30 December 2008

Two Link Tuesday: Double Feature

My apologies to my readers for not posting last Tuesday.

As some slight recompense, I'm doing an extra-special year-end version of Two Link Tuesday! (cue cheers. No cheers? Eh... whatever.)

Two sports videos, two non-sports videos. Enjoy!

Video 1: Pulp Muppets.
Because Beeker is a better Bruce Willis than Bruce Willis is.


Video 2: The Magnificent World of Table Tennis
Don't you ever call it ping-pong...


Video 3: Top 10 Greatest Knockouts Ever
I don't know whether I agree with the list - it would've been nice to see, maybe, Ali taking out Foreman - but there are some quality knockouts in there.


Video 4: Auld Lang Syne
This is the Millenium Mix that Kenny G put out in 1999. Always makes me think.


28 December 2008

Michael Beasley: an efficient kind of dude

ESPN's David Thorpe has some harsh things to say about Michael Beasley's play thus far. One criticism that Thorpe brings up is that Beasley is unwise and inefficient in his offensive choices:

[...] Beasley has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.6 which is the fourth lowest of all rookies.

Ignoring the run-on sentence for the moment, is an assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.6 really all that bad?

(answer: Heck No!)

An assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.6 would put Beasley not only at the head of his rookie class - which is led by Chicago's Derrick Rose - but well ahead of any other player in the NBA: Toronto's Jose Calderon currently leads the league with a 4.19 ratio.

An assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.6, in fact, would place Beasley second among all qualified players since the 2000-2001 season, behind only Terrell Brandon's incredible 6.14 ratio in 2001-2002.

One problem, though: Beasley doesn't have a 5.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. Looking at his player page on NBA.com (something Thorpe apparently neglected to do), we see that he has compiled 24 assists... and 54 turnovers, giving him an impressive (drumroll please!) 0.44 ratio.

So where did Thorpe get 5.6?

(answer: idk, my bff Jill?)


Happy Pledge of Allegiance Day, everyone!

26 December 2008

Two African-American fighters

Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin, two African-American fighters, will battle at UFC 92. Their fans will mostly be white.

So we are informed by a link on ESPN.com's front page.

The headline is a provocative one, promising a story about racial divides within American society and the UFC's attempts to bridge those divides.

The headline is also an incredibly dumb one. Why?

Here's a picture of Rashad Evans - and everything's good so far:

Here's a double headshot of Forrest Griffin, the other African-American fighter mentioned.

Notice anything?

(here's a hint: Forrest Griffin is in fact of Irish descent.)

Hmm... maybe if the person writing the headline had actually bothered to read the article, or had known anything about mixed martial arts, he might have caught on that George Willis (not to be confused with George Will, the conservative opinions writer from the mid-1990s) was actually talking about Rashad Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson - two African-American fighters who will be fighting (but not against each other) at the upcoming UFC 92.

A split on his thumb

From the Associated Press article on the Orlando Magic's 88-68 victory over the New Orleans Hornets:

Former starter Mickael Pietrus, still playing with a split on his broken right thumb, continued to come off the bench for the Magic and finished with 11 points.

Pietrus had a split on his thumb, apparently. In the same vein, maybe it was the ets who took down Isengard, or a series of chain-link feces that separate my house from those owned by my neighbors.


Have a great Boxing Day!

24 December 2008

Christmas Time is Here

Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

(if by "children" you mean... the Boston Celtics, who are 27-2 heading into their Christmas Day game against the Lakers)

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

(speaking of which, did you hear that Evander Holyfield made a comeback? Went eight rounds against Ruslan Chagaev. Acquitted himself reasonably well, too, though he lost the decision)

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

(the 1995 Atlanta Braves. Greg Maddux: 19-2, 1.63 ERA. He's retired now, but he'll live on in my memories)

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...

(Spirit fingers!!!)

Merry Christmas, everyone.

18 December 2008

Ted Williams never made it to the big leagues

Or so this blogpost by ESPN.com's Chris Low would lead us to believe. Low, presenting his list of the top 25 players in the Southeastern Conference this year (a list, I might add, that he presented completely without context or justification - if you're looking for stats, this article isn't the place to look), notes that

All told, 15 of the players I had on my preseason list didn't play well enough to make the postseason list.

I know, I know. With that kind of batting average, I'm going to be a lifer in the minor leagues.

...nice. So hitting .400 (if we accept that Low was making a legitimate baseball analogy) isn't enough to make it to the majors?

Wow, Tony Gwynn sucked. And also Pete Rose. After all, neither of them ever had a season where they measured up to a guy who, by his own admission, just doesn't put up the numbers to exit the minor leagues.

Or, possibly, Low just doesn't put a lot of thought into his metaphors.


14 December 2008

Playing it saf

So I was reading SportsIllustrated.com this morning and I came across the following headline:

"Thoughts on the Eagles' new game plan and a pair of all-world safties"

My first thought: what are safties? They sound like adult diapers - (cue inspirational music) have you reached That Age? Are you s**tting your pants on a regular basis? Get Safties, and admit that you're old. ADMIT IT, YOU OCTOGENARIAN LITTLE &@#$! YOU'RE OLD!!! AND YOU SMELL FUNNY!!! AND NOT HA-HA FUNNY, EITHER!!!

My second thought: oh. He meant to say safeties.


09 December 2008

Two Link Tuesday: Unexpected

Today's videos are a result of a disturbing recent trend: basketball players hitting each other in the groin.

Video 1: "Tap dance"
This trend has most recently been exemplified by Leonard Washington of the University of California, who, without any apparent reason, ran down the court... and backhanded Oklahoma's Blake Griffin in the midst of the nether regions.
(side note: sorry for the large video player... this clip wasn't on YouTube.)

Video 2: "Hand in the Cookie Jar"
But the trend has been occurring at the NBA level, too, as shown by this video, in which Reggie Evans... gets acquainted... with Chris Kaman.

06 December 2008

Two quick thoughts on Florida-Bama

1. I was just watching VT-BC. UF and Bama both look significantly bigger, stronger, and faster than either of those teams.

2. Tebow has "Philippians 4:13" written on his eyeblack. Really? He couldn't have come up with something marginally non-cliche? I mean, it's a great verse, but it's been claimed by EVERY ATHLETE IN THE LAST HALF-CENTURY.

NCAA Football Picks: 12.6.2008

Quick picks today, no explanation, because I've got to get going... meeting at 11:30.

Virginia Tech +1 against Boston College

Alabama +10 against Florida

Oklahoma -16.5 against Missouri

Navy -11 against Army

East Carolina +13.5 against Tulsa

Have a great day.

Watch this YouTube clip! It's cool!


02 December 2008

Two Link Tuesday: The Final (Montage) Countdown!

Today, we're doing something a little bit special: Two Link Tuesday becomes... (drumroll please) Five Link Tuesday! This isn't a lasting change - I tried to find two collections of musically enhanced martial arts training, but there were just so many classics out there that I couldn't limit myself to just two.

Do you agree with my choices? Disagree with my choices? Email me and let me know what you think.

Note: before we begin, I'd like to salute Viacom International. They put up a copyright claim on the video of South Park's "Montage," which I was originally going to put up at number 5 due to its satirical brilliance. Way to go, jerkwads... you screwed yourselves out of a top-5 ranking. Because obviously my rankings mean something to the world at large. And because Guitar Hero is obviously a form of martial arts. I mean, I actually spent time looking up evidence for Guitar Hero being a kind of fighting - which, come to think of it, speaks to my desperation to include the South Park montage on my list.

5. 8 Mile.
Not a martial arts video, you say? Well... yes. But there's fighting! Or something that's kind of like fighting - after all, Slim Shady/Eminem/Marshall Mathers/Rabbit/Jimmy is heading into a Rap Battle [tm], right?

Postscript to entry 5: 8 1/2 Mile.
8 1/2 Mile, you say?
Yes. Because it's awesome. And it gives me an excuse to tag Fellini in a post, which is something I've wanted to do for a very long time.

4. Rocky IV.
Mush, Rocky! Gee! Haw! And, dude - Drago should totally fight UFC. "I fight for me!!!" Tito Ortiz just nods his bleached-blond head. Can you imagine Drago locking in a triangle? In those shorts? I mean, dude was seriously ripped.

3. Bloodsport.
I think that Van Damme gets a bad rap sometimes. I mean, sure, he took drugs. Sure, he got beaten up in a bar by one of his own stuntmen. Sure, he beat his wife. But The Muscles from Brussels knew how to make one heckuva training montage!

2. Karate Kid.
A strong contender, and one to whom I gave momentary consideration for the top spot. "You're the best! Around!" Now there's a song that doesn't beat around the bush, doesn't - just makes me want to start punching boards or something. And now my hands hurt.

1. Rocky.
Was there ever really any doubt? The One That Started It All, and still the best. Kind of like Stallone... oh, wait, that's not quite accurate. The One That Started It All, and still the best. A true classic. It just makes me sad that when I hear the chorus singing "getting strong now" at 1:40, I imagine Jose Canseco sticking needles into Rocky's butt.

So there it is - there's our countdown. I'm not going to say that I hope you enjoyed it, because... well... (1) This is my universe. Here, I am a titan. In Greek mythology, the Titans were more powerful even than the gods. (2) I'm Spartacus. (3) FREEDOM!!! (4) I'm running a little low on sleep, thanks to finals, so I've got a right to be cranky.

Have a great day.