Thursday, June 11, 2009

7 comments What's Irritating Me Today

There are a couple of things irritating me today and I feel the need to share them with everyone. First, I wanted to say that I am going on vacation for the next couple of days. I don't normally share my vacation plans with the entire world but if you notice there is not a post in a day, I don't want anyone to think that I died. If I die, I will tell you. I do actually have a couple of posts scheduled for a couple days out, so there will be stuff posted. So check back Friday and Monday and there will be something up, other than the normal discussion in the comments of course. I worked extra hard this week to schedule out a couple of posts so you loyal commenters have something to read if you so choose while I am gone. I will catch up with the MMQB on Wednesday and I know I may miss a Simmons article or two. It's these type of pathetic things you have to do when you are the only one on the blog actively writing. I would like to just have someone else write the MMQB when I can't.

Ok, now to what is irritating me today. There are a few things that are getting under my skin, which should not surprise anyone who reads this blog regularly.

-This is not really irritating to me, but just a comment that I feel like sharing with the world. I know Mark Teixeira is playing well this year, I do realize this, and I never expected him not to. He can't carry that Yankee team though, which is why I call him the best second best player in the major leagues. He went 4 out of 5 last night against the Red Sox and had a great game...but I can't help but notice in the 9th inning against Papelbon he ground out. That is him in a nut shell for me. He gets his hits off Wakefield and Ramirez, but he can't start a Yankee rally with a base hit in the 9th inning off an All-Star pitcher. I am not throwing him in the "he chokes in the clutch" type category, but am just saying he gets paid millions of dollars to get hits off guys like Papelbon and I don't know if he can do it.

I know, I know, it's me being hard on Tex again. A-Rod drew a walk to chants of "You did steroids" from the crowd, I think Tex should be able to get on base as well. Again, I am not saying he is a choker or that he never gets on base but he certainly did not get money in this off season to get hits off Ramirez and Wakefield only.

-Jay Mariotti wrote a shit article a few days ago about how Phil Jackson needed to "ride off into the sunset" if he won a tenth title. Journalists are absolutely infatuated with the idea of coaches and players winning a championship and then retiring. They were all over Jerome Bettis when he was lucky enough to do this and they adored Michael Jordan when he pushed off Byron Russell, made a game winning basket and won his 6th championship and then retired. It's such a romantic notion to win a championship and then retire.

You hate to tell a legend when it's time to retire, especially when he's at the top of his game. But the perfect ending for Jackson would be to let the purple-and-gold confetti fall on his silver mane, celebrate his fourth crown in 10 years with the Lakers, appreciate his psychological work in transforming Kobe Bryant from a superbrat to an all-time maestro and depart in style as the league's ultimate coaching champion.

Well then don't tell him to retire. Does anyone really think if Phil Jackson retired he would stay retired? There's no way I see this happening. So in Jay Mariotti's fantasy when Jackson retired he would stay retired, but in reality he would be back 2 years later to start coaching the Dallas Mavericks or the Grizzlies. Hell, he has already retired from the Lakers one time and then come back to them, maybe he wants to compete with Michael Jordan to see how many times he can retire and un-retire. These journalistic retirement-championship fantasys are all bullshit.

The symbolism of going out on top would be particularly important in Jackson's case. Perhaps it will serve to jolt the national consciousness into finally giving him his just due.

Yeah, why does everyone always underrate Phil Jackson? He has only won 9 NBA Titles and yet you hear nothing about him on a day to day basis? What's up with that?

Actually, Jackson is not overlooked at all. He is probably the only NBA coach I have never openly questioned his in-game tactics, not because I think he is a great coach, but because I have just assumed a guy who has won so much knows what the hell he is doing. If anything Phil Jackson is rated exactly like he should be, since much like Red Auerbach he has the players to win championships and he has done so. Jackson is the best coach of the late 1970's era and I don't know what else Mariotti wants us to think about him.

So why isn't Jackson lauded more for his handling of delicate, moody, superstar psyches? Isn't it the most vital function a coach can perform in this day and age?

This is ALL he is lauded for. Seriously. Many people don't think of him as a basketball coach, they think of him as a very well paid psychologist.

Where the hell has Jay Mariotti been? Phil Jackson is widely thought to be a great coach and he doesn't need to make a dramatic exit for his coaching tenure to be considered a success. Retiring now would only lead to him inevitably coming back to coach a different team. He would not stay retired.

-Do you know what the difference in a head coach being a success and a head coach being a failure? I will give you a hint it has nothing to do with coaching, it has to do with winning games. Someone needs to tell Steve Aschburner of this revelation.

I know it seems too logical to say that, but every time a team starts winning the coach or manager starts getting credit for what is happening, like they are doing something different. All those little annoying things the players/coaches do seem to go away and everyone is at peace...until they start losing again.

Stan Van Gundy isn't your standard-issue, central-casting NBA coach. He is rumpled where others are creased, hot where they are cool, a screamer, a pleader, a celebrator, a reactor.

In other words, he is a coach that players don't normally like, except for right now, because the Magic are winning. It just irritates me when columnists are acting like Van Gundy is really doing anything different other than winning basketball games.

"I'm really glad he's around, even though he gets on my nerves," a smiling Howard told the Los Angeles Times in January. "I hate to hear his voice all the time, but he pushes us to be better. ... I could score 50 points, but if I don't have two blocks, four blocks, he's going to kill me."

Will Howard feel the same way when the Magic are 33-42 and not going to make the playoffs? No, he will not. That's pretty obvious. So why not just say the only difference in Van Gundy's players liking and hating him is that they are currently winning basketball games? That sounds a lot more accurate and easier.

Guard Jameer Nelson had been in Orlando for three years before Van Gundy arrived in June 2007. "In the beginning, I don't think anybody understood how intense he was and how passionate he was about playing the right way, doing everything right, everything being perfect," Nelson said during this season. "But he's a great coach. We understand him now. We never hold grudges. He's allowed to say something to you, you can say something back and then we go play."

Don't these quotes just sound like something is going to blow up in Orlando the first time they are below .500? Van Dundy is on Howard's ass about everything, he screwed up the guard rotation in the Finals and he is always yelling. Always.

Said Nets president Rod Thorn: "I think he's one of the better coaches in the league. They made nice adjustments in their games. I thought he did a heck of a job in Miami when he was there. ... He's like a stream of consciousness. Whatever comes out, comes out, more so than most coaches. Sometimes it may upset players a little bit, but he's a passionate guy, he cares, and I think they take it for what it is for the most part."

Notice how almost every quote in some way contains a mention that he pisses the players off? I don't see how he can last constantly doing that. Maybe he will. Either way, I know Howard doesn't always like him, Rafer Alston gets irritated by him, and he doesn't seem to be the most solid X's and O's guy around. The two reasons he is getting so much credit right now is because the Magic are winning and he has a versatile team where he can put a lot of different lineups on the floor to match up with the other team.

I want articles written about coaches to say what really happens though. When teams win, the players like him, when teams lose, the players hate him.

-Rick Reilly irritates me even when he writes an article that has a point.

It so happens that on May 8, 2004, the Oakland A's had a Mother's Day promotion. There was a fight-breast-cancer 5K run before the game, free mammograms and the first 7,500 women through the gate got floppy plaid sun hats from Macy's. Nice day for the ladies.

Except that last part really hacked off a man named Alfred G. Rava. He was incensed that men weren't getting a floppy plaid sun hat for Mother's Day. He was so mad about it that he sued.

Wow, this guy is a real tool. How do I read this article though and still get through shit like this:

Of course, you'll have to cash in your basic moral decency to do it and incur the wrath of every woman in your life -- including your mom -- and feel worse about yourself than Sanjaya's barber.

What's next, Mr. Rava? Kids' Helmet Night? (Age discrimination!) Wheelchairs along the rail with a view? (Health discrimination!) Mullets Get in Free Day? (Clean-hair statutes!)

It is so hard to do.

Personally, I find Mr. Rava as odorous as a bag of dyspeptic hamsters. He's a greasy manipulator who has found a small leak in American law and stuck an open wallet under it.

Yes, he is a horrible person. I think we can all agree he needs to get a life. From now on though, I can't get past the thought of Rick Reilly and not see that Sports Illustrated magazine cover in my head of Mark McGwire smothering his kid with a puff piece headline by Rick Reilly in the middle of the page. Fred Trigger linking that has forever changed my life. Then Reilly had the audacity to try to call others out for not calling out the steroid users simply because he hijacked Sammy Sosa in the locker room one time and asked him to pee in a cup. That makes him innocent and we should ignore the puff piece on McGwire.

Reilly did not write a horrible article in this case, but I am at the point I can't even read one of his articles due to the bad jokes and loose grasp on journalism.

-Go to the basement, bring tons of canned food and water, and be sure to have tons of batteries ready. The Simpocolypse is coming.

Fresh from Deadspin, for those of you who like Bill Simmons' podcasts and his nasally voice, you can see him debate topics on national television. I wonder if each of the arguments will end with Simmons giving a hyperbolic example and finally the camera man turning to Le Batard awkwardly to give the next topic? Or will Simmons just crack a joke and back down in an argument? I guess we will find out.

I don't listen to Simmons podcasts so maybe he will be better than thought, but I have little to no hopes for this show when he is on it. I just don't think he has a grasp on anything outside of the NBA (which I admit he is an expert on) and his favorite Boston teams to talk about them. He can talk about the Red Sox pretty well but I am not impressed with his talking about baseball as a whole. Not so shockingly, I am sure it will be one of the highest rated PTI's if they publicize his arrival as a substitute enough. Then it will give Simmons plenty of chance to create new "Faces," "Corollaries," and "Theories" in his column based on things he has said on the show. I am sure he will do fine because it is not exactly the most difficult show to do. You debate topics you have been briefed about beforehand. I wonder how many Larry Bird and Boston references he will be able to squeeze into one show?

I also really doubt that Stat Boy will be present when Simmons sub hosts. The last thing Simmons would want is to have someone point out all the things he has said wrong or inconsistent during the program. We all know Simmons doesn't like any negative feedback or criticism of any fashion. Actually, it will probably be an All-NBA edition of PTI and Stat Boy is from Simmons' area so he would probably go easy on him. Let's just say that I am not looking forward to this show. I could end up being surprised by Simmons...of course I am never home in time from work to watch PTI anyway, so none of this matters.

-In a similar vein to Robert Horry's pathetic Hall of Fame entrance attempts, Andre Rison seems to have a very high opinion of himself.

Let's hear some Andre Rison advice:

“I tell them they can’t make mistakes they can’t come back from.

Like death.

I tell them not to even put themselves in bad situations. Don’t be a follower. President Clinton did some things wrong with that whole adultery thing. Martha Stewart did some things wrong. Kobe Bryant did some things wrong. They all made mistakes here and there, and I relate that to them.”

Yes, those are some great points you have there Andre. I think Rison should be put in the Hall of Fame because he was the first borderline mentally handicapped adult to play in the least based on these comments he seems that way.

“Unfortunately, the Smiths didn’t do what they should’ve done —- make me a forever Falcon.

Is this some type of secret code to Morrissey only he can understand?

I just came off the basketball court. But everybody doesn’t have a Brett Favre situation [where they’re allowed to play into their 40s].

"Allowed" to play in their 40s. In other words, nobody wanted his ass on their football team anymore. It wasn't about "allowing" him to play but about talent. You aren't allowed to play if you don't have talent anymore.

“Best receiver to ever play the game. I can’t show my highlights because I don’t own NFL Films, but all my coaches in college, in high school, in junior college, they all told me I could be the best.

When did Andre Rison go insane and how the hell did I miss this? His coaches said he "could" be the best, not that he was the best. Rison unsurprisingly misses this small difference in semantics.

Andre Rison doesn't own NFL Films? I thought he did. I like how he feels the need to throw that comment in there in case anyone actually believed that he was the sole proprietor and owner of NFL films.

But they must’ve lied because that title was already given to Jerry Rice. Just because you have stats doesn’t mean you’re the best.

In Andre Rison Crazy World, this may be true.

Can’t nobody tell me that Andre Reed isn’t better than Jerry Rice.

Please, please, please tell me this is not a misprint and he really called himself Andre Reed. Can this happen just for me?

But I’m coming out with my own hall of fame.”

Get there early to buy tickets to the Andre Rison Hall of Fame. They will be going slowly, so get there fast for your opportunity to see a man go insane one day at a time.

“It’s called ‘Wide Open’ and it’s already written. It’s a show-and-tell book.

Oh yes, a show-and-tell book. I would be completely lying if I said I knew what this was. Is he going to bring it to read to small children at a daycare or preschool? Does it have pop up pictures of his house burning to the ground at the hands of Lisa Lopes? I need to know these things.

You know, outside of the idea he thinks he is the greatest receiver ever, this doesn't irritate me. I'm not even angry, I'm impressed at his ability to go so crazy so quickly.

-Doug Gottlieb, who just seems like a real prick, is not really sure that Tim Floyd did anything wrong at USC. He also doesn't seem to think his resignation means he is guilty of giving money to OJ Mayo.

Clearly, Mr. Gottlieb is deluded. If Floyd was innocent he would not have resigned from his position as head coach of USC. I know there have been no charges filed or anything of the like, but I can't help but think Floyd resigned because he was guilty and wanted to salvage his career as a head coach in college basketball. Floyd is a moron. He should know the real way to avoid NCAA sanctions and make sure you keep your head coaching job is to leave BEFORE the allegations become public, just like John Calipari does.

Also, I can't read the entire article because I am not an "Insider" but I would imagine the reason Gottlieb is not criticizing Floyd for his mistake is because Gottlieb made one of his own in college. That's why I don't have a credit card. At least Gottlieb knew how to take a charge. (Get it? If so, shoot me, I just turned into Rick Reilly/Woody Paige)

-The A-Rod book sales suck. Karma is a bitch isn't it?

I don't think this is a public approval ofr steroid use as much as it is a public indictment of anonymous shady sources used by writers to support circumstantial facts. The facts sounded interesting until many people realized there wasn't a whole lot of proof behind them...hence low book sales.

-Marcin Gortat is in a fight with Reebok over his Michael Jordan tattoo.

Two things:

1. Didn't they notice the tattoo on his leg right above his foot before they signed him to a shoe contract?

2. I did not even know Gortat wore Reebok shoes. Now I do. I would imagine there are others like me. That should be enough publicity for a Michael Jordan tattoo being worth the trouble for Reebok.

I can see why Reebok wants him to cover it up (but with makeup???? On his leg???) because Jordan is associated with Nike, but they are getting great publicity out of this and really just because Jordan was a Nike guy doesn't mean people won't know Gortat wears Reeboks. I think Gortat is right to refuse to get rid of the tattoo because it was there before he signed the contract.

I will have a couple posts the next couple days and will be back live on Wednesday.


AJ said...

What, he is going to be on PTI? I give up on that show. I don't want to know when that will be, nor do I care...i'll make sure not to tune in though.. I think King of Queens is on at that time anyway.

Who gets a tatoo of Jordan on them?

Also, what do you mean you are going on vacation? I thought bloggers didn't actually what are you taking a vacation from exactly? I'm gonna need some answers here, or I'll be forced to read a real bloggers that doesn't work, quotes made up stats, and lives in a basement.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, Simmons is supposed to guest host PTI a few times according to Dan Le Batard. At least he is not going on Around the Horn...he has some self respect. I am never home so I will never be able to watch it anyway.

Apparently Polish basketball players get tattoos of Michael Jordan on them four or five years ago. It seems sort of random to me, but if I remember correctly it looks a lot like the Nike photo of Jordan in mid-air.

By going on vacation I mean choosing a different city located closer to the beach to sit around and do nothing in another relative's attic. Don't worry, I have no job, no life, and no loved ones. The relative doesn't even know I will be living in the attic, hence that is why I won't be near the Internet to blog. My relative lives in Maryland, so I am also looking forward to avoiding STD's and/or avoiding any area where The Wire was set. I am too fragile for that.

I also want to defend my stats, they are all made up...ok, maybe not.

The Casey said...

Hopefully he's subbing for Kornheiser, because can you imagine the two of them on the same show? Kornheiser & Wilbon are a good match, but Wilbon really makes the show.

Bengoodfella said...

Kornheiser and Simmons would drive me crazy. There is only so much of that I could handle. I think Wilbon and Simmons would be a good show to watch...assuming I made it home in time to watch it of course. I like Wilbon the best too. Kornheiser's antics and some of his opinions are a little bit too much for me sometimes.

Just from watching that show I can see why he did not exactly succeed on MNF. It just doesn't seem like it is his type of thing.

KentAllard said...

You disrespect Andre Rison/Reed? A man who is on the faculty at FOOTBALL UNIVERSITY? If the man wasn't keeping him down, he'd show you.

I have a new appreciation for Rison, since I have a soft spot for athletes who have created their own reality. I remember the CNN shots of his mansion burning after Left Eye torched it than anything he did on the field.

Enjoy your vacation. Remember, there are some things penicillin can't cure.

Martin said...

Oh dear God. Simmons has value on his podcasts because he's allowed to talk about what he likes/wants, and isn't constrained by things like facts or need to know a whole lot about sports. He's good at talking (cause he doesn't really interview) with people he either knows, who's work he's interested in, or cover sports/things he likes. He has his share of lame/lousy interviews though, and putting him on PTI will be horrible. His bias will make Wilbon gnash his teeth and probably call him "moron" about the 22nd minute mark of the first episode.

Bengoodfella said...

I am still on vacation but of course have to chime in here. I want to hear more from Andre Rison...immediately. He sounds insane and I want to hear more from him immediately.

Martin, I am going to be really interested in hearing what Simmons has to say because he doesn't have quite the journalistic background the others who have been on the show have.