Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Classic card of the week

Scott Hastings, 1992-93 Fleer

Maybe the most amazing thing about this Scott Hastings card is the fact that this is the best photo Fleer could come up with involving Scott Hastings, one in which he is pretty much completely overshadowed by a guy who is not even Karl Malone, but almost. Says Fleer: “Here is half of Scott Hastings. Enjoy. We had to delay the release of this set for seven months because we were waiting for the Nuggets to put Scott Hastings into the game. When they finally did, we had one camera guy there, and he was working on his seventh Miller Lite at the time. So…this is what we got. And in case you were wondering, he missed the shot. That guy sucks.” Truth be told, a better (worse) photo of Hastings appears on the back of the card, where he is looking fabulous in his vintage Denver Nuggets uni (pre-retro), and most likely staring down court at the other four Nuggets who are doing their darndest to prevent Scott Hastings’ most recent mistake from turning into “points off of turnovers:”

Regardless of what we can’t tell about Scott Hastings from the photos, the mini-bio on the back seems to sum up his life in a nutshell: The gritty 6’10” banger was a member of the 1990 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons. Yep. Scott Hastings was a banger. And while it’s difficult to tell from his outfit whether Hastings sided with the Bloods or Crips – mostly blue, yes, but the itty bit of red throws off everything – it was later revealed that Hastings was the founding father of the Rainbow Coalition, a mostly non-violent organization that served to merge the many opposing political parties of the Finnish government between 1995-2003. Scott Hastings, as mentioned before, was also extremely gritty. When he was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1982, his scouting report read as follows: Pros: Very gritty, naturally hairless, gritty…Cons: Maybe too much grittiness, not very good at basketball. Of course, Hastings’ reputation as a “poor man’s Bill Lambier” arose from his inclusion on the champion Pistons of 1990. However, many people aren’t aware of the literal aspect of that moniker, as Hastings was acquired by the eccentric owner of the Denver Nuggets – Rusty Poorman – in 1991 because Poorman thought Hastings was Bill Lambier during an offseason workout in Beijing. Poorman would later admit, “Yeah…that was my bad. But ya’ gotta admit – the guy IS gritty. Wait, did I say “gritty?” I meant shitty.”

Scott Hastings fun facts!

Favorite Food: Coconuts

Favorite Musical Artist/Group: Kelly Rowland

Favorite Exercise: Military press

Three people, past or present, you’d like to have dinner with: Gandhi, Howard the Duck, and Edward Norton

Did you know?
Tim Hardaway hates Scott Hastings’ uniform…and also Scott Hastings.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Classic card of the week

*Special Friday edition
Tim Hardaway, 1997 Upper Deck

It was late in the game and the Gay Team had just taken a one-point lead. Tim Hardaway wasn’t havin’ it. With the force and gusto of Rock Hudson, Hardaway grabbed the ball, and rushed it up the court. He weaved in and out of traffic like a ballet dancer – not the gay kind, though…that would be gay – and drove the lane, being careful not to accidentally brush up against any member of the opposing team. What Tim Hardaway had in store for the Gay Team was a devastating finger roll that put his team – The Heterosexual Heat – up by a point. Unfortunately, Tim Hardaway’s anxiousness to respond to the Gay Team’s lead had left 26 seconds on the clock, an eternity in basketball – enough time, in fact, to watch “Brokeback Mountain” like, eight times. The Gay Team got the ball back, and they took their sweet time bringing it upcourt, wasting precious seconds in an attempt to get the last shot. Tim Hardaway thought that maneuver was gay, and he hated it! He would have fouled one of them to stop the clock, but, well…ya’ know. Anyway, with 1.3 seconds left, one of the guys on the Gay Team – who will remain anonymous – hit a floater (figures) to win it. The Gay Team celebrated in vintage gay fashion – with hugs and butt slaps. Tim Hardaway was furious, and felt like he had let down the entire homophobic community, which consisted of him, and Alabama. Final score: Heat 99 Gays 100. Hardaway would say after the game, “The Gays worked really well together…probably cause they’re so gay.” He then begged a female reporter to have sex with him right there on the spot, so he could, as he put it, “Get the bad taste of this loss out of my mouth.” She refused, so Hardaway instead went back to his hotel and rented “Chicago,” just so he could make fun of it.

Did you know?
Tim Hardaway voted for Ruben.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

NASCAR - deal with it

There is no hotter sport right now than NASCAR. Seriously. NASCAR is so hot, that you can’t even touch it, unless of course, you’re mega-conglomerate ESPN, which has picked up the sport to add to its dizzying array of sports telecasts, which already include bowling, poker, and spelling bees. And the commercials that ESPN has been using to promote their upcoming coverage of the sport have shown us – the average no-nothing, judgmental idiot – that NASCAR races aren’t just for getting drunk off of Schlitz and watching women flash their boobies, although that’s still pretty cool. NASCAR, in addition, brings families together, and teaches children the values of hard work, commitment, teamwork, the positioning of the lower-right axle, and Schlitz. My own father never brought me to a live NASCAR race, and thus never allowed me the thrill of that first inhalation of exhaust fumes, followed by hours of watching excruciatingly loud cars drive around in circles. Instead he took me to baseball games, where the opportunity to see boobies was drastically reduced. I am working towards healing our relationship with forgiveness, but it is a process.

Not only did NASCAR’s biggest (and only?) race – the Daytona 500 – take place this weekend, but it also featured a dramatic photo finish, whereas one guy’s extended front spoiler proved to be the deciding factor. And yet another example of NASCAR’s hotness is its evolution into the mainstream. “Days of Thunder” is often viewed as the Lewis and Clark of NASCAR exposure, and we are just now – 50 years later – reaping the benefits of that Oscar-winning drama. (Best Sound Editing.) Now, movies like “Talladega Nights” have proved that NASCAR is so successful, it can even poke a little fun at itself, the first true sign that you’ve made it. (Twenty bucks says NASCAR hosts SNL in the next few months.) Drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have been seen on popular shows like “MTV Cribs” (still on?) and have been featured on confusing Jay-Z Budweiser ads. And Danica Patrick is a woman, which is just freakin’ crazy!

Anyways, everything you just read was the intro to my first-ever NASCAR column! I hope it got you adequately pumped. Now you are reading my transitional sentence, in which I will tell you that for the rest of this column, I will outline major aspects of NASCAR that you are required to know as you embark upon your journey of falling in love with car racing. Because, let’s face it – you don’t want to be “left in the dust” while everyone else is “riding high” on the wings of NASCAR’s glorious ride to short-lived relevancy. Here goes…

Every time cars race, it is not necessarily NASCAR. This is something I learned the hard way, by making jokes about NASCAR that involved drivers who had nothing to do with NASCAR, which I actually thought was even funnier, but whatever. True NASCAR fans are offended by this kind of ignorance, as well they should be. So don’t just go assuming that every track with cars racing on it is a NASCAR event. For example, when you’re watching ESPN 2 at 3:30 in the morning, and they’re showing that race where two weird-looking cars line up next to each other, and then race for like, three seconds until their parachutes open, or until one of the cars sails into the air and bursts into flames, that is not NASCAR, to my knowledge. There are a million different kinds of races, including Indy Car racing, Stock Car racing, the Preakness, and the Tokyo Drift, so don’t you go putting everything under the umbrella of NASCAR! You don’t want to sound like an idiot. Trust me.

Okay, then….but what, exactly, is NASCAR? Excellent question, even though this is not a question-and-answer column. And I don’t know.

Get to know your drivers. I’ll let you know what I can without looking anything up on online. Hopefully these are all NASCAR drivers. Here we go…Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gained extreme popularity after the passing of his legendary father, and even won the Daytona 500. Now he’s kind of like the Williams sisters in tennis – focusing on stupid crap like advertisements for paper clips and runway fashion, thus allowing his performance to suffer. Many in and around NASCAR believe he is the most overrated person ever. Now there is a chance he may leave his father’s company – NASCAR – because he doesn’t get along with his stepmother. Dra-ma! Jeff Gordon used to win pretty much every race, and then he sucked for a while, and now he’s okay again. He’s got a whiny voice, making it comical when he tries to talk smack to other drivers. Divorced. Kevin Harvick just won the Daytona 500, slightly edging out an elderly man named Mark Martin, the Dan Marino of racing (?). Tony Stewart is the people’s champion, but not really mine, which makes me something less of a person. He is really good though, and drinks a lot. He is also considerably shorter than Jared of Subway fame, but they are still friends (although they adamantly disagree on what, exactly, makes Subway subs so delicious). I don’t know any other drivers.

Winning a race is cool and all, but the real winner has the most points. There’s nothing like a season-long accrued points system to get the ol’ juices flowing. Sure, there are big races – the Daytona 500, Nabisco 250, and Daytona 500 – but it’s who has the most points at the end that becomes the real champion. In fact, you don’t even have to win any races to win the whole shebang, as long as you don’t crash and finish at least twelfth every time. You also get bonus points for punching another driver in the face if that driver pulled an illegal maneuver on the track that violated the unwritten code of NASCAR. (First rule of NASCAR? Don’t talk about NASCAR.) Last season’s points winner was…I have no idea. Tony Stewart? Also, I am not sure if anything I mentioned in this paragraph is even remotely accurate.

Celebrities love NASCAR, and so should you! You know something’s cool when celebrities are doing it. Anorexia? Totally cool. Adopting foreign babies? Sign me up. Exposing your private parts in public? Did it yesterday. And guess what? Celebrities have been doing NASCAR for a while now, so you better get on board before it’s too late! Ever hear of David Letterman? He pretty much invented NASCAR. Jay Leno just loves cars in general. And what about celebrities who aren’t nighttime talk show hosts? Well, how about Joe Gibbs? He was somehow involved in car racing before he came back to football to put the final nail in the Redskins coffin. He’s a celebrity, right?

And finally, Brad Daugherty is somehow involved in all of this. Sports fans may remember Brad Daugherty as the dominating UNC center, underachieving Cleveland Cavaliers center, or even as one of ESPN’s 12,445 former-athlete-type talking heads. Well, get this – he also loves NASCAR! I know this because ESPN did a “Let’s introduce our viewers to NASCAR segment,” which included “analysis” from some dude, as well as Brad Daugherty himself. Weird, yes. But totally awesome? Also yes. And what did Brad Daugherty have to say about the upcoming 2007 NASCAR racing season? I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention, half because I was trying to figure out why Brad Daugherty was talking about cars, and half because it involved NASCAR. Whatever.

So there you have it! I hope you have learned everything you need to know about NASCAR. Because like I said, you don’t want to come across as one of those guys who makes vast generalizations, and takes cheap shots at an entire sport simply as a result of his own unfamiliarity with it. That would be ignorant. I hope you enjoyed my concluding paragraph! If you didn’t, here’s more:





Definitely NASCAR

Monday, February 19, 2007

Classic card of the week

Terrell Brandon, 1998 NBA Hoops/Skybox

NBA Hoops sports cards would like to take this time to give Terrell Brandon a shOUT. So, holla back, Terrell Brandon. Ya’ know…whenever. Many people may be confused as to what, exactly, a shOUT is, myself included. However, using my vast powers of translation as well as my inordinate amount of street cred, I have inferred that a shOUT is actually a clever – albeit not clever – way of saying (or, writing on a sports card) shout-out. And everybody knows what a shout-out is, which is basically a means of acknowledging that somebody is alive, and that you may or may not know them. By giving someone a shout-out, you are not necessarily wishing them any kind of good fortune, or even trying to elicit a response (although, to holla back would display good manners). You are simply acknowledging their existence within a public forum. Upon further review, NBA Hoops cards probably should have used that extra white space for the additional “out” required to give someone an adequate shout-out. Nevertheless, Terrell Brandon has been officially shouted-out. But why? Let’s see what the back of the card says: Mighty how you elevate the game of others with your dash and understated flash. Now, poetry such as this doesn’t necessarily have to succeed a shout-out, but in this case, it does. And yes, “flash” can be understated, as long as it’s not flashy. Let’s move on. Keeping it real and continuing to hang with childhood friends shows us how earnest you really are. That does not rhyme as well as the introductory statement regarding dash, but now we are starting to discover why Terrell Brandon earned a shOUT in the first place, which is mainly because he did not abandon his childhood friends. For example, I would never receive a shOUT from NBA Hoops cards because I have lost touch with virtually every person that I went to grammar school with. I am sure they are all keeping it real and giving each other frequent shout-outs while I sit here surrounded by a brand new group of friends that I will also abandon when I move on to my next stage in life, which just might involve becoming an NBA point guard. That is how I roll. It also appears as though this particular Terrell Brandon card is “3 of 30SO,” which I can only assume means the 3rd of 30 total shOUT cards. This means that 29 other NBA players received shout-outs as well, all of who have remained earnest by hanging with their childhood friends, elevating them with their dash.

Terrell Brandon fun facts!

Favorite Food: Split pea soup

Favorite Book: Clifford the Big Red Dog

Favorite Movie: When Harry Met Sally

Favorite Music Artist: Bruce Hornsby (not the Range…they suck)

Pet Peeve: Annoying childhood friends

Did you know?
Terrell Brandon holla’d back to this card with a slight head nod.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Classic card of the week

Todd Hundley, 1996 Topps Laser series

It appears as though somebody left their Todd Hundley card by the ashtray again. Of course, I’m joking – smoking is not cool, not matter what Todd Hundley’s likeness may imply on a baseball card. (Write that one down, kids.) Nevertheless, this card is burned, albeit it not with real fire, to my knowledge. This card is instead burned with the darkest and most confusing image ever seen on a Todd Hundley baseball card. But maybe we can figure this out together. The words that I am able to make out read, “Topps Laser,” which would seem to insinuate that Todd Hundley has been included in a Topps baseball card series entitled “Laser”, which is most likely due to Hundley’s array of laser-like abilities. Lest we forget, Todd Hundley has a rocket, laser arm, laser speed, laser vision, a laser-like sex drive, and is the caretaker of a pool of sharks that have freakin’ laser beams attached to their heads. Through this, it becomes obvious why Todd Hundley has been included in the Laser series. What is less obvious, however, is the Topps’ symbol for the Laser series, which appears to be a player with one arm, one leg, no face, and no discernable features, who has a penchant for popping the ball straight up into the air. And by the way, you might not want to catch that ball, because it’s on fire. I’m just saying. But let us now forget about all that laser stuff and focus on what’s really important here, which is, obviously, Todd Hundley. The back of this half-burnt card includes several of Hundley’s “Spotlight stats,” which are highlighted with Batman-esque laser beams. (I’m sorry, but we’re back on lasers now.) But instead of the bat-symbol, you get a number on the end. I’ll explain. Not included in the aforementioned list of Hundley’s laser-like abilities was his laser belt, which he often used to flash his own integral stats into the atmosphere, for no real reason other than maybe to impress a lady or two. So, if you were walking through “Gotham” one night, and you looked up into the sky and saw a giant “101” in the air, you’d be like, “Dalmations? No, that doesn’t make sense. Oh – that must be Todd Hundley’s point improvement as a right handed-hitter in ’95 over his career average. Nice.” Then you could go to bed easy that night knowing that Todd Hundley was probably about to get some action, which was important because of his laser-like sex drive. Don’t smoke, kids!

Did you know?
Todd Hundley held a press conference in 1998 to explain that the phrase “taking a back seat to Mike Piazza” was not gay.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Classic card of the week

Pete Chilcutt, 1992-93 Fleer

When two goofy 6’ 10”-plus white guys collide on a basketball court, bad things happen. Maybe you can tell from the flailing arms in the background, but there is already a man down as a result of this particular collision. Broken back, it appears. Many more followed, of this I am sure. After all, this Pete Chilcutt and Unnamed Doofus collision officially registered a 2.1 on the Caucasian Contact Richter Scale. It’s an epidemic actually; a travesty that can be easily averted with a little less unsolicited hustle. And we’ve all been there – maybe not on the professional level, but still. You’re playing a game of pickup basketball down at the park. Just trying to have a good time. From the nearby trees emerges a 7-foot tall white dude with two humongous knee braces yelling that he’s got next. This guy is here everyday, even holidays. If you drive by the park on your way to grandma’s house on Easter Sunday, he’s there, practicing his baby hook shot. A local legend – if by legend you mean douchebag – he played two seasons at nearby Brookside Tech Junior College until he blew out his knee six times over while diving for a loose ball that had already bounced twice out-of-bounds. Coach was impressed, though. Now he’s back, rehabilitating his shattered career and knees at the local playground. Oh, you just came for a little pickup game, did you? Sucks for you. This guy is all over you. His limbs are everywhere. He has seven elbows, and one of them just nailed you in the nose on your way to the basket. “What the hell, man?” you scream. But he can’t hear you – he’s already hustling back down the court on offense. Woops, his gangly legs just accidentally clipped the ankles of your buddy who was hustling down court. Man down. Bodies are everywhere. Somebody call a timeout! Yes, we’ve all been there. But the real problems occur when two of these guys get together on the same court. Who wins when two extremely tall and uncoordinated white guys try to out-hustle each other? Satan, that’s who. You see, in a normal basketball game featuring a trace of athleticism, when two opposing players go up near the basket, one of two things usually happens: a score or a block. One guy wins, and the other guy loses. But when two uncoordinated goons go up near the basket, nothing happens. Negative + negative = negative. That’s Einstein right there. The offensive player will not score, but there won’t be a good defensive play either. And you can bet your ass a whistle is going to get blown, and several innocent bystanders are going to get seriously injured as a result. I mean, look at Chilcutt…His eyes aren’t even open! The worst part is that these collisions are often so awkward and confusing that the opposing teams forget which team was on offense and which team was on defense. So they have to start the game all over again. Seriously. Happens all the time.

Pete Chilcutt fun facts!

Favorite Food: Animal crackers

Favorite Book: Barbara Bush: A Memoir

Favorite Movie: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Favorite Group: Ying Yang Twins

Pet Peeve: When I go to box someone out real hard, but I fall down because the person had moved

Did you know?
Many scientists believe that a Pete Chilcutt / Kurt Rambis collision would have destroyed the universe.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Classic card of the week

*Special Friday edition
Dickie Noles, 1986 Topps

Dickie Noles – don’t you dare call him Richard! – was both the best pitcher ever named Dickie, and also the worst. Mostly the worst. At the time this card was printed, Dickie Noles’ career record was a rather unDickey-like 28-46. His best season by far was 1982, when, while with the Chicago Cubs (a.k.a. “The Windy City Dickies”), Noles won a whopping 10 games, which was the first and last time in his career he would attain double-digits in victories. In this case, the two digits were “1” and “0,” which is the absolute bare-ass minimum in the realm of double-digits, but did manage to earn him the nickname “Double-Digit Dickie,” which caused many confused outsiders to think that he had two penises. Amazingly, Dickie Noles also posted a double-double that season, losing 13 games as well. This earned him the nickname “Double-Double-Double-Digit Dickie,” which caused many confused outsiders to think that he had eight penises. Or 16, depending on the math. Dickie Noles would cut his penis win total in half the following year, and would win only four games in each of the following two seasons, with an ERA above 5.00. This caused many in the Rangers organization at the time to say, “Wait – why the hell are we still pitching Dickie Noles?” to which an unnamed assistant coach would reply, “Cause we heard that dude’s got like, nine penises.” Thus began the Texas Rangers’ infamous aversion to math, which culminated in 2000 when the organization promised to pay Alex Rodriguez $252 because somebody misplaced a decimal point.

Did you know?
Dickie Noles’ sister, Boobies Noles, was a terrible softball player.

Did you know Part II?
I am almost 30 years old, and still greatly amused by words like dickie and boobies.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Why dinosaurs didn't wear pants

This letter is in response to an absolutely fabulous column I recently read - right here - by the grand purveyor of all things rational, Gordon Bishop. I don't nomally delve into such topics, but this was too good to pass up...

Dear Gordon Bishop,

I loved your column in which you courageously put down the idea of global warming. It’s about time that somebody stood up for such a ludicrous concept! We should be happy that the earth is getting warmer, because, as you so adequately pointed out, the dinosaurs lived in warm weather. And they turned out just fine.

I believe that if the dinosaurs were forced to watch Al Gore’s “wobbly Global Warming” documentary, they would have been pissed, and probably would have walked right out of the theater. I think you would agree, because as you pointed out in your column, “These gigantic lizards loved warm environments.” Did you interview any dinosaurs when you worked at the Star Ledger? Just wondering…

What else did I love about your column, besides everything? Oh, I know! I loved the scientific facts that were included to back up your argument, especially this one: “Almost all of this warming can be attributed to the sun’s flares, which heat up the entire solar system.” After I read that, my first thought was, “No f*&^ing way! The sun? Fo’ real?” Sure enough, I looked it up, and you were right – the sun does heat the solar system. Touché, Gordon Bishop. And that’s probably something Al Gore “forgot” to mention in his mockumentary.

I, too, read many books in the 1970’s warning of another “Ice Age.” I read like, twelve of those shits. There was nothing better, at the time, than curling up by the fireplace with a big glass of merlot and reading another book about the upcoming Ice Age. Unfortunately, those books were wrong. I was tricked. You could imagine how skeptical I was when the 1980’s hit, and people were writing books about “another devastating heat wave.” Now I didn’t know what to think. Luckily, after reading your column, I realize now that people are stupid, and I should ignore everything until it blows over. Tsunamis? Hurricanes? Please. I’ll believe it when I see it, thank you very much.

Since I cannot even preface the grandiosity of this particular statement of yours, I will just include it right here: “Warm makes me feel good. Cold forces me to wear heavy coats, sweaters, hats, gloves, pants and shoes.” Seriously, you’re preaching to the choir on that one. I hate wearing shoes. And pants? Pffftttt. Forget it. If the only effect of global warming is that I get to walk out of my house in the morning without wearing pants or shoes, then sign me up!

Here’s another gem: “What we have here is the ‘blind leading the blind.’ We need more Einsteins and Edisons. No more Karl Marxes, Al Gores, or Jimmy Carters…none of whom live in the real world.” So true. I looked that one up too. Turns out, Karl Marx, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter all live on the planet Zorton – which, by the way, doesn’t even have a sun! – where they meet everyday at the Zorton Legion 213 and discuss various methods in which to scare us earthlings into better protecting an environment that doesn’t even need protection. Cheeky bastards!

One more: “Just think about it. Look how much money you could save living in a climate warmer than New Jersey and other cold areas of the world.” Global Warming = Savings! Cha-ching! I mean, so what if my great-grandson is around when New Jersey sinks into the Atlantic Ocean? He’ll die happy knowing that great-grandpa saved a few extra bucks on his NJNG bill. Holla!

And here’s maybe your most rational tidbit: “Historians and anthropologists have traced the beginning of the human race to a tropical environment in central Africa. Some call it ‘Eden.’ The first-born human being is biblically named ‘Adam.’” Sure, the haters may argue that that particular paragraph is lacking something. Mainly, a point. (i.e.: "Many scientists believe that computers do not have ears. Blue is a color." But I disagree. Through this statement, I have inferred that while you don’t believe in “scientists,” you do believe in historians and anthropologists. That while you don’t believe in global warming, you do believe in the Genesis account of “Adam of Eve.” That while you don't believe in global warming, you do welcome it with open arms. That while you do believe in dinosaurs, you don’t believe in pants. It all makes perfect sense.

So, Mr. Bishop, I am with you when you say, “Welcome, Global Warming.” In fact, I have made a banner that says as much, and I’m on my way downtown now to hang it up on Main Street. I hope the sign doesn’t attract any giant lizards though, because they would probably end up knocking it down. They love warm weather, as evidenced by their lack of shoes.

Keep up the great work!


M. Kenny

No, wait…That’s too obvious…

Mike K.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

24: Season Knicks

The following takes place between 6:00pm and 7:00pm

Jack Bauer: If we don’t get a hold of those nukes, this entire city is going to go up in flames!

Isiah Thomas: Do you think I’m not aware of that, Jack? I’m acquiring assets as we speak!

Bauer: What kind of assets? Are we getting extra manpower here at CTU? Because that would really help me out right now…

Isiah: I got Jerome James.

Bauer: Who’s that? A new counter-terrorist specialist?

Isiah: He averaged 4.9 points during the 2004-05 season, Jack.


Jerome James: ‘Sup.

Isiah: Jack Bauer, Jerome James.

Bauer: Jerome, listen to me – we need to find out where those nuclear weapons are. We’re tracking Abu Fayed right now, the man behind this whole operation. He’s working out of a warehouse in a nearby suburb of San Diego, and we have three Special Ops teams ready to move in. I need you to work with Chloe on mapping out a grid of the surrounding areas. She’ll log you in under her password, okay? Now go.

James: Whoa, whoa, man. I just got here. You got like, a sandwich somewhere or something?

Bauer: With all due respect Isiah, I don’t have time for this!

Isiah: Jack, please. My hands are tied here. I paid this guy $29 million to work here, and I can’t just sit him in the cafeteria all day.

Bauer: What? $29 million? I make eight dollars an hour and I’ve saved the world like, 28 times!

Isiah: Assets, Jack. Assets.

Beep, beep, beep

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bauer: (dialing cell phone) Hello, Chloe, it’s Jack. I’m here with my team. We’re outside of Fayed’s hideout right now. Have you accessed the map grids for the entrances yet?

Chloe: I’m trying, Jack! Jerome just spilled a milkshake all over my laptop, so I’m using Nadia’s.

Bauer: Why don’t you access Isiah’s computer? It’s faster.

Chloe: I’m not talking to Isiah right now, Jack.

Bauer: What? Why not?

Chloe: Because he touched my butt before, okay? Totally awkward…

Bauer: Chloe, I need those grids. Do what you have to do!

Chloe: I’ll have them as soon as I can, Jack. Who’s with you?

Bauer: I’m in the truck with Stephon, Jamal, and Nate. We’re waiting for someone, anyone, to step out of that building so we can approach the main entrance. Chloe, wait…somebody is coming out…Hey, where are you guys going? Get back in the truck! Stephon, Jamal, Nate, HOLD YOUR FIRE! I REPEAT – HOLD YOUR FIRE!

Chloe: Jack, what’s going on?!

Bauer: Hold on, Chloe…I’m approaching the victim now…Oh, geez…

Chloe: What is it, Jack?

Stephon: We got him.

Bauer: You didn’t get anyone, Stephon! This guy is the janitor! I told you guys to hold your fire! What were you thinking? I’ve never seen three guys shoot so much in my life!

Jamal: Dude’s dead. Yo, where are my sunglasses?

Bauer: Chloe, get President Dolan on the phone.

Beep, beep, beep

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bauer: President Dolan, sir, this is Jack Bauer.

Dolan: Who?

Bauer: Jack Bauer, sir. I saved the world yesterday. You gave me a medal and everything.

Dolan: Oh, Jack! What can I do you for?

Bauer: Mr. President, sir, believe me that it pains me to contact you directly in this manner, but this is an issue of national security, and it requires your immediate attention. Mr. President, I simply cannot work under Isiah Thomas any longer. He is jeopardizing the integral role that CTU plays in this nation’s quest to stop terrorism. I am pleading with you, sir, to bring back Bill Buchanan as director of CTU.

Dolan: I’m sorry Jack, but Bill Buchanan is dead.

Bauer: What? Oh my gosh. Excuse me sir, but how did this happen? Was it the terrorists?

Dolan: Isiah accidentally ran him over with his car in the CTU parking lot.

Bauer: Mr. President, you have to believe that that was no accident! Isiah Thomas has been out to get Bill Buchanan since day one. Bill was a legendary director of operations here, and he could barely last one year with Isiah! You have to believe that Bill’s death was no mistake, sir!

Dolan: I’m sorry Jack, but I don’t believe that to be true.

Bauer: Regardless Mr. President, we need to replace Isiah at CTU. What if he were replaced with a desk? Or even a chair, sir? I am confident that any sort of inanimate object you send here could do a better job than Isiah…

Dolan: Jack, I understand your concerns. But I am a statistical man - you know that. We are currently only ranked slightly behind Portugal in stopping terrorism, and that is thanks to Isiah.

Bauer: But sir, Portugal is ranked 38th in stopping terrorism.

Dolan: I understand that, Jack, but they are ranked second among Spanish-speaking nations.

Bauer: With all due respect, Mr. President, I do not believe that Isiah Thomas is leading us on the right path. While it’s true that several members of our team here respond to him, that point is made moot when you consider that those team members aren’t any good at what they do. Isiah has virtually no leadership skills. Last week I needed him to make a decision about whether or not we should bomb Fayed’s suspected hideout, and he stood there staring blankly with his arms crossed for six minutes until Fayed escaped, only to eventually respond, “Wait…what?” He has exhausted all of our resources – he purchased a Hummer for each member of the cleaning crew, and now we don’t have enough money to update our server. Sir, we are supposed to be one of the most respected and feared nations on earth! This is getting embarrassing…

Dolan: Jack, I will not say this again. Isiah Thomas is the head of CTU. You will answer to him.

Bauer: Mr. President, sir, I mean no disrespect, but why does your loyalty lie with an incompetent leader rather than with the hopes and aspirations of an entire nation?

Dolan: You are on thin ice, Jack! I am the President of the United States! How dare you question my motives! By the power invested in me, you are hereby under arrest for treason!

dramatic pause

Bauer: You’ll have to kill me first.

hangs up phone, dials again…

Bauer: Chloe, it’s Jack. Get me Charles Oakley…

Beep, beep, beep

You are stepping on my toes, Bill Buchanan. You must be eliminated.

I can't work like this...I mean, I just can't.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Classic card of the week

Bryant Reeves, 1997 Upper Deck

Webster’s defines clutch as: to grasp or hold with or as if with the hand or claws usually strongly, tightly, or suddenly. In that respect, it is plain to see that Bryant Reeves was indeed clutch, because he played for the Grizzlies – grizzlies, remember, have claws – and when he looked up at the clock and saw – in digital lettering – “crunch time,” he would grasp the basketball strongly AND tightly with his claws, and suddenly, the Vancouver Grizzlies would be victorious. Other players in NBA lore – like Jerry West or Michael Jordan – have been labeled as “clutch,” but neither of them ever beat the Houston Rockets on December 17, 1996 with a last second shot: Such was the case with Bryant “Big Country” Reeves in a matchup against Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. With only 5.8 seconds left in the game, Reeves connected on a shot and gave Vancouver a 93-92 win. Reeves would go to explain his penchant for clutchness in a 1998 interview with Ebony Magazine: “I don’t know what happens, but when the game clock goes under six seconds, something just takes over my whole body. From my flattop, through my defined torso, all the way down to my tube socks – I feel an urge to BE clutch. I need the ball in my hands, and when I get it, the whole court turns to black and white. Like, that game against Houston…I mean, was Hakeem Olajuwon even defending me? I couldn’t notice. That might as well have been Spud Webb clogging up the paint for all I cared. That shot was going in no matter what. I’m Bryant Reeves.” What made Bryant “Big Country” Reeves’ ability to come through in the clutch even more spectacular was the fact that, for the first 47 minutes and 54.2 seconds of the game, he usually sucked pretty bad. In fact, it was often the case that, in the waning seconds of a close game, teammates would be looking for Reeves - so that they could pass him the ball, he could grasp it tightly, and everyone could go home – but Reeves would be sitting on the bench because he fouled out in the first quarter with one point and half a rebound. Without Reeves on the floor during crunch time, chaos ensued. Once in 1996, teammate Anthony Peeler brought the ball up the court near the end of a one-point game against the Magic. When Peeler noticed that Bryant Reeves wasn’t on the floor (Reeves had suffered a left nipple injury in the second quarter) he didn’t know what to do, so he grasped the ball, got down onto the floor into the fetal position and cried until the buzzer sounded. “Not the clutchest performance,” Peeler would later admit, “but it’s still better than A-Rod.”

Bryant “Big Country” Reeves’ fun facts

Favorite Food: Venison sandwich

Favorite Subject: Advanced Spanish

Favorite Group: The Rednex

Favorite Movie: Jaws IV

Favorite TV Show: Pants Off, Dance Off

Pet Peeve: Bears

Did you know?
The good news? While Peeler was on the floor, he found Reeves’ nipple.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Classic card of the week

*Special Friday edition
Mike Gminski, 1992 Topps Stadium Club

Mike Gminski didn’t think Dell Curry was playing adequate defense, so – as Mike Gminski often did - he took matters into his own hands. Said Gminski, “Dell could shoot, don’t get me wrong. But defense wasn’t his strong suit. Dell didn’t have the toughness to stay with his man. I mean, the guy was emaciated! We would go on team trips to McDonalds and Dell would order one chicken nugget, and whatever crumbs fell into his chest hair – that was his breakfast the next morning. I’d be like, ‘Dell, get a freakin No. 3 meal - (that was the quarter-pounder meal) – and Supersize that bitch!’ That’s what I’d say to him. Seriously, just like that. They didn’t have Supersize back then, but I always got mine Supersized anyway. I knew the workers there. But Dell would like, ‘Nah Mike Gminski, I’m not very hungry,’ and I’d like, ‘But Dell, you’re matching up against that pint-sized bespectacled fellow on the Sixers tonight! That guy’s gonna run circles around you if you’re not properly nourished!’ But Dell Curry wouldn’t listen. All he cared about was shooting the ball. So anyways, sure enough, he ends up getting smoked by the goggled guy. Dell was like a matador for the entire first quarter – the guy drove by him so fast one time, that the gust of wind it generated caused Dell to fly into the scorer’s table. I’m telling you – that guy was a freakin’ waif! So I’m all like, ‘Oh heeeeeell no! We’re not losing to the freakin’ Sixers tonight!’ You see, I pride myself on defense. I went to Duke, and you couldn’t play for Coach K if you didn’t play balls out, shutdown defense. Actually, if you look at the picture there real closely, you’ll see – my balls actually ARE out. But that has more to do with the shorts than anything. Anyways, so that little pesky nerd jogs the ball up the court, and I slap the floor with both hands so as to show that I mean business, rush up to the top of the key, push stupid Dell Curry out of the way, and start playing some serious defense! I was messing with him too, I was like, ‘Yo, hey, here batter, batter, batter, yo! Pass it to me! I’m over here!’ That totally freaked him out, cause he was probably all like, ‘Why should I pass it to you? You’re on the other team!’ Ha ha. So anyways, the guy gets so scared that he dribbles the ball off of his leg and out of bounds. Actually, it hit my leg last, and they retained possession. But I had made my point.” And it’s true, Mike Gminski was a force on defense, among many other aspects of organized basketball. The back of this card contains “The Sporting News Skills Rating System,” and here is how Mike Gminski ranks:
Intimidation: 3.4
Mobility: 3.4
Shooting Range: 3.8
Defense: 3.6

And while the card doesn’t elaborate what the best possible score is, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that it’s NOT out of “4.” Except for the intimidation factor, which is obviously out of 3.3.

Did you know?
Will Ferrell played Mike Gminski in the Lifetime movie, “Mike Gminski: Glory or Bust.”