Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blogger Interviews: NFL Adam


We're running a segment here at The Big Picture where we'll interview some of the biggest names in the sports blogosphere. What's the point? Well, these guys spend countless, thankless hours writing, so a little recognition from time to time is well warranted. Think of this as the blogger's version of a reach-around or something.

Hanging out today is NFL Adam from the whoop-ass The Hater Nation and The FanHouse. THN has a small-to-medium-sized place in our heart: it was the first blog we added to our blogroll, the first one ours added to, and probably the first place we ever dropped off a comment. That was way back in '05. Adam's site is still among our favorite stops of the day and he's one of the few bloggers we talk to regularly outside of cyberspace. So treat Adam...oh fuck it. Do whatever the fuck you want with him. This is the same guy who makes fun of just about everything, so let him have it in the comments.

1. The rundown:

Name: NFL Adam
Age: 30-something
Location: Sunset Beach, Calif.
Occupation: Editor
Favorite team: How about the teams that I hate? Starting with the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Football Team, the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees, the Celtics and pretty much any team that doesn’t play near the I-15, except for the Jazz, hate them too.

Links to your favorite all-time posts you've written. (3-5)

-The original Raiders Fans in the Mist
-Terrell Owens Died For Your Sins
-J.J. Needs a Paternity Test
-A Date Which Will Live in Infamy (Stupid and to the point.)

Time per day spent blogging and perusing the blogosphere: Good lord, like all day. Mostly looking for pictures of Cowgirl.

2. Take us through a typical day of blogging.

I like to post at night before bed. But sometimes something will strike my fancy during the day. I was once obsessed with “breaking” stories, being one of the first to stumble on the Panthers lesbian cheerleading romp and downloading the photos before the club pulled them. But then you find a gem, and then two hours later, it’s on The Sports Frog, or something. Not that they are stealing or anything, but we’re all searching for the same type of stuff. Now I just kind of take it as it comes, and don’t really care if I’m first, because I’m pretty confident that my take will be unique.

3. You have like real life (read: paid) sports writing experience under your belt. Tell us about those gigs. How'd you hook them up? Are they as cool as they sound?


They probably are more cool. I stumbled on an internship with the NFL and turned that into a nine-year stint. You haven’t lived until Marcus Allen has (expletive) blocked you. Or Jim Kelly has told you that you need to shut it down because you might have had too many drinks. Funny story, I got that gig because an ex-girlfriend’s brother-in-law had held a position with the NFL and he put in a good word. But that wasn’t the only reason why I dated her. So that was a real cool job, and you can imagine how disappointed I was when the league closed down the office. It’s quite a switch going from covering Super Bowls to doing softball agate. But seeing that I never really paid my dues, covering preps was a pretty good experience and it now helps me appreciate everything I have now.

I’m often asked who were my favorite players in the NFL. The short list goes Marcellus Wiley, Kyle Turley and Pat Tillman. I talked to Pat after his rookie season with the Cardinals and he was as really cool guy. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him whenever. I made a habit of calling him every summer, just to find out what he was up to. One year, he ran a marathon. Another year, he did a triathlon. Then the last year, he joined the Army. I had his number and I wanted to call and wish him good luck with everything, but he didn’t want to talk to the media, so I chickened out. I regret that every day. Even if I had just left a message. I still try to live by one of his credos, "Do something that scares you every day." Sometimes when I’m nervous about something, anything, I just think about that.

4. The Hater Nation does such a good job with taking a different angle to a well-discussed story. What's the rationale behind this? Trying to stick out? Distinguish your voice? Do tell.


Thank you. A lot of it comes from being left-handed. I also have a background in stand-up comedy, which teaches you to take an event and just given an honest reaction. If you take the time to think, "What is the most controversial thing I can say about this," then it looks disingenuous and people can see right through it. Like Calvin Cowherd, who comes off like a big phony. So the key is to just be honest with yourself and state your point of view without being afraid of the reaction. You do a good job of that, and it is the reason why I started reading TBP. But damn, the blogosphere can be so predictable. Anytime a story breaks, you can predict what 98% of the blogs out there are going to say about it.

5. Dream job? Go.

Playing the role of Norm MacDonald’s brother on My Name is Earl. I’m a Norm sound-alike (as Zach could attest), so that just seems natural.

6. THN has been known to say some shit that's funny as hell, but is close to crossing -- if not completely over -- the line. This post comes to mind. Ever worried you've gone too far? Get any hate mail? Death threats? At least one or two, right?

I’m still struggling to see what was controversial about that. More than 100 marines died in Iraq in May, where is the outrage over that? I’m sorry for those kids at Virginia Tech, but do you really care? Yeah, it was a bad day, but to be truthful, those events didn’t really impact your life unless you were on campus that day, or had family or friends who did. But that didn’t stop bloggers from going on, and on about the ordeal. That, to me, was more offensive. I hate people who try to thrust themselves into a tragedy. Like people living in Wyoming who talked about their 9/11 experiences. Odds are, that didn’t really impact many lives in Jacksonhole.

Going back to what I said about honest reactions, when the Virginia Tech shootings went down, my immediate thought was, "Where was Marcus Vick?" And I’m willing to bet that was the first thought of millions of people out there. Let’s just be honest.

I also remember a couple of years ago I did a post after a Colts playoff loss saying, "Colts fans were on suicide watch on Sunday, but that was just in the Tony Dungy family section." And people became indignant because of that. Yeah, like you knew James Dungy. Get over yourself. Besides, Tony equated himself as being a bit of a scumbag for his stance on gay rights. And that’s another thing I don’t get, homophobia in sports. Like is Tim Hardaway scared that one of the cast members of Queer Eye is going to overpower him and force him to turn gay? I think that if you are not gay, then the odds of you have gay sex are pretty slim. So I don’t get why Dungy has to go campaigning about gay marriage. Seeing that he’s not gay, he’s probably not going to enter into a gay marriage, so why does he care?

And I guess none of this has anything to do with the question. But I have never, outside of a drunk at a Cal State Fullerton basketball game, been accosted by a fan. Although, I almost got roughed up by Steve Bisheff’s toupee.

7. There are all sorts of wonderful blogs out there. A few you'd recommend?

This is my favorite part of your interviews. In that people always list Deadspin or With Leather. Obviously those are great spots and I have gained a lot of readers because of those guys. But who hasn’t heard of them by now? Yeah, Dan Shanoff, thanks for pointing me to this great Deadspin website because I’ve never heard of it. And hey Jamie, you might want to check out this cool movie called Star Wars and this awesome television show called The Simpsons. Might have slipped your radar. Again, I don’t try to go out of my way, but here illustrates the point that you can predict what 98% of the blogosphere is going to say.

So here are some of the cool ones you might not have heard of: Wasting Company Time, West Side Slant, A Price Above Bip Roberts, Rumors and Rants, Signal to Noise, Our Book of Scrap, Minor League Town, L.A. Seitz of Chicago, Blog Cabins, Insomniac’s Lounge, Benny’s The Sports Pulse, Flash Warner’s deal, Awful Announcing, Trust Me I’m a Blonde, Nanners and Noodles, and um, some others. I’m sorry if I didn’t name you. I’m trying to give a lift to my buddies. I feel like Doug Krikorian.

But probably the most important blog over the past decade is Divealanche. Seriously, if it wasn’t for Divealanche, there wouldn’t be a THN. And to those who have, uh, modeled your site after THN, you should pay a little respect for Divealanche.

8. Most rewarding parts of blogging? Most frustrating?

The Comment Monkeys are, by far, the most rewarding part. CAPPY, Conrad Bain, Bucky, The Hatriot, Zach LS, et al., again I’m screwing myself because I’m omitting hundreds of people here. But I love them all, even the Fake Will Leitch.

Nothing is frustrating about it. I don’t even care about not getting paid for it. Even when people rip me or the site, it’s worth it because they had fun. I love it.

9. What's the ultimate goal of your site/your writing

I have no goal. I’ve covered two Super Bowls, covered a World Series. I’ve done it all. I don’t care. As long as people enjoy what we do, then the site will keep running. But douchebags who say they want to get into writing movies, or they want to write for late-night talk shows because they have said all that they have said, well they can go (expletive) themselves. That shows me that you aren’t giving an honest reaction, instead playing a character. I swear, I make bad James Dungy jokes in my home.

10. October, 2004. You just wake up, hop online, realize porn wasn't doing it for ya anymore, and decide to surrender yourself to a world of sports blogging? Or did starting THN play out a bit differently?

I always wanted to do a Raiders-bashing site back in the late 1990s. But it took me that long to get around to it. I once wrote for this sports website covering the Angels, and that was kind of the launch of THN, but it didn’t really get started in earnest until 2004. I just wanted a chance to write what I wanted to write, without the constraint of editors. Well, I have horrible grammar and keyboards weren’t designed for lefties, so I make a ton of mistakes, typos, etc. But in exchange, I get to say what I want, so I hope that makes up for it.

11. This might be a loaded question, but, in your opinion, what's the future of sports blogs? Enlighten us.

FanHouse is really leading the way here, of taking some of the best and brightest and going forward. Now you will see other sites following suit, including ESPN, FOX and newspapers. Blogs are hot right now, but there is a backlash coming soon. Not that blogs will go the way of the ham radio, but with too many people out there, nobody takes blogs seriously. So eventually, the numbers will shrink to the dedicated blogs.

12. We'll end with some lucky individuals. The Hater Nation is fueled by the likes of Eli Messiah, J.J. Manning, Cowgirl and others. Who's been the athlete or sports figure you'll go out of your way to rag on? Why?

You don’t have to go out of your way to make fun of Messiah or J.J. Manning. They make it too easy. And I admire Cowgirl. People rag on her, but she took her opportunity and ran with it. People like that should be admired, not scorned. You might believe that she has no business writing for SI, but really, neither does Peter King.

Thanks for the time. Since I have the floor, I wanted to announce that I have landed one of my dream jobs (sadly, not the Norm MacDonald thing). So NFL Adam might not be around the blogosphere as much. And announcing this is so douchey, but I just wanted to assure people that THN will continue to roll, and look for further announcements.

(Past interviews; also found on right sidebar: Dawizofodds; Matt Ufford; The Mighty MJD; Jamie Mottram; The Big Lead; The Cavalier; Will Leitch; Dan Shanoff; Dan Steinberg; Brooks; Unsilent Majority; J.E. Skeets; Henry Abbott; The Dugout).

Kill Buss

Check out perhaps the best take on the Kobe drama over at Pyle of List.

And the NHL's rating aren't exactly through the roof. Hey, we did our part last night.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Word Association: Ron Artest



That video is our favorite 8:23 of NBA action in the last, oh, 200 years. Just savagery on a colossal scale. Maybe we're idiots for thinking that's the best thing to happen to the Association since Michael Jordan, but hey, we're suckers for entertainment. And Spurs/Pistons, yeah, we'll opt for Seinfeld re-runs, thanks.

The player is Ron Artest. (Though you could substitute just about any player then on the Pacers). The scene is the Palace at Auburn Hills. The day? When the NBA had life.

The word that comes to mind? That's what the comments are for, riot fans.

Blogger Reach-Arounds

"Blogger Reach-Arounds" is The Big Picture's link dump that runs every Wednesday. But sometimes Thursday. But usually Wednesday. Send your links -- current posts or those within the last week -- to zachls5@gmail.com by Tuesday night.

1.) The Beautiful Game has a wonderful video of the best goal celebrations. While a fun video, we're still waiting for the player with the assist to mime giving oral sex to the scorer. It's been a long wait.

2.) Blog Show No. 10 is out! The show is so good, it's made it through 10 episodes, which is pretty much longer than most sitcoms these days. Thing is, 10 shows, no Big Pic mention. Ten. Still no shout-out. We're starting to feel like Brady Quinn on draft day.

3.) Loser with Socks has a list you sorta want to be on, but not really: the ugliest No. 1 draft picks. With top pick money, you could buy a new face, kinda like in Face/Off. Hell, Rocky Dennis could probably get laid with the accompanying contract. (By the way, we're patting ourselves on the back for two movie references in one paragraph. Take that, Simmons!)

4.) Pyle of List on Kobe's ultimatum.

5.) Stiles Points continues his excellent series, "Five Good Questions" by chatting Cubs baseball with the Cubs blog Bleeding Cubbie Blue. Carlos Zambrano is our fantasy team's weak link. Fucker.

6.) Money Players questions if super agent Scott Boras is destroying baseball. Don't get us started on the lack of a salary cap...

7.) With the Giants in New York, Steroid Nation says how the New York media is just waiting to ambush Bonds. Because ripping on Bonds would be a new, interesting angle...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Franchise names that don't make sense

Got a case of the Tuesday's? Yeah, that didn't write so well, but you know what we mean: the start of the work week is about as popular as rug-burns.

Anyway, we read a Simmons column over the weekend. We like Bill, but he writes a bit too long and a bit too often about Boston sports. Still, there's a reason he is where he is.

In his list of reasons he loves sports, he had this item:
No. 929: The Utah Jazz
I will never get used to this: One of our most white-bread American cities roots for an NBA franchise named for a musical movement created by African-Americans. It's genuinely insane. You can brainstorm with your buddies all weekend to come up with a name for a sports franchise that makes less sense -- there's no way you're topping Utah Jazz. Not even with Dallas Indians.
OK, Bill. You're on. We'll get the ball rolling, but we're counting on you guys to help us out big time in the comments. These can be real teams or existing nicknames with new cities that make even less sense than the Utah Jazz. Are you up for the challenge? Are you?

-Los Angeles Lakers
-San Francisco 76ers
-Philadelphia 49ers
-Houston Islanders
-Washington Canadiens
-Phoenix Reign
-Portland Hurricanes
-Miami Diamondbacks

Your turn.

Thunder?! Who the fuck is Thunder?

You know this is what Barbaro was thinking...

Duke loses lacrosse championship

How will the Blue Devils get over the loss?



Oh. Yeah.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Veterans Memorial Day

Like you (presumably), we're taking the day off.

Have fun today. Go smoke some shit. Then maybe play with yourself.

We'll see ya tomorrow.

(FYI: We have zero idea who that chick is, but when we typed in "Memorial Day" to Google Images, she conveniently appeared. You're welcome.)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Blogger Interviews: The Dugout


We're running a segment here at The Big Picture where we'll interview some of the biggest names in the sports blogosphere. What's the point? Well, these guys spend countless, thankless hours writing, so a little recognition from time to time is well warranted. Think of this as the blogger's version of a reach-around or something.


Joining us today is our boy B from the hilarious -- and "official" -- MLB Chatroom, The Dugout. B answered the questions in part for himself and also for the other guys at the site. His words are sure to make you laugh. Play nice, motherfuckers. If not? Well, let's just say these guys are good with creating nicknames.

1. The rundown:


Name: B (Brandon Stroud)
Age: 27
Location: Cleveland, OH
Occupation: Highbrow professional author; foodserver
Favorite team: Baltimore Orioles
Links to your favorite all-time posts you've written. (3-5)

Picking favorites by Jon and Nick is tough, because writing alongside them is the absolute best thing about doing the site.

-One from Jon: Corey Lidle's New Home
-One from Nick: That's Assault, Brotha
-A lot of the fan favorites are the character pieces, and nothing beats an appearance by PECOTA.

PlayerEmpiricalComp.OptimizationTestAlgorithm
Because "I Took Pills" is a Boring Resolution

I'm happiest whenever I get to go completely off-topic and make fun of WGN or TBS rain delay programming.

Tarp-ay Diem

Time per day spent blogging and perusing the blogosphere: I've been using the Internet to look up professional wrestling news and naked pictures of celebrities for about ten years. In 1997 it was Yokozuna joining the Hart Foundation and Jenny McCarthy sitting on Santa's lap. In 2007 it's how many stars American Dragon's match got and Anne Hathaway as a nude, troubled teen. I didn't know what a "blog" was until last week. I've been calling them "Xangas."

2. The Dugout isn't your traditional blog. (Hell, maybe "blog" isn't even the right classification). Either way, why the different look and format? Is it to stick out? Is it that, like you say, you'd "rather suck and be different, than be mediocre and just like everyone else"?

I don't think we've ever considered ourself a blog. It took me a while to even classify us as a webcomic. In the simplest terms, what I do with the Dugout is try to make my friends laugh. If Jon or Nick read a strip I've done and tell me it was funny, my job is done. If my girlfriend reads it and laughs, I feel great. Recently we've gotten a lot of coverage and people sending us e-mails about how we've changed their perspective on baseball, especially on individual players, and that they get their baseball news from us. That's so flattering. And weird, because we're more likely to report on someone getting pissed and vomiting in the street than we are to compare someone's OPS to someone else's VORP. We're easy access to the bottom line of inconsequential baseball stories. We're like those sticker books full of badly peeled Jose Canseco rectangles for the digital age.

3. Tell us about how The Dugout started. Why baseball? How'd you guys all hook up? You guys like hang out and stuff now, or is the geographical separation kinda fuck that up?

The Dugout started through a Progressive Boink article about the Cubs in the playoffs in 2003. Jon was screencapping the game, and capped a picture of then-Cubbies relief superstar Kyle Farnsworth messing around with the rosin bag, staring down at this hand. It looked enough like Kyle was checking his cell phone, so Jon turned it into an instant message conversation. It was a funny segment, and appeared again a few months later in an article about Alex Rodriguez becoming a Yankee. In that piece the chatroom was simply christened "The Dugout," because what else would baseball players call their official chatroom? That rationale ends pretty quickly, though, when you realize that every professional player in the sport has given themselves an esoteric, Bermanesque pun for a screenname. If we were being more realistic everyone would be ProPlayer2425 and Farnsworth's handle would be something about Godsmack.

Jon lives in Louisville, Kentucky, Nick goes to Virginia Tech by way of Boston, and I'm a Virginia native living just outside of Cleveland. How we ended up finding the exact same execution of a female cop having the hell choked out of her is beyond my realm of understanding. We've hung out several times, including a year or so when Jon was my roommate and making me laugh every single day, but I don't get to see them nearly enough. That's a shame.

4. What's the deal with Progressive Boink? Is The Dugout part of that? A spinoff?

I've written for popular-culture websites for years, making jokes about how Sailor Moon is more like Gay-lor Moon, and building a small, loyal, sexy fan base. Eventually that grew to include the Internet's "Boiskov" and "RageGuitar99," who became Jon Bois and Nick Dallamora. We decided to write together and push the boundaries of what "what do you think of my opinions you guys" can be, be it a more honed, unique viewpoint on something everyone
remembers, a ground-up creative overhaul (like recreating the livejournal of a man who survives the apocalypse only to be stuck in a closed room with nothing but a TV and a copy of You Got Served), or whatever. It's been so creatively rewarding and we've gotten some national coverage from the stuff we've done there, but it is a LOT of work. Like, a lot. Like sitting in front of your computer going OH GOD BE FUNNY for a half a day.

When we realized how funny the Dugout comic was and made it a weekly, then daily feature, we also realized how much less work it was, and how many more readers we could get by not writing 300 intense, layered paragraphs. There's nothing we three love more equally than baseball. It became less about what we wanted to do, and more about what we could do best for everybody else.

5. Somewhat related, what's up with the National Lampoon Humor Network? How's The Dugout fit in?

They offer slightly more capital than Google Ads, only they never send you the money.

National Lampoon approached P-Boi about joining their online collection of humor sites and we accepted, because we are all poor, and because it's pretty cool to tell people you meet that you "work for National Lampoon." It's better than "I have a website wherein the baseball stars curse at each other." The Dugout is a subsection of Boink (hence the URL), so the "click Paris Hilton's wonky eyeball, win an iPod" adverts for National Lampoon's PLEDGE THIS! also appear there.

6. What goes into putting together a post? (Post?) Do you need a decent story -- like Clemens/Farnsworth, for example -- to get the ball rolling? Or can you turn anything baseball-related into a good chat?

The trick to writing a good Dugout is to just start writing it, and don't stop. If you stop and look at what you're doing, you'll see that you're making Luis Matos and Melvin Mora flee in terror from a zombified Carl Pavano, and you'll stop, because Jesus Christ. But if you keep going and put it up before you start second-guessing yourself, somebody likes it, and you are vindicated. For me, the Dugout is organic. 90% of what I do, at least, is off the top of my head. 80% of that 90% is me going to the MLB section of ESPN.com's little news section and looking for something interesting that doesn't have anything to do with the Yankees or Red Sox, because at any given time we have just used the Yankees or the Red Sox.

The hardest chats to write are the ones about the most obvious subjects. When Barry Bonds dresses in drag as Paula Abdul, how are you supposed to make that YOUR funny? It's Barry Bonds in a dress. You can't do a lot to make that funnier than it is. When Dontrelle Willis starts pissing in the street, how do you approach that? It's tough, man. Some days I click
hoping there's a story about how David Wells wants a bunch of money, or a story about how Sidney Ponson killed and devoured a toddler. Makes my day.

7. There are all sorts of wonderful blogs/websites out there. A few you'd recommend?

I will use this spot as a Method Man quality shout-out to the friends we met and made speaking at the Varsity Letters event in New York City:

Gelf Magazine; Dan Shanoff; With Leather; Faith and Fear in Flushing; Deadspin.

8. Most rewarding parts of running a website? Most frustrating?

The most rewarding thing about the Dugout is that we never seem to get hatemail. I'm still getting hatemail for something I wrote about Mariah Carey seven years ago. Everyone seems to like it, and when someone like Dan Shanoff or Matt Ufford comes up to us and tells us how much they love us, that is fucking incredible. The constant reassurance, that's the best part.

The most frustrating thing is that moment or day when you're sitting at the computer, trying to wing something about how the Yankees are more than likely a gaggle of homosexuals, and it just does not compute. Writers block is the most frustrating thing about anything we do. If it wasn't for airplane turbulence and the band "Crazy Town," it'd be the worst thing about life.

9. What's the ultimate goal of your site/your writing?

To make people laugh. That's it. I want to say something dramatic and profound about art, but fuck, if I can make you laugh, it makes me feel okay.

10. Dream job? Go.

"Rich person." Indiscriminate rich person. I am dying to figure out a way to have that job. I've been poor forever. Someone be my mysterious benefactor!

(Also, I say "rich person" because my real dream job is "The Flash.")

11. How'd you guys initially get readership? Word of mouth? Message boards? And how about a piece of advice to smaller sites on how to get good traffic.

I have no idea. I'm shocked by the amount of people who know who we are. We've been helped out a lot by places like Deadspin, where Will let Nick write after the Virginia Tech thing, and the Something Awful Sports Argument Stadium, who got together and sponsored Jim Thome's page last year in our honor. Those guys are great. I don't know, we just make each other laugh.
That's the best advice I can give to anyone. Make your friends laugh. Don't "try to be a writer." Don't try to make jokes if there isn't a joke. Don't force it. Just make your friends laugh, and you'll make everyone else who cares laugh too. There's a basic joy in fraternity that people can pick up on, and they can tell if you're fake. Don't ever be fake. Just be honest, and make sure Jon IMs you the next day to tell you how he had to stop reading because he was laughing so hard.

12. Let's finish with some baseball. Some of your favorite story lines a fifth of the way into the season? What teams will keep up the good start and play into the Fall. Any teams sub .500 right now that'll make a run sometime soon?

I am increasingly depressed by how many times we've had to use the Lady Cop in Dugouts this season. We use this African-American lady police officer picture as our go-to "cop" in the Dugout, and she's made a few appearances in the past to deal with Dmitri Young, but it seems like we're using her every day now. Jake Peavy, Dontrelle in the street, Alberto Callaspo, Orlando Cepeda, and now Elijah Dukes. If we were doing a football or basketball comic she'd be in the goddamned thing every day, but baseball is supposed to be slow and boring and apt for contemplation, not full of crazy drug murderers. Where have you gone, Mickey Tettleton, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Woo woo woo.

As far as who makes a run and who plays into the Fall, I have two allegiances: One, to the Baltimore Orioles, because I was three when they last won a World Series and Cal Ripken Jr. was awesome on his logoless macaroni and cheese box baseball card. They're mired in that pack of almost-second-placers with the Yankees and Blue Jays and...uh, the Devil Rays, but I love them like a fat kid loves golden cake and will support them blindly in the name of Jim Palmer and Larry Sheets until the end times. The second allegiance is to the Indians, because I live 15 minutes from the Jake.

(Past interviews; also found on right sidebar: Dawizofodds; Matt Ufford; The Mighty MJD; Jamie Mottram; The Big Lead; The Cavalier; Will Leitch; Dan Shanoff; Dan Steinberg; Brooks; Unsilent Majority; J.E. Skeets; Henry Abbott).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Word Association: Miami/Florida State

Pick a year. Don't like 1991? How about '92? Wanna keep it 21st century? OK. Then 2002.

When Miami and Florida State meet on the football field, strange things seem to happen. And placekickers would be better off calling in sick.

The teams are Florida State and Miami. The sport? Football, obviously.

The word(s) that comes to mind?

All together now in the comments.

Blogger Reach-Arounds


"Blogger Reach-Arounds" is The Big Picture's link dump that runs every Wednesday. But sometimes Thursday. But usually Wednesday. Send your links -- current posts or those within the last week -- to zachls5@gmail.com by Tuesday night.

1.) Stupid Sideline Reporters looks at the pros and cons of Comcast yanking the NFL Network from its coverage. A nation weeps.

2.) Money Players looks at NBA Lottery magic. Even better if on magic mushrooms.

3.) Lion in Oil tells...err...shows how a wet t-shirt contest broke out at Dodger Stadium. Don't get us started on Dodger fans...

4.) Stiles Points, always good for an outstanding Q&A, is joined by Sooze of Babes Love Baseball. Babes love other things too that involve wood.

5.) Whoa. A bit windy at a soccer game. Credit The Beautiful Game with the find.

6.) Larry Brown Sports with a video of that hot chick from those Right Guard commercials. Ugh, athletes, um, wear body spray? Still looking for the sports angle, but the video's sure to get a stir in your pants.

7.) Would you do Tina Cervasio? Mark us at negative two drinks and some S&M shit. One More Dying Quail reports...

8.) Signal to Noise -- check out the new digs -- tells us about how USC swiped an Arkansas QB.

9.) The Fan's Attic is waaay juiced about the Blazers winning the lottery.

10.) McNabb to the Chicago? I Dislike Your Favorite Team unearths a rumor.

Everything Brandon Roy touches turns to gold

Question: Can one guy turn around an NBA franchise?

Answer: If it's Brandon Roy, he can fix a team, fly, last for an hour (think about it), save the world, get the girl, go for another hour with said girl and be home for dinner at six.

Because winning Rookie of the Year wasn't enough, B-Roy rubbed his good fortune off on some ping pong balls and will help the Blazers -- ideally -- get next year's Rookie of the Year too.

That shirt he's wearing in the photo? Yeah, used to be white.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The NBA Lottery drinking game

Today's NBA Lottery is just about the best event the NBA has to offer besides the NBA Draft, an NBA arrest, or an NBA game involving Stephen Jackson.

We're big fans of the lottery, not because it's fair (load of shit, if you ask us), but because it's about the only exciting thing happening right now.

So in honor of today's lottery, here's the unofficial NBA Lottery Drinking Game, which should, like, make it even more fun:

-Take two drinks if Pau Gasol is Memphis' representative.

-Take four if neither Memphis or Boston wins the lottery.

-Take five if either Memphis or Boston wins the lottery.

-Kill the drink if a cutthroat motion is made by the Memphis or Boston rep after missing out on the top two picks.

-Take three when you first realize that Bill Simmons' next column will involve the Celtics and the lottery.

-Take one when you see Isaiah Thomas for the first time.

-Take three more when Thomas gives his shit-eating grin.

-Kill it, get another and kill that shit too if Adam Morrison is Charlotte's rep and he's wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt.

-Take five when the Hawks have to give their pick to Phoenix.

-Continue to sip for every second of awkward silence.

-Take three if there's a Kevin Garnett trade rumor.

-Take two if the Maloof's are there.

-Every time Kevin Durant or Greg Oden's name is mentioned, take a drink.

-When whichever team wins the lottery, if a commentator then says, "the ball bounced _____'s way," get a fucking keg.

See how this works? Good. Give us your best in the comments.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A critique of The FanHouse

Based on a fascinating email thread between AOL FanHouse writers, we thought we'd do an entire post on this.

About a week and a half ago, a blog called Dawg Sports wrote a rather critical piece about the FanHouse. Dawg Sports is part of the SB Nation blog network, which our U-Dub Dish is also a part of.

First off, we were really disappointed about the nature of the post. Though well-written, the post seemed to go against what blogs are all about (including keeping the posts short!) and really rubbed us the wrong way.

One of the greatest things about the sports blogosphere is that rather than compete, sites seem to be rooting each other on; we want fellow bloggers to succeed. You wouldn't know that reading this piece.

That said, Dawg Sports' post brings up some interesting points that have been discussed thoroughly in the aforementioned FanHouse email thread.

Namely is the issue of voice. For example, we like to think that at The Big Picture, we've established a voice you've become familiar with. You know you can expect dick jokes and f-bombs here.

But our voice isn't quite as distinct at The 'House. That's our fault. We're working hard to change that.

As the reader, we'd love your opinion on things you like and things that can be improved at The FanHouse.

-Are bloggers' work on their home sites better than their work at AOL?
-Is the writing at The FanHouse watered-down?
-Not enough community?

We'd really like to hear you thoughts in the comments.

Very few things are perfect, and The FanHouse is certainly not a perfect blog. But it's really something special. Nearly every story's covered, there's strong writing, and there's more and more creativity everyday.

Blogging over at AOL has been a pleasure and something we're incredibly proud to be a part of. Nothing can change that.

(And, like always to compensate for any serious post, that's a picture of a hot chick to improve your Monday).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blogger Interviews: Henry Abbott


We're running a segment here at The Big Picture where we'll interview some of the biggest names in the sports blogosphere. What's the point? Well, these guys spend countless, thankless hours writing, so a little recognition from time to time is well warranted. Think of this as the blogger's version of a reach-around or something.

Joining us today is Henry Abbott of TrueHoop. After blogging independently, Henry's now a Senior Writer for ESPN.com. That's just one of the many impressive stops along his career path. Play nice in the sandbox.

1. The rundown:

Name: Henry Abbott
Age: 32
Location: Flemington, New Jersey
Occupation: Basketball Blogger
Favorite team: Portland Trail Blazers
Links to your favorite all-time posts you've written. (3-5)

Not all-time favorites, necessarily, but what my mushy memory can come up with on short notice:

Henry Abbott, Streetballer
Gregory Dole: My Summer with William Wesley
LRMR Marketing: A Website Marketing Copy Critique
Don't Pee on the Rookie of the Year

Time per day spent blogging and perusing the blogosphere: As much as I can possibly get. I'm in the office online for at least nine hours a day, and during the playoffs I'm home watching games and blogging for another five or six hours after I put the kids to bed. This summer, I hope to be reintroduced to things I used to know like my wife, sleep, and downtime.

2. Your resumé is very impressive to say the least. Take us through your career path, starting with first jobs, early internships, etc. all the way up to where you are now.

Oh man -- no way you really want the whole list, but what the hell? Here's the short version, starting at about age 13: I mowed lawns, waited tables, bucked hay, and walked around selling Pepsi and licorice at the rodeo (which is good money, I might add).

In college, I checked IDs and booked racquetball courts at the health club. I was an intern at WNET -- down the hall from Charlie Rose, working on a really cool long-since-dead show called "Edge." I was a PR assistant for electrical engineers. I was a lifeguard at a mountain ranch in Oregon and the co-news director and originator of the show "Citywide" at WNYU. I spent a semester in Asia.

A little before graduating college (I won a pair of shorts for outstanding broadcast journalism) I started working mostly nights as a desk assistant for CBS Network Radio News, which was intense, fast-paced, and a hardcore learning experience. Then I lived in the jungle in Ecuador for half a year, and covered the Ecuadorian elections for CBS Radio on the side. To get on the air, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin where I was a morning reporter and talk show producer for WIBA-AM. In the afternoons, I often wrote freelance stories for the newsweekly Isthmus, where I had a great editor.

Then, in 1998 my wife and I got married, moved to New Jersey, and started freelance writing full-time. HOOP and Inside Stuff were some of our biggest clients, but we also wrote plenty of marketing copy -- taglines, headlines, ad copy, and the like. Occasionally I managed to sneak a piece into magazines like Men's Journal, the NBA Finals program, and other publications. Then I realized in late 2004 that blogging wasn't as dorky as I had assumed, and quickly fell in love with it. We founded Gekko Blogs as an agency to publish great blogs for corporate clients...but we needed to prove we were good at it. TrueHoop was the show pony. But it quickly became way too fun to do part-time, so I started investigating ways to make it a real job.

3. Let's get down to business here. ESPN. You. Wow! How'd True Hoop become part of the World Wide Leader? You pitch the idea to them? They approach you? How long were you in talks with ESPN before an agreement was reached?

I never thought I'd sell TrueHoop, and I wasn't looking to. There were lots of things cooking where I could put ads on TrueHoop and make it a business that way. Selling it seemed too... dangerous. I didn't want to risk that I would ever not like my job. But ESPN called and asked me to go to Bristol to chat. We chatted for a whole day. And then almost every day for the better part of a year after that. I couldn't believe that they would give me the kind of freedom I wanted, but they did, which I think they deserve a lot of credit for. We got it all lawyered and everything and I signed up.

4. Any glaring differences from being an independent blogger to writing for the biggest sports website around? Do you have to now go through editors? Ever have to be careful not to link to a site that doesn't speak well of ESPN? How's your audience compare? Perks about writing for a major company, and ESPN in particular?

My life is much the same. I sit in the same chair, read the same blogs, and work the same hours. My email inbox has a lot more "heads up" emails from ESPN people now -- tipping me off to this or that news. That's pretty cool. After I publish posts, there are professionals who make me aware of my typos, which I now fix routinely. The audience is bigger. Too soon to tell how much bigger -- it's still new on ESPN, and this is the playoffs when numbers are going to be higher -- but when it gets attention from Page 1, the people come clicking over at a rate that makes it very tough to stay on top of the comments and emails. The three big perks are:
  • Having smart people out there thinking "how can we make TrueHoop better?"
  • Being able to travel to stuff like the NBA Finals.
  • Direct deposit, which means I no longer have to browbeat clients to pay on time. I liked being self-employed and was for nearly a decade, but it's not all peaches and cream.
5. May, 2005. You just roll out of bed one day and start True Hoop? Or was the site's creation a bit more thought out?

I kind of explained it above, but the real story was that I met Kevin O'Keefe who runs LexBlog at Newark Airport. I was talking up the Gekko Blogs concept and seeing if it made sense for LexBlog to design and host our blogs -- which they ended up doing. He's also a basketball fan, and when he learned about my NBA experience, he pretty much insisted that I start an NBA blog. So I owe him a big ol' tip of the hat. Good idea, Kevin.

6. Seeing how, as far as we know, you're the first blogger to bridge the gap from independent blog to mainstream outlet, you probably have some good insight into this. In your opinion, what's the direction of sports blogs? Is True Hoop just blazing the trail for other sites/bloggers to join up with a mainstream site like ESPN? Enlighten us.

In general, I think that anyone who is accustomed to the immediacy and conversational tone of a good blog will feel a little constrained by traditional AP format stories. I find myself thinking COME ON, TELL IT TO US STRAIGHT! The whole pretense of the impartial journalist always felt bizarre to me. No human is impartial, and it seems more honest not to pretend you are. I like transparency. So, as long as there's a growing audience that feels at all like that, and is hungry for conversational information, there'll be openings for bloggers in mainstream media. The whole idea of just copying the newspaper online? It was never very enlightened, because it just failed entirely to account for the reality that the web can and should be a multi-party conversation with links and mayhem. It's like using a telephone just for listening. It works to talk both ways, so it seems weird not to.

7. There are all sorts of wonderful blogs out there. A few you'd recommend?

I love kottke.org. I know I'm not the first to say Jason Kottke is a damn fine blogger. But he is. He clearly has a very curious mind, and reads a lot, and brings a fascinatingly diverse collection of links and ideas to the table. He's a big part of the reason I ever started to like blogging. There's a lot of passion there, but things are also very civil and thoughtful. I try to fit into that same groove, but in a sporty way.

8. Most rewarding parts of blogging? Most frustrating?

Oh, I'm a homer for blogging. I love it. Sure, sometimes the software craps out or the Internet connection is down, but whatever. I'll take it. I hope to do this or something like it forever.

9. What's the ultimate goal of your site/your writing?

In my writing, I just want to get across the ideas as clearly as possible. Even though the ideas are sometimes complex, I hope that almost no one will get confused by what I am trying to say. It does not always work.

As for TrueHoop? When I was writing for magazines and covering the NBA, I was aware of a big gulf between what insiders knew about the NBA and what fans got to know about the NBA. I want to close that gap. I don't like the caricaturization of celebrities that goes on (Ron Artest is insane! Tim Duncan is boring! Isiah Thomas is bad!) In reality, those are all so oversimplified that they are basically totally wrong. Everybody is human and complex, which I try to get across on TrueHoop every day.

10. Well before the ESPN days, True Hoop was getting good traffic. A piece of advice to some smaller sites how to get a prolific, interactive readership?

I think the biggest thing is to link. Just be a really, really, really responsible about spelling people's names right, linking to the proper places, and giving everyone the proper credit for their work. That goes for mainstream media people, too. The only quick way to build audience is through other blogs and media linking to you, and if you're shoddy about giving them credit, what are the chances they'll fall in love with your site and promote the hell out of it? And, I also just try to be decent. To not rip people so harshly -- I'm friends now with a lot of people I have criticized on the blog, because I have done so carefully and at least a little bit out of love. In the end, this is a social scene, and you need people to like you, so take a long-term approach and it might pay off in the long-term. It's also just a lot of work to build a big blog audience. Let's not overlook that. (When they moved the TrueHoop archive over to ESPN, including comments, it was 2.5 million words -- and that was way less than two years' worth).

11. Hey, the playoffs are going on and we haven't even talked hoops. On one side you have blowouts and sweeps. On the other, well, you had the Warriors. So, how do these playoffs, as a whole, compare to other years? Best storyline so far in addition to the Warriors? Also, people like predictions. So how about a Finals pick and a Finals MVP.

Derek Fisher returning to save the Utah Jazz in Game 2 against the Warriors made for one of the best games I can remember. Fantastic. I have been watching all the West games, including this heroic Phoenix vs. San Antonio series, so I think the playoffs have been great. And whatever happens in the last few games of that series will probably be the highlight of the season. (But the East? Ugh.) I'm rooting for Phoenix, in this series and all the way to the end, but I am sticking with my original pick that San Antonio will be the champion, and, of course, Tim Duncan the Finals MVP.

(Past interviews; also found on right sidebar: Dawizofodds; Matt Ufford; The Mighty MJD; Jamie Mottram; The Big Lead; The Cavalier; Will Leitch; Dan Shanoff; Dan Steinberg; Brooks; Unsilent Majority; J.E. Skeets).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Word Association: Darius Washington Jr.



This is one of our favorite moments in recent sports memory. Cruel? Slightly. But it also conveys the emotion only found in college sports.

The player is Memphis' Darius Washington Jr. The setting is the 2005 C-USA championship game. A win would give Memphis the automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney. Lose, and the season's over.

The word that comes to mind? Let us know in the comments.

Tug-job to Josh at The Beautiful Game for the idea.

Blogger Reach-Arounds

"Blogger Reach-Arounds" is The Big Picture's link dump that runs every Wednesday. But sometimes Thursday. But usually Wednesday. Send your links -- current posts or those within the last week -- to zachls5@gmail.com by Tuesday night.

1.) East Coast Bias has a fantastic guide to attending the Preakness. Our No. 1 rule would be to not let Barbaro fucking race!

2.) The Sporting Orange more or less tells us which SEC female athletes merits you playing with yourself.

3.) Wasting Company Time wastes company time by having a good debate about who's the biggest NFL Drama Queen. Not sure who we'd go with, but our guess is that Bill Belichick would probably try to nail it.

4.) The Feed gives us a list of the worst owners in sports history. We'd add Art Modell and Al Davis to that list quicker than you can say, "Kim Kardashian has crabs."

5.) Our Book of Scrap's hottest wife contest continues. (By the way, they're all pants-stirring hot).

6.) Hey, Roger Goodell should probably suspend Tony Dungy, says The Hater Nation. Unless, of course, Goodell is homophobic. Highly possible, really.

7.) Foul Balls tells us about the new World Series schedule. There are many reasons for it, one being possible higher ratings. If they want higher ratings, why don't they just tape Joe Buck's mouth shut already?

8.) Thanks to Lion in Oil, we now have an update on former sex offender Ruben Patterson.

This guy has a sicker mind than we do. (In a good way, of course).

(Click for larger view)

For more fun drawings, click here (use arrows below picture).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Nets fans should jump in the Hudson

Those are clearly the seats of a baseball stadium. Our guess is Citizens Bank Park. Thoughts?

Point is, that may have well been the look at New Jersey's corporate airline company arena.

In last night's Cavaliers' 87-85 win over the Nets, the arena was silent. Not in a good, tension-filled way. We're all about that kind of silence.

But this was pathetic. In a tense game, the Cavs were leading by like one or something with the ball and, oh, say 40 seconds.

The crowd is on its feet, roaring, making the other team "not hear themselves think."

Quick aside: Normally we don't hate on clichés. We sort of embrace them. But hearing a commentator say, "It's so loud you can't hear yourself think" is bogus. Really, do you ever hear yourself think?

Anyway, so the crowd is on its feet, loud as hell, trying to help their team get the must-needed stop on a crucial possession. No wait, that was in a regular-season college game somewhere two months ago. Or maybe at the Golden State game.

Rather than chaos in the building, "Dun-dun-dun. Dun-dun-dun." The motherfucking organ!!!!! AGGHHHH!!!

That was one glaring example of what makes NBA fans so pathetic. We're glad the Warriors fans are getting a good rep by being loud and wild, but at the same time, they're giving credibility to NBA fans as a whole. And as evident by the fans in New Jersey, loud NBA fans is still an oxymoron.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Jessica Alba and Fuck-Machine are, 'Go Warriors!!!'


Jessica Alba and fuck-machine Cash Warren were at last night's Warriors/Jazz playoff game. Here's how a conversation went...

Cash$: Hey baby, whaddya say we get outta here...

Al(ba)4u: There's 8:46 left in the first quarter.

Cash$: But Baron's not even playin' well.

Al(ba)4u: So?

Cash$: So, you know I only come to these games because we went to high school together.

Al(ba)4u: Tell me again sweetheart, what was Baron like in high school?

Cash$: He was cool, but I was the ladies man.

Al(ba)4u: And you still are.

(They brush noses romantically)

Cash$: So let's go home and do it.

Al(ba)4u: But we already did it once today.

Cash$: It doesn't count when it's in the butt.

Al(ba)4u: Jerk.

Cash$: Oh c'mon baby, you know I try to do you any chance I get.

Al(ba)4u: I know, honey.

Cash$: Look at me, Jess. Look at this fucking sweater I'm wearing. Do I look like a guy who sleeps with the hottest women in the world? I look like a guy who nails high school girls with low self-esteem.

Al(ba)4u: Give yourself some credit. You were great in Fantastic Four. You're practically a star.

Cash$: Practically. Ha! Semantics.

Al(ba)4u: Hey, the Warriors just took a six-point lead.

Cash$: What?

Al(ba)4u: The game. The Warriors are up by six?

Cash$: What game?

Al(ba)4u: The Golden State game, silly.

Cash$: Who you calling silly? Bitch. You like being called Bitch, bitch?

Al(ba)4u: Baby, we're at a basketball game. Remember?

Cash$: Baron's not even playin' well.

Al(ba)4u: It's still early.

Cash$: I still think we should get outta here, grab some sushi, hit up an oxygen bar and go home.

Al(ba)4u: What if I told you that if you stay until the end of the quarter, I'll bring home a cheerleader for us.

Cash$: Us?

Al(ba)4u: You heard me.

Cash$: I'll pull up the car.

Al(ba)4u: Good. I put in enough face time anyway.


Check out the wildly-funny site The Dugout for more dialogue between your favorite stars.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

This is damn-near the funniest thing we've ever seen

We already have a fixation with Minotaurs, so to see these photos just pretty much blew our socks off.

All credit due to the wildly funny Joe Sports Fan.



Lousy day for Bay Area sports

Hmm. How to avoid a swear word on a morning like this.

Remember like two-ish weeks ago when the Bay Area had a fantastic sports day? It was the day the Warriors clinched the playoffs, if you recall.

Well, yesterday was like a complete 180. Man, one of those days where you'd be much happier if you weren't a sports fan.

First, the Warriors fell apart. Fell the fuck apart. Gift-wrapped that bitch. Free throws, motherfuckers. Make them. We somehow expected to see Darius Washington Jr. in a Golden State jersey Wednesday.

Those who know us are aware that we're not big Warriors fans. Never have been. We fully admit to jumping on the bandwagon. Still, that one stung. Imagine how the die-hards feel.

Then the Giants, playing quintessential mediocre baseball, were two innings away from taking two of three from the Metropolitans, which would qualify as a good series. But nope. A run in the eighth, two in the ninth off Blownitez, and you're left with a 5-3 loss and a broken lamp.

Hey, the A's were playing the Royals, so all's good there. What? The Royals won? Get the fuck outta town. Really? The Royals like never win. Yeah, a Triple A team beat the A's and their anemic offense. A run in the eighth broke a 2-2 tie and Bob Geren was probably seen looking confused.

We're still looking for that mirror we broke, ladder we walked under or umbrella we opened indoors.

Blogger Reach-Arounds

Because all the cool kids are doing link dumps...

1.) The Beautiful Game's All-Overrated team is a must-see. Where the fuck is Alexi Lalas? Where the fuck is Alexi Lalas?!?!?

2.) The Musings of GMoney is running the wonderfully-named "The 2007 Glenallen Hill Memorial Toughest Baseball Player Tournament of Champions." Go over and vote. We hear Curt Schilling's kind of a bitch.

3.) More tourney action. Our Book of Scrap is running a bracket of the Best Sports Movie of All-Time. Clearly the winner will be Baseketball.

4.) The Ladies... have a fun thing going on. They're gearing up for the Hottest Blogger in the world. We're anticipating a top seed after our photo submission being a full-frontal shot.

5. Want a good interview with a sportswriter who actually gets paid? Head over to Stiles Points for the latest.

6.) Lion in Oil tells us how the tap water at the '08 Summer Games might not be up to par. Aquafina, it's your time to shine.

7.) Some old basketball dudes may or may not have smoked some green. The Dude Abides tells all.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

...And Big Papi's also not sure if he inhaled

Now this is something you wouldn't expect to hear from the mouth of David Ortiz regarding the steroids. Or maybe it is. You decide.
“I tell you, I don’t know too much about steroids, but I started listening about steroids when they started to bring that (expletive) up, and I started realizing and getting to know a little bit about it,” Ortiz said Sunday. “You’ve got to be careful...I used to buy a protein shake in my country. I don’t do that any more because they don’t have the approval for that here, so I know that, so I’m off of buying things at the GNC back in the Dominican (Republic). But it can happen anytime, it can happen. I don’t know. I don’t know if I drank something in my youth, not knowing it.”
And we don't know if we mixed beer and liquor last night.
But he's not sure if he took steroids? We suppose you could slip anything into a protein shake these days. The other day, in fact, we tried tricking ourselves into slipping some pixie sticks into our protein shake, but then we caught on to our mind's nasty game, and we avoided the inevitable sugar high.

Enough about us. We' re feeling extra goofy today. Can you tell? That's what Hump Day can do to us.

Anyhoo, Ortiz continued his stand-up:

“I should use steroids just to see what’s going on,” Ortiz said with a laugh. “Nah. I have a good family. I want to see my kids learn and develop. I think I’m having an OK career. So, I take a lot of Advils, but I think I’m going to stop taking them. They say it (expletive) your liver.”

You can get addicted to Advil, ya know. Just ask Brett Favre. No wait, those were sleeping pills. Dammit. TO. That's the pain-killer guy. Yeah, watch out with those Advils, Papi. It does more than just fuck your liver.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Word Association: Jeremy Giambi



The video is the play now known as "The Flip," where Captain Pussyman makes a pretty good defensive move to best the A's in the 2001 playoffs.

But that play will live in Bay Area infamy. As will Jeremy Giambi.

The player is, of course, Jeremy Giambi. The word that comes to mind? Let us know in the comments.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Blogger Interviews: J.E. Skeets


We're running a segment here at The Big Picture where we'll interview some of the biggest names in the sports blogosphere. What's the point? Well, these guys spend countless, thankless hours writing, so a little recognition from time to time is well warranted. Think of this as the blogger's version of a reach-around or something.

Joining us today is J.E. Skeets from The Basketball Jones, a killer blog and killerer podcast. Skeets may or may not be sensitive about his Canadian accent, so no poking fun there. Everything else though is fair game. Let's have some fun.

1. The rundown:

Name: J.E. Skeets
Age: 26
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: King Crab Fisherman
Favorite team: Raptors
Links to your favorite all-time posts you've written/podcasts you've recorded:
Macho Man Randy Savage Sues Kobe Over ‘Elbow’
Spittin’ Bars With Ron Artest
Episode 100: Our Big Ol’ Circle Jerk Show
Episode 92: Starring SI.com’s Kelly Dwyer
Time per day spent blogging/podcasting and perusing the blogosphere: 10 minutes, tops.

2. In addition to being a stud blogger, you've developed a kick-ass podcast. Two parter: 1.) What led you to start the blog? 2.) How did that lead into the podcast?

First off, I am definitely not a stud blogger. That’s Mottram. Maybe Ufford. As I’ve said before, I sort of look like Jiri Welsch on crack. Not a pretty sight. Thankfully though, I sound a lot like Ralph Macchio. That gets me a lot of ass.

Anyway, what led me to start the blog? Um, I think my buddies bet me I couldn’t do it. Ha! Easiest Craig David CD I ever made!

As for how the blog led into the podcast? I got tired of writing.

3. Take us through a typical day of podcast(ing?).

Up at 4:30 ante meridiem. It blows. Dress, splash some water on my face, and sit down at the TXL Series 4 computer to try and ingest as much NBA news/highlights/knowledge as I possibly can.

At 5:15, Tas and I log onto MSN and we start planning the day’s headlines and topics. My avatar is usually John Tesh. His? Jose Calderon or Jorge Garbajosa.

At 5:30, our kick-ass producer, JD, logs on. Do we have any phone messages, JD? No? Fuck-balls. Why does everybody hate us?

At 6:00, we start recording the show over Skype. After we’re done talking, JD starts to work his magic, while Tas and I argue over whose turn it is to write the accompanying post.

And when it’s all said and done, the show’s goes up on our site (and iTunes) around 7:15-7:30. (Note: This almost never happens.)

4. Getting readers to stop by a blog for two minutes can be a bitch. A podcast must be that much harder. Describe the challenge of getting people to commit the time to listen to an entire podcast.

We’ve worked hard at getting our podcast out to the masses -- using a flash player on the site, increasing our presence on iTunes, hitting message boards, etc. -- but in the end, we know that people are either going to want to listen to a 15-minute NBA show, or they’re not. It’s as simple as that. We just hope The Basketball Jones ‘cast is the first one they throw on their mp3 player when they make the leap over.

5. Dream job? Go.

Write, direct and star in “RAD 2: Breakin’ More Ice” and/or get paid to co-host an hour long, daily version of our show with real NBA players/personalities on as our guests.

6. Dude. "Romance on the Hardwood." Brilliant! For sure one of our favorite on-going series. So how'd the feature start? Any inspiration for it? Or was it your own creativity that sparked its creation?

A picture of Kobe and Jannero Pargo landed in my e-mail inbox. It looked like the two of them were slow dancing. I downloaded “If You Don’t Me By Know” by Simply Red -- true story -- and wrote the post in about 15 minutes. That’s it. Why people enjoy the ‘Romance on the Hardwood’ series so much is beyond me. I just hope John Amaechi gets a kick out of ‘em.

7. There are all sorts of wonderful blogs out there. A few you'd recommend?

Everyone knows the heavy hitters -- Deadspin, With Leather, FreeDarko, FanHouse, True Hoop, KSK, SLAM!, Wizznutzz, D.C. Sports Bog, etc., etc. -- but a few team-oriented blogs I make sure to read are Arnovitz’s ClipperBlog, Ziller’s Sactown Royalty, Bernhardt’s Blog a Bull, Kurt’s Forum Blue & Gold, Watson’s Detroit Bad Boys and Hitley’s Hornets247. (Check out those last names!) These guys know more about their teams than the fucking GMs who run ‘em.

And oh, I also make sure to read every single word that The Mighty MJD writes. He’s sort of the Bret Hart of sports blogging.

8. Well before the podcast, jeskeets.com and The Basketball Jones were well-trafficked sites. A piece of advice to some smaller sites how to build a steady readership?

Take the plunge. Put your heart into it. Push the envelope. Keep your nose to grindstone. Build a better mousetrap. Believe in yourself. Roll the dice. Up the ante. Just do it. Take a dump ...

Seriously though, as long as you try to write original material regularly, the readers, hits, and free t-shirts will soon follow. (Thanks, Undrcrwn!)

9. Most rewarding parts of blogging/podcasting? Most frustrating?

Most rewarding? Easy: Listener feedback and support. I can’t look at our iTunes review page without feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Seriously. Reading that stuff, or getting a call or e-mail for the show, makes every early morning wake-up worth it.

Most frustrating? That Sirius and XM radio refuse to return our calls.

10. What's the ultimate goal of your blogging and podcasting?

Dolla dolla bills y’all!

11. This might be a loaded question, but, in your opinion, what's the future of sports blogs and podcasts? Enlighten us.

Oh man, I don’t know...Will Leitch’s next leather jacket will be self-adjusting and self-drying? I have no idea. Bright, I’m sure.

12. You're an NBA guy, so we'll get you outta here on this: It's Playoff time, so give us your Finals pick, the league MVP, and the team you're rooting for to win it all (besides the Raptors!).

I’m sticking with my preseason ‘Suns vs. Bulls’ prediction. Both teams are playing well right now. That’d be a sick series.

Um, Dirk’s going to win MVP. Sorry, Simmons. 67 wins is 67 wins. I just hope McGrady gets some Poldoff-love too. He’s had an incredible year.

Finally, besides the Raps, I’m cheering for either the Suns or Rockets to win it all. I’ve always had this weird infatuation with things in the sky. I’m a dreamer, man. A dreamer.

(Past interviews; also found on right sidebar: Dawizofodds; Matt Ufford; The Mighty MJD; Jamie Mottram; The Big Lead; The Cavalier; Will Leitch; Dan Shanoff; Dan Steinberg; Brooks; Unsilent Majority).

We Fucking Believe!

Like Eastbound I-580, the Mavs are history.

And the Warriors just made it. Holy shit!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Horses can probably act. And by 'probably,' we mean 'certainly.'

In readiness for Saturday's (or Sunday? Saturday, right?) Kentucky Derby, here's what it'd sound like if the Derby's contenders re-enacted famous movie scenes. From a laughter filled email thread...

From Big Picture friend, D.O.:
Circular Quay: I told those fucks down at the league office a thousand times that I don't roll on Shabbos!
Scat Daddy: What's Shabbos?
Circular Quay: Saturday, Scat Daddy, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don't work, I don't get in a car, I don't fucking ride in a car, I don't pick up the phone, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as shit don't fucking roll! Shomer shabbos!
Nobiz Like Shobiz: Circular Quay...
Circular Quay: Shomer fucking shabbos.
Nobiz Like Shobiz: Oh fuck it.
From Big Picture brother, Adam:
Street Sense: Who's Any Given Saturday
Dominican: Ahh fuck!
(Beat)
Dominican: How do you shoot Scat Daddy in the back, agent Stormello? What if you miss?
From us:
Any Given Saturday: What does Marcellus Wallace look like?
Hard Spun: What?
Any Given Saturday:
What country you from?
Hard Spun: What?
Any Given Saturday:
What ain't no country I ever heard of. They speak English in What?
Hard Spun:
What?
Any Given Saturday:
ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER! DO-YOU-SPEAK-IT?
Hard Spun:
Yes.
Any Given Saturday:
Then you know what I'm saying.
Hard Spun:
Yes.
Any Given Saturday:
Describe what Marcellus Wallace looks like.
Hard Spun:
What, I-?
Any Given Saturday:
[pointing his gun] Say what again. SAY WHAT AGAIN. I dare you, double dare you, motherfucker. Say what one more goddamn time.
Hard Spun:
He's b-b-black.
Any Given Saturday:
Go on.
Hard Spun:
He's bald.
Any Given Saturday:
Does he look like a bitch?
Hard Spun:
What?
[Any Given Saturday shoots Hard Spun in shoulder.]
Any Given Saturday:
DOES HE LOOK LIKE A BITCH?
Hard Spun:
No.
Any Given Saturday:
Then why you try to fuck him like a bitch, Hard Spun?
You can name all three movies, right? They're pretty much give-away quotes. Give us your best in the comments.

FYI 1: That's a picture of two horses fucking. The one on top may or may not be Barbaro.

FYI 2: Our milk money's on Storm in May.