MSNSportsNet.com -- Writes K.L. in Pittsburgh: "Not sure if you realize this, but Marc Bulger has a younger sister playing basketball at WVU. She plays all five positions and does so very, very hotly. Sadly, she is dating Pitt's (jerky) QB Tyler Palko." Thanks, K.L. I haven't been so intrigued, yet completely baffled by a piece of information since I found out in 2001 that Shane Battier had a girlfriend at Villanova named Heidi Ufer. What am I supposed to do with this? Give it to the Seahawks D-line?
Chicago Tribune (1/4) -- A couple of follow-ups to Simmons' Hall of Fame ballot column. Cory A. has a little clue as to why Ryne Sandberg might look "like someone in a slasher flick covered in hooker's blood," and Jason Yourout of Chicago has Jeff Montgomery legitimately shocked at being Hall eligible. Says Jason, "Turns out Simmons was partially omniscient."
(By the way, how's "partially omniscient" for a back-handed compliment? Partially all-knowing! I'm partially omniscient, too, I think. I'm definitely using that on a date someday.)
Reuters.com -- Who woulda thought? The Palestinians don't like being told what to do by Richard Gere. And I think Ali G's got a fourth identity: Gaza soap factory worker Manar an-Najar.
Boston.com (1/7) -- Dan Shaughnessy's got details on a flare-up between Doug Mientkiewicz and Sox management. Basically, Doug's got the final-out ball, the brass wants it back, and he's willing to listen to offers. Here's what I found most fascinating: "According to Januszewski, MLB has authenticators from the consulting firm of Deloitte & Touche on site for every game of the baseball season. If a team needs something authenticated, the Deloitte rep is there to slap on a hologram sticker, attach a number, and register the item with MLB." Forget importing/exporting. I'm shooting for authenticating from now on. I'll tell you exactly what's being authenticated at a mid-July game between Kansas City and Detroit. "Is this fat-free Italian?"
LINK OF THE DAY:
Dictionary.com -- Thanks to reader Tim McGovern for giving us a new word to play with. Sample use: "At no point -- even when he cast Madonna in 'Swept Away' -- was Guy Ritchie half as uxorious as poor Doug Christie."
E-MAILS OF THE WEEK:
From Brian F. in Atlanta: "Is it possible that Karl Malone's moving because he doesn't want to live in a school district boasting a "Bryant" Middle School?"
From Chris Givens in Tampa: "Just wondering how many times you've been complained to, or screamed at by small website owners, like Karl Malone's realtor, for shutting down their servers."
(The Intern: "That's actually one of my favorite parts of the job. Not that I know whose sites we crash, because I don't click on the links once they're up and crashees rarely write to me. But just imagining Joe Webmaster sitting at his desk at the Massachusetts RMV on an ordinary day when suddenly vanity plate queries like "IH8NYY" and "JAILB8" start pouring in a few thousand at a time. But of the ones I know, my three favorite crashes are Doug Christie, who was so shamed that somebody spent the entire summer re-designing DCOneThree.com, AnnaBenson.net (which we crashed before it was cool), and the 'Karate Kid' shower Halloween costume guy. The one I'm most surprised we didn't crash? Definitely ThanksBeautiful.com. Speaking of ... ")
From Stephen Worsham: "Yeah, I bought ThanksBeautiful. I am not from BU though. The hits went from about 100 a day to 4,000 after it was put up! Any suggestions for content to add?"
(The Intern: "No.")
From Dave Burns: "Does Simmons always dress in drag when he hangs out with Lara Flynn Boyle?"
(The Intern: "Only when Jack's in town.")
From Randy P. "My cousin works for the Cardinals and was at the Gruden press conference when the fight broke out. The 'radio reporter' (he actually works for AP) fell off the stage and grabbed out to try and keep himself up. He caught the beat writer's arm and pulled him down with him. The writer thought it was on purpose, and the two threw some punches before the AP guy was pulled out by Tampa Bay PR staff."
And finally, from Kristen P. in NYC: "How come you don't get a headshot on your page? I get the whole anonymity thing, and I used to think it was cool, but I was thinking about it today, and other faceless celebrities in history haven't been that exciting. Do you really want to fall in the ranks with Dr. Claw (from 'Inspector Gadget,' whose plans got invariably foiled by a chick and a dog), the nanny from 'Muppet Babies' and all the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons? The only guy I can think of who is cool who is never seen is obviously Charlie (of the Angels persuasion). Maybe Big Al ('Naked Gun'). Do with this what you will, but in the realm of unseen characters, there's a fine line between Bond-like mystery and cartoon grown-ups. At least that's what my grandfather used to always say."
(The Intern: "Back up! Was that a 'Muppet Babies' reference? As in 'Muppet Babies' ... we make our dreams come true? 'Muppet Babies' ... we'll do the same for youuu? First time I thought of that show since I was eight. What exactly was going on there, anyway? They called her 'Nanny' which would imply it was daycare, but not once do I remember any of the babies going home. But if 'Nanny' was working at their place, wouldn't that mean they're all siblings? So I ask: What two creatures had to mate to produce 'Muppet Babies?' It's not like Dave, who slipped up once and ended up with three talking chipmunks. I mean, 'Muppet Babies'? Are you kidding? Anyway, Kris, legitimate question, but I really don't know what to tell you. Think of me like the guy pulling the strings for N. Paul Todd in 'My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss,' I guess. You'll find out who I am in time ... if I don't get canceled first.")
ESPN.com (1/4) -- I didn't write the book on yearbook quotes (didn't write the column it, either), but had the Clinton Portis' sentence starting with "If y'all ... " existed back in 2000, "So I guess this is growing up ... " would have been downed like some stolen amoretto. I'd go through puberty all over again just to use this quote.
Washington Post (1/5), login -- Sean Taylor beat DWI charges yesterday with a comedian for a lawyer. You might have noticed that I love the Post sports section. I beg you, take five minute and sign up. Careful with those ABCs, though. You get rusty after awhile.
(Not like you care, but I've been without a favorite NFL team since Drew Bledsoe got traded to Buffalo. Between the car commercial, the Gardner thing, the Coles thing, the Portis quote and now this, I'm close. The Roosevelts never owned D.C. like this.)
Washington Post (1/5), login -- This belongs in the Best American Travel Writing 2005, and the staffer who conned his way into an Aruba trip belongs at Enron. Anyway, Sidney Ponson was released after a 10-day prison stint for punching out a judge. Looks pretty trim, don't he? His trainer should take note. Don't tell me there aren't good jails in Baltimore.
NY Post (1/5) -- The Official Nemesis of Daily Links is at it again, this time being a cheapskate at a pizza place in Miami. So as not to be stingy myself, here's a bonus Post story on Charles Barkley, hard at work on his new book, "Why Do White People Hate Me?" Nobody hates you, big guy. We hate Kevin Connolly ... and the Hiltons.
LINK OF THE DAY:
Boston College -- Wonders Sean Gillespie of Duxbury, Mass., "Why does BC have a collection of 'Peter Gammons' busts?"
USA Today (1/3) -- Strange story about a guy conning NFL players into wiring him money. Poor James Thrash. Not only can't Donovan McNabb recognize him after three seasons in Philly, but people in Maryland don't know him after five seasons there. I remember being surprised when I found out that Thrash is white ... or was it black? Like I said, poor James Thrash.
Bradenton Herald (1/4) -- Always fun when two reporters throw down. The closest I ever saw was a whiny TV guy screaming "Would you GET OFF MY CORD?" to a semi-trailer lookalike in the Duke press room. It would have been over quick. I won't ruin Gruden's reaction for you.
San Francisco Gate -- "I'm XXXXXXX XXXX, and I'm speaking for the entire world." I don't remember talking to this person. Do you remember talking to this person? Then again, are you surprised? No joke -- find a buddy and play hangman. Ninety percent of you would guess it.
Boston.com -- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the age to spring for a DVD recorder and watch NESN four hours a day.
LINK OF THE DAY:
Sacramento Bee (1/5) -- Watershed news out of Sacramento. The only TV that could top it would be a Jackie Christie murder trial. Tons of emails about this -- most involved Simmons ditching ESPN6 for VH1 -- but my favorite, by far, was from the guy fired up for "THE STEVE CHRISTIE SHOW?"
WITH SPECIAL GUEST MORTEN ANDERSEN!
You guys remember your first time? I thought of mine just the other day.
It came sophomore year of college, not coincidentally the first time that I lived off campus. It was a balmy September afternoon; I was waking up from a nap and felt a strange buzzing sensation on my stomach, like somebody put an electric toothbrush on it.
Groggy and confused, I climbed out of bed, went to the living room and said to my roommate."That was weird. It feels like a mouse just fell out of my shirt." That night, I was doing homework at about 2 a.m. when I saw something scurry from under my bed into my closet. It was a cockroach.
Yes, that was my first infestation.
(And it took two hours of trashing my closet, but I made damn sure it was that cockroach's last.)
I bring this up because three years have passed, and I'm not in the South anymore, meaning I'm not expecting to deal with falcon-sized bugs. I'm also a little tidier, meaning I'm not trying to have unsolicited creatures in my apartment (unless it's my roommate's little brother, but that's IT). I mention all this because I was watching TV alone late Thursday night and heard a strange sound come from my kitchen, and I froze.
SWISH-SWISH SCRATCHSCRATCHSCRATCH ... WHOOOSH!
My mind raced. Though all the windows were closed, I hoped the empty McDonald's bag had magically blown off the counter. It hadn't. This was definitely something live, and something big. I had no clue if it was in the room (I feared), in the wall (I prayed) or under the sink (Hmmm ... I'd take it), but this thing was loud. If you've ever let your dog's toenails get too long, it was three times as loud as the rapping they make on a linoleum floor. I wouldn't have been surprised to walk in there and see the monsters from "Where The Wild Things Are."
Somewhat terrified, I decided there was only one rational thing to do. Fling bottle caps into the kitchen and listen for movement. Thankfully, we weren't publishing Sports Guy World on Friday morning, so I had a few bottle caps lying around. It was a 10-foot throw from the couch. I missed my first two, but like I said, we weren't publishing Friday and I'd had a few bottle ... um, caps. I hit my third.
CLINK ... CLINK ... CLINK ... CLINK ... CLIIIINK ...
I muted the TV and waited about two minutes. Not a peep. Whatever it was, it was either scared or it was gone (or it was waiting to spring out and bite my face, like a raccoon attacking Peter Griffin). Content with my efforts, I decided there was only one other rational thing to do. Head to my bedroom and close the door ...
Onto the links ...
Washington Post (12/31), login -- I'm not advocating car theft, but if nothing else, you've gotta have some serious stones to pose as a valet and steal Rod Gardner's SUV. Would the "Punk'd" guys attempt this? I mean, can you imagine what Michael Westbrook would have done to this guy?
(And more bad news out of DC: An ex-teammate took Simmons' "Sue Clinton Portis" idea and ran with it. Shame on him for not realizing Portis was a deadbeat three months ago.)
Boston Globe (1/2) -- For the first time, the story behind Nomar sulking in the dugout during July's 13-inning loss in New York. Knowing this me feel a little better about things. Owning a DVD called "Faith Rewarded" makes me feel a lot better.
Kirilenko.ru -- The official bio of AK47. Make sure you get to his newest favorite food. It blows away Joey Tribiani's passion for "sandwiches."
NY Post (1/2) -- Words you'll never heard on "Family Feud": "We surveyed a group of anonymous groupies." This one's equal parts hilarious and disturbing. Who knew "Big Pimpin'" could have been called "One-Liter Pepsi Bottle-Sized Pimpin'"?
New York Times (1/2), login -- A must-read. Dave Itzkoff on the shift from political to celebrity satire on "Saturday Night Live," which he calls "a franchise that viewers love to disparage even as they organize their weekend plans around it." Part of it is trying to reach out to its core audience, high schoolers. Says Lorne Michaels: "I used to say that the longest four years of your life are high school, and that's when people generally form an attachment to 'Saturday Night Live.'" Having started high school in '96, I dug around on IMDB trying to figure out when I stopped watching, and why.
Chris Elliott ... Various (1994-1995)
Loved ya as Dom Woganowski, but that sounds eerily familiar.
The Clarion Ledger (1/2) -- This profile on C's rookie Al Jefferson hit rarefied air: a "link to this tomorrow" email from Simmons. The most startling part for me was the box with other rookie totals. Now I realize Robert Swift's only playing 3.5 minutes per game on a team that's stacked, but .4 points per game? James Hetfield's averaged higher BACs.
(See, that was a whole lot easier to write than Ted Kennedy. I'm part of the problem, I guess.)
New York Daily News (12/30) -- Headline of the week: "Wiener wagon hotbed of sin." You can imagine what goes on in "a rundown vehicle strewn with empty chip bags and ketchup bottles and containing a dingy mauve recliner." Picture the Party Wagon with no Turtles and two April O'Neils.
CLASSIC LINK OF THE DAY:
SLCity.com -- It may look like a Bugaboo Creek Steak House, but this is Karl Malone's place. Have a look around. Wouldn't you love to see Kobe buy this and raze it? I wonder if he's still got the slip for the purple diamond.
BONUS LINK OF THE DAY:
Celtics.com -- There are probably 5,000 places to donate out there - rightfully so - but here's one more. If you're heading to the C's on Wednesday or Friday, be mindful of a great opportunity for disaster relief. For once, it's not even the Draft Lottery.
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