind. There are some strange specimens to be sure, like Amelie “Hank” Mauresmo, a rather masculine-looking female tennis player, some of the Chinese “women” gymnasts from the Beijing Olympics who were too young to have gender development and/or were extra-terrestrials, and the Cold War era East German “Female” Swim Team. I also thought of Mrs. Doubtfire and a he/she who works at a Tim Hortons nearby, but they don’t really qualify as athletes. There are however, quite a few athletes who need some sort of manliness verification test, which is perhaps a subset of the gender verification test, which may explain why the test is so complicated and time-consuming. So I’ve got no new candidates for gender verification, but check out the weird stuff about these dudes I discuss below.

Let’s start with Habs centre Tomas Plekanec. On the surface, beyond a penchant for wearing turtlenecks he doesn’t arouse any suspicion. However, during the 2008 playoffs after a couple of losses to the Boston Bruins, Turtlepleks was quoted "The last two games, I played like a little girl out there. I didn't respond the way I liked." Aha! Maybe he should take a gender verification test to see if he is actually a little girl. His performance during the 2008-2009 season leads me to believe that he is a little girl, or perhaps a zombie as proposed by Four Habs Fans.

While we are talking about the Habs, let’s not forget Ryan O’Byrne, and his involvement in “Pursegate” in early 2008. Ryno is a developing (read: crappy) defenseman, and we only forget about his fondness for fine feminine leather goods because he shot (and scored on) the Habs empty net last season. But recall the incident from February 2008 in which O’Byrne was arrested outside a South Tampa night club. A woman lost track of her purse, and later spotted O’Byrne holding it while waiting outside the night club. She promptly called the police. Does the desire to collect women's handbags mean that he should take a gender verification test? Of course it doesn’t. But something isn’t right with this dude.

Keeping with the purse theme, perhaps you remember this historically accurate, unaltered photo of Alex Rodriguez from the 2004 ALCS. With one out and Derek Jeter on first base in the bottom of the eighth inning, A-Rod hit a slow roller between the pitcher's mound and the first base line. Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo fielded the ball and ran towards Rodriguez to apply a tag. As Arroyo reached towards him, Rodriguez swatted at his glove, knocking the ball loose. As the ball rolled away, Jeter scored all the way from first as Rodriguez took second on the play, which was initially ruled an error on Arroyo. However, the umpires quickly huddled, then ruled that Rodriguez was out for interference. Jeter was sent back to first base, his run nullified. This incident lead to many referring to him as a ‘pussy’, or ‘bitch’ which seems reasonable given that he carries his purse with him during baseball games. Again a gender verification test is not necessary, but this was a d-bag move. As much as I don’t really like A-Rod, I dislike Jeter even more (that might make a good blog post!) and I am continually mystified as to how the media treats him like he’s Jean Frickin' Beliveau.

A more likely candidate for gender verification would be current Toronto Maple Leaf Tomas Kaberle, who despite being 31 years old, has never, ever shaved. This clearly indicates a lack of testosterone and an excess of estrogen. So maybe this guy should get tested. I’d say that we should wait to see if he can grow a playoff beard, but he plays for the Leafs, so that ain’t happening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Is Tat?

Whatever it is, it must be pretty good. I mean if you are making a trade of Tit for Tat, straight up, you must be getting pretty good value. I think most people know how good Tit is, so it follows that Tat must be pretty good too. I would like to find this so called Tat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Awesome Conversation

When I say awesome conversations, these could include:
- the breakup conversation
- the conversation where the doctor tells you its prostate checking time
- the conversation you have with your boss in the locker room showers
- the conversation you have when your significant other asks you where you've been all night and then finds "Julie's" phone number in your jacket pocket

They could also include the conversation I just had.

[man 1]: "You're going to have to give the presentation to the president of the company when he comes in later this month"
[me]: "Ok. You want me to prepare this presentation?"
[man 1]: "No need. I"ll put something together and I'll keep it simple. You know, just down to the nuts and boats. "


Monday, August 17, 2009

%Clubs Girls Would Like to Join%

In my attempts to meet women, I've been thinking about social associations where people with common interests would gather to interact in a communal setting. What sort of clubs would attract the most "interesting" of women? I will put forth a number of suggestions!
1. I start with an easy one: the CHESS club. I mean, you may think that these are the worst places to meet "interesting" women but in fact these are the place where you could find the freakiest of the freaks! I mean what type of girl goes to a CHESS club meeting unless she is looking to mate (even if it is a check mate). Here, she will find people who will try to put her in a forked position or try and skewer or pin her. Never mind that the events are often timed and really good players often entertain a number of different opponents in simultaneously. Even if they don't play, maybe they just like to watch.

2. What about the Noblemen Of the Dewey Decimal Illustriate? Becuase their name speaks of their history (it was previously limited to only male membership) the club has been hard pressed to recruit a large female enrollment. Now that the word is out, there is a large contingency of NODDI women. Imagine that, a club where NODDI behaviour is encouraged! And who doesn't want to meet NODDI women?

3. If you have a penchant for the mathematical and role playing, I recommend Abacus & Slide Ruler's. In this association you'll be transported back to a time where you'll meet medieval mathematicians and some barmaids, wenches, trollops and strumpets. Plus, you get the super-duper wicked cool t-shirt that plainly says "Lets make like the Fibonacci Series" in abacus. Its kinda like writing 5,318,008 on a calculator and then flipping the calculator upside down.

4. Cartographers Anonymous - The key word here is anonymous. No strings attached to the relationships you'll form here. The girls you meet here will take you to the ends of the earth and want to take you into uncharted territory. You'll get to explore places where no man has ever trespassed before and come home to tell about it. Make sure you bring the proper provisions as this club tends to attract women that like to rough it.

I've left out some of the more obvious clubs (Comic Book Club, LAN Clubs, The Binary Society, Harry Pottery, etc) simply because they are so busy, you'll have a hard time really connecting with the hot girls you will undoubtedly meet there. Stick to these more exclusive clubs and you'll do fine.