Thursday, January 18, 2007

That's the best Aquafina I've ever had, bro

Ten free minutes for me, 10 free goodies from Michael Vick's hidden compartment for you . . .

1. We'd be remiss if we didn't offer a tip of the dirty cap to Trot Nixon, whose 14-season tenure with the Red Sox organization officially came to an end today when he signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Cleveland. Trot was never one of our personal favorites - we thought his Dirt Dog persona allowed him to get away with certain flaws and blunders that other, less-gritty types were incessantly harangued for - but we have always respected him for how much he genuinely appreciated playing for the Red Sox. And as Roger Clemens, Jason Marquis, or Rich Harden can tell you, he's had his share of unforgettable moments. We're not disappointed he's gone, but given that he was one of The 25 (only eight remain, sadly), the least we can do is wish him well.

2. It's not only "SportsCenter" that gives an inordinate amount of air and space to sports' most prolific idiots - apparently, the Forum-For-Morons philosophy in Bristol also applies to ESPN The Magazine, which managed to cram features about Albert Haynesworth, Ron Artest, and Bode Miller into it's last edition. (What, was T.O. unavailable?) The biggest upset of all wasn't that all three are (sob) misunderstood, but that Haynesworth (a divorce-bound psycho) receives some words of encouragement during a random encounter with a Lamborghini-driving Rodney Harrison at a Waffle House in Atlanta. Read that last sentence again, and I'll bet you find yourself asking the same three questions I did: 1) Rodney Harrison drives a Lamborghini? 2) Rodney Harrison hangs out at Waffle House? 3) Why the hell was Rodney Harrison doing driving his Lamborghini to a Waffle House in Atlanta during the middle of the season? It's almost too much for my pea brain to comprehend.

3. We tend to avoid linking to You Tube videos around here, mostly because we tend to skip them without a second thought when we see them on other sites. But because I'm running low on time and topics tonight, I figured I'd imbed a couple on here that readers have sent me in recent days, with the seal of approval that they are worth your time. Hey, we never said we were consistent.

The first was sent along a couple days ago from one of my old cohorts at the Concord Monitor, and let's just say it's the most damning evidence yet that the Chargers have no business yelping about another team's lack of class:

The second video here is to the trailer for the upcoming Will Ferrell movie "Blades of Glory," which looks from this angle to be the figure skating version of "Talledega Nights" - in other words, it can't miss. This clip was sent along by one of the film's marketing people, and I'm putting it on here even though he couldn't deliver on my offer to run it only if he introduced me to a certain one of the film's co-stars. Hmm, I guess we don't have as much clout in Hollywood as we thought:

4. I'm only about three-quarters through it after opening the cover yesterday, but I can say without hesitation that Jack McCallum's ":07 Seconds Or Less," an insider's account of the 2005-'06 Phoenix Suns, is the most enjoyable and insightful NBA book I've read since first devouring David Halberstam's timeless "The Breaks of the Game" 20-something years ago. I'm an NBA guy, but this book has confirmed my suspicion that the league would be infinitely more entertaining and aesthetically pleasing if there were, oh, 25 more coaches like Mike D'Antoni. (Cloning Steve Nash wouldn't be a bad idea, either.) Seriously, check it out, and while you're at it, pick up "Unfinished Business," McCallum's first foray into the season-with-a-team genre about the 1990-'91 Celtics. It's worth it for the Bird and McHale anecdotes alone.

5. Color us mildly intrigued by the Sox's signing of journeyman outfielder Alex Ochoa. I know that's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but I was surprised to learn upon checking out his numbers on that he was a .279 hitter overall in his eight big-league seasons, and he hit lefties at a .287 clip. Factor in that he has one of the best outfield arms in the game, and I'm wondering if his arrival suggests that Wily Mo Pena isn't long for Boston.

6. Greg Oden looks so old, I'm pretty sure he played alongside Dr, J on the Virginia Squires . . . Greg Oden looks so old, he could play LeBron's gramps in those Nike ads . . . Greg Oden looks so old, I'm wondering if he and Clifford Ray have ever been seen in the same room together . . . all right, I think I've got a season's worth of lame Oden's Age jokes out of my system now . . .

7. . . . in a related note, the Celtics have 12 wins at the moment. Doing some quick math here on my abacus, that means I hope they finish with no fewer than 70 losses. Paul Pierce can take the rest of the season off for all I care. The best thing to happen to the franchise would be to tank this season, cross their fingers for a little luck with the ping-pong balls, and land a true franchise player such as Oden (who's no sure thing to leave Ohio State) or Texas's phenomenal freshman Kevin Durant. We might as well face it - getting a certified future superstar on draft night is their only chance to escape from this dull cycle of mediocrity.

8. Can't say I blame Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija for choosing his burgeoning pitching career with the Cubs over the chance to be a first-round pick in this year's NFL - it's hard to fault anyone for wanting to walk at age 50. But Samardzija, who drew comparisons to ex-Bronco Ed McCaffrey because . . . well, because he's tall, white, and pretty damn good, is a player the Kipers of the world had pegged going to the Patriots late in the first round. And considering the kid's Charlie Weis endorsement, that might have made some sense. I am curious if he will be selected at all - who knows, by the time the draft rolls around in April, he might be done with baseball after Lou Piniella blows his arm out in spring training.

9. All right, people, convince me it's not going to come down to Vinatieri. Because right now I just can't shake the feeling that ol' No. 4 is destined to decide this thing.

10. As for today's Completely Random Football Card:

Should the Colts and Saints prevail this Sunday, Peyton's Stage Daddy will be more ubiquitous than Rachael Ray over the next two weeks. And no one wants that.

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