Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not everyone at The San Francisco Chronicle is Ray Ratto...

...but since they all write like him anyway, close enough. Scott Olster?

-- Dangerous flashback: Darren McFadden supposedly reminds Al Davis of Marcus Allen. Does that mean McFadden is doomed to be exiled mysteriously to the bench, with no explanation from the coach or from Davis?

Or, alternatively, that might mean the following:

As a professional, Allen ran for 12,243 yards and caught 587 passes for 5,411 yards during his career for both the Los Angeles Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs from 1982 to 1997. He scored 145 touchdowns including a then league record 123 rushing touchdowns and was elected to six Pro Bowls when he retired. He was also a fairly good passer for a running back, completing 12 of 27 passes for 285 yards and 6 touchdowns, with only 1 interception. Allen was the first player ever to gain more than 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards during his career. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

But no, no, I'm sure that Al Davis is openly flaunting his own craziness by predicting the mysterious benching of McFadden in 2016. Actually, I guess we can't rule that out.

You know, this would be a golden opportunity to embed the Silver & Black Attack Video, but I already did that not too long ago. You're off the hook, readers...this time.

-- It's a strange comparison. Allen had nothing like McFadden's warp speed. Bo Jackson was the man with the golden wheels. All Allen had was moves, instinct, vision and a kind of man-up football toughness that most Raiders of the last five years wouldn't recognize if they bumped into it.

I myself have bumped into man-up football toughness a few times - what can I say, I'm clumsy? - and I have to admit I often don't recognize the guy. But I think that's mostly because he keeps changing his hair color. It's like he's a totally different person...with blue hair!

Anyway, what the hell is so confusing about Al Davis comparing his new franchise running back to the greatest running back in Raiders history (unless you want to go all Gale Sayers on me and argue Bo gets the nod on sheer potential)? Sure, Bo Jackson might be a better comparison technically speaking, but I don't think Al Davis was offering an appraisal of his skill set. He was, you know, trying to convince people the Raiders might stop sucking sometime in the near future due to their acquisition of a hopefully awesome running back.

-- I understand that NBA playoff basketball is a lot rougher than reg-season ball, with the refs letting a lot of physical stuff slide. What I don't understand is why. "Because fans don't want to see important playoff games decided by refs," you say. Good point. When I go to a regular-season game, I'm thinking, "Man, I hope the refs get busy tonight! Love those free throws!"

Again, what's with the cluelessness? This isn't honestly that complicated. Leaving aside the pretty massive question of whether NBA refs are incompetent or even corrupt, the rules are enforced more closely during the regular season because generally it's considered to be in the best interest of the game to enforce the rules as written. During the playoffs, this gets blurred because uncalled roughness is way less controversial than a ton of questionable foul calls (see Mr. Dwyane Wade, circa 2006). Basically, when a team's season is on the line, it's way better for any number of reasons for a close game to come down to the players than to the ref's decision-making.

All of which is really just a more complicated way of restating what Olster himself said I'd say: "Because fans don't want to see important playoff games decided by refs." In the regular season, with a few exceptions (that Cavs-76ers game springs to mind), it's way more acceptable to let refs make game-changing decisions during the regular season. You know, as long as the decision is the right one and is one they should be making.

I'm sorry, how the fuck is this complicated? I feel like I'm trying to explain why a triangle has three sides.

-- Nice finish, Mavericks! Bad trade, first-round ouster, Jerry Stackhouse thrown out of the final game for slapping the ball out of an opponent's hand during play stoppage, Josh Howard bizarrely admitting on a radio show that he's a pothead, coach getting fired, Mark Cuban exploding in a massive fireball. It's going to be a miserable offseason in Dallas. For everyone but Howard.

He's right, you know. Between the new Harold & Kumar entry and Pineapple Express, Josh Howard is in for one hell of an offseason at the movies.

You know...because he smokes weed! Which no one else in the NBA ever, ever does!

-- Barry Zito says, "I know it's fun to run with stories, 'Oh, is Zito done?' " All that glee in the press box over Zito's fall, I guess I missed it. Fun? No.

You know what is fun though? Blaming Zito's problems on the ghost of Barry Bonds. Seriously, this is what Scott Ostler wrote:

It's hard to pinpoint what's wrong with Zito, but the answer could be as simple as: location, location, location.

Not the location of Zito's pitches, although that's a huge worry. The bigger problem might be the location of Zito's locker.

The row of four locker stalls along the north wall of the clubhouse, once the kingdom of Bonds, has become Kreepy Korner.


I am not suggesting that Barry Bonds put a curse on his old row of four locker stalls after the Giants threw him out in the cold.

Don't backpedal on me, Olster. Whatever, Barry's a witch. I bet he's responsible for that whole Congo penis stealing thing:

Two Daily Show clips in as many posts? Perhaps I really am changing the targets of my sycophancy. I'm guessing Djmmm is none too pleased with all the Jon Stewart. I'll stop...NOW.

-- But seriously, what's the story? Is Zito done?

Yes, Zito is, in all probability, done, although he does have five years left to figure something out. My suggestion? Zito should use some of that trickery a depowered Henry Rowengartner trotted out at the end of Rookie of the Year:

Oh, that's right. That shit didn't really work all that well. I always wondered why I never heard more about that Cubs championship.

-- Feng shui update: A recent column here on Zito's woes pointed a suspicious finger at his clubhouse locker, on the row formerly occupied by Barry Bonds and his posse.

I know. I've already sub-mocked it within the general mockery of this post. But do go on.

My feng shui expert Deborah Gee

Of course Scott Ostler has a feng shui expert. I really hope he's nicknamed her "Gee Whiz!" Because if we don't live in a world where Scott Ostler doles out nicknames based on fifties slang, I'm not sure this is a world I want to live in.

says not only is the square pillar near Zito's locker "an obstacle to success" but Zito and Matt Cain (who lockers in Bonds' old stall) could be suffering from "predecessor chi," bad energy left behind, in this case by guess-who. Good news, there are solutions. Stay tuned.

Shit, it's a fucking cliffhanger. A feng shui locker cliffhanger. Best part of it all, of course, is that Brian Sabean might well pay 70 million dollars to learn the secret. It's not like it'd be a bigger waste of money than Barry Zito.


-- Forty-Niner draftee Josh Morgan says of an '06 road-rage incident in which he had to be subdued with pepper spray: "That was the only incident I've had in my life."

That's the whole item. Where's the snide commentary? Or at least the somewhat hacky, Tim Keown-esque "all the other times they just tasered me"?

-- Raiders draftee Tyvon Branch says of an incident where he was wheelman as his buddies shot up a 55-year-old woman's car with a pellet gun, "That was my only incident, really."

Seriously, where's the snide commentary? That was another entire item with no additional Olsterian wisdom. Let's see if the next item has anything to...

-- OK, then, no problem. Party on.

Much better.

-- How do you give your tired dogs a break if you work on your feet every day and you're 50 years old? Ask Tom Sweeney, the street-beatin', taxi-tweetin', tourist-greetin' Beefeater doorman at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel on Union Square. Sweeney got away from it all by taking a vacation - an extensive walking tour of New York City and Boston, capped off by the Boston Marathon, which Sweeney cruised in 3 hours, 45 minutes.

Pretty impressive. Anything to add?

-- Sweeney was the fastest non-Kenyan doorman in the field.

I feel like that is a frontal assault on logical sentence organization. Or maybe it was just a not really all that funny joke. Or I guess there really could have been some Kenyan dudes who were doormen running the marathon who were faster. I guess.

-- Dominic Rhodes says, "I don't really think that Lane Kiffin wanted to take a running back in the first round, let's just put it like that." OK, that's it, that's absolutely the last you'll hear, ever, about any kind of meaningful disagreement between Kiffin and Davis. Because they're tight, OK?

I just like how Scott Olster has gone from being bizarrely faux-clueness about the Raiders to sarcastically faux-clueless. It's sort of the comedic equivalent of mixing verb tenses in a sentence. Point is, his comedic perspective has somewhat shifted, and as you can imagine, I'm against that. Because I'm, you know, a fucking hypocrite.

-- If Roger Clemens and his wife break up, I bet I know who gets all the Mindy McCready CDs.

I'm still not convinced Roger Clemens possibly being involved with a fifteen-year-old is funny yet. I'm just saying. Can I get a ruling from my legion of commenters?

-- Unless Mrs. Clemens decides to take up skeet shooting.

Have you seen Clemens's wife? Well, you're about to...

Yeah, my dick's confused too. Point is, I'm pretty sure Debbie Clemens could break those CDs in half...with her mind. Which I'm guessing is one of the muscle groups she didn't focus too much on, considering her pretty shitty choice of husband. Well, other than the whole "getting millions of dollars and unlimited access to HGH" thing, which I guess is pretty sweet. But seriously, Rocket's a shithead.

-- Wonder if McCready was at the Jose Canseco party that Clemens wasn't at even though his image appeared in a photograph taken at the party?

I want to make some joke about McCready never going through an absurd, steroid-fueled bodybuilding phase a la Mrs. Clemens, but considering all her personal problems I'm not sure how comfortable I feel about doing that. No, I wasn't aware I had a conscience either. Hopefully it won't come up again.

-- Sure there are some jerks in the NBA. And some good guys. Then there's Leon Powe, a role model for just about everybody, and a reason to root for the Celtics to reach the Finals.

Cool, awesome. Care to give me some details about Powe's goodness? No? You're already moving on? But I still don't know anything about Leon...well, OK then.

-- Bowl Championship Series officials rejected a proposal to decide the national champion with a four-team playoff. However, the BCS big-wigs did agree to a significant change in their system. From now on, after all the usual procedures are followed, the top two teams will be selected by superdelegates.

HA HA!!! Topical.


Archie Micklewhite said...

For the record, I'm not sure whether that particular Rookie of the Year clip was pre- or post-depowering. But it was the only one of him pitching on YouTube, and I felt my point remained valid. So if you have to point out my many dumbass errors...um, please point out a different one.

Archie Micklewhite said...

Also for the record, that wasn't a swipe at Dwyane Wade. That was a simple allusion to the undeniable controversy that erupted over the ref's calls during that series. Whether you think the controversy was justified or not (I honestly don't care that much either way), you can't really deny the controversy was a direct result of the refs making a ton of foul calls.

That's a slightly different animal than stars getting preferential treatment - indeed, that's a controversial non-call you embedded right there - although they're certainly both examples of refs adjusting their calls to the situation.

Archie Micklewhite said...

I also respectfully request you review my clarification and consider removing your editorial addition. Again, not a shot at Dwyane Wade.