Monday, October 30, 2006

Dikembe Mutombo Is NOT A Monkey!

Apparently, during Thursday night's Orlando Magic game against the Houston Rockets a fan decided to heckle Rockets' player, Dikembe Mutombo, by calling him a monkey. Supposedly, he yelled "Mutombo the Monkey", and did it enough to cause Mutombo to make a move toward the stands. A referee ended up restraining Mutombo, though he didn't restrain his hand and Dikembe did get in a nice "one finger salute". The fan was escorted from the building, and it turns out that he's actually a corporate sponsor. From what I've heard, the guy was acting like a jerk during the exchange, and shortly thereafter. However, now it appears that he's changed his tune, and has apologized to Mutombo. He's also "vowed to never attend another Magic game until Mutombo notifies the club to approve his return" and has offered to donate $5000 to a charity of Mutombo's choice.

In light of the unfortunate heckling with racist overtones, it could have been a lot worse. First, it seems that David Stern's plea for NBA players to leave their firearms at home has been accepted. Thankfully Mutombo did not fire any shots as he was leaving the O-Rena. Second, the referees seemingly did a good job of keeping the NBA players and fans from interacting too much. It looks like that chickenwire fence won't be necessary after all. Though, when a corporate sponsor who had "hosted a party 'to sell Magic tickets' last Wednesday night that was attended by Magic players" is the one doing the heckling courtside there might not be much hope for the future.

Personally, I think Mutombo should make the fan wait until February 3rd before he can return to the Magic home games. Not only does he have to sit out for 3 months, but he's also forced to go to a Knicks game for his first one back. Yeah buddy, let's see how much of a fan you really are! A good arm wrestling match to determine his fate might be right up Mutombo's alley as well.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Forgive Me Father, For I Have Infringed...

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOk, so about two months ago I was able to attend the University of Florida football team's season opener against Southern Mississippi. For the most part is was a pretty standard UF game. College kids drinking, fans doing the "Gator Chomp", and lots of loud noise. At one point however, everything went up a few notches as freshman QB extraordinaire, Tim Tebow, made his highly anticipated debut. At this point I pulled out the camera phone and started recording. I ended up with four small clips(around 30 seconds each), but unfortunately time had run out before Tebow got to run his first play and he ended up scoring his first UF TD in the other end zone.

After a night of celebrating, I totally forgot about the camera phone vids. A few days later however, I remembered I had them and decided to upload them to YouTube so I could share them with my friends who weren't able to partake in the drinking, football watching and more drinking.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with YouTube(well then you're probably not technically advanced enough to even get to this blog but...) it's sort of like the MySpace of the video world. I'm sure you're familiar with MySpace. You know, attention whores, real whores, emo kids looking all sad, etc. Anyway, I put the clips up on YouTube, e-mailed the link to some friends and forgot all about it. That was until I received an e-mail the other day stating that I had violated a copyright law.

Apparently, a company by the name of Collegiate Images, LLC claimed that the material was infringing upon their copyright and asked that it be removed. Intrigued, I checked out the Collegiate Images website. It appears that they provide still images and video of college sports to their customers. In fact, here's what they state:

"Collegiate Images exclusive representation of copyright and trademark footage and still images, for major universities, conferences, bowl games and network rightsholders, enables our customers to access fresh, compelling, and unique imagery."

I understand that they're making money by selling videos of collegiate sports. That's cool with me. Though, I wonder how much goes back into the university system to help out the student athletes they're pimping. However, do they really consider four crappy(let's be honest a cell phone cam isn't the greatest A/V device) cell phone vids to be infringing upon their content? Why in the hell do they want to pick on me?

It appears that if I want to fight them on this that I have to write a letter to YouTube explaining why there was no copyright infringement, and why I should be allowed to host it on their site. Though, it also states that I could be held liable if I "knowingly materially misrepresent that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification". Somehow I think that Collegiate Images and YouTube have a lot more money than I do, and could squash me in court if it ever made it that far.

Instead, I decided to do what any other great American would. Write a blog about it that contains my response! Here goes:

Dear YouTube and Collegiate Images, LLC,
It's come to my attention that four camera phone videos I took while in attendance at the Florida/Southern Miss game this past August might be in violation of some sort of copyright law. Personally, I'm not sure how they violate any copyright as they were pretty crappy quality, I wasn't selling them and I actually attended UF. I'm sure that the horrible resale I got on my textbooks over the course of my studies entitles me to some benefits, no matter how small. With that said, I've decided not to fight you in a court of law, but rather bring this issue out to the court of public opinion. Hopefully, others will read this post, and realize what horrible corporate jackholes you are and will hate Collegiate Images, LLC forever and ever.

Have a Nice Day!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

These ESPN MLB "Experts" Probably Thought ESPN Mobile Was a Great Idea Too!

Sometimes it's fun to go back and see how various "experts" picked teams to perform during their season. Other times, it's depressing. In this case, I think it's extremely humorous because A)The men picking the teams have been deemed "experts" by ESPN, the overlord of broadcast sports and B)Their picks weren't even for the entire season, they were only for the playoffs. So click on that picture and study it, check out this link, and you'll begin to realize why a number of people have stopped getting their sports information from the "Worldwide Leader in Sports". If after all that, you're still in denial about ESPN's "experts" picks here are a few things to consider:

Out of the 19 "experts" none of them picked the Tigers to beat the Yankees in the ALDS. However, six of them picked the Yankees to win it all.

Only one, Enrique Rojas, picked the Cardinals to advance to the NLCS. Though he picked them to lose to the Mets.

Rob Neyer, picked the Dodgers to win it all and J.D. Drew to be the MVP. In three postseason games this year, Drew batted .154 with 0HR's and 0RBI's.

The combined postseason record of the five(Yankees, Twins, Dodgers, Mets, Athletics) different teams picked to win the World Series? 10-17, and three of those teams were swept at some point.

Maybe they should have let the football crew throw in their picks, though I suspect that Michael Irvin would have chosen the Texas Rangers and Tom Jackson would have called him a retard. Again.

Friday, October 20, 2006

And This Is What It's Like To Be An Arizona Cardinals Fan

It's been four days since the "Disaster in the Desert". Unless you're an Arizona fan you've probably moved on, and are eagerly awaiting week 7 in the NFL. If you are a Cardinals fan, then you're probably still hiding under your bed hoping that the Monsters of the Midway have left. To put this loss in perspective for those non-Arizona fans(thankfully I'm a Dolphins that should be regrettably) here are a few things to keep in mind:

-The Cardinals have not had a winning season since 1998 when they went 9-7.

-Over the last five seasons they have a record of 27-53.

-The Cardinals opened a new stadium this year, signed Pro-Bowl running back Edgerrin James(1000+ rush yds each of the past three seasons) and drafted Matt Leinart(1 Heisman, 1 National Title(outright), 37-2 record at USC) with the #10 pick.

Going into Monday night's game, many felt that the Cardinals could have been 3-2 instead of 1-4. Though, many also believed that it wasn't whether or not they would lose to Da Bears, but how much they would lose by and how well Leinart would hold up against that tough Chicago "D".

So heading into the 4th quarter a number of people were probably surprised to see Arizona with a 23-10 lead. Chicago hadn't given up 23pts in a whole game, let alone 3 quarters worth. Many people were even talking about them threatening the '72 Dolphins undefeated season. Arizona fans had to be feeling great about themselves. They had one of the two undefeated teams left in the NFL on the ropes, and were heading into the 4th quarter with a 13 point lead. Then things started falling apart.

Think about your favorite team, and a time when you were sure they were going to win a game. Maybe you had been uncertain at first, but by the latter stages you let yourself start thinking about the win and how great it felt to be a part of it. You were confident, almost cocky, that there was no way they could lose this game. Then, in a span of 2 minutes and 2 seconds, almost too fast to comprehend, everything came crashing down. Suddenly you realized that the win was no longer guaranteed, and all of the celebrating and trash talking could have been in vain. Here's some video evidence to help you feel what this might feel like:

Remember, Edgerrin James had just fumbled for the first time in quite a few carries and the Chicago defense had run it back for a TD. However, Arizona was still winning 23-17 with 5 minutes to play.

So that happens, and you can feel the game slipping away. The 13 point lead has been replaced by a 1 point deficit. Yet there's still some hope because your golden-boy rookie QB has been playing well, and he's got almost 3 minutes to drive the team into field goal range. Plus your kicker, eventhough he missed a clutch kick the week before, was great last season and there's no way he could miss another one. Or is there?

Now the reality of the situation has finally set in, and no amount of alcohol is going to totally erase it from your memory. Whenever people talk about 4th quarter collapses they will always say "yeah, but remember that Arizona game against Chicago? Now that was a collapse!" So if you want to share in the misery of being a Cardinals fan, plug your favorite team into the above situation and grab some JD and a box of Kleenex. Otherwise, there's a wonderful week 7 to look forward to!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Exactly Who Did Bob Stoops Piss Off?

Roughly one month ago the Oklahoma Sooners were robbed of a win by the referees in their game against Oregon. Most Oklahoma fans probably thought that would be the worst thing that happened all year. However, this past weekend things got a little worse.

First, there was Adrian Peterson's dive into the end zone. His TD run preceding the dive was pretty impressive, but the resulting broken collarbone broke the hearts of numerous Oklahoma fans. As of Saturday, Peterson had been averaging almost 156yds rushing per game, and had racked up 10 rushing TD's in 6 games. He was considered one of the frontrunners in the Heisman race.

Then Sunday, came word that one of OU's captains, linebacker Rufus Alexander, had been arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and interfering with official process(each a misdemeanor). Alexander is OU's leading tackler, and one of the best linebackers in the country. No word has come out about whether or not he'll miss any games. Coach Bob Stoops said that any disciplinary action would be handled "internally".

However, after seeing how the debacle against Oregon played out, and now these two incidents within 24hrs of each other I can't help but wonder who Bob Stoops pissed off. Maybe he was the one threatening the ref of the Oregon game? After all, karma is a bitch.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bring on the Gameday Crew! Yes Lee, Even You're Welcome!

Last week, I commented on Lee Corso's recent picking of the Gators to win games during UF-related Gameday remote broadcasts and their subsequent losses. Thankfully it appears that the "Corso Curse" may have been lifted after Lee picked the Gators to beat LSU, and they did just that, 23-10.

This week, I'm going to comment on a rare occurence for the Gameday crew, and how it could mean good things for the Gators as they travel to Auburn to face the Tigers.

Since 1995, ESPN Gameday has rarely covered the same team in back-to-back weeks. Even more rare are the times that they've broadcasted at the home team's locale, and then gone on the road with them the following week. It's happened five times in the past 12 years.

1995: Gameday broadcasts from Colorado, as CU defeats Texas A&M, 29-21. The following weekend, Gameday travels with Colorado to Oklahoma, and the Buffaloes defeat the Sooners, 38-17.

1996: ESPN sends Gameday to Ohio to cover the Ohio State/Penn State match up. OSU defeats PSU, 38-7. The next weekend, Gameday broadcasts from Iowa, as OSU defeats the Hawkeyes, 38-20.

2001: The Oklahoma Sooners are blessed with Gameday's presence as they defeat Kansas State, 38-37. The following weekend, Gameday broadcasts from Dallas for the Okalahoma/Texas game. Though not a true homegame for UT, it is in Texas. The Sooners grab the victory, 14-3.

2003: Gameday travels to Ohio again, this time to cover the Ohio State/Purdue game. The Buckeyes prevail, 16-13. The next weekend, the Gameday crew travels to Michigan for the OSU/UM showdown. Ohio State loses, 21-35. As of right now, it's the only time that the road team has failed to win after being the hometeam the previous weekend in back-to-back Gameday broadcasts.

2006: Once again, Gameday makes an appearance in Ohio for the Ohio State/Penn State game. The Buckeyes win 28-6. The following weekend, Gameday broadcasts from Iowa as Ohio State comes to town to play the Hawkeyes. OSU wins 38-17.

As you can see, in four out of five instances the road team has won after being the hometeam in back-to-back ESPN Gameday broadcasts. Pretty good odds for a Florida Gators victory. One other thing to consider, the last time that Gameday covered a Florida/Auburn game was in 1997. They were in Auburn, AL, and Florida won 24-10.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

HEY! Little Tony Stewart! Get Off My Lawn!

Recently, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports wrote an article addressing the issue of confederate flags still being prominently displayed at NASCAR races. Only one driver, Dale Jr., was willing to say anything about the "Rebel Flag", but you get the feeling that the flag flying so proudly on a number of infield vehicles probably isn't the greatest thing for attracting new, more diverse, fans.

After reading the article, I decided to check out to see if anything confederate related had snuck past the quality control engineers in charge of the online store. While I was unable to locate anything with the Confederate Flag, I did find a few other items that were pretty odd. Two in particular caught my eye.

The first was that collection of NASCAR themed Halloween costumes that you see above. Your little racecar driver can choose from Dale Jr.(show your appreciation for his tough stance on Confederate Flags), Jeff Gordon(stunning 5th grade arm candy not included) or Tony Stewart(be prepared for some cussin' and fightin'). Unfortunately you have to buy the BillyBob teeth separately.

The second item that I noticed was this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

That's right, it's a Tony Stewart inspired bathrobe. I'm sure every female out there secretly hopes her man won't put one on because he'll become so irrestible. It's perfect for those nights when you're "bump drafting" that special someone, though "rear end lube" doesn't seem to be included.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

October 4th Has Not Been Kind To Torii Hunter...

By now, even the most casual baseball fan has probably seen the video of Torii Hunter misplaying Mark Kotsay's hit which allowed Kotsay to score an in-the-park home run. While the play seemed odd(at least in hindsight, super slo-mo, 20/20 vision) because Hunter appeared to have no shot at catching the ball before it landed. The truly odd thing was that the same play happened to him on the same date, in the same outfield, against the same team, four years earlier.

On October 4, 2002, the Twins were facing the Athletics in Game 3 of the ALDS. In the first at bat of that game, Oakland's Ray Durham hit the ball to centerfield, and Torii Hunter charged up to make a play. Instead of catching the ball though, he misplayed it, allowing the ball to skip under his glove and roll to the wall. Durham motored around all of the bases, and made it home before A.J. Pierzynski could apply the tag. The play resulted in the first in-the-park home run in Division Series history, and now, four years later to the day, Torii Hunter has been involved in another one.

Hunter Gets Hated On By October 4th(Real Player needed)

On October 4, 2010, Torii might want to consider staying in bed. Seriously.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Keep Corso Away From the Gator Head!

This week, the ESPN Gameday crew will be broadcasting live from the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, FL for the LSU Tigers versus Florida Gators showdown. It's a great opportunity for students and fans to showoff creative and sometimes vulgar signs, and hurl humorous and sometimes meanspirited insults at Fowler, Herbstreit and Corso(well, mostly Corso).

However, there's much more at stake than being the jackass on TV talking on your cellphone, pointing at the camera and saying "you see me? I'm on ESPN! I'm pointing at you right NOW!"

You see, since 2001 Lee Corso's picks have not been kind to the Gators. Before '01 Corso did pretty well at picking the victor of most Florida games. It became that if you were a Gator fan you wanted Corso to pick them, because if he didn't then they were likely to lose.

Corso did well with his first Florida pick of the '01 season. He chose Florida to beat South Carolina in Columbia, SC. The Gators went on to defeat the Gamecocks 54-17. All seemed well in Gatorland until Tennessee showed up in early December.

Normally, the Gators and Vols play early in the season, oftentimes it's the SEC opener for both teams. However, due to the terrorist attacks on Spetember 11th the game was rescheduled for December 1st. Corso picked the Gators to win at home.

Florida lost 34-32.

Perhaps the scheduling change had thrown Corso off. Surely he would regain his form in 2002. The Gator faithful would have to wait until September 7th, when the #1 ranked Miami Hurricanes came to town, to see how Corso would fare.

Corso picked Florida to win. Gator fans collectively held their breath, and watched Florida get blasted 41-16. Florida fans started to realize that Corso's pick was a curse on them, and that belief was reinforced when the Gators played Georgia in that year's "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"(eff your couch Michael Adams!) Corso chose the #5 ranked 'Dawgs(probably to the delight of many Florida fans), and the #22 ranked Gators ended up prevailing, 20-13. Gator fans everywhere started hoping that Corso would never say "Not so fast my friend! I'm going with the Gators!" again.

In 2003, Florida fans got to test the Corso pick theory again as the #9 ranked Gators welcomed the #11 ranked Seminoles to Gainesville. Once again, Corso put the hex on Florida by picking the Gators to win. They lost to FSU, 38-14.

Fortunately for the Gators, Corso and the Gameday crew never made an appearance at any Florida games in 2004.

However, in 2005 Corso had another shot at dooming the Gators. Once again, ESPN Gameday appeared at the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville. This time the #4 ranked 'Dawgs faced off against the #16 ranked Gators. Corso picked Georgia, and there was much rejoicing, as Florida won 14-10.

Now it's 2006, and Gator fans everywhere are faced with a dilema. Is Corso's LSU-Florida pick the one where he gets back on-track, goes with the Gators, watches them win and picks the Gators(and wins) everytime Gameday is involved in a Florida game? Or does Corso pick the Gators over the Tigers, and doom Florida's as-of-now perfect season? Personally, I think all Florida fans know what they must do. It's more important than any "Corso Has A Baby Arm" sign, or "Kirk Herbstreit wants to make manlove to Nick Lachey" insult.

We must keep the Gator head from ever sliding over the Sunshine Scooter's oddly shaped cranium at all costs! As Under Armor would say, "WE MUST PROTECT THIS REPTILE DOME!"

Monday, October 02, 2006

The New NCAA Clock Rule: Less Plays, More Gambling!

During the offseason, the NCAA enacted a new rule regarding the playclock, and many college coaches weren't exactly pleased with it.

After the Ohio State versus Texas game, Texas coach Mack brown made his displeasure known. Regarding the new rule Brown said, "They scored with six minutes left and the game was over before we had a chance to do anything. I really hope whoever made these changes will go back and look them over."

Florida coach Urban Meyer has also voiced concern about the new rule, "I'm very concerned with the direction of college football. I'm not sure what's the intent [of the rule]. I'm going to really get involved in that in the offseason. I did a bad job as head football coach at a premier place to not be more vocal."

While some coaches and fans may hate the new rule, there is a group that has benefitted. Bookies.

Since games are running shorter, with early games often finishing before the late games, bettors are taking their winnings from the early games and using them to bet on the late games.

Bodog Sportsbook estimates that "10-20 percent" of their morning payouts get re-bet, and that even a small percentage of reinvestment "will create a ton of growth(for us) over the course of the season."

Another aspect adding to the increased winning for bookmakers is that a large portion of bettors are still taking the over. Due to the shortened games, less points are being scored and the under is hitting more often.

While the NCAA thought the new rule would benefit the game and fans, it seems that right now bookies are the ones loving it the most.

John Clayton's Son(well...maybe...)

This past Saturday, I was flipping channels, and stopped briefly on the sports channel everyone loves to hate, ESPN. It happened to be an episode of Sean Salisbury's NFL weekly preview. During one of the segments an ESPN personality appeared that I had never seen before. His name was Eric Karabell, and to me at least, he gives me an idea of what the offspring of John Clayton look like. It was quite scary actually.