Monthly Archives: July 2007

Wild World of Sports

I was going to write a light-hearted recap of some of the best sports has to offer for the week, but when I learned of the deaths of two coaching greats, I knew this post would begin with a much somber tone.

RIP Skip Prosser

On Thursday, after completing a jog, Skip Prosser, basketball coach of the Wake Forest Demon Decons, was found slumped against his desk and was unresponsive to CPR. Wake Forest has grown to be one of the most recognizable college basketball teams in the country, the firery-haired coach on the sidelines was the main reason why. Prosser coached at Wake Forest two dynamic players close to a decade apart in Tim Duncan (arguably the best player in the NBA) as well as Chris Paul (arguably the best young point guard), and in the process elevated the Demon Deacons to their first ever No. 1 ranking. He is the only coach to take three seperate schools to the NCAA tournament his first year as coach, as his teams made the postseason in 18 of 21 years of coaching.

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TP’ing for Skip – Students pay homage to their coach in the Quad

But most of all as I watched him the last several years he seemed like a good guy who players liked to play for. His coaching roots were in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he coached the high school team to a state championship in 1982 and five regional championships. Although he would go on to be the winningest coach in Xavier history, and succeed in securing Loyola’s only NCAA tournament berth, he has remarked that he would be just as content with his career had he remained as a coach back in West Virginia at Central Catholic High. For the upcoming basketball season he had a top five recruiting class coming in, and the future for Wake Forest looked especially bight. I am sure the tradition will continue, but it pains me to see such a great man and coach leave so early.

RIP Bill Walsh

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We lost another great coach in Bill Walsh, architect of the 49’ers dynasty and arguably the greatest offensive football mind the NFL has ever seen. Bill Walsh, 75, had been battling with leukemia before passing away Monday afternoon. One cannot overstate the importance this man had to the game of football. He had a rocky start coaching in the NFL, almost deciding at one point to quit being a coach for a front office job, but would return and lead the 49’ers to three Super Bowl wins in only 10 years of coaching. He had an eye for talent, drafting Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott, and acquiring Steve Young, a hometown hero of mine who was given his opportunity thanks to Walsh’s belief in his potential. He was a man who believed football was a mental game, that was won with preparation in the film room and confidence in teammates, and he put his players in positions to succeed. The elements of the West Coast offense he designed is used by all NFL teams today. In fact, looking at the coaching tree below, it is easy too see why he his influence has permeated the lead long after he has left it:

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(click to enlarge) 

He was more than a great coach though, he helped shape the league to what it is today. He was one of the loudest voices for diversifying the coaching ranks, starting a minority fellowship program to speed the development of black coaches by bringing them to training camps. It is perhaps only fitting that the last Super Bowl he watched pitted for the first time two African-American coaches against each other, one a former player of his in Dungy and the other a product of his coaching lineage. Steve Young remarked today that no man has done more for the game in the past 25 years, and there is little doubt that he will long be remembered.

In other sad (and shocking) football related news, it appears as if officials are considering the possibility that Pat Tillman was murdered by his own comrades less than 10 yards away, and did not die from enemy fire (as the Army orignally claimed) or from friendly fire (as the subsequent investigation initially concluded). Pat Tillman gained instant notariety and respect when he left the Arizona Cardinals at the peak of his NFL career to go be an Army Ranger in Afgahnistan and Iraq following 9/11, only to be killed and then have his death be lied over and manipulated as a recruiting stunt by the Army. Although his mother was able to reveal a coverup at the highest levels of government regarding his death, the chance that his death was deliberate at the hands of his own men provides even more detail that casts an undeserved shadow over his sacrifice. Read the article here.

Now on to the good stuff.

Let me first say it has been a rough week for sports – Mike Vick is indicted, the leaders of the Tour de France have been removed for doping (and the winner accused), the contoversy over Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record continues to unfold, and the NBA is dealing with a betting scandal of massive proportions.

So here is a bright story to kick things off: the Iraqi soccer team was victorious in its biggest tournament, the Asian Cup. This is a country who could use the distraction and any sort of unity, and one can only hope that this success will be sign of better things to come.

In Hoya world, Roy Hibbert struggled to get his game on at the Pan American games, no thanks to Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds, who shot an abysmal 8 for 37 (4-19 from 3), along with eight assists and 15 turnovers. It will be interesting to see if Roy Hibbert will benefit form his experience with international play, but it is disheartening to see USA not even win a single game. Article here.

Jeff Green, meanwhile, continued to show promise over the Summer League. See articles here and here.

Switching to American football, check out this article on the image of an NFL franchise, which takes a look at the the beleagured Atlanta Falcons and what a good role model should be.

In other football breaking news, it looks like Reggie Bush really likes grilles on his cars – check out his customized Mercedes ride:

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And guess who also likes to pimp his ride?

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If Barry Bonds were a dog, this is what he would look like:

(Article here)

Check out this trick football play…those kids know what they are doing:

Don’t believe it? One team once won their state championship on the same play:

Finally, here are some quality video clips, showing that other side of sports:

Gymnastics

Diving

Golf 1

Golf 2

Tour De France

Dunk gone bad

Athletes can’t act

Chuck Norris impression

Umpires don’t care about rape

Biking stunt

Sick soccer save

Cheap soccer goal

Healthy Eating

No Subway for me today, not after Thursday’s fiasco. I headed to JuiceZone, which serves health-concious smoothies and wraps.

“Hi, can I help you?”

“Yes, could I have the Buffulo Brown Burrito?”

“Sure. Everything on it?”

“Yes, that would be fine.”

“And would you like white or wheat?”

“Uh…white.”

“Ok…”

“Wait. Don’t you have other options? I normally get the sundried tomato…”

“Uh, yeah. I guess we do.”

“Ok, could I get that then?”

“Well, you know, we have other ones, but they are kind of old and moldy and I can’t really ensure they are any good…” the attendant says as if he merely supplying a personal reccommendation.

“What?”

Wait, why again is he telling me this? Is it because the tortillas are always this suspect or he somehow merely feels bad that I have gone this long without noticing?

“Would you like to change from white then?”

Not if you put it that way.

I give an incredulous look.

“No. That’s…that’s quite all right. I think I’m good.”

I go ahead and buy a drink and return to pick up my burrito.

“Burrito? Thank you, sir.”

I go and sit down, unwrap the burrito.

Hmmm…sure enough, it’s sun dried tomato. Yum, my favorite.

Modernism at the Corcoran

During my parent’s visit to DC several weeks ago they had a chance to check out the Modernism exibit at the Corcoran Gallery, and were so impressed they reccommended I go as well.  I had been finding my weekends so busy I had had to put it off, but the exhibit’s last day is July 29 so I finally made sure my Sunday afternoon was open for some culture.

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I had an idea of what the Modernist movement entailed before I stepped into the Corcoran, but they did a magnificent job laying out its evolution as well as individual nations and artists contributions.  Since Modernism is such a broad movement though, here is a summary to capture the general motivation:

Modernism is a trend of thought that affirms the power of human beings to create, improve, and reshape their environment, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation, and is thus in its essence both progressive and optimistic. The term covers many political, cultural and artistic movements rooted in the changes in Western society at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Broadly, modernism describes a series of reforming cultural movements in art and architecture, music, literature and the applied arts which emerged in the three decades before 1914. But Modernism encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of existence, from commerce to philosophy, with the goal of finding that which was “holding back” progress, and replacing it with new, progressive and therefore better, ways of reaching the same end. In essence, the modernist movement argued that the new realities of the industrial and mechanized age were permanent and imminent, and that people should adapt their world view to accept that the new equaled the good, the true and the beautiful. Modern (quantum and relativistic) physics, modern (analytical and continental) philosophy and modern number theory in mathematics are, however, also said to date from this period. Embracing change and the present, modernism encompasses the works of thinkers who rebelled against nineteenth century academic and historicist traditions, believing the “traditional” forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated; they directly confronted the new economic, social and political aspects of an emerging fully industrialized world. Some people divide the 20th Century into movements designated Modernism and Postmodernism, whereas others see them as two aspects of the same movement. (Wikipedia)

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Bauhaus credo

For those that perhaps deem themselves unfamiliar with Modernism, popular examples include the VW Bug, the World War II propaganda posters, A Brave New World, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, and much of the furniture we use today (especially IKEA).

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                                         Monument To The Third International

For me, as I walked through the exhibit, it was astounding how much of the designs were ahead of their time, and truly spurred the advancements following World War II.  The heyday of Modernism was from the beginning of World War I to World War II, and many of the contributors attempted to create amid what was a dire period of endless chaos hope for a more organized and “functional” future. 

Three Chairs (Almost 71)

 The chair below is an example of the lasting quality of the designs introduced by Modernism.  Growing up (until my parents replaced them) these were the chairs we had in our living room, and they were wonderfully simple, comfortable, and served their purpose well.

Here is another example: the Tatra T87 Saloon, a Czech produced car that traveled up to 100 mph.  This car was created in 1937, but clearly has challenged the conventiona; boundaries of speed and styling for its time.

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For more on the exhibit, see this feature by Slate. 

The Corcoran has another permanent gallery on display, although a lot smaller in size than the Mordernism exhibit.  Most interesting to me was a replica of Hiriam Power’s The Greek Slave, which has been called America’s most famous and dinest controbution to sculpture. 

Here is an image:

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As the first prominent nude statue of a woman in the U.S. it attracted controversy, but Power was careful to stress the pure nature of the figure.  Furthermore, created in the midst of the debate over slavery, many saw it as a symbolic parrallel to the plight of the African-Americans, further cementing its influence on public discourse.  Read more about the statue here.

 The next exhibit arriving at the Corcoran Museum will be the photographer Ansel Adams.

Roosh V

I did not make it to yesterday’s bloggers happy hour at The Science Club, but would have liked to perhaps meet blogger Roosh V (formerly DC Bachelor), who is one of mine (and DC’s) favorite and prolific bloggers.  He will be parting for travels in South America, but luckily there are plenty more blogs to pick up the slack.  It seems like others have been inspired to make note of their ponderings and ventures after coming across his blog, and I am no exception.  Thankfully, he leaves us with his book, Bang, as well.

For those unfamiliar, here is a sampling of posts:

5 Washington Dc Bars for Men

Solutions for Girls

The Flag Metric

American Culture

How to Get Your Finances in Order

Coffeeshop Couple

Spain Lessons

My Rules of Life

Don’t Take A Blowup Doll to the Beach

Having Fun

Testing Women

What’s Wrong With You

Cum-dumpsters

9 Rules of Opening a Hot DC Nightclub

How To Get Free Drinks At Starbucks

Why You Get Punped and Dumped

The Simpsons

The Simpsons movie is hitting theaters this weekend, and promises to be one the biggest draws of the summer. Even though the episodes of the past decade have dropped off in quality (with writers such as Conan leaving and the passing of Phil Hartman), the series has more than held his own against the likes of Family Guy. I don’t expect the movie to top the series, but it should be, and by all accounts that I have heard, as good as the episodes and a worthy inclusion.

Even more entertaining is watching the marketing campaign for the movie, which includes converting 7-Eleven stores into Kwik-E-Marts. Here is the closest one to DC, in Bladensburg, Maryland:

Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart? 

The stores sell items seen in the episodes, such as Buzz Cola:

Buzz Cola, but no Duff Beer.  Mmmm, beer.

Some owners have taken issue to this, arguing that Apu is a racist caricature. However, they also report that the promotion campaign has more than doubled sales for the month, so I doubt anyone is complaining too loudly. Here is the CNN report:

Many are using the moment to discuss their favorite Simpsons moments. I haven’t watched the vast majority of episodes (my parents made me change the channel each time it was on – the American cultural references were too much for them to handle I think, but my history teacher insisted anything worth knowing can be found on the Simpsons) but it does seem to me that the Simpsons does best when it is able to satire the core elements of the American lifestyle and history. This is why I place Rosebud high on my list of best episodes.

Here are three other worthy looks:

101 Greatest Simpsons Quotes
The best Simpson lines of all time
Best Simpsons satires

Some have drawn the parallel of sports figures as Simpsons characters.

My favorite character is Sideshow Bob, probably because he looks like Anderson Verjao of the Cleveland Caveliers.

Here is a clip from the classic ‘Cape Feare’, in which Bart narrowly avoids his demise at the hands of the ever gentlemanly muderer by having him recant the score of the HMS Pinafore (which I, too, have had to sing before)…

 For a cool map of Springfield, click here.

Eat Fresh

 Stupid Subway.

 “Yes, sir, what would you like?” the man at the counter askes me.

“Footlong Italian Herb and Cheese…”

“Yes,” grabbing the bread.

“With roast beef and turkey.”

Cuts it open. Hands over bread to next Subway girl.

She puts about five slices of roast beef on the bread. Looks up.

“Cheese?”

“Yes, but I also need turkey.”

“Turkey?” Proceeds to give the man a damning look on her left, starts taking roast beef off.

“No, roast beef and turkey. Both.”

The man gives me a stare.

“A club. Without ham,” I explain.

“Oh.” Takes a slice of roast beef off, add four slices of turkey.

Slides it over to next Subway girl.

“Lettuce?”

“I wanted cheese.”

Gives previous Subway girl on her left a damning look, slides it back.

“He wants cheese.”

She puts cheese on, and as she does so I remind her I want it toasted.

She doesn’t hear me, slides it back to the Subway girl.

“Lettuce?” she asks me again.

“I wanted that toasted.”

Shoots girl to her left another damning look, slides the sandwich back.

“He wants its toasted.”

She slides it to the first guy.

“He wants it toasted.”

He gives her a look, and puts it in the toaster. After a minute, takes it out, slides it to girl on his right, who slides it to the second girl on her right.

“Lettuce?” she asks me for a third time.

“Yes please. Also, tomato, green peppers, onion, cucumber…”

Puts topping on sandwich.

“Anything else?”

“Yes, could I get a bit of ranch and chipotle?”

Applies ranch, begins cutting sandwich in half.

“Sorry…a bit of chipotle as well?”

“Ok.” Squirts some chipotle.

“And some black pepper sprinkled on top?” as she begins to fold up the sandwich.

Shoots me a look, reaches for green peppers.

“No, we already had green peppers. Just a little bit of black pepper.” I point to it on the sill and make a jerking motion with my hand.

Good, done. That was easy.

Slides it over to cashier guy.

“Value meal?” he asks.

“No, I’m set. Thanks.”

Hand over my credit card. Notice the sign says no signature required, but seriously contemplating checking the receipt.

Slides me my sandwich.

I walk over to find a table. Open up my sandwich, and see that it is wheat.

“What the?” Screw it, I’m too hungry.

Open the sandwich, to discover there is ham inside. Not my sandwich, the guy handed me the wrong one.

Get up, walk back to Subway. Another guy is there, sees me with a sandwich in hand, and tells me that was his. I offer it to him, but he dismisses it, telling me they are making him another one from scratch.

“Good luck,” I tell him. I mean it.

They still have my sandwich and give it to me. I walk back to the table and sit down. A few bites into my sandwich, a lady walks by, and gets my attention.

“Oh, do you know where Subway is?”

Groaning, I point her in the right direction. Hey, it was a good lunch once I got around to actually eating it…

Eavesdropping

Some favorites from Overhead In New York:

Chick: She’s gonna have to run here… It closes at eight.

Meathead: Oh, but that bitch can run! I saw her running for birth control one time, and she fucking ran faster than me.

–Kimmel Cafeteria, NYU

Conductor: Please sit up.

Bag lady lying across several seats, staring at lights: Why won’t everyone leave me alone? [Begins loud, incoherent screaming.]

Conductor, backing away slowly: Okay, never mind.

Bag lady, to passenger: So, I tied him up. I gave him a Viagra, and I rode him for seven hours. And that’s why I look like this.

–A train

Black guy: Yeah, Superman — he hangs out around 42nd Street. He might go uptown every once in a while, but you never see his ass in Brooklyn. That’s ridiculous — Superman can not be killed by bullets, and he still won’t come to Brooklyn.

Black lady: You’re right. What about Batman?

Black guy: Oh, he probably has to come through Brooklyn — you know, that brother lives out on Long Island.

Black lady: He probably comes through Brooklyn, but you know he’s not getting out of that Batmobile.

Black guy: I’m sure he’s damn careful when he stops, too. Those are some ballin’ rims he’s got on that whip. If he ever parked, them shits would definitely get stolen!

–3 train

Party girl, looking at police on horses: I want to take a horse to the Upper East Side!

Jock: You’re going to the Upper East Side? Want to share a cab?

Party girl: Sure.

Jock: Want to fuck?

Party girl: Sure.

–21st & 6th

Chick #1: You know how people will, like, tell their parents a bunch of really horrible lies to make whatever they need to tell them seem not as bad?

Chick #2: Yeah…

Chick #1: I think that’s what I’m gonna do.

Chick #2: What’s worse than getting pregnant, dropping out of school, and moving to Jersey?

–3 train

Barista: Sir, you can pay for the juice over there.

Middle-aged Brit: But I bought it.

Barista: No you didn’t.

Middle-aged Brit: Yes, I did — at another place.

Barista: Yeah, oookay [rolls eyes].

Middle-aged Brit: I really did.

Barista: Yeah, oookay.

Middle-aged Brit: What the fuck is your problem?

Barista: Well, you just stole juice, and you’re being an ass, so you can leave now.

Middle-aged Brit: Excuse–

Old lady Brit: –Alexander, just stop talking! He could shoot you!

–Starbucks, Fashion District

Teacher: Does anyone know what ‘condemned’ means? Okay, let me give you an example: The Jews condemned Jesus. [Everyone looks at only Jewish student in class, who then glares at the teacher.] Oh, I’m so sorry!

–Notre Dame Academy, Staten Island

Ghetto chick: … And then I got caught on a gun charge because my boyfriend pistol-whipped me when I was pregnant and I took the gun and chased him down the street with it. And you know that drug bust in far Rockaway last year? That shit was me! Haha… And my lawyer got me five years probation and now jail time — he took care of me, ya know? And he was a Jew… You know them Jews — all into they money and shit.

–E train

Man, about freestyling partner: He was like the Mexican version of 50 Cent, ‘cept his name was 537 pesos, and he don’t need no gun — all he gots is his burrito and a hot dog.

–D train, from Coney Island

Man on cell: I don’t know! He just called me up and said that I owe him 50 grand and that he’s coming to kill me… Yeah, I told him I have no idea what he’s talking about, but he said he’s coming to kill me anyway.

–77th & Broadway

British mum to eight-year-old son: Bobby, stop looking at the bloody NASDAQ.

–Outside Toys ‘R’ Us

Dad to baby in stroller: Did you know that the price of copper is becoming irrelevant?!

–31st & Ditmars, Astoria

Fan to Beyoncé: Yo, Beyoncé, baby — they is childrens starvin’ in Bolivia! Why don’t you give ’em some o’ dat be-hin’?!

–Outside MTV studios

Hobo #1: Hey, that cell phone you sold me — that’s a crackhead cell phone! I want my money back! You sold me a crackhead phone!

Hobo #2: What do you expect? I’m a crackhead.

–Madison Square Park

20-ish man: So, I used to use the laundry on Driggs, but that place is dirty. Two weeks ago I started coming here–

30-ish woman: –I don’t give a shit. I just wanna have sex with you before I gotta get the kids and my husband comes home.

20-ish man: Okay.

–Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Girl #1: Anyhow, I kept telling him no, but he did. Then this morning I realized that I was raped.

Girl #2: Oh my god…

Girl #1: Yeah, but it was the best sex I ever had. But I didn’t want it.

–B train

30-ish investment banker on cell: She had so much makeup on her face she looked like she had just blown 20 clowns.

–44th & Park

Black guy: Here, this is for you, man, ’cause you look like Jesus.

Homeless guy: I thought Jesus was black!

Black guy, coming back: For that, my man, you get a dollar.

–55th & Broadway

Old guy browsing power tools: What about a bomb?

Buddy: A bomb? … We already talked about that.

–Home Depot, 23rd St

Yuppie lady boasting about son: He graduated summa cum laude from Villanova!

Cashier: Vee-la-no-va? Is that in New York?

Yuppie lady: No, it’s in–

Cashier, interrupting: –Yeah, then I don’t care.

–Clothing store, 54th & 5th

Boy pushing friend toward bathroom: Hurry! Empty your gizzard!

Girl: You mean my uterus?

–Brooklyn Tech High School

Lady: Sir, this woman is very pregnant. Please give her your seat.

Fat man: Yeah, well, I’m very fat, and that’s basically the same thing.

–4 train

Biotech #1: Jersey girls ain’t trash — trash gets picked up!

Biotech #2: Hahaha!

NJ girl passerby, defensively: I get picked up!

–Penn Station

Six-year-old girl to mom: … And the entire neighborhood was staring at us!

Four-year-old sister: Even God! And he was still alive!

–Joralemon St & Garden Pl, Brooklyn Heights

Male business student: Hey! Why the long face?

Female business student on crutches: Oh, just everything lately.

Male business student: Oh. Well, see ya later!

–115th & Amsterdam

Teen #1: Can I have a piece of gum? My mouth tastes weird.

Teen #2: Dude, you can’t eat Jesus and expect it to taste good.

–Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Chick #1: Thanks, bitch.

Chick #2: I’m obsessed with you!

Chick #1: A restraining order couldn’t stop my love.

–Canal St, Chinatown

Woman: You won’t take a fifty? Why won’t you take a fifty? This is outrageous! You don’t have a checker pen? You just check it with a checker pen! You need to get a checker pen. Oh my god, I can’t believe this is happening!

Counter chick: It’s company policy, we can’t take fifties. Nothing bigger than a twenty. But this drink is on the house.

Woman: I don’t want it on the house! I want to pay!

Counter chick: Don’t worry about it. It’s on the house. You don’t have to pay.

Woman: Well, this is the craziest thing I ever heard! You won’t let me pay! This is my husband’s fault! He owns a nightclub and he won’t give me a credit card. All he gives me is cash from the till! All I have is fifties and hundreds! I have a whole purse full of them! And you won’t let me pay! I feel like I’m homeless or something! Oh my god, this is so embarrassing.

–Jamba Juice, 5th & 23rd

Mom: Honey, you better behave while you stay at Daddy’s house this weekend.

Five-year-old boy: If he doesn’t buy me a new toy, I’m going to slice his sausage open!

–Canal St

Girl #1: Ewww! That doughnut looks like it’s covered in cum.

Girl #2: Mmm… If cum tasted like this I would give head everyday… I wish I tasted like this.

Girl #1: Word.

–Park Slope

Desperate wannabe bridezilla: Let me ask you a question — if you’re at a wedding and the bride throws the bouquet directly to you instead of to the whole crowd, does it still count?

Friend: I don’t think any of it really counts.

Passerby: Way to kill the mood.

–Elevator, 11th & University

Girl: Why don’t you just make a list of all the girls you want to fuck and their qualities for me, so I can take notes?

Boy: … Like, bullet points, or can I use full sentences?

–Brooklyn-bound L train

Weird girl: Did you bring the scepter?

Weird boy: No, I forgot.

Weird girl: That’s the second time!

Weird boy: I know, I’m sorry! I got the Tetris theme song stuck in my head again!

–D train

Asian girl, after falling down: Ouch! My knee!

Suit: That is the hottest thing I’ve seen all week.

–45th & 3rd

Little girl: Mommy, can I have ice cream?

Mom: No! Not until you finish your McDonald’s. Then you can have that ice cream.

–Atlantic Center