What a week in sports!
OK, not really. But some stuff happened after that great Super Bowl (great five minutes, anyway) and I thought we might take a look at it here.
(I was going to include the Federer-Nadal match but I’d be lying if I wrote that I watched. Tennis has become the new soccer, I think. No one watches, but everyone pretends that they do.)
Enjoy (unless you are someone who has written a “25 random things about me” list on Facebook. If you have, just stop reading. I’m pretty sure that I hate you).
Is Michael Phelps becoming Jeff Conaway?
Probably not (although Conaway is also a former Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, sharing the award with Edwin Moses, Mary Decker and Adrian Zmed in 1983). But I’m thinking with the DUI and now this that there is a chance (maybe three percent?) that we may one day see Phelpsy sitting across from Dr. Drew. Would that be the biggest fall from grace in sports history?
Uh, not so much. But I’d put it in the top four with The Juice, Mike Tyson and Pete Rose dressing as the San Diego Chicken at WrestleMania 15.
How will it end? Well first, this three-month ban is a joke. Wait, you mean he doesn’t get that 1,750-dollar a month stipend AND he can’t swim at that Grand Prix event in Austin? Wow, what a hit. You could suspend him for two years and it wouldn’t matter. Pretty sure all he cares about is London in 2012.
I guess Dana Torres was disgusted by Phelps’ actions. She is a purist, plain and simple. She’ll be at the Olympics in four years at age 76 setting personal bests on heart, desire and the love of her kids. I mean, we all know the long list of athletes who peak in their 40s, right?
Celtics Streak Ends, Gasol and Sasha do the Lambada
Couple of thoughts from last night’s game…
I’m with Doug Collins. Where was Eddie House? Do I need to watch Large Infant launch jumper after jumper in overtime?
That “MVP” chant for Pierce at the end of the third quarter was almost worse than when the Celtics fans chanted for Kobe a few years back. LeBron James is having a historically great season. Take him off the Cavs and they don’t beat the team from “Hang Time” in a five-game series. Pierce is having an okay (by his standard) season. Sort of an All-Star-type of season. That chant was borderline insulting and smacks of a Pink Hat assault.
Not sure why I hate Gasol (not “sports hate” either. I’m talking “Joy Behar” hate. “Sopranos Finale” hate. “Stuart Scott” hate.) this much. When he was with Nashville it was fine. Nice player, could pass the ball, had a few old-school post moves. What happened? It can’t just be the Lakers, can it?
Tough to foul Garnett out of a Lakers-Celtics game on THAT call, isn’t it? That one may hurt if Game 7 of the Finals is at the Staples Center.
Where does Christian Bale end and Patrick Bateman begin?
I thought that Andy Dick joining Sober House would be the highlight of my week until I heard Bruce Wayne voice his displeasure with the director of photography on the set of Terminator Salvation.
(By the way, did you know that Andy Dick has three children, including a 20-year-old son? Can we pair that kid with Frances Bean Cobain right now?)
Something tells me that Bale wasn’t acting this way until “The Dark Knight” hit $500 million. But you know what? There are about 50 guys out there who could play that role. You think a Batman movie with, I don’t know, Chris Evans (is that a real actor?) or Paul Walker wouldn’t be huge? I need to see Bale have a hit on his own. No franchise, no big co-star. We all have fun with Tom Cruise but he carried that hideous “Valkyrie” to 80 mil. You think Bale is doing that?
Two other movie notes…
Brad Pitt and Steven Soderbergh are going to make Moneyball. Great, great book but I have to think impossible to translate into a film. Don’t see it. Tough break for the casting director that Bob Denver is unavailable, because he would have killed the John Henry role.
I used to be into the box office results. Look every Monday, all that stuff. Stopped doing that a while ago, and would have never guessed that “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” would be a hit. It’s going to make 100 million bucks. How is that possible? Horrible reviews, it’s out at the worst time of the year, doesn’t have an actor who has ever opened a movie on his own. I am pleased to note that the movie was shot at the Burlington Mall, where, ironically, I saw many movies in the late 80s-early 90s. Favorite memory? Has to be the Julie Warner nude scene in “Doc Hollywood”, which ranks in the top five surprising naked shots in film history.
Joe Torre is trying to teach us
No, really. That’s what Tom Verducci keeps telling us.
Would anyone blame Torre if he just said this?
“Listen, I’m bitter. I made the playoffs for 12 straight seasons, won six pennants and four World Series. I won 98 games a year. Might’ve managed the best team of all time in 1998. When did I forget how to do this? Why did they want me out? I didn’t ask for Randy Johnson or Carl Pavano or Jaret Wright or Kevin Brown or Jeff Weaver or Jose Contreras or Kei Igawa. So I think I’ll write a book, take a few shots and make some money. Is that okay with everyone?”
I think that would have been okay. I don’t need to hear anymore of this from Verducci.
“His motivation was clear from start to finish: to inform the reader with insight into an incredibly successful era of Yankees history. He wanted to share his view from a front row, center seat to history. There never were any sour grapes. He left the Yankees, as the book details, with a sense of relief.”
Enough, Tom. Truth be told, I’ve been down on Verducci since he ran this fawning piece on Clemens right before he won his 300th game. A couple of thousand words on how his workout routine is astounding, how he is a marvel at age 40. Here’s a taste of it:
“Over the next hour, with his pitching hand still swollen and bandaged, Clemens zips through a se-ries of exercises that includes 130 abdominal crunches, runs totaling 1 1/2 miles at a 6:40 pace, several sets of jumps with a four-pound jump rope, several football-style agility drills, ball-pickup drills and basketball-style line drills.
From the field Clemens briskly walks four blocks to a gym where he spends another hour doing rack-rattling lower-body weight training, such as squats and leg curls, and more cardio work on some combination of the treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical trainer. There is a reason why almost none of the moms or lobster-shift gym members gawk at the only six-time Cy Young Award winner in their midst: He is here almost every day. "I'm gonna break this thing!" Clemens says, straining atop the stationary bike. He's already broken one bike, and there is a glint in his eye as this one begins to emit the mechanical warning gasps of surrender. "Hear it? You hear it?" he says. "I'm gonna break it!"
Number of times the word steroid appears in this story? Zero. But don’t worry, Brian McNamee is front and center.
Five Super Bowl Thoughts (Because I’m half the man Chris Price is)
1. Kurt Warner is going to the Hall of Fame. He now has the three highest passing totals in Super Bowl history, two league MVP awards and a SB MVP. There is no way he gets left out. I predict 2017 is his year to get in. And Brenda Warner has managed to go from Anne Murray to a solid 7 in the last nine years. If she keeps this pace up she’s going to look like Jennifer Connelly circa “The Hot Spot” when Kurt gets the jacket in Canton.
2. So NBC has hired Matt Millen to comment on football and Jimmy Fallon to host a comedy show? I keep waiting for the press release that they have acquired the rights to major league baseball and are proud to name Glenn Geffner, Brian Daubach and Jim Corsi as the lead announcing team.
3. Solid B+ for the Boss. I was glad he had fun and didn’t act above the whole thing. I know the hardcore Bruce fans wanted to hear something a little off the radar, but that’s not how a 12-minute show works. Don’t worry, you’ll hear “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City” during the tour.
4. There’s an idea floating around that with a Super Bowl next year the Steelers can make a claim as co-team of the decade. Three Super Bowls each is the pitch. And that is true, I guess. But a couple of factors swing the vote back to Foxboro. The big one, of course, is that the Pats went into Pittsburgh twice and won AFC Championship games (and we should all pause and give Drew Bledsoe some thanks for that first one. I know it hurts some of you, but the guy got it done that day). Throw in the 16-0 season and I think we have our answer.
5. I’m feeling a Patriots-Giants rematch at Super Bowl XLIV (assuming Brady is good to go). And I’m still thinking Cassel winds up in Kansas City.
Kirk Minihane, WEEI.com Contributor, is the resident Fantasy Sports expert for WEEI.com. Email him at email@example.com and read his blog at WEEI.com