Los Angeles Lakers Defeat Boston Celtics 83-79

Its the 16th championship title for the LA Lakers as they beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals by the score of 83-79. Shockingly, their Wheaties box is already set to go out to your local grocery store. Check your store shelves in a month or so for it if you want it. Personally, as a Washington sports fan I had no horse in this race but in the interests of not being a sore loser I wish the Lakers and their fans congratulations for an excellent season.

Even though it would’ve been a heck of a lot cooler to see Phil Jackson lose one of these things for once.  That guy is friggin bullet-proof. Also, can people put the rest the whole Kobe is as good as MJ now b/c he won almost as many titles?  Kobe wasn’t even the best player on the team for the ones he won with Shaq. He was the Jimmy Olson to Shaq’s Superman. Kobe is an excellent player, but he is no Michael Jordan.

If you don’t believe me, look up the stats on Basketball-Reference.com and you’ll see, its not even close. As a matter of fact, Lebron and Dwayne Wade are probably closer to his skills than Kobe is.

Nevertheless, congrats Lakers. John Wall is now gonna be gunning for you. TO BE THE BEST YOU GOTTA BEAT THE BEST!

Reading Between the Headlines

It’s been a week since I last posted.  I know that after my Preakness article, there were some rumors that I was killed by Hurricane Ike in a tragic horseracing “accident,” but let’s face facts: the Maryland Jockey Club wouldn’t want ever want to risk bad press, would they?  In any case, in the words of the immortal Jeffrey Atkins: I’m not always there when you call, but I’m always on time.  At least with headlines.  On to them: 

I realize Lance Armstrong is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete who kicked cancer’s ass then became the most dominant competitor in the history of his sport.  And for some reason, I really dislike him.  Just rubs me the wrong way.  HOWEVER, Floyd Landis is a complete and utter fraud.  The guy’s a liar.  At this point, I don’t think I’d be surprised if I found out Mother Theresa was on PEDs (nor would I care), but Floyd is pathetic.  Leave Lance alone – don’t be jealous just because he’s friends with the world’s best bro

  • Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss was linked to a Canadian doctor charged with “making false statements to federal officials, smuggling, unlawful distribution of human growth hormone (HGH), introducing the unapproved drug, called actovegin, into interstate commerce and conspiracy to defraud the United States.”    

The poor Redskins can’t even win when they cheat — that’s embarassing.  However, I’m going to choose to look at this positively: Santana Moss was so devoted to his terrible, dysfunctional team that he was willing to risk his career, health, reputation and money in the hopes he could be slightly mediocre for a team owned by Dan Snyder and coached by Jim Zorn.  That’s dedication, holmes.

Ok, I have an unrelated point to make here, but let me get the jokes out of the way first.  Maradona ran over the cameraman’s foot because a) He had a hot pizza in the passenger’s seat and was in a hurry to eat it; b) He had an eight ball in the passenger’s seat and was in a hurry to snort it; or c) he had both in his car but was in a hurry because he didn’t pay taxes on either of them. 

Now that that’s out of the way: don’t you hate it when Americans take British expressions and attempt to use them in regular conversation?  I’m not saying they’re wrong or inappropriate, but they just make you sound pretentious and if I’m British, I’d think you’re a jerk.  Most Brits probably think that already, but just because Guy Ritchie and Austin Powers made some popular British-themed movies 10 years ago that EVERYONE saw doesn’t mean you can roll around and drop “over the moon” or “preggers” or “flat.”  Stop it.   

This is like a combination of “American Pie” and “Desperado.”  If I’m LeBron, I’m super heated, but what are you gonna do?  Delonte rolls like Antonio Banderas: on a motorcycle with a loaded shotty in a guitar case slung across his back and two sidearms just in case the banditos get too close.  Bron-Bron’s Mom likes the bad-boys… 

First: does he ever get the dollar?  Second, these stories are stupid.  Just because Emmitt Smith did the same thing means we’re supposed to forget he played for Arizona?  Or that Jerry Rice never laced them up for Seattle?  And what’s the significance of a one-day contract?  Do you hang out there for a day, sweep the floors, wash a load of jock straps and call it a day?  Just give the guy his plaque at halftime of a game next season and be done with it.  There wasn’t anything symbolic about the way you cut the guy when he was expensive and hurt.  Why start now?

The Curse of Les Boulez is over!  Until JeVale McGee sleeps with John Wall’s mom. 

Brett is akin to an attractive girl you date who also happens to be a gigantic flake.  She’s never on time, always changes her plans based on a whim, will initiate a text conversation with you then disappear for 9 hours… Yet, she is insanely hot and when you’re around her, she can do no wrong.  Unfortunately, she drives YOU insane but you can’t break up with her because you’re worried you’ll end up with a girl that looks like Sage Rosenfels or Tavaris Jackson and they won’t be half as good at throwing a post pattern.  Or something like that…

I must say I am thoroughly enjoying Favre’s wanton disregard for the feelings of Brad Childress, the Minnesota Vikings, and the NFL.  You know there’s some diehard at NFL headquarters flipping out over his disrespect for “the League.”  Although this bet could be a blessing in disguise for the rest of us: if the team makes it, we’re spared a summer of Rachel Nichols standing on Farve’s lawn telling us nothing.

Have a wild weekend.  I’ll be out on a motorcycle, guitar case slung across my back, looking for Salma.

Reading Between the Headlines

Late last year, I had a burgeoning five-hour energy problem.  I finally kicked it in early January, but now, thanks to Kansas State and Xavier, it’s coming back.  What a great game.  So now I’m debating a re-up – White Lightning, where you at?  Thankfully, there won’t be any more late-night weeknight games.  On to the headlines:

Before K-State survived, Syracuse was knocked out by Butler

Yeah, 75% of the country’s brackets were done last weekend, so we don’t care.  What I really care about is the deification of Gus Johnson.  What happened to this guy?  He’s not that good anymore.  A few years ago, he was solid.  Now, he’s just another screamer.  I found him almost unbearable last night. 

Meanwhile, Billy Raferty explained the origin of “onions.”

I, on the other hand, will never get tired of Billy Raferty.

Joe Mauer signed an 8-year $184M extension with the Minnesota Twins.

Couldn’t be happier for Twins fans; Mauer is a great player (even though his guaranteed $184M is roughly $32M more than what the team contributed to the funding of their new ballpark.  Thanks, Hennepin County!).  I just find it interesting that people are back-slapping the Twins for stepping up to the plate and taking such a big risk.  The recently- deceased owner was reportedly worth $3.6B.  Yeah, that’s a “B” for BILLION.  Excuse me if I’m not as obsequious.


Vicente Padilla, a true gentleman of the game.

Vicente Padilla will be the Opening Day starter for the Dodgers.

Apparently, Dean Wormer was wrongFat, drunk and Plaxico is a great way to go through life.

Gilbert Arenas will be sentenced today.  

I wouldn’t be surprised if Flip Saunders hopes for the chair.

Tim Tebow was cursed at when he suggested a prayer before the Wonderlic test.

Tebow is denying the story and if I were him, I’d deny it too.  The dude scored a 22 out of 50.  Just to give that score some context, 24 is the average for NFL QBs.  Even this guy beat him.  Clearly, Jesus was busy that day.   

Phil Hughes will start the season as the Yankees’ 5th starter.

Color me shocked.  If you followed the Yankees in spring training even somewhat closely, it was pretty easy to see this wasn’t really a competition.  And since most teams don’t need a 5th starter until May, once again, I must ask: who cares? 

Tiger Woods will hold a press conference the Monday before the Masters.

Wrestlemania XXVI is this weekend.

Now, there are two unrelated places that could both use Gus Johnson.

This week was kind of a downer, yes, I know.  Treat yourself to Keith Law’s Top 200 Rock Songs of the 1990’s.  In addition to his encyclopedic knowledge of music, I’m fairly certain he’s one of the few people in the world who could make the Kansas City Royals a playoff team.  That’s a rare combination of talent.   Have a great weekend, enjoy the games.

All Hail Your New Overlord, Wizards Fans

Yesterdaky, Uncle Teddy reached a deal with the estate of Abe Polin on a purchase price for the Verizon Center and the Washington Wizards.  Now, if only the Wizards can stockpile 7 first round picks in the next 3 years or 11 in the next 5 years, get lucky in the lottery with a #1 pick and use that pick to grab one of the greatest players in the game then Uncle Teddy will cement his place in the hearts of all Washingtonians as THE GREATEST OWNER CURRENTLY IN TOWN.

Ted Leonsis appears to be the owner in DC that fans want Dan Snyder and any of the Lerners to become, which I can kinda understand.  He seems to treat people well, doesn’t abuse the fact that he is massively wealthy too much, he actually talks to the fans (a novel concept), he hasn’t raised ticket prices too much (except this season, YIKES what a hike) in his ownership tenure and has even cut them once or twice…but do not forget he wasn’t always this way.  This guy was Dan Snyder Jr. with a violent streak (he did punch a fan once) when he first got the team, buying up aging veterans and constantly trying to compete the wrong way…then he got the sports equivalent of religion and his flock began to gather.

Somewhere after the disastrous 2002-03 playoff appearance, Leonsis discovered the NHL draft and using ancient scrolls that contained the blueprint of the Florida Marlins World Series titles (of all teams!) he sold off every single asset he had for future players and minor leaguers.  People loved getting rid of Jagr in this town, but I can’t say that anyone enjoyed watching the Capitals that 2003 season.  Poor Peter Bondra didn’t deserve to have his tenure here end like that nor should the best player on your team ever be named Robert Lang.

Nevertheless, from 2002-2006 the Washington Capitals had 11 first round picks.  ELEVEN!  Sure the team sucked balls from 2003-2006 but who cares now, right?  Who are those guys they drafted with those picks?  You might have heard of some of them like: Steve Eminger, Alexander Semin, Boyd Gordon, Eric Fehr, Alexander Ovechkin, Jeff Schultz, Mike Green, and Nicklas Backstrom.  Green, Backstrom, Semin and Ovechkin are the top 4 point scorers for the Capitals this season and Fehr isnt far behind at #9.  So with those accumulated picks and players and a whole lot of luck, he’s built a foundation of players that he could control on the cheap for quite awhile and contend for titles…and the fans were happy and decided to fill his church and wear red…lots of red.

That is the good news.

The bad news is, what happened with the Capitals will likely never happen again and especially not to the Washington Wizards.  God only created the Earth once as far as we know.  The NBA is a different game when it comes to team rebuilding, look at the Minnesota Timberwolves and ask them how rebuilding is going…and they traded away Kevin Garnett!  The Wizards have no assets to trade for picks anymore after their gutting this season.  There is no Alexander Ovechkin to come save the Wizards in the draft either, John Wall is not going to elevate this team to another level even if they get the #1 pick.

Just because Leonsis is now the owner, it doesn’t mean that the Wizards are going to suddenly be able to rebuild “the right way”.  There is so much luck in the draft it would be foolish to think the Wizards could duplicate the success of the Capitals even if they tried to follow that blueprint.  They also don’t have a ton of cash to throw around in free agency thanks to the $100 million albatross in Gilbert Arenas they have.  Rebuilding for Leonsis this time is going to be a lot longer than it was with the Capitals.  Its going to hurt…for awhile.

So, while it is nice to know that the Wizards and the Verizon Center are in good hands in that they have an owner that seems like he will spend the money to look after them the right way, I don’t understand the mindset that believes Ted Leonsis will suddenly cure the Wizards of sucking.

They’ve sucked for over 30 years people…they are going to keep sucking.   If you’re a Wizards fan, the team is essentially the girl you love that will break your heart, tease you just enough to lure you back in to give her just ONE MORE CHANCE, only to have your heart broken in a new and spectacularly different way before she lures you in again and starts the cycle anew…on a yearly basis.  As much as people love him…Uncle Teddy ain’t gonna change that anytime soon.