Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bill Simmons is NOT A Bad Guy

Yesterday, while Bill Simmons was talking with Joe House and Jalen Rose on the weekly podcast called The B.S. Report, Bill had said some interesting things about Memphis. Just to get this clear, Bill Simmons is getting all the bad publicity right now, even though he shouldn't.

The podcast, which I was actually listening to (like I always do) was just a normal podcast in which Bill was discussing the NBA Playoffs with Jalen and Joe. Because Jalen and Bill are on the NBA countdown crew, they were in Memphis to cover the Western Conference Finals. For almost the whole show, Jalen and Bill were raving about how amazing the city was and how pleasantly surprised they were by it. They loved the food, the geography, the feel, and especially the nice people. But the part that got everyone talking about is the history aspect of Memphis. In fact, Jalen Rose ranked Memphis #1 on his "Black Guy Best City Power Rankings", so you know that Bill and Jalen have immense respect for the wonderful city of Memphis.

Bill and Jalen had gone to the Lorraine Hotel in their 4 day stay in Memphis. They said it was a great experience. Bill Simmons is a sports analyst, sports-caster, and sports writer. His job is to talk about sports and to relate or connect anything that he's talking about back to sports;  whether it's Game of Thrones, Football, Life, or even Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on the city of Memphis and their sports.

"I didn’t realize the effect [the King assassination] had on that city. [...] I think from people we talk to and stuff we’ve read, the shooting kind of sets the tone for how the city thinks about stuff. We were at Game 3. Great crowd, they fall behind and the whole crowd got tense. It as like, ‘Oh no, something bad is going to happen.’ And it starts from that shooting and it’s just that mind-set they have."

Throughout the whole podcast, and in most of his podcasts, Bill jokes about his "Don't get fired" rants. He says "This is one of those don't get fired moments" around 10 times in Wednesday's podcast, so I think he knew what he was getting into or what he was started. I'm sure he didn't know how blown up it would get though...

It doesn't matter how ridiculous this quote might be, he's just trying to do his job and entertain the guys (or girls) listening. Nobody's view should change of Bill Simmons by this tiny quote, especially if you have heard some of his other podcasts, which are sensationally entertaining. Plus, it's not even like he hasn't done anything like this before.

Bill Simmons fought publicly with his company over his podcast in May of 2008. After that interview, there has been a disclaimer at the beginning of each of his podcasts: "The B.S report is a free-flowing conversation that occasionally touches on mature subjects". He hasn't exactly feuded with ESPN since then, but you can tell by listening that he is not perfectly happy with management there. Hopefully this podcast wasn't a "Don't get fired" moment because he's my favorite sports writer, caster, etc. and I wouldn't stand not seeing him on NBA countdown every day.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What should the Cavs do with the Number 1 Pick?

On Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the first pick of the 2014 NBA draft in the lottery. The Cavs had the third worst record in the NBA, so the odds weren't exactly in their favor. Nick Gilbert, the son of Dan Gilbert (the owner of the Cavs) has been at the podium for the Cavaliers for the past three draft lotteries. In those three years, Cleveland has drawn the first overall pick twice. That's probably not because Nick is lucky, but because of all the good karma that Cleveland basketball has from Lebron leaving the way he did. Nick and Dan swear that this will be the last time that that the Cavs will be in the lottery for a long time. It doesn't matter why or how they got the first pick this year, the important thing is; they got it. But what will they do with it?

This is a very interesting situation because it's potentially a "no loss" scenario. The worst situation I can think of is:

The Cavs pick Nerlens Noel out of Kentucky with the first pick of the draft. Noel goes all Greg Oden and blows out his knee again. (Plausible). He later tries to make a comeback, but he's never the same player. The Cavs tank the season and get a top 5 pick in the 2015 loaded draft class that is full of future all-stars.

If I were Kyrie Irving, the obvious face of the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise I would seriously be talking to management about possibly moving the number one pick to either Portland or Minnesota.

Both those teams are rumored to be offering their star players (Kevin Love for  Minnesota and Aldridge from Portland). Especially if the Cavs were able to bring in Love and "bring the band back together", I would be ecstatic if I were Irving.

If that were to happen, the Cavs would immediately be a threat in the East to challenge the Miami Heat. The Cavaliers would be the most intriguing team in the NBA, with the obvious awesome chemistry of Irving and Love, the rebounding combination of Anderson Varejao and K-Love, and emerging young stars like Dion Waiters.

All in all, the Cavaliers are lucky to be in one of the best draft situations in the history of the NBA. They really can't go wrong! But they definitely go right if they make a move to get Kevin Love and bring the band back together and show the "young bloods" how to play basketball and win championships.....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Forgotten Gem


Think of the best pitching performance you have ever seen or heard about in professional baseball. I bet names like Cy Young, Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Pedro Martinez, Don Larsen, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Matt Cain, and Felix Hernandez come to your mind. But does the name Harvey Haddix mean anything to you?

Harvey Haddix, the ace pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the  late 1950's and early 1960's, pitched the greatest game in MLB history in 1959. You may not remember him because it was so long ago, it wasn't a perfect game, it wasn't a no-hitter, and he didn't even get the win.

So how on earth was that the best pitching performance ever?? Well, Haddix pitched a perfect game through 12 innings! It was not until the 13th inning when the perfection ended on an error.

After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to (who else but) Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock hit what would be a walk-off 3 run homer. coincidentally, Joe Adcock passed Hank Aaron in his homerun trot so the Milwaukee Brewers were only credited with one run.

Since 1880, there have been 23 perfect games. But none of them were as great as Harvey Haddix's one-hitter.

Harvey Haddix's stat line went something like this: 12 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO

The final score was 1-0. The Pirates lost. Despite the loss, Harvey Haddix still pitched the greatest game in MLB history. So remember the name, Harvey Haddix, and think of him when you're thinking about the best pitching performances ever.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Goodbye "The Office"

Based on the British comedy, "The Office" debuted in 2005 as an unknown sitcom on NBC with no-name actors and low-profile writers. Four Emmy awards and eight years later, it's just the opposite. Even after Steve Carell, aka Michael Scott departed the show two seasons ago, the cast of actors is still filled with stars that have appeared in movies and other TV shows since 2005. Most notably, Ed Helms, aka Andy Bernard, who has appeared in numerous movies including both "Hangover" and "Hangover Part II". But how did this show become so famous in between the years of 2005 and 2013? The writers.

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak, who have also acted in the show as employers in the local Scranton, NJ office, wrote the hit sitcom for 7 seasons each. Mindy Kaling, who now has her own book and TV show, "The Mindy Project" was especially comical in acting and writing.  Why do I bring up the writers exactly? Because I commend them incredibly because after the boss, Michael Scott left for his love in Colorado, there have been no interesting storylines to run with. They single-handedly kept the mockumentary alive through the years. Yet, the show has still been pretty entertaining. Even if the show is still funny, it's about half as good as when it was two years ago when Steve Carell was the lead actor. This revolutionary show should have ended two years ago when he left; it would have been the perfect ending to a perfect comedy show.

But it ends tonight. Two mediocre seasons after it should have. Even though these two previous seasons have been disappointing, this series finale is probably going to great. If you stopped watching when Michael left, you haven't really missed much:

  • Jim and Pam have been feuding about their relationship and Jim's job in Philadelphia. But they are happy now

  • Dwight is finally at the helm of the office after Andy quit. Dwight is now set to marry Angela who has a baby. Dwight is the father.

  • Andy quit his job as the boss to go sing at an Acapella singing contest similar to "American Idol". He was terrible.

  • The final documentary that has been "The Office" was airing on PBS at the end of the last episode.

So after eight seasons, "The Office" is up there in the ranks of all-time NBC sitcoms with "Seinfeld", "Cheers", and "Friends"... It possibly may even be the best. What will you remember most about "The Office"? I will remember the incredible main characters that were developed over the years like Michael, Jim, Pam, Dwight, and Andy. But maybe even more, I will remember the amazingly hilarious background characters like Stanley, Creed, Kevin, Angela, Phyllis, Oscar, Toby, and Darryl. They are like the role players that every great basketball team seems to have. That's really what distinguished "The Office" from other shows; no other sitcom will ever replicate the amount of quality characters and role players that were created in "Office".

After tonight, NBC plans to replace "The Office" with a show called, "Sean Saves the World" which from what I have heard, sounds pretty awful; that's such a shame.

So even if we forget all of the character's names, where the office was, who was dating who, or even the writers who kept the show alive in times of need, we will never, ever (even in 40 years) that the light-hearted comedy always made us smile and laugh at the television when the opening theme jingle comes on.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"I want to be part of history"

After being asked about the Celtics chances in their series against the New York Knicks, Celtics coach, Doc Rivers says, "I want to be part of history."

No team ever in the NBA has come back from a 3-0 playoff deficit. The last time that happened in any major sport was (who else)the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Those bunch of idiots beat the Yankees four games in a row and later went on to win the world series. Cowboy Up!

"Don't let us win tonight. This is a big game. They've got to win because if we win we've got Petie coming back today and then Schilling will pitch Game 6 and then you can take that fraud stuff and put it to bed. Don't let the Sox win this game." Those were the words of leader Kevin Millar after the 3-0 deficit for the Red Sox.

Apparently, Doc Rivers repeated Millar's quote before the game to his team. There are no better teams to come back from insurmountable leads than the Boston teams, especially the Celtics. If the Celtics lose this series, the "Big Three" era will likely end. KG will probably foul and Pierce is almost done, but he will do everything he can to retire as a Celtic.
Hopefully we get to see a few more KG/Pierce game because they are historic.