Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Your loser update: July 14, 2014.

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Red Klotz has passed away.

Klotz was a prep basketball standout in Philadelphia, twice being named that city’s high school player of the year before going on to play at Villanova. He was on the Baltimore Bullets’ 1947-48 NBA championship team. At 5 feet 7, he is tied with six others as the third-shortest NBA player ever, and was the shortest player ever to be on an NBA championship team.

He’s more famous, perhaps, as a coach, having lost “tens of thousands of games” while coaching such teams as the Boston Shamrocks, New Jersey Reds, New York Nationals, International Elite, Global Select, World All-Stars…and, perhaps most famous of all, the Washington Generals.

Klotz himself was responsible for the Globetrotters’ last recognized loss, hitting a last-second shot in 1971 at age 51 while player-coach of the New Jersey Reds. He played against the Globetrotters until he was 68, and still played pickup games until a few years before his death.


Since we’re at the All-Star break, it seems like a good time to do a baseball loser update. Unfortunately, it really isn’t a good year for losers.

Surprisingly, Houston isn’t at the bottom of the list. Heck, they’re not even at the bottom of their division. The Astros are 40-56, with a .417 winning percentage; a mark they share with Arizona. Colorado is 40-55, .421, and my Cubs are 40-54, .426.

At rock bottom are your Texas Rangers, at 38-57, for a .400 winning percentage. I’m not saying any of these records are “good”, but compared to where the Astros were at the break last year (33-61, .351), this looks like a ray of sunshine.

Rock & Roll #1!

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Continuing in the historical trivia vein, today is the 35th anniversary of one of the greatest moments in the history of baseball: Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park.

Here’s some video I turned up. The first one appears to be an ESPN retrospective:

Here’s some local news coverage:

Side note: this is an attempt to compile a complete list of forfeits in major league baseball games.

Obit watch: June 14, 2014.

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

By way of Lawrence: Chuck Noll, legendary coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Noll had been the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Colts before the Steelers made him the youngest head coach in NFL history at the age of 34. They first offered the job to Joe Paterno, who opted to stay at Penn State, before hiring Noll in 1969.

Huh. History is a funny thing, isn’t it?

Edited to add: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obit.

Obit watch: June 5, 2014.

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Don Zimmer: NYT. ESPN.

Lady Mary Soames passed away last Saturday. Mrs. Soames was the last surviving child of Winston Churchill, and wrote extensively (and, by all the accounts I’ve seen, well) about her family.

And we are obligated to note the passing of Chester Nez, Navajo code talker.

Nez, a painter, earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University in Kansas in 2012.

Almost missed it…

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

…but yes, today is the day.

What day is it? The 40th anniversary of Ten Cent Beer Night.

Also coming up this year: the 35th anniversary of Disco Demolition Night.

I’ve previously made note of the strange career of Rusty Torres, who was on the field for three forfeited games. What I did not know, until I stumbled across it in Wikipedia, is that Nestor Chylak was also involved in both Ten Cent Beer Night (as crew chief of the umpires that night) and Disco Demolition Night (as “assistant league supervisor of umpires”; he was in the umpires’ dressing room at Comiskey Park that night, and ordered the forfeit).

Here’s a couple of links to coverage from the paper of record: Link one. Link two. Please leave a comment if those don’t work for you.

And here’s your obligatory 40th anniversary interview from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, complete with a reprint of the original coverage from 1974.

Random notes, some administrative, for April 23, 2014.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Apologies for the extended radio silence. The past few days have been busy.

As many of the Whipped Cream Irregulars know, Sunday was my birthday, as well as Easter. This will not happen again until 2025.

Anyway, Mike the Musicologist came up late Friday night, rented a Silvercar, and we drove down to San Antonio on Saturday to do some gun shopping, tour Ranger Creek (which will be the subject of another post), and have dinner with Andrew and Lawrence at Bohanan’s (which may be the subject of another post).

I spent Easter Sunday with family, eating an excellent ham from the Noble Pig and a very good cake baked by my sister. (I don’t remember which cookbook she got the recipe from, but I thought it was very good; perhaps she’ll post here and update.)

Then on Monday, MtM and I took the Silvercar to Dallas, where we did some more gun shopping (including a stop at Cabela’s, but not that one), had a very good lunch at Chop House Burgers, and did some shopping for tacky souvenirs of pre-revolutionary America at the 6th Floor Museum shop.

So Saturday through Monday were jam packed. (For the record, I did not buy any guns. Though I was really tempted by the Sig Sauer 1911 22 at GrabAGun. I was also tempted at one of the San Antonio gun stores that had a couple of Nylon 66s, but I just can’t bring myself to pay $350 for one, even if it did have a scope.)

(Edited to add: Also, $1,300 for a K-22, even if it was an early post-war gun with the box, seems really really high.)

Anyway, I’m back and trying to get caught up on blogging. Profuse thanks to MtM for organizing the weekend.

Random notes: March 24, 2014.

Monday, March 24th, 2014

What does the fox say?

“I resign.”

Rhode Island Speaker of the House Gordon D. Fox, enveloped by an apparent criminal investigation, announced Saturday that he has resigned his leadership post.
He fell in a lightning-quick series of events that began Friday with investigators, armed with search warrants in a probe of an undisclosed matter, taking boxes of evidence from his State House office and his East Side home.

The paper of record describes agents “carting out boxes and bags labeled ‘evidence.’” This raises some questions, at least for me: did they write “evidence” on the side with a Sharpie? Or do these boxes and bags come pre-labeled as “evidence”? Can you buy “evidence” boxes and bags from your local law enforcement supply store?

(Isn’t it kind of cartoonish when you think about it? Sort of like Scrooge McDuck carrying around a big bag with a “$” on it, only instead you’ve got a neatly attired IRS agent with a bag that says “Evidence”?)

So much for that. Looks like I owe Lawrence $5. See if I buy one of your damn t-shirts now, Gonzaga.

(Still hopeful for those Cubs, though.)

City That Squandered Baseball Relishes Brief Return

“Squandered Baseball”? Well, I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that the Expos made unreasonable demands after the 1995 baseball strike and drove fans away.

Random notes: March 22, 2014.

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Which United States city is the “Bank Robbery Capital of the World”?

(Bzzzzzt!) Oh, I’m sorry. That was a trick question. If you answered “Los Angeles”, you would have been correct for a long time.

But last year, San Francisco actually passed LA.

The seven-county region covered by the FBI’s L.A. office saw a mere 212 bank robberies in 2013, reaching a low not seen since the 1960s. That’s less than a tenth of what it was at its height in the early ’90s, when the region logged 2,641.

(And I’ve mentioned this before, but Where the Money Is is a swell book that I enthusiastically recommend.)


A sixth-round pick?

Obit watch and other random notes for March 18, 2014.

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Clarissa Dickson Wright. Damn, this sucks. I was a fan of “Two Fat Ladies”.

For the record, here’s your David Brenner obit: I’ve been just a touch busy. Sorry.

Part of that busy has involved visiting various Half-Price Books locations: would you believe I can’t find a used copy of Fatal Vision? It used to be all over the place…

Once again, I don’t care about college basketball. Once again, I’m rooting for Gonzaga just because I like saying “Gonzaga!” I think this might be their year. And, once again, I’ve bet Lawrence $5 that Gonzaga will win the championship.

And baseball season is about to get started as well. Everyone knows what that means: yes, I’ve also bet Lawrence $5 that the Cubs will win the World Series.

Still here. Just quiet.

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Nothing really worth writing about. I don’t even have any interesting beef jerky and Michael Jackson fueled dreams to discuss.

(Possible addition to The Rules Of the Gunfight: Never bring beef jerky to a gunfight.)

Speaking of being quiet, is it just me, or did the NBA have their All-Star Game this past weekend…to massive public indifference? I don’t think there was even a FARK Sports tab thread.

Two random movie related notes:

  1. I’ve pretty much reached the limit of my tolerance for the trailer for “Cheap Thrills“, as well as the movie itself. I don’t care if it marks me as an old man; I’ve already fully embraced my old man status, and I’m just tired of movies about horrible people doing horrible things to other people.
  2. Dear Tim League: I totally get that you like Wes Anderson movies. I, personally, would not have made 4% of my desert island movie list Wes Anderson films; I’m not even sure a Wes Anderson film would be in my top 100. But de gustibus non est disputandum.
    And the trailer for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” does look interesting; it almost seems like Wes Anderson trying to do his own version of “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” It is possible that I’ll actually pay money to see this at the Drafthouse. (I’m not sure if it helps or hurts the cause that I accidentally stumbled across and read a complete plot synopsis online. Even after that, I’m still not sure what Harvey Keitel is doing in this movie.)
    But could we please lose your interminable introduction to the frigging trailer, for crying out loud? Hand to God, I think your introduction is as long as the trailer itself. Put it on YouTube or something, but don’t make me sit through it again. Let the trailer stand on its own.

Some people call him Maurice…

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

…but not “Coach” any longer: Maurice Cheeks out as head coach of the Pistons, in what I believe is the first NBA coach firing of the season.

Cheeks was hired in the offseason last year and coached a total of 50 games for Detroit, with a 21-29 record.

(Hattip: Lawrence.)

TMQ Watch: February 4, 2014.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

And thus we slog to the end of another NFL season, and the end of another TMQ season. Surprisingly (at least to us) TMQ avoids any discussion of unrealistic television shows, but there’s a lot of discussion of books. Speaking of which, did you know TMQ had a new book out?

After the jump, the last TMQ for the 2013 NFL season