Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Today, in memory of Ted Kennedy and his dogged defense of the little guy, we look in a different direction. Friends, let's talk 110-yard fields, three downs to get 10 yards, and rouges. In the first (and possibly last) installment of Know Your CFL Squadron, we examine the fabled Montreal Alouettes.
What's an Alouette? I've wondered this nearly my entire life. I thought it was a made up word used to rhyme the French version of that children's song. Jaunty Alouetta, or something. As it turns out, an alouette is a skylark. In either case, not a terribly intimidating mascot. Though better than the original Montreal nickname, the Petit Fours.
Guys You Know on the Alouettes: Mark will be pleased to know that Chris Leak is drawing a professional paycheck, taking his questionable arm and mediocre overall game to Montreal to back up Anthony Calvillo. If you knew that Anthony Calvillo ranks 5th in all-time professional passing yards, you're a sick bastard. Leak's better off than Adrian McPherson, who not only has to listen to the former's taunts about Florida State's mediocrity, but also finds himself stuck on the Alouettes' Inactive List. Former West Virginia tailback Avon Cobourne totes the ball for the A's, while erstwhile Auburn Tiger Damon Duval handles the kicking and punting duties. I'm surprised that an Auburn grad was allowed to leave the country.
Why Alouettes Fans Love Bono: According to the impossibly accurate Wikipedia, the A's were down on their luck in the late 90s and on the verge of folding. They played their games at the cavernous Olympic Stadium before thousands of empty seats. When a playoff game the the BC Lions was scheduled in conflict with a U2 concert at Olympic Stadium, the Alouettes moved the contest to the much-smaller Molson Stadium. The ensuing sellout and raucous atmosphere revived the club's fortunes. As a result, the Alouettes now play all their games in the cozier venue, and play U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday before every home date. Odd, in a way, as Bono is a known hater of all things Canadian. Except backbacon.2009 Outlook: The Alouettes are fresh off a Grey Cup loss to the Calgary Stampeders, and have opened the new campaign winning 7 of 8 games. So I guess it's not really an outlook, per se. More of a 'hey, how are the Alouettes doing so far?' sort of thing. Avon Cobourne is second in the CFL in rushing. I smell another Grey Cup in the offing.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Carl Lewis sets a world record in the 100 meters, running it in 9.86 seconds (somewhere Usain Bolt rolls his eyes and chuckles).
A date I'm too lazy to look up
Carl Lewis does this, and in the process almost causes Charley Steiner to have an on-air aneurysm recapping the performance.
Monday, August 24, 2009
CLEVELAND (AP) - Police said a Cleveland barber became so upset by what he considered bad beef jerky that he returned to the store where he bought it and tried to rob the owner. Police said the 28-year-old barber walked into the store where he bought the snack, just two doors down from his barbershop, and tried to rob the owner Thursday night.
Line that got me: The barber told police the stick of beef jerky he bought sickened him and his dog.
Friday, August 21, 2009
While the hot-shot bachelors amongst the tens of our readers will do things this weekend like (Editor's note: author pauses to prepare his Bennett Brauer impersonation) "drink at bars," "see live music" and "score with chicks," the author will do things like "get infant feces on my hand," "fold laundry" and "drink scotch alone on my couch." But the saving grace of my weekend will be back-to-back mornings of EPL heavyweights in action.
On Saturday morning, ESPN2 will show Man U's third match of the season at 9:55 AM. The Red Devils will match up against a feisty Wigan United squad that I know nothing about. They have a new coach, they had an impressive two-nil win over Aston Villa in their first match, and followed that up with a shut-out loss to Wolverhampton in their second match.
Man U, also 1-1 on the season, hopes to bounce back from a shocking loss to recently promoted Burnley on Wednesday. The team has lost some of its firepower from last year due to the departure of the flamboyantly talented hooker-loving Cristiano Ronaldo and the Argentinian spark-plug striker (and fan-favorite) Carlos Tevez, who was like the team's Vinnie Johnson, minus the short shorts. And jump shot. Man U is also hurting on defense, as ageless keeper Edwin Van Der Sar will be out a couple months after thumb surgery. Back-up keeper Ben Foster was shaky in sparse playing time last season. He will have to step it up in a big way if Man U wants to repeat this season.
Other Man U players to watch:
Nemanja Vidic - The bruising Serbian stopper was voted the team's player of the year by his teammates. He is a brute on the back-line, a superior version of the US' Oguchi Onyewu, with some Ivan Drago mixed in. He stepped up last season while fellow defender Rio Ferdinand suffered with some injuries. He is the uber-swarthy fellow at left in the picture above.
Dimitar Berbatov - The enigmatic striker was showered with the fans' jeers for most of the season as his seemingly laconic play disappointed them, in contrast with Tevez' constant energy. Berbatov even found himself on the bench a lot as Man U charged ahead late in the season. But he remains a lethal striker with a cannon foot. He will be under a lot of pressure to replace Ronaldo's goal-scoring production and make things happen up front with Wayne Rooney and new addition Michael Owen.
If this match-up doesn't whet your whistle, you can watch another great match at 11 AM on Sunday morning. The Fox Soccer Channel will show Chelsea facing off against Clint Dempsey's Fulham squad. Dempsey was recently re-signed by Fulham and has become a fixture on the field. So it makes it that much more fun to root against Chelsea.
As hated as they may be (by your humble author), Chelsea has a fantastic pool of talent. Up front, Didier Drogba is one of the most skilled strikers in the world, despite perpetually featuring some of the worst hair you'll ever see. He's seen on the left in the picture to the left, next to Belgian native (and Everton player) Marouane Fellaini, who is included because, well, you have to include an afro like that. Anchoring the middle of the field is German Michael Ballack, a guy who plays the game the way it should be played - extremely physical every second of the match, yet not a dirty player. He cemented his reputation as one of the best players in the world at the 2002 World Cup, where, as a 25 year-old, he helped lead Germany to the finals. He is now past his prime, but he's still a lock-down player, almost like a Ray Lewis type.
So saddle up to the telly, gents. With a DVR and a cup of hot joe, you can buzz through each match in less than two hours.
- peed on my rug
- i hate kyle because
- summer homework
- kato little yellow friend
- loyal vernon bouldin
- home work blogs
- 1980 movie about gymnastics
- gheorghe the blog
- summer homework
- alfonso ribeiro shirtless
- i love this job more than i love taffy
- randy newman blogspot
- john staluppi felon
- the oc seth fluffer
- Are Ben Olson, P Cowan still on UCLA football squad for 2009?
- salvador dali a mason
- let's have a bachelor party with chicks
- rhymeo rob
Thursday, August 20, 2009
His name was J'Nathan Bullock.
It seemed simple. Buried in the Transactions section of your local sports section on Monday, below the Favre news, the box scores, the day's Yonkers Raceway post times and some NCAA Football previews, was this brief news item:
TE J'Nathan Bullock was cut by the New York Jets on Sunday.
It is, after all, that time of the year. Each NFL team's Turks march through the training camp facilities to play Grim Reaper and cut short a dream for a prospect. "Coach wants to see you. Bring your playbook."
But this news is not all that it seems. Bullock's cut was not due to his inexperience, even though the four-year starter for Cleveland State's basketball team never played a game of college football. It wasn't due to the team's depth at the tight end position. And it wasn't due to his poor hands during drills at camp, even though he dropped every pass that wasn't chucked right into his bread-basket.
Sadly, this transaction was due to the most sinister of sectarian biases still lurking in the NFL. It's a practice not formally acknowledged, that resides in the shadows of ignorant men's minds. We are not talking about racism, anti-semitism, homosexuality or NFL rookie hazing. We are speaking about Anti-Apostrophe Bias.
As the 21st century evolves, progressive pundits in the media like to talk about the seemingly well-intentioned Rooney Rule, created by Dan Rooney, former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, to promote minority hiring in the NFL. But what they don't mention was that Rooney, a long-time Freemason, was a noted hater of apostrophied first names. Pittsburgh's recent hiring of Mike Tomlin as head coach was merely an effort by the Rooney family to cloud that hatred under a thin veil of racial equality. But the intrepid investigative reporting team here at G:TB feels it is time to lift this skirt up and take a look at what's festering underneath.
In the days since the Rooney family cast a pall over the NFL's hiring decisions, some fine men with apostrophes have blazed trails of perseverance, sacrificing themselves for the future well-being of similarly named souls. The genesis of this movement can be traced back to the Indianapolis Colts' controversial drafting of O'Brien Alston in 1988. Not surprisingly, we saw how things played out. After a couple promising seasons, Alston fell off the NFL landscape, hampered by bad knees. What few people know is that Alston's knees were damaged when he was bludgeoned by baseball bats swung by teammates, including this noted Anti-Apostrophist, in a heinous Co'de Red assault during the 1990 training camp.
In subsequent years, brave souls such as Le'Shai Maston, Tre' Johnson, D'Marco Farr and 'Omar Ellison carried Alston's torch with mixed results. And the next generation continues that march. Men like Dre' Bly, Na'il Diggs, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Donte' Stallworth show that those with apostrophes in their first name are neither feeble nor dangerous behind the wheel (except, well, Donte'), and can be productive members of the NFL society.
But the decision to cut Bullock smacks of a clear line in the sand to the current NFL players trying to brave the animosity and eke out a living. The Order of the Apostrophe ("OFTA"), an apostophe advocacy group created by D'Qwell Jackson, Tre' Stallings and J'Vonne Parker, was taken aback by the transaction.
"We thought we had come a long way, especially after the Giants' signing of Sha'reff Rashad, but to see this happen in a large, liberal city like New York reminds us that we have a lot of work to do to educate the masses," says the Redskins' D'Anthony Batiste, OFTA's Vice Chairman for Community Awareness.
Making the situation worse, anti-apostrophe bias seems to be proliferating. Just last week, the Bears' Will Ta'ufo'ou was granted provisional membership in OFTA after receiving death threats in the mail.
"The letters come from all over. People want me dead. Or they just want to ridicule me. Just last week, a man from Sheboygan wrote a letter to me and called me and my family a bunch of dumb dildos because we have two consonants, two apostrophes and five vowels in my last name. My kids shouldn't have to read things like that. They didn't ask for this," says Ta'ufo'ou.
So the uphill climb continues for the unfairly maligned gridiron warriors. Solid citizens like Seattle's Na'Shan Goddard, Denver's Andre' Goodman and Pittsburgh's Ra'Shon Harris will have to continue living in the shadows, watching over their shoulders, hoping the axe won't unfairly fall on their careers, thanks to the hatred fomented by Rooney, his beloved Freemasons or known apostrophe hater Jimmy Johnson. Role players like Sen'Derrick Marks at Tennessee, Le'Ron McClain of Baltimore and the Saints' D'Juan Woods will continue to see their playing time minimized in an effort to suppress their salaries.
As noted Apostrophic Equality crusader Jerry Glanville once said, the NFL stands for Not For Long. Not for long indeed when you have an apostrophe in your name.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Arrive at the fair
It's 95 degrees and humid as shit. I'm a moron and didn't wear a t-shirt. Land war in Asia...now this blunder. Tough start to day.
Regular corn dog, small diet Pepsi
I mean, it's the fair. You've got to start with a corn dog. And you have to be careful in your corn dog selections - they need to be fresh out of the fryer or else they're not worth it. If you go to a stand that only has corn dogs rotating on a rack, move on. It's not like you're limited in corn dog stand choices.
Pick up free Blow Pop from Better Business Bureau of Indiana at ridiculous Expo Hall
The BBB slogan? "Don't Be a Sucker". Seriously folks, the team of monkeys you had working around the clock couldn't come up with something better? [Note: Blow Pop was eaten as "dessert" exactly 12 hours later]
Sample Shoup's new hogburger
It's freakin' delicious. Went back through the line two more times.
Photo op with Indiana state hero Veal Armstrong...and a talking goat
Stepping into the different animal barns at the fair is like walking through a portal into another dimension. A dimension of denim and poor dental hygiene. Hard to describe, but entertaining as all hell.
You like how I keep getting the diet sodas, as if that's gonna make a difference?
Snack on other people's absurd World Famous King Taters
What exactly are they, you say? Take a look.
Fish fry (jackson pollock white fish), yet another small diet Pepsi
The fish fry stand had zero shade around it. I almost passed out waiting for this item.
Ribeye steak sandwich at Indiana Beef Association tent, a Lemonade
Starting to develop some serious stomach issues at this point, had to stop halfway through this sandwich as I had the meat sweats. Genuine concern is starting to show on the folks I am at the fair with. Burgess Meredith urges me on.
Deep fried pizza, more diet Pepsi
In six hours I've developed diabetes and have surely clogged three arteries. And a big middle finger to deep fried pizza. What a disappointment. I assumed we would take a slice of pie, dip it in a fryer, and then hand it to me. Nope - the dough is simply fried and then lathered with marinara sauce and some cheese. Of course I still ate the whole damn thing.
Deep fried cookie dough
Anyone had a portable defibrillator?
One chicken tender, one fry, one ping only
By now we are at the Keith Urban concert at the fair (I would never be called a country music fan by any stretch, but I have now seen this guy twice, and he puts on a damn good show). Apparently, if you are a female going to a Keith Urban concert, you wear daisy dukes so short the pockets show and cowboy boots that make you like like an Amarillo whore. And you wear that no matter what shape or size you are. I was partially blinded by some of the sartorial choices.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I suppose an explanation is in order.
Friend of G:TB Shlara is both connected and a little bit of a marketing genius. LeBron and his high school teammates from St. Vincent-St. Mary's High School are featured in a forthcoming documentary entitled More Than a Game (Lionsgate). The movie started as a film school project for Akron native Kris Belman, a 10-minute documentary assignment by a novice filmmaker. The fact that it became a feature length film is nearly as unlikely as the story of our involvement.
One of Shlara's friends is responsible for the film's public relations push in Washington, D.C. One online introduction and several incredulous emails later, we received confirmation that G:TB's voice fit with the film's promotional strategy (I know what you're saying, and I agree. I wasn't aware that we had a voice. Again with Shlara's genius.) And that's how I found myself in a room at the Ritz-Carlton interviewing Dru Joyce III, Willie McGee, Romeo Travis, Kris Belman, and yes, LeBron James as part of a panel comprising three real journalists and one still-bewildered blogger.
We'll provide a review of the film itself closer to the October 2 release date - believe me, we've got a ton of material. Suffice it for now to say that I'd highly recommend More Than a Game to anyone who has a father, or children, or friends. This post is mostly about us. Forgive the indulgence; next time we get into the end zone we'll act like we've been there before.
The PR team confirmed the interview with us early last Wednesday. I spent the better part of the next two days trying hard not to puke. What do I wear? What do I ask? Could I talk about mustaches? I wanted the participants to think I knew what I was doing, even though the last interview I conducted was as the editor of the Woodbridge Senior High School newspaper. And that was probably with one of my friends. I didn't want to piss off the professional writers who were doing their jobs. I sure as hell didn't want to let Shlara down in front of her friend. Did I mention that I didn't want to puke?
Before the interview, Shlara, Teejay and I attended a press screening of the film at Regal 14 Cinemas in the District. (We'd have pictures of Teej with Kevin Durant, but for the fact that Shlara is as technology-clueless as she is public relations-savvy). Father-turned-coach Dru Joyce II opens the film saying, "Basketball is a vehicle." In his telling, it's a vehicle to build character, to turn boys to men, to teach even adults the lessons hard won in failure. In the words of Belman, the director of the documentary, it's also a vehicle to tell a story about loyalty. About fathers and sons, brothers - in arms and in fact - and best friends. About sacrifice and redemption and passion. The movie benefits from a cinematically perfect real-world narrative arc upon which Hollywood's finest scriptwriters would be hard-pressed to improve. And in a great many ways, it's about all of us. As it was pointed out to me earlier today, if the St. Vincent-St. Mary's guys had a blog, it'd be like Gheorghe, only with different YouTubes and more posts about sneaker culture.
Gheorghe: the Blog hasn't traditionally been a venue for deep thought. It was conceived by a bored middle manager as a reaction against raging self-importance in sport and society, and evolved into, well, I'm not sure it's evolved much - we're still mostly an exercise in niche entertainment. Over its nearly six years, though, it's become a metaphor for the brotherhood and camaraderie we share in real life, a bond that might have been weakened by time and distance kept intact. A pale electronic echo, in some sense, but real nonetheless. In the same way, the four boys who began their basketball careers at a Salvation Army in Akron, OH (joined later by a fifth) stand in for everyone who's ever laughed with, fought, yelled at, mocked, heckled, and loved their buddies. LeBron and the boys are a mirror image of the G:TB team. A funhouse mirror image, for sure, but the similarities resonated with me throughout this experience.
After seeing the movie, nearly all of my nerves disappeared. (Nearly, but not entirely all. I almost spilled coffee on myself as I killed time before the interview because my hands were shaking so much.) As portrayed on film, and revealed in a question-and-answer session immediately after the screening, Dru, Willie, Romeo, LeBron, and Sian are a likable, friendly, comfortable, natural group. One of them just happens to be among the most transcendently gifted athletes in the world. The interview itself flew by in an instant. I tried hard to be respectful of the other interviewers, and tried even harder to listen to the conversation instead of thinking about my own questions. My only regret was not asking the group their thoughts about Gheorghe Muresan; that'll be the first thing I ask the next time I talk to LeBron.
Thanks to the enterprising Teejay Doyle, Team G:TB purchased a digital voice recorder in advance of the interview, enabling me to capture the transcript that follows. I'll note for the record that I have a substantial newfound respect for real journalists and how hard it is to both conjure insightful questions and transcribe the responses accurately. I think I did okay on the former, and I hope I've done the latter, with apologies in advance to the Fab Five if I missed a word or two. The following reflects answers to questions posed by G:TB only, though as I noted above, we've got tons of material. Enough for a few more of these posts in the runup to the movie's release. Our loyal readers have become accustomed to redundancy as an editorial strategy, so this should be nothing new.
Willie McGee and Dru Joyce II joined us first. These questions are for them.
G:TB: He (Director Kris Belman) got a lot of stuff from you guys, sort of after the fact (note: the film features interviews conducted with each of the players in the present day). You guys sorta opened up and were really comfortable talking about a lot of stuff. Was that because of the comfort level you guys have with each other, or was it just kinda the guys you are?
Willie McGee: I think it was that Coach Dru gave his blessing. At the time we had a lot of media at practices around at times. He said it was a college student doing his project and really gave his blessing for him to be in the gym at times. Like Dru said (note: in response to a previous question), he really wasn't in our faces. He just kinda let things unfold. Plus, he was a good guy, y'know joking around. And after a period of time, we really became comfortable with him. It was like he was a friend who just had a camera.
Dru Joyce III: I think the questions, when we sat down and started doing our first interviews...we're a real comfortable group. We give you realness and if you ask the right questions and get the conversation rolling, we have no problem sharing our story. I mean, because we've been blessed, you know, been blessed with a great opportunity, and who wouldn't want to tell their story. We've got so much to offer.
Willie McGee: All we need is someone to listen (laughter).
G:TB (to Kris Belman, who had just entered the room): We were just asking them how you got them to open up...
Kris Belman: What'd they say?
G:TB: Well, they said they're the kind of guys who like to tell their story anyway. Were you surprised to get that level of openness in some of the interviews and dialogue?
Kris Belman: Well, I think it was kind of two things. I think, first of all, with them loyalty to all five of them and Coach, I think loyalty is one of the most important things. And I think a lot of that was exemplified by the way they grew up. I think loyalty was of the utmost paramount, and, you know, once they did accept me and what I was trying to do I was kind of accepted and that loyalty was given to me. It's one of those situations where when you're on the in, they'll do anything for you. Pretty early on, that trust was given to me. I asked for photos, I called Romeo up and said, 'Hey, I need photos of you', he'd FedEx a giant box the next day of the original baby footprints and original photos of him as a baby. That's unbelievable to me, you know? I'm in college, I'm in L.A., and his family trusts me that much they're sending me his original baby photos. That's the trust that you get when you're on the inside with these guys because loyalty's so important. But as far as getting some of those interviews and so on, I don't know, I feel like it was just because we'd been together for so long at that point I was going back and doing more and more interviews and most of the interviews in the finished film were shot after knowing the guys for five or six years. I think that trust allowed us to go into certain areas that maybe a year in they wouldn't have been comfortable going into.
G:TB (to Dru Joyce III): You could probably look at how tall I am (note to our new readers: not very) and see who I identified most in the film. (laughter from Dru, who stood all of 4'10" when he played for St. VM as a freshman) One of the other things I identified with was that, you know, my Dad was a lot, I think, like your Dad when he was coaching me. And in our relationship there were times when it was kind of strained. For you, watching that again on the screen, what was that like and how do you think that affects you as you want to move into coaching and someday have kids of your own?
Dru Joyce III: I think my Dad did a wonderful job. The film tells the real tough times, it goes into the times that weren't good, but, y'know, our relationship was never broken. I just want to put that in the clear. It was never broken. We were always there for each other. He was always there for me no matter what was going on, that didn't separate us. But, you know, there were tough times where I probably couldn't stand him. I didn't want to hear another word from him. And he was tough on me, but things like that, they pay off. And I'm living the payoff right now. I went to college to play Division I basketball - that was a dream of mine. I'm playing professional basketball - that was another dream of mine. I pay tribute to how my Dad coached me, because he put the basketball in my hand and he made me work, and those things that he taught me can never be replaced.
Note: It's not a spoiler to note here that Willie McGee moved from Chicago as an 11 year-old to escape a tough environment and live with his brother, Illya, in Akron when the latter was a senior in college. And it'll help the next question make a lot more sense.
G:TB: Willie, one of my favorite parts of the movie was your relationship with your brother. I'm 39 years old, I have a 7 year-old daughter, and I don't feel like I'm ready. You're roughly now the same age as he was when you came down. Have you thought about that, and what something like that would mean for you?
Willie McGee: Yes, I definitely have. I definitely give him credit for being man enough to take on the challenge. Because he didn't know what was ahead of him. Two years ago, I thought the same thing. It was at that time that he brought me here and would I be ready to do the same things like that, and I don't know if I would have. But if I had to, I would, for my younger brother. It'd be something we'd go through together and I'd give him everything I had. And I definitely commend him for that.
Romeo Travis enters the room, and Willie McGee leaves
G:TB: You guys played for Coach Dambrot there (at Akron University - Dru Joyce III and Romeo Travis played there after graduating from St. Vincent - St. Mary's for Keith Dambrot, who coached them to two state championships during their first two seasons in high school), right? How was the transition going back to him after playing for Coach Dru (Joyce II)?
Dru Joyce III: It was kind of like a 3-year break. We did 2 years with my father (note: as head coach) and another year while he was the assistant. It was different because he (Coach Dambrot) couldn't approach the game the same way he did as when we were in high school. The passion and his effort was still there, but his philosophy had to change a little bit because, you know, college is a different level. It was kinda surprising to me. i thought, you know, it was just Coach D, we're gonna just pick everybody up from the locker room and we're gonna push the ball until everybody in the gym is tired of looking at us. But that wasn't the case - we had to play a different style. I think it catered more to the rest of the team, but Coach D, what you see is what you get. You seen him jumping in the film, stomping his feet and pointing, still sticking his face right here (puts his hand on his chin) in guys' faces. That doesn't change. That's what he's gonna do.
Romeo Travis: Going to college was like getting demoted.
G:TB: How long did it take you to - sounds like you never got comfortable with it, but how long did it take you to work in that environment?
Romeo Travis: Until my junior year. Well, he was a point guard (gestures toward Dru Joyce III). When you're a point guard they let you lead, but I'm a forward, so it takes a lot longer for me. But once I became pushed to the forefront as one of the better players, it's easy. My sophomore and junior year, that's when it was more like, I can say how I feel and be able to talk to other guys.
LeBron James enters the room with Willie McGee. He's tall, but leaner than I expected. Wore Size 15 Ferragamos. I know because he put them up on the table, completely at ease in the environment.
G:TB: Is there something in the film that really stuck out to you as positive, and is there something that you wish wasn't there?
Dru Joyce III: It's a documentary. It's supposed to tell the truth. I like the film. I don't have any problems. It includes the necessary things for us to get the point across and to tell the story. It's all a positive message, even when we lose our minds a little bit, it shows you that people can get off course but you can always get it back, you can always refocus.
G:TB: When you guys lost to Roger Bacon (in the 2002 Ohio Division II State Championship game. Kind of a spoiler, but it is public knowledge, my friends.), how much did Coach Dru have to push you guys the next year, and how much did you guys just say, 'we're not gonna do that again'?
LeBron James: He didn't have to push us at all. That one loss was an eye-opener for us, so that probably was the easiest coaching year Coach Dru had, our senior year because we was just focused.
Romeo Travis: We governed ourselves that year. If one of us actually did something, somebody else would yell 'get it together'. So it was like that loss changed our attitudes.
At this point a revealing discussion regarding the number of sellouts in the history of Cleveland's Gund Arena (now Quicken Loans Arena) ensued. It was probably my favorite part of the interview.
LeBron James: ...only sold out two times that year [their senior season]; once when we played and once when Michael Jordan came back with the Wizards.
Dru Joyce III: They only sold out [Gund/Quicken] two times in history.
LeBron James: ...hmm, yeah, before then. It's probably happened a few times now. They sell out a lot now. (smiling, eyes twinkling, while the others groan)
G:TB: Alright, so when he does stuff like that, do you guys give it back to him? Is it different now? (Yeah, that's right. I just broke LeBron James' balls. Sort of. A little. Tiny. Bit.)
Dru Joyce III: It's coming right back.
Romeo Travis: What I've learned is, you can't really listen to half the stuff he says. It's just gonna be outlandish. (laughter) It's just gonna be out of control. If you try to [accurately] depict everything he says, you're gonna be frustrated.
G:TB: As you look back, you know, six/seven years ago [when you were in high school], is there something you wish you could have carried forward to today that you don't have anymore?
Romeo Travis: I wish I didn't have to pay bills.
Dru Joyce III: I wish I was still playing with these guys, man. I never had teammates who shared that passion for winning and wanted to work hard to win. At all levels, I just never was on a team that had that same passion. It makes it tough at times. It's frustrating when you get guys out there who really don't care if we lost, it's not a big deal to them. Because it's a big deal to me. And I want everybody to feel like it's a big deal.
G:TB: You still feel it every game? Every loss?
Dru Joyce III: Man, I hate losing. (note: I take it back. This was my favorite part of the interview. Dru Joyce III will be a terrific leader of men, as a coach or whatever he chooses, when he retires from basketball.)
(L-R: Romeo Travis, Your Humble Blogger, Willie McGee, LeBron James, Dru Joyce III)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
The writers at Gheorghe: The Blog have assembled to pay tribute to dearly departed director/producer/writer John Hughes with a post about . . . the writers at Gheorghe: The Blog. (That's what we do.) In an doubled-edged effort to salute one of the finest moviemakers of our formative years, we're going to grant you readers a touch of insight into who we are. We present to you, straight from our home office in Shermer, Illinois:
As an hors d'oeuvre, we're going to throw out there a nice pair: our steady female commentors, KQ and Shlara. There was much debate over whether they were Weird Science's Deb & Hilly or Samantha Baker and her fairly hot friend she rode the school bus with; the last minute winner, however, was depicting our two lady-friends as The Princess and The Basket Case. And it was pretty obvious to us which was which.
"Do you know how popular I am? I am so popular. Everybody loves me so much at this school"
Just because most of us have never been in the same barroom (or any room, for that matter) as Mark doesn't preclude us from labeling him with a Hughes character. Far from it. We had lots of suggestions, from "BOTH robbers from Home Alone" (presumably Pesci's height and Stern's intellect) to Chet Donnelly (Mark's not dickish enough... not quite) to John Bender (same, and Bender has good hair) to the bald biker from Weird Science. All good stabs, but they're all in some way superficial characterizations. The Mark we've gotten to know is more complex than that. He's highly clever. He's definitely not to be trifled with, though he's just a kid. Pretty much a pain in the ass. He's a little set apart from the rest of us because of his geographic location (and the fact that he never did time at W&M). And here at G:TB, he's found a sort of home. Alone. Yep, this punk is Kevin McAllister, and he's currently changing his Facebook picture to the shot of him screaming after he puts on the aftershave.
Perfect Quote: "If I lose my temper you're totaled, man."
Ah, the ever elusive TR. Once known as Rhymenocerous, also The Iron Sheikh, also Tim the Enchanter. (TR is actually his initials: Thad Rigby is his real name.) And when it came to picking characters, there were just as many entries of equally diverse origin. The gayest pick was Kevin Bacon's Jake Briggs character from She's Having a Baby. I won't divulge which G:TBer confessed to come up with that one all too quickly, but let's just say Duckie and move on. We also got another Chet, another John Bender, a Beethoven, a Grandpa Fred, an Abe Froman the Sausage King of Chicago, and my favorite pick, Long Duk Dong. In the end, however, TR is quite clearly Cousin Eddie. His audacious demeanor matches his attire (he'd be the first to don the dickey in this group), he's quick with a joke and he makes us all chuckle at the very image of him. Is that real tomato ketchup, TR?
Perfect Quote: "Mornin' Clark. Shitter's full."
Perfect Quote: "My credo is . . . if you have to have a credo, you know . . . 'Go for it' . . . pretty much."
And finally we get to Teejay. It's here that we have our first tie. Fortunately, both characters are played by the same actor, a late, great funny man with more than a few years of comedy experience under his belt. There were thoughts of little brother Mike Baker, Ed Rooney (TJ's mustache was spitting image), Dutch, and the girl in the Ferrari, but they quickly fell by the wayside at first mention of these two perfect picks: Uncle Buck and Del Griffith. Who doesn't love these guys? Yeah, they might seem abrasive at first, but after just a few years of spending time with them, you realize their greatness. TJ, you're welcome.
Perfect Quotes: "Art Linkletter was right. Kids do say the God damnedest things."
Friday, August 7, 2009.
Gheorghe: The Blog.
Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Friday morning coming up with this post for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write a blogpost telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as Duckie, Kevin, or the stoned guy, Andrew, Eddie, Clark, Buck, and Del. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Won't you come see about me?
I'll be alone, dancing you know it baby
Tell me your troubles and doubts
Giving me everything inside and out and
Love's strange so real in the dark
Think of the tender things that we were working on
Slow change may pull us apart
When the light gets into your heart, baby
Don't You Forget About Me
Don't Don't Don't Don't
Don't You Forget About Me
Will you call my name?
As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
Or will you walk away?
Will you walk on by?
Come on - call my name
Will you call my name?
I say: La
La la la la
La la la la la la la la la la...
- Baltimore Orioles, 45-63, 9 up
- Pittsburgh Pirates, 45-63, 9 up
- San Diego Padres, 45-65, 7 up
- Kansas City Royals, 42-66, 6 games "up"
- Washington Nationals, 37-72
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Seriously, think back and recall your top 3 favorite Nike commercials of all time. I could probably give you my top ten without taking too much time. There this one...and this one and this one. (Note: These aren't my top 3 but they definitely make the Top 10).
Now try and think of your top 3 favorite commercials by all the other athletic shoe/apparel companies combined....not much comes to mind, does it? As a way to further this idea, just think what the good folks at Nike could've done with an original, iconic person/personality like Allen Iverson had he signed on with them instead of Reebok. His shoes were clunky, his commercials were pedestrian and they never even created a longstanding logo for the guy. For Christ's sake, Iverson became a cultural icon almost in spite of Reebok. So, what's the point of all this? Essentially, there is none. Nike has the best advertising people around. They can make you care about people (and products) you normally wouldn't care about through the sheer originality and brilliance of their ads (even if only for a minute or two). Don't believe me? Well, watch this new Nike ad for Paul Rodriguez's new shoe.
Now, I like skateboarding and enjoy skate videos. TJ, on the other hand, probably doesn't know who Paul Rodriguez or Eric Koston is (Koston's the skater in the plaid shirt) and damn sure doesn't give a damn about skateboarding. But, I bet you he watched that whole video, and enjoyed it too. I'm betting you did as well.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Among other results, Utah reports directly reducing energy costs by $1.8 million by limiting demand for electricity and saving 12,000 metric tons of greenhouse emissions. Sales of weak, low-alcohol beer have skyrocketed, as well. On the downside, Utahans have had 20% more time to contemplate the fact that they live in Utah.
The politics of the G:TB effectively span the spectrum, so I'm interested in the responses to this post. Does Utah have it right? Would you prefer to work this schedule? And how would you market a four-day workweek if you were smoking pot at the same time?