Recent Comments by Justin Slotman

NCAA bans Indian mascots for postseason

I personally would love to be represented by Colonel Sanders in a dress.

posted by Justin Slotman at 05:52 PM on August 06

NCAA bans Indian mascots for postseason

grum said: "Sorry to do this, but you walked right into the trap. I deliberately chose "Gambino" and Italian sterotypes because I knew someone would bring up the Sopranos." Trap? Sports are art. They're not science. ;) And the public funding thing--I mean, again, why does the NCAA think they can tell Florida State and Central Michigan that the relationships they have with the Seminole and Chippewa tribes--both of whom support the nicknames--that they have derogatory nicknames? Are the Florida Seminoles and Saginaw Chippewas not acting in their own interests, and it's up the the great white NCAA to set them straight about what their interests should be? Because that's certainly what it looks like.

posted by Justin Slotman at 04:51 PM on August 06

NCAA bans Indian mascots for postseason

That "Gambino" thing--I mean, there's a show called The Sopranos that contains every vile Italian stereotype you'd care to name. And many, many Italian-Americans love it. The same thing with the Fighting Irish. Many, many Irish people embrace an ethnic caricature on par with Chief Wahoo for loathsomeness. So--at least in the case of the Chippewas and Seminoles (possibly the Utes and Fighting Sioux as well)--we have these schools that have nicknames that are endorsed and supported by the native people in question. Why is it all right for the NCAA to be more offended than the Seminole and Chippewa tribes? I can't see any way to support what the NCAA's doing here; they're basically saying 1. we know better than you what offends you, Native tribes, and 2. it's okay to caricature Irish people, though. It's a mindbogglingly crappy decision.

posted by Justin Slotman at 02:29 PM on August 06

Terry, will you marry me? Chris.

That Terry 'n' Chris thing was about ten trillion times too cute. It should've been "Fred, will you marry me? Barney." Or any other unambiguously gender-restricted names. I mean, he writes: "Fans may be forgiven for confusion tonight, if during the Blue Jays 7:05 p.m. game against the Expos at the SkyDome there is a Jumbotron scoreboard proposal reading, "Terry, Will you marry me? Chris."" Which isn't going to confuse anybody because they're androgynous names. He destroyed whatever point he thought he could make with Terry and Chris, blissful gay couple.

posted by Justin Slotman at 11:05 AM on June 25

Wiley saw this one coming

Oh, this is definitely on the Patriots-Rams level. Every NBA columnist I read had Lakers in six, from Bill Simmons to David Aldridge to David Dupree.

posted by Justin Slotman at 08:15 AM on June 17

Do you believe now?

The only thing making me doubt the Pistons are historical things: 1. The thing about no team ever winning the middle three. That's not insurmountable, and they are a good road team, but any return trip to LA makes me nervous. 2. The thing about no team that lacked a superstar has ever won the championship, save the 77 Blazers, who had Walton but he was more famous from his college days than an actual NBA superstar--right? I'm all for the Pistons rewriting the rules about what it takes to win in the NBA, but if they don't win it's just NBA business-as-usual. And the odds tend to favor business-as-usual; it's hard to overcome a way of winning that has persisted for years.

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:35 AM on June 11

"Old White Guy Makes Racially Insensitive Remark"

Yeah, don't forget that white Americans don't relate to Europeans as white players--they're as foreign as Yao Ming. And as Bill Simmons pointed out yesterday, there weren't any white guys who could defend Bird at the time, so his feeling insulted was justified.

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:59 AM on June 10

Smithers said: The so-called "Big 4" seems to be a leftover from the days of the Original Six. Am I wrong here? No, you're completely right. There's a ton of hockey fans online for whatever reason, but it's really dropped off the map in terms of major media interest.

posted by Justin Slotman at 03:42 PM on April 21

It's March Madness time (pdf).

Let's clarify, the above should read, "For the other half of the human race and the state of Connecticut." HA!

posted by Justin Slotman at 08:10 AM on March 15

Blame Canada?

Slightly related question for the hockey heads out there: Is there a significant difference in terms of style between American college hockey and Canadian junior hockey? I'm assuming they're at about the same level as far as athletics goes.

posted by Justin Slotman at 03:51 PM on March 12

Fox Sports

Leaving aside the factual inaccuracy about Fox Sports World being the Canadian wing of a mythical "Fox Sports" channel, of course. I mean--I loathe Fox Sports when they do football and baseball, and you could probably find better soccer commentators than the guys they have calling the games. But I'm glad somebody's bringing me four to eight complete games on the weekends, with usually one live Bundesliga game and one live Premiership game.

posted by Justin Slotman at 07:42 AM on March 04

Fox Sports

This guy does realize that Fox Sports World is a fifth-tier network for a niche American audience, right?

posted by Justin Slotman at 07:38 AM on March 04

Chelsea gazump United

What I don't get about soccer is why teams can sign players from other teams while the season is still on. I mean, how can Schalke sign Ailton (to pick an example I know about) but have Ailton be playing for Bremen, against Schalke, for the rest of the season? Don't euroleagues want to avoid the appearance of tampering? I mean--it would be a huge scandal if Kobe said not that he was opting out of his contract after the season, but that he was definitely signing with the Grizzlies. And yet this seems to be business as usual in Europe.

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:36 AM on March 03

I got my copy yesterday.

It exists for the same reason another anemic pornographic magazine (Playboy) exists: sheer institutional inertia.

posted by Justin Slotman at 07:54 AM on February 19

US out of Olympics.

Remind me again: Why does FIFA restrict the Olympics to 23 and under teams? And only on the men's teams, for that matter. Are they just protecting their turf, making sure the World Cup is the preeminent tournament?

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:26 AM on February 11

YEESH. I think Jayson took the morality of Scarface a little too much to heart.

posted by Justin Slotman at 08:46 AM on February 05

Wing Bowl upset in Philadelphia

Oh, of course it's a sport--as legit as car racing, but with more athleticism. I mean, Sonya Thomas has an actual training regimen: one giant meal and two hours on the treadmill a day. And I don't think it was an upset--she was actually a cofavorite with Wingador. That said, I doubt anybody really thought she would do it.

posted by Justin Slotman at 01:05 PM on January 30

I could go without Nick Schulz staring at me, frankly.

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:49 AM on January 28

Yeah, I'm trying to figure out why Jeremy Bloom can't be a pro skier but Mauk and Carter can be pro (albeit minor league) baseball players? What's the deal with that?

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:52 AM on January 09

What about the kid who was just in the Sugar Bowl--I think he plays for LSU--who was in the Cubs' minor league system for a few years? How did he get away with that?

posted by Justin Slotman at 08:17 AM on January 08

The draw for the fourth round proper of the FA Cup.

TELFORD! vs. MILLWALL! had better be on tv. Of course, Fox will probably go with Newcastle vs. Liverpool, which I can't complain about. The FA Cup really needs a NCAA-tournament like PPV option here in the States. The one game they did offer--Chelsea vs. Watford--turned out to be pretty great by all acounts, but I didn't want to spend the 16 bucks on what I assumed would be a laugher.

posted by Justin Slotman at 11:23 AM on January 05

The Super Bowl shouldn't risk being played with snowshoes.

The playoffs are going to be so great this year if New England gets homefield advantage throughout. That's--what?--three weeks of snow games? That's GREAT televsion.

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:57 AM on December 16

Fix the NHL with a modified tiering system?

Relegation would work best in the NHL and MLB, I think, though you'd have to change the whole ownership structure of the minor leagues so that they aren't tied to major league teams, plus the way players are signed would have to change as well so guys aren't getting called away from their "minor" league teams all the time. D. Stern would never let the NBA go promotion/relegation. And it would be nearly impossible to do in the NFL, where the division between major and minor (the college leagues) is absolute.

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:55 AM on December 16

USC gets ripped off

I have to disagree--we're not better off this way, it's just a different kind of goofy. No 16-team playoffs means no way of establishing a champion and the I-A NCAA football National Championship is as mythical as ever. It does allow you to pick your own champion, though; I'm going with Miami of Ohio. Nice to see the MAC champion getting the SHAFT! again...

posted by Justin Slotman at 10:15 AM on December 08

Pro Football Overtime

What I would love--even though it would never ever happen--would to have dueling field goals, starting at the 25, and moved back 5 yards until somebody misses and the other team makes. Like free kicks in soccer. I love the college overtime, but I wish they'd reserve it for the postseason (such as it is in college) and let some ties happen.

posted by Justin Slotman at 05:47 PM on November 10

Big East to add 5 teams today,

Please note that the Big East and Conference USA (and I think the WAC--wherever Tulsa and Rice were) coordinated their realignments--this wasn't a backroom deal like the ACC's. Anyhow, this is sort of the best possible outcome of the whole Big East-ACC debacle as it leaves the Big East with the best basketball conference in the country and some slight level of football respectability--although it would look ridiculous to leave the Big East with their BCS berth at this point and leave the MAC out. Even if the 8 & 8 format is unstable, the Big East will go out in a blaze of hoops glory.

posted by Justin Slotman at 11:26 AM on November 04

Perugia set to turn to fairer sex

Svensson and Ljundberg completely ruled it at the World Cup, so...um.....we shall see how goofy this gets.

posted by Justin Slotman at 07:31 AM on October 30

Like sands through the hour glass, these are the days of our lives.

Keep in mind though that (as Lang Whitaker has suggested) 1. the whole thing could be a working of us rubes, and given Shaq's love of pro wrestling that's always possible and 2. being in turmoil has never stopped the Lakers from winning before.

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:50 AM on October 28

S I'm curious as to why you're addressing yourself, though. It's kind of creepy. JS: It's because I'm an HTML simp and thus cannot italicize anything without a control-alt-I function.

posted by Justin Slotman at 03:17 PM on October 15

RC: In all other cases, though, you gotta do the math and recognize that someone's going to report something -- so why not you? JS: But we're talking editorial level here, not reporter level--we're talking the deliberate release by the Sun-Times of a man who various people want to "get." Plenty of reporters tracked down Kobe's accuser and editors en masse decided not to publish her name, only information about her. The same should have been done here--the guy is getting _death threats_.

posted by Justin Slotman at 03:07 PM on October 15

Rcade: But just because the secret is going to get out--a la Kobe Bryant's accuser--doesn't mean you have to be the one blabbing the secret. Kobe Bryant's accuser's identity has been kept mostly secret. When Bartman is getting death threats, I can't imagine why the Sun-Times thought it was a good idea to release his name. They shoulda waited for the six-months-later sunday feature story if they were going to talk about him.

posted by Justin Slotman at 02:35 PM on October 15

Rcade's "blue dot" link says a Chicago paper has named the fan. Which one did?

posted by Justin Slotman at 11:56 AM on October 15

The Women's World Cup Final

I thought it was a crappy call too, and a crappy way to end the match. Sweden's defense was playing so phenomenally and they were one Svensson/Ljundberg incredible one-on-one move from scoring the go-ahead goal, so it seemed like that one freak header was the wrooooong way to end it. It ran counter to the storyline of the match if you know what I mean, which was overmatched Swedish team that would not allow the Germans to score, combined with freakish play from Ljundberg and especially Svensson. Kind of a gut-punch of an ending. This thing should've gone to free kicks or to a Svensson breakaway. But Sweden shot themselves in the foot by relaxing for the first two minutes of the second half--that's all it took for Germany to pull even.

posted by Justin Slotman at 04:17 PM on October 13

Boston College accepts invitation to join ACC.

And what about BC hockey? I thought the NCAA was against schools being one conference in one sport and another in another--which is why BC is going ACC in both football and basketball. It's just the limited number of D-I hockey schools that makes the NCAA be inconsistent where hockey is concerned, right? Not that inconsistency and the NCAA is news.

posted by Justin Slotman at 02:41 PM on October 13

Boston College accepts invitation to join ACC.

But I think Mike McD is right to see the silver lining in this--anything that contributes to the destruction of NCAA football is a good thing. I maintain this is an idiotic action on BC's part. If they stayed in the Big East they'd have an easier road to the BCS every year. They're leaving the Big East for the sake of their football team, which is--what?--the eighth most popular team in Boston? (If BC fluked their way into a title game, would Bostonians care?) They're joining a conference whose members they have zilch in common with--not geographically, not religiously. I don't get it, and I have yet to read any "This makes sense for BC--here's why" defense of this move.

posted by Justin Slotman at 11:25 AM on October 13

Dusted, do you mean the Asian foreign cultural thing of stoicitiy and demureness? Or the Australian foreign cultural thing of saying any idiotic thing that comes into one's head?

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:46 PM on October 10

Gimme that clicker

I'd love to know how they assembled this list. Did they ask people to rate their favorites sports and then report the results in backwards order? Did they ask people, "which of these sports to you hate the most?" I can't believe that sports that most people don't pay attention to--the AFL or Indy--can be actively hated.

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:41 AM on September 30

Let's talk about the Women's World Cup.

I can't believe China tied Australia--they had about ten trillion corner kicks and could not put it in. I don't know what their deal is--I love the way they play, the constant rhythmic backpassing and possession-dominance, but they should've creamed Ghana and Australia and instead they probably have to beat Russia to get to the next round. They don't look like they can beat any of the other strong favorites. Brazil looks really good. The United States looks unbeatable. I might be saying Germany looks unbeatable if ESPN/ABC had put one of their games on teevee. But the winner is coming out of one of these three. The Scandinavian and Asian teams just can't outplay them. There you are.

posted by Justin Slotman at 10:51 PM on September 26

WUSA calls it quits.

Aha! Well met, my friend!

posted by Justin Slotman at 04:09 PM on September 18

WUSA calls it quits.

Scis: Look, if you seriously believe basketball allows a "much higher degree of athletic accomplishment than soccer" then there is no point in arguing with you. You might as well say that the sky is green. JS: I think I mean more that in terms of what you see on the field of play, basketball and football more obviously display athletic accomplishment than soccer. Read on, I may make sense at some point. Scis: Football is a game of athleticism, power, strength, pace and skill. This is not a matter of opinion. Women can be comparable in skill, but they will always be behind in athleticism, power, strength and pace. JS: I'm not arguing against this, merely arguing that the way soccer displays these traits is much more subtle than the way other sports display these traits. And that those traits make it harder to make a pure on-field quality distinction between the highest levels of men's and women's competitions. Like, I'm thinking of a slam dunk in basketball--something visually athletically impressive, and something women clearly cannot do with any regularity--and I'm looking for the soccer equivalent of something women clearly cannot do and I'm not finding it. A lot of that has to do, I'm sure, with my relative ignorance of soccer outside the World Cup. I'm an American--I like football. I love football, the structure of it, the constant variation on the theme of offense vs. defense, the organization of interlocking parts. All these things are present in soccer--and I like soccer--they're just not as obvious. They are present in an understated, subtle way. And so--I argue--are the differences between men's and women's soccer: subtle, understated, not as obvious as they are in other sports. There you go.

posted by Justin Slotman at 03:03 PM on September 18

WUSA calls it quits.

Scis: If you can say that with a straight face, then you clearly don't know anything about men's professional football. JS: That's clearly true. Especially if we're talking about soccer. :D But--HEY!--prove me wrong. Where would the superior athletic gifts of men manifest themselves in any place in the game of soccer besides the speed of the game? And did you see any WUSA games?

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:07 AM on September 18

WUSA calls it quits.

Yeah, but, salmacis, did you see any of these games? In terms of competitiveness and will-to-win and (sometimes) on-field hatred, they were completely top-notch. And (I'll keep harping on this) the nature of the game of soccer is such that there isn't a vast difference in terms of on-field quality between men and women is not that much--certainly not as much as basketball (or as American football would be), which allow a much higher degree of athletic accomplishment than soccer. The only qualitative difference is the speed of the game. That's it.

posted by Justin Slotman at 02:27 PM on September 17

Taking one for the team.

Dang it, msacheson! That was my witty riposte!

posted by Justin Slotman at 02:23 PM on September 17

NCAA penalty strips UH of volleyball title

This is utter bullshit. GO JEREMY BLOOM! GO!

posted by Justin Slotman at 10:21 AM on September 09

FIFA Women's World Cup 2003.

....dern foreigners who don't understand soccer is fundamentally a women's sport within the United States.....

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:07 AM on September 05

Sports Wives.

The more I learn about the NBA player's lifestyle and just how many fine fine ladies are throwing themselves at them, the more I think that Jackie Christie's obsessiveness is the only rational response if a traditional marriage is an NBA wife's goal. If the NBA wife's goal is a. self-gratification due to close contact with celebrity or b. CEO of Her NBA Player Enterprises, Inc., that's something else entirely. But, me personally, I'd rather make fun of Vanessa Bryant or Joumana Kidd than Jackie Christie.

posted by Justin Slotman at 05:37 PM on August 08

So Disturbing, So Frightening, So Amusing

The weird thing is the cost--in the thousands--and with no guarantee of anything besides shooting a naked lady with a paint gun. The potential audience is men with tons of disposable income and a shambles of a social life. I qualify on the latter but not the former. Dang it. Wait, I mean, FEMINISM NOW!

posted by Justin Slotman at 03:28 PM on July 17

JKidd says he won't stay with the Nets ... unless they dump coach Byron Scott.

JKidd staying in Jersey makes no sense for JKidd--and I'm a Nets fan saying this. He knows he wants a title. We all know he wants a title. We all know he isn't winning a title with the Nets. We know the Spurs want him and they won the title this year. I don't get it.

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:47 AM on July 10

How do you grade the 2003 NBA draft?

The Knicks and Lakers--my two most hated teams--both get an A. How did the Knicks get Lampe? That's amazing. And if he's a bust, Layden ends up looking--well, not great, but better, because he still drafted Mike Weatherspoon-Harrington. And how did the rest of the league let the Lakers end up with Luke Walton? He's like the best possible Mark Madsen and you just know he's going to burn somebody come playoff time. Hopefully the Cavs, Pistons and Nuggets all made out like bandits, but we just won't know for a while. Carmelo seems most likely to cause an immediate impact. And wouldn't it be funny if LeBron was a Kournikova-like master self-marketer and not a great basketball player? BOY! Would our faces be red....

posted by Justin Slotman at 09:09 AM on June 27

ARCO: Marshall needs to upgrade its basketball program big-time (facilities, players, etc) before making a serious case for joining the Big East. Though, we'd finally get a regular WVU-Marshall football series out of it... JS: If the Big East can let in Rutgers, they can let in anybody.

posted by Justin Slotman at 02:49 PM on June 25

Miami and the ACC just screwed up--there's no way around it. They underestimated the ACC traditionalists (Duke and Carolina) and the way they would continue to oppose expansion outside the ACC's area. They thought they needed a Northeastern presence but nobody in the Northeast cares about college football. They invited the wrong Big East schools--VTech is a better for the ACC. Their plan was dumb from the start and--I'm not saying it was bound to fall through, but I'm glad it did because it made noooo sense. So hopefully the ACC will take only Miami and end up going after ECU and South Carolina--you know, other Southern schools that play football. The Big East tells Temple all is forgiven, invites Louisville, Marquette, Xavier and the muthafreaking Marshall THUNDERING HERD! and--bang--you got your twelve-team football league and your bloated miniature NBA. Yep.

posted by Justin Slotman at 11:43 AM on June 25

Allen Iverson and Kenyon Martin need to lose ‘thug’ image.

Yeah, we're just wondering why he does it all the time--his use of cheerleaders always seems calculated to me. By the way, cheesecake is for prudes. To paraphrase Bernie Mac, it's for little boys too scared to buy porno.

posted by Justin Slotman at 10:54 AM on June 20

Allen Iverson and Kenyon Martin need to lose ‘thug’ image.

MMcD: The reason that Easterbrook’s article interested me is his observation Since the thug look came in a decade or so ago, who's been winning NBA titles? Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Hakeem Olajuwan, David Robinson, Michael Jordan ... all clean-cut, normal-armed, winning-smile guys you'd want your daughter to marry. I noticed the same thing a couple years ago and it got me thinking … why are clean cut guys winning the titles? JS: Shaq is clean-cut? Tim Ducan looks like a serial killer. They've both got tatoos. MJ is a lecherous creep. There's your past 8 NBA champions. I'm not a father, but I'd be a little terrified seeing Timmy with that crazy forced smile showing up at my door. And K-Mart hasn't been a thug for the past season and a half. Did Page 2 demand off-season columns out of Easterbrook? We need the NFL back so he can talk about something he actually knows something about again.

posted by Justin Slotman at 02:08 PM on June 19

Allen Iverson and Kenyon Martin need to lose ‘thug’ image.

Easterbrook reallly needs to stay away from the NBA, it's not anything where he knows what he's talking about. And what's up with all the cheesecake shots? Is this supposed to, like, make me think he's down with the common man's sporting mind or something?

posted by Justin Slotman at 10:45 AM on June 19

Women's World Cup finale moved to Home Depot Center.

GSPM: Mia Hamm and...? Sorry, all i can think of is Cobi Jones (hey, he appeard on Melrose Place, man) and Alexi Lalas. And some guy that was playing for Everton, Brian? McBride. Can't think of a second US women's soccer player. I might be alone though. JS: Why, BRANDI CHASTAIN, of course! Her post-goal celebration is the greatest non-Mardi Gras female shirt removal in history, and is etched in all of our memories. I think.

posted by Justin Slotman at 05:16 PM on June 11

Women's World Cup finale moved to Home Depot Center.

WC2002: This is not that big a deal, considering it's the Women's World Cup (no disrespect to the women) and they only had 4-6 months to arrange an international tournament that normally takes 2-4 years to set up. JS: Two points: 1. The Women's World Cup should be held here every time--we Americans are the only ones who care about it. I know what you what you're saying but this is another one of those situations where the American sports fan has entirely different priorities from the Latim American/European/Asian sports fan. The two most famous American soccer players are still women. There you go. 2. I still think telling 53,000 people to go watch teevee is a big deal. Maybe it won't big as big a deal as '99--but an intimate stadium is the right venue for a MLS team, not for--again--the freaking World Cup.

posted by Justin Slotman at 11:45 AM on June 11

Politicians get into ACC/Big East conflict

Doesn't the ACC have better things to do than try and break up their rival to the North? Why are two basketball conferences fighting over friggin' Miami? What the fudge....

posted by Justin Slotman at 10:41 AM on May 29

Jordan is not--NOT--going back to the Bulls. Just because they'd be nuts to hire him, for reasons outlined by wfrazerjr above.

posted by Justin Slotman at 11:09 AM on May 09

Not even a debate.

For whatever reasons--Canadian government-sponsored Internet access, the close pyschological interrelatedness of nerdity and hockey appreciation--there are about a million more hockey fans than NBA fans online. So there's my explanation why that poll has the 5th American pro sport all over the 2nd American pro sport. Plus hockey has never transcended its hockey cult roots, while the NBA became an important part of our culture starting in the 80s with Magic and Bird and going into full cultural takeover mode during the Jordan era. So--I mean--the cultishness of the NHL has probably driven a lot of fans online, where things that are underserved by mainstream media interests thrive. I prefer the NBA playoffs myself, as I cannot enjoy the ulcers overtime NHL games give me. Plus NHL series always seem like they're won by luck more than anything else, like you could run through the playoffs 16 different times and get 16 different winners. I dunno. Anyhow, sitting through NHL overtime makes my stomach hurt. Watching Stephon Marbury score a miracle three as time expires makes the world seem like a better place to me.

posted by Justin Slotman at 12:00 PM on April 22

For the last time--SHAVE THOSE SIDEBURNS!

posted by Justin Slotman at 08:33 AM on April 15