Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shligginit is Still Alive

Now that fantasy football is over I believe you'll see a bit of a jump in our posts again. Typically with Fantasy Baseball and Football around anything we post is usually on there. But now with a dry spell till baseball we'll be back around again.

Watch the 2009 BCS Championship Game in 3D

We already knew that a live 3D broadcast of the college football championship game would take place at International CES next month. Now comes new that the game will also be broadcast to movie theaters.

According to the Associated Press, 3ality Digital, the company behind the recent first-ever NFL 3D broadcast, has been awarded the contract to broadcast the Jan. 8 BCS Championship Game, between Florida and Oklahoma, to movie theaters in 30 U.S. cities.

3ality's president, David Modell, is a former president of the Baltimore Ravens and is the son of former Cleveland Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


for the memories Joe Starky!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

great comeback

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dolores Aguilar

Apparently a woman died this past week and her family is happy about it. This obituary was printed in the Vallejo-Times Herald. Thought to be fake the editor contacted the family and demanded a death certificate, when it was confirmed the obit was printed.

After reading this you realize being an asshole and/or a bitch for your whole life doesn't pay off in the end.

Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the afterlife by her husband, Raymond, her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.

She is survived by her daughters Marietta, Mitzi, Stella, Beatrice, Virginia and Ramona, and son Billy; grandchildren, Donnelle, Joe, Mitzie, Maria, Mario, Marty, Tynette, Tania, Leta, Alexandria, Tommy, Billy, Mathew, Raymond, Kenny, Javier, Lisa, Ashlie and Michael; great-grandchildren, Brendan, Joseph, Karissa, Jacob, Delaney, Shawn, Cienna, Bailey, Christian, Andre Jr., Andrea, Keith, Saeed, Nujaymah, Salma, Merissa, Emily, Jayci, Isabella, Samantha and Emily. I apologize if I missed anyone.

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.

There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Don Nelson Could Be Around For More Then 1 Year


Squall wrote: The Warriors are putting together quite a deep team here. Very interesting. Don Nelson is going to have a lot of chess pieces here to move around to his liking. I still don’t believe this will be Nelson’s last year. Look how many young 20 year olds we have now. How can he walk away from all this potential one year after gelling?

MS: The Warriors do appear to be deep, no doubt. It should allow them to try to play at a faster pace than a year ago, and they won’t have to solely rely on Davis to push it. On the other hand, while depth is nice I’d rather see an impact player on the roster.

I think as the Warriors stand right now, they’re looking at one of those years where they’re hoping to overachieve, stay in the playoff race and maybe get in with 42-45 wins. Is it possible? Yes.

Nelson does love coaching underdog type teams. And this year, he’ll have one. But I agree, it doesn't make sense that this would be his final season. Here's proof.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hackers Becoming Mafia-esque

From Yahoo Article

Cybercrime is evolving. The lone hacker who steals and resells credit card numbers is being replaced by a well-structured business model. The game is no longer simply about hacking for fame, but rather about creating a business where you have frequent customers who buy your stolen product. The latest research report from web security company Finjan gives a peek at what exactly is going on.
Related Stories

* JavaScript worm from late 2007 happily frolicking in 2008

The company's second quarter 2008 report is based on data from its Malicious Code Research Center (MCRC), which specializes in the detection of dangerous vulnerabilities that could be exploited for malicious attacks. According to Finjan, "cybercrime activities on [the] Internet are booming as never before." The company's employees, masked as potential customers, did some digging while talking to cymbercrime affiliates, and their research showed how the market for pilfered data has evolved over the past couple of years.

In 2006, vulnerabilities were being sold online to the highest bidder. Last year, software packages that provided various ways of attacking websites and stealing valuable data were sold by professional hackers. These toolkits started to contain multiple exploits for new vulnerabilities and became more sophisticated, including update mechanisms for new software flaws and Trojans that adapt to the country of the victim. By the first quarter of this year, criminals began to log into their "data supplier" and could download any information need for their illegal activities.

Now, Finjan claims the situation has gotten even worse. Cybercrime companies that work much like real-world companies are starting to appear and are steadily growing, thanks to the profits they turn. Forget individual hackers or groups of hackers with common goals. Hierarchical cybercrime organizations where each cybercriminal has his or her own role and reward system is what you and your company should be worried about. Targeted attacks against financial institutions, enterprises, and governmental agencies, coupled with excellent management of stolen data, makes these "businesses" highly successful, and makes any organization using the Internet vulnerable.
Bosses, underbosses, and capos

The hierarchy of the digital mob. Image credit: Finjan

Finjan describes the employee structure that these cybercrime companies employ as being similar to the Mafia. In both cases, there is a "boss" who operates as a business entrepreneur and doesn't commit the (cyber)crimes himself, with an "underboss" who manages the operation, sometimes providing the tools needed for attacks. In the Mafia, several "capos" operate beneath the underboss as lieutenants leading their own section of the operation with their own soldiers, and in cybercrime, "campaign managers" lead their own attacks to steal data with their "affiliation networks." The stolen data are sold by "resellers," similar to the Mafia's "associates." Since these individuals did not partake in the actual cybercrime, they know nothing about the original attacks. They do, however, know about "replacement rules" (for example, stolen credit cards that have been reported) and other company-specific policies, just like the sales representatives you talk to in your average store.

Commodities (stolen credit cards and bank accounts) are priced low, while prime articles (stolen healthcare related information, single sign-on login credentials for organizations, e-mail, and FTP accounts) are much more expensive. Not too long ago, credit card numbers and bank accounts with PINs were selling for $100 or more each, but prices have since dropped to $10-20 per item.

Successful attacks can cause long-term damage to the company's victim: loss of valuable data, loss of IP, loss of productivity, impact on profits or stock price, brand damage, law suits, and class actions. Finjan suggests deploying innovative security solutions (such as real-time content inspection) designed to detect and handle recent threats. These solutions analyze and understand what the code intends to do before it does it, without relying on signature updates or databases of classified URLs, therefore assuring that malicious content will not enter the network, even if its origin is a highly trusted site. It's not a surprising suggestion, given that Finjan offers such products, but that said, the company's 21-page report is an informative read, although you'll have to fill out a survey to gain access to it.

Moms Turn Teen Sleepover Into Orgy

Police said two Bucks County moms have been charged after a sleepover involving six teenage boys took an alleged illegal sexual turn.

Angela Honeycutt, 38, and Lynne Long, 45, are facing numerous charges after a series of alleged incidents on April 14.

Authorities said the teens, ages 14 to 16, were attending a sleepover at Long's Lower Makefield home when Honeycutt, a mother of two young children, allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old and performed sex acts with a 15-year-old. Long allegedly watched, listened and instructed the teens not to say anything.

In addition to the alleged sexual assault, detectives said Honeycutt exposed her breasts to the teens; open-mouth kissed some of the minors, entered a shower with a juvenile and engaged conversation of a sexual nature.

"What is so particularly outrageous about this is the violation of trust," said Lower Makefield Twp. Police Chief Ken Coluzzi.

Authorities learned of the alleged sexual sleepover when one of the boys involved told his parents, who then went police.

"You think you've seen everything and then all of a sudden, another report of an outrageous crime comes in," said Chief Coluzzi.

As word of their arrest spread through the suburban community, neighbors reacted in disbelief. "It's shocking and it is a shame."

Honeycutt is facing charges of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and other related charges. Long is facing charges of endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

Both women surrendered to authorities Wednesday and were released after being permitted to sign their own bail.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dr. Steve Brule

Monday, July 7, 2008

Elton Brand Selling His LA Home...Golden State Warriors Excited?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Complete Analysis of Game 6 2002 LA/Sac: The Donaghy Rigged Game

Roland Beech of has spent serious time detailing every single call of the notorious Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

That's the game convicted former referee Tim Donaghy has said was essentially rigged, by the NBA, to be a Laker victory.

Beech found all kinds of stuff.

He found that the questionable, or to his eyes, flat out incorrect, calls favored the Lakers not in huge numbers (nine total calls), but a very lopsided (7-2) rate.

Beech did some very intelligent guesswork as to how many points the referees' dubious calls may have unfairly cost the Kings six points.

The Lakers won by four.

So, Sacramento, permission granted to freak out.

But ...

Beech also looked for any and all evidence to support Donaghy's claim that two of the referees were "company men" who did the NBA's bidding. It was hard to see that in how each referees calls broke down. Referee Bob Delaney, Beech found, called the game quite evenly. Ted Bernhardt's calls slightly favored the Lakers, and Dick Bavetta's calls, especially late in the game, were more in favor of the Lakers than anyone.

Through it all, however, Beech finds it very tough to support the notion that the game was rigged. He just does not see it. I recommend you read his entire, very sober explanation. (And remember, Beech is no company man. He created what is, to me, one of the most damning referee critiques on record, which prompted lots of follow-up.)

Here is just some of Beech's rationale for concluding that the game was not likely rigged.

Yes, at a glance you can see the Lakers got some advantage from the calls down the stretch, but if Bavetta was really trying to rig the game, would he have called a tie up jump ball at the 3:26 mark (and subsequently had a bad toss that gave the ball to the Kings) with the Kings ahead by two when he could have called a foul on Divac? Would he have called the foul on Fisher at 1:27 that helped bring the Kings back within a point with plenty of time left? Would he have called the blocking foul on Fox with 0:20 when an offensive foul would have basically sealed the game? Doubtful.

Bernhardt made no foul call on Christie's block of Kobe with the game tied at 3:56, gave Bibby a bailout call with the shot clock winding down at 2:34 with the game tied, and didn't call Webber for a foul on Shaq's basket at 0:52 which could have fouled out C-Webb and given the Lakers a look at a four point lead.

Delaney wasn't very active in the waning minutes, with one no call where Bibby looked for a foul at the 0:43 mark. The other notable non-call which I rated an "all refs" situation was on the inbounds at 0:12 where Kobe knocked Bibby to the floor with an elbow to the face, but Bibby was also grabbing Kobe at the time it happened so both were really guilty of infractions to some extent. Still an offensive foul on Kobe there could have changed the outcome!

As a whole, these plays suggest to me the refs were calling the game honestly, if perhaps not well.

Now Bernhardt did have the arguable turning point call of the game as it turns out at the 3:06 mark when Webber moved into the paint and made a basket only to have the shot wiped out with an offensive foul call. At first I was in agreement with Bill Walton that this was a "terrible call" but having watched the play over ten times in slow motion I changed it from 'dubious' to 'maybe' in my grading since it's one of those plays where I believe a case could be made for a defensive foul, an offensive foul, or even a dual fault let them play no call. If pressed I'd still rate it a Horry foul which would have given a basket and the and one shot to Webber and the Kings a possible four or five point lead. Yet there is a fair amount of left arm push off from Webber and Bernhardt was right on top of the play with a good angle.

This gets to the heart of the matter to me: despite the NBA's official claim that 95% of calls are correct over a season, there are just too many plays that are far from being clear cut wrong/right and many that fall into a gray area where even watching a play many times in slow motion you can make a case for different verdicts. The block/charge/no call situation is also about the worst of these in that it's such a snap judgement with significant effect.

Before you decide what you think about Beech's critique, please do read the whole thing. He has not only logged every single call, and anticipated just about every objection you might have, and has addressed them. You might as well get his take before weighing in on the quality of his work.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oceans Warming Faster Then Realized

June 18, 2008 -- The world's oceans have warmed 50 percent faster over the last 40 years than previously thought due to climate change, Australian and U.S. climate researchers reported Wednesday.

Higher ocean temperatures expand the volume of water, contributing to a rise in sea levels that is submerging small island nations and threatening to wreak havoc in low-lying, densely-populated delta regions around the globe.

The study, published in the British journal Nature, adds to a growing scientific chorus of warnings about the pace and consequences rising oceans.

It also serves as a corrective to a massive report issued last year by the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), according to the authors.

Rising sea levels are driven by two things: the thermal expansion of sea water, and additional water from melting sources of ice. Both processes are caused by global warming.

The ice sheet that sits atop Greenland, for example, contains enough water to raise world ocean levels by seven meters (23 feet), which would bury sea-level cities from Dhaka to Shanghai.

Trying to figure out how much each of these factors contributes to rising sea levels is critically important to understanding climate change, and forecasting future temperature rises, scientists say.

But up to now, there has been a perplexing gap between the projections of computer-based climate models, and the observations of scientists gathering data from the oceans.

"The numbers didn't add up," said Peter Geckler, a co-author of the study and a researcher at the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California.

"When previous investigators tried to add up all the estimated contributions to sea level rise" -- thermal expansion, melting glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets, along with changes in terrestrial storage -- "they did not match with the independently estimated total sea level rise," he said.

The new study, led by Catia Domingues of the Center for Australian Weather and Climate Research, is the first to reconcile the models with observed data.

Using new techniques to assess ocean temperatures to a depth of 700 meters (2,300 feet) from 1961 to 2003, it shows that thermal warming contributed to a 0.53 millimeter-per-year rise in sea levels rather than the 0.32 mm rise reported by the IPCC.

"Our results are important for the climate modelling community because they boost confidence in the climate models used for projections of global sea-level rise resulting for the accumulation of heat in the oceans," Domingues said in a statement.

"The projections will in turn assist in planning to minimize impacts, and in developing adaptation strategies," she added.

The IPCC report was criticized for including only the impact of thermal expansion in its projections of sea level rises over the next century, despite recent studies showing that melting ice is a significant -- and growing -- factor.

The planet's oceans store more than 90 percent of the heat in the Earth's climate system and act as a temporary buffer against the effects of climate change.

Jack Nicholson Ad For Hilliary Clinton

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Blacks savor Obama win, fear disappointment

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Black Americans savored Barack Obama's unprecedented victory in the Democratic race for U.S. president, but said on Wednesday the higher stakes raised the prospect of deep disappointment in November.

The knowledge that Obama will be the first black American to lead a major party in a U.S. presidential election as he faces Republican John McCain in November provoked a flood of reflection from black voters at Atlanta's "K&K Soul Food" restaurant.

"It's great. We finally have a 'brother' nominated to be president. It's the best thing I've ever seen," said Alan Stephens, 46, who had parked the truck he uses for his welding business directly outside the big side window.

"But it will be even better when he is president," he said, adding that Obama's victory should be put in the context of other milestones in African American history, a popular view among a U.S. minority with a keen sense that discrimination and the struggle to overcome it has defined its identity.

In winning the nomination, Obama has left many African Americans elated but at the same time fearful that their own preoccupations might derail the candidate in a general election, said William Jelani Cobb, author of books about contemporary black culture.

"Black Americans are treading on thin ice, moving very delicately. This (Obama's) opportunity is frail and fragile (and many say) let's make sure that nothing happens to ruin it," said Cobb, a professor of history at Atlanta's Spelman College.

Obama is set to deliver his nomination speech to the party convention in Denver on August 28, 45 years to the day after civil rights leader Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington.

Civil rights ended legalized racial segregation in the U.S. South by building a coalition of blacks and whites and Obama's achievement was also that he built a multi-ethnic coalition, Cobb said.

"He has smashed the old simplistic model of being closely aligned with black folk or popular with white folk," he said.

Politicians such as David Dinkins, who became New York's first black mayor in 1990 and Douglas Wilder, who became the first black governor of a U.S. state when he won in Virginia in 1990, did that, but no black politician had previously pulled off the feat on a national scale, Cobb said.

At the same time, Obama would likely help to usher out a generation of black politicians including civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, for whom the redress of discrimination was an over-riding concern.


It was business as usual at the restaurant in a working-class neighborhood in southwest Atlanta.

As on any other day, the mostly black clientele lined up with brown trays to select from a menu that included oxtail, fried fish, collard greens and iced tea, paid the cashier in her glass booth and sat down to eat using plastic knives and forks.

Some customers said Obama's win was evidence of wider changes that included a softening of barriers between blacks and whites and a broader acceptance that many groups compete in U.S. society.

"It's a victory for multiculturalism," said Vedia Jackson, 36, a telecommunications project manager who had driven across town to eat at the restaurant. "This country has changed quite a lot color-wise and it's time for people of color to be in influential situations."

"I am not looking at him (Obama) in terms of color. Maybe my parents would have done that. I am looking at him as the best candidate," she said between mouthfuls of fried fish.

Jackson said she traveled to eat at "K&K" because the restaurant seasoned its food in a way that reminded her of how food was cooked when she was growing up in Mississippi.

Jackson's dining companion Wayne McKenzie, 41, rejected any notion that race was a prime reason for Obama's triumph.

"The fact that he is African American is secondary. He's the best candidate whether he's green, pink or yellow," he said.

Sex, Drugs, and Drinking for Teens in Chicago

Attention Chicago parents: The majority of teenagers in the city (56.9 percent) have already had sexual intercourse and 4 out of 10 are currently sexually active.

At least they’re taking precautions: Almost three-quarters of adolescent boys are using condoms and more than 1 in 10 girls is on the birth control pill.

Chicago boys are certainly starting sex early. A surprising 18.7 percent report having intercourse for the first time before age 13, compared with 5.8 percent of girls.

They’re also playing the field. More than one-quarter of teenage boys in the city report having four or more sexual partners by the end of high school, compared with 10.7 percent of girls.

The data come from the newest version of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a comprehensive assessment of teenagers in 9th to 12th grade compiled every two years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, incorporating data from 2007, was released this morning.

It contains good news as well as bad. Since the first survey in 1991, more teens are using seat belts, fewer are smoking and drinking alcohol, and fewer are smoking marijuana or having sex. Those are very positive developments.

But the decline in percentage of teens having sex has stalled over the last seven years, as has the number of teens using condoms. With the rise of abstinence-only education, fewer teens are learning about AIDS or HIV infections in school. And more are obese.

One of the most worrisome trends is the alarming degree of sadness and despair among Hispanic youth. Nationally, an astonishing 42.3 percent of Hispanic girls reported feeling “sad or hopeless” as did 30.4 percent of Hispanic boys, exceeding figures for black and white teens.

Twenty-one percent of Hispanic girls said they had “seriously considered attempting suicide” and 14 percent actually attempted suicide – again, the highest of any ethnic group. By contrast, 10.7 percent of Hispanic boys said they’d thought seriously about killing themselves and 6.3 percent actually tried.

“This is a very scary and a very, very serious problem,” said Aida Giachello, director of the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training, and Policy Center in Chicago.

Many factors may be hitting Hispanic girls hard, including poverty, low self-esteem, pressure to join gangs, parents who work multiple jobs and are often absent from the home, and conflict between traditional Hispanic family values and the norms present in the broader American society, she suggested.

Being caught between two cultures can foster tremendous tension and be a “tremendous burden” for Hispanic youth, said Glenn Flores, professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

For Chicagoans, other findings of note in the CDC report include:

* For all the talk about drinking and driving, 31.5 percent of teen girls and 26.9 percent of teen boys in Chicago report riding in a car or another vehicle with a driver who’d been consuming alcohol.

* Chicago teens are drinking alcohol: 38.9 percent currently and 71.4 percent at some point in high school.

* They’re also smoking pot. Almost 22 percent of Chicago kids say they’re current users and 44 percent have tried marijuana since entering high school.

* More than 1 in every 10 Chicago teens (11.3 percent) report being forced to have sexual intercourse. The figure was exactly the same for boys and girls.

* Overall, 30 percent of Chicago teens say they feel sad or hopeless, above the national average. Just over 10 percent try to commit suicide, but only a fraction of these cases end up being treated by a doctor or a nurse.

* Your kids are couch potatoes. A whopping 45.2 percent of Chicago teens say they watch TV for three or more hours every day; 21.6 percent say they spend three or more hours on the computer.

Patriots Player an Informant

BOSTON (AP) — A starting lineman for the New England Patriots worked as an informant for federal drug agents after he was arrested in New York on a charge of carrying the powerful painkiller oxycodone without a prescription, an attorney said.

Nicholas Kaczur, 28, wore a wire to help agents build a case against his alleged supplier, Daniel Ekasala, according to Ekasala's attorney.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent said in an affadavit that a cooperating witness — whose name was not revealed in the document — wore a recording device during three drug buys last month. In each of the deals, the witness bought 100 OxyContin pills from Ekasala for $3,900 in cash, the agent wrote.

Ekasala's lawyer, Bernard Grossberg, said Kaczur was that cooperating witness.

Kaczur denied to The Boston Globe that he participated in the investigation, telling the newspaper, "I don't know what you're talking about, bro."

Kaczur has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached for comment Wednesday. His agent, Vance Malinovic, did not return messages left by The Associated Press.

Stacey James, a spokesman for the Patriots, would not comment on Kaczur. He referred questions to the U.S. attorney's office, which declined to comment.

Kaczur, 6 feet 4 and 315 pounds, started 15 games last year at right tackle, protecting star quarterback Tom Brady during the Patriots' undefeated regular season. Originally from Brantford, Ontario, Kazcur was drafted by the Patriots in 2005 and has started 35 games over three seasons.

Kaczur missed the team's final regular season game on Dec. 29 with a foot injury. He also was out for several games early in the 2006 season because of a shoulder injury.

Ekasala, 34, was indicted Tuesday and remains free on an unsecured bond of $10,000. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to three counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute.

Ekasala was arrested May 13 after meeting the witness in a supermarket parking lot in Sharon and selling him 100 pills, according to the DEA affidavit.

Kaczur told the DEA he began buying OxyContin in November, getting 100 pills every few days, Grossberg said. The lawyer said he believes Kaczur inflated the quantity he bought to "increase his importance or usability to the DEA."

Ekasala, an unemployed construction worker and father of 2-year-old twins from Saugus, was sympathetic to Kaczur and somewhat in awe of him because of his status as a Patriots player, Grossberg said.

"As anybody who meets a professional athlete ... I think he became somewhat enamored by his contact with him, and was enticed to do certain things," Grossberg said.

Kaczur, who lives in Attleboro, was pulled over by state police in Whitestown, N.Y., on April 27, for driving 76 mph in a 65 mph zone. He was charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal possession of a controlled substance, said Sgt. Kern Swoboda, a spokesman for the state police.

Kaczur was issued a summons to appear in court on May 12, but Swoboda did not know the current status of his case. A judge in the Whitestown Town Court in Whitesboro, N.Y., said details would not be available until the court is in session on Monday.

The NFL does not test for oxycodone but does prohibit the misuse of prescription drugs.

SportingNews Ranks Stars for Finals Series

Please, let me explain. Geez, you don't have to get so mad about it. Give me a break, will ya? Look, I'm only trying to do my job. Why can't we all just get along?

Sorry. Just warming up.

Since the Lakers franchise relocated to Los Angeles in 1960, the Lakers have met the Celtics in the NBA's championship series 10 times, including this year's yet-to-brew brouhaha. The formerly svelte and dashing Andy Garcia only looks like he's been an eyewitness to all 10 Finals.

Anyway, there has been a two-ton truckload of amazing players to take part in the Lakers-Celtics rivalry --- such as Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Sam Jones and James Worthy, just to name four.

Four who -- I am preparing to duck -- don't make The List's top 10 stars in Lakers-Celtics Finals history because either their appearances came in the twilight of their careers or they just weren't quite, um, great enough to make the cut.

So beat me down if you must. But for now, on with The List:

1. Magic Johnson, Lakers. He didn't have as many wins in this series as the Celtics greats of the 1960s, but his remains the biggest combination of skill (pure matchup hell), leadership (from the moment he was drafted) and enthusiasm (the No. 1 reason the league surged in popularity) in the history of the game. And for all the Magic-vs.-Bird debate, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind --- that's mind, not heart --- who was the better player.

2. Bill Russell, Celtics. There can't be a more unselfish superstar in the annals of pro sports. Russell's defense alone would put him on this list. Everything else -- the rebounding, the outlet passing, the running of the floor -- puts him almost at the top.

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lakers. The Big Goggle was the MVP of the 1985 Finals -- L.A.'s first title-series defeat of Boston. Even though he was far into his career during the rivalry's 1980s heyday, Kareem still was unguardable in the post.

4. Jerry West, Lakers. West -- not Bird, not Bryant, not Baylor -- is the most gifted scorer in the history of this rivalry. Because of his size and shooting range, he was open any time he had the ball. Had Baylor not been slightly compromised by injuries and Chamberlain showed up bigger when he had the chance, West would have been the great champion he deserved to be.

5. Larry Bird, Celtics. Forever underappreciated for his rebounding and passing, Bird is deservedly remembered as one of the most clutch and fearless shooters -- and one of the most confident and driven players -- ever. He was a player who could do it all on a team of selfless winners who were extraordinarily versatile. But he only beat L.A. once, in 1984.

6. Kobe Bryant, Lakers. Whoa! Well, where do you want me to put Kobe on this list? He simply has to be on there because he's the best player in the league. How many others on this list ever were -- without debate -- the best player in the league?

7. John Havlicek, Celtics. Show of hands: How many of you knew Hondo is the leading scorer in Celtics history? His energy off the bench turned the tide of so many Finals games as the C's broke the Lakers' backs throughout the 1960s.

8. Elgin Baylor, Lakers. He was ahead of his time as an acrobatic scorer but in a beautifully old-school way, with hanging jump shots, feathery finishes with both hands and bank shots galore. Baylor also was an awesome rebounder for his size.

9. Kevin McHale, Celtics. Has there ever been a surer set of hands or a better portfolio of post moves? McHale also was a tough guy -- he was skinny, but he was an enforcer in his own way and it always fired up his teammates.

10. Kevin Garnett, Celtics. What a difficult pick for the last spot on the list. KG lovers will say he's getting the short end again, but who should drop so Garnett can rise? Nevertheless, Garnett -- the ultimate self-starter -- would have fit like a glove on the Celtics teams of any era.

Clinton To Drop Out

Orginal Article Here.

Sen. Hillary Clinton will hold an event with supporters by Friday, likely ending her historic bid for the White House and ceding the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, ABC News has learned.

Clinton's decision to leave the race ends a long, often bitter battle for the right to challenge Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the general election.

Obama, D-Ill., who claimed victory after clinching the necessary delegates on Tuesday, will be the nation's first African American running with the nomination of one of the country's two major political parties.

Clinton's Bid for History Falls Short

Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and two-term senator from New York, entered the race over a year ago with the words, "I'm in it to win it."

Clinton quickly emerged as the formidable frontrunner, raising millions of dollars and leading in both state and national polls.

In an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in December 2006, she was supported by 39 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, well ahead of her nearest competitors -- Barack Obama with 17 percent support; former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., with 12 percent; and former Vice President Al Gore, 10 percent.

Obama had announced his intention to form a presidential exploratory committee a few days before Clinton's announcement on her Web site,

Governor Says California In Drought

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - After two years of below-average rainfall in California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought on Wednesday.

The proclamation in an executive order allows water officials to more rapidly shift water around California, one of the nation's top farm states that also has wilderness areas prone to wildfires.

Many California water districts have already imposed restrictions on water use amid dry weather and after a U.S. court aiming to protect a fish species forced the state to pump less water from its San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, the state's fresh-water hub.

"For the areas in Northern California that supply most of our water, this March, April and May have been the driest ever in our recorded history," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

"As a result, some local governments are rationing water, developments can't proceed and agricultural fields are sitting idle," he said.

"We must recognize the severity of the crisis we face, so I am signing an executive order proclaiming a statewide drought and directing my Department of Water Resources and other entities to take immediate action to address the situation."

That will include efforts to reduce water use locally and regionally for the rest of this year in anticipation of lower water supplies next year, Schwarzenegger's statement added.

California's water situation underscores the need for expanding the state's water infrastructure, specifically public works to capture excess water in wet years to store for dry years, Schwarzenegger said, alluding to his call for lawmakers to agree to a multibillion bond measure for new water works.

"This drought is an urgent reminder of the immediate need to upgrade California's water infrastructure," he said. "There is no more time to waste because nothing is more vital to protect our economy, our environment and our quality-of-life. We must work together to ensure that California will have safe, reliable and clean water not only today but 20, 30 and 40 years from now."

Schwarzenegger is urging an $11.9 billion water bond. Lawmakers are negotiating plans for $9.5 billion to $12 billion in debt to build new water infrastructure, but Democrats who control the legislature and its Republican minority are at odds over the need for new dams.

In an interview last month with Reuters, new state Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill said he believed the two sides would make progress on a water bond bill and one could be put to voters as a measure on the November ballot.

Mooning Becomes Dangerous

UTRECHT, Netherlands (AP) — Utrecht police say a 21-year-old Dutch man is recovering after a "mooning" that went horribly wrong.

A police statement says the man and two others had run down a street in Utrecht with their pants pulled down in the back "for a joke."

It says that at one point the 21-year-old "pushed his behind against the window of a restaurant" that broke and resulted in "deep wounds to his derriere."

The statement released Tuesday says police detained the three men after the incident Sunday morning. But the cafe owner decided not to press charges after the men agreed to pay for the broken window.

The injured man was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital.

Tumor turns out to be 25 year old towel

DOCTORS in Japan who carried out surgery on a man to remove a tumour had good news and bad news for him.

The good news was he did not have cancer.

The bad news: The growth that had been causing him pain was in fact a 25-year-old surgical towel.

The patient had been carrying the cloth since 1983, when surgeons left it in him after a minor operation to treat an ulcer, a spokesman for the hospital said.

The man, now 49, went in to another hospital in late May after suffering abdominal pain.

When examinations found what was believed to be an eight-centimetre tumour, he underwent the operation to remove it. It was only then that surgeons realised it was a towel.

"The towel was greenish blue although we are not sure about its original colour," the Asahi General Hospital spokesman said, adding it had been crumpled to the size of a softball.

Asahi hospital officials visited the man and apologised, he said.

The former patient has no plans to sue the hospital, which is in talks with him over compensation or other measures, the official said.

Japanese media reports said the man, who was not identified, still had his spleen removed.

New Club Drug: Preparation H?

The hottest club drug appears to be one normally used to fix a "burning" problem.

Preparation H, the topical medication used to treat hemorrhoids, reportedly is catching fire as the latest "drug" to hit the New York City club scene.

The topical solution contains a medication called phenylephrine HCL, which shrinks the swollen tissues of hemorrhoids. It works by constricting the nearby blood vessels that surround the area. But the ingredient will shrink other tissue as well.

The method has been hailed on the Internet and has long been used by body builders in need of a quick fix for a problem area prior to competition, as well as women looking to reduce puffiness around their eyes.

But one doctor said the off-label usage of the drug is ludicrous.

"It doesn't even work that well for hemorrhoids," said Dr. Marc Siegel, a FOX News medical contributor. "I find in my practice it has to be combined with hydrocortisone. The notion of phenylephrine is problematic at best. It's a placebo effect."

Siegel told that the drug can cause uncomfortable side effects such as rashes, as well as more serious side effects such as elevated blood pressure.

New York bouncer, blogger and author Rob Fitzgerald told that men are slathering up their torsos with the hemorrhoid cream to make themselves look "ripped."

Fitzgerald, who writes the blog Clublife, recently conducted his own research on the phenomenon, interviewing a user, a drugstore worker and a nightclub manager.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Vince McMahon To Give Away $1 Million Per Episode To Lucky Viewer

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Wrestling fans eager to get their hands on Vince McMahon’s money will have to jump through a few hoops first.

The World Wrestling Entertainment chairman announced during last week’s “Monday Night Raw” that he would give away $1 million of his own wealth to viewers, but he didn’t specify when or how it would be distributed.

The cash will be given away as part of a lengthy promotional sweepstakes, McMahon and the WWE told The Associated Press.

For a chance to win $1 million each week for the foreseeable future, viewers must pre-register on and then watch the beginning of “Raw” each week to receive a special code, which viewers must tell McMahon if he calls them during the live broadcast.

The code will change each week of the promotion and will not be revealed until the beginning of each episode.

“People can view this as my own version of an economic stimulus plan to benefit our viewers,” McMahon told the AP.

While the USA Network series continues to be one of the most watched shows on cable TV, its ratings have recently declined. Last Monday’s episode received the lowest ratings for a Memorial Day broadcast in five years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

McMahon said his goal with the giveaway, which begins June 9, is to reward loyal “Raw” fans and draw new and former viewers back to the show.

USA is owned by General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jerry West's Odd Appearance After Lakers' Win Conference

In the immediate aftermath of the Lakers' series-clinching victory, Laker great Jerry West got on the mic to spread Christmas joy and regale Kobe with compliments (as pictured to the right). Again, West is a Laker great. He was the architect of the last 200 Lakers teams which made it to the Finals. He looks unequivocally comfortable amid all that Forum blue and gold. His presence at center court in-and-of-itself is worth only a glance.

But considering his consultant role in Memphis, following several years running the Grizzly show, and considering a significant reason the Lakers have gotten to the Finals is named Pau Gasol, and considering the Lakers acquired Gasol in a deal which was universally considered heavily lopsided, to the point in which executives from several NBA teams reacted by openly saying there should be a committee of team execs which is allowed, fantasy-style, to veto such lopsided trades, and considering that last summer Kobe made an ultimatum which consisted of "bring back Jerry West or trade me," and considering West has a history of seriously not giving a flip about what anyone thinks about anything he does ever, and considering once again that West is for all intents and porpoises a lifelong Laker ... should we be concerned with him showing up on TNT before Marv's brow even dries?

West has been connected deeply to the Lakers franchise since 1960. I'm not saying he locked Chris Wallace and Michael Heisley in a cell and forced them to trade Gasol for a highly questionable package of ifs, ands, and maybes. But as a trusted consultant (and one of the top basketball minds in the world), he could have been in their ears, arguing the overblown "flexibility" perspective and talking up Javaris Crittenton as the next coming of Wade as simple ruse to get his real loyalties the steal of the decade.

Back in February, West denied involvement. But we wouldn't be talking about any of this if West wasn't on TV ten seconds after the final whistle. (And, of course, it's unlikely West gives a giggle that we are talking about it.)

Homeless Japanese Woman Caught Living In Man's Closet

TOKYO - A homeless woman who sneaked into a man's house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.

Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man's closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.

The resident of the home installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.

One of the cameras captured someone moving inside his home Thursday after he had left, and he called police believing it was a burglar. However, when they arrived they found the door locked and all windows closed.

"We searched the house ... checking everywhere someone could possibly hide," Itakura said. "When we slid open the shelf closet, there she was, nervously curled up on her side."

The woman told police she had no place to live and first sneaked into the man's house about a year ago when he left it unlocked.

She had moved a mattress into the small closet space and even took showers, Itakura said, calling the woman "neat and clean."

GS Warriors dancing

Monta Ellis secret

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Isolated Tribe Spotted in Brazil

Here is the original article with pics.

One of South America's few remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes has been spotted and photographed on the border between Brazil and Peru.

The Brazilian government says it took the images to prove the tribe exists and help protect its land.

The pictures, taken from an aeroplane, show red-painted tribe members brandishing bows and arrows.

More than half the world's 100 uncontacted tribes live in Brazil or Peru, Survival International says.

Stephen Corry, the director of the group - which supports tribal people around the world - said such tribes would "soon be made extinct" if their land was not protected.

'Monumental crime'

Survival International said that although this particular group is increasing in number, others in the area are at risk from illegal logging.

Uncontacted tribe near Brazil-Peru border

In pictures: Brazil tribe

The photos were taken during several flights over one of the most remote parts of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil's Acre region.

They show tribe members outside thatched huts, surrounded by the dense jungle, pointing bows and arrows up at the camera.

"We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist," the group quoted Jose Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior, an official in the Brazilian government's Indian affairs department, as saying.

"This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence."

He described the threats to such tribes and their land as "a monumental crime against the natural world" and "further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the 'civilised' ones, treat the world".

Disease is also a risk, as members of tribal groups that have been contacted in the past have died of illnesses that they have no defence against, ranging from chicken pox to the common cold.

Bill Murray's Wife Files for Divorce

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The wife of entertainer Bill Murray has filed for divorce after nearly 11 years of marriage, alleging he abused her and is addicted to marijuana and alcohol.

Jennifer Butler Murray filed divorce papers May 12 in Charleston County. She owns a home on Sullivans Island, S.C., where she lives with the couple's four children.

The complaint was first reported by The Post and Courier of Charleston. It also alleges frequent abandonment by the former "Saturday Night Live" star.

Bill Murray's attorney, John McDougall, wouldn't comment on the allegations, but said the entertainer "is deeply saddened by the breakup of his marriage."

"He and his wife made loving parents and they are committed to the best interests of their children," McDougall said.

Jennifer Murray's attorney, Robert Rosen, said he had no comment.

The couple signed a prenuptial agreement, which was filed as an exhibit with the divorce papers, before they married in 1997. As part of the agreement, both waived their right to alimony or support if the marriage broke up. However, Murray agreed to pay $7 million to his ex-wife within 60 days of a final divorce decree.

The complaint, which doesn't specify instances of Murray's alleged marijuana or alcohol use, alleges he would often leave without telling his wife and says he "travels overseas where he engages in public and private altercations and sexual liaisons."

It also alleges Murray physically abused his wife and last November "hit her in the face and then told her she was `lucky he didn't kill her.'"

The documents obtained by The Post and Courier were sealed by the court last week.

Murray, the star of movies such as "Ghostbusters," "Caddyshack" and "Groundhog Day," is a co-owner of the Charleston RiverDogs minor league baseball team.

The 57-year-old actor earned an Oscar nomination for his role in "Lost in Translation."

Sarah Long on American Idol

Man and I thought she was hot in high school too. Shame.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jose Canseco Finds A Boxing Competitor

Jose Canseco, because things are going so well for him these days, has been looking for someone to go toe-to-toe with him in a celebrity (and I use that term very, very loosely) boxing match. He had recently been offering $5,000 to get someone to accept the challenge, and for a while, everyone, as they usually do, completely ignored Jose Canseco.

But a brave hero has finally stepped up so that this stupid fight may finally take place. And that hero is former Philadelphia Eagles return man Vai Sikahema. What a relief that must be for the millions of you who sit around all day and wistfully think, "Man, when is Jose Canseco going to fight Vai Sikahema?!"

Canseco claims that he's earned black belts in Kung fu, Taekwondo, and Muay Thai. I'd love to doubt him (and I sort of do), but the man does have a certain track record for telling the truth. He's also going to have a considerable height and weight advantage over Sikahema.

As for Sikahema's qualifcations, he grew up wanting to be a professional boxer, and he fought in a National Golden Gloves Championship that would eventually be won by a fellow named Sugar Ray Leonard. That explains the goal-post punching celebration you see above (they do look like quality punches).

More recently, he's been staying in shape by anchoring at NBC-10 in Philadelphia and going shopping with Johnny Weir. I hear that's Floyd Mayweather's secret, too.

The fight is scheduled for July 12th in Atlantic City. I will consider watching it if the promoters call me and offer me $49.95 to do so.

Vince Young Says He Nearly Quit Football After 1 Year

For the first time this year, the people at EA Sports elected to put a retired player on the cover of their Madden video game. Unbeknownst to them, they almost did the same thing last year. Vince Young was ready to quit football after his rookie year.

He doesn't go into great detail about the reasons, but he did tell Thomas George of that things were once so bad for him that retirement was a viable option.

"I really thought long and hard about it. There was so much going on with my family. It was crazy being an NFL quarterback. It wasn't fun anymore. All of the fun was out of it. All of the excitement was gone. All I was doing was worrying about things.

If nothing else, it's a reminder that we never, ever really know what's going on with our favorite athletes. Or anyone, really. Being rich, being famous, being idolized, being on the cover of Madden ... none of it guarantees that a guy won't be sitting at home crying his eyes out and listening to, I don't know, Elliott Smith albums or something.

If he even considered walking away from life in the NFL, whatever pain or frustration he was experiencing had to be pretty profound. It's probably Merril Hoge's fault.

Young's feeling better about things now, though.

"My teammates helped lift me out of it. I prayed really hard. And I began to focus on God's calling for me. Play football. Be a role model."

That's good to hear. And I suppose this post wouldn't be complete without mention of these pictures that made the rounds recently. I never paid them much attention here, because I didn't think they were that big of a deal. He's sweaty, he's shirtless, he's drinking. He's allowed. More than half of the posts I'll make today will be in the same condition.

It's odd to think, though, that if the same pictured had surfaced a year ago, and they got the same attention, it might have been the thing that pushed Vince Young into an extremely early retirement.

World Handshaking Record Broken

SAN FRANCISCO - Kevin Whittaker and Cory Jens deserved a hand after their record-setting attempt, but they probably didn't want to shake it. The pair sought to set a new world record Monday by shaking hands with one another for 9 1/2 hours, apparently beating the previous record set by two Germans by a half-hour.

The Guinness Book of World Records still must confirm the feat, one that Whittaker, 31, and Jens, 30, felt pretty confident in achieving.

"I looked up what some of the weakest records were," Whittaker said. "I'm not going to break the 100-meter dash record, but I thought I could break this record."

The rules from Guinness appeared easy enough: Handshakers are not required to look each other in the eye or exchange pleasantries; they simply must grip palms and continuously move their hands up and down.

The historic day began at 2:07 p.m. outside the Ferry Building, where the duo endured the discomfort of such issues as sweaty palms, arm cramps and, of course, bathroom breaks. By nightfall, the two decided to continue their quest for greatness at a hotel bar, where they found warmth, comfortable seats and alcoholic beverages.

The effort culminated at 11:38 p.m. with a bottle of bubbly — and some much-needed space.

"It's not that fun, believe me," Whittaker said. "I'm a little tired. My shoulder is tired. In fact, it's extremely painful."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Minor League Player Traded For Baseball Bats

This story is rather unusual.

McALLEN, Texas (AP) -- During three years in the low minors, John Odom never really made a name for himself.

That sure changed this week -- he's the guy who was traded for a bunch of bats.

"I don't really care," he said Friday. "It'll make a better story if I make it to the big leagues."

For now, Odom is headed to the Laredo Broncos of the United League. They got him Tuesday from the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League for a most unlikely price: 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black, 34-inch, C243 style.

"They just wanted some bats, good bats -- maple bats," Broncos general manager Jose Melendez said.

According to the Prairie Sticks Web site, their maple bats retail for $69 each, discounted to $65.50 for purchases of six to 11 bats.

"It will be interesting to see what 10 bats gets us," Melendez said.

The Canadian team signed Odom about a month ago, but couldn't get the 26-year-old righty into the country. It seems Odom had a "minor" but unspecified criminal record that wasn't revealed to immigration officials before they scanned his passport, Vipers president Peter Young said.

Odom said the charge stemmed from a fight he was in at age 17. Although he thought it had been expunged from his record, it popped up during immigration.

Odom spent hundreds of dollars driving to the Canadian border and staying at a Montana hotel while the matter was sorted out. He then drove to Laredo after the trade.

Originally from Atlanta, Odom was drafted late by the San Francisco Giants in 2003. He pitched 38 games, all in Class A, from 2004-06, and was released by the organization this spring.

Laredo intends to activate Odom on Monday and have him make his first start Wednesday.

Odom said he was supposed to be traded for Laredo's best hitter. But when that player balked at moving to Calgary, the bats entered the deal.

Laredo offered cash for Odom, but Young said that was "an insult."

The bat trade wasn't the first time Calgary came up with some creative dealmaking. The Vipers once tried to acquire a pitcher for 1,500 blue seats when they were renovating their stadium, Young said.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Martha Riley Quits Northgate

Shligginit sources have found Principal Martha Riley has put in her letter of resignation as of May 22nd.

Word on the wire services are that she had an apparent affair with another administrator. Which brings back memories of another former administrator, Bud Beemer, who had sexual relations with former employees at College Park and came to Northgate after word of the relations spread throughout the College Park community.

Baseball and Instant Replays

NEW YORK - A top baseball official will formulate a proposal for instant replay, and the technology could be tested in the Arizona Fall League this year.

Jimmie Lee Solomon, the sport's executive vice president for baseball operations, wouldn't put a timetable on a replay plan, which was recommended by general managers in November. The idea drew renewed attention following several blown home run calls by umpires in recent days.

"The times are such that our fans are used to seeing all the high technology and they're used to seeing the other sports that use these systems to make determinations, and the fans are clamoring for all the sports to look at that," Solomon said Thursday.

Baseball is developing tentative plans to experiment with replay during the Fall League and likely would continue testing, if it's successful, during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, reported Thursday.

Solomon wouldn't go that far.

"We're looking at various places to start looking at instant replay," he said. "We've made no final decision as to where exactly we're going to try it out, do any test runs or anything yet."

GMs voted 25-5 last November to use replays on boundary calls, such as whether possible homers are fair or foul, whether balls clear fences, and whether there's fan interference.

On Sunday night, umpires at Yankee Stadium reversed a correct call and concluded an apparent home run by the Mets' Carlos Delgado was foul. On Monday night, umps in Houston mistakenly ruled a ball off a center-field wall was in play. And on Wednesday night, the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez lost a home run when umpires decided the ball hit the fence — replays showed it glanced off a yellow staircase behind the fence.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig repeatedly has said he's against replay but also said he is willing to consider it.

"I've had conversations with the commissioner about it and I know he's giving it a lot of thought and consideration and doing a lot of work on it. Commissioner Selig is getting a lot more information and will know the pros and cons," Seattle Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said.

"I think it's certainly something that bares exploring and I look forward to hearing the results," he added. "You have those things that happened this week in Houston or Yankee Stadium and those things just should not happen."

Solomon noted Selig's habit of being deliberate in his decision-making.

"I think that he's going to be very cautious as we move forward," Solomon said. "I'm hoping to have something to the commissioner as soon as I possibly can, and once I do that it will be on him to decide how fast he wants us to try to be looking at rolling something out, and then after that how soon we'll look to be implementing something. So all of these things right now are very, very, very preliminary."

The use of replay in major league games likely would need the approval of the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association.

"You're going to have to talk to all the parties that are involved because everybody will be needed to make the system a success," Solomon said.

The NFL, NBA, NHL, some NCAA sports and major tennis tournaments use replay in some form. International soccer has resisted, although some leagues use it after matches to sort out suspensions for red and yellow cards.

NYU Student Attempts To "Steal Home" At Graduation

Click Here for the full article with pics and videos

May 15, 2008 --

A graduating New York University student was ejected from his commencement at Yankee Stadium yesterday after he was caught trying to steal home.

William Lopez, 21, of Manhasset, LI, was among 6,000 students who sat in the box seats behind home plate and along the first base and third base lines at the first graduation to take place at the House that Ruth Built.

NYU, which held its 176th commencement at the storied stadium because of construction at Washington Square Park, had a strict ground rule.

"The students had been repeatedly advised . . . that they were strictly prohibited from being on the field," said NYU spokesman John Beckman.

About three-quarters of the way through the ceremony, Lopez, wearing his gown and mortarboard, leaped over the right-field fence onto the field.

He sprinted across the outfield behind second base and made it to third, as many in the crowd, which also included 20,000 guests, cheered him on.

Lopez, a Yankee and Met fan, turned for home as stadium security and NYPD cops tackled him just feet from his goal.

"I was trying to make it to home plate," Lopez told The Post after he was issued a summons for trespass. "I wanted to do a head-first dive. I almost made it, only 10 feet to go."

The Tisch School of the Arts grad said cops told him, "You ruined your graduation, and I said, 'Are you kidding me? The crowd was cheering me on.' "

Lopez's father, Bob Lopez, said when he saw the figure running on the field, "My wife asked, 'Could that be William?' I said, 'No. That kid's an athlete."

His son said, "This is the first and last graduation at Yankee Stadium. There's no better stage than this.' "

But Beckman said that "the Yankees were very gracious hosts and we were grateful to be allowed to be there, and it is always disappointing to us when one member of our community thinks there's a special set of rules for him or her."

Ken Griffey Penny Prank

click here for the article and great pic

Ken Griffey pays off his debts with thousands of pennies

By 'Duk

What a great morning to be a blogger. After a great graduation gag at Yankee Stadium and a fantastic Oriole Magic remake comes this outstanding clubhouse prank from none other than the kid they call Junior Griffey

Since he apparently owed Josh Fogg $1,500, Ken Griffey Jr. went about paying him back in the most devious way possible.

Entirely in pennies.

According to the legendary Hal McCoy of the Daily Dayton News, Griffey paid off his debt by having 150,000 pennies — $25 to a box, 60 total cartons — stacked in Fogg's locker like it was a safe deposit box.

Even better, Griffey worked a sponsorship into the whole affair.

From the DDN:

“I’m a man of my word,” said Griffey. “And when you owe a man $1,500, you pay him. And I’d like to thank the lovely people at National City Bank for helping me with this joke. There isn’t a whole lot you can do with pennies. Just think, each box weighs 16 pounds, so the man has 60 bowling balls in his locker.”

There are so many reasons that almost everyone is a fan of Griffey's and you can add the fact he's still having fun as he closes in on 600 homers to that long list. About the only person who might not appreciate this will probably be the guy stuck behind Fogg at Best Buy as the pitcher tries to buy a new flat screen with all those copper Abe Lincolns.

Snoooop Doggggy Doooooggggg

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A crazy fact I just heard

the war in Iraq costs the United States 4 Million dollars...... every second.

At first I said to the T.V., "That's ridiculous you liberal bitch!" But after a few seconds I thought about it and realized she was correct.

Really puts Barry Zito's "outrageous" contract in perspective. When America spends more money killing people in 30 seconds than we do on 7 great years of Barry Zito Greatness.

So we now have an "Adsense" Account

See that ad on the top right of your screen?

Well that is apart of Google's Adsense program.

The more traffic we get at this site and the more people who click on our ads the better.

The ads "should" get better as it adapts to our page and what we offer on this site.

Keep posting up the goods guys.

Your boy,


The Red Hot Chili Peppers Taking an "Extended Break"

Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis has confirmed that the band is to take an extended break while they get round to some much needed r'n'r. But don't worry (or, rather, do, if you're a hater) because they will be back.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Keidis said: "We actually took a very long time to make the 'Stadium Arcadium' record, because we wrote a lot of songs and then got way too married to them and decided we needed it to be a double album, which was a great experience, but it took forever".

Neglecting to mention how long it takes to listen to the last album, he added that the band haven't had any time off since 1999: "We were all emotionally and mentally zapped at the end of that run. Cooler heads prevailed and the discussion at the end of our last tour was, 'Let's not do anything Red Hot Chili Peppers-related for a minimum of one year, and just live and breathe and eat and learn new things".

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

$175 Burger

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Its creators admit it is the ultimate in decadence: a $175 hamburger.

The Wall Street Burger Shoppe just raised its price from $150 to assure its designation as the costliest burger in the city as determined by Pocket Change, an online newsletter about the most expensive things in New York.

"Wall Street has good days and bad days. We wanted to have the everyday burger (for $4) ... and then something special if you really have a good day on Wall Street," said co-owner Heather Tierney.

The burger, created by chef and co-owner Kevin O'Connell, seeks to justify its price with a Kobe beef patty, lots of black truffles, seared foie gras, aged Gruyere cheese, wild mushrooms and flecks of gold leaf on a brioche bun.

The eatery sells 20 or 25 per month in the fine dining room upstairs versus hundreds of $4 burgers each day at the diner counter downstairs, Tierney said.

Pocket Change previously designated the double truffle burger at Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne as the most expensive at $120, and the Burger Shoppe set out to top that.

Boulud's creation -- available only during black truffle season from December to March -- rose to $150 this past season, so the Burger Shoppe raised its price on Monday to $175.

"Our burger is not about the price," said Georgette Farkas, a Boulud spokeswoman. "If you are making something concerned only about the price, you are off in the wrong direction."

Without truffles, Boulud's burger costs $32. It has a ground sirloin patty stuffed with red wine braised short ribs.

O'Connell said the Burger Shoppe was "finding the ultimate expression of each one of the ingredients."

"The concept was like a mushroom-bacon-Swiss cheese burger, which is my favorite sort of burger," he said.

The burger comes with golden truffle mayonnaise, Belgian-style fries and a mixed greens and tomato salad. O'Connell pairs the dish with many fine wines, a lager or a toasted brown beer, or ginger ale.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Barry Zito Needs More Money

That’s right, Barry Zito needs to get paid. Even more than what he's getting now.

Zito’s fastball has lost a step, his curveball sits on the edge of the table, and he has yet to win a game this season.

Zito is in the need some motivation. What better motivation than cold, hard cash?

The San Francisco Giants are $13 million dollars short of what their $90 million payroll was last year.

The cash is available. The Giants won't be making any big-time moves this season.

That's all coming this offseason.

Zito is currently getting a hair under $3 million for all seven of his losses this year. At his current rate, that could stretch to $1 million a loss.

So why not offer Zito $500,000 for every win from here on out? Then offer another $500,000 to pitch through the seventh inning (he has yet to warmup for the seventh inning this season).

The Giants have an extra $13 million lying around, let’s make use of it. Plus think of the publicity.

Sure, some people would think the Giants are crazy, they spent $126 million on the guy.

But you would most certainly watch.

The Giants' attendance is already down this year. Think about the motivation for the fans to go watch Zito earn his money. Attendance would spike if a player’s bonus salary was on the line.

All the Zito haters would come out to watch him miss out on an extra $1 million.

On the flip side, Zito fans would come to see him, and the Giants' fans come to see him, and the Giants earn a victory. These fans would tell all the haters, “He earned that extra $500,000 today,” and they would actually be pleased with the $500,000 that their ball club spent.

It could turn out to be the worst train wreck you’ve ever seen, or the most masterful plan to get your “star” player back on track.

Let's say he pitches six innings and gets the win; he would only get $500,000.

Technically, Barry Zito would save the Giants money and win them a game.

Do you think you'd ever say that all in one sentence otherwise?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You'll Get Caught Up In The...

13 Year Old Steals Dad's Credit Card to Buy Hookers

A 13 year old boy from Texas is convicted of fraud
after using his Father's credit cards to hire escorts.
A 13 year old from Texas who stole his Dad's credit
card and ordered two hookers from an escort agency,
has today been convicted of fraud and given a three
year community order.

Ralph Hardy, a 13 year old from Newark, Texas
confessed to ordering an extra credit card from his
father's existing credit card company, and took his
friends on a $30,000 spending spree, culminating in
playing "Halo" on an Xbox with a couple of hookers in
a Texas motel.

The credit card company involved said it was regular
practice to send extra credit cards out as long as all
security questions are answered.

The escort girls who were released without charge,
told the arresting officers something was up when the
kids said they would rather play Xbox than get down to

Police said they were alerted to the motel by a
concerned delivery clerk, whom after delivering
supplies of Dr Pepper, Fritos and Oreos had been asked
by the kids where they could score some chicks and
were willing to pay. They explained they had just made
a big score at a "World of Warcraft" tournament and
wanted to get some relaxation. On noting the boys age
the delivery clerk informed the authorities.

When police arrived at the motel they found $3,000 in
cash, numerous electronic gadgets, an Xbox video
console with numerous games, and the two local escort

Ralph had reportedly told police that his father
wouldn't mind, as it was his birthday last week and he
had forgot to get him a present. The father, a lawyer
said he had been too busy, but would take him on a
surprise trip to Disneyland instead.

[Back to top of article]

Asked why he ordered two escorts, Ralph said he
thought it was the thing to do when you win a "World
of Warcraft" tournament. They told the suspicious
working girls they were people of restricted growth
working with a traveling circus, and as State law does
not allow those with disabilities to be discriminated
against they had no right to refuse them.

The $1,000 a night girls sensing something up played
"Halo" on the Xbox with the kids, instead of selling
their sexual services.

Ralph's ambition is to one day become a politician.

Celestre on

1. celestre
3 thumbs down

What you call a maid. Then you rape her and make a magical sound. After your done raping your Celestre, wipe her ass because all her poopy poop came flying out. Then feed her oats and prepare her for tomorrow.

Celestre is a whore because she's so great. Richard rapes Celestre a lot.

Peter Magowan Out?

Whispers of A Giant Change
By Ray Ratto

(05-10) 18:52 PDT -- The rumors that Peter Magowan may be looking to end his tenure as managing general big shot of the Giants have been swirling for a few weeks now, but it wasn't until the organization confirmed that the rumors have legs that they started to run.

Neither Magowan nor his manager/cut man Larry Baer has chosen to respond for the record (a possible first in the history of this ownership). Neither was on hand to watch Tim Lincecum dismiss the Phillies 8-2 on Saturday, which is not that unusual. On the other hand, vice president for communications Staci Slaughter, referring to Magowan, told Our Team's John Shea the other day, "He's 66, and has thought about it from time to time, but no decision has been made at all. At this point, he has no decision on that."

In other words, an era in Giants baseball may be coming to an end. We think.

If you don't mind a bit of statement-parsing, 66 has nothing to do with it, he is considering the hell out of retirement, the buyout numbers and other details haven't been agreed to yet and the future for this team is about to become very interesting.

But before we get to the future, let's consider Slaughter's statement, clearly approved by Magowan and Baer, in chronological order:

-- Yes, Magowan is indeed 66, which places him 17th on the Major League Baseball owners' birthday list, 26 years younger than Carl Pohlad (Minnesota), and 18 years older than Stuart Sternberg (Tampa Bay) and Good Time Charlie Monfort (Colorado). Point is, you can be really old and run a ball team.

-- Yes, we're sure he has thought about it from time to time as the era of good feeling has faded and he has become a ready target on so many fronts. Rehashing his legacy isn't all that useful now, so we'll save that for a slower news day. Besides, we don't know if he is thinking of retiring or his partners are thinking of it for him, either, because nobody is talking for the record beyond Slaughter's statement.

All will be revealed in time, along with the amount of money it will cost to buy him out (based on his percentage of shares and the current Forbes franchise valuation of $494 million, we're thinking north of $70 million, although it could be more if the seawall development across from the ballpark gets done).

Anyway, it is less important in the longer view to establish a price tag for his piece or to determine whether he is heading for the pool furniture under his own impetus than it is to figure out what the Giants will look like and operate under in a post-Petey world.

Sue Burns, the widow of Harmon Burns, who owned the largest single share of the team, could take control simply by virtue of holding the most stock. A new investor or investors could surface (the Giants already have 30, so what's a dozen or so more?). A new managing general partner could be named regardless of the size of that partnership. A single big-money operator could try to buy controlling interest. General manager Brian Sabean could take on more responsibility in a new regime. Magowan also simply could step down and hold his shares. The possibilities are as considerable as they are nebulous.

And so are the potential differences. A new owner might be better equipped and philosophically committed to spending more money on the development end. A new owner also might be less of a public a figure (in fact, that's pretty likely, if based only on the recent trend among owners in baseball and other sports). A new owner might leave the baseball department to run the baseball department without obsessing so detrimentally on star power and marketability. After all, good teams market themselves, and make more money than any other type.

On the other hand, a new owner also could be a grand smoking disaster - a profit-taking, publicity-seizing, visionless schmo. Say, like Jeffrey Loria in Florida, just to name one.

But now we're getting ahead of ourselves. Magowan isn't a past-tense owner yet, but he will be, perhaps as soon as season's end. And then the real fun starts, as it always does when an era ends.

Investing in the future of the open Internet

Investing in the future of the open Internet
5/07/2008 03:49:00 AM
Posted By Larry Alder, Product Manager


As you may have read, Google, Comcast, Intel Capital, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Trilogy Equity Partners have entered into an agreement to invest $3.2 billion in a new wireless broadband company. The new company will combine Clearwire's existing consumer WiMAX business with Sprint's broadband infrastructure and 2.5 GHz spectrum to create a new nationwide wireless broadband network. In addition to our $500 million contribution as part of the investment group, we will provide search and applications to the network's users, and will work with Clearwire to offer additional services and applications. This will include jointly creating an open Internet protocol to work with mobile broadband devices (including Android-powered devices) and implementing other open network practices and policies.

We believe that the new network will provide wireless consumers with real choices for the software applications, content and handsets that they desire. Such freedom will mirror the openness principles underlying the Internet and enable users to get the most out of their wireless broadband experience. As we've supported open standards for spectrum and wireless handsets, we're especially excited that Clearwire intends to build and maintain a network that will embrace important openness features. In particular, the network will: (1) expand advanced high speed wireless Internet access in the U.S., (2) allow consumers to utilize any lawful applications, content and devices without blocking, degrading or impairing Internet traffic and (3) engage in reasonable and competitively-neutral network management.

We're looking forward to seeing the Clearwire network take shape and begin to deliver benefits to users, and we will continue to look for new partners to promote openness and bring compelling applications and services to end users. There's more information on Clearwire and the transaction on Clearwire's site.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mayo News No Shock, Unfortunate

The news that O.J. Mayo was taking cash and other goods/services while in high school and college should come with no shock to any college sports fan. This goes on way more often than it should and way more than we hear about it. There is too much money involved in the professional sports business now and increased competition among agents that is only going to motivate these types of arrangements more going forward. The added barriers of age-limit restrictions also produces more college athletes (specifically basketball) who are the likely targets of these money games.

With a sport such as football, I completely understand the thought behind age restrictions. League management needs to look out for the health and safety of their rookie athletes in such a physically-demanding sport. I do not agree with an age limit on basketball, a sport that an 18-year-old, if good enough, can play on the same court as 30-year-olds without any increased risk of injury or dilution of game play. Soccer players overseas can be signed as mid-teenagers when team talent scouts believe it is a worthwhile investment. Obviously, even with regulations in place, that scouting is happening in the U.S. with high school players (and sometimes younger) anyways. Controlled markets often can lead to rule and law breaking, especially when incentives are as high as landing a top client is to sports agencies.

That said, I personally do not think there is really an easy answer to solve this problem. Even with no age restrictions, top high school players will be bombarded by prospective agents and other individuals looking out for their own interests rather than the kid's.

Pay the "student-athletes"? Yes, some get free educations and other benefits but I do think in the bigger sports programs this option does make some sense seeing that the athletes are basically employees of multi-million dollar businesses. However, this still is not going to eliminate the wandering eyes and ears of the top athletes and the offers that will be thrown at them.

The NCAA could spend millions every year investigating athletes like Mayo and trying to uncover rule-breakers but that is like asking Bud Selig to investigate steroids users in baseball.

As said before, the incentives are too high (and only increasing) for anyone to expect it to be completely squelched. The sad part is that incredibly talented, young men like Mayo think that $30K is worth all the risk they take on and in turn, bring to their college sports program. In a few months, Mayo will be making millions. He will be able to write $30,000 checks like it's nothing. Unfortunately, without the positive support of protective family and friends, these coddled athletes will continue to make heedless short-term decisions that make little sense over the long-term.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Soup: Williard Scott

Homeland Security REAL ID Act Begins Today

REAL ID is a law and rule that establishes minimum standards for state-issued driver's licenses and personal identification cards. REAL ID compliant drivers licenses and ID cards will allow you to board a federally-regulated airplane, access a federal facility or a nuclear power plant.

The REAL ID Act of 2005, was passed by Congress to make it more difficult to fraudulently acquire a drivers license or ID card, as part of the effort to fight terrorism and reduce fraud.

REAL ID compliant licenses and ID cards must meet minimum standards which include

information and security features that must be incorporated into each card
proof of identity and U.S. citizenship or legal status of an applicant
verification of the source documents provided by an applicant
security standards for the offices that issue licenses and identification cards

The 9/11 Commission endorsed the REAL ID requirements, noting that “For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons … All but one of the 9/11 hijackers acquired some form of identification document, some by fraud. Acquisition of these forms of identification would have assisted them in boarding commercial flights, renting cars, and other necessary activities.”
REAL ID Next Steps

REAL ID goes into effect May 11, 2008. Recognizing states need more time to implement REAL ID, the department has offered states an extension to allow time to meet the requirements. States granted extensions.

If your state has been granted a REAL ID extension, your current driver's license is still a valid form of identification for boarding a federally-regulated airplane, accessing a federal facility or nuclear power plant.

If your state does not request a REAL ID extension by March 31, 2008, beginning May 11, 2008, you will not be able to use your state-issued driver's license or identification card for an official purpose, such as accessing a federal facility, boarding a federally-regulated commercial aircraft, or entering a nuclear power plant.

You can still present another form of acceptable identification such as a U.S. passport, military ID, or government identification badge.

If you do not have another form of acceptable documentation, you may experience delays at the airport due to the requirement for additional security screening.

Warriors, Baron Far From Making A Deal

OAKLAND — Callers waiting to leave voicemail for Golden State Warriors executive vice president Chris Mullin are serenaded by the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

Never has that been more true for Golden State point guard Baron Davis.

After weeks of informal conversations, Davis' agent, Todd Ramasar, met with Warriors officials Thursday to discuss a potential contract extension for his client. But the talks failed to provide any satisfaction for Davis, a two-time All-Star who just turned 29.

In fact, the sides were so far apart in what they perceive as Davis' worth that Ramasar brought up the specter of Davis using his opt-out clause to void the final year on his current deal and become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"After sitting down with the Warriors organization (Thursday) regarding Baron's future, I don't know what direction the Warriors are going," Ramasar told the Times. "Baron is adamant about remaining a Warrior, but based on my conversations with the team (Thursday), we have to consider all of his options."

A source close to Davis said it's now a 50-50 chance that the Warriors' captain, coming off a season in which he averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game, will not remain beyond next season after various contract offers that were so low as to be practically hurtful.

Davis is slated to make $17.8 million next season, the final installment of a six-year, $84-million contract extension he signed with the New Orleans Hornets.

That deal gave him the maximum allowable salary under the league's collective-bargaining agreement. Davis is willing to give the Warriors a discount and drop down from "max player" status to help Golden State add more talent, but there is a clear difference of opinion in his market value.

Some comparables to Davis in terms of veteran point guards would include Phoenix's Steve Nash (who is playing on a six-year, $63 million deal), Detroit's Chauncey Billups (five years, $60 million), Washington's Gilbert Arenas (six years, $65 million) and Dallas' Jason Kidd (six years, $103 million).

The source said that the Warriors' proposals to Davis were "significantly below" that market value, although it's not clear if the team is going low on its average salary per season or offering higher base pay over a shorter time frame.

That the sides would be at an impasse is not wholly unexpected. Although Davis said after the season finale on April 16 that he wanted to stay with Golden State, he did allow that, "I'm just waiting on the Warriors, to see if they want me here long term or not."

Just hours earlier, Mullin said that he did not plan to engage in contract talks until Davis' opt-out deadline of June 30 had passed, putting the team in a more advantageous position.

Mullin did not return a phone message Friday, and team president Robert Rowell declined to discuss the matter, but the negotiating stance is very much in line with the hard-nosed attitude the Warriors have adopted in recent years with regard to player contracts.

Where previously the team committed more than $100 million over the course of three summers to keep players such as Adonal Foyle, Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy and Jason Richardson from hitting the free agent market, Golden State has become much more careful in its spending.

The Warriors and center Andris Biedrins were far apart in failed discussions about an extension last summer, and the team stood pat with lowball, one-year offers that forwards Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus eventually accepted.

If continuing that pattern of fiscal responsibility means keeping Davis in limbo for a while, the team appears willing to make that sacrifice.

But it will give Davis time to reflect on whether he wants to be the centerpiece of an organization where not only the athletes but also the executives are asked to play out their deals: Mullin and coach Don Nelson are working on contracts that expire at the end of the 2008-09 season.

Davis referenced the uncertainty caused by such lingering monetary issues after the season finale.

"This is the first time I've played on a team where more than half the team was free agents and playing for their futures," Davis said. "I think we did a good job, but it would be better next year if we had a solid foundation."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Charles Barkley Is A Dumbass

For Everyone that hates Kobe as much as i do

“Kobe is a Bandwagon Laker”

By Adam Lauridsen
Friday, May 9th, 2008 at 12:46 am in Fun Stuff.

Let me get this out of the way first: I don’t like Kobe Bryant. I am biased. I am a “hater.” I am just a bitter Warriors fan that’s upset because his team didn’t make the playoffs. Blah blah blah. Kobe apologists, hopefully this disclaimer will save you the trouble of writing these things over and over again in the comments below. I stole the title of this post from a comment on Tim Kawakami’s latest Kobe blog entry. To me, the phrase just about captures everything that needs to be said about Kobe’s ascendance to the League’s highest individual honor. Kobe finally has his Most Valuable Player trophy. Whether you’re cheering or jeering likely comes down to what you find valuable in the sport of basketball.

Last summer Kobe Bryant lost it. And by “it,” I mean the last chords of restraint holding back his lack of respect for his teammates and superiors in the Lakers organization. His public trashing of just about everyone involved with the Lakers has been well documented so there’s no need to recap here. The take away, however, was that Bryant felt a sense of entitlement to be surrounded by what he viewed to be the best possible players to help him win that instant, regardless of the havoc it would have wreaked on the future of the organization or the owner’s bank account. Odom, Bynum, draft picks - whatever it took was fine by Bryant so long as Jason Kidd or Jermaine O’Neal was brought to town immediately to help put to rest the 06-07 season’s timid conclusion in the playoff’s first round. Given the great job Kidd and O’Neal did leading their teams to playoff victory this year, Bryant fans should be adding “assistant GM” to the long list of areas in which he excels.

Shockingly, the season started without the Lakers or the rest of the NBA caving to Kobe’s demands. The salary cap was not rewritten to his specifications. He was forced to slum it out on the court with the teammates he had thrown under the bus, then backed over a few times, just months before. On February 3, 2008, the team held a 30-16 record. For those keeping score at home, the 65% win percentage would have been good enough — had they kept up the pace — for a 6th place finish in the West. 6th place would have meant another year of no home court advantage in the playoffs and, just like teams 5-8 in the West this year, likely would have signified another first round exit. Kobe would have had plenty of time to find new people to blame for the failure of the team on which he so badly wanted to be “the man.”

But then, like the insipid, contrived plot twists Hollywood always feels compelled to toss into their movies to produce happy endings, the rest of the NBA — or at least the Memphis Grizzlies — finally jumped to attention, just as Kobe had demanded a few months earlier. In what should go down as the great lopsided trade of a generation — one so bad it has been openly questioned by coaches and team officials around the NBA — Pau Gasol arrived in exchange for a late first round rookie, two picks likely to be even worse, and the tribute to the seductive force of “upside” that is Kwame Brown’s contract. Gasol made his debut on February 5 and the Lakers proceeded to close the season going 27-9.

Given this chronology, I have a few questions:

1. If the lead argument for Kobe’s MVP trophy is the dominance of his team, shouldn’t Gasol (or Memphis GM Chris Wallace) get the trophy? It was Gasol’s addition that raised the Lakers from likely first round fodder to the likely NBA Champions that they are today.

2. If the argument for Kobe’s MVP status rests on his individual performance, why shouldn’t LeBron, putting up better stats, finish ahead of him? Why not Paul, close behind in a few categories but far ahead in others, be viewed as similarly dominant on an individual level?

3. If the reason for Kobe edging LeBron is Kobe’s supposed “intangibles” — his intensity, his clutch play, his toughness — where did all these qualities get him before Gasol arrived? As top dog in LA, Kobe had failed every big test and distinguished himself most in displays of public indignity. His individual performance wasn’t good enough to win him the award in prior years. Why is it good enough now?

I’m not arguing that Kobe isn’t a fantastic player. I’d be blind to deny that he is among the best ever to set foot on a court. Whether he’s deserving of the MVP trophy, however, comes down to what you value in a basketball player. If you want someone who turns the players on a team into a whole greater than its parts, Kobe doesn’t get your vote. If you want someone who was good enough on their own to carry their team to playoff glory, Kobe doesn’t get your vote. If you want someone, however, who considers himself above his teammates and bigger than his franchise, Kobe is your guy. If you want someone who views those around him only in terms of how they can serve his personal goals, check the “Kobe” box on your ballot. MVP is an individual honor, and no one in the NBA personifies the individual above the team or the sport more than Kobe Bryant. In that sense, they couldn’t have given the award to a better guy.