Monday, February 26, 2007

James Cameron Finds Jesus -- Literally!

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/scholars-clergy-criticize-jesus/20070226101109990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001. Perhaps stung by Hoop Ramblings' claim late last night that he has done nothing much since "Titanic," James Cameron is all over the place today declaring that he has found the bones of Jesus, Mary Magdelene and Jesus's son!!

I'd say that this effort ranks up there higher than "Solaris" on Cameron's post-97 activities...........

I always enjoy the terror that these sort of claims strike within the church. Summary of the positions taken by "religious scholars" or church spokesman in the linked article alone: 1) it doesn't say "Jesus", it probably says some other name; 2) it does say Jesus, but that was a pretty common name; 3) we've known about this for years (which, I guess, means it isn't true); 4) the Bible says he ascended up to heaven, so these couldn't be his bones; 5) it is all a lie to confuse people and make money (side note -- WE are the ones with the right to confuse people and make money! So stop it!).

When someone comes out 45 years from now and says that this Blog never won a Pulitzer prize, I hope that my successor's PR machine can keep such heresy from being accepted as fact.

HM

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dennis Johnson -- Dead at 52


"There's a steal by Bird, pass to DJ......."
Per wikipedia -- On February 22, 2007, Johnson suffered a heart attack while playing a pick-up game during a practice and collapsed. He was later pronounced dead. Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed Johnson's passing.
HM note -- a very, very good player and a key cog on championship teams in Seattle and Boston. Was brought in by Boston to defend Magic Johnson. One could certainly argue that he deserves Hall of Fame consideration given his teams' success and stats nearly identical to those of HOFer Joe Dumars: http://www.basketball-reference.com/labs/comp.cgi?I=johnsde01%3ADennis+Johnson&y1=&C=dumarjo01%3AJoe+Dumars&y2=&s=r&t=g&submit=Compare.
Perhaps the best tribute to Dennis Johnson is this: in the 1978 Finals, Game 7, he went 0 for 14, basically single-handedly costing his team the NBA championship as they lost by 6 at home to the Bullets. We have all seen what a collapse on a huge stage can do to a player's career (Nick Anderson, Calvin Schiraldi, the Arizona reliever Kim, John Starks). Guys who fail at such key moments rarely get redemption and generally get far worse. Not DJ. His Sonics won the title the next year and he was all-NBA second team in 1980 and all-NBA first team in 1981. And then he went on to win two more titles with the Celtics.
RIP DJ..........

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tim Hardaway Fired By "NFL Star" Jay Fiedler

No truth to these rumors: 1) that Hardaway muttered as he packed his stuff, "Damn Jew football players anyway -- I hate them too! "NFL star," my ass..." and 2) Sam Cassell and Isiah Thomas have asked to be removed from Tim's web page at basketball-reference.com because it lists them as "similar" to Tim.

The story:
MLN Newswire - www.mlntherawfeed.com - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - February 15, 2007 – After learning of the remarks made by Tim Hardaway in a radio interview discussing Gays in the NBA, Trinity Sports and Entertainment Group, owners of the CBA Indiana Alleycats professional basketball franchise, spoke out today in reaction to Mr. Hardaway’s statements.
“First and foremost, there is not a single person in our organization who supports or shares Mr. Hardaway’s views,” stated Demetrius Ford, Trinity CEO. “I speak for the entire organization when I say we are truly sorry for the harm caused to anyone by Mr. Hardaway’s words. Effective immediately, Mr. Hardaway is removed from the position of Trinity Sports’ Chief Basketball Operations Advisor, as well as all other duties associated with the Company, its affiliates and subsidiaries.”


Trinity majority owner and NFL star Jay Fiedler added, “I was very surprised to learn of Tim’s insensitive remarks last night. The opinions, views and remarks expressed by Mr. Hardaway in no way reflect my views or those of anyone else in our organization, and we want to make that clear to our corporate partners, the CBA and all the fans of the Indiana Alleycats. Mr. Hardaway was instrumental in the startup phase of our basketball operations, but we must now move forward without his services or any association with him whatsoever.”

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Oswego NY -- a lot of snow

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/six-feet-of-snow-blankets-upstate-new/20070208094109990001. There are two "Snow Belts" in upstate NY. The first is southeast of Buffalo where the NW wind howls over Lake Erie and dumps 4 inches a night onto places like Wyoming County. That is where I grew up -- 110 to 135 inches of snow a year back in the 1970s.

Then there is the snowbelt north of Rochester and Syracuse, right by Lake Ontario. Believe it or not, this is worse. You can get 150-300 inches of snow there in a winter. Oswego (mentioned in the link) is also the place where my first girlfriend was attending college when she unceremoniously dropped me like a bad habit in 1983. So, in a way, I guess Oswego deserves all of what it is getting for the pain that it inflicted upon me 24 years ago. I almost drank myself into unconsciousness the night of the dumping, including a bad decision to drink champagne and 7 ounce pony beers after starting with blackberry brandy and 7-Up -- and I am sorry to the young Jewish co-ed whom I threw up on as I was running out of the bar that night (the bathroom was full). My bad.........

Monday, February 05, 2007

Grossman and Inexplicable Strategies Doom Bears

This Super Bowl (Colts beat Bears 29-17) reminded me of Redskins/Dolphins (the Riggins run game) and Barry Switzer's Cowboys over Neil O'Donnell's Steelers. In all three games the losing squad hung around and hung around and hung around and had an opportunity to win, but all three were plagued by awful quarterback play (Woodley/O'Donnell-to-Larry Brown/Rex Grossman). In fact, in the Dolphin's Super Bowl loss Don Shula wanted to replace Woodley at halftime, but when the Dolphins ran back the second half kickoff for a touchdown he decided that he wouldn't switch QB's in a tie game.

Lovie Smith stuck with Rex Grossman, no doubt because the game was close. But look at the Bears' 17 points: 1) kick return for a TD, 3) field goal after getting a gift penalty on the kickoff to move the ball to the Colt's 40, and 2) long Thomas Jones run to set up a short pass that should have been defensed but for the crippled DB trying to play on one leg.

And a note to all those people who want to see Ron Rivera as an NFL head coach: when Phil Simms (my favorite Simms moment of the night, 3rd and 8: "It will either be a draw or a pass." I noted to the kids -- "Look out, kids, either a run or a pass coming!") can see that every time you blitz you stop Manning, maybe ya oughta give blitzing a chance. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne (except for one blown coverage) did not do much, but you really don't have to do much when the other team lets you throw three yard passes and you can fall forward for two extra yards. To steal from GC Boy, "He is trying to tell you something (Ron). He can complete that pass."

There were many failings, but in the Final Analysis (Kim Basinger flick) it was really Grossman's inept play that prevented a Bears from winning. Just as Woodley and O'Donnell each basically lost the Super Bowl for his squad, Rex's general awfulness did in Chicago. Throws the key pick 6 (I could have sworn I saw Al Davis in the stands readying a huge contract offer for the Colt DB). Throws another awful pick that looked like a punt. Drops the snap aqnd looks behind him while Dwight Freeney falls on the ball at the line of scrimmage. Drops the snap and then (possibly thinking that he had become a long snapper???) snaps the ball AGAIN between his legs back to no one. Before the Bears' field goal Grossman threw up another offering to the Colts secondary. Alas, they could not hold on to the gift and Robbie Gould actually got a chance to put 3 points on the board.

I was wrong on my football pick (as usual) but I guess I just underestimated the unbelievable suckiness of Rex Grossman, Lovie Smith's stubbornness, and Ron Rivera's ability to fiddle while Rome burned.

Mea culpa.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Molly Ivins, RIP

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/syndicated-columnist-molly-ivins-dies-at/20070131191809990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001. The great columnist died of breast cancer at age 62. The best quote in the article is Ivins' statement that cancer can kill you, but it doesn't make you a better person. She might also have added that being in a position of power doesn't make you a better person, but if you ever read her columns you know that she was not afraid to expose the faults of those in power, particularly the former C-student and party boy she unaffectionately called "Shrub."