Friday, May 30, 2008

end hits...

Santogold's new album is pretty choice; think M.I.A. for the more docile amongst us.

...nada mas. Enjoy the weekend!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Toss the Burner: May 29, 2008

You shoot me in a better wake up and apologize.

...this was us trying to be hard, how'd it go?

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What the Hell is Going On With These Kickball Leagues?

You've probably heard about the guy who was arrested Sunday in Macy's while on his way to a kickball game carrying his trusty rapier. The New York Post called Lawrence Jackson a bonehead buccaneer.

He's being charged with criminal weapon possession.

Also on the kickball crime wire this week...Howard Altman of the Tampa Tribune writes:

Another kickball game, another melee

On Sunday in Tampa, two fights broke out amongst as many as 100 people during a women’s kickball league game – one right after the other had been calmed by police.

People at the scene told the police that the fight had nothing to do with the kickball game, and it started because of an argument over a video on YouTube.

No one was arrested, but the cops ensured irate league organizers that the league was finished in the park. On April 13, the city made nine arrests linked to the same kickball gathering.

The league was resuming play for the first time since staging a protest against the City, who were demanding that they pay for permits to use the parks. After meeting with league officials, the City Park & Rec department agreed to wave the fee.

Community activist Michelle Williams told ABC Action News that she was extremely disappointed. I stuck my neck out for them. She had gone to bat for the league, filing a complaint on their behalf with the NAACP.

Two isolated incidence of criminal recklessness linked by kickball in one week? Is it too soon to call this a trend?

This is actually my first year participating in the would-be infamous Brooklyn Kickball League - it does well to propagate the undeniable fact that there is little better than playing sports and drinking, and not much else. Certainly, it has little to do with the imminent decline in Western Civilization.

If anything, the pattern we're seeing (that I'm not sure needs to be pointed out to most people) is that if you play a fourth-grade game, tread lightly....any stray (felonious or just slightly mischievous) is a lob to the media. On Monday, With Leather took a succinctly worded pot-shot - can't say I blame them - at Jackson and the Brooklyn Kickball League stating: A guy who plays in an ironic kickball league where they dress up in costumes IN NEW YORK was awarded the gold medal in the Douchebag Olympics yesterday.

Assuming we see more, prepare for the blips in the kickballers' command of the status quo to be well-publicized. Because, Lance, I assure you that not every criminal weapons charge in New York gets a AP story...that's picked up in Edmonton.

Kickball Shenanigans Links:

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cheese truly is a slippery slope

Steeped in anticipation from a crowd of 3000, the annual Cooper Hill Cheese Rolling event was held in England on Monday (via Awful Announcing...well done).

I will say this, the simplicity of Cheese-rolling is pure eloquence...fall.

man, you look like a real sally if you don't go for it.

The final stat line was 19 injured, with one of the victors being stretchered off while hooked up to an oxygen tank (relax, he's fine).

Jason Crowther, 25, who won the first three races of this year's event told the BBC: "There's no training you can do for this...but there aren't any tactics involved, as you can probably see."

The race has been held in Gloucester, England for over 200 years. That other kind of cheese-rolling was popularized stateside in Miami sometime in the mid-80s, right Pablo?

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

I can't sit idle by and watch Bruce Lee's legacy be tainted...

Bruce Lee died a young man at 32 in 1978. Before that he gave us kung-fu classics with such names as Game of Death, Fists of Fury and Enter The Dragon.

He delivered such classic lines as boards don't hit back and I have come to avenge my teacher. This doesn't concern you...scram.

And how do we repay him? Bruce Lee: Journey to the West, The musical...probably featuring a score by Bjork.

May 21, 2008 -- Does legendary martial-arts man Bruce Lee have a future on Broadway? It appears so, with the announcement yesterday by Elephant Eye Theatrical of "Bruce Lee: Journey to the West," a new musical slated for New York sometime during the 2010-11 season. (via New York Post)

I'm pretty sure the totally awesome spirit of Bruce Lee feels that you've offended the Shaolin Temple on this one.

Because folks, this is what Broadway does...

...And this is what Bruce does.

I'd like to remember 109 lb. Bruce jump kicking Kareem in a pair of ASICS, not being played by a Filipino chick from Cirque de Soleil at the Neil Simon Theater, is that too much to ask?

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Steady Burn on Yahoo! Sports...on Preakness '08

Check out my post on Yahoo! Sports about the event which showed me a new form of depravity this weekend, and has nothing to do with horse racing.

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Put Your Balls On Ice!

I don't really buy into the whole NBA Draft Lottery Conspiracy Theory. After all, Lebron is in...Cleveland. And Oden got sent to...Portland.

If that was lottery rigging...Stern, erroneous, erroneous on both counts.

I couldn't resist fueling the fervor is the infamous 1985 Draft Lottery.

That envelope is more bent than Pat O'brien circa 1985, hanging out at the Rainbow Room with Dwight Gooden.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

The Rise of The Kansas City Roller Warriors

Awful Announcing posted yesterday that ESPN will be airing a special report on the revival of roller derby around the country on SportsCenter on Sunday.

With no insider’s knowledge of what this report will entail, my prediction is that either you’ll hear a great deal about Brooke Leavitt…or ESPN will miss completely.

Leavitt is one of three women who in 2004 started the Kansas City Roller Warriors league, which started its fifth season earlier this Spring.

Like her cofounders – Eanna Johnson and Mandy Durham – Leavitt works a day job (she’s a librarian) and practices and competes with her team The Knockouts on the side. Unlike the other competitors, she does this all with only one arm. At the age of 3, Leavitt lost her right arm from the elbow down in a school bus accident.

When the League launched in 2004, Channel 9 News in Kansas City profiled Leavitt. This video shows the early days when league members practiced on a basketball court in the Roanoke Community Center with pile-on cones outlining the track. One of the anchors even refers to roller derby as the ugly stepsister of Saturday night World Championship Wrestling from the 60’s.

Along with The Knockouts, today the Kansas City Roller Warriors consists of four teams – The Black Eye Susans, Dreadnought Dorothys and The Victory Vixens make up the other three. Leavitt’s team name is Dirty Britches – some of her other teammates include Princess Slay-ya and Hunt Her Ass Thompson.

During 2004’s inaugural season ticket sales for a single match topped out at 800. According to the St. Joseph’s News- Press Gazette, last season’s final match drew 2,200 fans – and league officials are hoping to draw up to 4,000 people for a match this year.


The rules of roller derby seem pretty straightforward. Each team has a jammer; and if you’re not a jammer then you’re a blocker. The object of the game is to get your jammer passed the other teams blockers, while stopping their jammer from passing your team of blockers.

The first match took place on March 19, 2005, check it out here:

An All-Star Team - that included Leavitt - from the league competed and won the Women's Flat Track Derby Association National last September in Austin, TX.

Check out the 2007 season re-cap video here and go to to learn more about the league.

And be sure to watch SportsCenter on Sunday when they’ll be looking at roller derby’s resurgence in place around the country such as Austin.

Kansas City Roller Warriors Links:

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Toss the Burner: May 15, 2007

Up until about 1 p.m. I was having a complete bogey of a day...because I decided to go to the DMV this morning...because I'm a schmuck.

Then, I received an early birthday package from my good pal Hillary at Fitness Magazine, which included:

After pummeling Stallion for a while, I was good. Before that though, I was livid. The DMV wouldn't let me exchange my Connecticut license for a New York one because I didn't have with me proof of birth. Because w/o a birth certificate or passport in hand, you're presumed to be a hologram in the eyes of these dingos who work there. Proof of birth? OK, fine. Pinch me, rock me in the face if you fact, why don't you call my mom and let her tell you what a bastard I was at age 15, I'm real dammit!

So now I've got the old man spending eight bucks to overnight me a birth certificate. Hard earned money he could spend on that Corona light he seems to enjoy so much...oh, and I get to go back to the DMV tomorrow...which is my actual birthday!

With this current sad state of affairs I'm dealing with over here, I decided to post links to what I perceived as the worst stuff going on around the sports blogosphere today:

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BloggersUnite Day: Human Rights

Carolyn at And One brought it to my attention that BlogCatalog is asking bloggers to unite today for human rights. Go check out her post with a bunch of links to human rights organizations on the web, including the NBA's organization NBA Cares.

Bloggers Unite

Thinking about the place that sports has in the ongoing conversation about human rights, the focus of late as I see it has been on the upcoming Olympic games in China.

Sean Gregory wrote a great piece earlier this month for Time Magazine on the viability of Olympic athletes as ambassadors speaking out against China's human rights violations. He asks the question: Why shouldn't the American team leave the whole "we're just athletes" excuse at home?

Indeed, some U.S. Olympic team members feel it is not their place to voice their opinion for lack of being well-informed on the issues. Women's U.S. Soccer Abby Wambach player told Gregory:

That a lot of responsibility, to ask an athlete to not only represent your country and perform and try to win a gold medal, and to have a political view.

Conversely, 1968 Olympic track & field bronze-medalist John Carlos, whose black power salute from the medal podium is one of if not the most famous political image in Olympic game history, told Gregory:

All young individuals should be aware of the situation, the circumstances in which they a becoming involved in...It's something they have to study, and become well-versed in. It's an obligation.

(John Carlos, right)

As interesting as the athletes' reactions to the social controversy is that of the big name brands associated with this year's games, many of whom have been planning their 2008 Olympic marketing and sponsorship initiatives as long as the competitors have been training for the events.

In an article in yesterday's Boston Globe, Reebok announced they are dropping plans for a hospitality facility to host athletes, guests and media in Beijing, citing the human rights controversy as one of the reasons.

Among the activities Reebok planned to conduct at these facilities were media interviews with the 250 athletes the brand is outfitting for the games. Josie Stevens, Reebok's Director of Global Public Relations, said:

As a brand, we didn't want to put our athletes in the position when being interviewed of having to explain their personal views on the human rights issue, and we didn't want to act as a censor either.

Reebok plans to distribute canned interviews with their athletes through a video news service instead.

Check out some other articles on the Olympics human rights debate here:

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Toss the Burner: May 13, 2007

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Massive Earthquake Could Hinder Climbers' Access to Mount Everest

USA Today reports that Monday’s Earthquake in China could affect access for those seeking to reach the summit of the World’s highest peak.

The city of Chengdu, home to 10 million and a gateway for Himalayan trekkers and climbers, saw extensive damage to the city’s structures including rail lines and the hotels and hostels that house thousands of travelers en route to the mountains.

The traditional route to the Himalayas involves a plane flight or a train ride to Chengdu, followed by a long, bumpy bus or jeep trip west through steep mountain ranges. Chengdu also is a center for makers of mountaineering equipment and the government offices that issue travel permits to the western regions.

The New York Times reports that officials raised their estimate of the number of people killed by the quake to nearly 15,000, with thousands more trapped and missing in remote areas. The epicenter of the quake was said to have reached a 7.9 magnitude.

Earlier this year, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest (29,035 feet), died at the age of 88. And in 2007, 71-year-old Japanese man Katsusuke Yanagisawa became the oldest man to reach the top.

Check out this video from CNN of the Olympic torch reaching the summit earlier this month:

Tourism in the Himalayas is expected to feel the effects of the earthquake for years to come.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Women's Kickball League Banned From Tampa Parks, Files Complaint With NAACP

Fox 13 in Tampa reports that a Tampa Bay women's kickball league that meets every Sunday has been banned from the park unless they can come up with $1400 to form an official league.

The story says activists for the league claim they are being discriminated against because they can't afford the high fee. Also, they claim that other teams that use the park don't have to pay.

"Am I outraged? Yes. Did I make a formal complaint with the NAACP? Yes, I did. And they're taking the case,"says community activist Michelle Williams.

The women's league consists of seven teams and has met for the past six weeks.

Alvin Lewis, Chief of Security for Tampa Parks and Recreation said that the leagues has drawn up to 1000 spectators at a time. In lieu of playing, this past Sunday players protested the measures levied by the city against the league (see the photo above).

Concerning the security of the League's gathering, Police Lieutenant Rocky Ratliff said "I think they had a good idea to play kickball with the family, but you always have that one percent that messes it up for everyone else.That one percent be drinking and smoking marijuana, we don't allow that in the park."

The City representatives would not share with Fox the details about fees required of teams to use the park. They did encourage the women to find businesses in the community to sponsor them so that they can continue the league.

Check out video from the news report on My Fox Tampa Bay

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Monday, May 12, 2008

The Memphis Grizzlies Season Stimulus Plan

If you go to the Memphis Grizzlies' home page, you get hit with an offer to exchange your $600 economic stimulus plan check for a pair of Grizz season tickets:

Memphis, April 24, 2008 – The Memphis Grizzlies are helping fans stretch their entertainment dollar further than ever this tax season. For a limited time, fans can take advantage of Uncle Sam's generosity with the Grizzlies Season Stimulus Plan. Fans receiving payments as part of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Economic Stimulus Package can exchange it for two 2008-09 Grizzlies full Season Tickets and $25 Grizz Bucks - without ever touching their pocketbooks.

...sounds like the type of hat that oughta come with a free bowl of soup.

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A Wii Delicacii...

Darren Rovell posted this morning on a new video game destined to find its way into the Wii Sports Game pak...Major League Eating: The Game

MLE President Rich Shea calls this the game for people who want to be a professional athlete...right.

Check out some game footage below. All I was able to figure out from watching this is that you can burp hot fire at your opponent.

Here's to hoping there is a code to unlock Eric "Badlands" Booker.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Steady Burn Asks Chris Cooley...

Chris Cooley's blog and contributions to Yahoo! Sports blog Shutdown Corner are all the rage lately, and I'm sure many folks saw his interview on The Blog Show that was posted this morning.

Great interview by the way, check it out over at the DC Sports Bog or Mister Irrelevant...or anywhere else this nugget gets embedded.

Personally, I enjoyed it the most when he recommended Matt Leinart keep it on the down low in reference to Matt's partying ways

Keep It On the Down Low. Coined by Ronald Isley and R. KELL back in the early 90's I believe...


When asked about his smokin' hot fiance, and if the pictures of her in Maxim made him uncomfortable, Cooley alluded wanted to scream from the top of a mountain, but he didn't have a mountain he had Steinz and Mottram and a beta-max that he has more shots of her goods that he's trying needs because they're probably criminally babe-mastic to get clearance from his wifey to post on his own blog.

...umm, Chris Cooley has a totally awesome life.

Which prompted me to send him an email that read:

Subj: Hey Chris, if you could, would you be Usher?

Hey man - obviously a no-brainer for a johnny-working stiff like me, but you've got a pretty sweet life, so it's worth asking: If you could, would you be Usher?


...chew on it, and get back to me when you have the chance, Cooley.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Surviving the Derby...

Made it home in one disheveled piece from Louisville. Go check out my post on Yahoo! Sports about the journey from New York to Louisville by way of Columbus, OH. I didn't get it to Jamie at Yahoo! until late Monday afternoon due to my demented state.

I'll be posting on Yahoo! again for the second leg of the Triple crown at the Preakness in two weeks. If there is any conceivable way you can get to Baltimore on Saturday, May 17, it would be irresponsible for you not to go.

A few additional Derby Odds & Ends (and check out all my photos in this flickr album):

We posted up at Ohio State (a mere 2.5 hours from Louisville) for the weekend.

I thought I knew about college partying...these kids make me look like a seminarian. As you can see, their football stadium seats a few people. According to my hosts, tickets for an Ohio State vs. Youngstown State game will go for $200.

In my four years at Fordham University, I went to one football game. That game, I'm pretty sure the highlight for everyone there was me and my buddy Bob facing off in the field goal competition at half time. After he put three 20-yarders through the up-rights, I went an embarrassing 0-3, kicking in bare feet. People. Were. Booing.

My advise to those of you still and college. Don't graduate in four years. Stay for like eight, nine. Fail a few classes, immediately.


In reading up on the Derby going into the weekend, I noticed that they love to report on the lineage of the horses. For instance, they were giving Recapturetheglory a fighting chance because he was sired by a relative of Secratariat. And that is the term they always throw out: sired (it sounds sort of evil, right?). You don't hear about siring in any other sport...except maybe bull-riding.

Sometime in the near future Ken Griffey Jr. is going to hit his 600th home run. And you heard it here first, Junior was sired by Ken Griffey Sr. - a ballplayer who himself had over 150 home runs and averaged just under .300.

I'll let these videos speak for themselves. As you will realize, I had a much better view of the mud soccer game than I did of the Derby race.

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