A-Rod Schadenfreude, Writ Large

When my local TV news station ran an item on Alex Rodriguez’s marital discord, I knew the story had struck enough chords and brain receptors in the minds of editors and executive producers across the country for the perfect story. Combine the highest-paid baseball player (and the game’s most talented) with a washed up pop star like Madonna (quibble all you want, but she is riding on her 80s output like a greatest hits show), toss in possible Kabbalah crap and rumors of Lenny Kravitz joining the jilted Cynthia Rodriguez in Paris, and these are the things that crack local newscasts and papers across the country, not just in New York, where the Post and the Daily News are the closest thing we have to semi-legit tabloids.

These are the stories that give license to Deadspin’s A.J. Daulerio to create tags of genius such as “Justify My Glove” to encompass the entire scandal (part baseball reference, part Madonna reference, and part Kravitz, as he penned “Justify My Love” for the Material Girl years ago.)

But the question that always pops up with me is: why do we care so much? Michael Jordan’s divorce from wife Juanita did not receive this much play outside of Chicago and he’s worth more than A-Rod could ever hope to be at this point. Obviously, there is the inevitable celebrity factor involved with Madonna, which will get shows like Entertainment Tonight, Extra, and their ilk all over it, but as far as sports fans go, well, what’s the explanation?

I sense that, more than any athlete around right now, we want to see Rodriguez fail at things.

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This MF’er Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed To Die

Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia still walk among us, yet the mortal coil decides George Carlin must go. Simply unfair. He was on my personal list of people I would grant immortality to, had I the power.

Here are a few routines. First, the “baseball and football” that everyone’s posting today:

The famous “Seven Words” routine:

A particularly good riff on reproductive rights/abortion:

And, finally, on white people:

Without him, there is no Bill Hicks, no Denis Leary, no Mitch Hedberg. Lewis Black, only 11 years Carlin’s junior, doesn’t have a career if Carlin isn’t there first.

Rest in peace, sir.

Cheap Shots #98.

Send your links for Cheap Shots to the e-mail at the top of the page. This entry is updated during the day (well, as much as possible).

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12:54 PM

Reverse Robin Hood: I personally oppose taxpayer financing of stadia and arenas for pro sports teams — major cities of all kinds have better things to do with the hundreds of millions that they cost. Now, HG has found a Democracy Now! interview that encapsulates just what those giveaways, along with others our government gives to the well connected, that have essentially screwed many of us over. For example, New York City has given $1.2 billion for both the new Yankee Stadium and Citifield. [You Been Blinded]

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11 AM Update

Ten Years Later: In the spirit of my recent post on Super Bowl XXXII, I must present this retrospective in the Denver Post. It’s the only good thing about the Broncos to come out in recent weeks. [Denver Post]

Sadly, Romo and Simpson Still Have Serious Traction: At least for the rumor mill, and I shouldn’t be so “sadly” about it because I’m a gossip sucker like everyone else. (I would have gone to see Perez Hilton talk at the local university last night if I hadn’t been working.) That aside, latest rumor is that Romo was two-timing Daddy’s Girl. [On 205th]

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9:55 AM Update

How Not to Throw a Super Bowl Party: Every year, various web sites and magazines provide some awful advice for Super Bowl shindigs. Personally, I suggest the giant pot of chili, at least two bags of tortilla chips, and any other dip you can imagine — although with a very large supply of beer. [Ladies…]

The Guy Who Played Vito Spatafore Is One Of THOSE Dog Owners: Yeah, like one who paints his pooch blue for the Giants in the Super Bowl. I hate those pet owners. [Busted Coverage]

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4:00 AM

Roger Goes Down: As I write this, Roger is down two sets already to Norak Djokovic, and Djokovic is exposing Federer’s game — this game may mean more to Djokovic, given the tanking accusations he has faced — and I cannot believe this, as I watch — Norak Djokovic just beat Federer in straight sets. The glories of tennis at 3 AM. Is it because the game has begun to catch up to Roger Federer, or is he off his game? Now, we have Djokovic going against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga — two players going for their first major. Who says the men’s game is boring, compared to the women’s? Morons.

The Steroid Mess Continues: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says federal investigators can continue to use the names and samples of those accused of using PEDs in baseball. Whether this leads to more so-called revelations has yet to be seen. For those of you who don’t regularly roll into politics, the 9th Circuit is commonly known as the most “liberal” circuit, since it’s Bay Area-based, whatever that means. These names in question are the ones obtained by the feds in 2004. [AP]

Revewing the McNamee Tapes: This is Clemens’ latest strike against Brian McNamee: providing the transcripts of tapes to Rep. Henry Waxman’s House Oversight Committee in advance of Clemens testifying. Clemens has done at least this: put up a fight, although most are fairly convinced one way or the other. [NYT]

Reggie Bush’s Monkey: Lloyd Lake’s attorney says the former USC standout and current Saints RB must give a deposition regarding alleged acceptance of illegal benefits. The real question that is still going unanswered is whether Southern Cal, and by extension, Pete Carroll, knew anything. We’re no closer to knowing that, and the question is whether anyone cares. [LAT]

Karl Dorrell Lands on His Feet: Good for him. He’ll be part of Tony Sparano’s staff in Miami, coaching wideouts after getting canned in Westwood. I suspect he might be better with the pros than the semi-amateurs anyway. [LAT]

Floyd Takes Rap For Mayo’s Laker Tix: As expected. I still think the rule’s dumb. [SI]

NBA All-Star Starters: AI, Melo, Duncan, Yao, and Kobe for the West; King James, Wade, J-Kidd, KG, and Dwight Howard for the East. If you can argue with that, let us have it in comments. The reserves will be more interesting when they’re released. [AP via SI]

Some People Will Find Any Reason To Be Outraged: Some groupcalled the Christian Defense Coalition will protest outside ESPN headquarters in Bristol, CT — they want the tapes of Dana Jacobson saying “Fuck Jesus” released. I sense those who work up the outrage actually get off on believing they are a minority. [Sports Media Watch]

A Useful Reminder: KSK’s Big Daddy Drew uses his Deadspin platform to explain, once again, the difference between blogs and journalists. [Deadspin]

RandBall Talks To a Beach Volleyballer: I don’t link to Michael Rand’s stuff enough, and this is quite the interesting interview of Rachel Wacholder. [RandBall]

Zach Asks Lozo a Few Questions: More interviewing, this time with one of the writers I like a lot. [The Big Picture]

“I Had A Rough Night And I Hate The Fuckin’ Eagles, Man!”

Late to the party by a week, but since Brooks broke that the Eagles may be the halftime entertainers for the Super Bowl, it’s creating a definite buzzkill (I’m not even going to post a photo of the Eagles here; the smug emanating from Don Henley’s mug would kill WordPress). You’d have thought the NFL would learn. We all know that there are certain acts, even top ones, that the league won’t touch (and wouldn’t have gone near pre-Janet), but this is completely and utterly uninspiring after last year’s selection of Prince, who turned in the best SB performance in recent memory in Miami, belting “Purple Rain” as the field continued to be flooded.

I mean, I’m with the Dude on this one, despite knowing the lyrics to “Hotel California” from front to back (subject yourself to enough rounds at a karaoke bar and you will eventually do the same.) The Eagles love that somehow has accumulated over the years is absolutely beyond me, but I suppose that it makes sense that a lot of the crap country that Nashville is peddling these days has its artists claiming the Eagles as an influence. However, for the Super Bowl, we can do better.

So, where else can we turn for suggestions and alternatives? Funny you should ask. Here’s a short list:

Kanye West

Pro: Hip-hop enough to get the League some cred with people who actually know something about entertainment, but not threatening in a manner that scares the audience. Likes elaborate stage sets and big venues. Make sure he keeps quiet and doesn’t have any off-mic moments, and it’s a guaranteed success.

Con: ‘Ye is likely to be insulted by the fact that thousands are in the stadium because of a football game and not to see him. Expect a hissy fit in the dressing room at the very least.

Bruce Springsteen

Pro: Nails the casual baby boomer fan demographic, is recognizable name across all generations, has a new album which will no longer be “new” by January but will be looking for more impact headed into Grammy award buzz time. (That laughing you hear is at the phrase “Grammy award buzz.”)

Con: Squarely in that “old classic rock” vibe that seems to dominate Super Bowl halftime shows. Besides, can you pick something in his catalog that really screams “get the blood pumping for football” in his oeuvre?

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“Yeah, The Prescription’s Under ‘Buster Iraq.'”

Given that trusting a source calling itself L.A. Rag Mag screams credibility, I’m just going on the humor potential of such a story alone: the site is claiming via someone who used to work for Alba that while she dated Derek Jeter, he left her with the gift that lasts forever; in this case, herpes. Now, usually, STDs are not terribly funny (especially when they happen to otherwise beautiful people that we would fantasize about.) Derek Jeter is supposed to be a defense asset — I can’t imagine him going without a glove. Major E-5 on his part.

Now, given the track record we have from the more carefree days of Michael Vick and the mileage earned from “Ron Mexico,” I ran it through the Ron Mexico name generator and got the name you see in the title. Now, that’s just dull. Here are some alternate suggestions that are slightly more plausible for nom de STDs — and feel free to leave yours in the comments.

  • Eric Belize
  • Mark Lesotho
  • Jason Cyprus
  • Danny Ireland
  • Leo Suriname

Tipping the cap to: The Big Lead, Larry Brown, and Sports by Brooks.

Whatever Happened To My Rock And Roll Stars?

I can’t locate the article on the online version of SPIN, but this month, the magazine seems to have devoted itself to the question of where the big-name, hell-raising, F.S.U. -type of rock star has gone in the giant scheme of things — see the feature on Marilyn Manson (absinthe-drinker, Satanist, and now semi-cradle robber by dating Evan Rachel Wood), and a general article begging the question: starting off with an anecdote about Tommy Lee’s batshit craziness from singer/songwriter/producer Butch Walker (whose band Marvelous 3 I actually liked; I blame an ex-girlfriend) and expanding into a general explanation about the lack of debauchery of the current crop of rock bands. Idolator has a slight rundown of the piece in one of its regular features.

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I Didn’t Know Liquor Companies Sponsored Birthday Parties.

Lost in the morass over Lindsay Lohan’s DUI arrest (and reading about it really is too good — police find cocaine in the car, troublemaking alcoholic dad, now reformed, says LiLo needs to find God) is that somehow, liquor companies are sponsoring the birthday parties of celebrities. Svedka Vodka was apparently lined up to sponsor the two-day bash in Vegas this summer, but pulled out post-arrest due to questions regarding how the recent arrest would look for the company if it continued to sponsor the shindig.

Lost somehow was the logic of a liquor company actually entering the thought of sponsoring the party of a celeb starlet who’s been in rehab already. That must have looked like a good idea on paper.

For all the business I’ve given them in recent years, I’m pretty sure I could rope in a beer company to cover the expenses of my birthday pub-hopping. Hey, Sierra Nevada, Firestone? Y’all interested?  Jameson? How about you guys?