Links while tossing around conspiracy theories

I have breaking news: After 22 years of jokes, we now have indisputable video evidence that something fishy happened with the 1985 NBA Lottery. David Stern thought all videotapes of the event had been destroyed ... but no!!!!!!!!!!!! You can find the entire 10-minute lottery on YouTube.


The Pulse on ESPN Radio: Bill Simmons explains why there should be an announcer bullpen and who should win the NBA MVP.

Just in case they pull down the clip between the time we post this blog and the time you read this, here's what happens: when an accountant from Ernst & Whinney throws the seven envelopes into the glass drum, he bangs the fourth one against the side of the drum to create a creased corner (we'll explain why this is relevant in a second). Then he pulls a handle and turns the drum around a couple of times to "mix" the envelopes up. At the 5:23 mark of the clip, Stern heads over to the drum, unlocks it and awkwardly reaches inside for the first envelope (the No. 1 pick). He grabs three envelopes that are bunched together, pretends not to look (although he does) and flips the three envelopes so the one on the bottom ends up in his hand. Then he pulls that envelope out at the 5:32 mark ... and, of course, it's the Knicks envelope.

Now ...

A reader named Greg K. from Fair Lawn, N.J. (I'd give you his whole name, but I don't want him to be randomly found dead in his bathtub tonight), pointed this out to me: If you look closely right at the 5:31 mark, right as the commish yanks that Knicks envelope out, there's a noticeable crease in the corner of the envelope. You can see it for a split-second -- as he pulls the envelope up, it's on the corner that's pointing toward the bottom of the jar.

There's a giant crease! It's right there! The same one the accountant created as he was throwing the envelopes into the drum!

So you're telling me that, out of the seven envelopes in that glass drum, during a lottery when the NBA desperately needed the most ballyhooed college center in 15 years to save the league's marquee franchise, the commissioner coincidentally pulled out the envelope with a giant crease in the corner that happened to have the Knicks logo in it? This is the Zapruder film of sports tapes, isn't it? Where's Oliver Stone? Can we pull him out of the editing room for the "Alexander: The Really, REALLY Long Director's Cut" DVD?

Three other things kill me about this tape: First, the host was Pat O'Brien, who's now relegated to stories like "Are Paris and Nicole feuding again? We'll have the story next!" Second, as Pat is pumping up Ewing's pro potential, he passes along a quote from a scouting director who said, "'We've had the Mikan era, the Russell era, the Kareem era ... now we'll have the Ewing era,' and he added, he doesn't see another era on the horizon." Good call, scouting director! And third, as the envelopes get counted down, it's legitimately exciting -- you could even call it the most exciting random sports moment ever. At least until May 22, 2007.

Anyway, the weekly batch of links needs some sort of catchy hook, so here's what I came up with: "The Weekly Links." Now that's genius. You have to hand it to me. I didn't have time for additional commentary because I'm working on a column for Friday, so I'm turning everything over to you guys. As always, thanks for taking the time. Here's what you came up with:

Scott from Middletown, Conn.: "Great old clip of a Marv Albert promo during his Channel 4 days in the mid-'70s. Still has the same hair."

Eric from Chicago: "Thought you might enjoy this piece on Dwyane Wade's $8.9 million pad. I went to Marquette while he was there and he was the most down-to-earth guy. If I didn't hear so many good stories about him, by looking at this link, I'd think Wade's ego is ginormous -- and maybe it is. But this link is enjoyable nonetheless."

Tim in Syracuse: "This is the greatest SNL clip maybe ever. I remember seeing it for the first time with my college roommate and we cried. I've spent years trying to find it. So, I present to you, the Mercury Mistress."

Justin from Indy: "As a Pacer season-ticket holder I received a DVD in the mail this month. I guess it's a nice gesture on their part to have Larry Bird and Reggie Miller (who's being interviewed either in the TNT studio or Pee Wee's Playhouse, you decide) letting us know they appreciate our support through these 'challenging' times. I especially enjoyed Reggie instructing me that 'there are no such thing as fair weather fans, you're either with us or against us!' But my favorite part is the end with the tag line: 'We need you back.' I guess this was a 'welcome to NBA mediocrity for at least five seasons with mid-round draft picks, zero cap flexibility, and an eighth seed if you're lucky' gift."

Justin in Tustin, Calif.: "After viewing this clip, I am sure of one thing: It's only a matter of time before Carl Lewis joins the ranks of Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker as an Oscar-winning actor. OK ... all sarcasm aside ... I'm not sure which is actually worse, the dialogue OR Carl Lewis' 'acting.' Hmmm?"

Drew from Boston: "Wonder what a 'brawl' in the Japanese League looks like? Check out this crazy clip of Rod Allen, who loses his mind after being hit by a pitch. I won't ruin the clip for you. This must've set U.S.-Japan relations back 200 years."

From Colby in Newburyport: "I dare you to buy your wife anything from this line. If women didn't already think Alyssa Milano was a tramp, they most certainly will now. My question is, do fake, trashy tattoos come with every order?"

BB in NYC: "As a big pro wrestling fan, thought you might want to check this out. I think I would rather read all the stories they checked out but deemed too depressing to put on this Web site. If the feel-good story is Jake the Snake overcoming drugs and booze for pro fishing, well, I'd like to know what everyone else is up to."

Nick S. in South Jersey: "I watch this clip three times a day and can now say Billy King was right in giving Sammy D the big extension. You can't put a price tag on this."

Heath in NYC: "Heidi and Spencer give their side of the story. Don't you think Spencer should get a spin-off?"

Clint from Fresno: "I thought you would enjoy this if you hadn't already seen it. It is a site with all of the 'real men of genius' radio commercials. It is a great time killer and always good for a laugh."

T-EZ in DC: "Check this old Washington Bullets promo from back in the day. Too funny to watch just once and you can have fun trying to indentify who's who from back then. Go Bullets, go Bullets!

Curtis, South Jordan, Utah: "Thought you would enjoy this article about Danny Ainge's son. Not necessarily the article, but the second-to-last paragraph. He's accepted a full-time assistant coaching gig right out of college. He doesn't want to coach in the NBA because he would have people like his dad picking his teams for him. Not even his son would want to be the coach of his team."

Joanna from Cherry Hill: "I got this link from a friend and had to pass it on to you in case no one else had yet. I can't decide which is the best part -- the oddball options you can get the players to say like 'while you are at home perfecting your comb-over,' hearing Jeter turn the best friend forever option into 'BFF' or waiting exactly one minute after you send the message to receive the inevitable phone call from the call's recipient which basically starts 'What was that?' Recommended: repeatedly send Jeter phone calls to a person so they can honestly say, 'Derek Jeter won't stop calling me.'"

Jonathan M. in New Zealand: "Over at Google Video, there are a whole host of classic NHL playoff games (Game 7 of the 1994 Finals etc ...). For your pleasure, here's Game 6 of the 1974 Finals (Flyers and Bruins) and the infamous Game 7 of the 1979 conference finals -- the 'Too many men on the ice' game."

Brooks from Indy: "Just in case you missed it, they had an unofficial meeting of the Mock Turtleneck Club last week."

M T from Alpharetta: "You should take this column in the spirit of 'if you HAD to write a defense of Danny Ferry and Dan Gilbert, here's what it would look like.' But he does make some good points. Not getting a deal done for Mike Bibby was his biggest sin."

Cam from Providence: "Here's a link of Robbie Schremp, one of Edmonton's top prospects. It shows two moves he pulled off in a shootout. Both of them are absolutely ridiculous. I've tried both and all it has resulted in is a bunch of nasty spills."

Justin K. from Kalamazoo: "I've got something else for you. This is the exact opposite of the 'Singles' soundtrack. For that, I apologize. This is what the '90s are now, man."

George C. in Boston: This week's New Yorker had an amazing feature about Manny. It's both hilarious and insightful. Although it makes me even more angry with the Boston media who are so busy getting pissy that he doesn't kiss their ass to bother actually reporting anything new or interesting on the guy. How come we had to get all this good information from someone outside the Boston sports media? I think the answer is obvious: This author didn't have an ax to grind, or an ego to coddle."

Dave from Blacksburg: "I am a student at Virginia Tech and this woman basically singlehandedly led our campus from utter despair to a feeling of hope. I was just hoping you could pass this clip along so that maybe some other people out there could feel the same thing. I appreciate it."