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Archive for July, 2007

A Sports Fan’s Lament: Part III

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Baseball

What you know: One of the greatest sports records of all time is going to be broken by an admited steroid user. Barry Bonds will have passed 755 home runs (set by Henry “Hank” Aaron) and the backlash is like the humidity in New Orleans: Overbearing. Bonds said to a grand jury that he had taken a substance called “The Clear,” but he didn’t know what it was. Hmmm, I don’t know what this lotiony stuff is, but I’ll go ahead and rub it all over my upper body because it’s supposed to help me on the field. Anyone who knows Bonds personally (which I don’t, but have read interviews with some who do) knows that he knows everything that he puts in and on his body. He still won’t admit to using steroids, but it’s virtually impossible to go from a slender speedy outfielder with power to a slow monsterous home run pounding machine in a matter of a couple of years. Bonds may never admit that he used, but the circumstantial evidence in the court of public opinion is overwhelming.

What you should be hearing about: I’m not the biggest baseball fan, but this has been the year for milestones. Two of my all-time favorite players have reached or are about to reach career milestones. Frank Thomas hit his 500th home run and Ken Griffey Jr. is approaching his 600th. Sammy Sosa (another alleged ‘roider) hit his 600th homer and Alex Rodriquez is about to become the youngest player in MLB history to hit 500 homers, and he’s only 31. Tom Glavine is approaching 300 wins (which almost guarantees a Hall of Fame induction) and Yankees could very well be out of the playoffs for the first time in forever, which will make New Yorkers cry and every one else rejoice. I may not be a big baseball fan, but I sure have found a lot to love about the game this year.

A Sports Fan’s Lament: Part II

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Football

What you know: Oh buddy, where do I begin? Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted on Federal charges that he ran a dogfighting ring from one of his residences. There are dozens of rumors to go along with this, but here are the facts. The FBI raided this specific place (the home of “Bad Newz Kennels”) twice. The second time they were looking for, and I am not kidding, dog carcasses. And they found 30+ of them. The rumors that go along with this are that Vick was a high dollar better and that he not only collected the money at one of these matches, but that he was there for some of the brutal killings of some of these dogs (including electricution, hanging and drowning). It pains me to even think about, as I used to have a dog of my own and I still think about how much I loved him. This is grotesque and just plain repulsive. That being said, Vick has only been charged with running it, not actually doing any of the killing or betting. Does that make it any better? Hell no. This is not just against the law. It’s betraying the trust that every dog puts into its owner. This is the one story that just disgusts me and one that I pray to God is not true, but count me in with the skeptics.

What you should know: While the NFL is cracking down on athletic idiots (see Adam “Pacman” Jones and his involvement in a strip club shooting that got him suspended for the entire year WITHOUT pay), there are some great comeback stories. Cleveland Browns center LeCharles Bentley is back after injuring his knee in the first contact drills of training camp last year. It could have been career threatening. But he’s had four surgeries and looks to be good to go. Also, the New York Jets gave Defensive Tackle Andre Wadsworth another shot at stardom. He had been running a few restaurants in Florida and hasn’t played since 2000. You try being 300+ pounds and stay in shape waiting for a phone call for seven years.

A Sports fan’s lament: Part I

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

What’s going on with sports today? The big three sports each have a huge story that breaking into the national spotlight and none of them are good. There are good things happening that should be spotlighted but are getting overshadowed by the negative. Here’s part one of a rundown of what you probably already know about the bad and the good that should be broadcast.

Basketball

What you know: NBA referee Tim Donaghy was accused by the FBI of betting on professional basketball games including ones that he officiated. There have even been whispers about mob ties. His neighbors say that he was a loner and didn’t get along with anybody. This is slowly turning into an episode of The Sopranos. NBA commish David Stern said that he thinks Donaghy is a “rogue, isolated criminal.” Stern better hope that this is an isolated incident or the entire league (which has already seen it’s share of trouble from Kobe “I made a mistake” Bryant and Carmelo “suckerpunch” Anthony) could come crashing down on him.

What you should know: Houston Rockets center Yao Ming was harassed by his native Chinese government for reporting late to national team training. He was told that “No matter how sweet personal life is, it can’t be compared to the exultation of capturing glory for one’s nation.” I’m sorry, Yao should have known better than to plan his wedding during the NBA offseason. You know, the NBA that pays him millions of dollars a year to play the exact same game that you’re asking him to play for nothing. And as for Yao taking time to visit children at the Special Olympics? “No matter how lofty public welfare activities are, they can’t be allowed to take first place in a player’s life,” the Chinese newspaper is quoted as saying. Yao is using his global appeal and genuinely good guy image to do good things and all the government can do is whine and complain that he’s not at a friggin’ practice?! Screw the Chinese government. Yao is one of the few good apples in the NBA. He has never been arrested and he’s not creating babies with various women all over the globe. He’s a good guy trying to do the right thing. The Chinese government needs to lay off. He’ll be there and he’ll be ready. Until then, let him be. Just let him be.

Josh English

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Scenes From A Bathroom Window

DVP Records

Brilliant lyricist, mediocre guitar player, voice that I found grating. If he would write these lyrics for someone with a smoother voice, it would be golden. But for Josh English, it’s just tin.

http://www.joshenglishmusic.com