Thursday, June 28, 2007

NCAA might ban text messaging, talking

Here's a conversation that may never happen again:

NCAA coach: what r u doin tonite
Recruit: ballin
NCAA coach: u should come to campus party
Recruit: girls?
NCAA coach: lots
Recruit: time?
NCAA coach: 930
Recruit: kewl
NCAA coach: u want play 4 us
Recruit: fo sho
NCAA coach: kewl

In the age of cell phones, text messages and oral herpes, the NCAA bigwigs can never be too sure of recruiting violations. So rather than let these immoral coaches get away with the crime of texting recruits, the NCAA is considering putting restrictions on texting.

Big deal? For you, probably not. Really Good Football Player A is still not going to play for Temple, and Duke will still be able to snag Awesome B-Ball Dude away from NC State.

It might make the lives of college coaches a little bit tougher. They'll, ya know, actually have to talk to a recruit in person. And that usually means talking to the parents too.

And we all know Coach K would rather be one-nutted than have to talk to a player's mother. Those moms can be so difficult sometimes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who do you start your MLB team with?

We've had a lot of fun with our Hypothetical Wednesday posts, so we'll keep it going. If you missed any, catch up here.

Today's question: If you're starting a Major League expansion team, who'd be the one player you build it around?

Some things to consider:

-Will said player sell tickets?
-How many tools?
-Do you go with a pitcher who throws just once every five days?

If you want to say Pedro Feliz, that's your right. Your team might hit into 800 double plays and lose 123 games, but, like we said, it's your right.

Think of the comment section as Hot Staci from sales: turn that shit out!

Our top five will lead things off 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 by Tuesday night.

1.) Ken Griffey Jr.: Not quite the star he used to be. The Musings of GMoney explains.

2.) More Credible with some fun with Laurence Maroney and that whole Kool-Aid thing.

3.) Two ways to deal with franchise suckage: relocate or...get new unis! The Pig Pen shows the Atlanta Hawks' new get-ups.

4.) The Feed with your 2007 Breakout All-Star team.

5.) Stiles Points with a new series to get you ready for the college football season. Up first, the Ohio State.

6.) Randball tells us how Shawn Kemp is finding himself in some odd situations. (Enter out-of-wedlock child joke here).
7.) Your fun Wednesday soccer video courtesy of The Beautiful Game.

8.) Pretty messed up about this wrestler guy. One More Dying Quail was among his many fans.

9.) Black and Blue's Orlando Magic Blog likes what the Magic are doing this offseason. See what they say after Thursday's draft though.

10.) Larry Brown Sports with video of one heckuva riot. Paging Ron Artest...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Yao Ming could do like waaay better

Hey, Yao Ming's getting married. To a woman.
China's All Star NBA centre Yao Ming will wed his teenage sweetheart Ye Li from Shanghai in August, after an eight-year courtship, state press reported Monday.

"This is a match based on pure love," the paper said.

Pure love. So that's what they call it now. Ask Yao why they're getting married and he'd say, "性是粪," which is Chinese for, "the sex is the shit."

The bed-play better be good cuz this gal ain't exactly gonna turn heads. Um, do they make kegs of Long Islands? They better fucking start...

But her personality must be a 10. That, or she can do some wild shit with her tongue.

How not to market a low-profile sport

The San Jose Sabercats -- best record in the American Conference, bitches! -- might be playing good (indoor) football, but maybe they could provide the Las Vegas Gladiators marketing team some basic strategies.

The Sabercats squeezed by the Gladiators 73-46 Monday in Las Vegas, but playing a Monday afternoon game, there were only 26 people in attendance.
"There were only 26 people in attendance," sources said.
That's not entirely true. There were 5,000+ to watch San Jose win its tenth straight, but 5,000 people at a sporting event is more or less the equivalent of 26. Still, a 1:35 kickoff on a weekday, in Las Vegas, indoors, watching unknowns play football isn't exactly the best way to attract fans.

The Vegas squad just doesn't want to compete with dinner buffet crowd. Or strip club goers. Yeah. Strip clubs.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Shouldn't Oregon State's CWS victory be considered a huge upset?

Maybe it's a good thing that Oregon State won its second straight College World Series title. We get to say Beaver a lot more than usual today. Beaver. Hehe.

After beating North Carolina for the second-straight year in Omaha ('Heels/Beav a new baseball rivalry?), most folks who are actually talking about this (over/under set at six people) are mentioning the whole repeat factor.

And while that's good and cool and neat and spiffy, there's a bigger deal to be made of this. Oregon State winning the College World Series seems, to us, a big fucking upset.

The Beavers are the first team in like the history of college and baseball to win a CWS crown after having a losing record in conference. OSU was 10-14 in the Pac-10 and tied for sixth. The Beav also lost six of eight position players and two thirds of its pitching rotation from last year's championship squad.

That's crazy. Oregon State coach Pat Casey would agree.

"It's crazy. It's just crazy," he said.

Yeah. Crazy.

Crazier is that the Beavers won the damn thing as a No. 3 seed, which is about the equivalent of a No. 9 or 10 seed winning March Madness. Villanova, as a No. 8 in 1985, is still the lowest seed to win the Dance.

Sure, OSU's been here before and all that shit, but c'mon, this team wasn't expected to make it past the first round.

We tend to get a bit preachy when it comes to college baseball, but it's a fun game, good end-of-the-year tournament and now we have a dynasty (sorta) to talk about. So hail the Oregon State Beavers, who, undoubtedly, will be pulling beaver for the next few days.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Setting The Record Straight

Hello smut fans, it's your old pal NFL Adam from The Hater Nation. Now, it's hard to imagine a Big Picture fan not being familiar with THN (especially since our interview here rocked), but it could happen. To get you up to speed with THN, here's a little taste of what we like to do over there.
The Red Sox winning was the worst things to happen to America over the past 25 years. Bar none, it was the worst thing that could have happened to our country. The only possible thing that could have been worse is if Christa McAuliffe flew a space shuttle full of anthrax into the World Trade Center.

And that was one of our tamer rants.

Now, yours truly has taken quite a bit of criticism on this site (mostly from Wasting Company Time) for being the only person to vote “no” on the Would you do… Erin Andrews? But with Andrews recent appearance in the College World Series where she looked hot during the UC Irvine game, is it time to rethink that vote?


The Louisville baseball team was smitten with Andrews, but come on, she’s not that hot. Andrews is good looking and she’s much better than that other beast at the World Series, but enough is enough. You guys are acting like Star Wars geeks when it comes to Andrews. But she is more Phantom Menace than anything else.

So while Zach LS is away today (and really, thanks for taking off during the lamest time of the sporting year) let's have a little fun. Now you commenting types need to come up with (at least) one chick who the entire world finds hot, but you don't believe is that good.

Andrews is my vote, let's see what some of you guys think.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Boston Fans Wuss Out on Bonds

(Hey kids, this is Marco from Just Call Me Juice. I'll be the first of your guest writers while Zach is off getting drunk in the woods)

Zach isn't even here, but you are getting a post about the Giants. That's because since I now live in Boston, I got to see Barry's "epic" trip to Fenway last weekend. And after almost a week of build up by the Boston media as to how bad the fans would treat Bonds, the Sox fans were actual quite terrible in their heckling of Bonds. Hell, Barry even said he enjoyed his trip to Boston. Yes, the same Boston he said was too racist for him to ever play there. I don't think you would ever hear that from Barry about Philly, a place that knows how to boo. Very disappointing with zero creativity. Asterisks? Wow, never saw that one coming. Syringes? Very original.

I made my into Fenway for Game 3 of the series, the one where Bonds took Wakefield deep. You could actually hear some cheering after Bonds hit the homer (granted, their was a large number of Giants fans in Fenway....who knew they traveled?) which was eventually turned into boos. I guess with all of the creative taunting of A-Rod and the rest of the Yankees over the years, I expected too from Sox fans. Oh well, I'll just have to go back to throwing D-Batteries at Bonds from the outfield of Citizens Bank Park in Philly and hating Sox fans. At least Philly fans know how to heckle. And oh yeah, fuck (wouldn't be a TBP post without fuck, would it?)

Monday, June 18, 2007


Hi everybody. Happy Monday. Try to take an extra long lunch'll feel better come Friday if you do.

We're in a transitional period -- hold that thought:
"Normally, both your asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken, but you happen to pull this shit while I'm in a transitional period so I don't wanna kill you, I wanna help you. But I can't give you this case, it don't belong to me. Besides, I've already been through too much shit this morning over this case to hand it over to your dumb ass."
Sorry. Needed to get that one in there.

As we were saying, transitional period. Our summer job is starting and that means a week in the woods with booze, grass and hookers. And by booze, grass and hookers, we really mean booze, grass and coworkers.

So we'll be camping, unable to get near a computer, and will have to resort to masturbating by imagination which, to us, is like pretending to get drunk off of grape juice. Fucking bullshit.

While we're gone, we have three special guests who will be taking you through the middle of the week. We'll be back Friday with a little Would you do... action and maybe a story from our trip.

Play nice with the guest hosts while we're gone. We'll see you Friday, knuckleheads.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tony Homo will soon be banging Carrie Underwood full time

Some Thursday Tony Romo and Carrie Underwood talk for ya. Little tabloid-y, huh? Sorry. It's not really our thing, but with no Blogger Interview this week, we had to "fill the space," as they say in the newspaper business. We'll be back with those fun Q&As in two weeks.

But for now, you get this little sliver of gossip -- from Reality TV World, via Ben Maller -- that will surely impress Nikki from HR:
"Carrie would love to marry Tony," a so-called "insider" recently told In Touch Weekly. "They've been talking about getting engaged and it's probably going to be soon."

Speculation as to why Underwood has potential wedding bells ringing in her head reportedly stems from that fact that she took the time to try on "several wedding gowns" when she was deciding on what to wear to last month's Academy of Country Music Awards.
This is news. NFL quarterback marries pornstar. Not sure if two high-profile people have ever wed.

Wait, Underwood's not a pornstar? Bullshit. She's what? A singer? Fuck you, nutjob. If we want Underwood to be a pornstar, she'll be a motherfucking pornstar. C'mon. Her name is Under-Wood for chrissake.

Oh yeah, married or engaged or something. We expect an invite to the wedding.

Fort Myers Miracle want to lose money -- but in a fun, gimmicky way

Man, marketing people are getting more and more creative.

The Fort Myers Miracle, a Single-A minor league baseball team in the Florida State League, will poke fun at the Florida Gators coach who backed out of his deal with the Orlando Magic when it hosts "Billy Donovan Night" on June 20.

Just like Donovan escaped his five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Magic, fans can try and negotiate their way out of their ticket purchase.

The contract, in this case, is the ticket. Fans will have up to the first three innings to restructure their deal, but even that's negotiable.

The price of the ticket, the seat location and even a buyout can be arranged. Part of the negotiating process will involve making a free throw.

Our negotiation would go something like this: "This is Single A, our seat is in right field, there are no cheerleaders, there are no girls grinding on our lap, the ticket was overpriced, we're far too sober, the foul pole doesn't have a girl sliding down it, and 'Sweet Dreams' isn't playing between innings."

Their rebuttal: "This is a baseball game, Sir. Not a Gentleman's club."

Us: "What's your point?"

Oh, and what the fuck does a free throw have to do with anything? We'll take it though. 90%, bitches. We're getting our lap dance in our seat behind home plate for five bucks, thank you very much.

By the way, that's a picture of a Fort Myers Miracle player, who, from the looks of it, has beat us to the whole stripper at the ballpark thing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The best stadium to watch an MLB game

We had a lot of fun with our little hypothetical post last week about the best city to live in, so we thought we'd keep this little game going.

Today's question: best stadium to watch a pro baseball game?

Some things to consider:

-Hot chicks in the crowd?
-How passionate are the surrounding fans?
-Good view?
-Quality/variety of concessions
-Price of tickets, beer, etc.

Feel free to say Pro Player Stadium. We might tell you to go fuck yourself, but, ya know, feel free.

Our top five will lead off the comments.

Alrighty, baseball fans. The comment section is the back seat of an uncomfortable car, like a Volkswagen: get it on!

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 by Tuesday night.

1.) Sports Gone South -- our evil competition -- has an outstanding list of the nuttiest sports wives/girlfriends around.

2.) Pyle of List with a good interview with SI's Arash Markazi. We actually worked with a buddy of his. The perks are a plenty.

3.) Perhaps former Notre Dame receiver Jeff Samaxkldjljdzilakxz$zi*a shoulda stuck with football. Lion in Oil tells how he's struggling and has been demoted to the 'pen.

4.) The Sporting Orange wins Best Photoshop of the Decade Award. Chad Johnson as a fucking minotaur! You know how we love minotaurs!

5.) The Feed has the worst award-winners in MLB history. Any list that includes Pat Listach and Bob Hamelin is cool with us.

6.) Flyers Fieldhouse has a fun Q&A with our pal Dan Shanoff. Meanwhile, we're eagerly waiting by the phone.

7.) Larry Brown Sports with the bad news that J.R. Smith's passenger died.

8.) Hey, the Olsen twins turn 21 today! Nothing says happy birthday like an incestuous three-some with a blogger. Oh, and One More Dying Quail with this week's other celebrity birthdays.

9.) Sports writing is moving more and more towards tabloid journalism. Money Players analyzes A-Rod's latest escapades.

10.) I Dislike Your Favorite Team digs up a video etch-a-sketch of LeBron James. We once made a rectangle on one of those.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The anti-Jay Busbee campaign

When it comes to being a hot blogger, no one is further off than Jay Busbee. Vote No on Jay Busbee for Hot Blogger.

Jay Busbee is a Southern aristocrat whose ancestors were slave owners.

Jay Busbee masturbates to pictures of lynchings.

Jay Busbee does the Tomahawk chop at Atlanta Braves games.

Jay Busbee's drinking buddies are Duke lacrosse players.

Jay Busbee uses the word "gay" as a noun.

Jay Busbee flies the Confederate Flag from his front porch.

Jay Busbee owns a gun...a shotgun.

Jay Busbee roots for Duke.

Jay Busbee wears mock turtlenecks.

Jay Busbee admits to sleeping with dead hookers.

Jay Busbee says, "y'all."

Jay Busbee dyes his hair.

Jay Busbee practices voodoo.

Jay Busbee once ate the liver of his nephew.

Jay Busbee has been published on

Jay Busbee still refers to Northerners as Yankees.

Vote No on Jay Busbee. (Vote Yes on The Big Picture).

This ad has been paid for and supported by the, "I am a sexy stallion and you should all vote for him, or else..." campaign. Some information provided above may be false. But it's mostly true. Like 98%.

Dodgers security: You can take your Canadian pride back to Canada, thanks

Going to a game at Dodger Stadium soon? Don't think about bringing your Canadian flag. Not for a motherfucking second.

From the Toronto Star, via Ben Maller and our buddy Larry Brown at The FanHouse:

LOS ANGELES -- Canadian baseball fans have a message for the staff of Dodger Stadium: Don't tread on me.

During Saturday night's contest between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Dodgers, a security guard attempted to confiscate a Canadian flag from a fan. That provoked an angry confrontation with about 100 local expats attending the game.

Yeah, don't fucking tread, man. Sources say that Confederate, North Korean and Cuban flags are all allowed at Dodger Stadium, but, "Canadians provide an immediate threat," said stadium officials.

Said Lee Fraser, the 29-year-old native of Pembroke, Ont. who was hassled:

I've kind of got a sour taste in my mouth."

A girl we met Friday night said the same thing. Zing!

Monday, June 11, 2007

We want to be George Mason

Folks, our tough draw as an 11-seed in the Ladies... thing just got tougher: we somehow -- despite being a mid-seed -- got stuck going against the No. 1 seed (Jay, from Sports Gone South) in the second round. Not sure how it happened, but we need your help.

Vote here. Vote for us. Vote often.

Since the picture we submitted sucked dick, we don't like our chances against the No. 1. If you're on the edge about your vote, here's a better pic reader JMC passed along. (Feel free to poke fun in the comments.)

Go vote. We wanna fucking win this thing!

Bitching and whining totally pays off!

We made it on Blog Show! Twelfth time is a charm. (We're mentioned with two minutes left in the show).

This is obviously a huge day for us. We let work know it was a holiday and that we wouldn't be joining them today.

Thing is, once you get mentioned that first time, the itch is now there. We want another mention next week, a guest spot the following week and, fuck it, why not guest host to give Mottram or Steinz a week off?

The sky's the fucking limit!

Amanda Beard will sign naked pictures of herself for you

Ah. Sports and chicks coming together yet again. Happy Monday, Big Picture readers.

For those of you in the New York area, Beard, whose sexy ass (literally) was in the July issue of Playboy, will be signing those pics for you on Thursday. The details are in that trouser-shaking image above. (This With Leather post has links to the NSFW pics).

We'd love to be there, but we have this little problem being on the West Coast. Oh, and we don't want to overwhelm Amanda with our hotness.

When you go, tell them The Big Picture referred you. If enough of you refer to this post, Beard's next signing will be in a Seattle apartment with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.*

Stop by, tell Amanda hi and don't forget to mention that 86% of this site's readers would happily plow her. People love compliments, ya know.

*We're dead serious.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Blogger Interviews: Bethlehem Shoals

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.

Tonight's Game 1 of the NBA Finals, so who better to join us today than Bethlehem Shoals? Shoals is the brilliant mind behind FreeDarko and also blogs at The FanHouse. His recently-launched Longform Shoals columns are a must-read. Let's get in the mood of the Championship series and have some NBA fun today. The comment section is the Detroit Pistons defense. You are Bron Bron. Play ball.

1. The rundown:

Name: Bethlehem Shoals
Age: 29
Location: Houston, TX
Occupation: Blogger
Favorite team: Washington Wizards
Links to your favorite all-time posts you've written. (3-5)

He Broke the Book on Knights
The Crown Is Dead, Long Live the King
What Dads Are Like
222 Full Clips

Time per day spent blogging and perusing the blogosphere:
6-7 hours

2. Take us through a typical day of blogging.

Wake up around 7:15 CST (being one hour behind is an occupational hazard), make coffee. Wait for my girlfriend to leave so I can turn on A&E's acclaimed daytime true crime line-up. Check my RSS feeds and skim the rumor pages. Then, it depends on whether I'm doing a Longform or messing with short items for the Haus. If it's a column, I hammer out a draft, then build with John Ness to get a final edit worked out. By the time the Law and Order shows up on TNT, I'm usually freed up to put some serious elbow grease into a FreeDarko post.

Otherwise, I'm frantically trying to get a decent number of small posts together while finding time to do my FD duty. That usually involves re-reading the rumor pages, getting a little deeper into the blogosphere, and scouring YouTube for worthy material.

For some reason, I don't take a shower until all my writing is done. This despite the fact that showering wakes me up more than caffeine, and being grimy demoralizes me more than anything.

3. After LeBron more or less saved the playoffs, this might be a moot point. But before Game Five, the playoffs were considered a dud. In one of the best posts we've read in a while, you said how even the Lottery was more exciting than most games. This year's playoffs had the thrill of the Warriors, the upset factor and plenty of stars (early on anyway). Three-parter: 1.) Why exactly then are these playoffs -- even with LeBron's gem -- such a failure? 2.) Haven't then most NBA Playoffs post Jordan been weak? 3.) How can the playoffs, in future years, be improved?

Well, for one, few of the stars had a chance of advancing. T-Mac's loss sucked because of all the underlying sadness, but it also was a sign for the playoffs: if McGrady and Yao can't advance, the megastar model might be dead. Or at least on hold for these playoffs. I know that this all sound ridiculous, seeing as LeBron just made the Finals. But he had an eh season, cruised into the Conference Finals, and really only felt like a traditional star for one game and a few quarters. While part of me thinks that this is proof of how unique a player James is, it doesn't exactly satisfy my viewer-lust for commanding figures.

The Warriors fucked everything up, in the same way that the Suns have, at times, made the rest of the league look bad. I said this in a Longform already: they brought the playoffs to an early climax. I don't think this postseason has objectively been absolutely terrible, but only LeBron's GAME had anything on that entire Golden State/Mavs series. Utah is neat, the Suns remained the Suns...I don't know, it just felt like we'd been conditioned to expect too much.

Then again, hindsight is quite different from living through it. Between the Warriors' upset and LeBron self-creation, '07 has given us two super-memorable headlines. That's what we'll remember about it a decade down the road--how much we thrilled at these, not all that disappointed or suffered by comparison. I don't know which vantage point is "right," so let's assume it's something between the two. Or what it means that I think there have been some quality playoffs since Jordan split the second time.

4. FreeDarko has carved out a niche for itself with a much different style: longer posts, more philosophical writing and bizarre fucking pictures! Was the point of doing this initially, to, like we said, carve out a niche? A way to help the site stand out in this cluttered sports blogosphere? Or was the style and writing on FreeDarko more just a reflection of the authors' personalities and thoughts?

FreeDarko began as a fantasy league message board and thusly reflected the sensibility of my circle of friends. Although I think we knew it was different, we started a blog for all the usual reasons: our writing on there was interesting, fairly funny, and worth discussing with a wider audience. The longer the blog went on, and the more readers we got, the more I started thinking about what did and didn't make sense long-term, what the audience might care about, etc.

I've definitely spent a lot time trying to figure out how obscure or abstract things should be, and whether deliberately vague writing might not do more harm than good. Oh, and the whole issue of whether I need to respond immediately to breaking news, or not feel obligated to address the big stories.

So basically it began as a totally uncompromising artistic statement, and then sold the fuck out when we got readers.

5. Dream job? Go.

Getting paid to do FreeDarko. The Longforms at AOL are a huge step in this direction, but I can't lie: I really enjoy cursing, mixing in photos of jihadists, making dorky rap references, and using my B.A. in Philosophy for something.

6. Talks of "voice" have been infiltrating inboxes lately. How'd you initially find your voice? Was it an instant thing, or was FreeDarko a few months old before you really found it? And you recently started the Longform Shoals columns at The 'House, which have been great reads thus far. What is Longform Shoals all about and what was the motivation for starting it?

I kind of accidentally answered this already, didn't I? Maybe not. I started out writing about basketball in a style that deliberately aped Babelfish and bad translations of Russian literature. Big surprise, that didn't always come that naturally, and could really get in the way of the ideas staying on track. I guess the longer I've been doing this, the more I've just stopped trying, so to speak. Whatever comes out, comes out. Sometimes it's more in line with the FD "voice", but then the next day it might be fairly normal sportswriting. Like after LeBron's 48, I sounded like the Bible, and then after Game Six, sober as can be.

The saga of Longform Shoals goes something like this: MJD and myself decide to approach Jamie about writing columns. They reveal that they've been discussing this option. The rest is history. Well, actually, it's a still a work-in-progress, since we're still trying to get the right balance between Shoalsian bombast and AOL-friendly material. John is a tremendous editor, and really does want these to read as much like FreeDarko posts as is practically possible. That said, I am super-jealous of MJD, whose Debriefing is already as perfect as blogging gets.

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

I bleed like any other man, put on my pants on leg at time like everyone else, and have the same essential reading habits. Blogs by people The Big Picture hasn't interviewed?

Straight Bangin', Gabe Said, YBF, Matthew Yglesias, Just Sayin' 2000 and Pizzawhale.

8. Most rewarding parts of blogging? Most frustrating?

It's incredibly rewarding to realize that people find my basketball writing useful. It's frustrating to remember how little I actually know about basketball.

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

A salary and health insurance. I'd also like to write some books and land a piece in The New Yorker.

10. FreeDarko gets a great readership now. The content speaks for itself, but it needs to get out there somehow -- especially at first. How'd the initial promotion of FD go? Message boards? Email strings? And a piece of advice, if you will, for some smaller sites how to build a steady readership?

Deadspin. All Deadspin. We got a major boost in traffic when Billups put us in his blogroll early on, and Peter Schrager's piece on FOX Sports gave us our first huge numbers day. Getting mentioned by Simmons was pretty rad, and Henry's stamp of approval has meant a lot. But it was last year's playoffs, during which Will linked to us something like ten days in a row, that our traffic (relatively) boomed and stayed there. I guess it was a perfect storm of his cred and enough of an audience overlap between Deadspin and FreeDarko.

That's the main thing I've come to realize: getting linked to once by a major site won't establish you. It's great for getting your name out there, but a lot of people only read smaller blogs when directed to by the heavy hitters. They might not even remember the name unless they find themselves clicking to it on a regular basis. That's why posting links is a viable form of content. What you've got to do is get yourself lifted up from out of the pack, which probably works differently for every blog and is a combination of circumstance, luck, and hustle. Not sucking helps, even though there are plenty of crap blogs out there that do well.

I'm also probably a bad person to ask about this -- I was floored when FreeDarko started averaging a thousand uniques a day. I couldn't believe that many people actually wanted to read it.

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

There are so many different kinds of sports blogs out there, it's hard to generalize. The real question is, what happens if the mainstream media chokes on its own tail? Blogs are still fairly dependent on other people's access, but most of those people don't understand what readers actually find interesting. Even the FanHouse or True Hoop, which are tied into major sports news operations, are still often waiting for someone else to harvest anecdotes or rumors.

That's why Dan Steinberg is the future. He's the only way the mainstream media will save itself, and the position I think a lot of bloggers would like to find themselves in. Steinz has access, but he does things with it that appeal to a blog-reading demographic. He's comfortable in both worlds, and can both dredge up and package his own content.

On the other hand, maybe all the squandered access of big papers and web operations is telling us that it's just not that important. I'm not saying that you can learn everything important about basketball from a telecast with the sound off, but thoughtful or funny commentary can sell itself. That's why blogs can work the way they do, and why corporations will dump money into them even though it's still a "parasitic" medium. I know that most msm columnists have access, but their columns often read as if they didn't. These dead weight columnists are being replaced by the "voice" blogger. And in a perfect world, something like The Basketball Jones would be sending scarewaves throughout sports radio.

12. Spurs. Cavs. On one side you have a well-oiled, emotionless machine. On the other, a superhuman and four statues. While San Antonio will be the clear favorite, can we expect LeBron to carry his team that one extra step and get an NBA crown? And if Bron really wins this thing, will we start hearing Jordan comparisons? Now your pick please.

LeBron James is in the NBA Finals at age twenty-two, with a questionable coach and a team that can't score, even from the free throw line. That's better than Jordan managed at the same age. No one wants to call him "better than Jordan," so let's settle for this: if no one really compares MJ and Magic, can't we grant LeBron his own path to forge?

The Cavs have to win at least one game, right? And then the genius of LeBron will snatch away they have no business taking--you just don't put up a game like his 48 and then show nothing like that in the Finals. Spurs in six, with just enough tension to make it worth watching.

Oh, and I fully expect an over-reaction on the part of Spurs fan and certain media members when this comes true. About how one guy can't do it all, a team is an army, and LeBron's overrated. Right, because Tim Duncan could get to the Finals by himself.

(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; NFL Adam).

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Vote for us

We're a No. 11 in the Ladies... tourney thing.

We probably would've been a No. 1 had we gone nude. Thought better of it though.

So go vote for us (scroll to bottom). Our ego needs a Hump Day stroking!

The best American city to live in

OK. Hypothetical Wednesday.

If you could live in any major U.S. city, what would it be?

Some things to consider:

-Who are the home teams?
-Good sports fans?
-Scenic place to live? Like, are there trees?
-General attractiveness of people
-Cost of living
-Proximity to other cool places
-Did we mention home teams? Yeah, that shit better be a high priority.

Try to put previous biases aside. The more objective we look at this, the better the discussion will be.

We're guessing nobody's gonna say Des Moines. But, yeah, feel free to...

All right. The comments section is your blunt: light that shit up!

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 by Tuesday night.

1.) The Musings of GMoney has a kinda, sorta interview with Tiger Woods. Pictured is Tiger's broad Elin with her twin fucking sister! She has a twin?!? Has this been a secret to everyone else too?

2.) Money Players breaks down MJ's interview with the Chicago Tribune. The interview is not, unfortunately, about Jordan getting jiggy with it in Cabo.

3.) Stiles Points keeps the kick-ass interviews coming, with a Q&A with legendary Atlanta Journal-Constitution sportswriter Furman Bisher.

4.)Hey, Shaun Livingston is back. Lion in Oil with the scoop.

5.) RandBall has a very thought-provoking post about how blogs will help shape the way we remember significant sporting events.

6.) The Feed looks at some of the not-so-good MLB Draft decisions. Buncha of guys on this list that, well, you've never heard of.

7.) Larry Brown, that sleuthing devil, points outs just about the worst pitching line we've ever seen.

8.) Flyers Fieldhouse gives us a first-hand experience in Cleveland after LeBron advanced to the NBA Finals. We're still looking for the burning cars. Still lookin'.

9.) Doberman on the Diamond with a list of over and under rated sportswriters.

10.) Oh good. Hot softballers. Just Call me Juice with pictures and words.

11.) Billy Donovan's drama comparable to Britney Spears? All on the Field would say yes.

12.) Stupid Sideline Reporters tells us that the partnership of the NHL and NBC isn't exactly working out well.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Anthony Grant would rather you stay in Orlando, Billy Donovan

Hi, I'm Anthony Grant. You may remember me from such upsets as VCU beating Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

As you may know, I became the leading candidate for the Florida Gators coaching vacancy when my good pal Billy D took beaucoup bucks -- yeah, that's french, bitch -- to coach Dwight Howard and that Darko kid in Orlando.

That was cool and all. Money's pretty cool. You can do a lot with money. See this suit? It's fucking hideous. Nordstrom Rack. Yeah. I shop at Nordstrom Rack. Think I can afford Armani when I work at a school that ends in "Commonwealth?"

But now Billy wants out of Orlando. Back to Florida. And Orlando's gonna let him out of his contract! Absurd!

That means me back to the Commonwealth. Back to cheap suits. Back to Nordstrom Rack.

With the money the Magic...hold that thought for a second.

Let me quickly tell you about the mascot, the Magic. Really. What the fuck? What's magical about the Magic? Jameer Nelson passes to Darko, Darko finds a streaking Howard, Howard kicks out to J.J. Redick for three...! Clang.

Abra fucking cadabra.

Sorry. As I was saying, money talks louder than my ex-wife. For what they were going to pay Billy to go to Orlando, he coulda bought all sorts of nice shit. Like some fucking hair gel or something. You know how he likes that stuff.

Thing is, coaching is like most professions, in that you start at the bottom and work your way up. Billy had done all he could at Florida. Two titles, great players, great reputation.

But there comes a time in every man's life when it's time to move on. Go to Orlando, Billy. Stay a while. Break the notorious streak that Rick Pitino set. Take Orlando to the Finals. Turn Darko into a coordinated person. Let Dwight Howard thrive like Joakim Noah. Roll around in your money.

Richmond, Virginia has been good to me. VCU better. But, like we talked about a little earlier, you can tell where a man is in his career based on his suit.

Even at Florida, I won't be at that designer stage. Billy, with the gazillion bongaroos Orlando brass offered, can go Armani, Prada or Barney's. If I can take the Florida job, I can drop the "Rack." No discount stores for me anymore.

Billy, don't second-guess yourself. You've done all you could at the college level. You like the NBA. You love $27.5 million over five years.

Think about the suit, Billy. Think about the suit.

Yesterday, in the best tournament no one's talking about

Those there are a bunch of Michigan baseball players who are getting more touch-y than normal after a thrilling extra-innings win over National No. 1 seed Vanderbilt.

The Wolverines bounced the Commodores from the NCAA Tournament (NCAA Tournament?) and advanced to the Super Regionals.

If you're thinking something along the lines of "Who the fuck cares," then, well, you might want to stop reading. Because this tournament is hands down the most exciting sporting event going on right now and for certain reasons (like ESPN showing the Yankees for like the 14th straight day) nobody's talking about it.

That's where we'll step in. So Vandy's the top overall seed, and while the Commodores losing in sports is about as obvious as telling people that Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, this is a big-time upset. Probably the equivalent of a No. 8 knocking off a No. 1 in the second round of March Madness.

Not only did Vandy go down, but eight other top seeds didn't advance to the Super Regionals, including Texas (National Seed No. 4), Florida St. (No. 6), Arkansas (No. 7) and San Diego (No. 8). In all, over half of the No. 1 seeds (16 total) went down, and five of the eight National Seeds lost. Crazier than a conversation between Paris Hilton and that Kardashian broad.

Check out the full bracket here. It'll make the above paragraph make more sense.

Of course ESPN is burying this tournament. It'll starting getting some media attention come the College World Series, when we're down to eight teams. For now, there's little-to-no mention on Sportscenter or the .com, let alone the games actually being televised.

But that's like saying:

Producer 1: Hey, so whaddya think about not televising the first weekend of March Madness?
Producer 2: Love it.
Producer 1: Figure skating instead?
Producer 2: I was thinking trick pool.
Producer 1: Bingo.

OK, college baseball doesn't quite have the same following as college hoops. But they're missing some great games, big upsets, and more story lines than a season of 24.

Just think if this tournament got the same exposure as March Madness. The brackets and office pools would be brilliant. It really makes you think what the College Baseball Tourney could be with proper marketing.

Until then, all sorts of great games and upsets will fly under the radar.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Take your pick: On-field blowup or press conference meltdown?

Maybe we're comparing apples and oranges, but stay with us here.

By now you've surely seen the level-headed manager from the Mississippi Braves who acted completely calm and collected after getting ejected from a game last week. He didn't even play Make-Believe War. Sane motherfucker.

Anyway, it's perhaps the best on-field tantrum we've ever seen. Who knew the rosin bag had a pin to pull? Who knew?

And then there's Jim Mora, who, since a November press conference in 2001, has brought joy to sports fans' lives.

The game's easy. In the comments, pick your favorite clip: on-field tirade or press conference explosion. The best part about a game like this, there are no losers.