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Archive for January, 2010

Shut up and go away.

Sometimes Roger looks a leeeeetle bit smug.

Things that do not add to my enjoyment of a major final: Mary Joe Fernandez in the stands, sticking the microphone in the face of someone who clearly does not want to talk right now, and whispering inanities.

Look, play is going on.  That’s really what most people want to see.  If you tune in for the Aussie Open final, what you mostly want to see is, shockingly, the Aussie Open final.  Ken Rosewall has no time for you.  Probably because he actually likes tennis.

Also.  If you are aware enough that what you’re doing is inappropriate that you whisper awkwardly the whole time, why can’t you complete the thought and just shut your mouth?

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Apparently, because Gilbert Arenas is an idiot, Nike is coming under fire (did you see what I did there?) for an ad campaign that uses a firearm reference.  That is to say that Kobe Bryant’s blurb includes the line: “I don’t leave anything in the chamber.”

Yes, this is a chamber in a gun.  Specifically, I have been corrected, it refers to leaving the bullet in one of the chambers of a semiautomatic weapon, ready to fire but unfired.  This, obviously, is less than ideal.

That is: Kobe Bryant claims not to have any energy left over at the end of the game, because he used it all.

This is a metaphor that comes into use all the time.  Sports as combat is not only widely accepted but also kind of true.  But the point of sports is that they are not actual fighting.  Well, except sports that are.  But most sports aren’t.  They’re what we do instead of fighting.  Philadelphia hasn’t had to march on Washington, D.C. in a long time.

Only a moron would think that this ad campaign conveys the message “Kobe Bryant would like to shoot you.”  What a pity morons are in charge.

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Orange is both awesome and underused.

Orange! Also pink!

Because I really took out after Rafael Nadal for last year’s Australian Open ensemble, and because I’m so sure that he really cares about my approval and it will make him feel just so much better:

This year’s was awesome.

The orange is great.  The pink stripe is even great.  The narrow stripes grip me less, but the white panels and everything are just excellent.

Also: the shorts.  Last year’s had stupid dots, which were hateful.  This year’s are plaid, which is amazing.

Now, on anyone else, this would look absurd.  They have not got Mr. Nadal’s complexion nor his amount of awesome.  But that’s not really the point.  It’s not on anyone else, and it does look terrific, and I am pretty cut up I won’t have another chance to talk about it.

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And you ruin everything.

And also?  We’re shocked.  Shocked.

No truly great baseball pictures have crossed my desk lately, probably since it’s the off-season, so instead we’re going to go with someone who doesn’t play baseball and better not use steroids:

Wait, what's the glove for?

This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it, because stupid Alastair Cook looks amazingly befuddled and twelve (which he may have been; this picture’s pretty old).  Also, he is left-handed, so….  I hope it also amuses you.

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It’s just the post-season for some teams, but for others, the madness has set in.  With a vengeance.  Some headline examples:

Dick Vermeil sings praises of Mike Martz for Chicago Bears offensive coordinator position
Rich Gannon is slighted by Oakland Raiders’ rejection of help
Detroit Lions’ 2-14 finish unacceptable, GM Martin Mayhew says

All of these are total non-stories.  No sports have happened.  No major executive moves have occurred.  No one is injured, no one has actually done anything at all.

Plus, nobody cares what Dick Vermeil says, because no one wants to be covered in tears.  Also, Mike Martz is out of his mind.

And, seriously, who cares about Rich Gannon’s feelings?  Nobody, that’s who.  The Raiders have never won any prizes for sensitivity.  Mr. Gannon is probably lucky that Al Davis didn’t bite him and turn him into a zombie.  Or worse.

But my personal favorite is the one about the Lions.  Yep, 2-14 is bad.  It’s unacceptable for pretty much any team.  Hey, even the Browns were better than that this year.  But you’re the Lions.  You lost every game last year.  Just be glad that didn’t happen again.  Or, alternatively, take steps to prevent being officially the worst team ever.  Even if that is a bit like closing the stable door.

No incipient mullet, even!

Oh, and as an added bonus, ESPN.com doesn’t know English:

Dallas Cowboys humored by smack talk from Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson

“Humored.”  That’s definitely what you mean.

Unfortunately pretty much no one on any of these teams is cute, so I’m going to take that tangential insult to the Browns and use it to justify gratuitous Brady Quinn.

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Most of this is prompted by the ball-tampering row currently going on in England’s Test series against South Africa, but it is applicable to all sports.  At all times.

Do not cheat.  Even if you think you can get away with it, do not cheat.  Hell, even if you know you can get away with it, do not cheat.  Why not?  Because it’s wrong.

You play a game.  The game has rules.  Among these rules, perhaps, is something about how you’re not allowed to gouge great strips of leather off the ball with your fingernail.  If you do this and are caught, you may be banned, etc.  Easy solution?  Don’t do it.

It is mystifying how this sort of thing ever seems like a good idea, especially now.  There are great masses of cameras and cameramen, ready to leap on anything.  People can review footage.  YouTube can review footage.  You can go from hero to zero in no time.

Also?  Cheating is wrong.

By definition.  Not only is it against the rules (again, by definition), but it is dishonest and makes you a big, fat weasel.  And not the good kind, that’s cunning.  The bad kind, that smells.

Yes, of course these men want to win.  Otherwise they wouldn’t play.  But the kind of world that produces men who don’t mind cheating to win at cricket, well, that’s not the right kind.

(I haven’t seen the footage of Stuart Broad or Jimmy Anderson.  I hope they haven’t cheated.  I also, moreover, think that if any complaint is made, it should be official.  Absent an official complaint, South Africa have put England in the unenviable position of looking guilty while being unable to prove innocence.  This, too, is squirrelly.  But it is still not remotely as squirrelly as ball-tampering.  So you better not have, lads.)

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Koalas are adorable.

I guess Andy Roddick's not bad either.

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