Monday, April 24, 2006 

We've Moved

In case you've forgotten, or if you are a first time viewer, please just click on this link and come join us at our new home:

www.atlantawad.blogspot.com

 

Monday Musings

I'm having some major technical issues with the new site, so I thought I'd go ahead and put up the musings here on the old site, and I'll let you know when the kinks are worked out. So, here goes:


I watched so much NBA Playoff basketball that by the time the Mavs tipped off last night, I wasn't really sure where I was any more. My head was spinning, and my back was aching from not giving off the love seat for two days, but it was worth it. In the course of this marathon of hoops, I a lot of thoughts, but the most important were these:

1) Lebron is scary good. If you aren't paying attention to the Lebron experience, you need to start. He's 21 and he's throwing up monster triple doubles in the playoffs? At no point in my life up until Saturday did I think such a thing is possible. There is no limit to the heights this guy can take his game. None. He's bigger, quicker, and more skilled than almost anybody in the league. And again, he's 21.

2) Kobe played horrifically and the Lakers were in the game until the final seconds! Uh-oh Phoenix. Who knows? Maybe Phoenix will sweep the Lakers, but if you told me that Kobe would struggle his way to 22 yesterday, I would have guessed the Suns would have won by a minimum of 20 points. Sure, they got the win, but I imagine they are more than just a little nervous about what Kobe is going to unleash on them in Game 2. You can only hold the Mamba at bay for so long.

3) If you ever wanted to know why it wasn't a good idea to give the defending NBA Champions bulletin board material heading into a playoff series, well, give Ron Artest a call. He should be able to educate you. That being said, I'm still not sold on the Spurs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to doing anything silly like picking them to lose before the Western Conference finals, but watching Tim Duncan drag that foot around makes me seriously question whether they have a run to the Finals in them.

4) On a different note about the Spurs, I didn't realize until it was brought up by the announcers in Saturday's game that Tim Duncan is the only remaining player from the Spurs' first Title run. Isn't it time we start putting Greg Popovich right up there with the NBA coaching elite of Phil Jackson and Larry Brown?

Okay, here are some non-NBA related thoughts:

I was stunned to learn that Reggie Bush's family may have been living in a $750,000 house last year that was purchased in some form by a sports agency. I mean, a superstar college athlete getting some perks from a sports agent? Who has ever heard of such a thing?

The Wendy's triple cheeseburger might just be the perfect cheeseburger. Tons of beef, hot melted cheese, and those great Wendy's pickles. Just doesn't getter any better than that. Sure, no human being, especially me, has no business eating that much food at one time, but sometimes you just got to man up.

I watched "The Godfather" again for the first time in a few years this weekend, bringing my total viewings somewhere close to triple digits. Needless to say, "The Godfather" is my favorite movie of all time, followed closely by "The Godfather II". However, no matter how many times I watch the movie, I still find myself in complete shock and disbelief when Sonny gets gunned down at the toll booth. I don't know what it is, but this scene always leaves me speechless. I mean, how could Carlo, as despicable as he was, ever have betrayed the family like this? How could he have thought this would end well? I often think about what would have become of Michael had Sonny not been killed. Would Michael have been able to live a normal life outside the family business, or was he already in too deep after killing Sollozzo and McCluskey? These are the things I think about!

Friday, April 21, 2006 

Television Friday?

It’s been a long week, and I haven’t even had a chance to weigh in on the latest developments in my favorite television shows. It’s Friday, however, and I know you are expecting a preview of the big sporting events coming up this weekend. Well, even though the NBA playoffs start this weekend, I’m not going to pretend that you are interested in the first round of the NBA playoffs. I guess there are some passions we just don’t share. Don’t get too comfortable though. You won’t be so lucky as the playoffs grind on. At any rate, other than the NBA Playoffs, there just isn’t much compelling about this weekend’s sports action. And, considering that I finally had a chance to catch up on my t.v. watching, I see no choice but to turn this into Television Friday. Doesn’t quite have the same ring as Television Tuesday, but it’s going to have to do.

“The Sopranos”

This might make me a bad person, and it certainly makes me politically incorrect, but it’s got to be said: this storyline revolving around Vito’s homosexuality is hilarious. I mean, some of the comments (which are better not repeated here) made in this past week’s episode were priceless. Hell, Carmella used a few words I’ve never heard of. And, Tony’s session with Dr. Melfi was unbelievable. When he essentially broke into song, I was close to coughing up a lung. Only on “The Sopranos” can such drama unfold with such a sense of comedy. Just another example of why we’ve never seen another show like this one, and we probably never will again. Will Vito get whacked? Will Tony forbid it and incense Paulie and all the Captains in the process? Is this the start of the great conflict everybody is waiting for?

“24”

Hans warned me that at some point in viewing this week’s episode that I would ask myself, “what the f**k is Jack doing?” Well, he was right. I’m still so enraged, shocked, and utterly confused that Jack gave up the recording to save Audrey’s life that I can’t even string together any rational thoughts about it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Jack is still the biggest bad ass in the history of television, but he’s just getting a little too soft. The old Jack would have sat there and watched Audrey bleed to death before he gave up that recording. I miss the old Jack. Only six more hours for Jack to expose Logan, capture Henderson, save Secretary Heller’s job, save Audrey’s life and profess his undying love for her, find and save Aaron Pierce; and surely he will have to deal with the Chinese government at some point. Impossible for a mere mortal, but Jack should be able to do this all without breaking a sweat. As long as he saves time to hang out with his daughter, I’ll be happy.

“The O.C.”

I only bring up “The O.C.” to say that I’m done. It’s over. I just can’t take any more. I spent an entire season dealing with the most ridiculous case of substance abuse on television since Jessie Spano’s addiction to speed, and I’m not about to deal with it again. The moment Kirsten put that glass of wine to her lips, I jumped overboard. I’m not happy about this. This show has brought me a lot of great times, but it’s the end of the road. The juice is no longer worth the squeeze. I, of course, reserve the right to change my mind next Thursday. Anybody want to put odds on that one?

Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Caption Contest



sorry for the late posting. Have fun.

 

Home Sweet Home

After three very long days on the road, I just got back home. Nothing like a two hour delay at a terrible airport followed by a flight through a lightning storm to unwind after three days of stress. Let's just say that my flight would have been rough on somebody that likes to fly much less someone like me that despises flying. I had planned on knocking out a new column for today, but because I haven't read a newspaper or watched t.v. in the past three days, I just don't have much to say. I do, however, love the idea proposed by Stats yesterday that I become the new White House press secretary. I just don't see how this couldn't be a good things. I mean, is there any body else you can think of that would make White House press briefings "must see t.v."? On that note, here are the seven rules I would implement as White House press secretary:

7. Nobody, I mean nobody, from the New York Times would ever be allowed on the White House grounds.

6. Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, and The Covington News would be given permanent seats in the White House Press Room.

5. Every briefing between now and the NFL Draft would include a report of Mel Kiper's updated Big Board.

4. Any mention of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, or Ted Kennedy would result in a permanent ban from the Press Room.

3. Every Tuesday briefing would include a detailed report on "24", "The Sopranos", and "The Bachelor".

2. I would answer all questions using my Stephen A. Smith voice.

1. Every member of the Press Corp. would be required to read The WAD.

Okay, that's all I can muster right now, but I promise to have fresh stuff tomorrow. Till then, feel free to propose some rules you think I should implement in my new job as White House Press Secretary.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 

One More Day...

My apologies for another day without a new column. No, I haven't been abducted by Vito, and there is no truth to the rumor that I am being tortured by Jack Bauer. Just a bunch of work and very little sleep this week. I did manage to hear that A.I. and Chris Webber both showed up after the tip last night. That's tremendous. Things seem to be going very well in Philly this year. Maybe the Sixers should sign T.O. to turn things around? At any rate, talk amongst yourselves for one more day, and I'll be back on Thursday.

Monday, April 17, 2006 

Monday Musings

Two things before I get to a few musings from the Easter weekend gone by. First, as of next Monday the url for The WAD is changing. We’re moving the site over to www.atlantawad.blogspot.com. Not to worry, however, if you forget about the change and still come to this site, there will be a link to the new site. I know change can be tough, but just hang in there. The WAD will be a better place for it. Second, I’m on the road this week, but I’m going to do my best to have fresh material each day. If I miss a day, however, get over it! I’m not a machine. Of course, I’m kidding….I am a machine. An old rusty broken down machine, but a machine nonetheless. Well, enough beating around the bush, here’s what’s on my mind:

  • Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball. Yea, I said it. Seriously, his three dongs (capped off with the game winner) on Sunday are just further proof of what this guy is all about. Unlike A-Rod, who seems to hit the majority of his homers when the Yankees are up $80 million…uh…I mean, 7 runs on their opponents, Pujols hits big homers at big times. And yes, he’s on my fantasy team so I’m flagrantly biased.

  • Kobe went for 43 and clinched the Lakers’ playoff spot yesterday. Sure, I think Lebron is the M.V.P., but I think Phil Jackson is the undisputed Coach of the Year. What Phil has accomplished this season, with a lot of help from Kobe, is UNBELIEVABLE. Just think about this: the Lakers have won 44 games and the four guys they put on the court with Bryant on Sunday were Luke Walton, Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, and the chronically bored and potentially stoned Lamar Odom. Sure, he’s not going to win his 10th ring, but he’s never done a better coaching job. Never!

  • Stats sent me an email nominating the Orlando Magic as Men of the Week. While I wasn’t willing to go that far, the Magic do deserve some props. They’ve won 12 of their last 13 and made an amazing playoff push. While they aren’t making the post-season this year, the way they finished the season has put the Magic back on the map. Consider that they have Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson under contract through 2008, and Darko is under contract through next year with a $6 million qualifying offer in ’08 (according to HoopsHype.com). Then consider that Penny Hardaway and Doug Christie come off the books after this year and Grant Hill after next year. So, there are pieces in place, and cap space is on the near horizon. In short, as long as G.M. Dave Twardzik doesn’t call Isiah Thomas for advice, Orlando has a chance to be a power in a hurry.

  • Speaking of the Knicks, they got bombed again on Sunday. So, with two games left they’ve got 22 wins. For those of you scoring at home, that’s about $5,619,888.00 per win. When you look at it like that you almost feel sorry for Knicks’ fans…almost!

  • The Braves gave up 4 runs in the 7th and 8th innings Sunday to blow a 3 run lead and fall to 6-7. In the meantime, the Mets slugged out 9 more runs and cruised to a franchise best 9-2. Shortly thereafter, I decided to cap off a perfect day by ripping my toenails off one by one.

  • Only 12 more days until the NFL draft. The over/under on stories about the Jets trading up with the Saints to take Matt Leinart is somewhere just shy of 2.6 billion. By the way, why are the Jets so high on Leinart? I mean, don’t they still have Chad Pennington? Isn’t one rag arm enough for an NFL team? To be completely honest, I hope I’m wrong about Leinart’s arm. I hope he has a long and successful career in New York. If he goes to New York and becomes a star, we are going to get to read endless stories about him and Lachey running rough shot over both coasts. That’s fun for the whole family.

  • She’s not there yet, but I get the feeling Jamie Lynn Sigler is going to find her way into The WAD’s top 5 by the end of this season of “The Sopranos”. I understand that she’s not necessarily top 5 material, but sometimes love defies explanation. Did I say love? Okay, I’m going to stop before I get served with the restraining order.

Friday, April 14, 2006 

D. Wade vs. King James

I don’t know if I was more excited to hear that Jeffrey Maier is now the all time hit leader at Wesleyan College (not the girls’ school in Macon), that Ed Nelson is leaving UConn early for the NFL (no, that’s not a typo!), or that Theresa is finally returning to The O.C. next Wednesday night with Ryan’s baby? As soon as I figure it out, I’ll let you know. As we stare into this weekend, we are faced with the stark reality that there are simply no compelling sporting events this weekend. While this is horrifying on several levels, it might actually be a good thing. We can take this weekend to catch our breath, stuff ourselves on Easter dinner, and get revved up for the NBA Playoffs. That’s right folks, the next big event on the calendar is the two month odyssey known as the NBA Playoffs. As I said yesterday, if you aren’t excited, it’s time to get yourself fired up. The NBA is back, and this post-season promises to be electrifying. In an attempt to get you excited, I’m taking a minute today to give you a quick break down of one of the most compelling MVP races in recent memory. Last year’s MVP vote was the fourth closest ever, and this year is almost certain to be closer.

The biggest reason this vote is certain to be close is that there are so many worthy candidates. For example, it’s not hard to make a case for Elton Brand, Dirk, Artest (yes, even in half a season!), Kobe, A.I., and last year’s winner, Steve Nash. While all these guys have meant a tremendous amount to their teams, I think the race comes down to the two guys I’ve started collectively referring to as “The Future.” I, of course, am referring to D. Wade and King James. Before I give you my choice, let’s take a look at their credentials:

D. Wade
Look at these numbers: 27.5 pts/game, 5.8 boards, 6.8 assists, 3.5 T.O.’s, and he’s shooting 49.7% from the field. I can’t remember a guard putting up numbers like this, especially the shooting percentage, since, well, M.J. No, I’m not saying D. Wade is M.J., but I’m saying that he’s pretty amazing. Aside from just the numbers, when you talk about Wade you have to talk about the intangibles. Nobody plays harder than this guy. On a night in, night out basis he busts his ass harder than anybody else in the league, with the possible exception of A.I. Not to mention, very few guys, if any, make their team better when they are on the floor than Wade. Don’t believe me? Well, take a peak at 82games.com (one of the best sites on the web for hoops junkies), and you will find that when Wade is on the floor, the Heat are outscoring their opponents by an average of 8 points. In the minutes he’s off the floor, the Heat score an average of 7.8 points LESS than their opponents. For all you math whizzes, that’s a difference of 15.8 points when Wade is on the floor and when he’s on the bench. Any questions?

Lebron
If Wade’s numbers are sick, Lebron’s are down right frightening: 31.6 pts/game, 6.6 assists, 7.1 rebounds, 3.3 T.O.’s, and 48% from the field. Unbelievable. Listen, there’s nothing I can say about Lebron that hasn’t already been said. All I will say is that when God created Lebron, he created the perfect combination of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. No need to read that sentence again, it says what you think it says. The truth is that I’m scared of Lebron. Why am I scared? I’m scared because he might be so good that one day I have to admit that he is better than M.J. and is in fact the greatest player of all time. We certainly aren’t there yet, but I’m already interviewing therapist to help me deal with this if it happens.


And The MVP Is…..

Lebron. I love D. Wade, and I love Lebron. By picking on one, I feel like I’m cheating on the other, but somebody’s got to win. After breaking down their credentials, and trying to find someway to distinguish between these guys, my decision comes down to one thing, and one thing only: Wade and the Heat are second in the Eastern Conference and he gets to play with Shaq in the middle. Lebron and the Cavs are third in the Eastern Conference and he gets to play with Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the middle! Advantage Lebron. At the end of the day, however, the real question is whether either of these young stars will be playing well into June. Well, we start learning the answer as the playoffs get underway next week. Rest up this weekend so you’ll be able to keep up.

So, that's another week in the books. I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and Passover, and I'll see you again on Monday. Till then...

Thursday, April 13, 2006 

Caption Contest


I don't even know where to begin! Have fun.

 

Hot Routes

After a several week hiatus, the defense has come out of the Cover 2 and is bringing the blitz. So, it looks like we’ve got to throw some hot routes:

1) The NBA is fantastic! Seriously, in case you hadn’t noticed, and based on the usual comments about the NBA here on The WAD, you haven’t, the NBA is as good as it has been since the Bulls second rampage in the ’96, ’97, and ’98 seasons. With an amazing MVP race between D. Wade, Lebron, Dirk, Chauncey Billups, and defending MVP, Steve Nash coming right down to the wire, the star power in the league is through the roof. Seriously, this race is captivating. For my money, it should come down to Lebron or D. Wade. I won’t bore you with the details, but I would encourage you to go take a look at their stats, and I promise you that you will have to look twice. They are both putting up Jordanesque type numbers. The story, however, doesn’t end with the stars. All the old complaints about the style of play and lack of offense in the league are now moot. Six NBA teams average more than 100 points per game, and every team in the league, except the woeful Trail Blazers, averages more than 90 points a night, and no team in the league is shooting under 44%. If you are still shaking your head at the deplorable quality of basketball you witnessed in the NCAA tournament, and you are wondering where all the great young talent is playing these days, take in an NBA game or two. You should find what you are looking for.

2) So, I’m watching PTI yesterday, and Kornheiser informs me that the Texans are now entertaining the thought of taking N.C. State defensive end Mario Williams with the first pick in the draft. I almost hyperventilated I was laughing so hard. In the weeks leading up to the draft, NFL GM’s never cease to amuse me. If the Texans think for one minute that anybody believes they are going to take anybody other than Reggie Bush, they are out of their collective f***ing minds! After his college career, everybody considered Reggie a mortal lock for the first pick. Then, he went and put together one of the most impressive workouts any NFL scout has ever seen. Now, in an attempt to boost the stock of Williams and try to lure some other team in need of a DE into giving away the franchise to get their hands on Williams, the Texans are actually trying to pretend that their draft board goes more than one deep! PUHLEASE! Somebody needs to tell them that unless Isiah Thomas is now running the Jets, this little game is a waste of valuable time on PTI. That being said, if the Texans decide to let Isiah or Elgin Baylor run their draft, and they take someone other than Reggie, their season ticket holders should burn down the stadium first and ask questions later.

3) So, I was pretty bored last night, and Wednesday night t.v. sucks, so I decided to sign up for Party Poker and spend some time with complete strangers on the internet. What a bad idea! I’ve never been so bored gambling in my life. I didn’t even know it was possible. I jumped around from a $1/2 table to a $3/6, back to a $2/4 until I was so bored that I just decided to play a few hands of $5/10 to either make a lot of money quickly or lose it all quickly so I could be put out of my misery. Well, needless to say, I was out of my misery in a hurry. On the bright side, I’ve finally found a form of gambling that I don’t find addictive. So, I guess the night wasn’t a complete loss.

4) Check back this afternoon for the caption contest. I’ll give you a hint about today’s photo(which was provided by loyal reader, Shalls): He may be the Masters Champion, but The WAD Man of the Week isn’t going to be immune from the wrath of Fite. This could, however, be the week that Fite gets dethroned, because you should have no shortage of material with this picture! How’s that for a tease?

5) Finally, allow me to once again shamelessly plug The WAD, and encourage everyone to keep spreading the word to family, friends and co-workers. The more readers we have, the better the comments, and good comments invariably lead to more inspired column topics. In short, the more readers we have, the better place the The WAD will be. The better The WAD, the more reason you have to dick off at work. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 

On a Serious Note

I usually try to keep things light and fun here on The WAD, but today I’m compelled to talk a little more seriously than usual. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, here goes:

Over the past several weeks, the story of the Duke Lacrosse team and the alleged sexual assault has found its way onto the front page of every paper in America. In this era of steroid scandals in baseball and NHL gambling rings, we’ve grown all too used to sports stories finding there way onto the front page. The Duke Lacrosse story, however, is much more difficult to stomach than its recent front page predecessors. This story, unlike the others, exploded and brought a storm of community unrest, harsh and rash judgments, and most regrettably of all, tension between the African American and white citizens of Durham. The question that I have been asking myself for the past several weeks is “why”? More specifically, why has the media been so anxious to put this story front and center when the facts of the case appear to be unknown to even the investigators, much less the media?

Unfortunately, we live in an era where the media exercises little to no discretion or responsibility, and in my opinion, therein lies the answer to the question “why”? My point is simply that the media all too often sees a juicy story and runs with it without taking the time to distinguish between fact and innuendo. Sure, they use words like “alleged”, but there is no mistaking the tenor and tone of their coverage. For example, when the news broke about Wayne Gretzky’s wife’s involvement in the recent gambling ring, we saw a deluge of stories insinuating that Gretzky was, at a minimum, aware of his wife’s behavior, and at worst, actually personally involved in the scandal. Again, nobody would come right out and say it, but the tone and the insinuations were there. Some writers went as far as to suggest that Gretzky should have withdrawn as the leader of Canadian Hockey at the Olympics. No doubt, these stories caused great consternation and distress to Gretzky and those that are close to him, but at least the sphere of influence was limited in that case. In the case of the alleged sexual assault and the Duke Lacrosse team, however, the influence of the media has been far more expansive and devastating.

From the moment the stories of the alleged acts of March 13 came to light, the media descended on Durham and created a firestorm of controversy that has ripped the community at its core. For nearly a month, the media has painted the kids on the lacrosse team as children of privilege with a sense of entitlement. They have painted Duke University as an institution that fancied itself above and better than the citizens of its town. When the players, no doubt at the advice of counsel, shrouded themselves in a cloud of silence, the media portrayed them as all complicit in a heinous crime, and the more the media piled on these kids, the more they stroked the flames of controversy in Durham. Then, as the protests and unrest grew, the guilt of the players became a foregone conclusion and the real story became the protests and the controversy. In other words, without all the facts, before the investigation was completed, the media created a story even bigger than the original story. The beast fed itself.

Now, in the wake of yesterday’s revelation that DNA from none of the players was present on the alleged victim, what are we supposed to think? Does this mean the players are innocent? Doe we believe the D.A.’s statements that the investigation is ongoing and that in 75% - 80% of all sexual assault cases lack DNA evidence from the assaulter? Do we believe the reports that the doctors treating the alleged victim state that her injuries were consistent with those of a sexual assault? Unfortunately, we don’t know what to believe? How could we?

Ultimately, to draw the conclusion, in the wake of the negative DNA tests, that no assault occurred is just as absurd as drawing the conclusion that the players are guilty before the facts of the case are fully accumulated. It’s not fair to the accuser or the accused to have stories whimsically floating on the front pages of the papers until the facts of the case are known. In fact, it’s irresponsible. The only fact we are certain of is that nobody other than the parties involved yet knows what happened at that party on March 13, and until the D.A. completes his investigation and either decides to indict or not indict, no story should exist in Durham. Thanks to the firestorm created by the media’s descent on Durham, however, stories of community unrest and racial tension do exists, and they have they have become very very real. I just wish that the media would take a step back, give the D.A. a chance to complete his full investigation, and ultimately make a decision on whether to indict any of these players or not. This would be the responsible and fair thing for the accuser, the accused, and the Durham community. Unfortunately, the words “responsible” and “media” just don’t go together these days.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 

Television Tuesday

Well, we got the great news yesterday that Kiefer has signed on for at least three more years as Jack Bauer. You would think that this would give us some level of comfort that Jack was going to survive this, the fifth installment of the worst day of his life, but I’m not taking the bait just yet. Nothing with “24” is as it seems, and this may be no different. After all, they did bump Kiefer up to Executive Producer, so maybe this is all one big diversion leading up to the biggest surprise in television history…the death of Jack Bauer this season! I know it sounds nuts, but crazier things have happened. I mean, Chris Reitsma did retire the Phillies 1-2-3 in the ninth last night. In other words, anything is possible. Alright, without further ado, let’s get down to business:

“24”

First and foremost, I’m stunned, literally stunned that there are incompetent and moronic people running the operation and trying to have Jack arrested! Oh, wait a minute…that happens every year! Well, maybe not every year, but enough to really piss me off. I can’t even begin to tell you how infuriating this is. Oh well, terrorists are clearly no match for Jack Bauer, I guess Homeland Security just evens the playing field. So, is the absurdity of Jack having to dodge the authorities enough to dampen my enthusiasm for “24”? Not a chance. This season is registering a perfect 10 on the excitement meter, and I’m already counting the minutes until next Monday night. That being said, here’s five questions after last night’s episode:

1) How did it take the bank manager thirty minutes to recognize Wayne Palmer? As much as I love “24”, there are about three things in every episode that are just so absurd that you have to just pretend they didn’t happen…this was definitely one of those things. (by the way, Jack having Aaron Pierce’s number programmed under his real name on his phone is another one of these things) No, I’m not being all high and mighty and saying that every American should recognize a former White House Chief of Staff (although they should, but this country is full of un-informed people that don’t watch the news…they are called democrats. Sorry, couldn’t resist). What I am saying is that there is NO WAY that anybody with a t.v. wouldn’t know what the President’s brother looked like. Maybe this isn’t a big thing, but it really got to me. Okay, I’m nuts…moving on…

2) Why didn’t Jack kill Evelyn and her daughter? I know, I know, this sounds incredibly heartless, but you have to stop and think about it. There was only one way Henderson was going to find out where Jack was, and that was if he got his hands on Evelyn. So, what does Jack do? He leaves a bleeding Evelyn alone with her ten year old daughter! He had to know this wasn’t a good idea. Killing them would have been tough, but it was the right thing to do for the country. I mean, he had no qualms at all about leading innocent members of the L.A.P.D. to the slaughter, but he just decided to chance it with Evelyn and her daughter? This just doesn’t make any sense. As much as it pains me to say this, Jack screwed up here. Granted, it wasn’t as bad as when he trusted Henderson and almost got himself blown to pieces, but it was bad.

3) At some point in last night’s episode, my roommate, the legendary Hans, declared that he wanted to marry Chloe. I know this isn’t a question, but there was NO WAY I could let this slide…NO WAY!

4) How are things going to fall apart next for Jack? So, he’s got the proof that it was Logan behind everything. We saw in the previews for next week that he’s going to get the proof in Secretary of Defense Heller’s hands, and the SecDef (that’s a little lingo I picked up from a great show that appears to have simply disappeared, “E-Ring”, but that’s a whole other column) confronts Logan. It seems like everything is going to work out perfectly. There is just one little problem though…we have seven episodes left! Something is going to go terribly wrong, I just can’t figure out what it is yet.

5) Are we really getting no more Elisha Cuthbert? I absolutely refuse to believe this. I won’t accept it.

“The Sopranos”

Another great episode, but another episode that left us shaking our heads. “The Sopranos” is fighting a unique and uphill battle this year because we all know that we are drawing closer and closer to the conclusion of the entire series. Therefore, we want every episode to bring great revelations and get us closer to what we hope is the greatest television conclusion of all time. That’s a lot of pressure for any show, much less a show that is as complicated as “The Sopranos”. I’ve head a lot of grumbling and whispering that the show has lost its fastball this year, but I think that’s just because people are grading it on an impossible curve. If everyone just remains calm and patient, I guarantee we won’t be let down. In fact, when it’s all said and done, I think people are going to look back on this season as one of the finest. Well, enough slurping, and let’s move on to some predictions for upcoming weeks:

1) Johnny Sack’s reign as the King of Brooklyn can be measured in days and not weeks. I mean, Phil’s opinion of him as a man plummeted this week, so that should be enough…right? Here’s how it’s going to go down: Phil has been dying for revenge for over a year for Tony B. killing his little brother, so when Tony offs Rusty Milio, Phil will blame Johnny and use this as a reason to lead a revolt among Johnny’s captains. I mean, after he stayed loyal for all those years he was locked up, Phil hasn’t gotten the respect or appreciation he deserves, or so he thinks. His overthrow of Johnny Sack isn’t a question of if, it’s when. Johnny will get whacked in jail, Phil will seek his revenge against Tony’s people, and war will ensue. The North Jersey vs. Brooklyn war will be the ultimate climax to the series. Just remember that you heard it here first.

2) At some point this season, Dr. Melfi will tell Tony that she was raped all those years ago and three things will happen: 1) Tony will console her and she will finally give him that sympathy…uh…yea…that thing he’s been hoping for all these years; 2) Tony will hunt down and kill the man who did it and everybody that ever knew him; and 3) this will be the end of Dr. Melfi and Tony’s relationship.

3) Meadow is going to dump Finn and marry me. Okay, I have again blurred the line between reality and make believe. Fine, so I’m not going to marry Meadow, but I’d be happy with a real life girl just like her. So, if anybody knows a gorgeous, intelligent, Italian, Catholic girl with a mob boss for a dad, please give her my number.

4) I don’t know if he’s going to do it to himself, or if somebody else is going to have to do it, but one way or the other, Vito is going down! No pun intended. Fine, it was intended, and damn it, it was funny!

Monday, April 10, 2006 

Monday Musings

  • The Braves are leading the league in RBI and they are last in ERA. I’m not saying it would be different, but maybe, just maybe, we should have done a little more to keep Leo around? I know, it’s early, but I’m panicking.

  • It’s good to see that Chris Reitsma is already in post-season form! Do you think other teams start laughing when he comes in the game? I would if I wasn’t cursing so loudly.

  • Would somebody please tackle Jaokim Noah? No, I’m not referring to the fact that a French guy wore his shirt un-tucked at the White House. That’s a whole other rant. I’m actually referring to the fact that he says he’s staying in school another year. What good can possibly come of that? He’s a mortal lock for the Top 5 right now. Has he forgotten that nobody even knew who he was six weeks ago? He has nowhere to go but down. Doesn’t Billy Donavan have a responsibility to talk some sense into this kid?

  • Yesterday’s final round of the Masters was fantastic. What it lacked in drama, it more than made up for in star power. With Lefty winning, Woods, Goosen, Olazabal, and Vijay all staying in the hunt for the better part of the afternoon, it was fantastic. Big ups to Lefty for winning, but also huge props to Tiger for somehow finding a way to keep battling even though he couldn’t buy a putt. I can’t think of another athlete in the world that can stay that focused and competitive even when their hopes of victory are gone. Even in defeat, Tiger still manages to amaze.

  • Speaking of Tiger and Phil, how painful was the Butler Cabin ceremony? Poor Jim Nantz couldn’t even bring himself to make eye contact with Tiger. And, the fake smiles Phil and Tiger exchanged were reminiscent of the hand shakes and smiles exchanged by Bush and Kerry at the start of each of their debates. Awkward to say the least.

  • Speaking of fake, am I the only one who found Phil’s post victory family celebration a little…uh…forced? I mean, he looked like he had never hugged his daughters before, and he sounded like he was reading their names off a note card. Maybe I’m way off, and maybe I’m an awful person, but something just doesn’t smell right with Lefty. I mean, he just seems a little too aware of where the cameras are. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Lefty, but I just get the feeling he probably makes David Sims (Don Johnson’s character in “Tin Cup”) look like a genuine guy.

  • Has anybody ever done a DNA test on Hootie Johnson and Dan Reeves? Have they ever been seen in the same place at the same time?

  • One more thing about the Masters: did anybody else catch Nantz’s last comments from Butler Cabin? Well, if you didn’t, they went something like this, “Phil Mickelson is the Master of his universe, but more importantly, he’s the Masters Champion.” The Master of his universe? How bad is that? What was Nantz thinking? This was a total air-ball. Jim Nantz is one of the great poets of our lifetime (okay, that’s probably a little strong), and the best he can come up with is “Phil Mickelson is the Master of his universe”? This was worse than Couples’ three putt on 14.

  • I saw a GREAT movie this weekend, “Get Rich or Die Trying” starring 50 Cent. No, this is not a joke. This is really a tremendous movie. 50 is fantastic (granted, he is just playing himself), Terence Howard is solid as always, the music is great, and the story is not only captivating, it’s believable. If you found “Eight Mile” even remotely entertaining, you will love “Get Rich or Die Trying.”

  • Vito in a dog collar? More on that tomorrow.

Friday, April 07, 2006 

Finally Leaving Las Vegas

I’ve got to be honest with you, I can’t believe it’s already Friday. When you spend your week clouded in the haze of a Vegas induced funk, what can I say, time flies! Speaking of Vegas, I had fully intended on giving you a detailed account of my latest trip to the promised land, but after much reflection, I’ve decided that might not be the best idea. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in keeping secrets from my readers, but the truth of the matter is that there really isn’t a whole lot to tell. I mean, when you spend 31 of your 44 hours in Vegas planted firmly at a Blackjack table, that doesn’t leave too much time for much else. That being said, in typical WAD fashion, I’ve got seven insights into to Sin City to share with you. So, here goes:

1) Unless there is a marquee fight in town, you don’t want to stay at the MGM Grand. Don’t get me wrong…the rooms were nice, the staff was fine, and the dealers at the tables take your money just as efficiently as anywhere else, but it has two major flaws: 1) the cocktail waitresses were really hot in 1982, and 2) the place is too damn big. I don’t think I need to expound any more on the first point, but the second merits some conversation. When you go to Vegas, you want to do the majority of your gambling at your hotel so that you can rack up the comps and save money in the long run. Also, by gambling in the same place where you are sleeping you have the ability to escape a terrible run and call it a night in a hurry. At the MGM, however, you are never closer than a 10 minute walk to your room, so you might as well be across the street. In other words, it’s just too damn hard to escape, and you just end up sitting at the table two hours longer than you should out of sheer laziness. Of course, the flip side is that the cards might start running your way in those two hours. Who am I kidding? That never happens.

2) As soon as you land in Vegas you need to call your bank and let them know that you are there so you don’t get denied funds at the ATM by the inevitable fraud alert placed on your account after two withdrawals at the casino. Unfortunately, it took me about $800 worth of cash advances on the Discover Card to get around to making this call. On the plus side, I finally found somebody that actually still takes Discover! It’s all about the silver lining boys.

3) When your dealer looks at you and says “maybe you should take a break and give it a try later” you can react in one of two ways: 1) you can politely take their advice; or 2) you can politely tell them to “shut the f**k up and deal the cards.” Take it from me, option 1 will probably save you a lot of cash in the long run.

4) 90% of women in Vegas have larger than average breast. Even the old ones. I’m not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m simply relaying a scientifically verifiable fact.

5) N9NE at Palms is an awesome dining experience. The steak is tremendous, the wine is affordable, the sides are delicious, and the atmosphere is Chief. If you aren’t familiar with the term Chief, suffice it to say that it’s a good thing. I can guarantee you that every trip I take to Vegas will always include a trip to N9NE.

6) And, speaking of Palms, in addition to being the home of N9NE, Ghost Bar, and Rain, the casino is as good as it gets. Hardwood floors, bright colors, great music, small and comfortable pits, and a brigade of future Playmates as cocktail waitresses, make this the best gambling spot in Vegas. The only negative (besides the 8 month pregnant cigarette girl – talk about bizarre) is that around 4 A.M. when the K. Fed and Vin Diesel wannabes are filing out of Ghost Bar and Rain, you might have to endure some infuriating plays at the table. For example, I had one guy wearing a wife beater and a gold chain and a diamond earring hit a 15 with the dealer showing a 5. Fortunately, it wasn’t long after I said “what the f**k are you doing Eminem” that he decided to go back to his room and work on his flow. He, however, was nothing compared to the annoying 21 year old girl that couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved Britney Spears while taking 5 minutes to make every decision. Finally, as she was trying to decide whether to hit a 14 against a 10, she asked the table “what should I do?” When I responded by staring her right in the eye and saying “nobody gives a f**k, just do something”, she quickly busted and left the table. Everybody should have tipped me $10. This was the biggest act of charity I’ve ever performed. I don’t care what her drivers license says, somebody like her shouldn’t be allowed in grown up places.

7) Finally, never quit unless you are up. Seriously, if you are playing Blackjack, the cards will eventually turn your way. You just have to have enough roll to let you withstand the beating. Or, you just have to have a credit card that allows you to take cash advances without a PIN. Either way gets the job done. For example, it took me 25 hours to dig an enormous hole, and it only took 3 hours to dig my way almost out of the hole. Of course, I’m still in the hole, so maybe you shouldn’t be listening to me. In fact, I’m positive you shouldn’t be listening to me.

And, here’s a bonus tip:

If you don’t like to fly, it’s not a good idea to get on a plane after 26 bourbon and gambling filled sleepless hours. Somewhere over New Mexico, as I was sandwiched between two young ladies that wouldn’t shut up, I actually considered trying to choke myself with a pretzel. Fortunately for me, the service on AirTran is so bad I am actually still waiting for the flight attendant to bring me those pretzels. That being said, I’d do it all again next weekend. Any takers?

Thursday, April 06, 2006 

Caption Contest

A golfer unlike any other...John Daly on CBS!!

 

A Tradition Unlike Any Other

That’s right, today marks one of my favorite days of the year, the first day of the greatest four days in golf…The Masters. I was brainstorming ideas for a Masters column, and I kept coming back to the same thing: when it comes to the Masters, nobody says it better than Jim Nantz. His poetic intros are equal parts cheesy and legendary. With that in mind, if Jim Nantz was going to give you a preview of this year’s Masters, it would go something like this [you have to use the Nantz voice when reading this or it just won’t have the same effect]:

“Hello friends and welcome to Augusta National and the 70th annual Masters. The start of spring is not marked on a calendar or in the Almanac. No, the advent of spring is officially marked by the bursts of azaleas and magnolias that line this hallowed ground tucked in the furthest most eastern corner of Georgia. It’s on this hallowed ground that men by the name of Snead, Hogan, Palmer, Player, Nicklaus, Watson, Faldo, and Woods have transformed from mere legends to immortals. It was on these hallowed grounds that Georgia’s favorite son, the great Bobby Jones, put the brush to canvas and created the most glorious 18 holes in golf. It was on these hallowed grounds twenty years ago that Jack Nicklaus finally fulfilled Ponce De Leon’s great search for the Fountain of Youth and turned back the hands of time for a glorious afternoon. It was on these hallowed grounds in 1997 that a young man named Woods introduced himself to the world and commenced his march into history. And, it was on these hallowed grounds just two years ago that a man named Mickelson finally answered all the critics and cemented his place among the giants of the game. And now, in just three short days, competitor after competitor will emerge from Amen Corner with his sights on immortality. One by one they will fade into the setting Georgia sun until only one man is left standing. Will Tiger win one more for his father? Will Phil again silence the critics and stare down Tiger without flinching on Sunday? Will Els finally slip his arms into that elusive Green Jacket? Will Vijay make one last run? Will three time champion Nick Faldo wake up the echoes of The Bear’s triumph twenty years ago? Will the young Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, finally fulfill his destiny and follow in the footsteps of his idol, Seve? Or, will the young Brit, Luke Donald catch lightning in a bottle and wave the Union Jack on the sister course of The Old Course? All these questions and many more will be answered by the time the sun goes down on Sunday, but one thing we know for certain is that it’s spring time in Augusta, and it’s a tradition unlike any other…The Masters on CBS!!!”

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 

Final Bracket Results

Sorry for the lack of new content to this point this week. In short, my body and my mind is a wreck. Vegas definitely got the best of me this time around. However, I'm back at the office today and getting back to my standard exciting life. At any rate, I never heard anything from or received a check from J. McDonald, the actual winner of The WAD Bracket Contest, so his position has been forfeited, and the final standings look like this:

1) M. Vines

2) S. Sohrn

3) Amy Ball

Dead Last - M. Judy

As I mentioned on Friday, the donation of $185 has already been made to the American Cancer Society, and I will distribute the winnings to each of the four people above. Thanks to everybody for participating, and I hope it's the start of a growing annual tradition. Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on the opening of the Baseball season and the afternoon caption contest.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 

Viva Las Vegas

I just got back in town a few hours ago, and I have a ton to say about my 47 hours in Vegas. I, however, have been awake for 37 straight hours including 12 total hours traveling back from Vegas today. After a three hour delay leaving Vegas, we were greeted at Hartsfield with a power outage that forced us to stay on the plane for what seemed like an eternity with no air conditioning. I hate everything about flying. There are plenty of great stories that I can't wait to share, and some others that I won't be sharing. But now, I must sleep.

Oh, by the way, congratulations to Billy Donovan and Florida...I guess. For the record, for the first time in my life, I didn't watch one second of the Final Four. I missed the Semis because I was bleeding cash at a Blackjack table at the MGM Grand, and when I got home tonight, I decided I'd rather watch the Sopranos on DVR than watch the second half of the Championship Game. I'm pretty comfortable with that decision. But this is important: it appears someone by the name of J. McDonald has won The WAD pool. I, however, have NO IDEA who this person is, and to my knowledge, I haven't received payment from this person or on their behalf. SO, IF I DON'T RECEIVE AN EMAIL AT mad2006@columbia.edu BY 5 P.M. TODAY IDENTIFYING THIS PERSON AND GETTING ME THEIR PAYMENT, I WILL AWARD THE FIRST PLACE PRIZE MONEY TO SECOND PLACE. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!

Weekly Top 7

All-Time Top 7 Sports Movies

7) Kingpin - "The world can really kick your ass. I only have a vague recollection of when it wasn't kickin' mine" - Roy Munson

6) Caddyshack - "Don't sell yourself short Judge. You're a tremendous slouch." - Ty Webb

5) Major League - "Want me to drag him outta here, kick the shit out of him?" - Rick Vaugh

4) Eight Men Out - "Say it ain't so Joe. Say it ain't so." - Pee Wee

3) Rocky - "If I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood." - Rocky Balboa

2) The Natural - "I coulda been better. I coulda broke every record in the book." - Roy Hobbs

AND...

1) Hoosiers - "My team's on the floor!" - Coach Dale

MAN OF THE WEEK


Getting this Laker team into the playoffs is the best coaching job Phil has ever done. Now he can list "The WAD" Man of the Week right next to his 9 rings on his list of accomplishments. Is there any reason for him to keep going?

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