Tag Archives: Bill Simmons

The Myth of Notre Dame

19 Jan

Much like when the media looked stupid for sucking on Paterno’s dong for so long in the 80’s, kissing Paterno’s ass for so many years, the myth of Notre Dame is threatening to come apart at the seams.

Everyone was drinking the Manti Te’o kool aid. Everybody but me.

I am a reknowned and unapologetic Notre Dame hater. The media lapped at the leprechan’s tiny little nutsack like there was gold in his testes.

Much like when the “U” played Pedo State, the media vilified Jimmy Johnson and the Hurricanes, billing the matchups as the Catholics vs. the Convicts (even though there were many Catholics on those Miami squads). It was the battle of good vs. evil.

Every year Notre Dame is ranked higher than they should be and this year was no different. Yea I know they were undefeated, but who did they really beat? I am still convinced that Stanford got jobbed out of that OT game in South Bend.

Did I enjoy that ass whupping Bama put on them? Oh you betcha, every minute of it. It was even better than watching Lebron put it on the Lakers last night (refreshing to see him do to someone besides my Thunder boys).

As much as I hated ND, I had to give it to Te’o. He was looking raw all year long (except when Bama’s Lacy trucked his ass in the open field). I figured they would give his ass the Heisman based on his “life story” a la John Cappelletti.

Surely they would not give a Heisman to a freshman. But they did, electing not to give it to a defensive player only, and making the right choice for so many reasons (imagine had he won that motherfucker–what a scandal that would have been).

I’ve read some great articles with great angles, and I’ve heard and read all kinds of theories

from Bill Simmons

to Jason Whitlock.

I originally thought that perhaps he was indeed in on the hoax, but that was way too dark of a conclusion to jump to (and possibly too simple of an explanation).

My theory:

His homeboy was pranking on him for a minute and by the time Te’o figured it out, the Michigan State game had already happened. So at this point, he could either go public with his embarrassment, or ride with it. I imagine something like that would be difficult for a 22 year old masculine all American linebacker to do,especially once the subplot went national.

How do you stop a train that gains such momentum especially a train with an engine like the Notre Dame PR machine?

And here’s another angle. Isn’t Te’o a Mormon? Is it that far-fetched for a man who can suspend his disbelief in reality enough to become a Mormon, to become catfished by his buddy for a span of a couple of years( Hell Grantland has a contributing writer who himself was catfished and they made a movie about it) The desire for a heaven can be quite alluring for some, one may argue that a woman’s warm vagina is simply Heaven incarnated.

And who’s to say who knew what when? Who’s to say that Manti didn’t try to come clean earlier and Notre Dame’s spin machine put the kaibosh on it?

“No. You will play through this Manti. And you will play valiantly as the hero you are, as an exemplary warrior that represents Notre Dame. You will become the FIFTH Horsemen. Say nothing to no one about this. We got you.

The poor fucker probably didn’t know what do? And as much as I hate agreeing with Bill Simmons, I would believe anything about this story at this point. The story is just too weird and so out of control.

These songs go out to you Manti.

NBA WEEK IN REVIEW: The shock’s slowly wearing off

3 Nov

Can you recall a more interestingly bizarre first week of the NBA season?

One week ago the questions going into the season were spicy enough topics:

Was this the begging of the Lebron dominated ascendancy where he’d win 3 of the next 5 NBA titles?

How long would it take for the Lakers to gel on their run to grab the Western Conference title from the OKC Thunder?

Ray Allen defecting to the Miami Heat, adding fuel to the recently developed rivalry with the Boston Celtics,
and the additions to the Celtics roster in wake of Allen’s departure; with Courtney Lee and Jason Terry.

A week ago about this time in the afternoon, I was smugly sporting my OKC Thunder playoff shirt, having excited discussions about the rapidly approaching San Antonio game on Nov. 1st. OKC was the defending champs of the West, and even with the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, I felt like it was still their title to lose. It would be just a matter of getting better during playoff moments and adding another year of experience under the belts.

Last Saturday night, I was watching one of the College Football games when I saw James Harden’s name go across the ticker. I got excited because this was the news I was expecting–that the Thunder had finally reached an agreement with him.

TRADE??????????? TRADE!!!!!!!!!!! TRADE?????????????

What the FUCK?

Everyone in the room looked at each other in shock, my friend who’s a Heat fan laughed in excitement. I was stunned. Trade James Harden for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and two draft picks. My main man James Harden, not only was he my 2nd favorite player on the team, but he was an integral part of last year’s playoff run. He was just going to get better, and when have you ever seen a title contender tinker with locker room chemistry after getting SO CLOSE to an NBA title?

Wow. I was too high to really deal with it the first night. When I woke up, I had to question if I dreamed seeing that news. However ESPN confirmed the awful news the next day when I checked the internet.

I knew last year’s team was special, even then I knew there was a chance that this particular group of guys was going to change. I knew there was a chance Royal Ivey wouldn’t get picked back up. I was hoping Derek Fisher’s Laker ass wouldn’t be returning. I did not see this coming, and was at least hoping they’d give it another run with the core before breaking up RUN OKC.

Tough night to be an Okie. Notre dame waxes the Sooner’s ass and the Thunder trade away one of the major championship cogs


I’d never seen anything play out like that deteriorating into a trade so suddenly. Maybe Presti didn’t want to drag it out? They say he would get the best deal if he traded Harden before the season began. Five days before the season started?

It wasn’t a very public affair, there were no shots traded through the media, so that is what makes it seem so shocking. There was so much time to still work a deal out, why did this seem odd, strange, almost spiteful. Like “Fuck you! We’ll send you to Houston, see how much you like being the man for a losing team.”

I blame both sides, if there is blame to assign. I definitely feel like there were so many avenues for management to take with this:

Give the team another run and then make decisions on who stays and who goes next off-season. This way you could determine whether it was a good idea to pay Kendrick Perkins big money or amnesty him, trade Ibaka Blocka Flame for prospects, find a suitable point guard so Westbrook can move to the 2, or give Harden an opportunity to show he’s worth max money.

The decision to trade him just seems haste. I almost feel like it had nothing to do with what was happening on the court. I wonder if the front office didn’t feel they could give max-money to a young man dumb enough to get filmed making it rain at the strip club.

Maybe this was brought up during negotiations and it put Harden off, causing a behind-the- scenes souring on both parties. Let’s not forget the terrible NBA Finals he had. He was so awful that I wondered if he was partying too much in South Beach during games 3 through 5. Anyone remember this?

If I recall correctly he’d missed a dunk or two that game also. That missed layup though was critical. Had he made that shot, we may only be talking about the nasty game that Westbrook brought that night rather than his gaffe during the endgame that sewed up the W for Miami. Of course they wouldn’t have even been in the NBA Finals had it not been for “Big Game James II” going HAM against the Lakers and Mavs.

Who’s to say after an Olympic year and the memory of that Finals wasn’t going to fuel him to put it altogether during a Contract year? If anyone was poised for a big year it was Harden. If any team was poised to dethrone Lebron and the Heat it was OKC.

Sure you get some future picks and more pieces for the future but you never know what is going to happen. Ask Penny Hardaway if there are any guarantees.

Which is why part of me feels disappointed that Harden wanted to leave a winning team to be the man on a losing team.
Was six million that big of a deal when you could make some serious loot off endorsements and playoff share?
At the age of 23 how much more money do you need? What can you get at 60 million that you can’t get at 54 million?
Reportedly everyone else had taken less to stay with the team except Harden.

There’s no guarantee that the next big contract would be there at age 27 (arguably a player’s prime)so I guess I see the urgency. If Harden is the kind of dude who plays for money and not championships, then maybe he is better off on a different team.

It feels kind of like a nasty break up. Except in break ups you don’t have to wait four years to get back together. Seeing Harden in a Rockets uniform is like seeing a girl you were in love with married to the very next guy she dated, only 2 months after you broke up.

I haven’t even processed the break up and this cat is already putting up monster games for the Rockets. OUCH. Big time. Much like a jilted lover, I’m looking at all the press clippings, calling up my friends in Houston to ask about him.

It’s just too soon.

I ain’t mad at ya mane. Make it rain down there in Houston

The Thunder definitely seemed like a team in shock against the Spurs. I’m sure it couldn’t have felt good knowing that the last time they played on the Spurs court they had Harden to go to war with. They played well enough to win, that is until Tony Parker took over the last minute of the game.

In addition to giving up Harden, they traded Cole Aldrich, Daquan Cook, and Lazar Hayward, and chose not to re-sign “Royale with Cheese” and “D-Fish”

That’s half of last year’s team gone, with a few new faces in Perry Jones III, Lamb, K-Mart, and Hasheem Thabeet.
It’s not easy to defend a Western Conference title with so much transition in the locker room. I imagine the shock is slowly wearing off and by next month, the 82 game machine will be in full tilt and it’ll be less foreign to see Harden in that Rocket Red and not in Thunder Blue ( I gotta give KD credit on how well he has managed to keep things moving forward–He was quoted after the Spurs game as saying “I back the front office fully on their decisions”).

By All Star Break we’ll see them getting comfortable with each other and I think the 2nd half is where we’ll get a true gauge of how this particular group will mesh. “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons is ready to write them off and hand it to the Lakers( kind of funny because I do recall him admonishing the Thunder for “reaching” for Harden when they could have Stephen Curry). I’m still in wait and see mode. This group may not be able to handle the Heat in June, but I think they can still handle the Lakers in April.

The jury is still out on the Lakers. They kind of look old right now, and Nash and Kobe are both already hurt. We don’t know how Dwight Howard’s back will hold up, Jamison and Artest (I refuse to call him World Peace)are both old. They looked terrible last night without Nash. I’m not sold on their bench either.

Maybe this makes the Spurs sleepers as well, but they still lack a big dude in the post to help out Tim Duncan.

So right now I feel like it’s too early to write the OKC boys off. I kind of like the look of this year’s team. I don’t doubt Westbrook and Durant’s drive to be champions. You definitely can’t doubt their talent. Who’s to say Miami stays healthy? Who’s to say Chris Bosh doesn’t come out and do something to ruin the locker room chemistry in Miami? Chicago seemed poised to knock off the Heat until D. Rose’s unfortunate ACL tear. But that is why they play the game. As my favorite sports reporter Chris Arnold used to say back int the day, ” You never know.”

I’m running with these boys again this year, and see where they take me. KD is right, time to move forward. And yes, I will definitely be attending a Rockets game or two this year to see my main man James put up some points. Happy for him that he gets to be 23 years old and get paid 80 million dollars to live in Houston. He’s going to have a good time. I just don’t think it will translate into a championship ring.

Settling Down and Settling UP

13 Oct

Back in good ole’ T-town again.

After Leaving New York I foound myself in western Massachusetts.
Near Great Barrington and Monterey. The home state of the Sports Guy Bill Simmons, W.E.B. Dubois, and Jack Keroauc.

I got a chance to stay on a 200 acre farm and cool out after being in the big city (8 million people in one tiny ass island?).

It was great. Composting, feeding chickens, weeding. Cooking, Cleaning. New England itself is awesome. Lots of old school culture and history. New Englanders have a deep sense of family and history and tradition. I felt like I was in a Robert Frost poem, walking around that farm at night, eating pancakes and venison chili. It was awesome.

We ended the week by going backpacking through part of the Appalachian Trail. My friend Jer, had actually hiked the whole thing at the beginning of last decade. Turns out he has a big patch of it right in his hometown.

We started on the Connecticut side and finished up in Massachusetts. He asked if 14 miles was going to be too much and I of course was thinking 14 miles on street level. I didn’t take into account that we’d be hiking some serious mountains.

We spent the night on Mt. Racer, and this was my first overnight campout since Boy Scouts and it kinda made me wish i’d have stayed in the organization a lot longer than Webelos.

If the apocalypse ever comes I want to be with my buddy Jer, he definitely has the know how to live among the wild life. What a guy.
So after waking up on the mountain and deciding that we must descend into civilization, we hiked another 7 miles to get to his truck.

By the time it was over, my thighs were screaming at me and my feet were howling. But I’d done it. And I felt surprisingly good. Jer looked like he felt like a million bucks. The guy is priceless. Solid dude and one of my many heroes. We got back into town and he dropped me at the bus station so I could catch a ride to Toronto to catch my train.

Spent a good week in Canada on a train, drinking Jameson and having stimulating conversations. I met a lotta innaresting folks. Had some quality meals that you won’t get on AMtrak.

I took the Viarail across from Toronto to Vancouver. The staff on the train was a lively group of people, flipping in and out of French and English. I was so impressed with their fluency. Made me realize how much I want to learn French.

It was astoundingly pretty for the first day, quiet and flat the second day, and the third day was epic.

As we came into the Rockies, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’d been wanting to see this since I’d first came into Canada and saw a postcard booklet with pictures of Canada’s version of the Rockies.

I cried for like 20 minutes, for finally accomplishing a long held goal, for feeling so small in the midst of all this beauty, crying at how ugly I’d behaved in the past couple of months. It was a religious moment. and seemed fitting to have one of those right before I crossed the border into Washington and Oregon.

[Quick side note, Winnipeg struck me as a sister city to Wichita, Kansas, while Edmonton was just like DFW. Mirror cities man it was surreal. I guess Alberta is the Texas of Canada.]

The beginning of the end of my journey

Portland was good. I’d blown all my money in New York so with the help of my Portland People, I was able to skate by with less then ten dollars to last me a week (I was lucky enough to sell some poetry books in order to afford a ticket across the border).

The wedding went well. I made some memorable goofs from a mixture of anxiety, lack of sleep and preparation, and too much booze.

For the last few months I’d been thinking that an ordained license would be just a way to ensure that my travel expenses to friend’s weddings would get paid, however the minute the procession started I knew that it was much bigger than that.

I’d basically had a spiritual menage a trois in front of all these people.
it was powerful. I’ll never look at life the same way again.

Looking out at the throng of people there to see a hitching, it threw me off a bit. They were not there to see me do stand up, or read tawdry poetry, but to see me usher two people into a journey into matrimony. It was the most nervous I’d ever been before a gig. I nearly broke when the groom looked at me with tears in his eyes during the opening of the ceremony. It went off fairly well (even when I called the bride the wrong name during the toast THRICE!!!!).

So now I’m back home. And I’m happy to be here. It was good to know I made the right decision in moving back to Tulsa. I won’t be going back to Canada anytime soon. No need to. ANd Portland is still my favorite city to visit. I plan in going back in February to see Godspeed You Black Emperor.

And it looks like I’ll be here for the next five years. In November I will take my certification test and get licensed to teach and me and Kevin Durant will make the best of our new home here in Oklahoma.

I think a good compromise will be to teach and spend my summers working on various farms across the world. Farming is in my DNA. I could feel my grandmother smiling upon my shoulders when I was taking down my laundry from the clotheslines.

I suppose the theme of this trip was growth.

Growing crops, personal growth and development, urban sprawl…..
grow or die right? Lots of changes in the works.
To be continued.
I want to become a better person.

Waking up on a mountain to see this

Gary Snyder

20 Jul

Its not like I wanted to come over, have tea, read poetry, take mushrooms, smoke dope, and discuss politics. I'd have settled for a handshake.

Its not like I wanted to come over, have tea, read poetry, take mushrooms, smoke dope, and discuss politics. I'd have settled for a handshake.

Dear Mr. McFail.

Gary Snyder says to tell you that he’s older than you think, and retired from teaching 9 years ago. He lives in the mountains a long way from Davis. He is not “Japhy Ryder” but one of several modesl for that character. The “Dharma Bums” is a novel, not journalism. And he says he is not reading any new material.

best wishes,
Jann Garitty, Assistant to Gary Snyder

Well, Looks like I won’t be visiting Gary Snyder after all. A bit of a shame considering his age and and the history he holds within his brain cells.

Dharma Bums is one of my favorite books, and its hard not to fall in love with the Japhy Ryder character. Ladies man, ecologist, and poet, he was one of those characters that embodied what it meant to be a renaissance man.

I have a few friends that fall into this character, a buddy of mine living in Oregon certainly comes to mind when i think of real life examples of Japhy Ryders.

As disappointed as I am that I won’t get to meet the man himself, I certainly understand. I’m sure he gets thousands of emails and letters from “writers” and fans just wanting to be near him.

I can imagine it gets annoying. I do feel quite lucky that he even responded. Years ago, there was a columnist from ESPN named Ralph Wiley who iw as a huge fan of.
I’d spent a summer reading all of his stuff, “Why Black People tend to Shout” and other books by him. He was a great voice for sports, honest and insightful, and one of my favorites.

I remember after one morning of reading his article (hew as one of the few who’d predicted the ’04 Pistons would beat the Lakers), I thought I should email him and tell him how much I loved his work.

Of course I didn’t, ended up playing grab ass with my then girlfriend, or something, and figured I could email him some other time.

Well he died of a heart attack later that week. It struck me as odd, because he was only 52, but also because I’d just finished one of his books.

He was a great writer, and funny, and his death left a big void in the sports writing world. And all I kept thinking was I should’ve emailed him.

I’ve sent letters and emails to various people over the last ten years from Radiohead to Wayne Coyne, of the Flaming Lips, to the Sports Guy Bill Simmons, and not one of them has ever responded.

Well of course, Snyder didn’t respond either. But he at least told his assistant to take the time to write me and tell me to “get lost, scram, to beat it kid.”

I’m honored really. One of the last links to the Beat Generation had his assistant write me and tell me to fuck off, but in a slightly polite way. Seriously I can dig it.

And the truth is, I didn’t email him to be another sychophant scmhuck, telling him something he needs to hear. He already knows he’s awesome, you don’t make it that far, not knowing that. He doesn’t need the ego stroke.

I did it for me. I did it because it needed to be said, just to tell him, “hey motherfucker, I know you could really give a shit, but your presence in this world, turned my life upside down. And I realized I couldn’t live my life the same way ever again.”

and what is a person to say to that? Thanks? Cheers?

No response will be anything short of awkward, and yet its almost necessary to send those sort of letters.

Why? I don’t know, because if you appreciate something or someone, it feels good to tell them. No matter what the response.

“I love you” is one of those weird phrases as well. If you’re saying it for the response back then it aint real. I say it to friends all the time and it gets a bit awkward, but at least they know, and it doesn’t bottle up, and when they go, I can at least know that they knew how I felt.

I say it, I give give gifts because it feels good to, not for what I’ll get in return. Its a totally selfish endeavor nonetheless, and I think there’s nothing wrong with that.

Why I finally joined facebook

23 May

Hi I'm Bobby Mickey wanna buy a book?

Hi I'm Bobby Mickey wanna buy a book?

So I finally did it. Sold my soul to the devil. Funny what one will do for their career. You make sacrifices, you do things you don’t necessarily do under normal circumstances.

 

You move to cities you don’t really like, sleep with people you wouldn’t normally bone, join social networks you don’t necessarily delve into.

I remember when Myspace was sold to Rupert Murdoch and at the time I was incensed. I gave up my account and wnet on a five month hiatus, only returning when i realized that I was moving and that perhaps I’d wanna keep some superficial relationships.

That was during a weird time when i stopped having a phone and the only way to reach me was to ring my doorbell at 923 W. Oak street or email me, or call me at my office on campus………

back then I was a young man of principle. I stuck to my guns as I sat in my bath robe and got high and played Zelda for regular nintendo.

So today was a mixed bag when I finally joined the Facebook network. It was time to finally admit that Myspace was what Friendster became in 2005.

I remember it was a big deal when Myspace had hit a million users, then before long 3 million and now its a big virus……and soon facebook will be the same way, unable to keep up with the next big social network where you can track your friends, have a profile and get head directly from the profiles of the little darlings who message you about blowjobs and dirty pics.

So you ask, what’s the difference between the networks now?

I have no idea. Facebook seems to be a site where people just constantly update their status, no one really has anything to say, it only seems like another opportunity to plug something like every other huckster online.

Here is what the “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons had to say about facebook  in a recent mailbag on ESPN. com

“As for Facebook, I don’t mind getting status updates and snapshots of what my friends’ lives are like — even if “Bob the Builder” is prominently involved — as long as they aren’t posting 10 times a day or writing something uncomfortable about their spouse/boyfriend like “(Girl’s name) is … trying to remember the last time she looked at her husband without wanting to punch him in the face” or “(Girl’s name) is … just going to keep eating, it’s not like I have sex anymore.” Keep me out of your personal business, please. Other than that, the comedy of status updates can be off the charts. Like my college classmate who sends out status updates so overwhelmingly mundane and weird that my buddies and I forward them to each other, then add fake responses like, “(Guy’s name) … snapped and killed a drifter tonight” and “(Guy’s name) … would hang myself if the ceilings in my apartment weren’t too short.” It kills us. We can’t get enough of it. We have been doing it for four solid months. And really, that’s what Facebook is all about — looking at photos of your friend’s kids or any reunion or party, making fun of people you never liked and searching for old hook-ups and deciding whether you regret the hook-up or not. That’s really it. All in all, I like Facebook.”

That sums up my opinion exactly (sort of). there used to be a real divide back in the early days. Either you were a myspace geek or a facebooker. The facebook started out as something where you had to be in school in order to be a member.

It was a real pain in the ass to start an account and most of the people on there were real squares, straight edged people who really didn’t care much for music (their tastes being for Jimmy Eat World, Save Ferris, Nickelback, and Bowling For Soup), never took drugs, and usually marked Christianity as religion of choice.

Funnily enough, I met this hottie from Calgary who told me I should get on there and I tried and couldn’t get on it and gave up in frustration. But that was the only time I ever attempted to be on facebook other than now.

Although I was opposed to Fox owning myspace, the more weirder kinkier, artsy kids ended up on myspace, my buddy Craig even met girls and boned them from setting up his account.

So it came to pass, every comedian, and artist I knew were saying comeon over to facebook, its easy to set up and everyone is on there now, myspace is a wasteland.

I considered the time i swallowed my pride and said Murdoch be damned and once again put my info out there for all the CIA to see,
and decided to do it one more time.

Hell they already knew everything about me anyway huh? Who cares that they sponsored the debates last year. and so i logged my email address in and they immediately knew who I could be friends with just from my contacts list on my email.

Too spooky.

Anyway, I’ll be pushing my book, and comedy info there as well. And adding my name to every other huckster, square, hipster, douchebag and lemming on the social network website.

I reckon I might as well join Okcupid again and sequester my whole existence to cyberspace eh? How in the hell did this happen?

ten years ago I didn’t even have an email account.