United Stats of America – #NBA Edition

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1.

Exclusivity…

Spurs, accompanied by Warriors, enter an exclusive club

The Spurs throttled the Magic, 107-92, to earn their 40th victory in 48 games this season. Coupled with the Warriors, who with a 44-4 record, had the night off, this marked only the fourth season in NBA history in which two different teams amassed 40 wins before they suffered 10 losses. It previously happened in the 1980-81 season with the Celtics (40-9) and 76ers (40-8), the 2008-09 season with the Celtics and Lakers (both 40-9), and last season with the Hawks (40-8) and Warriors (40-9).

null+ Green does his thing for a 4th straight game

Jeff Green scored 24 points off the bench to lead the Grizzlies to a 110-95 win at New Orleans – the fourth straight game in which Green has come off the bench to lead the Grizzlies in scoring. Not incidentally, Memphis has won all four of those games; previously, Green scored 30 points in an overtime win over Orlando, 21 points in a win over Milwaukee, and 29 points in a triumph over Sacramento.

Get a load of this one: Green became the first NBA player in more than 21 years to come off the bench in four consecutive games, to finish each of those games as the game’s leading scorer (outright or tied), and to see his team win each of them. The last player to put together four consecutive games like that was Dan Majerle with the Suns in January of 1995.

null+ Teague, in 486th game, finally earns share of king-for-a-day

Jeff Teague poured in a season-high 32 points as the Hawks thumped the Mavericks, 112-97. Teague’s game marked only the third this season in which a Hawks played accumulated at least 30 points; Al Horford provided the two other games of that sort (33 and 30 points). It was the fourth time in Teague’s career that he has scored 30-or-more points, and the Hawks have won each of those games.

Teague and Sacramento’s Rudy Gay, who scored 32 points later in the evening, shared high-scoring honors across Monday’s nine NBA games. It marked the first time in his 486-game career that Teague had been the league’s high scorer for a day, either outright or tied.

null+ Jokic’s big game evokes the young ‘Melo

Rookie Nikola Jokic won’t turn 21 years of age until February 19, but he celebrated the arrival of his birth month by achieving season-highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to highlight the Nuggets’ 112-93 victory over the visiting Raptors. Jokic became only the second rookie in the Nuggets’ NBA history to produce a 25-point, 10-rebound game before his 21st birthday. Carmelo Anthony had a pair of games like that (26 and 14, and 36 and 11) 12 years ago, at the age of 19.

null+ Westbrook’s quick triple-double vs. Wizards, part II

Russell Westbrook‘s seventh triple-double of the season, and his second in his last two games, led the Thunder to a 114-98 victory over the visiting Wizards. It was Westbrook’s second triple-double against Washington this season – and in each of those games, he achieved it before the end of the third quarter. Westbrook has three before-the-end-of-the-third-quarter triple-doubles this season; no other NBA player has more than one.

Jazz still perfect in overtime vs. Bulls

Gordon Hayward scored the last three points in regulation time to tie the score, then scored six points in overtime to lead the Jazz to a 105-96 victory over the visiting Bulls. And as the game went into the extra period, perceptive Utah fans knew that that the Jazz had the Bulls exactly where they wanted them. This was the fifth regular-season game between the teams that required an overtime period, and the Jazz has won all five of those games, going back to a Feb. 3, 1992 triple-overtime victory over the Jordan-and-Pippen squad. And the only playoff overtime game between the teams also resulted in a Utah victory – in the opening game of the 1998 Finals.

+ Pistons beat the odds

Math quiz: Which team wins? Team A shoots 48.8 percent from the floor; Team B, 42.9 percent. On three-point attempts, Team A makes 43.8 percent; Team B, 33.3 percent. And from the line, Team A hits 86.7 percent; Team B, 68.8 percent. Oh, by the way, Team A is playing at home.

Yes, it’s a trick question. On Monday night, the Pistons overcame all of those disadvantages to secure a 105-100 decision in Brooklyn. In so doing, Detroit became the 17th visiting team this season to play a game in which it was out-shot from the floor by at least 5 percent, from three-point range by at least 10 percent, and from the line by at least 15 percent. But the Pistons were the first of those 17 teams to go home a winner.

+ Cavs get balanced scoring; LeBron counts by sixes

“The Cavaliers took a 111-106 overtime decision over the Pacers in Indianapolis, in a game in which, for only the second time this season, each Cleveland starter produced at least 14 points. (The other such occasion came on January 4, in a 122-100 win over the Raptors.)

LeBron James finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists – only the second time that he has reached each of those levels since he returned to Cleveland at the beginning of last season. And the other time he did it, nine nights earlier, the Cavaliers lost the game, at home, to the Bulls.

+ Gay and Acy make up for absence of Cousins

In the absence of DeMarcus Cousins, their leading scorer and rebounder, the Kings outrebounded the Bucks, 53 to 37, and Rudy Gay scored a game-high 32 points to key a 111-104 victory. Quincy Acy, who played 17 minutes, 27 seconds, collected seven offensive rebounds. No NBA player this season has corralled that many offensive rebounds in a game in which he spent so little time on the court.

Source: Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

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73 Seconds…

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1.

Drop In The Bucket…

Did we forget about Klay?  As Draymond rises and Steph improves beyond icons, we seem to have forgotten about Klay.  Thompson dropped 45 on the Mavericks last night, getting payback for one of their losses, by 20pts – Is Carlyle now on Hot-Seat?  ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss expands on Kerr’s thoughts on Klay: “…he’s fine taking a back seat to Steph. It works well. They obviously play well together, but I think there always has to be a little bit of a pecking order in the NBA. Klay’s personality suits that second option perfectly.”  Thompson is a quiet all-star that fits perfectly with Golden State.

2.

Spurred On…

What did we think they were gonna do?  Quit?  Lose by 30 and announce the season was over?  So while Golden State came back down to earth and beat the Mavs by twenty, The Spurs treated Houston like a birthday party and blew them out by 31.  So you can say the Spurs bounced back and showed Houston how far away from contending they still are, plus 5 more things.  You think that at some point, while Aldridge is getting better and showing chemistry, he’ll have to be less passive.  If Aldridge can be more like young Dirk and drive to the basket, the way the Spurs play would make more noise in the playoffs.

3.

Started From the Bottom, Now We Here…

The 65th NBA All-Star Game will be the first All-Star Game held outside of the U.S. The game will be seen by fans in more than 200 countries and territories and will be heard in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game in the U.S. for the 14th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 31st year of NBA All-Star coverage.

…And all of that is nice.  The Game is even on Valentine’s Day, awwww.  So who will be coaching the Eastern Conference All-Stars?  The answer is a guy who just started, Tyronn Lue – because he deserves the honor.  So tune in to TNT at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 14 from Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and watch history in the making – just make sure you take the over.

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4.

Under-rated…

The winter that was — and, in some cases, still is — defined by the nine-figure notables (David Price, Zack Greinke, Jason Heyward, Chris Davis, Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmermann), some blockbuster swaps (Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, Todd Frazier, Shelby Miller and Andrelton Simmons, to name a few), some international intrigue (Kenta Maeda and Byung Ho Park), the rewarded hand-wringing of the Mets faithful (welcome back, Yo), the limits-testing patience required of the likes of Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond, Howie Kendrick, etc., and, as usual, the art of surprise.

Lost in all that discussion, though, are the people on the periphery. So let’s round up some of them here with the best acquisitions nobody’s talking about (until now)……

+ Keep Reading: The 10 best MLB pickups nobody is talking about.

5.

Might As Well Jump…

From Deadspin: The second period of the Predators’ 2-1 win over the Flames featured a strange moment, as Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman absolutely leveled linesman Don Henderson on his way back to the bench. The hit sure looks intentional, but Wideman had just been checked hard into the boards, and looked pretty woozy sitting on the bench.

Wideman wasn’t penalized, and both he and Henderson stayed in the game. Afterwards he told reporters that he apologized to Henderson on the ice, and that the hit was entirely accidental.

Thankfully Wideman recieved treatment for a concussion before returning to the ice, as per NHL protocol. Of course that protocol is to pop 2 Percocets and wash them down with a can of LaBatts, but still.

6.

If a Tree Falls…

Further proof that the NFL tries too hard to make you care about a game that the players don’t care about, unless your these guys in the picture…I give you the 2016 NFL ProBowl Draft – Are You Not Entertained?!!  Is there some possibility of interest?  Sure, I’m curious about Julio Jones and Russell Wilson on the same team.  But more to the point, are you gonna play it on DraftKings, or bet the Under?  Before you do read more about the drafting of Team Rice and Team Irvin here, from ABC News:

+ Keep Reading: Russell Wilson, Eli Manning top picks in 2016 Pro Bowl draft

7.

A Man Named $uh…

We’ve talked a lot about this guy and how he was not worth the scratch Miami paid him.  Word is, Suh’s monster deal is already causing cap issues for the Dolphins.  

8.

Aloha…

Hawaii’s attorney general has issued an opinion that says daily fantasy is illegal gambling under state law, becoming the umpteenth state attorney general to do so. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]


73 seconds.

30 years ago today, that was all we saw of the Space Shuttle Challenger.  I remember exactly where I was and still I am reminded by the thoughts that went thru my head of disbelief.  Being at school, being told over the speaker system what happened, hoping the falling cabin contained life…still is hard to believe that 7 people lost their lives because of an O-ring.  18 years and 6 days later there was the second shuttle disaster, when Endeavour disintegrated in re-entry over Texas and Louisiana.  Now, no more shuttles…Prometheus stole fire to provide us a spark, to generate creativity and explore – what shall we do if we never venture out into the unknown?  Bless those that took the chance to peel back the curtain of the great beyond.

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United Stats of America #NBA Edition + 6 Other Things

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Steph Curry and the dominant Warriors aren’t just beating teams anymore, they’re throwing staggering knockout punches against the NBA’s best – make that second-best.

In a span of eight days, Golden State have 30-point wins over Cleveland, Chicago and San Antonio. Curry scored 37 points and hit six three-pointers in three scintillating quarters Monday night, and the reigning champions showed they still rule the West by routing the Spurs 120-90.

“No moment’s too big, obviously,” Curry said. “We know this is just another regular-season game, but there was some hype around it. Every time we have an opportunity to prove who we are and take another step in the journey, we’re ready for it. It wasn’t always that way. This core has been together for a while and understands how to mentally prepare for nights like this.”……(Continue Reading: Gregg Popovich: Warriors’ slaughter of Spurs was ‘like men and boys’ | The Guardian)

+ Warriors win the first round of 2015-16 duel with Spurs

In a highly anticipated matchup, Stephen Curry (37 points) and the Warriors coasted by the Spurs, 120-90, in what was the first matchup in NBA history between two teams with winning percentages of .830 or higher (minimum 40 games played for each team). Golden State’s 30-point victory soundly ended the Spurs’ 13-game winning streak. That’s the third largest margin of victory against an opponent with a winning streak of at least 13 games entering the matchup. The Knicks defeated the Mavs, 128-94, in March 2010, ending a 13-game streak, and the Magic routed the Rockets, 114-82, in March 1991, stopping a Houston winning streak at 13.

+ Cousins with another huge game

DeMarcus Cousins scored 56 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Kings’ double-overtime loss to the Hornets on Monday. Cousins, who totaled 48 points and 13 rebounds in his last game on January 23, is the fourth player with at least 100 points and 25 rebounds in consecutive games over the last 40 years. Michael Jordan did so in March 1990 (118 points and 30 rebounds; the first of the two games was his 69-point performance against the Cavaliers), David Robinson in April 1994 (100 points and 30 rebounds; he scored 71 points in the second of the two games), and Antawn Jamison accomplished this feat in December 2000 as a member of the Warriors (102 points and 27 rebounds).

Cousins’ 104 points over his last two games are the most for any player in Kings history; the previous high was 92 points by Oscar Robertson in February 1965 (when the franchise was known as the Cincinnati Royals). The last player with 100 points over a two-game span wasKobe Bryant in March 2007, netting 110 points.

+ A rare 50-point and 20-assist pairing

As though DeMarcus Cousins‘ 56-point performance was not enough, his Kings teammate Rajon Rondo dished out 20 assists in Sacramento’s overtime loss to the Hornets. It’s just the fourth game in NBA history in which one player scored at least 50 points and his teammate had at least 20 assists. The first such game was on March 2, 1962, in Wilt Chamberlain‘s 100-point game for the Warriors versus the Knicks; his teammate Guy Rodgers had 20 assists. And just under a year later, Chamberlain and Rodgers were at it again; Chamberlain scored 54 points and Rodgers totaled 20 assists for the Warriors against the Royals on March 1, 1963. The third instance was on February 10, 1998, when the Wizards’ Tracy Murray (50 points) and Rod Strickland (20 assists) did so versus the Warriors. In all three of those prior instances, the 50-point/20-assist team won the game.

+ A first for three young players

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points, Zach LaVine added 21 points, and Andrew Wiggins had 20 of his own in the Timberwolves’ loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night. Towns, LaVine, and Wiggins, all 20 years old, are the first trio of teammates under 21 years old to put up at least 20 points in the same game in NBA history. Only one other trio did so at 21 years or younger: Kevin Durant (21 years old), Russell Westbrook (21), and James Harden (20) for the Thunder against the Wizards on November 20, 2009.

Towns also grabbed 11 rebounds, becoming the first rookie with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a game against LeBron James.


1.

Wait A Second…

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball’s Top 10 prospects at each position. There has been quite a bit of turnover from last year to the 2016 edition of the Top 10 second-base prospects, with six new names joining the list, thanks to two graduations and four who dropped off the list. Scouting reports, grades, stats and video on Prospect Watch……(Continue Reading: Prospect Watch: Top 10 second basemen for 2016 | MLB.com)


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2.

Helping The Homeless…

With the Mets bringing back Yoenis Cespedes, most of baseball’s big-name free agents are off the board.

That doesn’t mean the cupboard is bare, however. There are many players left who could help plenty of teams.

Still, finding a spot at this point in the game of musical chairs is a challenge. Many clubs have filled their vacancies and/or reached their budgetary limits.

Pitchers and catchers are now less than a month from reporting, which means time is running out for the stragglers to sign before their unemployment lags into Spring Training. With that in mind, let’s spend other people’s money and see if we can find a home for 10 of the top players remaining on the market……(Continue Reading: Let’s play matchmaker for MLB players still unsigned.)


3.

Where There’s A Will There’s An Elway…

If Peyton Manning soon has the option to pull a John Elway and end a Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacking career in the glorious aftermath of a Super Bowl triumph, it will be because Elway provided him with a team capable of making it happen.

But few people in the room deserved more credit than the quarterback already enshrined in Canton who…...(Continue Reading: John Elway has put Peyton Manning in position to follow in his footsteps – The Washington Post)


4.

Get Over Yourself…

Seattle fans are still upset about something the Carolina Panthers QB did to the 12th man flag. Nevermind the crouch-grabber on your own team Seattle Fan.  Cam Newton has long moved on from thinking about the Seattle Seahawks, the team his Carolina Panthers beat two playoff rounds ago before beating the Arizona Cardinals last weekend to reach the Super Bowl.

Angry Seahawks fans have not forgot about Cam, though. #Stalker #StayClassy

Continue Reading: Bitter Seahawks fan starts petition to ban Cam Newton from CenturyLink | FOX Sports


5.

A Look Back…

Even though the Bears were 10-point favorites, the New England Patriots approached Super Bowl XX in New Orleans with confidence.

“We’ve been underdogs all year,” cornerback Raymond Clayborn said a few days before the game. “I accept it. We’ll go out and beat the Bears just like we beat everybody else. Do football players pay attention to the spread? We notice it. But we have confidence in ourselves.”……(Continue Reading: Pats thought they’d win Super Bowl XX)


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6.

#FanDuel Ultimate Value Lineup

Giving you the Perfect Lineup is easy and we tweet it, post it on Facebook and create an entire post about it in our RESULTS, so……What about if you had the greatest value lineup of all time?  A Lineup that every player chosen had low ownership, way less, and never cost you more than $6,500 – well my friends this is the #NBA Ultimate Value Lineup – culled directly from the numbers and our reports – Check Back Before 4:30p MST everyday and see who we like, and let us Teach You How To #Win!!!

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What You Need To Know For #TNF & 4 More Things

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1.

By the Time I Get To Arizona…

 

The Vikes are missing 4 guys on D.  Anyone else think this could get ugly in a hurry in the desert?  If it was in the cold blanket of the outdoors of Minnesota, maybe…Sure A.P. is whining that he’s not getting the ball enough and the last time he did that he went off – this is the matchup tonight – Adrian Peterson, child-abuser versus the front 7 of Arizona.  For me, the issue is not so much that matchup, it’s can the Vikes score enough points regardless what A.P. does.

When Carson Palmer starts, the Cardinals as home favorites are 9-3-1 against-the-spread, but All-time, touchdown or greater underdogs against the Cardinals are 20-10-1 against-the-spread – so something has to give.  DC*3PO says the Cards win by only 4 so to take the Vikes – make mine the Cards, as they are the better team and Minnesota struggles against good teams – in fact John Beckwith made a bet that Minnesota would not beat another team whose record is above .500 – so far they have not.

Guys to watch on #DraftKings for Tonight’s game, according to DC*3PO

  • Carson Palmer $6,500 – 19.8 – 66.6%
  • Adrian Peterson $6,900 – 15.4 – 40.9%
  • Larry Fitzgerald $7,400 – 15.3 – 57.7%
  • Teddy Bridgewater $5,100 – 13.5 – 45.4%
  • John Brown $4,500 – 13 – 51.1%

Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, during a game against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 6.

2.

Can The Seahawks Get Back To The Super Bowl?

The Seattle Seahawks came into 2015 as championship favorites, having put up one of the best two-year runs in NFL history, with a bid for back-to-back titles undone by one of the most shocking twist endings in Super Bowl history. But things went downhill in a hurry. Seattle lost four of its first six games; then won two in a row, against the foundering 49ers and Cowboys; and in Week 10 dropped a crucial home game against the Cardinals that effectively killed any chance of a third consecutive NFC West crown. It was mid-November and the Seahawks were unlikely to make the playoffs, let alone win the Super Bowl.

Source: Can The Seahawks Get Back To The Super Bowl?


 

3.

Last One Out of the Circus…

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich fired another shot from long range Wednesday night as he continued to voice his displeasure over 3-point shots.

“I still hate it,” Popovich told reporters before the Spurs’ 97-94 loss to theToronto Raptors. “I’ll never embrace it. I don’t think it’s basketball. I think it’s kind of like a circus sort of thing. Why don’t we have a 5-point shot? A 7-point shot? You know, where does it stop, that sort of thing.

“But that’s just me, that’s just old-school. To a certain degree, you better embrace it or you’re going to lose. And every time we’ve won a championship, the 3-point shot was a big part of it. Because……(continue reading)

Source: San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says 3-pointer is ‘like a circus sort of thing’


4.

Day 3 and Counting…

The great thing about the Winter Meetings is that every club is involved. No matter who you root for, there is going to be a rumor or two tied to your team every day of the proceedings. With that in mind, here’s a look at the most intriguing rumors attached to each club, as of Wednesday night.

Source: Winter Meetings rumors roundup of all 30 teams | MLB.com


5.

Now We Are Just Finding Reasons?

As a player with the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots, Rodney Harrison thrived off every slight, real or simply perceived.

It seems Harrision may have a kindred spirit in Carolina Panthers’ cornerback Josh Norman.

On Sunday night, Harrison, now an NBC commentator, said on “Football Night in America” that the 7-5 Seahawks are more dangerous than the undefeated Panthers. On Wednesday, appearing on “ProFootballTalk,” Harrison gave the edge to Falcons’ receiver Julio Jones in his matchup with Norman this Sunday.

A Carolina fan tweeted that first Harrison “said the Seahawks are better than the Panthers, now he’s calling out” Norman, and wondered what’s wrong with Harrison while giving the link to Harrison’s ProFootballTalk appearance.……(continue reading)

Source: Panthers’ Josh Norman says NBC’s Rodney Harrison ‘horrible at his job’

What You Need To Know For Wednesday, Dec. 9 2015

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Tombstone – 1993

1.

Tombstone, Arizona

When you have a huge spider bite on your arm that bleeds constantly, you begin to look at your own appendage in a morbid trance of disfigurement.  You cannot wear short sleeves, or at least shouldn’t, as to not arouse the locals.  The inner-voice never seems to quiet itself and causes a kind of internal chaos that makes you think of screeching animals descending all around you and your world is falling apart – like an earthquake in slow-motion – howls and curses, blowing horns and police sirens as a backdrop to something slowly dying.

Or at least that would be my impression of such a thing.  Much like the bombshell trade in name only with the Diamondbacks and Braves yesterday.  I say “in name only” because the mind jumps that Shelby Miller is a great pitcher and the D-backs have an impressive 1-2 punch with the earlier signing of Greinke.

Miller is being sold as an ace – he’s not – he’s a #3 on a team that has championship aspirations.  For Arizona, just because you HAVE aspirations, doesn’t mean you are championship material.  Here’s the problem with the trade Arizona fan should consider:  You traded away Inciarte and Dansby Swanson, the kind of prospect that could be dealt for an actual ace, who will not spend a lot of time in the minors, as an already polished college player from Vanderbilt.

My point is, if this is what they were willing to deal away because of the urgency felt to contend; then why not try for Jose Fernandez who is better and cheaper, or Sonny Gray.  it is reasonable to assume that the pitcher Arizona traded away, (Aaron Blair) could be the same pitcher they just traded with Atlanta for, except he’s cheaper and they would have him longer than the 3yrs they have Miller for.  Yes, prospects do not always pan out, and if the D-bags make the playoffs, or a World Series within the next three years, then maybe this deal ends up a push, is that enough to still be worth it, the future for 3 years?  What has the front-office done to earn that right to believe they have done nothing but get fleeced amongst the sound of something being killed.  Just ask San Diego.

2.

Matt Ryan Leaf

What happenned to this guy?  That’s the question several Falcons fans have been wondering for the last 6 weeks.  ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reported that Matt has been overwhelmed by Kyle Shanahan’s playbook.  There are times that it looks like Ryan Leaf is playing QB for the Falcons – it’s not that far of a stretch, they do look a lot like – Has Matt lost confidence?  Is his recent struggles a trend?  Does Atlanta look for a replacement?

I say we slow the roll and because I think it lies mostly with Kyle Shanahan.  For starters, give me the last QB that was successful under Kyle Shanahan – none and why is that, because he is a QB killer.  His play-calling is the worst – Devonta only has 14 carries for 50yds against Tampa, he fails to consistently get the ball to Julio Jones to let him dominate a game – like the Steelers let Antonio Brown do.  Julio is the only receiver on the team and you waste plays throwing to Roddy White who would still be a third option in Carolina.  Was it Matt Ryan that was supposed to stop Jameis Winston from his 3rd and 19 run for a first down?  Matt has made some mistakes for sure, but it is more than just him – average line, average talent, below-average play-caller with arrogant-entitlement issues.

So the writing is on the wall for Dan Quinn – do you want to be Mike Smith 2.0 or do you really want to bring a championship to the ol’Dirty.  Before Matt Ryan, Atlanta never had back-to-back winning seasons – with Matt Ryan, 5 straight.  For all Saints fans, the best thing for you to do Dan, is keep Kyle and get rid of Matty Ice.

read more here:

3.

Lords of Chaos

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

— Alfred Pennyworth (The Dark Knight)

Indeed and now we have a real and fantastic possibility to root for.  Cheering for the two best teams equates to fascism, hoping for a Jaguars/Eagles football championship is more democratic.  So join me on DJ Gallo’s wild ride of stink-i-tude as he dissects the beauty of such a possibility we all want, deep-deep down in the cockles of our hearts.

4.

West Coast Bias

The NCAA is a Rogue-Nation with its own agenda and has operated without accountability for decades.  Take the matter of USC and a recent court ruling calling into question how the NCAA Cartel enforces the institutions it is mutually charged with overseeing.  The court ruling is just another abusive-self-induced black eye that sheds light on the questionable gestappo tactics and decisions the NCAA has used in other cases like Penn St or Miami.

Someday in our lifetime, the NCAA will be gone and something that will truly represent what college athletics could be.  But not until the pimps, (coaches) are punished for their actual crimes as CEO over a free-labor force that generates them millions of dollars without consequences.  It’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.

5.

Spurs of the Moment

The Spurs love the Warriors.  All the attention is on Golden State, as it should be, but while the spotlight blinds, the Spurs are currently 18-4.  As Hunter Felt explains, the Spurs wouldn’t want this flight under the radar any other way – here’s to a healthy Warriors/Spurs Western Conference Finals!

LeBron James has endorsed Nike since signing with the brand in 2003.
6.

“You’re Welcome” – Michael Jordan

LeBron James will be in the Nike stable for the rest of his basketball career — and beyond.

The world’s largest sporting goods company Monday signed the four-time NBA MVP to an unprecedented lifetime contract. Terms of the deal weren’t released, but sports agent David Falk, who represented Michael Jordan for most of his playing career, estimated its value at $400 million to $500 million.……(continue reading)

Source: LeBron James Signs Unprecedented Lifetime Deal With Nike

Getting Smart With #NBA + #NHL NEWS o’Day (11-5-15)

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1. NBA Bounce House

You wondered how long it was going to take before some #NBA player became fed-up with those sleeved-uniforms and for LeBron, he wasn’t having it anymore.  It’s like when Costanza made the Yankees wear all-cotton uniforms – #WorstIdeaEver.  Hopefully soon, Mr. Silver will realize these too were a turr-able idea and give the shooters their free-range back in their shoulders.

Curry continues to roll in the early going

Stephen Curry scored 31 points and made seven three-pointers in the Warriors’ 112-108 win over the Clippers on Wednesday. Curry has scored 179 points in his five games played this season. Over the last 40 seasons, the only other players to score as many points as Curry through their first five games of a season are Adrian Dantley (1980-81) and Michael Jordan, who did it three times (1986-87, 1989-90 and 1991-92).

Curry’s 28 three-pointers made are by far the most any player has made through five games of a season since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979-80. The previous high was 21 by Ryan Anderson (2011-12), O.J. Mayo (2012-13) and Trevor Ariza (2014-15).


Howard is perfect from the field

Dwight Howard went 10-for-10 from the field and hauled down 14 rebounds in the Rockets’ overtime win over the Magic on Wednesday night. It marked the second time that Howard has shot 10-for-10 or better from the field in a game, having also done that on February 24, 2010 (11-for-11), ironically while he was with the Magic against the Rockets. The only other players to attempt 10 or more shots from the field and make all of them multiple times in the shot-clock era are Wilt Chamberlain (8 times), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (twice), Bernard King (twice) and Karl Malone (twice).


Blazers’ backcourt has a big night in UtahAltX.Logo.white

Damian Lillard scored 35 points and starting backcourt mate C.J. McCollum chipped in with 27 in the Blazers’ win in Utah on Wednesday night. It’s the first time in nearly 20 years that Portland’s starting backcourt each produced at last 25 points in a road game, since Rod Strickland (32) and Clyde Drexler (30) did it against the SuperSonics in a losing effort in Seattle on January 15, 1995.


Suns win with a team effort

Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 19 points and was the team’s leader in assists with eight in a 118-97 win over Sacramento on Wednesday night. It marked the most points the Suns have scored in a game in which they did not have a single player score 20 points or hand out 10 assists since December 8, 1994, when they defeated the Nets by a final of 133-106 with Wayman Tisdale and Dan Majerle producing a team high 19 points and Elliot Perry leading the way with nine assists.


Beal’s three-pointer beats Spurs

Bradley Beal‘s three-pointer with less than a second remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Wizards a 102-99 victory over the Spurs on Wednesday night. Beal is the first player to win a game with a three-pointer with less than a second remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime against San Antonio since the Mavericks’ Steve Nash made a shot from beyond the arc with 0.6 seconds left in overtime in a 126-123 Dallas win on December 26, 2001.


Pacers frontcourt controls the boards in win over Celtics

The Pacers starting frontcourt, Lavoy Allen (11 rebounds), Paul George (10) and Jordan Hill (10) each recorded double-digits in rebounds in the Pacers’ 100-98 win over the Celtics on Wednesday. Indiana received 10 or more rebounds from each of their frontcourt starters in only one game in the previous six seasons combined (2009-10 to 2014-15), on January 8, 2013 (George, David West and Roy Hibbert).AltX.Logo.white


Nets fall to 0-5

The Nets lost their fifth consecutive game to open the 2015-16 season, dropping a 101-87 decision to the Hawks. Brooklyn has lost by margins of 15, 17, 10, 7 and 14 points in their five defeats. The only other teams in NBA history to lose each of their first five games of a season, all by more than six points, after appearing in the playoffs the previous season, are the 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets (first five games) and 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers (first six games).


Cavs win by 10 after trailing by 15

The Cavaliers overcame a 15-point deficit and defeated the Knicks by a score of 96-86 on Wednesday night. It marked the first time Cleveland won a game by a double-digit margin after trailing by at least 15 points since November 3, 2009, when the Cavs overcame a 18-point deficit and beat Washington by a score of 102-90.


Raptors produce road wins over Western foes on consecutive nights

One night after beating the Mavericks in Dallas, the Raptors (5-0) beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night to improve upon the best start in franchise history. It’s the third time since the start of the 2014-15 season that Toronto has won road games against Western Conference opponents on consecutive days, having won games in Sacramento and Utah last December 2nd and 3rd; and against the Clippers in Los Angeles and Nuggets in Denver on December 27th and 28th. No other Eastern Conference team has more than two sets of back to back road wins on consecutive days against teams from the West over that span, and the only other East teams that have done that more than once are Atlanta and Detroit.


2. Ice-Ice Baby

Burmistrov’s late goal wins it for the Jets

Winnipeg’s Alexander Burmistrov scored a tiebreaking goal with 2:05 left to play in the third period and his goal was the game-winner for the Jets in their 4-2 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. It was the second time this season that a Jets player scored a go-ahead goal in the final three minutes of the third period; Dustin Byfuglien snapped a tie with 88 seconds remaining in regulation time in Winnipeg’s home game against the Flames on October 16. The Jets are the only NHL team to have scored more than one such goal this season. Before this season, the Jets had tallied only three tiebreaking goals in the last three minutes of the third period since the team relocated to Winnipeg from Atlanta in 2011.


Blues win after allowing five goals in the first

Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal with 1:06 remaining in overtime earned the Blues a 6-5 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago, a game in which St. Louis trailed, 5-2, at the end of the first period. It was the 11th time in NHL history that a team won a game in which it allowed five first-period goals, and it was the first such win in Blues history. Before Wednesday’s victory by St. Louis, the last time an NHL team won a game in that manner was when the Lightning beat the Flyers, 8-7, in Philadelphia on November 18, 2010, after Tampa Bay trailed, 5-4, at the first intermission.


Fehr nets another short-handed goal

Eric Fehr’s short-handed goal midway through the third period gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 3-2 in Vancouver. Fehr also tallied a short-handed goal in his Penguins debut on October 31 against the Maple Leafs. He is the first player in NHL history to score a short-handed goal in each of his first two games with a team.

SOURCE: Elias Sports Bureau

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#ElectionDay #NBA + #NHL News & Notes

name of site - hunter thompson style

1. NBA Bounce House

Duncan sets NBA record for wins with one team

Tim Duncan scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Spurs‘ 94-84 victory over the Knicks on Monday. Duncan has 954 regular-season wins with the Spurs, passing John Stockton (953 with Jazz) for the most victories by a player with one team in NBA history. Rounding out the top three is Stockton’s teammate Karl Malone, who had 919 wins during his tenure with Utah.

Duncan has a 954-381 (.715) regular-season record with the Spurs. Among the 10 players with at least 700 wins with one team, only one has a higher winning percentage with that team: Duncan’s teammate Tony Parker. With Monday’s win, Parker improved to 728-284 (.719) in his Spurs career.


25,000 points for James

With his 22 points scored in the Cavaliers‘ win on Monday, LeBron James reached 25,001 regular-season points in the NBA, in his 915th career game. James is the 20th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points; only three of those players reached that mark in as few games as he did. Ahead of him on the list are Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Michael Jordan (782), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (889).

James also added 11 assists in Monday’s game, becoming the sixth player to record a double-double in the game in which he surpassed 25,000 points, joining Chamberlain (who had a triple double when he reached that mark in 1968), Jerry West (1973), Abdul-Jabbar (1980), Karl Malone (1997), and Tim Duncan (2014).


Westbrook joins elite groupAltX.Logo.white

Russell Westbrook totaled 25 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in the Thunder’s loss on Monday. Westbrook has 121 points, 37 assists, and 30 rebounds in four games this season. Only two other players in NBA history had at least 120 points, 30 assists, and 30 rebounds over their first four games of a season, and each did so twice: Oscar Robertson (1961-62 and 1966-67 seasons) and Larry Bird (1984-85 and 1987-88 seasons).


Harden leads the way for Rockets

James Harden scored 37 points as the Rockets earned their first win of the season, a 110-105 triumph over the Thunder. Dwight Howard had the second-highest points output for Houston in Monday’s game, with 16 points. Last season, Harden played in 12 games in which he scored at least 20 more points than any of his teammates. Only one other player had at least five such games in the 2014-15 campaign: Russell Westbrook, with eight.


Warriors win big after trailing at the end of the opening quarter

The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies, 119-69, on Monday after trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter. Golden State is just the second team in NBA history to win a game by at least 50 points after being outscored in the opening quarter. The first such instance occurred on February 1, 1983, when the Bulls came out victorious over the Rockets, 129-76, after also trailing by a point at the end of the first.


Curry has another big quarter

Stephen Curry scored 30 points, including 21 in the third quarter, of the Warriors’ 119-69 victory over the Grizzlies. It’s the second straight game in which Curry scored at least 20 points in a quarter, having netted 28 points in the third period of the Warriors’ win over the Pelicans on Saturday. The last player with a 20-point quarter in consecutive games was Jamal Crawford in January 2007. Crawford had 23 fourth-quarter points on January 24 against the Suns and had two 20-point quarters in his next game on January 26 versus the Heat (20 points in second quarter and 23 in third).


2. ‘Ockey News – The Quick and the Dead

Toews and Kane find success against Quick

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each scored a goal for the Blackhawks as they posted a 4-2 victory over the Kings which ended L.A.’s winning streak at seven games. Toews has scored 11 goals in his 21 regular-season games against Quick, which ties him with Radim Vrbata for the third-most goals versus the two-time Stanley Cup-winning netminder, behind Shane Doan and Patrick Marleau (12 each). Kane scored only one goal in his first 13 regular-season games versus Quick but he’s tallied seven goals in eight regular-season games against him since then.


Lupul nets a pair in Leafs’ victory

Joffrey Lupul scored two goals in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars’ in Toronto. It was Lupul’s first multiple-goal game since the last time the Stars played at Air Canada Centre, a 5-3 Maple Leafs victory on Dec. 2, 2014 in which Lupul notched the final two Toronto goals. Lupul finished the 2014-15 season by scoring only one goal in his last 30 games but he’s the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer with five goals this season.

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Tuesday Dregs

Did you know LeBron James finished with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, and scored game 3’s last five points over the final 40 seconds as the Cavaliers moved out to a three-games-to none series lead with a 114-111 overtime win over the Hawks on Sunday? No other player has ever reached all of those totals (37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists) in an NBA playoff game.

James earned the 12th triple-double of his playoff career, surpassing Jason Kidd’s total of 11 and moving into second place all-time, behind Magic Johnson, who had 30. James achieved the triple-double with his tenth assist with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter. No NBA player had produced a triple-double within the first three quarters of a playoff game since Chris Paul, playing for the New Orleans Hornets against the Lakers, did that in 2011. No NBA player had earned a triple-double so early in a game since 2009, when Rajon Rondo achieved it with 6:15 to play in the third quarter, playing for the Celtics against the Bulls.

James finished with 37 field-goal attempts, the most he has ever taken in any NBA game, during either the regular season or the playoffs. He missed all nine of his first-quarter field-goal attempts, becoming the first player to take that many shots in the first quarter of a playoff game and to miss them all since Tim Duncan went 0-for-10 from the field in the first quarter of Game 1 of a Western Conference Semifinal series against the Lakers in 2002. LeBron also missed his first shot in the second quarter, becoming the second player in this year’s playoffs to miss his first 10 field-goal attempts of a game. (Isaiah Thomas missed his first 10 shots from the floor in Game 4 of a first-round series against Cleveland.) Among other players who have started past playoff games with double-digit streak of misses: Duncan (twice), Carmelo Anthony (twice), Ray Allen and Tony Parker.

James Harden scored 45 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists as the Rockets avoided a sweep with a 128-112 victory over the Warriors. The 45 points is the third-most ever scored by a player for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series, behind the 51 points scored by the Warriors’ Sleepy Floyd in 1987 against the Lakers and the 46 points scored by Miami’s Dwyane Wade against the Celtics in 2010.

Only one other player scored at least 40 points, grabbed at least nine rebounds and handed out at least five assists in a game for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series: Tom Chambers for the Suns against the Lakers in 1989 (41 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists).

The Warriors (20-for-46) and Rockets (17-for-32) combined for 37 three-point field goals made and 78 three-pointers attempted. The 37 three-pointers made were the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the record of 33 set by the Seattle (20) and Houston (13) in Game 2 in 1996; and the 78 shots from beyond the arc were also the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the mark of 70 by Oklahoma City (35) and Houston (35) in Game 2 in 2013.

The Warriors are only the second team, regular season or playoffs, to lose a game in which they made 20 three-pointers. The Nets lost to the Nuggets on Jan. 11, 2012 despite making 20 shots from beyond the arc. NBA teams that made 20 or more three-pointers are 15-1 in the regular season and now 2-1 in the playoffs.


Ben Bishop posted a 2-0 win over the Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, after giving up five goals in both Game 3 (a 6-5 overtime victory) and Game 4 (a 5-1 loss). Bishop is the only the third goaltender in NHL history to record a playoff shutout after allowing at least five goals in each of the previous two games of the same series. The other goaltenders to do that were the Quebec Nordiques’ Dan Bouchard against the Flyers in 1981 (Game 3) and the Canadiens’Carey Price versus the Bruins in 2008 (Game 7).

Toews heroics are not enough

Jonathan Toews scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the third period to tie the score at 4-4 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, but the Blackhawks’ late comeback proved to be in vain as Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime to win the game for the Ducks. It was the fifth time in NHL playoff history that a team tied a game after trailing by two goals in the last two minutes of regulation time, and Toews is the first player to score both the tying goal and the one before that. The last team before Chicago to stage a two-goal tying rally in the final two minutes of the third period was the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs in 2013. Milan Lucic scored to get the Bruins within one goal, and Patrice Bergeron netted both the tying goal in regulation and the series-winner in overtime.


Never Before

Francisco Liriano struck out 12 batters and earned the win as the Pirates completed their three-game series sweep of the Mets. Gerrit Cole struck out ten batters in his series-opening win on Friday, as did A.J. Burnett in his victory on Saturday. It is the only time in modern major-league history (1900 to date) that a team’s starting pitchers won three straight games within one series while recording a double-digit strikeout total in each game.

Big Game James? 

The Padres averted being swept in their three-game series at Dodger Stadium behind the pitching of James Shields, who improved his record to 6-0 this season. Shields is the only pitcher who has won as many as six games for his new club after switching major-league teams during the past offseason. Since 2010, spanning his time with the Rays, Royals and Padres, Shields is 7-0 in 11 regular-season starts in games in which his team was in danger of being swept in a series, and each of those seven wins came on the road.

Historic Failure

Jeremy Guthrie gave up four homers and allowed 11 runs while getting only three outs against the Yankees on Monday. Guthrie is the first starting pitcher in major league history to give up at least four homers and allow 11 or more runs in a game in which he recorded no more than three outs.

Still doesn’t play on Sundays

Andre Ethier‘s solo home run in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and the Dodgers went on to beat the Braves, 6-3, on Monday night. It was career home run #151 for Ethier, 14 of which have been go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later (9.3 percent).

The only active players with more go-ahead homers than Ethier in the eighth inning or later since 2006 are Albert Pujols (17), Miguel Cabrera (16), Prince Fielder(16) and Chris Young (15). Jose BautistaJustin Morneau and David Ortiz also have 14 such homers since 2006.

Not since…

Prince Fielder went 3-for-5 with a home run in the Rangers’ win over the Indians. Fielder is now batting .365 with nine home runs in 45 games this season. The last Rangers player to have at least nine homers and a batting average of .360 or better over his first 45 games of a season was Josh Hamilton in 2012 (.368 with 20 homers).

Fielder has 11 hits and 12 runs batted in over his last four games. The only other player in Rangers franchise history with that many hits and RBIs over a four-game span is Ivan Rodriguez from July 30 to August 2, 1999. Pudge had 13 hits and 12 RBIs over that four-game span.

Miss me Milwaukee?

Giants’ leadoff batter, Nori Aoki, went 4-for-4 with a home run in their win over the Brewers. Aoki is the fourth Giants player over the last 60 years to go 4-for-4 or better with a home run from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Bobby Bonds, who did it three times (once each in 1971, 1972 and 1973), Marvin Benard (1998) and Randy Winn (twice in 2005) were the other Giants players to do it over that span.

Arenado times two

Nolan Arenado has seven hits and knocked in seven runs over his last two games. Arenado is the first major-league player this season to have that many hits and RBIs over a two-game span and he’s the first Rockies player to do it since Carlos Gonzalez had exactly seven hits and seven RBIs over two games in May 2012.  That is about how long it has been since we have seen anything from CarGo.

Elias Sports Bureau with the assist…

May the DiRT Be With You…and also with you

mayweather pacquiao punchout!!

Super-Nintendo Punchout summarizes the fight –  from sports grid.

Ah the Romans – it was in full display – the Bread and the Circuses – except it seemed while we got the circus – they forgot our bread.  THE MOST SPECTACULAR FIGHT OF OUR TIME – YOU CANT MISS THIS ONE – TWELVE UNFORGETTABLE ROUNDS FOR ONLY $99.

That is the beautiful thing about pay-per-view sporting events – there are no sell outs, no waiting in line, no standing-room only, no one getting turned away at the gate by small giants and fire marshals for too much booze on your breath – none of that!  As long as you want it – you’ve got a better seat than any celebrity –‘Murica!

But the fight – ughh – it was just like I wrote back in December, #CalledIt.  Want to know what was a better fight than #MayPac?  Jamie Foxx staying in tune.  Clint Eastwood versus a chair.  Bob Barker versus Happy Gilmore.  Jay Z versus Beyonce’s Sister.  Kevin James versus skinny jeans, Deebo versus Craig – we get it!  The build up was Wrestlemania without the drama, The Royals have thrown more punches this year – it made you long for the days you dropped that kind of scratch on a Mike Tyson fight that was over in less than 90 seconds.  Mayweather handed out more hugs to Manny than his own kids.

If this was what people thought was the Fight of the Century – did they mean this actual century or the last 100 years – then Boxing is dead – maybe it survives as some bare-knuckled-quasi blood-sport on late night TV – but there will never be anything great about it ever again.  I preferred to watch a rerun of Hagler v Hearns – it’s what we expected Saturday – or relive the salad days of any of Muhammad Ali’s fights.  With Ali, we were lucky and privileged to live in the same century with him.  He was a true aristocrat of the spirit, I love the man.  He spoke to the best and bravest in us and his fights are priceless.  Floyd will never understand, and it seems he doesn’t care too – he’s just fine being the captain on the Titanic.


NBA Fevah!  Chris Paul was doing his best Steph Curry impression making an incredible shot, that I still don’t know how it went in, to beat the Spurs, 111-109.  This undercard was better than Saturday’s main event.  The Clippers needed all of the 8 for 14 beyond the arc points in the second half, before Paul’s lucky nail in the champ’s coffin.  Does this propel the Clippers to bigger things?  Is this the end of the Spurs as we knew them?  What I do know is; I could watch these two play the rest of the year and it would still live up to expectations.  The question though, is this:  will there be any other series as good as this one for the rest of the playoffs?


There he is, the favorite, American Pharoah.  The first horse to start in position 17 or farther and win the (141st) Kentucky Derby.  I had told you to leave him off because of that (and because they clearly don’t know how to spell Pharaoh) – what is the meaning of statistics if you cant remove the outliers.  Well the outliers win sometimes and sometimes they rough you up pretty good.  The break the horse made from the 18th position to be near the front of the pack and not get boxed in was remarkable.  He was given a clear shot – as was I, or so I thought for most of the race.  It was another lesson I got sloppy with from the harsh school of gambling, that dealt me another quick beating for leaving off the favorite – see I had Dortmund and Firing Line in an Exacta boxBlind spots are fatal – they’ll punish you every time.  So the questions will begin again about the potential of American Pharoah(sic) being the next triple-crown winner – and the answer is no, but I will not leave him off again, just to be safe.


The Houston Firs-tros have won 10 straight and own the American League’s best record at 18-7.  As the Astros celebrate their 50th year, you have to wonder when do they come back to Earth?  In the AL West they may never – the Angels have serious problems, the Rangers are terrible and The A’s and Mariners do not play consistently enough to challenge, so…It’s a long season and Houston is a young team that will have to prove it in the dog-days – but for now, how about dem Astros!

In other weird baseball news – the Rockies still can’t play in SoCal, and the Yankees swept the Red Sox for the first time since 2006.  David Ortiz failed to deliver a bases-loaded, down-by-three, in the bottom of the ninth – either further proving his PED use, or Adam Warren is that good – has not allowed a run in 10 appearances.

Matt Harvey is 5-0 for the 1st place Mets since Tommy John Surgery and it must be an “odd” year, because the Cardinals have the best record in baseball – World Series appearances in 2011 and 2013.


May the 4th be with you!

In honor of Saga and today being May 4th – #StarWarsDay – here is some entertainment:


It’s still fresh!

3rd Stone from the Sun

It’s wonderful.  It came in the nick of time.  The whole nation getting jittery from too much riot-news and the sporting public is demanding wilder and wilder sport-spectacles, to blot out the dark horizon…and then it happens, everywhere and all at once this Saturday.  The Sheriff and I start our day off with a bowling tournament of champions for our kids and that got me thinking about something my friend La-A (pronunced Ladasha, not kidding) said.  La-A lives up the road from the bunker and says she wants to open a chain of national bowling alleys where house rules require that you check your clothes at the door.

“It keeps them from stealing,” she told me.  “A naked person is an honest person.  We have low operating costs – free labor, no taxes, new friends in strange places and extremely addictive behavior five times a week.”  Hundreds of thousands of otherwise decent people could already be hopelessly addicted to naked bowling, which renders them useless for normal work.  Not too mention the chicken-choking-freaks that’ll hang around – you’ll notice them by the stains on their jeans.

They are the wetheads, a plague of leeches on the body politic.  They’ll dim the brain as well as the body and eventually the victim gets sucked dry and dies.  That is dead weight – which is fatal to a fast-moving economy.  Could any sane person even tolerate naked bowling – think of the tragic encounters and everything it stands for – the sound of the heavy black ball crashing down on anything made of wood-polymer in a contortionist ballet of the body, could make anyone disordered.

But if they succeed and make it a recognized sport in this country with proper rules and regulations of appearance – I am after-all, a professional sportswriter – it says so right here on my credentials – and I would have to report on what I see for you, the public, watching real-life naked bowling.  It would be televised on some Canadian HBO, late at night, pitting two teams of extremely naked women with huge breast implants and fake lips going head-to-head – that no doubt would be wearing Hooters T-shirts if this were anything else but organized recess – and let me tell you, they’d be going for it – locked in a scoreless tie after 13 frames of pretty frantic bowling.

Sounds about right…Let’s all get naked and go bowling.  Why not?  Where can you watch this stuff?  Where is one, right?  It’s still better than going to the Derby.

If you have ever been to Churchill Downs, then you know how truly heinous an experience it can be.  I can tell you that Derby Week in Louisville is a white-knuckle orgy of booze, sex and violence that, 99 times out of 100, swamps anybody who goes near it in a hurricane of fear, pain and mind-numbing disasters that will haunt you for the rest of your life.  The behavior of the crowd on race day is like 100,000+ vicious hyenas going berserk all at once in a space the size of 787 or a basketball arena.  Going is worse than volunteering to join Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg, and just as fun.  I still have recurring nightmares that cause me to wake up sweating and screaming like someone pulling a tape-worm out thru my nose.  My memories are extremely clear and far too obscene to describe here – some involve jails, insane asylums, trials, beatings, police-brutality and private graveyards filled with victims of tragic medical experiments.  You’ll come back with stories of people being deliberately set on fire and tortured by drunken rich people who then hurl their bodies off a cliff into the Ohio river and laugh about it later.  Only to have their families be told by the authorities that they must have ran off to Hollywood to get famous with a band of Turkish horse-gamblers.

Things like that happen every year when the Derby comes around – some simply disappear into thin air or come back with horrible disfigurements and no memory.  Others end up in “hospitals down south” and never mentioned again by people who knew them.  You’d like to think Eyes Wide Shut was just a movie, but Omerta is the code of the South, especially when weird shit is committed by rich people.  Horse people have very small attention spans for anything involving humans – you can read it in the obituary of some head on collision, with an unidentified truck far out on the River road and a private cremation ceremony for close family members only, who wish to remain anonymous.

Thankfully the Derby itself is only 2 minutes long – in sports few things last that long, a Rousey knockout, Sumo wrestling and drag racing are the only tings that come to mind. I have a soft spot for betting the Derby, regardless of the scars from being a witness.  So I’ll bet from a far and begin to enjoy one of the greatest Saturdays of all time.  If you’re wondering, No horse has ever won the Derby from the 17th position and that is where American Pharaoh, the favorite, starts.  With that information, these are the horses that will finish 1-4 in any order: International Star, Frosted, Firing Line, and Dortmund – I have not yet settled on Win, Place, Show, but will definitely Box these four.

Rarely can you find this much action in one day outside of a cockfight in rural Arkansas, but thankfully we have a Game 7 with the Spurs/Clippers and the night finishes off with Pacquiao/Mayweather.  It is more rare that a main event in Las Vegas starts before midnight on the East coast – and considering a NBA game is usually 2.5 hours, you’ll get to watch all 3 events on a Saturday night – just remember who owns Saturday night and the possibility of long lines at the ATM.

We all have a vice and tomorrow night indulges most of them, even for the most ardent opponent of affluent clemency.  It’s all decadent and depraved.  It will satiate our blood-lust as we circle the drain of Dante’s toilet-bowl – It’s what happens when it all accumulates on TV making long-distance hunch bets on a horse named Dortmund.  I’m starting to feel a bit decadent and depraved myself, maybe it’s all true and too much of this causes brain cancer – I will do some more research and report back later – I’ve got some bets to make and some friends to fleece.  Buy the Ticket, take the Ride!