usatoday.com -- Ron Artest explains the inspiration behind his "Thunder Road," his general apathy towards changing clothes, and his summer of flying in competition for full-court one-on-one games.
radaronline.com -- Is this terribly mean-spirited? Of course. But there's funny, and then there's Star Jones' publicist giving serious thought to what price could lure her to an eating contest/arm wrestling public appearance.
www-users.cs.york.ac.uk (Shaun T.) -- This is from a few years back, so maybe you've seen it circulating before. But if not, here's the standard by which all future college application essays should be judged.
nba.com (Paul K.) -- Details on the recently held tryouts for the Cavs' "Beefcake on the Lake" dance team. Look for Jahidi White to pull Russell-esque double duty here. For reference, here's last season's revolutionary squad (nba.com).
seattlepi.nwsource.com (Greg V.) -- A follow-up to the point about the Astros having no black players on their roster. Now brace yourself, I actually had to research this topic for school once, so I'm going to channel my inner snooty academic (and it's not only possible, but quite likely that I'm overlooking something huge here).
Before the MLB Draft was instituted in 1965, teams relied on training academies to find and develop young talent. But with the draft, it was no longer economically efficient to spend money developing players that, upon turning 18, could then be drafted away by other teams. Teams eventually found a loophole to this by turning to Latin American countries, where the players weren't subject to the same draft eligibility (unlike basketball, where the draft is international). That's why there has been such an accelerated growth in Latin ballplayers -- early scouting still pays off. The other result is that baseball development in the States is now dictated largely by socioeconomic conditions -- it's a more expensive and specialized sport. So you could argue that the onus is on baseball to establish more inner-city clinics and developmental programs, but that's about it.
Either that, or Bud Selig doesn't care about black people.
variety.com -- Apparently trying to make amends for his unrelenting presence on "Inside the NBA," Magic is in talks to televise Simmons' H-O-R-S-E idea. If I was a contestant, I'd come out with a far away look in my eyes and then boldly declare, "Off the expressway, over the river, off the billboard, through the window, off the wall, nothin' but net." Then I'd stuff my face with a Big Mac and give a thumbs-up to the camera.
edition.cnn.com -- Rich article on reclusive "Calvin and Hobbes" creator Bill Waterson. And now I will declare great cartoonists as the third-most underappreciated artistic geniuses of our time. Right behind mimes and Richard Marx (bluedesert.dk).
people.virginia.edu (Zac P.) -- Where has this commercial been all my life? Also, take note of the sincerity in this kid's eyes as he sells that last line. He'll win an Oscar someday.washtimes.com -- Be patient loading this one ... it's worth it. Pretty harsh piece on Michael Jordan's portrayal of himself as a victim on "60 Minutes." Seems like a moot point considering that everything since the shot over Bryon Russell is a sham. Seriously, if you don't think Stern spent years in an underground lab cloning a Jordan stunt double, well then you're an idiot.
seattletimes.nwsource.com -- Barring something completely unforeseen, I'm declaring this the last "Laguna Beach" link I ever post. Whenever I put one up, I end up feeling like I've failed as a human being. But this one's a must, since it pretty much addresses every question imaginable (including the whole Matt Leinart/Kristin rumor).
podcast.99x.com (Russell S. in Dalton, GA) -- I would like to apologize for yesterday's rambling last-second intro -- I'm pretty sure we're all a little bit dumber for having read that. With that said, at least one good thing came out of it -- a link to the Brian Austin Green on 99X interview. For someone who called in to promote his new show only to be condescendingly bombarded with questions on every possible topic BUT his show, I thought he was a remarkably good sport.
chron.com -- Great tale of Roy Oswalt doing a back-pedaling, six-shooter touchdown run during a high-school football game. And when you think about it, there really is no comparison to the sublime cheesiness of the six-shooter celebration. It works for all occasions -- rounding the bases on a walk-off homer, taunting the opposing bench after a three-point dagger, bowling a turkey. I even like to do it after getting a girl's phone number. That's how you let her know you're money.
skylinechili.com (Travis in C-Town) -- Uncle Jessie's all over the place during this television interview, probably thanks to the dynamite pills Gibbler slipped him earlier.
msnbc.com (Nathan R.) -- Although not quite to the level of calling Roger the antichrist, Keith Olbermann still probably won't be receiving the Clemens' holiday card this season.
cbs.com -- Bio for former "Survivor" contestant Bobby Jon Drinkard, who was once voted Alabama's most eligible bachelor (probably in large part for his unmatched lifeguarding skills). Also, I'm almost certain that if I stare at that picture long enough, he'll eventually whisper, "Let me be your hero."
slate.com -- Although this eventually devolves into a discussion on marketing ethics, let it be known: The Burger King mask can be bought (bkmasks.com -- actually, it's sold out at the moment) as a timely Halloween costume. Just know that wearing this mask automatically makes you creepier than Joe Simpson.
I think that I have serious commitment issues. But not in that way. I'm talking about my commitment to intros for The Links. For instance, just this morning, I debated the following options:
• The near-perfection of "True Romance" until it's ridiculously over-the-top ending ("There's one thing I never told you ... I HATE COPS!").
• My appreciation for Chuck Klosterman's logic on why he runs. To paraphrase from his most recent book, he runs everyday so that he can guiltlessly live an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle. I dig this line of thinking.
• My gigantic pet peeve with listening to announcers slowly figure out what actually happened on an extremely obvious play. It's like listening to someone start telling a painfully boring story that you've heard a million times but are helpless to stop said person from retelling.
• A hilarious 99X (local radio station) interview with Brian Austin Green that I recently heard.
But did I write about any of these? No, and that's because whenever I tried to settle on one topic, my thoughts would invariably wander to why another is better (I suffer from a paralyzing "grass is greener" complex). In fact, sometimes I think I'd be better off if I was just randomly assigned intros. If I was told to write 250 words on the durability of my desk, it would most likely be incredibly boring, but at least I'd retain my sanity, and you just can't put a price on stuff like that. So in case you ever wondered, these are the things you think about (or at least I do) when suddenly put in a situation where thousands of people actually read your inane thoughts. I'm still not quite used to it.
Like you, I have absolutely no idea what the point of this was.
nydailynews.com -- A wealthy businessman and "stripper enthusiast," charged $241,000 during one wild night at Scores, now disputes the tab. What's more amazing is the picture that accompanies this. After looking at that crazy-eyed stare, my immediate thought was, "Yup, that's exactly what I thought he'd look like."
kmov.com (Scott S. in Cleveland) -- Two diehard Cardinals fans lament over the Cards elimination and the subsequent closing of Busch Stadium. You can just picture the cameraman five hours later, head between his hands as these two guys continue to hold him hostage with stories of their Cardinal heritage.
(The best part is at the 1:30 mark when "Troy" dramatically cries "OH MY GOD ... You know how many games we've seen here?" after being asked whether he'll miss the stadium. It's even funnier the 30th time you watch it.)
stltoday.com -- Mike Martz tries to call in a play during the second half of the Rams/Saints game, but is foiled when his secret operative gets locked out of the coaching booth.
cnews.canoe.ca -- A new Rock, Paper, Scissors champion is crowned, makes sure to point out that "while [he] believes the sport is both entertaining and practical, [it] wouldn't work to settle such disputes as softwood or the Iraq war." Well not with that kind of defeatist attitude.
post-gazette.com (Matthew M. in Southern Pines, NC) -- Coaches are now using text messaging to dance around NCAA recruiting restrictions. I bet there's nothing creepier than getting home late on a Friday night, feeling your phone vibrate, and then reading the following text from Dave Wannstedt -- "Just thinking about U. My school's the best. I'm not wearing any pants."