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Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 at 12:01 am  |  24 responses

Back In the Game

From Happy Valley all the way to Bangkok, a ex-Ed. covers all the angles.

“Farmer Jones.” Yeah, the title is a misnomer. You know us, we like the funny. In truth, I am not a farmer, and I do not live on a farm. I don’t even actually personally know any farmers. But, all things being relative, as all things are, moving from New York, New York, to State College, Pennsylvania has a lot of people (most of them named “Sam” and “Lang”) thinking I live on a farm.

I do not.

I now live, essentially, at Penn State University. Back again for the second time, like some rapper almost said once. About a month ago, I did my last day as Ed. A little more than seven years at the SLAM Dome, stuck in a little office that smelled like new sneakers and old cardboard and bad air, and yet often felt like the coolest job I ever could’ve had. It probably was. But everything, even the coolest job you could ever had, must end, and for a lot of reasons (most of them named “Wifey” and “Ed. Jr.”) it felt like the end was now. So now, a month later, I’m in State College, PA, with a job at my alma mater. And it’s cool. Not like SLAM was and always will be cool, but in its own way. And it’s definitely not a farm.

Although, truth be told, there are a whole sh*tload of farms out here. I’m just not on one.

So, yeah, we settled on a new name for the blog, both because Farmer Jones’ Roundball Almanac seemed funny and appropriately hokey and also because those tightwad pr*cks at T-Mobile showed no love, and so they and their stupid Sidekick will never be mentioned here again. (I just got a new Verizon phone, and it came with like a 20 percent discount with my faculty/staff ID card, and it’s got great reception. I’m all about Verizon now. Suck it, T-Mobile).

Anyway, Sam doesn’t believe me, but I’ll be trying to post a lot more often now that I’m not actually “working” at SLAM anymore. I’ll start with some thoughts on my last issue as Ed., SLAM 105. It’s been much discussed in certain sections of this site, but I really do feel compelled to help explain the apparent jinx this issue has had on the players features in it. Do I feel responsible? Sort of. Is this a bad omen for SLAM’s future? Probably, yeah. Am I full of sh*t, and about to be even more so? Absolutely.

By now you know about Carmelo Anthony (slapped and ran, got suspended for a month) and Bill Walker (blew out his knee, out for the year). But you probably don’t know just how bad it really is. Here, let me tell you. I’ll start from the beginning. Grab an issue and follow along…

Page 6: Daniel Artest (K1X ad) — Just before this issue went to press, Ron’s brother was signed by an ABA team. Sorry dude.

Page 13: Cedric The Entertainer — Just after this issue went to press, “The Cleaner” was released in theaters. Seriously, we’re really sorry about this.

Page 25: Dorrell Wright — D-Wizzy recently missed a flight on the Heat’s team plane. Wait, this one’s not our fault. Dorrell just can’t tell time.

Page 27: Morris Almond — Almond’s shorts kept coming off after this photo was taken. A few weeks later, Morris and the SMU dude trying to guard him were married in a civil ceremony in Vermont. So this one actually turned out OK. Congrats, fellas.

Page 31: Michael Redd — I was gonna attempt more knee-slapping humor here, and then I remembered that Redd is actually out six weeks. Sucker.

Page 45: Dwight Howard — Somewhere on here, Jake Appleman posted something claiming Dwight is now averaging 39 turnovers per game. I was not able to confirm this statement, but knowing Jake as I do, I will assume that number is correct. Dwight should work on that.

Page 50: Andrew Bynum — Apparently hired a nutritionist. Horrible idea. Do you think Michael Jordan ever had a nutritionist?

Poster: Dwyane Wade — Is this guy even allowed to play more than three consecutive games without spraining his spleen or something? I’m tired of it. Retire already.

Page 74: Terry Cummings — Has not played a single minute since this feature ran. It’s like he’s not even in the League anymore.

Page 83: Rbk The Ballout — The Ugliest Shoe In The World, but only AFTER the issue came out. No, we don’t understand it, either.

Page 94: Glen Davis — Big Baby actually got in a car accident the other day, which isn’t funny, but thankfully he’s OK. Glen is one of the coolest dudes ever, so we’re very glad to see dude back on the court.

Page 95: Dude In The Wave Builder Ad — He’s in a Wave Builder ad. There’s no coming back from that, model boy.

Page 97: Jason Kidd — Got scorched 11-3 in a game of one-on-one with Andy Garcia — no, not the actor, the kid in the Better Basketball ad pictured directly below him. Andy Garcia has been 11 years old for about six years now, and man, are his handles nice. One day soon, I’m going to write the tell-all feature on Andy Garcia, and it will change your life. Don’t doubt me. Don’t you dare.

Oh, and then Jason got divorced because his wife’s a psycho. Allegedly. So there’s that, too.

Issue Summary: Basically, it was a bloodbath. Thank God we didn’t actually sell any ads last month, because if this issue had been like 150 pages, we might’ve wiped out the game itself. Hopefully, this won’t happen in SLAM 106, but I’m guessing you’ll remember the next one for different reasons…

We’ve been teasing you with hints over the past month or so, and you’ll see why in the next few weeks. What I can tell you is that, even before I knew I was leaving, we as a staff had been talking about ways to make the magazine better. We never thought it needed a complete overhaul, and I’m pretty sure we were right. But we all agreed it was due for a remix – at least I think that’s the word we settled on — and you’ll see the results shortly.

Having been out of the office for a month, I’m as excited about seeing the finished product as (I’m assuming) some of you are, though I’ve got a pretty good idea of how a lot of the new sh*t will look. And I think it’s gonna look dope. A lot of the new twists are things we were working on while I was still there; others I had nothing to do with. Combined, what I think it all needed was someone with a new perspective who still had an in-depth knowledge of everything SLAM is about. Ben Osborne started at the Dome a couple years before I did, and he’s as down for the cause as anyone could possibly be, so I have no doubts it’s gonna be good.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/news/story?id=2725654

I’ve been saying it for years, and I’ll say it again: The “Bangkok” game is a terrific teaching tool for coaches at all levels, and it’s a shame that kids today can’t understand that.

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  • http://thehype.wordpress.com TheHype

    Hmm.. Professor Jones eh (I’m assuming of course).. I’d love to see you correcting papers and writing Trash Talk-like snappy responses :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/linkstigatorkevin Kevin Wilson

    And then sign the papers with “Ed.”

    Ryan, Just wanted to tell you the work you did as the SLAM EIC was phenomenal, and I loved how some of the SLAM attitude was more visible in small ways (the calendar feature to start the Hype section).

    Having communicated with Ben before when he was the photo editor, I know he’s about to do a bangin’ job as EIC himself.

  • Boing Dynasty

    Ive heard wonderful things about Scanton…

  • Boing Dynasty

    Scranton**

  • Ryan Jones

    Boing, you’ve heard wrong. Scranton sucks (no disrespect to Scranton). Thankfully I’m about 2.5 hours from there, so I’m safe.

    Kevin: Thanks.

    Hype, I’m actually not a prof just yet, but I may do some teaching at some point. I’m actually working for the alumni magazine, although Sam is convinced that I’ve been hired as Joe Paterno’s sideline diaper changer. Which is funny, but not as funny as Tom Coughlin.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    seriously though. Who needs their diaper changed more often? Your son, or Joe Pa?
    If Joe Pa quits, then you really are a jinx.

  • Ryan Jones

    Probably the kid, but it’s close.
    And if we hire Greg Schiano, that’d be the best jinx ever.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Khalid Salaam

    Farmer Jones Roundball Almanac is one of the top ten greatest names of all time. Or at least 2007.

  • Ryan Jones

    Thank you very much.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Don’t just throw me and Sam under the bus on making the country jokes about Penn St. I believe it was Khalid who suggested you should buy a horse out there. Also, I’ve actually been there, and as anyone who’s been there understands, the country’s at least 15-20 minutes from Penn St., after you go past that huge prison and the strip club.

  • Ryan Jones

    The prison and the strip club are in opposite directions from campus, Lang. Even the cows know that.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    By the way Ryan, speaking of Penn St. and diapers, how about that Larry Johnson? Even Coughlin’s team did better than him in the playoffs.

  • Ryan Jones

    Sam, I could give two big, steaming cow patties (like the ones in my front yard, right now) about the Chiefs. All I know is that LJ was all-NFL first team, as was Robbie Gould, making my alma mater/current employer one of only three schools in all of college football this year to have two NFL first-teamers. So I’m good with MY team. I actually want to root for your stupid Giants because they always seem to have like 8 Penn State guys on the roster, but they keep screwing it up for me.

  • http://www.hoopstv.com Russ Bengtson

    Just to join in the ex-Ed fun, your Terry Cummings line almost made me spray Perrier Lime out my nose. Good work.

  • Boing Dynasty

    I may have been lying, Ryan. In fact i have been myself and can vouch for the suckyness.

  • bja

    Farmer Jones? I love it!
    Ryan, are you going to post more often because they’ll pay you by the post rather than the Ed. salary? :-p

  • Ryan Jones

    Russ: Thank you. You know that means a lot.
    Boing: Dammit. Fooled again.
    bja: “Salary”? When was I gett a “salary”?

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    Exhilaratingly cynical post, and a great name, of course. I, for one, will be following this space closely to see what goes into a day’s work on a farm. (Which means that I’m now spending even less time working and even more reading this site, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on who you ask.)

  • Jake Appleman

    Either way, I vote for Slobodan Chutzpah as the greatest commenter name on this site.

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    Well, the ever-so-evocative pseudonym “Sam Rubenstein” was already taken… But thank you, kind sir.

  • Ryan Jones

    Thanks Slobo. I’m still partial to Jackie Applescracth, but that’s me.

  • BETCATS

    Ryan if u see an amimsh dude throw an ice-cream cone in his face and say BET sent u

  • Ryan Jones

    Why you hating on the Amish, ‘Cats? They got the ill buggies! Show some love for the buggies!!!!

  • BETCATS

    i dont know, every since i got fired by an old white guy who was livin life like it was 1903 at pharmor i just dont understand…i feel like sayin ‘their is electrisity bitch use it’

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