Wednesday, February 28, 2007

SuperStar Be To Be...

So I already have a post down for tomorrow. I don't know whether I'll have the write-up, photos, or both done for tomorrow for "Superstar Be". But just for a little preview on which NBA superstar is next...


Recognize him?

Parallel Universe: Pac-Man Jones is Sir Adam the Chivalrous

Recently there has been a lot of speculation as to what some scattered reports about Pac-Man Jones mean. Due to an EXCLUSIVE interview with Pac-Man Jones, MC Bias is the ONLY blogger able to explain what really happened on that Las Vegas night. For truly, Pac-Man Jones is really a knight in the tradition of the Middle Ages, and is known to his squires and family as Sir Adam the Chivalrous. It came to pass, that as he sought for the Grail, Sir Adam descended on the desert city of Las Vegas with a bag of money to give to the needy that dwelt there. And behold, a young man requested of Sir Adam, that he assist impoverished dancers within a local establishment. Sir Adam stepped within, and found that the women were so poor that their clothes were in rags or non-existent. Some of them shook uncontrollably from hunger. Filled with compassion, he began to distribute the money in his bag to the needy women.

However, verily as Sir Adam did distribute the money to the women, he spied a snake on top of a pole. At first, he crossed himself, thinking this to be a miraculous sign as that which visited Moses and the Israelites in the desert. Alas, this was no snake of healing, but a venomous cobra. Unfortunately, Sir Adam had sworn not to bear weapons made of man within the city. He bravely swung his fist at the serpent, but unfortunately he had forgotten about the woman swinging around on the pole. His fist struck her full on the mouth, and she dropped like a stone. The bouncers, not seeing the serpent in the darkened club, rushed to demand an explanation of Sir Adam. The serpent seized this opportunity to dig its fangs deep within the leg of the nearest bouncer. Sir Adam, thinking quickly, immediately bit the bouncer’s leg at the point of the bite and leeched out the venom. Having saved the bouncer’s life, he raced to his squires, who remained without. They were under no oath to avoid bearing arms, and so he commanded his strongest squire to fire upon the serpent. However, the squire did not have the courage of Sir Adam, and his firing only hit the people within rather than the serpent. Saddened, Sir Adam commanded his squire to put his gun away, and they left the building. Sir Adam left the money bag there to pay for the medical attention of the needy, and continued on his quest for the Grail.

And in the parallel universe of Pac-Man Jones, THAT is what happened in Las Vegas.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

ESPN Page 2 Ombudsman: Pearlman and Buckheit

MC Bias started paying attention to sports on-line because of ESPN Page 2's launch, and read ESPN Page 2 almost exclusively for about 3 years. Crazy? Yes. But I go way back with them, and thus, I'd like to offer my services as an ombudsman. Hey, George Solomon is busy enough taking care of the ESPN TV blunders.

Good: Maybe it's simply the work I've seen, but most of Jeff Pearlman's work screams "I'm smarter than these dumb jocks", an attitude I abhor in sportswriting. He picks easy targets like Bonds, Rocker, and homo-hater athletes and hammers them as if he's providing society a courageous service. However, for once he has decided to show a deserving athlete some appreciation. His article gives Ken Griffey Jr. respect as the best clean hitter of his generation. Wonderful article, once you get past the Bonds-bashing. Ok, Jeff, we get it, you're smart and not easily taken in by Bonds' attitude...just like 90% of us. Get over yourself.

Still, though, Jeff's Page 2 Profile pic looks a LOT like Ben from the Others. That may not be so forgiveable:

After Mary Buckheit hints in an article that her sexuality is not purely hetero (apparently, her favorite letters in MCBias are the middle two), her bosses choose her to interview the previous "Page 2 Hottest Female Athletes." What a terrible idea, beginning with the fact that your favorite Biased Blogger wasn't chosen to lob softball questions at Jennie Finch.

Seriously, it's odd enough if it's the same gender interviewing women (or men) about how attractive they are. You wouldn't want to read Bill Simmons asking Tom Brady what makes him so attractive, would you? It's worse when each question asked makes you wonder "hetero Mary or homo Mary?". It's just confusing as can be not knowing which it is, and dreadfully awkward.

On the other hand, I appreciate the women themselves (Jennie Finch, Amanda Beard, and Heather Mitts) in the interviews. They are not only attractive but genuinely level-headed and charming. That's RARE for good-looking females (and males) to be socially adept, funny, and humble. (The obligatory PSA; if you are such a female and you are angry at my sterotypeing against the good-looking, call 1-800-MCBIASNOW. Really, I want to change my Biased ways, my stereotype is due to my upbringing, and only you can rehabilitate me. :-p )

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Man of the People: Steve Nash

I wanted to also start a feature of superstars taking pictures with their fans. I did a little looking around the 'Net for photos of Steve Nash with regular people or out and about, and found quite a few good ones. My apologies to those of you with dial-up; anyone know how to use the "jump" feature on blogger?

Just a note; I hate it when people immmediately assume too much about a picture. No, Athlete X has not personally dated every single person who he takes a picture with. Also, I'm not posting the pictures of athletes in various states of undress or with their families; go find those yourselves. Most everything else is fair game. That disclaimer said, on we go!

We start it off old-school with a regular picture:

Nash channeling 50's movie stars or a prison mugshot, not sure which.

Steve with some Italians. Female readers, please, breathe deeply. Don't get too excited.

Dirk and Steve singing again.

Our salacious picture of the evening.

Nash with a random fan. Bony-faced city.

Nash with four fans

Nash reading to a little fan; the caption was "Nash can't read" which cracked me up.

Youthful fan showing her Nash appreciation, thought this was cute.

Steve and Dirk in the pool.

Another random fan pic

Steve Nash is not afraid of the color pink.

Or of having his picture taken with attractive women.


jeff and steve nash
Affection for Steve Nash images is not limited to short blondes.

Me and Steve Nash
See, some of them are rather tall, too.

For the record, Steve WILL eat your children.

Some fan PDA this time around.

Nash! Portugal, by the caption

Another female fan

Superstar Be: Steve Nash

I thought I'd blog about a different NBA superstar every Thursday. I like the challenge of trying to come up with new perspectives on endlessly evaluated players. First up: Steve Nash. And yes, the title is odd and grammatically incorrect; sounds cool though.

Steve Nash's MVP'ness is endlessly debated, but his overall value to a team and All-Star status is unquestioned. Here's who I think Steve Nash Be;

Steve Nash Be JEDI Watching him in person in a recent NBA game, I was struck by how little it seemed that he used his eyes. Steve is a master of feeling the tempo of the game; this may come from his exposure to soccer. It seemed to me that instead of looking, he FELT when he should push the ball, or when the defender on a player might be getting tired, or when he should shoot instead of pass. He has an innate sense of balance, and does a great job of unbalancing opposing teams to give his teammates easy shots in empty or near-empty areas. I really appreciate his sense of flow, and think that very few point guards have it to the degree he does.

Steve Nash Be Opportunistic There's no way a little man from a country where basketball is not well-known or followed (yes, Raptors fans, except for you) makes it otherwise. Very few people are truly opportunistic in life. It's one thing to make your own opportunity happen by hard work or determination. Many of us win that way. It's another thing to react seamlessly to opportunity when it is revealed by the actions of others, to make your own breaks into the big time when you have no connections. Look at how he took the Phoenix contract over returning to Dallas. Phoenix was coming off a terrible year, while Dallas was contending for a championship. Yet, he's made it look like a genius decision. These are the people who first notice that Lane 3 at the supermarket has opened up while you, glancing at the tabloids, wonder why they still cover Brittany Spears and Jessica Simpson. (Answer; because people other than you will buy it. Duh!).

Steve Nash Be Underground Killer Have you ever thought about how many All-Star point guards have turned out to be ruthless? And it seems that the gentler the face, the worse the crimes. Steve Nash doesn't have too many crimes of note yet, but give him time. Think about it:

Jason Kidd, NJ Nets.
Victims: Joumana Kidd's face, Half of Stephon Marbury's Reputation

Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons (retired)
Victims: John Paxson (see the Jordan Rules book), CBA, James Dolan, Larry Brown, Female Knicks front office personnel (allegedly)

Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers (retired)
Victims: Chocolate cakes and desserts the world over, viewers of his late-night TV show, female partners after he had AIDS

John Stockton, Utah Jazz (retired)
Victims: John Amaechi's career...kidding! Just had to get ol' Stock on here somewhere. Supposedly, he fouled like crazy too and got away with it, so put that on there.

Gary Payton, Miami Heat
Victims: Male strippers in Toronto, Lakers fans who thought he had something left in the tank, Milwaukee Bucks

Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
Victims: Mark Cuban's intelligence, Kobe Bryant's supposed killer instinct, What was left of Stephon Marbury's reputation, MVP voters (the first time, in my opinion), TBD

So there you have it. Steve Nash picture post may/may not follow.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Much Respect: KC Johnson

No, not KJ...not Magic...KC Johnson, a professor in NYC. The man has analyzed the Duke rape case intensely, and is one of the main reasons it has fallen apart. He fearlessly took on the Group of 88, NAACP, you name it, all the organizations that were on the wrong side of the issue. And he did it even though his own politics place him on the left side of the political spectrum; this was no right-winger grinding an axe. Read an interview here
and his analysis here . Dr. Johnson, us sports bloggers can only dream about having such a healthy impact on critical real-world matters. Those young men may have been in jail today if not for you. Thanks.

*As an amusing sidenote, Dr. Johnson is from NYC: so mark down a POSITIVE contribution for the NYC Factor. I'll be pointing to this post as evidence of my supposed objectivitiy after you all complain about my 20th negative post about the NYC factor, heh.

Monday, February 19, 2007

NYC Factor Update: Lebron James Scroll down; apparently, the A-like symbol that Lebron made was for Jay-Z after all, judging by the picture.

NYC Factor: Nate Robinson and Lebron James

After watching the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday, I, like many people, wondered why Dwight Howard didn't get more points for his sticker dunk. I thought that Dwight's dunks were slightly better than Nate Robinson's. Once again, we were treated to mediocre dunks in the finals, because the men who advanced used their best dunks in the preliminaries. There needs to be a rule change to stop this.

***Sidenote: the verse on Dwight Howard's sticker says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (In context, it doesn't mean I can do everything, it means more like "I can put up with anything, good or bad, through Christ who strengthens me.) The judges decided winning the Slam Dunk contest would not be one of those things this year; kind of amusing.***

Anyway, I wondered if Nate Robinson's advancement was due to the dreaded "New York City Factor." I don't think I even have to explain this to you, but I'll give it a few sentences. Basically, New York City has more people than any other US city, and has more than its share of US financial and media powerhouses. So anything that is associated with New York City is assumed to be a little better than anything else just by default. The judges of what is good (i.e. media) tend to be from NYC itself, so they exhibit hometown bias.

So for example, if I'm a football blogger, and I blog out of New York City, I have many more potential contacts in my city to trade links and comments with, and there are many more Giants and Jets fans out there. Therefore, my blog will have more hits and comments than it might if I was blogging out of, say, Kansas City. Of course, it may be that I AM better, or even I am in New York City BECAUSE I am better, and a big company wooed me there. Talent attracts talent. But, way too often for my liking, a NYC product gets blessed by the "NYC Factor" for all the wrong reasons.

Nate Robinson; blessed by the NYC Factor or not? You decide.

As a bonus, here's another blogger's take on a potential case of NYC Factor involving Lebron James: . I agree with him, because of the "Four" being shown first.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rasheed Wallace Video

I made this myself. :-) I know it's not clear whether I am praising or mocking Wallace. Mostly praise, I assure you; deep down, Rasheed seems like a decent guy. Just a touch of mockery in the song choice, though; it's funny to think of Rasheed (or nearly any 7' male) being so insecure.

The Hard-a-way

The Tim Hardaway story reminds me of the old DC Talk song that opens "Some people gotta learn the hard way/I guess I'm the type of guy who has to find out for myself" I swore to myself I wasn't going to write about this, and here I am anyway. I had an AWESOME video post planned for today...and I had to work late last night, so no video. Maybe later today.

Anyway, what bothers me is that there will be plenty of sanctimonious finger-wagging today in the back rows, cafeterias, and blogs of America. Oh, why do we love to talk about how much "better" we are than so-and-so? The fact is, when you have hate in your heart, it comes out eventually. Tim was fine at first, and then under Dan what's-his-face's goading, he fell apart like a Houston Rockets superstar, ha. But come on, who doesn't have some hate?

I have found myself struggling lately with disliking the people of a certain nationality myself. You'd laugh, perhaps, if I told you which one; yep, I'm an original hater. No run-of-the-mill hating here, ha. Anyway, they really haven't been bad to me; one or two of their people just happen to be in the way of my latest plans for world domination. I think this episode serves as a nice wake-up call to me. Either get rid of the hate, or let it fester and find myself suddenly calling people names and ending up embarrassed. Or, I could always start a hate group and gain a devoted but totally crazy fan base. heads of hate groups get the most attractive women in the group too, or is that just cult leaders? Err, I meant, yes, in honor of poor Timmy, I'm getting my act together.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pure Sports: Pick-up Ball Injury Etiquette

As my long-time reader knows, I like talking about amateur ("pure", in some respects) sports too, not just pro sports. So let's talk about pick-up basketball.
Last night I played some pick-up basketball, and was on two winning teams in a row for once. The second game saw a nasty collision where two teammates ran into each other and went down fast and hard. I thought that this is a good place to share some basic rules for how other players should behave during an injury in pick-up ball:
DON'T start shooting the basketball nonchalantly next to the guy who's face-down in pain. What usually happens is that the player moves to the other side of the hoop to avoid the hurt player...and then the rebound falls off the rim and hits the player! Stupid city.
DON'T tell him to get up if he can't, or ask him to keep playing if he should obviously stop.
DON'T huddle around him and choke off all the air/light.
DON'T shout conflicting health suggestions at him. If you don't know what to do, you don't know. So not only did the person get hurt, now they get to be cajoled by idiots.
DO figure out who should call security/staff/911 if someone really does get hurt.
DO talk to the person without making them feel stupid for getting hurt. Unless they got hurt while trying to showboat or got hit in the nuts; then all such comments are perfectly deserved.
DO wipe off the sweat after they get up, or else someone else will fall in the exact same place.
All right, a little Emily Post there for you, but I'm getting tired of players who don't know how to act when there's an injury. Oh, in amusing coincidences, our point guard from last night just walked by and waved.