August 31, 2007


A great day for the Twins, and for downtown Minneapolis. Now they just need to get that bridge rebuilt.

Have a happy Labor Day weekend; be back on Tuesday.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

Oh, Cole + Other Philly Sports Notes

Cole Hamels, even though he's 100%, demonstrably right, should know better than to say things like this, from an interview with Bugs & Cranks:

MM: Philadelphia fans: Passionate die-hards or Crazy, maniacal lunatics?

CH: 40% Passionate die-hards, 60% crazy, lunatics and fair-weather fans.

Yea, the talk radio people tend to go nuts when Philly athletes talk like that. Not as nuts as they go when McNabb smiles on the sidelines when they're behind, but still pretty nuts.

Speaking of Philly fans, this has been making the rounds, from the other night:

In some cities, girls try to break up fights at ballgames. In Philly, they shout out "Get him! Get him!"

And finally, one more Phillies note. The second-half resurgence of Pat Burrell has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball in the second half, especially since the owed-$27-million-in-the-last-two-years-of-his-contract left fielder was the most hated man in Philly as recently as two months ago (well, most hated besides John Street.)

Burrell came up big in the Mets series, with two homers in the fourth game. In fact, Pat the Bat has killed the Amazins for his whole career. As the broadcast kept showing over the series, Burrell is now fifth all time in home runs against the Mets. The four men ahead of him- Willie Stargell, Mike Schmidt, Willie McCovey, and Hank Aaron- are all Hall of Famers, as is the guy right behind him (Willie Mays). The guy behind Mays- Barry Bonds- may make it too, depending on what the voters and the BALCO grand jury have to say.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:46 PM | Comments (0)

Social Conservatives For Apatow

Call Rich Lowry a charter member. But come on- there's no way in hell McLovin is a Republican.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:46 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2007


Given up and left for dead as recently as Sunday (when all the guys at my fantasy football draft declared them so), the Phillies today completed a four-game sweep of the NL East-leading Mets, getting clutch hits, strong bullpen performances, and a whole bunch of other stuff they haven't been getting all season.

It was quite a series- the Phils won the second game on a Ryan Howard walkoff homer, the third on a 9th-inning interference call, and the fourth in a wild 11-10 game with numerous lead changes.

The lead has dropped to 2 games in the division in what is, believe it or not, the first-ever Mets-Phillies pennant race. The two teams have literally never been good the same year before, as they've taken turns being good for about 40 years, and the Braves won every division title for 15 years. The Phils may be dysfunctional, but the Mets now appear even more so.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:46 PM | Comments (1)

A Song For Peter

From Funny or Die, a beautiful, loving tribute to a baseball legend:

The Peter Gammons Theme Song!

The music, I've gotta say, isn't really Peter's taste. I guess Susan Tedesci said no.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:45 PM | Comments (1)

Today on E-Gear

Sony is bringing back the Walkman, complete with video. On the Apple front, a whole line of new iPods is set to debut next week.

You can now get eight HD DVDs, if you buy certain Toshiba players, on And finally, that NBC/Fox Web site finally has a name: Hulu. Unfortunately, "Hulu" is also the Indonesian word for "butt."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:43 PM | Comments (2)

Dumbest Thing Written About Vick Nominee

Drew Sharp: Only Oprah (Not Jesus) Can Rescue Vick

And we're now officially... out of column ideas.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

Where Are They Now? Part I

Did you know that former Vikings fullback Rick Fenney is now in prison for stealing from a hedge fund? Randball says so. Of all the many Vikings crimes over the years, that's probably the most unlikely. Well, either that or the James Harris bigamy arrest.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

Where Are They Now? Part II

Former wrestler Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, last seen getting arrested in his then-place of employment- the Boston subway system- when his bag of cocaine was mistaken for anthrax, setting off a bioterror scare- was profiled the other day in the Boston Globe. Now 50 years old, the erstwhile Barber/Booty Man now works for a pool supply company, but occasionally climbs back in the ring at county fairs and the like.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:39 PM | Comments (0)

Larry Craig: The Cartoon

Yes, this makes perfect sense.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:39 PM | Comments (1)

August 29, 2007

Craig: The Re-enactment

This is just priceless:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

Whatever Happened to Rod Tidwell?

Jeff Pearlman fills us in. But even he's had a better decade than the man who played him, Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

TV Announcement That May Interest Only Me

News Item: MTV making reality show about high school newspaper staff

That sounds like something that myself and about five other people will consider absolutely must-see, while the rest of MTV's audience would rather pay attention to Lauren Conrad.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:07 PM | Comments (1)

Val Kilmer Died????

News Item: Iceman Died From Head Trauma, Not Arrow

He can still be my wingman, anytime.

(Oh, wait, wrong Iceman.)

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:06 PM | Comments (1)

August 28, 2007

One More Word on Vick

He's pled guilty, he'll be sentenced in December, and he's suspended indefinitely, certainly gone from the Falcons and very well from the NFL for good. But here's what I don't get:

I understand Vick was innocent until proven guilty. I understand that America is the land of second chances. I understand that dogfighting isn't as bad as certain other crimes that athletes and non-athletes have committed of late, starting with murder, beating of wives, drunken driving, etc. I understand that the criminal justice system is very often tilted against African-Americans, and I understand that there are other stories out there in the news right now that are much more worthy of our attention. And I understand that Vick has apologized and sounded sincere in doing so. I get all that.

But how does any of that absolve Vick of his crime? And how can anyone, in their right mind, decide to go down to the courthouse, carrying a pro-Vick sign, and cheering Vick on as he enters and exits his guilty plea hearing?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:23 PM | Comments (3)

His Own Private Idaho

Well, let's say Monday was a good day for Rudy Giuliani. He's now the only top Republican presidential candidate who hasn't had a regional campaign chairman resign after a same-sex lewd conduct arrest.

That's right- it came out Monday night that Sen. Larry Craig, a Republican from the very, very red state of Idaho, had been arrested for solicitation in June, in a mens' room at the Minneapolis airport, and quickly (and quietly) pled guilty. Somehow, no one noticed in the intervening three months.

Craig immediately resigned as Mitt Romney's honorary campaign chairman; this comes just two months after John McCain's Florida chairman, Bob Allen, stepped down after a similar arrest in a public restroom.

Craig's defense? He claims he "has a wide stance when going to the bathroom." Which isn't convincing, but is nonetheless a much, much better move than that of Allen, who claimed that he only offered to blow the undercover officer because said officer was a large black man, and "I didn't want to end up a statistic."

Craig, who is married with kids and will likely have a tough time explaining this to Napoleon Dynamite and the rest of his Idaho constituents, has been rumored to be gay for some time, by the sort of blogs that tend to spread that sort of thing, but has always denied it.

In all, it's the most embarrassing arrest at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport since the Whizzinator incident back in 2005. Though something tells me Craig wouldn't have minded being around for that...

Meanwhile, Fred Thompson isn't known to have any public-restroom-users on his rapidly-evolving campaign staff. On "Law & Order," he once fired an employee who was a lesbian, but it wasn't because she was a lesbian.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

The Bird Behind Chris Mortenson

Last night's ESPN "Monday Night Football" broadcast might have been all-Vick, all the time, but at least some fun stuff happened in the background. Here, a giant bird mascot attacks several children while Chris Mortenson, as is often the case, totally misses the story:

And here I thought all the mascots in the world were at Citizens' Bank Park last night. Here's what happened there, as Mr. Met was hauled away by security.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:21 PM | Comments (0)

Why Bush Calls Gonzales Fredo

Brian Beutler has a theory:

"George Bush befriends Alberto Gonzales years ago and starts calling him "Al" (you know... in that semi-Texan drawl he's so loathed in the north east for faking). Time passes until one day, in the presence of refined company, George Bush is forced to refer to his friend by his full name. Except that by now he's entirely forgotten which Hispanic name starting with the letters "Al" actually belongs to Gonzales. He does a bit of eeny meeny miny moe and settles on Alfredo. He's wrong. Everybody laughs at George Bush, including George Bush. And from that moment forward the man who would one day become America's worst president refers as "Fredo" to the man who would one day desecrate the office of Attorney General."
So he didn't really name him after the biggest wuss in the history of American cinema?

Reminds me of my old theory that the reason Bush's "16 words" included "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," was because if the speech had included "Niger" instead of "Africa," Bush might have mis-read and said, uh, a different word that sounds sort of like "Niger."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

More on Silent Sharapova

Remember that story last week, in which Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine claimed that he slept with tennis star Maria Sharapova, she made no noise during sex, and it caused him to become depressed? Yea, apparently it's not true.

According to the New York Observer, the piece was a bit of "throwaway satire," published in the eXile, a Moscow-based newspaper published by American expats. The paper's publisher, Mark Ames, responded to threats of a lawsuit from Levine's attorneys, by stating that "Americans are the most gullible fucking morons on Planet Earth."

If Ames' name sounds familiar, it's because he used to write for New York Press, during the Jeff Koyen/Matt Taibbi regime, and was most famously the author of that infamous anti-Chuck Klosterman piece, in which Ames implied that Klosterman was the reason he left the U.S. and moved to Moscow. We don't miss him much, that's for sure.

One more note on this: Wouldn't most men, if had been falsely reported around the world that they had slept with Maria Sharapova, not be in such a hurry to retract it, much less to hire lawyers?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

Nine For Nine

I didn't think this was possible, but it is: Broncos running back Travis Henry has nine children by nine women. It's one thing to knock up nine women, but to do it only once for each of them?

Henry's also on his fourth team; since he's not even 30 yet, Henry's got a shot to play for as many teams as he has children. Maybe that's his goal.

I like Can't Stop the Bleeding's take: "This could be the story that makes Mushnick’s beard fall out.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2007

That's Somebody's Business, Besides the Turks

I look at the controversy involving Abe Foxman, the Armenian Genocide, and the accompanying Congressional battle in this week's North Star column.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

Get the Anger Management Counselor (Back) On the Phone

Phillies pitcher Brett Myers, best known for getting arrested last summer for beating his wife on the streets of Boston, and then inexplicably being allowed to pitch at Fenway the next day (in front of Becca and I), is in trouble again, also because of his legendary temper.

It happened Saturday night, after Myers (now the Phils' closer) gave up two homers against the Padres in the ninth inning, taking the loss in the 4-3 game that has major wild card implications. Inquirer reporter Sam Carchidi confronted him in the locker room afterward, and then this happened:

Sam Carchidi: “You thought they both were pop ups?”

Brett Myers: “Yeah, didn’t you? You think they crushed ‘em?”

SC: “The first one I thought was out, the second one no.”

BM: “Yeah, cause you’re a retard, you don’t know shit about f***in’ baseball. You’re filling in for somebody.”

SC: “How do you spell ‘retard’?”

BM: “You know how to spell it, it’s in your f***in’ vocabulary, I’m sure you know.”

SC: “You are classy, I’ll tell ya.”

BM: “Go on. [Get] outta here, you f***in’ idiot.”

SC: [pointing at Brett Myers] “You’re the f***in’ idiot.”

BM: “Hey! You pointin’ at me motherfucker?! I’ll tell you what, dude, I’ll knock you mutherf***ing out! FUCK YOU!!! You’re tough when f***in’ people are standing in front of you, aren’t you, you piece of shit! Come on! You fucking idiot. Yeah, you’re tough when f***in’ people are standing in front of you, you stupid ass.”

SC: “I’m a retard?”

BM: “Yeah, that’s right, YOU ARE, you’re a fucking idiot. You ask stupid ass fucking questions!”

Pretty heated. But look at it this way: Last time someone associated with the Phillies had a postgame dustup with someone in the media- the Charlie Manuel/Howard Eskin brawl in April- it led to the team's best winning streak of the year.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:16 PM | Comments (1)


News Item: Owen Wilson hospitalized after suicide attempt

How creepy is that "Needle in the Hay" scene in "The Royal Tenenbaums," in which Luke Wilson attempted suicide, now? First, the singer of the song (Elliot Smith) commits suicide, and now the brother of the actor in it allegedly tries it himself, also by slitting his wrists.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:06 PM | Comments (1)

The Philadelphia Mace Windus

NFL predictions, using Star Wars characters. Awesome.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

Worst Answer Ever

TNR has the obvious joke: this is the worst, least-convincing answer I've heard to a question about politics since... the Congressional testimony of now-ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

Promoted From Fourth String to Third

News Item: Eagles trade backup QB Kelly Holcomb to Vikings

Holcomb wasn't going to get a chance in Philly, but I don't know how much this deal is going to help the Vikes- now they have four medicore QBs instead of three. I noticed yesterday, in my 12-player, 16-round fantasy draft, that not a single quarterback, receiver, or tight end from the Purple was drafted by anyone (though I myself gobbled up both running backs.)

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2007

Not Funny, Not Ha Ha

Behold "mumblecore," the worst movie genre in the history of the medium. Unpleasant, ugly digital video cinematography? Unpleasant, ugly people? Meandering, senseless plots? Everyone mumbling for two hours? Oh yea, sounds like genius to me.

Crap like "Funny Ha Ha" is so self-indulgently awful, and so disgustingly pretentious that it makes the wretched Dogme 95 movement look like "Cheaper by the Dozen."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

Don't Threaten Me, I'm Just the Manager

There's a new movie, of the "Nightmare on Elm Street"/"Saw"/"Cleaver" variety, called "Hatchet," and it's coming out in September. The movie involves a killer who stalks and kills people with, you guessed it, a hatchet. But apparently, they're having trouble getting it into enough theaters; I got this e-mail today from their distributor:

"We encourage fans that don’t see their market or local theaters in the list below to go to their local cinema and demand they play HATCHET."
No word on whether or not you're supposed to actually brandish a hatchet while doing so.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:50 PM | Comments (1)

Bill Kristol, Heel

If you only read one blog post today about analogies between political pundits and pro wrestlers, make sure it's this one. After all, what is neoconservatism, but a philosophy formed out of a historical heel turn?

The author has made a whole blog out of the obviously correct idea that pro wrestling and politics are really one and the same. I wonder if he read my column suggesting a Royal Rumble Presidential Debate?

Here's more: An essay on Kayfabe and Bill O'Reilly.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

Dumbest Thing Written About Vick Nominee

I like Howard Bryant, really, I do. He's written two very good books- "Juicing the Game" and "Shut Out" that I own, and I was happy to hear that he was joining after stints with the Boston Herald and Washington Post. But his first piece, in which he argues that the NFL Players' Association failed in its duties by failing to stick up for Michael Vick when the league barred him from training camp, is one of the more bizarre arguments to emerge from the Vick affair.

Bryant's argument is not so much to defend Vick, but to criticize the NFLPA for not standing up for their guy in a worst-case scenario, thus sending a message that they won't stand up for players in better circumstances. Baseball's more powerful union, for instance, always backs their guys against the owners even when they're clearly wrong- see Spittin' Roberto Alomar, Steve Howe's drug suspensions, etc. Gene Upshaw needs to stop kissing up to the commissioners' office and start being more assertive.

It's an interesting argument, and an original one, but Bryant's wrong. There are certain acts that are indefensible- Vick and the dogs, Leonard Little's drunk driving and killing a woman, Rae Carruth- that the union doesn't need to declare its support for. Vick has no constitutional right to have the union take his side; he has lawyers for that.

Bryant's certainly correct that Gene Upshaw hasn't done a great job as NFLPA head. Upshaw's failure to help the numerous retired players plagued by concussions is shameful, and the union's next major collective bargaining victory will be its first. But failing to protect Michael Vick is far from the worst of Upshaw's screw-ups.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

Someone's Read the Inquirer!

Iggles Blog has a note-perfect parody of both the dailies' sports sections and WIP:

Joe Smith understands how the fans feel.

"There's no excuse for a move like that in that situation," said the Eagles nickel linebacker, referring to the play during last week's game when he pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot Dallas quarterback Drew Bledsoe in the groin. The resulting 15-yard-penalty gave Cowboy's kicker Mike Vanderjagt a chance at a 45-yard field goal, which he converted as time expired.

What surprises Smith is the extreme fan reaction. "Look, it was one mistake in the heat of the moment. I'm sorry I screwed it up." That apology isn't buying him much slack on sports talk radio station WIP, where morning host Angelo Cataldi is running a contest asking listeners how Smith should be punished by the team for his infraction. "Cut off his trigger finger," suggested Jim Buford of Voorhees.

That's totally unrealistic. Vanderjagt never hit a single 45-yarder for Dallas.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

Bad Cover Version

Cracked has a list of the worst "poor mans' versions" of things. What other list includes Go-Bots, the Jersey Shore, the LA Clippers, and Neil Cavuto?

The list loses points, unfortunately, for calling Bruce Springsteen "a nebbishy Jewish guy from New Jersey." He's one of those three, and it's not "nebbishy" or "Jewish."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:47 PM | Comments (1)

Bad News For Turtle

News Item: Parents call for Yankees to block multi-colored "gang caps"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

One Show, Glory

Wikipedia has a list of TV shows, like "Anchorwoman," that were canceled after a single episode. My favorite one is "Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos," which was canceled during its first episode. I seem to remember Dieter narrating the German version.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

Worst Thing Ever Nominee

This Philadelphia man, who had just been accused of assaulting his own mother- a judge- when he got out of jail. A TV news crew went to his house, and then this happened:

Philadelphia Will Do has full background.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2007

Straight From the Womb

For someone born yesterday, Tom Brady's son sure is chatty.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2007

Our Long National (Er, Local) Nightmare is Over

News Item: Inquirer Drops Stephen A. Smith's Column

Yes, Stephen A. comes in for a lot of criticism around here, mostly due to his very obnoxious, VERY LOUD, television persona. There once was a time when I considered him a great writer, and one of the better chroniclers of the Philly sports scene. But, that was before his column became maybe his third career priority, and he started covering Philly sports despite hardly spending any time in the city, reportedly sending in bits of his column via Blackberry during commercial breaks of his TV show.

My guess? He'll be an Page 2 columnist by next week.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

If Blog Commenters Ran the World

All of this sounds very, very familiar:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 PM | Comments (2)

Eddie Griffin Dead

The infamous former basketball player, a Philadelphia prep phenom who washed out with three NBA teams, including the Timberwolves, was killed last week in a car accident in Texas, when his SUV struck a train. It took over a week to identify the former center's body.

If you're a ready of my blog, you probably know Griffin for a certain arrest in Minneapolis last year, which certainly is a lot less funny now that Griffin's actually died in a subsequent crash. I also feel sorry for Eddie Griffin, the comedian- no stranger to car accidents himself- who has to call everyone he knows today and tell them he's not dead.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 PM | Comments (1)

The Baseball Primary

The blog ShysterBall rates the presidential candidates, based on their baseball bonafides. Not a single Twins fan in the bunch, though lots of candidates either like the Yankees (Rudy) or pretend to (Hillary, Richardson, etc.)

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Dumbest Thing Written About Vick Nominee

Gary L. Franchione, Philadelphia Daily News: "We're All Michael Vick"

No. No, we're really not.

This one, as well, includes the phrase "I think that dog fighting is a terrible thing. But..."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:13 PM | Comments (3)

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Indiewire's Nick Pinkerton, on the extremely middling "Resurrecting the Champ," which I saw last night:

"The process of dramatization also allows for the creation of a minefield of untenable invented scenes: Jackson is introduced when being pummeled by some popped-collar suburban punks in a crass move to eke out audience sympathy; the real-life Champ's unsavory criminal history is conveniently omitted from the film, making for a portrait of the man as sanitized as punch-drunk-naive Rocky Balboa is to Chuck Wepner. Easily the high watermark of absurdity comes when Erik, after his article's fact-checking becomes a point of public debate (the script gloms onto the whole literary hoax/ journalistic integrity vogue), has to face his kid's "Career Day," where he's grilled by a classroom of nine-year-olds, a scene that doesn't remotely resemble anything that might conceivably happen in the world we live in. Almost the only moment that gives off any stink of shoe-leather reportage--lifted more or less intact from the source article, which makes everything of the investigative process--is a visit to some ancient cornermen at a boxing gym, barely an aside."
I liked the movie more than he did, though it's one of those films that's great for the first hour before dissolving into a silly, unsubtle, way-too-long ending. It's better than the usual crap directed by Rod Lurie who, to be fair, also created the underrated TV show "Line of Fire," the one where David Paymer played a mob boss.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:13 PM | Comments (1)

Who Are You Working For, Suit?

I've gotta say, I'm worried about the upcoming season of "24," even aside from its coming off the worst season of its run. First, it became Jack Bauer vs. global warming. Then, Janeane Garofalo was added the cast. And now, they've signed... the guy who plays Billy Walsh on "Entourage"? The most annoying TV character of the decade? Are they just trying as hard as they can to annoy me?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:12 PM | Comments (2)

Did He Choke the Repo Man?

News Item: Latrell Sprewell's Yacht Repossessed

Not a good day to be a controversial ex-Timberwolf, that's for sure. And speaking of scandal-a-minute former Minnesota athletes, this is the best new blog I've seen in quite awhile.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2007

Trotter Cut

The Eagles, fresh off a preseason triumph on Friday which saw Donovan McNabb play impressively just nine months after obliterating his knee, made a shocking roster move today, cutting linebacker Jeremiah Trotter.

Trotter, finishing up his second stint with the Eagles, was long a popular player, and was known for hosting a weekly WIP show always held in a loud bar, making it impossible to hear what the hell he was saying.

This news is likely to be greeted with howling outrage from a Philly fan base that cares more about the Eagles' current punter battle than they do about the Phillies' pennant race, but chances are Trotter just plain doesn't have it anymore, and that's why the Eagles got rid of him. It sounds counterintuitive, but when Andy Reid makes a move that the fans don't understand, Reid is usually proven right about 95% of the time.

The Eagles have seen much turnover at linebacker this year, also having recently cutting the much-maligned Dhani Jones and replaced him with veteran Takeo Spikes. Pro Football Prospectus, as quoted by Philadelphia Will Do, had this to say about the matter:

Spikes's arrival ended the Eagles career of Dhancin' Dhani Jones. Jones was a true Renaissance man. Unfortunately, they didn't play football during the Renaissance. Jones now works as an advance man for Al Gore. If he does for the environment what he did for the Eagles defense, we'll all be underwater in 10 years.
I guess Dhani couldn't find a fellow bowtied pol to work for, so he chose Gore, but then decided to sign with the Saints instead.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

Jews on Film

From the Guardian, it's the most Jewish pride-enforcing movies in history. The comments to this post say a whole lot (not so good) about the Guardian's readers.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

He Didn't Say His Prayers or Eat His Vitamins, Brother

It's hard to imagine anything funny coming out of that horrific shooting in Newark earlier this month in which three people were killed in a schoolyard. Except for the T-shirt that the defendant wore to court. Perhaps a Chris Benoit shirt would've been more appropriate.

I haven't seen such a disconnect between a professional wrestling t-shirt and its wearer since the time John Rocker was interviewed in the Braves locker room while wearing a Goldberg T-shirt.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:42 PM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day

Joe Posnanski, putting a whole bunch of divergent thoughts together in one sentence:

"While everyone focuses their anger directly at Bonds with perhaps a little left over for Bud Selig, McGwire's amazing season has sort of just faded away. I don't get the sense most people are angry at McGwire so much as they want to forget that the "the year the home run saved baseball" season ever happened, sort of the way we might feel about Godfather III or that whole misguided Lucky Town-Human Touch thing. You almost wonder if, when recounting baseball history, people might just skip over 1998, like it was the Dallas dream season or the 13th floor at a hotel."
Posnanski's going to be taking a hiatus from the blog, which is quite a shame.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

Most Embarrassing Op-Ed Column of the Year?

George Will's valentine to Bruce Froemming, mediocre umpire/asshole anti-Semite. It's one thing to extoll the virtures of the man, but to completely ignore a pretty major controversy he was involved in not that long ago? Just plain dishonest.

When it comes to right-wing columnists praising baseball figures in the Washington Post, I vote for Charles Krauthammer on Rick Ankiel.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

Not As Bad As His Last Cause, But Still Very Wrong

News Item: Former Bush Mouthpiece Ari Fleischer Advocates Metal Bats

He's also, needless to say, a Yankee fan.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

Dumbest Thing Written About Vick Nominee

This is from Stacy Campfield, a state legislator in Tennessee (via Can't Stop the Bleeding):

Does anyone besides me see the hypocrisy of some on the left who go nuts about Michael Vick and the whole dog fighting thing and yet are the same people who don't care about the loss of human life caused by illegal aliens or are the same people who fight for the right to kill unborn babies?

I hear the battle cry of: "It is my body, it is my property, I can do with it what I want"

From the pro aborts, but the opposite cry from the same person against a person who's property is a dog. Do they respect the life of a dog more then they respect the life of a human...

Dog fighting is cruel and inhumane. But if Vick could have figured out a way to pit two unborn babies against each other in a fight to the death, maybe we'd outlaw killing children as quickly as we rushed to enhance penalties for crimes involving our pets.

In fact, most dumb arguments about Vick include the phrase "dog fighting is cruel and inhumane, BUT..." Either that, or "Vick is terrible, BUT... not as terrible as my particular pet cause." No pun intended.

UPDATE: To be fair, Jemele Hill's column Tuesday is one of the smartest things written about the Vick mess.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:37 PM | Comments (0)

Have They No Shame?

News Item: General Petraeus to Deliver Iraq Report on 9/11; Supporters Will Launch "No Surrender" Tour

Two things wrong with this (aside from the obvious): Bruce Springsteen probably doesn't approve, and "No Surrender" was the theme song of Kerry's 2004 campaign. Despite the song, Kerry lost.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:34 PM | Comments (1)

August 20, 2007


News Item: Michael Vick accepts guilty plea

Look on the bright side, Mike- the others in prison will have a reason to steer clear of you.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:34 PM | Comments (5)

The Bridge is Out

Here's my latest North Star column, on the aftermath of the Minnesota bridge collapse. And no, it could not have been prevented by prayer.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

Today on E-Gear

Big news in the format war, as Paramount and DreamWorks go exclusively to HD DVD. Also, our DVD critic reviews the worst movie of the year, "Wild Hogs," which my in-laws actually watched this weekend (I wasn't there to talk them out of it.) And if you don't have GPS, don't feel bad, because 83% of America doesn't either.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:30 PM | Comments (0)

Forget What I Said Last Week

After yesterday's 8-inning, 17-strikeout performance, I think the Twins need to give Johan Santana everything he wants. Even if the Mets offer the Moon...

I like the idea put forward by 10000 Takes, which include offering Santana either Camp Snoopy, or Lake Itasca. How about they name the new I-35 bridge the Johan Santana Overpass?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

Only the Little People Pay Estate Taxes

News Item: Leona Helmsley Dead

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

The Wrong Kid Died!

Here's the trailer of "Walk Hard," certain to be one of the funnier films of the fall:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:13 PM | Comments (3)

He's Clearly Not As Good At That As He Is At Dancing

News Item: Wolves' Mark Madsen Injured in Jetski Accident

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)

Center Square

News Item: Playground Sport Four-Square Makes Comeback in Silicon Valley

I'd still rather play golf, though.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:12 PM | Comments (1)

August 17, 2007

All of the Women Loved Them, I Never Saw That One Coming...

News Item: Siegfried & Roy Announce They're Gay in Interview

Jeez, next thing you'll tell me, Merv Griffin was gay. Oh, wait...

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:12 PM | Comments (2)

A Little Too Much Information, Rog

From Ebert's review of "Superbad":

It is three weeks until the end of the high school year, bringing to mind the ancient truism that if you haven't had sex yet and you don't have it soon, you will never have had sex in high school. Such deprivation used to be commonplace; I am of the opinion that only about two members of the Urbana High School graduating class of 1960 had experienced sex, but I'll double-check at our next reunion. I will say, though, that at the end of senior year, third base was seeing a lot of traffic.
Who were the two? Ebert and... Siskel?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:12 PM | Comments (1)

And What Questions Would Those Be?

Shocking story out of Boston:

Trooper Photo With Porn Star Raises Questions
Massachusetts State Police are reviewing the conduct of one of its officers after he had his picture taken at an accident scene with a well-known pornographic movie star.

BostonNow reported that the trooper responded to an accident on the Massachusetts Turnpike Saturday night. A drunken driver had swerved in front of the tour bus of porn star Ron Jeremy.

While investigating the accident, the trooper, in uniform, had his picture taken with Jeremy. The picture was taken by a passenger on Jeremy's bus.

Oh, who cares? All the corruption going on in Boston, and you're going to get your panties in a twist about someone having their picture taken with Ron Jeremy? It's not like he's the drunk driver, or the defendant, or anything like that. Or maybe he just thought it was Stan Van Gundy. Or Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:11 PM | Comments (3)

An Apt Metaphor

News Item: Ex-Phillies GM Ed Wade dangles from parachute in S. Jersey tree

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2007

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Sean Burns on "Superbad":

"Enter McLovin. Actually, his character’s name is Fogell, and he’s portrayed by newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse as such a brilliantly squirmy 98-pound weakling with slushy, saliva-voiced delusions of grandeur, he makes Napoleon Dynamite look like James Dean. But Fogell just so happens to have an ID that says he’s a 25-year-old Hawaiian organ donor called McLovin (no last name necessary), and thus our adventure begins."
McLovin really is one of the great characters in the recent history of American dramaturgy.

Also this week I saw "The Kingdom," and while I'll reserve full comment until it's closer to its release, I'll just say that I'm guessing I liked it less than most people will. And I don't remember the last time the last 10 seconds of a movie made me drop my rating by a star or more.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)


Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will release a new studio album, "Magic," on October 2. I've already got it marked on my calendar. No word on whether there will be a tour, but there is word on a complete lack of Pete Seeger songs on the disc. Good move.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

Today on E-Gear

For TiVo users, we've got a new video up, that you can watch at home. Also, you'll soon be able to get Sirius radio all over your house, and Best Buy will soon begin carrying Liz Clairbourne stuff.

But in my favorite story of the day, there's yet another story about a guy taking his computer to be fixed at Best Buy/Circuit City, only to have the technicians find his kiddie porn. It happened to an ex-"Law & Order" actor this week, while the same day, a court in Pennsylvania ruled that the Circuit City employees did nothing wrong when they looked at one would-be pederast's hard drive.

Two funny things about the latter case: One, the man's last name is "Sodomsky." And two, assuming there's not more than one person with that name in the generally Jew-free Berks County,he's also president of a synagogue.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

"Chris Benoit is a better father than Flavor Flav"
-Jimmy Kimmel, on the clock-necked rapper's Comedy Central roast.

I haven't actually seen the roast yet, but LilB was texting me all the best lines while I was walking on the boardwalk in Atlantic City with my parents. I don't know what was funnier- the jokes themselves, or my attempting to explain to my dad who Flavor Flav is.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:31 PM | Comments (1)

Winning Streak

Unibrow has come up with a list of the Top Ten Streaking Moments Ever. My personal favorite, if only for the high degree of difficulty:

Inexplicable omissions include the guy who streaked past David Niven at the Oscars, and the dude at the Phillies game a few months ago.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

Censorship Sucks

News Item: MTV Censors Baby's Penis on Nirvana Album Cover

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

Mr. Loaf Sends His Condolences

The legendary Yankees shortstop/announcer/Money Store pitchman Phil Rizzuto died this week; "Scooter" was likely best known to non-sports fans as the narrator of the "play by play" section in his seminal '70s anthem "Paradise By the Dashboard Light". Until today, I'd had no idea there was such a controversy about this, but apparently there was, according to this message board:

I seem to recall reading or hearing that Phil had no idea that his monologue was meant to be sexually suggestive and that he was pissed when he heard the final product. Anyone know if this is true?
As a Yankee fan, I can confirm this. Phil would constantly complain that he was hoodwinked by "that huckleberry, Meatloaf", as to the sexual nature of the track. He loved the attention, however.
No word on what Phil thought of Meat Loaf's "bitch tits" in "Fight Club."

UPDATE: And here's an entire Jeff Pearlman column about exactly this! He calls 'Paradise' "the most famous baseball play-by-play call in the history of sexually themed rock 'n' roll songs performed by a man nicknamed for diced cattle parts placed in a pan and baked for 45 minutes at 375 degrees (350 if your oven tends to run hot)."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

A Minnesotan in Boston

Adam Reilly, the Minnesota native-turned-Boston Phoenix media writer, and Wolves fan through and through, goes through some of his mixed feelings on the Great Exodus.

I think Minnesota needs to get its revenge and steal a sports star or two from Boston. Isn't Manny a free agent one of these years? Next time the Bruins piss away one of their best players, can the Wild be there to scoop him up? And might the Strib or KFAN want to hire away Ron Borges or Dennis and Callahan?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:59 PM | Comments (1)

August 15, 2007


It's an instant classic, and probably will be the most quoted movie to emerge from 2007 (that is, unless "American Gangster" acquires "Godfather"-like cache.) I'll laugh every time I hear the word "McLovin" for the next six months.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Gay With the Democrats

Jon Stewart is on the case, on the Logo debate:

The only flaw: I bet $1,000 that Dennis Kucinich has never seen "Caddyshack."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

Down With Joe

Ken Tremendous, who authors one of the best baseball blogs on the Internet ( had a piece in this week's Sports Illustrated- not about Morgan, but rather about Boston fans' reaction to suddenly becoming the sports capital of America after decades of losing. It's a pretty good piece- in fact, in the category of "Readable Pieces in SI this Summer," the rankings currently go "Ken Tremendous 1, Rick Reilly 0."

Perhaps this is a watershed moment, with the "Fire Joe Morgan" movement reaching critical mass. I mean, Joe said on Sunday night's game that Atlanta needed to be aware because "Pat Burrell can run." If the day comes when ESPN has to submit to the obvious and actually fire Morgan, it'll do for the sabermetrically-inclined baseball blog collective what Rathergate did for the right-wing political bloggers.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

I Still Think She's Hot, But...

The frontman of Maroon 5 shares some disappointing news about Maria Sharapova. I mean, more disappointing than the part about her having slept with the frontman of Maroon 5.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

No, It Wasn't Fred Thompson

News Item: Best Buy Finds Child Porn on "Law and Order" Actor's Laptop

It was actually Albert Insinnia, who has appeared sporadically on "Special Victims Unit," and is now apparently a sex criminal himself. My guess would've been Michael Moriarty.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

Shea Johan?

Aaron Gleeman's selection of Rick Aguilera as the 18th-best Minnesota Twin ever got me thinking about an idea I had last week.

On July 31, 1989, the Twins acquired Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, David West, Tim Drummond and Jack Savage from the Mets for Frank Viola. Viola had been the key pitcher on the Twins' 1987 championship team, and, two years later, Tapani and Aguilera were key pitchers when the Twinkies did it again in '91. (West, with his postseason ERA of infinity, didn't do so much to help, but then he has a ring, so who am I to argue?)

If Johan Santana says this offseason that no, absolutely not, no way in hell will I re-sign with the Twins, how about if Minny offers to re-enact the Viola deal, once again with the Mets? If New York could start the package with Lastings Milledge and Mike Pelfrey, in addition to a pitching prospect or two, and if they've got a third baseman in the minors who's forever blocked by David Wright, toss him in too.

Santana- a multi-Cy Young-winning ace pitcher in the prime of his career- is the sort of asset that becomes available in a trade about once a decade. If the Mets want a window to negotiate an extension, I'm all for that too.

My preference is for Santana to stay in Minnesota for the rest of his career. But that's not looking too likely- and besides, the last time the Twins traded an ace pitcher to the Mets, it worked out pretty well. I don't want to see Johan on the Yankees, obviously, and after Kevin Garnett, Randy Moss, David Ortiz, Manny Fernandez, and Superintendent of Schools Carol Johnson, I'd rather Boston not steal yet another huge star from Minnesota.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

In the Atlantic League, Unwritten Rules Don't Apply

You know that unwritten rule about how if you charge the mound in a baseball game, you're not supposed to take the bat with you? Apparently, ex-Twin/ex-Phillie/ex-everything Jose Offerman, now playing for the Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks, pulled a John Roseboro and ignored it last night:

he game between the Bridgeport Bluefish and Long Island Ducks was delayed in the top of the second inning Tuesday after Ducks shortstop and former major league All-Star Jose Offerman attacked Bluefish starting pitcher Matt Beech.Both Beech and Bluefish catcher John Nathans were injured by Offerman, who was struck by a pitch and rushed the mound, swinging the bat at Beech. Offerman was later arrested.
Ouch. And here you thought John Rocker's 2005 comeback attempt was the most embarrassing event in Long Island Ducks history.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:36 PM | Comments (3)

Smooth Jazz at Kutz

My friend Ben Dreyfus has some fascinating thoughts on what's going on, observance-wise, in Reform Judaism these days, in reaction to a Jewish Week article about campers at the Kutz leadership academy walking out on a "smooth jazz" Friday night service, because it was too untraditional. A must-read, if this sort of thing interests you.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Sorry for the lack of posting the past few days; I had the parents in town, and an especially busy day at work today. I'll be back tomorrow with more on the departure of Turd Blossom from the White House and the likelihood of Johan Santana leaving the Twins. In the meantime, here's my North Star column for the week (on "No End in Sight") and an E-Gear story on the expansion of DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:21 PM | Comments (1)

August 10, 2007

Has the Disney Movie Been Optioned Yet?

News item: Rick Ankiel, in return after seven years, hits homer in first at-bat

This, to me, is the most significant homer of the week, much moreso than the one by what's-his-name with the big head out in San Fran. I was at the NLCS game at Shea Stadium in 2000 and saw Ankiel throw all those wild pitches, and it was maybe the most uncomfortable thing I've ever witnessed live at a sporting event (well, except for this.) Good for Ankiel for getting back in the game, even with a position switch.

it's the third most heartwarming comeback story in baseball this year, after Josh Hamilton returning from drug addiction, and Kerry Wood becoming the first man ever to pitch again after suffering a torn labia.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)

Imitation, Flattery Dept.

This blog, July 30:

The deal, according to the Boston Herald, would give the Celtics KG in exchange for Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes and Theo Ratliff (who, two years ago, changed his name to "Theo Ratliff's Expiring Contract.")

Mailbag question for Bill Simmons, August 10:

I thoroughly enjoy how "Theo Ratliff" isn't a player anymore but an incomplete term -- his name is really an abbreviation for "Theo Ratliff's expiring contract." From now on, I propose that his basketball card, his fantasy profile and even the back of his jersey are changed to "Theo Ratliff's expiring contract."
Sure, it's obvious. But come on.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:01 PM | Comments (1)


News Item: "Rehab" singer Amy Winehouse checks into rehab

Also heading to rehab is the Cardinals' Scott Spiezio, but since he has never recorded a hit single about his desire to not do so, he is spared mockery.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:00 PM | Comments (1)

August 09, 2007

More Great Twins News

The Twinkies, while still nominally in the AL Central and wild card races, lost 1-0 today, wasting an excellent pitching performance by Matt Garza, and once again exhibiting silence with their bats. Thats' what happens when you go an entire season without getting any appreciable offense from the left field, third base, and DH spots.

But with Liriano coming back next year, and the prospects getting older, and certified genius Terry Ryan still in charge, things should get better next season and into the future, right?

Uh, maybe not, according to a Hardball Times piece this week by Jacob Jackson:

In the current baseball economy, all the large and mid-market teams have closed the Moneyball information gap completely, just within the last few years. Every GM has a pretty good idea what on-base percentage and good defense are actually worth, or they've smartly hired someone to study those things for them. The big "undervalued commodity" windows have been closed, which was inevitable.

The Twins and A's have taken a step back, in small part because the Royals and Devil Rays are now very well operated, too. The same types of little-known bargain players the A's built their reputation on are now spread fairly equally amongst half a dozen savvy, small-market clubs (owners weren't going to be giving GM jobs to old buddies and their family friends forever, given how much money is at stake in this business). Now, the only way for a truly small-market team to make the playoffs is to have a great crop of position and pitching prospects arrive on the scene almost simultaneously.

For the Twins, alas, that's already happening, and there's been no championship with this current crop. So what can they do? Make sure Joe Mauer plays his whole career with the team, and ditto for Morneau. Develop some more position players to go with the seemingly endless pipeline of pitchers. And either re-sign Johan Santana, or trade him this offseason for a huge haul. They're finally getting the stadium; having a contender in 2010 would be nice, too.

UPDATE: Bad as all that Twins news is, this is much, much worse.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:01 PM | Comments (1)

The Rix Ultimatum

Remember Chris Rix, the awful Florida State quarterback who failed to live up to his clippings and never had much of a college or pro career? After finishing college Rix started a "training academy" for young football players, so that kids nationwide could follow in Rix's not-so-prestigious footsteps.

About a year ago Flash Warner, my onetime co-guest blogger at SportsByBrooks, noticed this, and mocked the unfortunate ex-Seminole in a BlogCritics post.

Aside from a "no hard feelings" e-mail a while later from Rix himself, Flash thought nothing of it until this week, when BlogCritics management received a letter from Rix, requesting that "this article be removed from your database, as well as all search engines." The former QB went on to threaten that "a federal subpoena" be served to both Flash and BlogCritics, should they not comply with the order.

Where to start? Rix doesn't seem to know the Internet very well, nor the law. First off, it's not quite so easy for a site -or, for that matter, Google- to remove a year-old article from its archives and search engines. There's something called caches, and something else called the Wayback Machine, and stuff from the Internet tends not to ever disappear into the ether.

Not to mention, Flash hasn't commited libel, or defamed Rix in any way- she's merely posted stuff Rix doesn't like. And besides- a "subpoena" is "a command to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony upon a certain matter." I'm not a lawyer, but I think Rix means either "injunction" or "cease and desist." He maybe should've had an attorney look over the letter before he sent it; with its extensive history of criminal behavior by athletes, Rix's alma mater must have some good lawyers on retainer.

Flash, to her credit, laughs it off:

Now, if my posts contained libel, I'd understand his threat. But I didn't make up lies about Rix or Champion Training Academy. I simply questioned the qualifications of Rix, who, as a primary instructor, claims to teach young quarterbacks qualities that - in my opinion - he never mastered. If Jim Kelly wrote a book titled "Winning the Super Bowl," or Michelle Wie ran an academy called "Making the Cut on the PGA Tour," I'd be within my rights to say, "Hey Jim? Uh, Michelle? Excuse me, but you know nothing about that."
We can all learn from this. From now on, I promise to never make fun of Ron Powlus, Dan Kendra, or any other disappointing former quarterback from a major university.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:21 PM | Comments (2)

Film Critic Quote of the Day

Philadelphia Weekly's Sean Burns, echoing my sentiments exactly about the wondrous documentary "No End in Sight":

"Most semisuccessful documentaries tend to play exclusively to self-selected audiences, preaching to a choir that will happily fork over money so they can hear their own points of view recited back to them and applaud accordingly.

My biggest beef with Michael Moore is that he’s not about to win over anybody who isn’t already on his side. All the dripping condescension and ethically dubious generalizations that his fans so adamantly excuse only make these pictures instantly dismissable to the very crowd that might benefit most from the movies’ messages.

Wouldn’t a sober, nonpartisan recitation of inconvenient truths do more to win over hearts and minds? Are the silly music cues, cheap shots and hammy star turns from attention hogs like Moore and his annoying acolytes Morgan Spurlock and Kirby Dick really necessary to make a point these days?"

It's so wonderful to see a doc, finally, that simply lays its cards on the table, and makes what amounts to a prosecutorial brief against the Bush Administration's handling of the Iraq occupation. And, all without dishonest editorial choices, stupid humor, or the director jumping out of the bushes to ambush one of the subjects. See this movie; it's the second great documentary about Iraq, after last year's different but equally good "Iraq in Fragments."

Also in PW this week: A piece on Clockcleaner, "Philly's most hated band." The Kidd Chris t-shirt on the frontman is pretty much redundant.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

Today on E-Gear

Vince Young is on the cover of Madden this year, and is doing a promotion for Circuit City; he may as well as schedule his knee surgery for November now. Also, a doctor is suing Apple for stealing the iPhone patent from him- but it turns out the plaintiff was convicted earlier this year for Medicare fraud. And, on Dealerscope, there's a new line of speakers called Zeppelin- it was quite hard to write the story without throwing in Page/Plant references.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

The Best-Named Minnesota Sports Blog Yet

Good: The Gold Seat

Better: Cold Omaha

The Best: Paging Jim Shikenjanski.

The blogger named the blog after the tall white skinny redheaded center who played for the Gophers in the late '80s; I guess calling it "Paging Ernest Nzigamasabo" would've been too obscure.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:18 PM | Comments (3)

I Know This is Stupid, But...

I laughed for about ten minutes straight after reading it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2007

Five Man Electrical Car

A company called Tesla Motors is trying to come out with an electric sports car, and may be close. The company, I'm sure, is named after inventor Nikola Tesla, but if I drove that car I'd have "Love Song" or "Signs" or "Modern Day Cowboy" in my head constantly. Maybe they can sell a car radio accessory pre-loaded with Tesla's entire catalog, like the old U2 iPod.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:02 PM | Comments (1)

But I Thought Brownback Was the Hellfire-and-Brimstone Candidate

News Item: Pro wrestler Kane endorses Ron Paul

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

What Night is Football Night Again?

Yes, "Sunday Night is Football Night" may be the "This is Our Country" of 2007, but it's still hard to watch that and not get excited.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:01 PM | Comments (1)

They Won't Even Let Him Go to Denmark And Have an Operation

News Item: Elizabeth Edwards Laments That "We Can't Make John Black, We Can't Make Him a Woman"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:00 PM | Comments (1)

I'm Speechless

I don't even want to think about this: Hillary Clinton supposedly once went on a date with Robert Reich

The boy appears to have been Robert B. Reich, a politically active student at Dartmouth College who went on to become friends with Bill Clinton when they were Rhodes scholars at Oxford, and then served as President Clinton’s first secretary of labor.

In a video blog posting and in an interview, Mr. Reich recalled that because both he and Ms. Rodham were student class presidents, he proposed a “presidential summit” date. They went to see Michelangelo Antonioni’s film “Blowup.”

“She wanted a lot of butter on her popcorn,” Mr. Reich said on his blog. “A lot of butter. Significant? You be the judge.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)

August 07, 2007

Pete Rose, Mark McGwire, and Other Non-Enshrinees

Gheorge: The Blog has a funny list of retired major leaguers who are eligible for the Hall of Fame next year- but have a less-than-stellar chance of actually making it. My favorite is the description of Rich "El Guapo" Garces as "Grimace in baseball pants." Will he wear a Ronald McDonald hat on his plaque?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

Today on E-Gear

Apple, after dropping "Computer" from their name, still makes computers, and has introduced a new line of iMacs. Also, in one of about five major patent actions this month, Sharp is suing Samsung. And, Microsoft has officially cut prices of all three editions of the Xbox.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

TNR's Isaac Chotiner, on that bizarre story by Wright Thompson about Atlanta residents' reactions to the Michael Vick situation:

The whole piece has this same he said/she said tone to it as if there is no objective reality to the situation. And the underlying assumption, that people wouldn't care about the case so much if it were a white athlete being accused of the crimes, is both questionable and backed by absolutely no evidence. Even more troubling, Thompson appears completely unbothered by support for Vick because that support has a "cause", i.e. past racism. Causes are certainly worth noting, yes, but everything has a cause, and thus this sort of thinking only gets you so far. And having groups like the NAACP at least tacitly supporting Vick and doing nothing to tamp down conspiracy theories doesn't seem like the best use of anyone's time.
Vick, of course, is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and he deserves, and will get, his day in court. But to suggest, as Thompson does in the piece, that Vick is somehow an heir to Atlanta's rich civil rights tradition- because he wants to avoid jail time for the very heinous crime of which he is accused- is nothing short of absurd.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:45 PM | Comments (1)

Eckstein Rules

Apparently, I'm not the only sports fan out there obsessed with figuring out which athletes are and are not Jewish. From a Slate piece on the new Google Suggest tool:

Google, however, won't stop suggesting that I want to look up the player's "wife" or "girlfriend." Sure, you'd expect that for pin-ups like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. But Ryan Klesko, Ryan Theriot, and Mark Derosa? Really? Another strange baseball-related trend: There seem to be a bunch of searchers who wishfully append the word "Jewish" onto the names of vaguely Jewish-sounding athletes. Sorry, fellow Semites—Lance Berkman and Josh Phelps are not members of the tribe.
I've known this for years. During every nationally televised Bears game of the past few years, I've gotten hundreds of Google searches to my blog with the string "Is Rex Grossman Jewish?"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:44 PM | Comments (2)

They're Not All Systems Analysts?

Ever want to know the stories behind the constantly-pictured people in The Onion? Now you know (via Petitedov.)

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:43 PM | Comments (1)

About F'n Time

News Item: New York Times to End TimesSelect

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2007

Today on E-Gear

The iPhone will be sold at Best Buy this fall, while Toshiba's got some new HD DVD players hitting the market in the fall as well. Also, reviews of "300" and (sort of) "Underdog."

Not on E-Gear: Al Goldstein's latest Internet venture, Booble.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

Red Sox vs. the Mascots

First, Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner donned the Wally the Green Monster costume to play a practical joke, and pelt team president Larry Lucchino with baseballs. Then, in Seattle, center fielder Coco Crisp was nearly run over by Mariner Moose. Too bad the Sox don't play in Philly this year, because the Phanatic might be the only thing standing between Boston and another pennant.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

And Rush Limbaugh Jumps Off the Bandwagon... Now

News Item: Jack Bauer to fight global warming on next season of "24"

For something as slow-moving as climate change, isn't it sort of hard to fight it in real time?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:22 PM | Comments (2)

The Left of Sports

I review the new book by sportswriter Dave Zirin, "Welcome to the Terrordome," in this week's North Star column.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:21 PM | Comments (0)

Cramer vs. Cramer

James Cramer has a meltdown about the Fed. This clip's been making the rounds all day, though it's not appreciably different from a typical afternoon of his show.

I heard a WIP listener suggest a while back that Cramer (who is from Philly and certainly has enough money) should buy the Phillies. Hey, just because insane billionaire Mark Cuban has worked out as a sports owner, doesn't mean every other one would too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:20 PM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day

Joe Posnanski, author of the best book ("The Soul of Baseball") that I've read all year, talks sense about Aaron and Bonds in an interview with Gelf Magazine:

"To me, Hank Aaron doesn't have to answer to anyone. He broke Babe Ruth's record while being hounded by death threats, while his daughter had to be under FBI protection, while racist letters flooded his mailbox. To me, this man has done enough. He doesn't have to answer any questions, and he doesn't have to make any appearances, and he doesn't have to fly across the country to be in the stands.
What bothers me most is that everyone wants Hank Aaron to be a spokesman for their position. The anti-Barry people want him to publicly call out Barry Bonds. Well, Hank Aaron is too classy a man to do that. The pro-Barry people want him to be involved in some sort of dog-and-pony show and appear when Bonds breaks his record. Well, I imagine that Hank Aaron has strong enough feelings that he simply won't do that. To me, he's handled it just right, and I don't understand how people can't appreciate class when they see it."
Makes a whole lot more sense to me than that piece arguing that by not congratulating Bonds, Aaron is being a "playa hater."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:19 PM | Comments (0)

Don't Ever Do This to Me

News Item: "Fake Steve" Blogger is Exposed

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2007

"Great to See Ya, Tommy"

News Item: George Steinbrenner loses mind.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

Is Garnett Telekinetic?

Jeremy first noticed this, but it's sort of horrifying: At just about the exact moment that the bridge was collapsing in Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett was throwing out the first pitch at the Red Sox game at Fenway. Plus- Garnett threw the ball to ex-Twin David Ortiz. Plus- Wolves owner Glen Taylor's granddaughter was on the bridge. Plus- Ex-Wolves coach Flip Saunders was just a few feet away.

Kevin Garnett: the Carrie of the NBA.

Then again, if Garnett really did have the ability to perform miracles, perhaps the Wolves would have made the playoffs in one of the last three years.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)

Speak to Me, Warrior!

Through creative editing, the Ultimate Warrior makes some shocking admissions.

It was a shoot!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

Get a Job

Find a bullshit-sounding job here. Conspicuously absent: Any use of the word "turnkey."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Rick Scaia, on the generally bad idea of Pacman Jones being involved with wrestling:

" All I can say about this is: What the fuck are you thinking, TNA?!?!

Seriously: wrestling's already under the microscope because Chris Benoit turned out to be a murderer. Luckily, you -- as a company -- have avoided most of the negative publicity because the media only wants to pick on Benoit's employer. What are you, feeling left out? You want to keep up with WWE, so you find an out-of-work football player who's an accomplice to murder, and try to wave enough money under his nose to get him to come work for you? The fuck?

Unless you've got some master plan to also sign Michael Vick to come in and face Pacman in a non-physical Ultimate Test Of Character (or Lack Thereof), with half the Cincinnati Bengals' roster as the Expert Judges, this is the single dumbest thing you've ever done, TNA."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)

More Wisdom From the FCC

It's good to see that they and Napster finally agree on something.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:48 PM | Comments (1)

Two Major DVD Series Releases

"Twin Peaks"! And "The Smurfs!" 'Peaks' was certainly a better show, but not nearly as Smurfy.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)

Sit! Stay! Get Medieval on their Ass!

News Item: Dogs kill Ving Rhames' assistant

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:46 PM | Comments (1)

August 02, 2007


News Item: Yankees Put YES Network up for sale; team may be next.

If this process ends up with the Dolan family owning both, I'll be thrilled. But it's hard to imagine the Yankees not owning YES. That would like if the Republicans didn't own Fox News Channel.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:12 PM | Comments (1)

Bourne in the USA

Three reasons why, unlike every other critic in America, I didn't particularly like "The Bourne Ultimatum":

- The action scenes: Choppy, blurry, and a cut every two or three seconds. At what point did Paul Greengrass come down with Michael Bay-itis, and how come no one noticed?

- Yes, I understand that bad stuff has happened in world history in the past six or seven years, and filmmakers are going to want to comment on that in their movies. But is it really necessary for every action movie for the next ten years to have 1) a torture scene and 2) a speech by the government-bureaucrat villain that's supposed to make him sound like Dick Cheney?

- After being essentially mute for the first two films, Julia Stiles is finally given something to do. Unfortunately, it serves to remind us that she's one of the worst actresses of her generation.

It's still got some good action scenes. But this idea that it's one of the best movies of the year is just plain bizarre.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:06 PM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day

Bill Simmons, on the most depressing sports summer ever, and why soccer will never take off in the U.S.:

People keep stupidly perpetuating the "every kid grows up playing soccer -- those are the kids who become adults and who might buy tickets" argument. You know what else I did as a kid? I gave myself a Muslim name. I ate my own boogers. I seethed because Tom never caught Jerry. I checked my closet every night to make sure an evil clown wasn't there. I left my baby teeth under my pillow because a fairy gave me money for them. None of these things has any correlation to my life now. The fact remains: Americans will never care that Beckham is playing soccer in a league of half-decent guys, just like English people wouldn't care if they had a mediocre baseball league and the London team signed A-Rod.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:04 PM | Comments (1)

"Subprime is the Financial N-Word"

Larry Whitmore on the s-word:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)

You Stay Classy, Pete!

Pete Rose is at the center of yet another controversy: He's under fire for speaking at a kids' camp and cursing repeatedly, telling kids that "second place is for losers," and, best of all, bitching about being left out of Marge Schott's will.

I don't know who's more to blame- Pete himself, or the genius who thought it was a swell idea to let Pete Rose speak to kids. Will Michael Vick give the keynote next year?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

A Real Dog-Shoots-Man Story

News Item: Man in Tennessee Shot By His Dog

Nice to see the dogs get some revenge for the Vick thing. Might Triumph be involved?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:02 PM | Comments (1)

August 01, 2007


A bridge collapses in downtown Minneapolis, throwing cars into the Mississippi. As far as I know, my family in town is all safe. As a Minneapolis native, married to a bridge engineer, I'm glued to the TV and likely will be for the rest of the night. More on this tomorrow.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:37 PM | Comments (2)

How Beantown Took Over Sports

I remember when Boston was a sports backwater (i.e., most of the time I lived there, from '96 to 2000.) Those were the days when they stuck Doug Flutie on the cover of Boston magazine, rather than any player on a Boston team. It started to change when Pedro Martinez came to the Sox (in '98), and now the transformation is complete. Here's Tony Massarotti:

Given the choice, they all do the same now: They come to Boston. They sacrifice their trade protection or maybe take pay cuts, all to join what has become the greatest collection of stars since “The Godfather.”
So, welcome to town, Mr. Kevin Garnett. Say hello to Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Bill Belichick and Richard Seymour. Presumably, you’ve already met Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Over there are David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, just behind Josh Beckett. The guy acting like the mayor is none other than Curt Schilling [stats].
As for the rest of Sports America, we hate to break the news to you: You’re now playing for second place.
Could this happen in Philly too? I suppose. But the fans just have to not turn against their own superstar players. That shouldn't be too hard, right?

Then there's Minnesota, as an e-mailer to TrueHoop pointed out this morning:

If norm green killed hockey in Minnesota, then Glen Taylor just killed basketball. The Wolves are COMPLETELY irrelevant in Minnesota now. Suddenly, cheering for Tavaris Jackson sounds awesome.

First we lost Kirby Puckett. Then Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper fell from grace on their way out of town. Now we lose Kevin Garnett and there's a damn good chance Torii Hunter says goodbye this summer.

Welcome to Minnesota ... We'll get your hopes up only to gut your sports fan soul.

And... now Johan Santana's complaining! The good news keeps on coming!

And speaking of Daunte, he signed with the Raiders today. Funny that he would agree to go there, right after they traded his ex-Minny teammate Randy Moss. Just as Kevin Garnett agreed to go to Boston, after vetoing a previous deal, once the team got rid of his Wolves nemesis Wally Szczerbiak. I just hope this doesn't lead, in 2012, to Joe Mauer signing with the Yankees, just because they finally dumped Justin Morneau.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

Today on E-Gear

Apple sells its three billionth iTunes song, but is sued on the same day by both an irate customer and Eminem. Also, Best Buy fires a supervisor over that whole snooping-at-pictures-of-hot-customers scandal. But, the Geeks redeemed themselves: another employee, also in LA, pulled a Chris Hanson and caught a customer with kiddie porn on his computer.

And speaking of porn, a big victory for Blu-ray: it's being embraced by Japanese pornographers. I managed to write the entire story without mentioning bukkake; perhaps Sony might want to think about signing up Hideki Matsui as a spokesman.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

Pranking OJ

O.J. Simpson, for some reason, decided to sit for an interview with an obscure website. And take phone calls. The Kidd Chris callers intervened. Eureka!:

"Remember when you played for the 49ers? Did you kill Bill Walsh?"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:28 PM | Comments (1)

NYPress Sold, Again

New York Press, my one-time favorite alt-weekly which seems to have either a new owner or editor every six months, has been sold once again, the Times says. Three suggestions for the new owners: keep Armond White around, bring back Jim Knipfel, and rethink that whole not-putting-any-of-the-articles-on-the-front-page-of-the-website idea.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Year

Lewis Black with absolutely the last word on Barry Bonds:

"He IS being persecuted, but for the right reasons. People hated Jackie Robinson because he was black. People hate Barry Bonds because he's a cheating douchebag. It's the content of his character!"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

Weirdest Headline of the Week

Slate: "Having bagged his trophy, how long will it take Rupert to bugger it?"

Uh, Murdoch wants to have gay sex with the Wall Street Journal?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

Makes the Polygamy Intrigue in "Big Love" Look Like Nothing

An interesting tidbit from the AP account of Gary Coleman's latest disorderly-conduct-during-a-fight-with-a-woman arrest:

Coleman could not be reached for comment Tuesday. His phone number is unlisted. He moved to Santaquin, about 55 miles south of Salt Lake City, in 2005, around the time he starred in ''Church Ball,'' a comedy based on basketball leagues formed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
'Cause when I think Mormons and basketball, I think Gary Coleman. I would totally see that movie.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

Can't Wait

One of the best bloggers, Matthew Yglesias, has announced the title of his much-hinted-at forthcoming book. I'm still waiting for Simmons to do the same.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)