My Links

by August 09, 2007

I made a joke in a comment earlier this summer that my contract prevented me from posting a new column during the offseason, and have since spent most of the rest of the summer making that look joke look dead-serious. In truth, I’ve been busy, and with our 843 other new columnists posting pretty regularly, I haven’t felt all that compelled. Also, I haven’t had anything to say that I couldn’t say in a snarky three-line rebuttal to whatever lunacy was recently posted by eboy, Tariq or the artist formerly known as Max Airington.

Well, I’m back. I still don’t have sh*t to say, but you should know better than to think that’ll stop me from saying something anyway. In no particular order, appropos of nothing, here’s some stuff I found, or think, or both…

Looking for KB’s appearance on Kimmel last night, I found this. “I make love to the ball.” Not new, but entertaining.

Couldn’t find the link to Bean’s actual guest appearance, but I did find this.

I finally went on Jimmy Kimmel’s website, still didn’t find the video of last night’s show, but I did see that Public Enemy (warning: this video is classic) is the musical guest tonight, and Ben Osborne’s good friend El-P (warning: this video is painful) is on tomorrow. Adjust your plans accordingly, rap fans.

I think, this time next year, Kobe Bryant will almost definitely not be a Laker.

For better and worse, most of the big sports stories/scandals of the summer have had a racial component. White people (generally) assume Michael Vick is guilty, black people (generally) think he’s getting railroaded. White people (generally) assume Barry Bonds is an @sshole and a cheat, black people (generally) give him the benefit of the doubt. White people (generally) assume everyone at the Tour “of” France is doped up, black people (generally) don’t get asked about cycling, at least not that I’m aware of. Whatever. The point is that race is still obviously an issue in American sports, and in society in general… which I trust everyone was aware of before I wrote that sentence.

Anyway, that said, at least we don’t have to deal with sh*t like this.

For the non-footy fans among us (what up, Bodie!), DaMarcus Beasley is one of the better American soccer players and one of the few Yanks who’s good enough to play in a top overseas league. He’s also black. What he dealt with the other night in Montenegro is not at all rare in European soccer, and still happens pretty regularly around the continent. This is not, of course, a “soccer” problem; it’s a cultural problem in places that make the U.S. look insanely racially progressive by comparison. I bring this up not to excuse the lingering race issues in this country, but to illustrate another point entirely: A lot of people ask why American soccer fans care so much about the game being accepted here, and it’s a valid question — with all the top European leagues regularly on TV over here, it’s not like we can’t get our fix of the best games and players. But one thing I hope the sport’s Stateside growth will do is bring more attention to sh*t like this.

I think, health-permitting, the Boston Celtics will win the 2008 NBA Championship. I really do. Is it absurd to make any predictions about how the next NBA season will end before the opening day rosters are set? Of course it is. And I don’t care. The more I think about it, the more I think we’ve been lulled to sleep by how good these three guys still are. KG and Ray both seem to have plenty left in the tank, and I’m convinced that the Celtics’ irrelevance the past few years has us forgetting just how good Paul Pierce is. It’s all too easy to talk about how hungry and motived these guys are, but does that make it any less true? Assuming they all play at least 60 regular season games and are healthy throughout the playoffs, I think the East is Boston’s for the taking — Detroit has essentially been going backwards for three years now, Miami still has too many questions (not to mention a couple of fragile superstars) and the Cavs still only have one player who’s guaranteed to start on any other team in the League. And the Bulls? Russ will probably say something about how I underestimate them at my peril. Whatever. Once the Celtics get through the East, we’ll be reminded once again of the lessons we should’ve learned after Detroit and Miami got their recent rings: You don’t have to play the entire Western Conference in the Finals. You just have to beat one team, and they’re all human — even the Spurs, who, good as they’ve been, have yet to prove they have the stones to defend a title. And f*ck Bill Simmons if he agrees with me.

This is funny. I hereby promise to do my best to refer to Brady as “the almost certainly overrated Quinn” for the duration of his NFL career.

Back to Bonds for a minute. You know how sometimes fate unexpectedly brings some of your favorite things (or people) together? Well, this week is one of those times. Apparently, our president called Barry the other night after he broke the home run record. The specifics of their conversation bring delicious ironies to mind. Among the highlights: When asked about B-Double’s alleged gin-and-juice minus-the-gin habit, and whether that should taint his legacy, W. said, “My only advice for people is to just let history be the judge.” For some reason, the idea of a powerful man who employed dubious means to reach an esteemed position — and who, for some unknown reason, thinks history will judge him kindly — rings a bell here…

Also, I’m glad to see that while George’s policy (unless he changed it when I wasn’t looking) is not to go to the funerals of invidual soldiers who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty — not a one of them, apparently — there’s no policy that keeps him from making congratulatory phone calls to brave warriors who’ve made the slightly less daunting sacrifice of being heckled by opposing fans and “midget” broadcasters. The important thing is, he called. And you thought George Bush didn’t care about black people!

Back to hoops, sort of: You may have already seen this, but probably not in this much detail. Futher proof of why Steve Nash is exceptionally cool.

And lastly, since I bogarted his column name for the day… this one’s for you, Lang.