Sunday, April 23, 2006

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

This wil be brief as I'm away from my computer, but a few a thoughts on the Bulls-Heat Game One...

- Not a bad loss for da Bulls. It was tight till the end, and if not for some horrible decisions/turnovers, it could have been won. It should serve as a confident boost going into Game Two, which would be great to win.

- Where was Luo Deng, baby? I was a bit peeved at Scott Skiles for not playing Deng more. Drove me nuts, actually. Skiles' substitution patterns kill me sometimes. As soon as Deng steps on the floor he's always one of the most active and influential players. He makes things happen. He needs more minutes. Please.

- Who was to blame for that awful inbounds play with 18 seconds left? Down three and Andres Nocioni fired an ultra-quick three pointer from the inbounds pass...and missed. Was that a Skiles design to shoot so fast? Or was it on Nocioni? Either way, the Bulls need to show more smarts and composure in crunch time than that. I know they're young, but come on.

- I have to find a pic of Joey Crawford when he tossed Udonis Haslem. That was hysterical. Few things give me such joy as a ref/ump emphatically tossing a dude.

- What's up with Dwyane Wade's knee? He left the game looking quite ginger.

- Ben Gordon? Money.

- Kirk Hinrich needs to stay in control. No crazy "up in the air with nowhere to go" shit.

All in all, it was a winnable game and that's important. The Bulls can steal game two and come back to Chitown tied at a game apiece. It can be done.

Here we go now.

Seattle is cool. I really need to consider moving somewhere with mountains viewable at all times. There is something calming about it. True story: My bro picked me up from the airport and, literally, exactly as we merged onto a highway, some dude on a bike pulled up right next to us and, while doing about 70-80 mph, popped a wheelie and rode like that for a good quarter of a mile. Dude was insane. In the middle of the afternoon. In traffic. On a highway. There are obviously some loons here and I like that. I was here five minutes and saw THAT? Nice.

Pale Hose will be arriving tomorrow. Another win yesterday behind Freddy Garcia. That's 11 of 12.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Yo

Posting might be a bit light for about the next week as I spend some time in Seattle. I'll be taking in the White Sox-Mariners series and am looking forward to finally seeing the Kingdome. I've been anxious to see some games in the Kingdome for years.

Ah, the Kingdome.

Bulls at Heat tonight. Game One. Apparently, ESPN will be showing the game on all of its 72 channels from different angles. Nice. The Unknown Column is pumped. HERE WE MOTHERFUCKIN' GO NOW!

Mark Buerhle outdueled Johan Santana last night. 7-1 Pale Hose. Jim Thome has scored in all 16 games thus far. Crazy. The funniest part of the game was that Chicago's favorite binge drinker, Kyle Orton, was in attendance...in about the third row and could be seen every time they showed a shot of right-handed hitters in between pitches. I was waiting for drunken hilarity to ensue, but alas, nothing. I suppose that's good for the Bears.

Speaking of the Bears, they've signed the Panthers Ricky Manning to an offer sheet. Shoring up the secondary. I like it.

Peace.

Let's go Bulls.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Marbury Back To Minnesota?


Apparently oblivious to the modern NBA, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has expressed an interest in bringing Stephon Marbury back to the team that originally drafted him. Taylor was then viloently slapped by his secretary who shouted, "Snap out if it, man!"

Taylor told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Wednesday that his team is interested in acquiring Stephon Marbury, whom Minnesota drafted 10 years ago and traded to the Nets in 1999. However, Taylor admitted that Marbury's contract - he'll earn $60 million over the next three seasons - is a major stumbling block.

"Yeah, it isn't that we couldn't use somebody like that. We certainly could with his experience, and we know him," Taylor told the newspaper. "It's that he was signed at a salary that's going to cause us problems. So it would be difficult, it would have to be one of those things where New York would have to say that they really want to get rid of the player and could help us in some financial way to do it. We wouldn't know until this summer if that would even be a possibility."


It's amazing, and sad, how much of an the opportunity Marbury passed up when he whined his way out of Minnesota after the Timberwolves drafted him. With him and Kevin Garnett both young and coming up at the time, they had every chance to be one of the premier inside-outside tandems in the league. For a long time. Nobody has ever questioned Marbury's ability, and had he not been so set on not sharing the spotlight and returning to the New York area (which he eventually whined hisway out of for, of all places, Phoenix), it's easy to think that the Timberwolves could have had been special for a long time. Granted, one must make allowances for the fact that Kevin McHale is a horrible GM, but still. Point is, Marbury passed up a gift situation with Garnett to become liitle more than a journeyman notorious for making teams worse.

So the thought of him going back to his original destination just as Garnett seems set on getting out makes me shake with laughter.

Duke Sucks


As if the Unknown Column needed another reason to hate Duke...

"Historically, lacrosse has been one of our three or four best-selling sports," said Tom Craig, general manager of retail stores at the Durham, N.C., school. "But over the last month, sales have increased to three or four times our normal rate."

...

But crisis management executive Mike Paul said he believes there's an equal chance that the school will continue to allow the sale of lacrosse merchandise as that it will cut off sales. Craig said bookstores at Duke are institutionally owned and operated.

"The dilemma here hinges on the fact that there is still a very good women's team playing," said Paul, president of MGP & Associates PR.


Yeah, I'm sure the surge in sales has a lot to do with a sudden interest in the women's team. What a bunch of tools. Who thinks, "Hey, the Duke lacrosse team has more than forty arrests since 1999, including for gay bashing and rape... I WANT A T-SHIRT!"? I'm thinking it must be rich, elitist fucks who either think it's funny or want to show solidarity with the stuffy institution, particularly against the poor, worthless, common folk of surrounding Durham. They'll wear the shirts proudly when the two accused get off, I'm sure.

I think the only fair option here would be to immediately fire Coach K and suspend the basketball team for at least two years.

On To The Real Season


For the past couple days ESPN Classic has been showing a nonstop marathon of past NBA playoffs classics, which has served as a great appetizer for this year's edition. Nothing like seeing the names of Thurl Bailey and Chuck Person to get you pumped for a little NBA postseason action.

Eastern Conference

Pistons vs Bucks. You know, the other day I saw a shot of Flip Saunders and I asked myself, "Is he an NBA title-winning coach?" Don't get me wrong. I like Saunders. I think he's a fine coach and has done a solid job of not messing up the good thing the Pistons already had going. But an NBA title-winning coach? I really don't know about that. Of course, it helps to have the best team in the league under your control. The pick? Pistons in five.

Cavaliers vs Wizards. I have a feeling the Cavs are much better than people are giving them credit for. There seems to be a general feeling that LeBron has already accomplished plenty this season by finally hitting some clutch shots and getting to the playoffs. I've even heard the Wizards' playoff experience from last year when they beat the Bulls in the first round - the Bulls were without the injured Luol Deng and Eddy Curry, mind you - cited as an advantage. At the very least, most people seem to think this will be a competitive series. I don't buy it. As much as I like the quirky Gilbert Arenas, LeBron is ready to make his first genuine push towards the heights. I'm salivating over the thought of LeBron facing the Pistons in the second round. As I mentioned before, it will be a bit reminiscint of a young MJ trying to get bast the Bad Boys. The pick? Cavs in five.

Nets vs Pacers. Is there anyone in the NBA less lucky than Rick Carlisle? After being unceremoniously dumped by Detroit just when he had the Pistons on the brink of greatness, he moved to Indiana and has dealt with the craziness of Ron Artest, blockbuster trades, the moodiness and injuries of Jermaine O'Neal, and Stephen Jackson, who just seems like a surly, selfish cat. And yet here Indiana sits in the playoffs. Again. You just know that the eternally well-coached Pacers will make a respectable showing and maybe even push the Nets to the brink. In the end, however, New Jersey will just have too much sheer talent in Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. That's a whole lot of talent. The pick? Nets in six.

Heat vs Bulls. OK, you all know I'm biased here. If you think I can give any rational, realistic reasoning behind my pick here, think again. So all I will say is that I honestly think the Bulls have a chance in this series. They're hot, having won 12 of 14, and despite their obvious disadvantage inside, Shaq is not the Shaq he used to be and Alonzo Mourning is still hobbling. That's not to say Tyson Chandler, Malik Allen, and Michael Sweetney are going to outplay Shaq and Zo, but perhaps they can neutralize them just enough to allow Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Andres Nocioni and Luol Deng to do their thing. Captain Kirk will be guarding Dwyane Wade and may the force be with him. Here we go now. The pick? Bulls in six.

Western Conference

Spurs vs Kings. Is it just me, or are the Spurs flying strangely under the radar? I mean, nobody is talking about them unless it's to mention that they're banged up or how the Kings are the most dangerous eighth seed in years or to show gratuitous pics of Eva Longoria (color me guilty), but then you look at the standings and the Spurs have 63 freakin' wins. Maybe that's what happens when you have a collection of quiet, unassuming guys who methodically win while avoiding all controversy. The pick? Spurs in five.

Mavericks vs Grizzlies. For all the talk about how this year's Mavs are different, things are going to end the same as they always do in Dallas, most likely in six games to the Spurs. The pick? Mavs in five.

Nuggets vs Clippers. The Clippers are a weird situation. As much as I want root to for them simply because, well, they're the CLIPPERS, I wasn't very fond of the way they intentionally choked down the stretch to face the Nuggets rather than the Mavericks. If the Cubs have taught us anything, it's that karma is alive and well, and the Clippers are about to be bit. Elton Brand might want to wear a pair of knee braces as a premptive measure. Something bad might go down. Carmelo Anthony? Love him. Dude is money. And George Karl knows all about the playoffs. The pick? Nuggets in seven.

Suns vs Lakers. Ah, what could have been. How good would the Suns have been this year with a healthy Amare Stoudemire. I have nothing but respect for Steve Nash and Shawn Marion, and really, anyone involved with the Suns. Kobe Bryant will be knocked out in the opening round, making the Unknown Column very happy. I read some comment the other day where Kobe said something about how he used all the people who didn't think he could get the Lakers to the postseason as motivation. What a tool. The guy was was winning titles and now he's beating out the Jazz for a playoff spot. Yeah, I'm impressed. Not really. The pick? Suns in six.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Derrek Lee Out


As much as I tell myself that I don't believe in curses, the Cubs make me wonder.

After taking a series in Los Angeles, and just when it was looking like the Cubs' fast start might continue and be bolstered eventually by the returns of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, Derrek Lee goes down with two broken bones in his wrist. Ouch. That sucks. The team leader and best player, not to mention a guy who just signed a large contract extension and a class act, is suddenly gone. And somehow, none of it is surprising.

As a White Sox fan, I can honestly say that I find this sad. Yeah, I'm supposed to despise all things Cubs and find great satisfaction in any Cubs misfortune, but I hate to see this happen. I mean, I don't hate the Cubs. (Can I say that as a White Sox fan?) Sure, I enjoy immensely laughing at the Cubs and their fans. In fact, few activities give me such joy. But I don't hate the Cubs. Actually, I come from a large family and, for some strange region, baseball allegiances are split, and the first thing I thought when hearing about Lee was how much that sucks for the delusional members of my family who bear the misfortune of rooting for the Cubbies. I know how much the fortunes of the White Sox can affect the mood of my entire summer, and to think that Lee's injury may just go a long way to bringing down the summer of a whole lot of peeps, well, I don't want that. Lee's injury is simply sad.

But not shocking.

The baseball gods are a cruel, twisted lot. Or maybe this is all karma. Surely, scalping tickets to your own fans must have some repurcussions, right?

It's Only Hair


Apparently, "Hairgate" is over and the White Sox can go back to concentrating on things other than split ends and suitable conditioners, although, judging by the nine wins in the last ten games, they haven't been much affected. AJ Pierzynski and Joe Crede were on the Mike North radio show today to get trims, and although I didn't catch it, I'm glad we can put this behind us because...

A) All of this talk of hair length is ridiculous.

and

B) As ridiculous as it is, I'm one of those fans just crazy enough to worry about such lunacy. I realize that hair has nothing to do with hitting, fielding, or anything else really other than impressing chicks (which I guess is everything, actually, but pro ball players don't need any help in that regard), but I am superstitious, among my many slightly insane quirks, and the idea of Jerry Reinsdorf instigating this minor controversy was making me a bit uneasy in a "I really don't want to worry about THIS of all things" sort of way. Why rock the boat? If the Sox are winning, then let the players dye their hair pink and wear it in pigtails if that's their thing. But please, stop making me worry that this hair debacle will somehow affect all the good vibes at the moment. (Now excuse me for a few moments while I wash my hands exactly 18 times and check my messages from Planet Xebar 451ZS.)

(View pics of the radio haircuts here.)

I guess the best thing to come out of this ordeal is the characteristically smooth manner in which the players handled it.

On Thursday, Crede and Pierzynski will get their haircuts during a radio appearance and the leavings will be offered for auction on eBay (a suggestion made in jest Monday by Guillen), with the proceeds going to charity. On Friday, a chain of salons affiliated with the Sox will send several stylists to the ballpark so that fans can "show solidarity with the players" by paying for a trim — again, any funds generated will go to charity.


It's just like these Sox to shrug, smile, do what has to be done to keep the ship sailing smoothly, and get back to the business of winning. And if some charity work can be done in the process, all the better. Nice.

Now, finally, we can get back to baseball, pure and simple...

- Scotty Pods is as scorching hot right now as he was cold earlier. Lisa Dergan must have given him some, um, therapy.
- The just completed third trip through the starting rotation was sick...just sick. Filthy. Javier Vasquez flirted with perfection yesterday and John Garland had his first solid start the day before.
- Jim Thome has scored in all 15 games thus far.
- Juan Uribe has nowehere to go but up at the plate and has quietly hit in three-straight games.
- Brian Anderson is about to heat up. I can feel it.

Now, if you will allow me one last question on the hair thing, what will Reinsdorf think of Adam Morrison should the Bulls draft him? Morrison's shaggy do and porn mustache might just give Reinsdorf a heart attack.

The Heat It Is


You know, last night as I watched the Bulls dismantle Toronto, I really began to wonder how much stock can be put into Kobe's 81-point performance if only because I can't help the feeling that I could go for at least 40 on the Raptors. Good lord, I've seen tougher defense in a game of HORSE.

In all seriousness, going for 81 on the Raptors when you're pretty much the only offensive option isn't as impressive as it sounds. Yeah, yeah, yeah, scoring 81 is always impressive, but it's clear the Raptors have very little pride. Either that, Or they just like getting the ball back as soon as possible and view that entire annoying defense thing as a nuisance.

So anyway, it's all set. The Bulls will open the playoffs at Miami on Saturday night with ESPN giving the game "Full Circle" treatment. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds serious. I'm assuming it means Screamin' A Smith will be prominently involved, so you have fair warning.

If you're in the Chicago area, a Bulls fan, and in anyway whatsoever have connections to South Side native Dwyane Wade, I suggest you call to ask for tickets, wish him well, or threaten to kidnap his wife and kid. A distracted Wade can only be good for the Bulls.

My intitial pick? Bulls in six.

The Gatorade Conspiracy


I'm shocked. Shocked! What do you make of this? This can't be, can it? I mean, Keith Jackson narrates the commercials and he has the manliest voice, like, EVER!

The bottle that contains the most popular sports drink on the planet looks like a big, thick, throbbing penis, from the clearly defined and strangely textured head to the perfectly tapered shaft. The only thing missing are a few well-placed veins. Of course, the Gatorade apologists could argue that the male penis comes in an endless variety of shapes and sizes, many of which are strange and asymmetrical. The Gatorade bottles, on the other hand, have standard sizes and are all perfectly proportional. To which I say: whatever.


Do they still make the Gatorade powder mix?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006





McClellan Gone



No more thinking, "I can't believe I'm being boldfaced lied to by this doofus."

Maybe the dude wised up, or maybe he knew too much. I don't care if he was shitcanned or quit or was found drinking toilet water while wearing a leash. Dude is out. I don't even want to know the reasons why. One by one.

Now if only this clown...


"Uh...Iraq? What about it?"

...took a hint. (Psst, Don, America things you're an incompetant prick. Sorry. A thousand generals say so.)

Worst President In History?



Hell, I've been saying so for years.

Nevertheless, god bless Rolling Stone for putting it on its latest cover in big, bold letters with a funny picture, to boot. Yeah, I realize Rolling Stone has gone down the tubes in some regards. I mean, check out that other article mentioned on the cover about Nick Lachey, as if Lachey has anything - ANYTHING! - to do with quality music. But one thing Rolling Stone has been great at is criticizing the current administration. Every issue its something new. I can respect that. Hunter S. Thompson would have been proud of his old mag.

And yes, Bush is the worst president ever. The only surprise at this point is that it's still even a question.

By the way, the first album of Jack White's new band, the Raconteurs, is also mentioned on the cover. The Unknown Column is very much looking forward to that one. The album, not the article.

Tonight's Likes


Bulls (-10) vs Raptors. You better believe I'm betting on da Bulls. Hopefully, the Raptors lube up and bend over like they did against Indiana on Monday.

Nets (-3) vs Knicks. You know what really grinds my gears? Hearing about the Knicks. And Larry Brown. And Larry Brown's insurance. And Isiah Thomas. And Starbury. And the rest of the worthless stiffs. The Knicks suck. OK, we get it. Why does the media keep talking about the Knicks as if they actually matter? Fuck the Knicks.

Cavs (-5) vs Hawks.

Bobcats (-6.5) vs 76ers. That was nice of Allen Iverson and Chris Webber to actually arrive at the arena yesterday, you know, before tipoff.

April record: 24-21

The Year Of Ronaldinho Continues


2006 continues to shape up as the year of Ronaldinho, who, though already arguably the biggest athlete in the world at the moment, may truly cement his legacy of greatness in the coming months.

It's highly possible that the Brazilian genius may just lift both the Champions League trophy with Barcelona and the World Cup trophy with Brazil by early July. He moved one step closer to this double yesterday when Barcelona waltzed into Italy and beat AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal. Ronaldinho assisted on the only goal of the game, scored by Ludovic Giuly in the 57th minute. And then he smiled, and nobody has a bigger smile than Ronaldinho. Nor a consistently present one. I guess it's easy to smile when you're the best in the world at what you do.

Although AC Milan finds ways to advance as well as anyone, as seen in their miraculous win over Lyon in the quarters, it's going to be damn tough to go into the Nou Camp, where Barcelona is unbeaten in its last nine European matches, and win...especially with Ronaldinho at the peak of his powers. I just don't see Barcelona not reaching the final at this point.

Arsenal will host Villareal in the first leg of their semifinal later today. It will be the last ever European match played at the legendary Highbury stadium. After today, Arsenal only has a couple of Premiership games in the hallowed ground before moving into a state of the art stadium next year. Sad. I always hate to see places as beautiful as Highbury reduced to the past...

Win And Avoid Pistons


At this time tomorrow we will know who the Bulls will be playing in the first round of the playoffs. Or in other words, if things work out right, the Bulls will be playing anyone other than the Pistons. Not that the Pistons are unbeatable, but it would be very, very pleasant to not have to even think about them until the conference finals.

While the Bulls will host Toronto tonight, Indiana will host Orlando and Washington will be in Detroit, who will likely be suiting up the team trainers and Rasheed Wallace's posse. I don't see the Wizards losing this one.

I'm way too lazy to figure out how all the tiebreakers work, but, luckily, Blogabull wasn't and has it all broken down for you right here. It would appear that the most likely scenario would be the Bulls winning and everyone else winning and the Bulls earning the seventh seed. Which is fine. I'd much rather see Miami than Detroit. Yeah, I realize that the whuppin' the Bulls laid on the Heat on Sunday wasn't indicative of reality, and I realize Alonzo Mourning will be back in some capacity, but I honestly think the Bulls can win a series with Miami. I mean that. Call me crazy. Sure, it would be a major surprise, and I wouldn't bet the house on it. But the Heat, as talented as Shaq and Wade are, just doesn't frighten me all that much. They're good, but not great. Provided the Bulls play smart and have a little luck come their way, the Heat can be beaten. I mean, any team featuring Antoine Walker in a prominent role can be beaten.

Then again, maybe Orlando can beat Indiana, which I think would mean the Bulls would face New Jersey, who, like Miami, doesn't scare me all that much. It would also be nice to see many gratuitious shots of Beyonce in the front row...and even better would be Jay Z looking constipated and disappointed. Yeah, that would be nice. 99 problems and the Nets losing is one.

But let's not look ahead. First things first. The first thing the Bulls must do is take care of business against the Raptors tonight. Beat the Raptors and the one certainty is that the Bulls will not be the eighth seed and therefore will not be playing the Pistons. There. That's all you need to know. My head hurts.

Here we go now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My New Favorite Rock Chick


Well, this is certainly weird.

I knew nothing much about the band Damone before today. I had heard of them, but my only thought was that they must be named after Vic Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which I thought was a fantastic touch on their part. I had never heard a song by them, or if I had, it hadn't registered in my memory.

Until this evening.

I was flipping channels and came upon the Damone video for "Out Here All Night" on IMF and was struck by A) how catchy the song is in a cheesy, 1980's hair metal sort of way and B) how cute the lead singer, Noelle, is. She's strikingly cute...and needed. There is never enough talented rock chicks. And by rock chicks, I mean chicks who can actually play the guitar, which Noelle does, and write songs and rock out with the boys and not just dance around in a thong to some over-produced studio tripe. I'm talking about genuine artists. Musicians. Writers. Granted, I find myself enjoying Kelly Clarkson a bit more than I probably should, and Fiona Apple is one of my faves, but most of the other female "artists" on MTV and the radio can jump in lake as far as I'm concerned. Say what you will about Courtney Love, but Hole made some great music. We need more Courtney Loves in the world. Yes, I realize that sounds like craziness, but it's true.

Anyway, I immediately looked up Damone and you can listen to "Out Here All Night" here. Like I said, if you're not into '80s metal with a sweet tinge, it might not be your thing. But then, I'm not overly into '80s metal myself, but I like it. Give it a try.

So after looking up Damone, my very next stop was You Tube. I shit you not. I went from Damone to You Tube and this video was on the very front page. How weird is that? Very weird. It's the members of Damone making a spoof public service announcement about "something plaguing our community...broke rock bands." It's hysterical. Check it out. (Priest, if you're reading, maybe we can get in on this.)

"Since the early '90s, declining sales in rock music have left many bands without the basic means to live...like food and groupies."

Bottom line? I love when weird coincidences such as this occur. Also, I think I'm in love with Noelle. Seriously. I'm going to have to purchase the album and maybe write some awful poetry and send it to the Damone website or something.

Top Ten Female Sports Streakers


This is self-explanatory. (NSFW.)


However, the list was compiled in England, which would explain why the streaker seen below, who offered Jim Furyk roses during his 2003 U.S. Open win right here at Olympia Fields, was ommitted. How Furyk managed to maintain his composure is beyond me. I mean, look at her. I would have been all like, "Screw it! It's only a major. What's your name, nipples?"

Awesome


Tim Platt wasn't happy with some changes at his favorite pub and his displeasure eventually got him banned, which, I guess, isn't as bad as being banned for brawling or having sex in the bathroom, though it is far less exciting.

Anyway, Mr. Platt said, "Fuck it, I'll buy the joint then."

Mr Platt, who lives in Hampton-in-Arden, said: "It was a sad day - it's a traditional village local but it was becoming bare boards and characterless.

"I voiced my opinion. It should serve food with beer, not food and no beer."

So when that landlord left and the pub came up for sale, Mr Platt, who had always dreamed of owning a pub, jumped at the chance to buy it.


Awsesome. Mr. Platt is clearly a man after the Unknown Column's heart.

Owning a bar someday has always been near the top of my list of things to do. The thought of having televisions in every direction airing sports, a healthy female crowd, and, of course, free booze is simply heavenly. Now I only need to decide which bar I've been banned from would be the best to purchase. There are several.

OK, it was only one. How was I supposed to know it wasn't cool to reach over the bar and pull yourself a Guinness just because last call had already gone down?

Pig Olympics


At least now we know what David Wells was doing after being placed on injured reserve.


Some 12 piglets from seven countries took part in the games, which included pig-racing, pig-swimming and pigball.

...

Alexei Sharshkov, vice-president of the Sport-Pig Federation, which has around 100 members, said the pigs would not be ending up on anyone's dinner table.

"They go on to produce a new generation of sport pigs. They don't get eaten," he said. "How could you eat a competitor who is known around the world?"


Most impressively, there were no failed drug tests, terrorist scares, or Bob Costas.

Tonight's Likes


Grizzles (-7) at Clippers. Clips might suit up their ball boys if it means "earning" that sixth seed instead of the fifth. Very weird situation.

Bucks/Wizards over 205. Either way, someone is losing here and it's going to help the Bulls. I love it.

Kings (-7) over Sonics. What are the odds Ron Artest has a meltdown in the postseason? If the Kings find themselves in a Game 7, things could get interesting.

Tigers/A's over 9

April record: 23-18

Bergkamp and Lyon...Awesome


I just wanted to touch upon two milestones from over the weekend...

The first was Dennis Bergkamp Day at Highbury. The Dutch star will be retiring at the end of the season and the Arsenal faithful, many of whom donned the orange in honor of his Dutch heritage, paid their respects to the man who helped lead quite an impressive era in the club's history, which included three Premiership titles, two doubles, and an unreal unbeaten streak of 49 games in the Premiership in 2003 and 2004.

Although he didn't start on Saturday and wasn't even a certainty to play, Bergkamp managed to set up the winning goal and scored the one that sealed it. Nice way to go out.

Perhaps, the one moment Bergkamp will always be remembered most for was the late goal that beat Argentina and sent Holland to the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup. (Video of the goal can be seen here.) However, the best Bergkamp goal I can recall came all the way back in qualifying for the 1994 World Cup. The Dutch were playing England in the old Wembley stadium and the English were struggling mightily, which was almost unheard of. If you remember, England shockingly didn't qualify that go around, and Bergkamp's goal on this day had a lot to do with that. You had to see it to fully appreciate it, but he ran under a long ball that came over his head directly from behind and one-time volleyed it into the back of the net and stunned Wembley. If I remember correctly, the game ended 2-2 and the two lost points at home eventually were the differnce between the Brits qualifying and not. Unbelievable goal.

The Iceman, as Bergkamp is called, always seemed like one of the good guys. A quiet guy. He rarely talked. Not to the media, not to opponents or refs on the field. He just quietly did his thing, and did it well for a long time. He'll be missed.

No Bergkamp and a new stadium next year. Things are changing at Arsenal.



The other milestone I wanted to mention was Lyon's fifth consecutive title in France, the longest ever such streak in French history. This despite a coaching change and the plundering by larger, richer clubs who have swooped in a signed young stars like Michael Essien. Lyon has been one of the more underrated stories in soccer and their accomplishment should not go without note.

That said, Lyon must still be stinging from their loss to AC Milan in the quarterfinals of the Champions League when they were just minutes away from advancing on aggregate, until a goal from Filippo Inzaghi in the friggin' 88th minute ousted them in heartbreaking fashion. That was one of the more demoralizing losses I've seen in recent times. Ouch.

But, like the French announcer said following Lyon's 1-0 win over PSG over the weekend, they are now immortal and possibly the best team in French history. Not too shabby.

Hot


Another great win for the Bulls last night, meaning that after standing at 29-39 in March, they're now back to 40-41. Nice recovery.

After trailing most of the game, including by 16 in the third quarter, they came back to beat the red-hot Magic 116-112 in overtime. Not only had the Magic won eight in a row (and 12 straight at home), but the Bulls finished a back-to-back sweep in Florida over Easter weekend, which can't be easy. They have now won five in a row and 11 of 13.

As is the Bulls wont, each game's biggest performance continues to rotate. Last night it was Kirk Hinrich with 26 points and 10 assists, though Andres Nocioni, Luol Deng, and Ben Gordon also continued their hot stretches. If there was a downside, it was a lack of production from Tyson Chandler and Michael Sweetney inside. Granted, Dwight Howard is a beast to deal with, but I'd like to see more from those guys.

Incidentally, I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I'm a huge fan of the NBA's habit of teams wearing retro uniforms. I love when some random ABA team (the Memphis Pros, anyone?) pops up out of nowhere, for instance. My favorites are probably the old Nets uniforms the old 76ers duds. That said, the retro unis the Bulls wear - the old Stags unis from the '40s - well, let's just say I'm not feeling them. When the shorts and jerseys aren't the same color, it just throws me off. Maybe they'll grow on me.

Whatever. If the Bulls win, it all looks beautiful as far as I'm concerned.

I'll be honest. I have no idea how all the tiebreakers work in the jumbled Eastern Conference where the Bulls, Wizards, Pacers and Bucks can all finish anywhere between the fifth and eighth seeds. All the Bulls can do is beat Toronto at the United Center on Wednesday and let the chips fall where they may from there.

Here we go now.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cracked Me Up

Rudy Gay Coming Out


So is LSU's Tyrus Thomas.

The jumps to the NBA of Gay and Thomas, only a sophoore and freshmean, respectively, isn't surprising news, but with the Bulls holding that Knicks draft pick as well as their own, it sure is important. Options, baby, options.

Both players have their terms of enticement as well as their gray areas. Gay, at times, didn't play with the passion or fire that you'd expect from a superstar. That would be my biggest concern. Thomas has about as much athletic prowess as you can ask for (i.e., beast potential) but could use some polish on his game. As great as he was during LSU's run to the Final Four, it seemed like most of his production came on put backs, often of the slam dunk variety. Which is nice, but it remains to be seen how much offensive game he can eventually muster. Can he hit jumpers? Create his own shot? I don't know. Who does? All I do know is that John Paxson better be studying game film as we speak.

Water Hazard


The litany of jokes you can't even make up continues: The Bush administration is saving our wetlands by creating water hazards on golf courses.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton called a press conference to claim our long nightmare of wetlands loss had finally come to an end due to unprecedented gains since 1997. However, she then admitted much of that gain has been in artificially created ponds, such as golf course water hazards and farm impoundments.

...

The boldness of Norton's claim was particularly galling given the Bush Administration's record on wetlands. President Bush, like other presidents before him, promised a policy of “no net loss” of wetlands, but his administration has consistently supported rollbacks of the Clean Water Act to satisfy industry and development.

In fact, at the same press conference, the Fish and Wildlife Service reported a continued loss of 523,500 acres of natural wetlands during the same time period. So how could the nation have come out ahead if it lost more than half a million acres? Norton didn't try to hide the truth: The 715,300-acre “gain” was mainly artificial ponds.


In other news, Monopoly money is now valid currency.

Guilty


Hahahahahahahahaha! I thought for sure this asshole was going to skate. Guess not. Good. Guilty on all counts. Up to twenty years in prison.

Lighten Up


Any White Sox fan has become accustomed to the sight of Mark Buehrle diving headfirst onto the tarp during rain delays to entertain the soaked fans and, you know, enjoy himself. Buehrle has been doing it for years and it has always been funny and seemingly harmless. He's always been a carefree sort and his ability to enjoy himself on even the dreariest of days has been an extension of that.

GM Kenny Williams, however, has taken a dislike to the habit, apparently fining Buehrle and assumedly ending any such fun in the future.

Meanwhile, according to this thread on SoxTalk, AJ Pierzynski was on the radio saying that Jerry Reinsdorf has told him, Joe Crede, Neil Cotts, and Freddy Garcia to cut their hair. Each have locks in varying stages of "flowing" and, apparently, Reinsdorf is still living in the 1950's and doesn't much like it.

All I have to say is that this is all ridiculous. Ri-dic-u-lous. So Buehrle likes to enjoy himself during rain delays? So what? So a few of the guys have hair that drapes their necks a bit? So what? Let them be. Part of the charm of the current Sox, and part of the reason they're so good, is that there is a certain free spirit that permeates everything they do. They have fun. They laugh. They're characters. That's what it's all about.

And they win. A lot.

So stop harassing them for having personalities. Ri-dic-u-lous.

Tonight's Likes


Bobcats (+1) at Knicks

Jazz (+11) at Spurs

April record: 22-17

Nuke Dance



This is just creepy. Following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement that Iran has enriched uranium, artists danced to the news. Wow. It's disturbing enough that Ahmadinejad is intent on building bombs and destroying Israel (and whoever else), and that Bush may have us invade Iran next, but the sentiment pictured above may be the most disturbing of all.

And what is with the peace doves in the background?

Creepy.

Solid Weekend


Well, I really can't complain about the Easter weekend that just passed. In fact, it was quite glorious, aside for some thunderstorms on Sunday, but then, the sound of thunder and violently falling rain is always enjoyable. The Bulls clinched a playoff spot for the second year in a row, the White Sox took two out of three from the Blue Jays, and yours truly spent Friday night at the ole ballpark with ten fine, lively, lovely chicks. Yes, ten. All by myself. Honest. Just ten chicks and me with a big ole grin on my face. More on that later.

Major props to the Bulls, who are getting extremely hot at just the right time and stormed into the playoffs by dismantling the Heat 117-93 in Miami yesterday afternoon. Granted, with the second seed already locked up for Miami, Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade sat out the fourth quarter, but the Bulls were already firmly in control of the game by that point. It was an ass-kicking. Luol Deng celebrated his birthday with a huge performance. I can't believe that guy is only 21. Good lord. Talk about the ceiling being high.

The game was an orgasmic experience if you're a Bulls fan, especially since I'm fairly certain it was the first Sunday afternoon ABC game the Bulls have played this year. I lost track of how many times I heard things like "the Bulls are the hardest-playing team in the NBA" or "nobody plays better defense than the Bulls" or "the future of these young Bulls is extremely bright". On and an it went like that. Bill Walton was totally stoking me, not to mention cracking me up, as he always does. Say what you will about Walton, and I know he annoys many, but the dude is funny, if unintentionally. My favorite moment yesterday:

Mike Tirico: "Didn't Luol Deng learn to play basketball in the Sudan from Manute Bol?"

Big Bill (and you know he had that famously assured grin on his face at the time, although you couldn't see it): "Absolutely."

I don't even know why that's funny. I guess it's just the thought of Walton being so sure of himself, as if he was in the Sudan at the time watching Bol mentor Deng. Absolutely!

Scottie Pippen, in the studio, even managed to nominate Scott Skiles for Coach of the Year and threatened to walk out after Mark Jackson vehemently declared Kobe Bryant better than Michael Jordan. (Dude must be on crack. Seriously, Jackson is about as bad as it gets for "analysts". Ugh. The guy was a solid point guard for a long time, but...)

The Bulls play in Orlando tonight, and though the game is meaningless, it would still be nice to beat the Magic, which is arguably the hottest team in the league right now. It would also be nice to avoid the Pistons in the first round.

Meanwhile, the White Sox bounced back from a dismal Friday night to take the next two games from Toronto, though yesterday's win was shortened due to rain. Javier Vasquez looked shaky on Friday, but if you want to look at it positively, he really only had one truly bad inning - the fifth when he couldn't get anyone out. Other than that, he looked at least decent (i.e., nothing that Don Cooper can't fix.) Mark Buehrle was brilliant on Saturday and Freddy Garcia may have been lucky yesterday's game was called short after he allowed the Blue Jays back to within 6-4 after being spotted a 6-0 lead. A lot of talk has been centered on Garcia's lack of velocity thus far, but we'll see how that works out. It's still early and Garcia pitched his ass of in the WBC for Venezuala so maybe he's a bit more tired than he normally would be at this time of year.

Jim Thome has scored in every game thus far this season. Amazing.

And, yes, the Unknown Column is happy to report that he attended the Friday night White Sox-Blue Jays tilt with ten chicks. Yes, ten. It was ten chicks and the Unknown Column. No, really. We took up nearly an entire row. I tell you this not because I'm some sort of stud or ladies man - I'm not - but because this has never happened before and will never happen again. If I start waiting for the next time it's just me and ten fine, young things at a Sox game, I'll be waiting a long, long time. So I'll be damned if I'm not going to talk about it. Ten chicks. And me. I was the envy of every dude in our section. Too bad I don't have a digital camera or I'd have proof to offer in here, not to mention the poster I would have blown up and hung on my wall of the time it was me and ten lovely nubile hotties at the ballpark.

OK, there was one other dude with us who was a boyfriend of one of the chicks, but he didn't really count. In fact, I think he might have been a Cubs fan.

A friend of my sister's had somehow got her hands on twelve tickets, and since several of their group of friends were home from college for Easter, they all decided to spend Friday with the Sox. (Smart chicks.) Aware that I'm the biggest diehard Sox fan she knows and also that I wasn't kidding when I threatened extreme violence if I wasn't offered a ticket, my sister managed to get me into the group, too. Good times.

That said, women do not know how to watch a baseball game. It's ridiculous. At one point - I shit you not - I was the only person from our group actually in our seats watching the game. They had all scattered to use the bathroom or get more beer or smoke cigarettes or do whatever it is they do when they attend a baseball game that they, apparently, view as that thing going on while they get their drink on. I looked to my left and to my right and they were all gone. All of them. Our entire row was empty except for a few people all the way at the other end. It was almost embarrassing. At least the dudes sitting directly behind me got a kick out of it.

Whatever. It was all cool. A few of them were wearing Sox caps and shirts. I have no idea if any of them even cared about the Sox before last year's World Series win, but it doesn't matter. They did have taste. I swear, any chick wearing a Sox cap with the 1983 logo will tug at my heart every time. Every time. Same goes with any Sox attire in the color green. I melt. When one of them, who was wearing the cap seen below, mentioned that she was an artist, well, I was in some serious love. A chick who wears green Sox attire and paints? I can't really ask for much more than that, can I? I wouldn't dare.


She said she painted and then she asked me to remove all of her clothing, slowly, piece by piece, until she was wearing nothing but a Sox cap...OK, that didn't really happen.


On top of everyting, it was nice to see the Cell so lively this early in the season. It was a nice crowd, which has been rare in April in years past. And the female factor was on fire. Chicks, chicks everywhere! Good lord! It was a beautiful, warm, summer-like night, meaning the choices of outfits were outstanding, and between the fine women passing me left and right and the ten chicks I was with - did I mention I was with ten chicks? - I felt like a kid in a candy store.

More importantly, it was just nice to see a large crowd. Lord knows I've been to plenty of Sox games where almost the entire upper deck was empty, especially in April. But no more. There was a definite sense of celebration in the air. It was one big party. My favorite fans on this night were a group of kids a few rows behind us. They couldn't have been more than 18 years old and there had to be about 25-30 of them. They were extremely loud and boisterous and busy starting all sorts of chants, which surely had something to do with the liquor they snuck in. I was chuckling as I saw them passing back and forth haphazard, homemade concoctions of pop and booze. A brown liquid in a green Mountain Dew container is usually a giveaway that something is amiss - in a good way. I had to laugh as one dude would chug, make a face like he just swallowed shampoo, and then pass the brown Mountain Dew to his buddy, who would likewise chug and make the same face. And then they, and their buddies, with the latest charge of liquid courage, would begin chanting, "Anderson! Anderson! Anderson!" or whatever it was they felt like screaming about at that moment. Yes, they even managed to start a chant for Brian Anderson, the poor rook who is struggling mightily at the plate at the moment. Now that's all class. All in all, I was very impressed with their ingenuity. Sneaking booze into the ballpark? Classic, classic move, one I've mastered and pulled off myself on many occasions. I love it, absolutely love it. I loved it even more when they could barely get through a chant of "Paulie! Paulie! Paulie!" without slurring the words. You know you're drunk when you're slurring Paulie. I mean, it's not like Tadahito or Podsednik. Whatever. I would have been sneaking in some booze myself if I wasn't with ten chicks and trying to be at least minimally suave. Did I mention that I was with ten chicks?

I was just happy with myself for managing not to hit the Bullpen Bar, which was amazing, really. Not even once. Normally, when I'm with my buddies (or flying solo; I'm not ashamed), we find our seats early and by the third inning we're already half in the bag and firmly entrenched down in the Bullpen Bar downing Bombers with all the other sloppy drunks, where we continue drinking hardcore until they finally boot us out about 30 minutes after the game ends. And all you other drunk Sox fans out there know all about the Bombers. If only all bottles of beer came so large.

Anyways, it's always nice to get out to the ballpark early in the season to get a taste of what's in store for the coming summer. Now if only I can find a group of ten chicks with season tickets.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Tonight's Likes

Happy Easter!


(Hat tip, Rush.)

Bulls (+3) at Miami. National TV. Sunday Afternoon. Playoff atmosphere. This is what it's all about. On Easter, the Bulls have risen. Here we go now.

Spurs (-10.5) at Timberwolves

Mavericks (-5.5) vs Jazz

Clippers (-6) vs Sonics

Kings (-9) vs Hornets

April record: 18-16

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Nine For Nine


Nine for fuckin' nine.

I missed this while at the White Sox game on Friday, but when they showed the Bulls highlights on the jumbotron, well, that was about the highlight of an otherwise dreary night, though the weather was perfect. The first thing I thought was, Damn, it almost sounded like he just said Gordon went nine for nine on three-pointers. Then I rubbed my ears.

I had no problem hearing the 103-101 final score. Nice.

Nine for fuckin' nine?

Simply Jordanesque. The Fourth Quarter Wonder, Gordon is heating up at just the right time. Luol Deng is back. That's nine of eleven now. Bulls play a rare, for them, nationally televised game on ABC against the Heat on Sunday afternoon, a handy run-through for their upcoming foray deep into the playoffs.

Here we go now.

Speaking of that dreary Sox loss to Toronto, it was nice to see them bounce back today with a win. Paul Konerko with a pair of two-run home runs.

The Fire ties at Columbus 1-1. Not the best result, but as it continues its current nine-game road stretch to begin the season, avoiding losses and staying in the playoff race is acceptable for the moment.

Tonight's Likes



Pacers (-3.5) at Bobcats

Hawks/Bucks over 203

Warriors (-3) at Blazers

April record: 16-15

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bastards!



I really hope Jesus isn't a diehard Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Barrons fan...and I'm fairly certain he is.

WNEP-TV, which traditionally televises the home opener of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, said it would not air Friday night's game against Norfolk at Lackawanna County Stadium.

"Good Friday is not an appropriate day for us to do that," C. Lou Kirchen, the station's president and general manager, said on a recent broadcast.

Instead, the station was to air local news, followed by the tabloid show "Inside Edition," an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and then "Primetime," featuring an interview with Tom Cruise.


Great. So instead of some good ole wholesome baseball, the station is airing the shady gossip of drugged-up Hollywood actors and Tom Cruise preaching about Scientology and knocking up Katie Holmes? That makes sense.

Random Mike Tyson Update



Just in case you were wondering what's up with Mike Tyson, and I know you were.

MIKE Tyson has bolted a posh Arizona drug-rehab center after only five days of treatment for cocaine abuse. The troubled ex-champ, 39, decided to check into the $4,000-a-night Meadows clinic in Phoenix for 30 days after being inspired by a recent trip to Chairman Mao's tomb in China. Tyson sought treatment for drugs and "rage therapy," reports The London Mirror. In 2004, Page Six broke the story about Tyson's spiraling into depression and cocaine abuse. Our scoop caused Tyson manager Shelly Finkel to issue a statement denying the batty boxer was using drugs. We're told Tyson is currently holed up at a Vegas hotel.


I love me some Tyson. People love to make fun of the guy, but he's highly interesting and, in my opinion, much smarter than he's given credit for. You got to love a guy who goes to China, gets inspired by Chairman Mao, and a week later is springing himself from rehab in Arizona. That's so rock'n'roll. And hey, at least Tyson is supposedly "holed up at a Vegas hotel" at the moment. He shouldn't encounter any craziness in Vegas. Nope.

In all seriousness, let's hope Tyson gets off the powder. The last thing he needs is anything that gets him more wound up than he is naturally. Pot? That might actually help. But cocaine? Big, big problems. More importantly, I'd hate to see the guy go out an overdose like Sonny Liston. I fear we should be legitimately worried about Tyson at this point. I mean, in the past, at least he had his boxing career to keep him somewhat sane and focused. Sure, that didn't always work so well, if at all, but it was something.

Now? Tyson has years of time on his hands, no real purpose, and all that crazy. I sincerely hope he has someone looking out for him.

Maybe Tyson should talk to Tom Cruise.

Same Old Mavericks?


"I am SO pissed at the refs on the road."

Interesting stat: The Mavs have lost five of their last six road games. For all of the talk about how the new Mavs play defense and are mentally tougher and all that jazz, they may be just as fragile as ever. Color me shocked if they get past the Spurs in the second round.

Speaking of the Spurs, I saw a commercial on E! - no, I don't watch E!, leave me alone - for a show on Monday that will feature Tony Parker and Eva Longoria being interviewed by - and this is where I nearly vomitted - Ryan Seacrest. I think I'd rather have a dirty Barry Bonds-used syringe slowly drilled into my skull than watch this tripe.

Tonight's Likes



Bulls (-4) vs Wizards. Rolling, rolling, rolling, the Bulls bandwagon is rolling, and the Unknown Column ain't jumping off.

Nets (-1.5) at Celtics. Nets can't lose three in a row, can they?

Bobcats/Hawks under 209.5. These teams are too awful to score many points.

Clippers (+2) at Sonics. How can anyone not be a pseudo-Clippers fan at this point?

Knicks (+8) vs Bucks. Yeah, I can't believe I'm betting on the Knicks, either.

Heat (-4) vs 76ers. A Heat win would be huge for the Bulls. This gives me extra incentive to root.

Suns (-3) at Warriors. I'm guessing the Warriors don't beat the Mavs and Suns in the same week.

April record: 13-11

Four In A Row And Coming Home



OK, things are back on track. The White Sox have won four in a row, all on the road, and after a 13-run explosion yesterday in the Motor City, the offense appears to be rounding into fine form.

That said, a few kinks still need to be worked out.

For starters, Scott Podsednik is still struggling mightily, though yesterday he did manage to score twice despite going hitless. This is a good sign. The Podsednik from last year got on base however possible. Once he gets back to this, his hitting should improve. I mean, he can't keep batting below .100, right? Right.

Jon Garland also suffered his second rough outing in as many starts, but I wouldn't panic just yet. For as long as Garland has been a starter for the Sox - which seems like forever even though he's still only 27 - he has seemed to be one of those guys with whom confidence is a major issue. For some guys, it's not. When they're hot, they're hot. When they're in a slump, they're in a slump. But nothing changes their mental approach.

For guys like Garland, however, it seems head games can take their toll, and when a rough patch is confronted, things can momentarily spin out of control. Hopefully, this is all that's going on with Garland at the moment, and I think it is. Once he has a solid start under his belt, his confidence will rise, as will his entire game as a result. He just needs to work it all out in his head. Hopefully, sooner than later. I'm sure Don Cooper is on the job as we speak.

It was nice to see the offensive outburst yesterday, with the usual suspects causing most of the damage, but even Alex Cintron hit a pair of triples. The Unknown Column is liking Cintron.

By the way, I'll be attending my first Sox game of the season tonight with the Blue Jays in town. This is my first chance to see Javier Vasquez on the mound up close. Say hello if you spot me. I got the ticket through my sister's friend, so I'm not sure where we're sitting (i.e., when free tickets and my sister's cute friends are involved, I ask no questions). But I'm easy to spot, so keep your eyes peeled. For reference, this is me...



Just add a 1918 cap...



(Yes, I'm serious about the cap. Look for the cap.)

Leave Deng's Noggin Alone


Luol Deng's new practice gear.

What is going on with Luol Deng?


After missing three games with a concussion because of a collision with teammate Eric Piatkowski during a shootaround Saturday, Deng required several stitches Thursday when he took a shot to the forehead from 7-foot Bulls teammate Luke Schenscher during practice.


Good lord. The Bulls need Deng on the court as much as they need anyone, and the guy keeps suffering freak accidents involving his skull. Is there something going on we don't know about? Did Deng piss off his fellow Bulls? Maybe renege on a bet? Swoop in on a road groupie someone else was already working on? What's going on when Deng keeps taking massive blows to the noggin...in practice...by his teammates?

That said, I do like the fact that it's the middle of April and Bulls practices are still so intense that dudes are hitting the canvas left and right. Get after it, baby.

Bulls and Wizards tonight at the United Center. The Bulls neeed this one as they can still finish as high as the fifth seed in the crazy Eastern Conference, or out of the playoffs completely. If you're there, be loud, be heard. At some point I want to hear chants of NO-CI-ONI! (clap, clap, clapclapclap) NO-CI-ONI! (clap, clap, clapclapclap).

Here we go now.

Very Bad Things



I've pretty much been avoiding the entire mess in Durham, North Carolina surrounding a stripper, the Duke lacrosse team, and an alleged rape. Obviously, the story exploded instantly, and with me not having any more knowledge than the next guy, why should I comment? OK, I did comment once to say, essentially, that I figured some privileged, rich, dickbag frat boys were guilty, and I stand by that, but the case has taken enough turns already to approach O.J. levels of madness. I'm staying away from that. I mean, am I going to comment on the legitimacy, or lack therof, of DNA test results? Um, no.

But then I saw this yesterday. Apparently, the stripper was shitfaced...

A woman who claims she was raped by members of Duke University's lacrosse team was described as "just passed-out drunk" by one of the first police officers to see her, according to a recording of radio traffic released Thursday.

The conversation between the officer and a police dispatcher took place about 1:30 a.m. March 14, about five minutes after a grocery store security guard called 911 to report a woman in the parking lot who would not get out of someone else's car.

The officer gave the dispatcher the police code for an intoxicated person. When asked whether the woman needed medical help, the officer said: "She's breathing and appears to be fine. She's not in distress. She's just passed out drunk."


Now, I'm not going to pretend that this helps explain anything. However, I will say that this entire debacle is looking more and more like what I figured went down that night when I first heard this sad story: drunk party boy fucks meet drunk chick and bad things ensue. I mean, is this explanation so farfetched? Doesn't that sound like garbage that goes down on college campuses more than most people would care to admit?

It happens. It happens a lot. Drunk dickbags pound booze, get out of their head, and then have their way with a chick because A) they're drunk, B) they're dickbags, and C) they think the chick wants it and don't understand, or hear, the word 'no'.

Am I saying that the members of the lacrosse team are guilty of rape? No. I have no idea. I'm just saying that when the booze is flowing - and where does booze flow more freely than at a college party? - bad things often happen.

Are there other explanations? Of course.

Is it possible the woman was deemed drunk by the police because she was slipped something at the party and not actually drunk at all? Yes.

Is it possible that between the time of the alleged rape (midnight) and the time she was described by the police officer (1:30 a.m.) she was so distressed by the terrible things that happened to her in that house that she drank herself silly? Yes.

Is it possible that she is some crazy broad who's making up the entire story and the lacrosse players are guilty of little more than being drunken yahoos who hired a stripper? Yes.

I have no idea what happend that night and I'm not going to pretend to.

All I'm saying is that the formula of shitfaced broad + dickbag fratboy fucks = very bad things sounds about right to me.

Of course, a lot of people continue to want to make this about race and class, but is it really that complicated? Maybe. But I'm not so sure. My guess is that the assholes at the party - which, by the way, were almost assuredly only a few individuals and not the entire team - would have been equally content manhandling some white chick if they viewed her as equally drunk and worthless.

I can't help the feeling this story is so much simpler than the world is making it out to be. Drunk people do stupid things - things that, sometimes, should land them in jail. Period.

Of course, what is complicated is how this will all play out in court - this isn't like the O.J. trial where you know O.J did it - but I can't help the feeling that these dudes will skate. The negative DNA tests combined with the portrayal of the woman as being shitfaced must have the rich, elitist lawyers and their rich, elitist clients jumping with glee at the thought of the things they can get away with.

I guess women would be wise to remember that when raped it helps if you weren't drinking beforehand.