Friday, June 12, 2009

"The body post" won't be happening on this blog

My first trip to Boston was an enjoyable experience. A few notes on that before getting into the more typical blog fare...

1. Going to Fenway Park is enjoyable, but Wrigley Field is better. Some may try and tell you the experience is better because they'r true baseball fans and Cub fans are just there to party. Those people never sat behind someone who felt the need to get up for more beer as a pitcher was in the middle of working on the final out of his to that point perfect six innings. The Red Sox gameday experience is good, but everything in Chicago was a little bit better

2. Jon Lester was the pitcher for the Red Sox who was shutting down the Rangers Saturday night. He wound up getting 6.1 innings of perfect ball in before Michael Young broke it up with a double deep to center. I'm not sure I've ever seen someone carry a no hitter past about the third inning, so watching Lester work was pretty cool. Two days later, we ran into Lester while on a Duck Boat tour of Boston. We didn't bother him for a picture or autograph, but since some people did we took a picture of that which appears to the right of this.

3. Went to the Institute of Contemporary Art. They have an exhibit right now featuring the works of Shepard Fairey. He's the artist who did the red white and blue HOPE Obama portait last year that was on the cover of multiple magazines. I didn't know much about Fairey's work, so I was surpised to learn the primary image in much of his art is Andre the Giant. Can't say I saw that coming. Fairey's talented, but I'm always amazed at what passes for art.

Orlando is done in the NBA Finals after blowing another game late. Technically there are three games left to play in the series, but there's a better chance of me being the host of Dance Fever than there is the Magic closing out with wins in game 6 and 7 in Los Angeles. It'll be easy to overfocus on Dwight Howard missing free throws, which was certainly a problem. That does not explain why Jameer Nelson was on the floor for 25 minutes, including the time Derek Fisher's ghost made those two three pointers. For an obviously gifted coach, Stan Van Gundy has done some incredibly stupid things in this series. His use of Nelson ranks at the top of the list.

If you listened closely yesterday, you could hear the sound of laughter coming from Alabama as the NCAA announced their "penalties" for their textbook scandal. The Crimson Tide got told very sternly that they had been naughty. They lost 43,900 dollars and they can't officially claim credit for 21 wins. That's it. Alabama shouldn't have been hammered for this, but there should have been some penalty going forward. Claiming things didn't happen is not a punishment, it's a delusion. Can you imagine disciplining your kid by telling him "You've never been to Disney World, and you're not allowed to say you have or enjoy the memories" when you took him there last summer? It would be absurd, yet that's what the NCAA just did with Alabama. Think they'll take the "Bama Is Back" covers from after they thrashed UF in 2005 off the walls anywhere in the state? Yeah, me neither.

The Tank Black scandal was one of the most challenging topics I dealt with during my run in Gainesville. In case your memory has gotten foggy, Black was the agent who turned out to have given players like Jevon Kearse money and benefits prior to them being done with their college careers. He also was involved in a variety of other frauds, including liquidating Ike Hilliard's stock portfolio to put it in a car title loan scheme. Black didn't just play the race card when he was accused, he played the whole deck. He got civil rights leaders involved in his defense despite the fact the government had him dead to rights. Now Black is out of prison and has written a book claiming to air all the dirty laundry from his agent stint. I'd like to read it, but there's no chance I'll give him money to do do that.

ESPN the Magazine has announnced its plans to do a body issue of the magazine. What that means is that should you subscribe, one day your mailbox will feature an issue with lots of sports people posing nude. Why ESPN feels that would be appropriate journalism for them to ask sports figures to do, I have no idea. How do you cover someone credibly as a sports journalist and then turn around and say "oh by the way, we'd like to move some serious amounts of magazines and think a nude issue will do the job. How'd you like to drop trou for us?" If someone posted the pictures they'll put in your magazine in an ESPN cubicle, the guy doing it would be in real trouble with human resources for sexual harassment but this is supposed to be okay? Ridiculous. Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.

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