Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fowah Mwah Yeaahs Of Fackin' Youk! [Breaking News]

As someone who very nearly met an early grave on the lonely expanses of the North Pacific almost exactly four years ago (Storm Stories did an episode on it), I'm very happy to be able to move on from that last post with some quite excellent news for the fate of this blog. Peter Gammons, via MLBTR:
Boston avoided arbitration with Kevin Youkilis, agreeing to a four-year contract with the first baseman worth more than $40 million, sources told ESPN's Peter Gammons. The deal includes an option for a fifth year. Youkilis enjoyed a breakout season in 2008, hitting .312 with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs.
Luckily, we have established a line of communication with Youk and his people and we are the very first media outlet to obtain a comment from him on the signing:

Exclusive! Thanks Youk.

Right back at you buddy.

Fack Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick, you just got pwned by a bunch of losers who, I would assume, frequently say "pwned."


Thanks to the guys at With Leather for finding the video (I stole it, they didn't give it.)

Plane Crash [Breaking News] [Non-Sports]

A small plane crashed into the Hudson River about an hour ago off of Midtown Manhattan, not far from my office on 57th street. Looks like they made a safe evacuation, but when its 21 degrees outside, that's not where you want to be.

Hope everyone is okay.

[Update: 5:05PM] It appears that all 148 passengers and the crew are safe. Well done.

[Update: 6:30PM] A co-worker of Cliff's was aboard one of the first ferries to respond and took the following picture]


There's nothing cooler than dissecting sports grammar! Right guys?


Anyway... My post this morning on the Knicks and LeBron got me thinking about the title of D'Antoni's system. Shouldn't it be ":07 Seconds Or Fewer"? You can count seconds. The only way it should be "Less" is if the implication was ":07 Seconds Or Less (Time)". But I'm thinking that SSOL just sounded better and that it's gramatically incorrect.

Amazingly, I have a friend who works as an Account Exec. over at Simon & Schuster and I asked her to do some digging for me. Let's just say I was vindicated.

BAM! And she even managed to dredge up some other titles that were proposed:

(Nod: Simmons)

"The Next Great American Past Time"

I spent last night attending a riveting open mic night at a local bar where two faggy dudes duet-ed Come to my Window by the queen of all dykes. AWESOME!

Fortunately, when I came home I opened up and saw a game we all know, a game we all love, and a game I wish I played tonight in someones parents basement: Beer Pong. The article by Rick Reilly does not give the glorious pastime justice but the photo raised an issue that has caused countless contentious arguments in my life. Do you think this guy is leaning? And would you bring it up during the game?

How you answer this question says a lot about your skill level, sexuality, and overall value as a human being...

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

The gentleman on the left is Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, the driving force behind the city's investigation into the shady dealings surrounding the financing of the New Yankee Stadium. The scraggly haired sleazebag in the sunglasses, seen hailing Hitler, is Yankees President Randy Levine. Well today, during the hearings discussing the New Stadium financing...
The legislator, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, lashed out at team president Randy Levine and city economic development chief Seth Pinsky, challenging both to a "civil, in-your-face fistfight" over public financing of the stadium.
He added, "Mrrraah, ya see! Put up your dukes or I've got a good mind to knock ya teeth in, pal!" I got news for you Brodsky, where I come from (umm, here) fistfights aren't "civil". Too few things nowadays get settled with some good old fashioned fisticuffs. Now let's make this happen.

Here's the plan:
  1. Give them two weeks to train
  2. Set up a ring in the Old Stadium
  3. Have the outcome of the hearings hinge on the result of the fight
  5. Profit

Fool proof, I tell you. Golden Boy, make this happen! It will make Mayweather vs. Pacquiao look like chump change.

Brodsky says: "Bring it on, bitch".

If this happens, I've already prepared a reaction.

Coughlin: Easy There Jerry

Again, from Ralph Vacchiano, Coughlin had this to say when confronted with Jerry Reese's quote that Plaxico could "absolutley" return to the Giants:

You know what? I'm not ready to say that. I'm not ready to say that because we need to sit down and think about it and talk about that and see what the circumstance might be. And I told everyone, I told the world, that Plaxico is a member of our team and I am concerned about him, for his well-being and that of his family. But the issues that I have to think about are that there are 52 other guys in that locker room as well."
Let's not forget that Plaxico goes to trial in March and by the time the season rolls around, this could be a non-issue because he's wearing a different uniform all together. He retained Benjamin Braffman, who got P. Diddy off of his 1999 gun & bribery charge stemming from an shooting in a Manhattan nightclub, but the three year mandatory sentence still looms.

I think if you are a Giants fan, you should be concerned for him. Only a few weeks before the incident, ESPN The Magazine had a cover story called Living Scared which talked about the increasing occurence of crimes against athletes including Sean Taylor's death, the Darrent Williams shooting and the robberies of Eddie Curry and Antoine Walker. Only a week before, teammate Steve Smith had been robbed at gunpoint outside of his house, which is something I'd imagine Burress was aware of.

This in no way excuses him for carrying a gun in Manhattan. Steve Smith's situation probably would have gotten a whole lot uglier if he was packing. As it was, he gave up a cell phone, some cash and a little jewlery. He's probably got insurance, and if not, that stuff is pretty expendable. If Plax was afraid, he should have gotten a bodyguard or pooled together with A.P. for a full security detail. He just siged a $35M contract, so I think he could have dropped a little scratch if he legitmatley feared for his life and still really felt the need to go out.

I don't think he brought the gun to play the role of Mr. Big Shot and be a tough guy in the club. I can sit here and call it ridiculous (which I pretty much did), but nobody knows how real the threat floating around in his mind seemed, except him. The guy has some issues. I'm guessing he's too proud to sit down with a therapist and make any headway, but he could probably use it.

He made a really dumb mistake and luckily no one else got hurt. I hope one awful decision doesn't ruin his whole life, but his time with the Giants has come and gone.

Keeping the $100 Million Contracts in Perspective

With most teams in the NFL and MLB having already entered their respective offseasons, a lot of talk has centered around the money being spent on free agents and payroll in general, including some chatter from us at Fack Youk. Jay wrote a little bit about Eli and Pettitte, while I discussed the Yankees' payroll in general.

But with these huge numbers being thrown around, we can easily lose sight of the real issues.

Which is the reason why I would like you to refer to the informational video below. Thank you.

(Inspiration for the video from these idiots)

Like The Knicks? Root For The Cavs!

I'm not a huge basketball fan, but my primary affiliation is with the Knicks, just based on who my dad rooted for and the Starter jacket I had in 5th grade. If most of my time living in NYC didn't coincide with the Isaiah Thomas era, I probably would have caught more than one game at MSG. I'd could have been even less of a fan if our gym teacher in high school didn't just roll out six or eight basketballs and do everything but rename our gym class "45 minutes of pick-up games".

I've never followed a full season of Knicks basketball, but if they get LeBron, I'm jumping on the bandwagon before ESPN has the headline up on their homepage.

True Knicks fans (or real fans of any team) would probably take offense to this, and rightfully so. They've suffered through the bad times, and know every bench player's name. They probably know the broadcasters verbal tics and are already intimately familiar with SSOL.

When a team is winning, they become more popular because casual fans become serious ones and also because assholes like me come out of the woodwork. We might not like the sport enough to suffer through a couple bad seasons in a row, but can be enticed into watching or coming to a game if the team is competitive. We might have some real sports loyalties, just not in basketball.

Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni have all but screamed from the rooftops that they are pursuing Mr. James if he is available in the 2010 offseason. They've shed almost every contractual obligation beyond the 2009/10 season except Eddie Curry and Jared Jefferies (along with the possibility of picking up Danilo Galinari's option). They are creating a very tempting void for LeBron and maybe even one other max contract to fill in "The World's Most Famous Arena", home of the league's most valuable franchise.

A void doesn't only exist on the 2010/11 Knicks roster. Despite being founded in 1946, the Knicks have only two championships to their name (1970 & 1973). As a result, they don't really have an all-time "face of the franchise" type of player. Walt Clyde Frasier left in 1977 and Patrick Ewing never won a championship. LeBron is only going to be 26 when he becomes a free agent and if he puts in 6-8 years with the Knicks, I'd give him a 98% chance to be best Knick ever. That's not a bad legacy to leave.

King James has been remarkably diplomatic while being badgered by the questions of what he's planning to do in the summer of '10. He says:
I don't know if it's going to happen. I'm so focused on this season and what we have at task with the Cavs that it's hard for me to even think about that date. But at the same time, you have to stay open-minded if you're a Knicks fan.

But it's going to be a lot of teams that are going to try to strengthen their teams, and there's going to be a lot of free agents out there in 2010, so if you guys want to sleep right now and don't wake up until July 1, 2010, then go ahead, because it's going to be a big day.
LeBron is from Akron, and the Cavs are as close as he can get to a hometown team as far as NBA franchises are concerned. Common knowledge assumes that he could be a brighter star on Broadway or with Jay-Z's Nets if the Atlantic Yards project ever goes through, but how much bigger can LeBron get? He's got a massive Nike sponsorship with incredibly well done commercials (you're gonna want to click that). He's going to make basically the same NBA salary anywhere he goes and he's already in the process of surpassing an aging Kobe as the preeminent star in the league.

I think the single biggest factor in his decision is whether or not he wins a Championship in Cleveland. Just judging by his generosity with the ball (6.6 career APG), and his demeanor in press conferences, I think he's the kind of guy who badly wants to win a title for his city, whose lack of ultimate professional sporting glory stretches back to the Browns' NFL Championship in 1964. There are certainly other factors, but giving the city of Cleveland a Championship would free him of a ton of guilt and allow to to be embraced as a hero instead of jeered as a Quisling on his trips back to town.

Maybe I'm wrong, but wouldn't that at least make it better for everyone involved? It's not like the Knicks are going to win an NBA Title in the next two years...