Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Back to our regularaly scheduled programming...

... and by that I mean bile directed towards others and not toward my own bad taste.

1) Thanks to everyone who participated in my first attempt at starting a meme. I'm not sure I saw all the responses, but those I saw ranged from hilarious to vomit-inducing. Terri Schiavo should not count for a response to #6 considering she has ceased to be, but that was clearly the most disturbing answer. Also, it's amazing how similar people react to things. There were several instances where I had the feeling of "wow, I saw that in the theatre too, and that sucked ass!" and wondered how I had forgotten about it.

2) Peter King, aka Venti McStarfucker, is now in the middle of his long, cold winter/spring/summer. We have to suffer through 2 columns a week of utter bullshit and meaningless speculation about things not requiring speculation, only to have August roll around, and training camps start up, and we're all excited about the upcoming season... and Peter's up on Cape Cod for the entire month watching woodbat baseball and not writing anything. Maybe I've been working at a job that doesn't really allow for monthlong vacations too long, but in my opinion, if you have a job where shit matters only 7 months out of the year (August-January/one week in February, one week in April), you shouldn't take one of those months off. In the meantime, we get weekly Larry-King-esque platitudes on House (and I fear the beginning of The Sopranos next week) and updates on the path Mary Beth (or is it Laura?) takes for campus tours at Colgate, stirred rigorously with righteous indignation and several inserts of "gosh/gee/boy/that sure is". This week the topic so intriguing to Peter that he devoted literally hundreds of words to it was, believe it or not, urination. "Why do restaurants put ice in urinals?", he posed in his MMQB, and proceeded to use a third of his mailbag answering the question. Seriously. Piss. Of course, this isn't the first time he's devoted a significant portion of his column and mailbag to the practice of micturation. One might remember a few years ago when Peter outed a prospective draftee whose nerves got so bad that he pissed himself at the combine (no link here; I thought it was poor journalistic judgment that he named the player). As if pointing out that a guy pissed himself on a million-hit-a-day website wasn't bad enough, Peter then mentioned it at least two more times in subsequent columns and mailbags. And when people wrote in to say he shouldn't have published the player's name, he went ahead and repeated the player's name over and over again, in case someone might've missed it. It was so bad that I seriously got to thinking that there was some sort of catharsis at play there. As if he was making an effort to let people know that pissing yourself was nothing to be ashamed of. And now, with this week's piss scoop, I think we're onto a trend. Peter King must love piss. Love talking about it, writing about it, discussing it (with restaurant employees who don't speak English), debating it, drinking it, dousing himself with it, playing in a kiddie pool filled with it while wearing a diaper, basting Thanksgiving turkey with it, writing to the Montclair, NJ municipal council biweekly to request that his water and sewage pipes be circular, etc. Piss, piss, piss. In fact, next time I write about him, I'm definitely titling the post "Pissin' with Petey".

3) And, of course, I can't let Lil' Stewie at CNNsi get all jealous because I'm focusing energy on the King of the Can. Just a quick one. Stewart Mandel makes a fuss about how Player of the Year doesn't matter because people only remember efforts in the Big Dance. I'm actually fine with the premise: I think all individual awards in team sports are kind of insiginificant, especially those that give out trophies without counting playoffs (yes, that includes the Heisman - I personally don't care all that much about it). I also think that it's quite apparrent that the regular season in college basketball is diminished because of how fun and exciting the conference and NCAA tournaments are. So, yeah, his thesis is fine. But the arguments? A little lacking. Take this:

Quick, name last season's basketball player of the year? No, not Sean May. He was Final Four MVP. But it's certainly understandable if his name rolled off your tongue quicker than that of the correct answer, Andrew Bogut.

Well. I can't speak for anyone else, but the name that rolled off my tongue was Andrew Bogut. He was, y'know, the first player selected in the NBA Draft. He also led his Utes to the Sweet 16 (when they weren't favored to do so). It's not like he's some guy nobody's ever heard of. Sean May had a great tournament (and a great year, too). But it's not like he was the only thing anyone remembers from last year. UNC had 4 picks in last year's NBA lottery! Roy Williams won a title! Illinois had one loss all damn season going into the championship game! I don't even consider myself that much of a basketball zealot and I remember these things. Just not the best argument to make.

Now that I think about it, I'm really just picking at nits. So Mandel's a nit.

4) The USMNT wins in Kaiserslautern over Poland. The US is 2-7-2 in Europe under Arena. The last time the cup was in Europe, the US was an embarrassment. The fact that there are two good European teams drawn in the same group as the US is a concern. Though there's no rational reason for it, playing poorly on the continent, but western hemisphere teams just don't play as well over there. The Polish players should have been in top fitness, the weather should've been a huge advantage. But the US got a result. That should breed some optimism. We'll see.