Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Your loser update: April 17, 2015.

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The end of the NBA regular season has snuck up on us.

Early in the season, it seemed like Philadelphia was the favorite to go 0-82, or at least set a record for futility.

How did that work out for them? Well, they finished 18-64. Which is bad.

But it isn’t as bad as the New York Knicks, who finished 17-65. Philadelphia didn’t even lose their own division. Which I think says something about the team, but I’m not sure what.

But, surprisingly, the Knicks weren’t the worst NBA team this year. That honor goes to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who finished the season at 16-66, for a winning percentage of 0.195. ESPN has a very nice list of the worst NBA teams, which currently includes the Timberwolves, and lets you do side-by-side comparisons with the legendary 72-73 Philadelphia team.

By the way, the Lakers finished 21-61. Just saying.

Norts spews.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Lawrence Phillips, former NFL running back who is serving out a 31-year prison sentence, may have killed his cellmate.

Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental.

Nigalidze is suspected of stashing an iPhone in a men’s room stall and using it to cheat during games.

“When confronted, Nigalidze denied he owned the device,” according to the tournament’s Web site. “But officials opened the smart device and found it was logged into a social networking site under Nigalidze’s account. They also found his game being analyzed in one of the chess applications.”

Take me out to the ball game…

Monday, April 6th, 2015

It appears that opening day has snuck up on me again.

It also looks like the Cubs will be unable to sell beer at Wrigley Field this year.*

However, I still have faith; that’s one game out of 162. And, yes, I’ve bet Lawrence $5 that the Cubs will win the World Series this year.

* Because they lost the home opener.

Edited to add: Giggle. Snort.

Duke sucks.

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Duke, however, does not suck enough.

Gonzaga!

Yes, I owe Lawrence $5. I’m not that disappointed, though: making the final eight is a pretty good run, and I think Gonzaga is going to get stronger and stronger in the coming years.

The horses have left…

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Not official yet, but various sources are reporting that Rick Barnes is going to be shown the door.

If there’s an official announcement today, I’ll update; otherwise, I’ll do a new post tomorrow.

Edited to add: Official. Statesman. Statesman II. ESPN.

Some interesting things about this:

  • The university is spinning this as an agreed upon parting of the ways.
  • Barnes says he wanted to stay, was told last week his job was safe, and he was let go for refusing to fire some of his assistant coaches.
  • Barnes is owed $1.75 million in severance pay. But if UT had waited until Wednesday to fire him, they would only have owed him $1.5 million. I wonder what the hurry was.

Gonzaga 74, UCLA 62.

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Elite Eight, baby.

Their next game is against Duke on Sunday.

Gonzaga!

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

They’ve made the final 16. And their next game is against UCLA, who they beat in the regular season.

I’m liking their chances. I might even order a shirt.

You say Go-zinga, I say Gonzaga!

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Once again, Lawrence and I have agreed to a small ($5) wager on the NCAA bracket: I’m taking Gonzaga, he’s taking the field.

I like Gonzaga’s chances this year. And as I always say, even if I lose, I get $5 worth of entertainment out of the deal.

Cold Shaw.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Brian Shaw out as head coach of the Denver Nuggets.

56-85 over a season and a half.

News of his firing comes days after general manager Tim Connelly said Shaw is “absolutely” safe as the team’s coach for the remainder of the season.

And also…

Friday, February 27th, 2015

I don’t want this one to get lost: Earl Lloyd has died.

For those who don’t recognize the name, Mr. Lloyd was the first black NBA player.

A rugged 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward, Lloyd played in the N.B.A. for nine seasons. He was a strong rebounder and so tenacious on defense that he sometimes guarded the Minneapolis Lakers’ 6-foot-10 center George Mikan, the league’s first superstar. In 1955, Lloyd joined with Jim Tucker, also a forward, as the first two black players on an N.B.A. championship team, playing for the Syracuse Nationals.

Obit watch: February 17, 2015.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Arnaud de Borchgrave, journalist and author.

Lesley Gore. A/V Club.

Not really an obit in the conventional sense, but: the Bob Feller museum in Van Meter, Iowa is closing. One of the interesting things about this is that the Feller museum was one of the last remaining “free-standing” museums devoted to one player:

Only two remain: the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, two and a half blocks from Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, and the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library in Greenville, S.C. Six others, including the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State University in New Jersey, are either housed at or supported by larger entities.

Also interesting: some of the memorabilia will stay at the musueum (which is going to become the new city hall), some of it is going to Progressive Field, and some of it is going to the U.S.S. Alabama:

In Van Meter, Feller is equally revered for his military service. He enlisted in the Navy two days after Pearl Harbor, the first United States professional athlete to volunteer, costing him three full baseball seasons and most of a fourth. He saw combat in the Pacific theater as a gun captain aboard the Alabama. Feller proudly called himself the only Navy chief petty officer in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Obit watch and other randomness: February 11, 2015.

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Jerry Tarkanian: LV Review-Journal. LV Sun. ESPN. NYT.

(I care very little about college basketball, except for the annual Gonzaga bet. But anyone who ticks off the NCAA gets points in my book.)

“No. Really. I didn’t realize the women at those orgies were hookers. I thought they were socialites.”

Both Lawrence and I are still trying to sort out the implications of this, but I believe it is huge.

…Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing these provisions.

Perhaps one of my readers who has something more than an Internet GED in law can comment: does this injunction against enforcing the ban on interstate handgun sales apply only in the district in which the ruling was issued? Or does it apply nationwide unless a higher court voids the injunction?

Edited to add: It looks like David Hardy over at Of Arms and the Law has the same question.

…if he enforced it in Maine or in Washington, he’d have violated the injunction, and could be held in contempt by the Texas court.

I would pay money to see that.

Hey, remember when Ray Nagin was convicted of corruption and sent to prison for 14 years? Good times, good times. Anyway, Frank Fradella, the granite countertops guy, is going to do one year in the federal pen for his part in Nagin’s downfall.

The Covington businessman pleaded guilty to stock fraud and bribery charges in 2012, and became a key witness in Nagin’s trial two years later. Fradella testified that he steered a $50,000 payment to Nagin in hopes of winning city contracts, and gave a free shipment of granite to a countertop business owned by Nagin’s sons.

Fradella is getting off light because he rolled on Nagin.