fun with lakers' quotes

kobe on his one game suspension for elbowing manu ginobli in the face:
I haven't seen a precedence for this. There's unintentional elbows that take place in a game all the time.
hey kobe, that because there is no precedence for this...however, i suspect that there is a precedent.

phil jackson' reaction (E, you're going to love this one):
I have been a little disappointed with how Kobe has been treated as a premier player
in other words, phil just acknowledged that his entire career is built upon players getting a ton of calls that they probably shouldn't have.

phil: ok kobe, just make sure that you're standing close enough to your defender so that when he exhales, the carbon dioxide that he expels hits you on the arm, that should be enough to draw the foul. this worked for jordan at least six times a game.
kobe: but phil, i don't want to cause any kind of incidence!


a little something to get you ready for super sunday

i don't know about you, but i'm pretty excited about this year's halftime entertainment, the artist currently known as prince. aside from being a sexy m-effer, he's got a ton of hits that i know the words to and generally enjoy listening to. and if i have to sit through any kind of bs halftime show, it may as well be of something kinda cool. anyways, one thing that you probably know about prince is that he kicks total ass on the guitar. fredo found this clip of prince playing with tom petty, jeff lyne and dhani harrison, at the rock and roll hall of fame induction ceremony playing "while my guitar gently weeps". it's bizarre enough to see prince on stage with tom petty, but then when starts his solo, prepare to be blown away (fast forward to 3:34 if you just want to hear his purpleness' solo). in musician speak, he unleashes some pretty tasty chops, and pretty much steals the show. anyways, enjoy!


some thoughts on black coaches

it's been a good couple of days for black coaches. first, not only do we get to see the first black coach in the super bowl, we get to see two first black coaches in the super bowl. further more, mike tomlin, a 31 year old black person, was hired as the coach of the pittsburgh steelers, one of the most prestigious coaching gigs out there.

jemele hill of espn's page 2 wrote an interesting column today about how tomlin's hiring is actually more indicative of progress than the lovie smith and tony dungy coaching in the super bowl. her argument, which i find to be very convincing, is that this is one of the first times that a black coach as gotten a sweet coaching gig, instead of a crappy one that basically set them up for failure (see art shell in oakland, and dennis green in arizona). for years, these upper echelon positions have been reserved only for white coaches, and tomlin should be remembered as the one who broke this barrier. while i'm totally convinced that the steelers are as talented as hill seems to think, and this has actually happened before when tony dungy inherited an extremely good offense in indy, but overall, she's right. good for the steelers, good for tomlin. in any case, it would seem that russ grimm wasn't happy with the decision.

the other thing i wanted to bring up is the way that the general media has been covering the smith/dungy thing. like every should be, everyone is celebrating saying, this is a great moment. i'm in agreement here. what i'm not in agreement is the hook that many of the writers are using when they are saying something to the effect of "this proves that african americans can coach at the highest level in professional football." maybe i'm being too sensitive, but i kinda feel like the implication of this line of thinking is that before, we weren't 100% sure that the reason there hasn't been any good black coaches was due to something other than racism. put another way, the conventional thinking implied is that up to this point, all the talk about african americans being inherently incapable may have had something to it, since no black coach had been to the super bowl before. but now we don't have to consider that anymore. i know, it is a semantic thing, but one that i think is important nonetheless, but to me it would make more sense to go with the angle of "racism starting to crumble in the NFL coaching ranks."

this of course is consistent with the general sports philosophy and race philosphy, as dungy and smith are being protrayed as "hard working" and "really nice" guys, which is code for "they're just like us white people." it is also reflective of the myth of meritocracy as people can now claim "if you just work hard enough, it doesn't matter what color you are."

of course, what i'm really afraid of is the next logical step: people saying, "well we had two black coaches in the super bowl, that must mean we've solved the problem of the lack of african americans in head coaching positions and front office positions.", kinda like how a lot of people think that racism ended after the civil rights movement. there's still plenty of problems with the number of people of color at the top of sports, and basically every social institution.

supplemental reading: here's a column by bomani jones that cites an economics article that shows that black coaches have to be better than white coaches to keep their jobs. good stuff.


some random football thoughts

1) lovie smith and tony dungy represent the first time black head coaches have faced each other in the super bowl. yes, this certainly qualifies as progress. good for the nfl in this area.

2) a quote from peyton manning after today's game
I don't get into monkeys and vindication. I don't play that card. I know how hard I worked this season, I know how hard I worked this week.
almost every other quarterback in the nfl says, "i know how hard WE worked this season." what a douchebag.

3) as much as i hate to admit it, peyton, like he was for much of the season, kicked complete ass in the second half. seriously, the patriots defense just couldn't keep up with him. it's ironic that he had a kinda down year statistically speaking, cuz this year is the best i've ever seen him play.

4) for the record, i thought that the bears and the pats would win.

5) vegas has penciled in indy as a 7 point favorite. i've gone back and forth on this one. on the one hand, rex grossman is still rex grossman, and peyton manning is peyton manning. very often these close games come down to the qb matchup and the bears are sorely outmanned at this position. but at the same time, the bears did shut down the league's best offense today, and they also were able to beat them despite the best quarterback in the league this year having a decent game. right now i'm leaning towards the bears, who i clearly want to win, but the only thing from making a definitive pick right now is the whole afc vs. nfc thing. the afc is really a superior conference in every way, so i'm not sure the bears have the horses to keep up. what i think it'll come down to is the colts defense. if they put together a decent game, then the colts should win. but like i said, i'm kinda torn right now with that many points. i'll make a pick later, but like i said, i'm leaning towards the bears.


pop culture quick hits

i'm mulling over whether or not to return to blogging full time, and to be honest, it's not looking good kids, but here are a couple of things that i wanted to bring up.

1) newsweek gets its hand on the much maligned oj book and freaking publishes it! wasn't just a month ago that the world was just hammering judith regan and fox for exploiting the whole situation? i just think it is real hypocritical that no one is is accusing newsweek for exploiting the situation. someone tell me how judith regan publishing the book for money is different than newsweek publishing the chapter to sell magazines?

2) warren beatty got some kind of lifetime achievement award last night at the golden globes. is it just me or is warren beatty one of the great overrrated actors of all time. ok, reds was pretty good, but was heaven can wait really that good? um, no it wasn't. dick tracy? bulworth? bugsy? i mean those were ok, but nothing on the level of a really good movie. sure maybe he did some decent stuff in the 70s, but nothing on the level of an al pacino or a dustin hoffman or a jack nicholson. i don't know how they choose lifetime achievement awards, but i should be put in charge of the process.

3) so virtually every best of 2006 list has tv on the radio at or near the top. i've recently acquired the album and all i can say is that i feel officially out of touch with today's music scene. can anyone explain to me why they're so great?


maybe if he were married to baby spice

i find it curious that everyone seems to think that the arrival of david beckham is going to renew interest in professional soccer. they're even calling him the next coming of pele. not that i know that much about soccer, but i'm sure that pele fans are not amused with the comparison.

anyways, aside from the whole "really good international soccer players only come to america after they're washed up theory," let me again remind everyone that sports, particularly professional spectator sports is a male domain. i'm not saying it's right, but the fact is for a sport to take off in the states, it has to be popular with males. even further, it has to be really popular with young males. the best example i can give you is skateboarding. i could cite some studies that have found that the skating culture, a pseudo punk/masculine, made it very marketable and that it made it fit in with existing sports culture, but instead i'll offer you a simpler explanation. tony hawk popularized skatebaording. why? he was the best skatebaorder (at the time) andhis video game kicked ass, two things that young males really dig. now i can almost assure you that the average 15-30 year old male is not excited about david beckham playing in the states. maybe if rolandinho or someone like that came over, but not david beckham. in fact, the main demographic that is interested in david beckham coming over are females, who enjoy his good looks, and are interested in the fact that he is married to posh spice. if you ask me that is not a recipe for success in the states.

i know i'm biased because i'm on record as not enjoying professional soccer, but just because i'm biased doesn't mean i'm not right.


more playoffs

apparently, according to the following comment, erik wants to play:
Bob you're killing me.

I wont' have a chance to post before the Saturday games start, so here are your guaranteed picks for this weekend's NFL games. I'd like to dedicate these picks to Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

BAL (-3.5) over ind - I can't wait to see Peyton Manning weeping like Tony Romo.

phi (+5) over NO - I think NO wins but not by 5. Philly has the firepower to keep up with these guys, particularly since they're rocking Jeff Garcia.

sea (+9) over CHI - This line is way too big. Chicago wins, of course.

SD (-5) over ne - Now here's a blowout.

bye (-17.5) over DET - Detroit wins, of course, but not by this much.
erik's logic can be so problematic sometimes. according to his logic, the bye is favored against detroit, yet in his comment he says that he's picking detroit to win but not covering the spread. when an underdog wins, by definition, it covers the spread. this is why erik sucks as picking football games. anyways, this is how i see everything going this week.

ind (+3.5) over BAL (o/u - 42)
it's going to be close and the ravens have really proven themselves to be worthy of this spot. but, there's only ben one team with a lights out defense and almost no offense to make a deep run in the post season. of course it was the ravens, but i think peyton wil come through. also the line is now -4, so i'm going the opposite of what most people are thinking. at the same time however, home teams in this round of the playoffs almost always win. something tells me to take the over here as well.

NO (-5) over phi (o/u - 49)
i just think that philadelphia is overmatched on offense here. this one is going to be shootout city. it's going to be like the dallas game, except that the eagles with put up much more of a fight. over over over.

sea (+9) over CHI (o/u - 37)
erik is right, that is way too many points when someone named rex grossman is your quarterback. i want to like this version of the bears, but i have decided i don't. however, i'm not worried since the NFL will exert its influence to make sure that the saints get int the super bowl. after all, as ford or chevy or whichever car company runs those stupid ads....this is our country. gimme the over here as well.

SD (-5) over ne (o/u - 46.5)
i fear the wiliness of belichick a little bit here, but the chargers are phenomenal against the spread this season, no sense in not taking them. over over. there's going to be a lot of offense.

boise state (-20) over DET (o/u - 40)
seriously, were you that impressed with florida's win over the buckeyes? me neither, and i'm pretty damned sure that the lions couldn't beat ohio state, therefore, boise state gets the nod here.

as bono said, "for the reverend martin luther king....sing it!"


bobby the gook season 3, end of season wrap up + playoff picks

well, no sense in putting it off any longer, here are the final tallies for title of football genius:

Bob vs. Fredo
season record
Winning Pct.
Vegas Round

Bob vs. Erik
season record
Winning Pct.

as we can all see, after a mini-slump fredo went 10-6 to finish up an astonishing 36 games over .500. me on the other hand finished off with a modest week of 9-7 to finish 4 games over .500. now of course in real gambling terms, finishing at .500 actually means that you would lose money since the house always gets its rake. the general consensus is that to win money you need to get at least 55% of your bets right to finish positive. so even by that measure fredo seems to have done very well. however, as we know you would have to be stupid to bet on every single football game every week. in the vegas round, fredo also finished very strong. he ended up winning $565. that's a lot of bob bucks but not enough to bring fredo back to even. even so, however, he finished the season at only -65. in the big picture that is one freaking fun weekend in vegas. me however, finished pretty strong, winning $475 to end the year at +$730, which is an even more fun weekend in vegas. so it would seem that in a sense, fredo and i tied for the title of official football genius of the ragin' asian blog. however, the truth is, we're both football geniuses. fredo and i finished in first place in the santa barbara wide football pool each pocketing a nice bit of change for doing what comes naturally to both of us. damnit we're good.

as an uninteresting sidenote, erik did the best he's done in weeks by going 8-8 to finish 14 games under .500. it takes a little sting out of losing to him in fantasy football, but both fredo and i had pretty low expectations for erik at the beginning of the season, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that i beat him by six percentage points.

overall i'm very pleased with the way that the season turned out. after last year's debaucle, i started to question whether or not my luck and knowledge had maybe run out. i think we can all see that last year was an abberation and that fredo and i are actually still pretty damn good at this thing of ours called handicapping. erik, however, should stick to hockey.

anyways, here are this weekends picks. no money, no contests or points, just picking for fun here.

IND (-7) over kc (o/u - 51)
last year, road teams went 3-1 in the wildcard round, but like i said, last year was an anomaly. peyton will take care of business at home. the defense will still get gashed by LJ, but not trent green. i'm a little worried since the colts aren't blowing people out like they were last year, so they might keep it close, but still, i think peyton is still playing great football this year. and give me the under.

dal (+3) over SEA (o/u - 47)
yeah, i know, there's no reason to have any optimism for the cowboys. but what did you expect me to do? plus i have to take at least one underdog. also i'm gimme the over - big time.

NE (-8.5) over nyj (o/u - 38)
the pats are going to roll like you would not believe. the jets are the biggest mirage in the NFL. most of their wins against crappy teams, and chad pennington at qb. no thank you. i like the over here as well as i think NE will score 30 by themselves.

PHI (-7) over nyg (o/u - 46)
this is the easiest money this week. the giants are horrible. sure they beat the skins last week but look at this team. coughlin, shockey, eli, plaxico, and tiki. this line should be at least ten. there's just no way that the giants are even going to sniff victory. under as well.

in the next few days, we'll go over our pre season over/under picks.