Olympic Anthem + Electric Guitar: 5 more days... Until then, a young rock guitarist riffs on the anthem.
Three For All: | Russ Bengston, the former Editor-in-Chief for SLAM magazine, has started his own weblog as of Tuesday. He is already posting quite a bit on the media and the NBA.
Skip Bayless:: "Just this once, try watching the RIOT video with your brain instead of just your wide eyes." *I will now officially move on.
Simmons-Wiley All-Day Hoops Summit.: This morning ESPN/Page2 called it "blogging about the NBA playoffs" (or something like that). Now, they are referring to it as a "first-ever" all-day summit or debate. Whatever it is, I like it. It is not a blog, but it borrows the casual, off-the-cuff style (or maybe it is borrowing the style of PTI). Is this the future of online sports journalism? Also, Simmons asks some questions worthy of some SpoFi reflection (e.g., "Is Phil Jackson the most overrated coach of all time or the most underrated coach of all time?")
Kobe is no hero.: Jason Whitlock points out the absurdity and stupidity of Kobe Bryant's situation (going from court-to-court). He writes, "There's nothing heroic about fighting rape allegations by day and playing basketball by night. Nothing."
They're not loving it.: Let's call it McMorality. The fear of losing sponsorship may become the dominant incentive for professional athletes to remain faithful to their spouses. In the same way that Fatal Attraction scared the infidelity out of men, Kobe's woes may keep athletes on the straight and narrow path. Or am I being ridiculous?
Belgium versus America: | Belgian tennis is on the rise, at least for the women. Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters, French Open finalists, will face the William sisters in the semifinals. Remember Justine took Serena out in the semifinals of the French Open. Will it be another all-Belgian finals or an all-Williams/American finals? Women's tennis continues to get more interesting.
SPORTS CLICHE: | A site dedicated to sports cliches. All athletes are required to read the list and remember it by heart, so that their words can become effectively meaningless. In this regard, Rasheed Wallace is my hero for subversively exposing the meaninglessness of post-game interviews.
COUNTERPOINT: | rcade argues that Singh's shot at Annika Sorenstam is way out of bounds. I am not so sure, thus, my response in Rethinking Sexism: Why Vijay Singh is not a racist. (Disclosure: This is a SportsFilter self-link.)
RETHINKING SEXISM: Why Vijay Singh is not a racist
SHAME ON ME: (or why I hate the 2003 NBA Playoffs) | Marty Burns of Sports Illustrated points out the highs and lows of the first round. What were your own highs and lows? Also (this probably deserves its own thread), John Stockton quietly announces that he will "move on." Your thoughts on John Stockton?
NFL DRAFT | Here is a list of Hall of Famers and their draft positions (e.g., Joe Montana selected in Round 3, Steve Largent in Round 4, Roger Staubach in Round 10). Of course, this is all just an excuse to ask how your own teams fared?
Is Patricia Bender the ultimate basketball fan? Check out her NBA Daily, as well as her Mavericks page. Now if we could convince her to join SpoFi, she would be the perfect candidate to continue our weekly NBA beat reports.
Could it be true?: Krause resigns! Krause resigns! Krause resigns! Do the Bulls bring back Jordan to run the team? Would Jordan come back? Regarding Krause and the Bulls, do you feel that Krause was unjustly vilified?
The Ancient Game of Baseball:: Is seker-hemat baseball? An Egyptologist suggests that Thutmose III, ruler of Egypt during the 15th century B.C, can be seen holding a ball and bat on a wall relief at the shrine of Hathor. The hieroglyphic over the scene reads: "Batting the ball for Hathor, who is foremost in Thebes." The date is circa 1475 B.C. Is baseball the oldest sport? Well, unless someone can show me a Pharaoh kicking a ball into a goal-like contraption, I'll have to say that baseball wins.
Six Degrees of Separation:: "Philly has won 14 of 16 while Indy has dropped 13 of 15. Detroit lost seven consecutive games while New Orleans won eight straight. And after fast starts, New Jersey and Boston are playing .500 ball. The result? Six teams in the East within four and half games of one another, and a race for first that will come down to the final matchups of the year."
What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the Indiana Pacers? If it's "Bad Boys II" then you're victim of the media. At least that's what Isaiah and Conrad think. If you seen the Pacers play or have followed their games and post-game interviews, you might agree. Almost every opposing coach and player, with the exception of Don Nelson, have applauded the Pacers for their hard play and unselfishness. So what gives? Why this perception? Before you answer, read what Isaiah has to say about his recent suspension. There is one writer in Indy who feels that the Pacers should not shy away from the Bad Boy image.
Just a couple of more days until . . . Shaq vs. Ming. Shaq has apologized for his racially insensitive humor. In a scathing article about the hypocrisy of racism in sports, Irwin Tang (of AsianWeek) wrote: "Letís not beat around the bush. If a white player had, for instance, made monkey sounds to taunt a black player, it would have been a national controversy. But Yao is Chinese and Asians are fair game. For evidence, watch TV for a couple of hours." Here's an NBA (anti-)Yao Ming Timeline. On the other side of Ming-life is YaoMingMania.com, a site that is "100% dedicated to Yao Ming's life in the NBA."
So who will come out the better man and center on Friday? Shaq or Ming?
Sports Rule!: The cover story of Wired Magazine examines the world of videogame sports. "In-your-face marketing. Extreme camera angles. Trash-talking superstars. Sound like TV sports? Try sports videogames, where the nastiest competition is the battle to take down the reigning champ, EA Sports."
Question: Is ESPN the Microsoft of sports (figuratively and literally)? And if so, is Sports Illustrated IBM? Many have complained that Microsoft gobbles up the competition and eliminates choices for the consumer. I find it increasingly difficult to find quality sports information/content from other sources outside of ESPN (aka, the SportsFilter dilemma). I am wondering if you can help me identify the competition that ESPN has overtaken or co-opted. Example: SportsJones. As a Chicagoan, I know that local Chicago Sports radio has been greatly challenged by ESPN Radio (I have to admit that I "switched" to ESPN Radio). Is it okay for the ESPN to take over the sporting world (a la WalMart)? If ESPN is Microsoft and Sports Illustrated is IBM (a fading giant), what is SportsFilter? Linux?
NBA Beat Report: The Central Division falters. Pacers lose two in a row. Pistons lose three in a row. And the Hornets lose to the Clippers. But forget about Divisions, Texas rules. Mavericks, Rockets, and Spurs (a very nice Spurs news site) are #1, #3, and #4, respectively, in the Western Conference. I thought Texas was a football state? Are the Lakers depleted? Will they eventually work their way into the playoff picture? Finally, are NBA Locker Rooms getting out of control?
NBA Beat Report: Week 5
Okay, Yao seems to be for real. "He made 31 of 35 shots (88.6 percent) during a six-game stretch ending Thursday, breaking Wilt Chamberlain's six-game NBA record for field goal accuracy." Is it premature to celebrate his skills? Will teams adjust and shut him down in the future? Has anyone seen him play? Also, the Central Division Rules. Detroit, Indiana, and New Orleans were ranked in the top five last week (this week New Orleans dropped a few spots but are still in the top ten). Name a better division. Reggie Miller admits that he could have come back sooner but superstition kept him away. Mavericks continue to roll and are on the verge of making history. Always the Mavericks doubter, I admit that even I am impressed with their start. Of course, now they must collide with the aforementioned Central Division studs (Detroit tonight, Indiana tomorrow).
Beat Report: NBA Week 4
While Shaq is away, tall skinny men will play. But are Yao Ming (7'5") and Shawn Bradley (7'6") for real? Can they sustain their apparent progress, or will they crumble as the season unfolds? If Bradley disappears, will the 11-0 Mavericks and their newly discovered defense also dissipate? How long before the Mavericks lose? And forget Kobe, is T-Mac the new Jordan? Other thoughts? [See SportsFilter Top Five inside]
And they're off!: The Dallas Mavericks sprint out of the gate 7-0 (the only undefeated team in the NBA). Nowitzki is named player of the week. But does it really matter? Are the Mavericks doomed to be the Bills of basketball? Has their defense gotten any better? Do they have what it takes to beat the Kings or Lakers during the playoffs (yes, I'm already talking playoffs). Give me your NBA Week Two reports? (Is this post appropriate? Discuss.)