Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's an Ambidextrous Thing, You Wouldn't Understand

Thanks to J.E. Skeets at Ball Don't Lie, we have an advance viewing of the 2010 All-Star reserves. Click the link then come back. Seriously, come back.

Does anything strike you as odd from the list? No? What you don't obsessively pour over box scores and beg for your spouse to go out with the girls on Thursday nights so you can watch the NBA on TNT? You know what I call people like you? Literate and fulfilled. Don't make me take it to a darker place.

Back to the question at hand, what (or should I say who) is missing from the rosters of the Eastern and Western Conference squads? Why David Lee and Chris Kaman respectively. Anything strike you as similar when viewing these strong young men whom the All-American Basketball Alliance would be proud to call their own. That's right, sports fans, they are both ambidextrous. And this, apparently, is all it takes to be excluded from what some members of the mainstream media like to call the Black Super Bowl.

Now, some may say I am playing the "race card" here. Well, sirs, I have no idea what game the race card would even be played in. Texas Hold 'Em? Hearts? Spades? Um [fingering collar], let's just move on. No, the issue isn't race. There are several white guys who will play supporting roles at the All-Star Game this year: Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol. And, yes, several is the scientific term for three. Note that none of the above All-Stars would be accepted into the All-American Basketball Alliance. While they are white, none had the good fortune to be born in the United States of America.

Clearly, the issue at hand is the ambidextrousness of Messrs. Lee and Kaman. Both are equally adept at finishing with either hand at the rim and both can drive just as well in England as in America. Dirk Nowitzki has said of Kaman, "Kaman might be as close to ambidextrous as we've got in this league. It's more normal for smaller guys to be good with both hands. For big guys, it's rare." And Clyde Frazier is fond of announcing in telecasts after David Lee scores, "Lee is ambidextrous." A side note here: Clyde has not confined this announcement to the play-by-play of Knicks games. He also makes it known when he and Lee are stationed at adjoining urinals:

Scene 1: Clyde and David are urinating next to one another in a bathroom.

Clyde: Ladies and gentlemen, David Lee is ambidextrous!

David: Clyde, please.

Clyde: Ambidextrous!

David: Clyde, I just want you to stop staring at my penis.

Clyde: And good looking too!

David zips up and quickly exits the bathroom. Clyde shakes his head smiling.

It obviously hasn't been easy for either player. One would have thought this was the season where they would've broken through the prejudice and made their first All-Star teams. Check the numbers for each:

David Lee: 19.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 55.4% shooting from the field and 78.5% from the line.

Chris Kaman: 20.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 50.1% from the field and 75.4% from the line.

These are great numbers and are at least the equal of some of the reserves selected ahead of them. The East took Al Horford of the Hawks ahead of Lee.

Here are Horford's digits: 13.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 57.3% from the field and 75.6% from the line.

Let's see: worse, worse, worse, slightly better and worse. Case closed. Clearly, Al Horford has the bone fides to take Lee's spot on the squad. Well done, sirs. I too detest math and common sense.

Now, let's turn our eyes to the West, where Pau Gasol will be the big man off the bench.

Pau Gasol: 17.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 53.8% from the field and 82.7% from the line.

A closer case here than between Lee and Horford but there is another factor. Gasol has only played in 29 games to Kaman's 41. His hamstrings are made of jamon serrano and really, do we need another passive Euro in the All-Star game? Kaman will at least take it hard to the basket. I made a case for Kaman in a blog post for FanIQ earlier this month. Gasol? Is this what you want to see in your 2010 All-Star game:

Me either. My God, it looks like Gasol glued a ferret to his chin and forgot to feed the poor creature. Somehow, it was able to reproduce and its young took up residence in the Spaniard's armpits. We cannot have ferrets at an All-Star game.

Let's just hope that despite the obvious discrimination displayed by the NBA, young, ambidextrous kids out there aren't discouraged from taking up athletics. They have enough to fight through already, what with Clyde Fraziers lurking in every small town in America. Next year, let's do it for the kids and select a couple of ambidextrous big guys to the All-Star Game in 2011.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Monster in the Middle

It's true. Greg Oden, the injured starting center for the Portland Trail Blazers, has a big penis. I know, I know. You are shocked. After all, this flies in the face of all expectation. Oden is seven-feet tall, black and an NBA center. Guys like this never have huge dongs. Just ask Greg Kite; he'll tell you.

In a simpler time—a time without Twitter, without YouTube, without sports blogs—this would not be news. How could it? Instead this would be the province of players' wives, girlfriends and the team's medical staff. Reporters would note what they observed but never publish it, at least not until a book deal was secured. But now? Of course this is news and all over the blogosphere. So here I am with my two cents.

It used to be you would just joke with your buddies about the imagined, though probable, genital prowess of sports stars. Hell, the better part of Wilt Chamberlain's current fame is derived not from the fact that he scored more points than any player in NBA history but from the fact that he banged more chicks than any player in NBA history. In fact, some writers have downplayed his achievements in the court because he played against watered-down competition. None can downplay his mattress-work however, especially as the majority of his playing career took place before the sexual revolution. This means Wilt was laying the Stilt before feminists had told women it's OK to orgasm.

While few view Wilt as a social revolutionary, he was nothing but. With every white chick he nailed, he was getting one back for Jack Johnson. Naturally, after a man claims to have bedded thousands of women other men are given to speculate about his equipment. Inevitably, one of the guys on the couch will trot out the old chestnut, "It's not the size of the wand but the magic in it," and get roundly mocked for his naivete. In the end everyone would agree, "Damn I wish I was Wilt Chamberlain...except for the racism and stuff."

Now, you and your boys need speculate no further. Somewhere, out there is someone willing and able to get you the pictures you need. In this case, we can thank With Leather among countless others. To think that at one time the only ones who could answer the question, "What's bigger, Greg Oden's dong or his impact on the game of basketball?" were select groupies from Portland or Columbus. Groupies like this:

Given that Oden missed his entire rookie season, played poorly in 61 games last season and will miss the rest of this season with a broken kneecap (after just 21 games), the big man has no chance of approaching Wilt in the NBA record books. But given what we have seen, he has every chance of catching him off the court.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What the Hell Is This?

It's another blog, folks. The Mercy Rule is my window onto the sporting world with a little (as little as possible) real life thrown in. So, who am I and why should you care what I have to say?

Well, the only reason to care and to stay and read is to be entertained. If you aren't laughing, thinking or writing a hate-filled email (you know, the kind with pictures of donkeys doing horrible things to my loved ones), then you should bail. For my part, I will make with the funny and link to the ridiculous stories that sports provide us with each and every day. Like say this or this. The second "this" refers to the Jimmy Johnson flavored ice cream story not the one about European Kickball players complaining about the cold.

So, what is the mercy rule? [Note, this is for my mom, my wife and any wayward stranger who has found their way here and who never inflicted or had inflicted upon them the humiliations of youth sports.] In short the mercy rule is a rule created by benevolent coaches to spare the tender feelings of their charges. It is put into play when during the course of a contest one team has a huge and, in the eyes of the coaches and officials, insurmountable lead over the other. When the game has reached this level of imbalance, the game is ended early and the non-winners (there are no losers, remember) are allowed to exit the field with their dignity intact.

That is the idea anyhow. The reality is the players on the team that was "mercied" are no less humiliated as they slump into the back seats of their parents' cars. They know what happened. They know that if not for the intervention of this deus ex scoreboard, they might be watching the other team bat around for the fifth time and counting. At least, this is what I have gathered from the literature.

When specifically may the mercy rule be implemented? Here are a few examples:
  1. In Little League, a game may be stopped after one team has a lead of ten or more runs and the away team has played at least four innings.
  2. In Pop Warner football, a team with at least a 28-point lead may be required to run only between the tackles. This means no sweeps, no passing plays, even punts and kick-offs may not be returned when the mercy rule is in effect.
  3. In youth hoops, the clock will run continuously through the final quarter (even during timeouts or inbounds plays) if one team has a 40-point or greater advantage.
  4. In a relationship, when a man prematurely ejaculates for the fourth consecutive time, the woman may suggest oral gratification instead of leaving him for the man's best friend.
  5. In a friendship, after a man has drank 15 or more beers or shots and passed out on his best friend's couch, his friend may superglue his cock to his belly and stick his hand in a basin of warm water instead of banging the man's girl, who was begging for it I swear.
These are just a few examples. I am confident sports and the media who cover them will provide us with many more. What? Tiger Woods had a nineteenth mistress and this one kept texting him after he paid her off? Sorry, there is no mercy rule for Tiger Woods stories. We all need more.