Unlike the other two teams I mentioned, which have a special method of sucking, the Pacers just suck. Often you will hear sports media refer to them as an “elite team”, which is a shorter way of saying “mediocre team that might win a fluke conference title if they rebuild around their one talented player”. Unfortunately for the Pacers the front office made some boneheaded moves this summer. This left Owner Donnie Walsh and President Larry Bird to ponder some serious issues, such as how two men can effectively run an NBA franchise when they have the combined intelligence of a raccoon.
The problems started early last week, when the Pacers failed to resign Peja Stojakovic. Again, I’m no GM but I think I might be able to offer some advice here: When a person on your team hits his shots it may be in your best interest to keep him, even at the expense of other players (the ones who do not hit their shots). I don’t mean to freak anyone out with my crazy theories on running a team, but I’m thinking that any team that pays Austin Croshere approximately six billion dollars a year can find the cap room to sign a man who spent the formative years of his life in a some blast crater in a former European republic, where the biggest conflict in a decade was two men fighting over a coat they both planned on eating for dinner.
On top of that, at some point last week (I can only imagine a “meeting” where Bird and Walsh wore underwear over their heads and ran in circles screaming “awooogah” until they crashed into each other and knocked themselves unconscious) someone decided that trading to get Al “Groovehead” Harrington back would be a good idea. As I said last time, the phrases “good trade” and “Al Harrington” don’t belong in the same sentence unless “there is not a”, “for”, and “you stupid faggot” are in there somewhere. I’ve long been a proponent of “The Al Clause”, a special NBA rule that would force announcers to make a long, loud fart noise every time they said Harrington’s name over a loudspeaker. This would give the fans something to look forward to when they watched the Hawks or the Pacers or whoever he plays for next season. You'll be missed, you ugly bastard.
For all the shit I talk I do love the Pacers and have followed them since I was a kid. By breaking down their starting lineup I’m hoping someone in the front office will see what I have to say and hire me in some sort of administrative capacity, hopefully one where I shock Larry Bird with a cattle prod every time he looks like he’s trying to think about basketball.
Anthony Johnson: Anthony Johnson had a breakout season in 05-06. The problem is that a “breakout season” for Anthony Johnson is a “mediocre season” for any other point guard in the league. Our local announcers can’t seem to get over the fact that AJ played backup for Jason Kidd. While I’m certainly impressed that we managed to sign New Jersey’s sloppy seconds for next to nothing, I’m thinking we could have used the money to sign something a little better. you know, maybe someone capable of running an offense. Note: Shortly after this the Pacers traded Austin Crosher to Dallas for guard/forward Marquis Daniels. Given the horrors of the draft and the loss of Peja, this might actually be a solid move. Expect Bird and company to trade him for a six-pack of Keystone Light and a Caddyshack DVD "to boost morale" here in a few weeks.
Stephen Jackson: You know what? All jokes aside, fuck this guy. If I woke up tomorrow and was told that my entire family had been murdered, all my stuff had been stolen, and Stephen Jackson died in a horrible car accident, I’d consider it a pretty goddamn good day all-in-all. Stephen Jackson is what happens when God – no, fuck that – the entire universe hates your team. He’s like a 250 pound shit missile just waiting to explode all over your favorite franchise. Some people might argue that he contributes with his “spirit” (arguing with referees all the way down the floor, leaving his man totally unguarded) or “hot streaks” (the law of averages says if you keep throwing that ball somewhere in the direction of the rim it’s eventually going to fall in just the right place). Those people are idiots. Stephen Jackson should be cut and the cap money they get should be spent on something more useful. Throwing it in a trash bag and lighting it on fire, for instance.
Danny Granger: A lot of Pacers fans are excited about Danny Granger because he is an athletic second-year forward with a lot of potential. The problem is that every team in the NBA has an athletic second-year forward, and they’re all really goddamn good. If you own an NBA franchise and you do not have a talented, athletic second-year forward in your possession, you might want to sit down before I tell you this: You actually own a baseball team. Exacerbating this problem is the sports media, which has fallen in love with Granger and will go out of their way to compare him to superstars of the past. Even if the person in question played another sport. I’m pretty sure I heard Bill Walton say Granger was “like Tiger Woods if Tiger Woods played football instead of golf and you were allowed to hit the football with a croquet mallet”, but that could have been because I tend to hold my hands over my ears and shout “shut the fuck up Bill Walton” every time he opens his cocksucking mouth. Who knows.
LIST OF THINGS JERMAINE O’NEAL IS GOOD AT:
LIST OF THINGS JERMAINE O’NEAL IS NOT GOOD AT:
Jeff Foster: Jeff Foster is a hustle player. For those of you who did not see the last PW, here is what “hustle player” means in NBA terms: “person who isn’t particularly good at anything but can move up and down the floor pretty quick”. A lot of people praise Jeff Foster because he can grab offensive boards, which is kind of like being pleased that the person at the dry cleaner washed your clothes or throwing a party when you hire a maid to clean your house and she doesn’t take a dump on your coffee table. It doesn’t matter that he is physically incapable of scoring or that he can’t take a deep breath without seriously injuring his back, he hustles. If you combined every center the Pacers have into one person you might have someone as talented as a developmental league backup. Time to draft another forward, Larry!
Yankin' the Yankees
Being a Yankees fan I am still disheartened by my team’s 18-run loss to Cleveland last week. What do you think the Yankees need to become the powerhouse club they were years and years ago?
Honestly, the answer is pretty simple. The higher-ups in New York need to start throwing some money around to see if they can lure in some talent. In this day and age professional sports are run by money, and players will go wherever the biggest paycheck is. If the Yanks want to win some games they need to loosen up the purse strings and see who they can draw in. When they were using their cash to snag people like Brien Taylor in the early 90’s they were unstoppable, and they need to follow their own example if they want to be a powerhouse again. Brien Taylor was the greatest Yankees pitcher of this generation, bar none. Also, there’s no shame in losing to a team like Cleveland – between them and the Reds most clubs break out in sweats when the team bus pulls into Ohio.
Where da Royals at?
Where’s the Kansas City Royals coverage? I know they’ve been in a slump the last eight or nine seasons but don’t you think they deserve a little media attention?
The last time someone heard of a Royal getting to third base was during the David Cone rape trial. When you can multiply the number of home runs a team has by 100 and still have zero, most people tend to find more interesting things to talk about (paint drying or sand forming into rocks, for instance).
If baseball were a fish tank Jose Canseco would be a half-dead bottom feeder that kind of lurked around the little rock castle in the corner and waited for a bigger fish to take a dump in his mouth. He is a greasy, whiny, attention-starved hack whose talent petered out about five years before his career did. The 90s spawned a number of players who call to mind phrases like “legend” or “class act”. When you look at this picture, what comes to mind? That’s right: “I thought I could buy wine coolers for her if she pinkie-promised she was 21.”
But, of course, that’s nothing new. Anyone with half a brain could guess Jose spends his time in D-list dance clubs, bragging to uninterested fat girls about how he “totally railed Madonna that one time”. So why is he our Crybaby Bitch of the Week? Because after “rekindling” his career with a minor league club called “The Surf Dawgs” (a move similar to rubbing two urine-soaked logs together over a pile of waterlogged newspaper), then requesting a trade after one game, Jose decided his wardrobe wasn’t doing enough to make him look like the world’s biggest asshole. He hitched his pants up, ran a bottle of gel through his hair, called a press conference, and got to doing what he does best: bitching about the evils of the MLB. This is, of course, after he wrote a book bitching about the evils of the MLB and then bitched before Congress about the evils of the MLB. If you don’t take anything else away from that paragraph, please read this: you can throw some variant of the word “bitch” into any sentence involving Jose Canseco and it will probably work better than it did before. Hell, if you see him at the supermarket or something just shout “bitch” and see if he doesn’t smile real big and wave.
Jose, here is a hint for you. If you can’t read it please ask your wife to help you (assuming her eyes aren’t permanently indented in the shape of your fists): You look like an asshole. While I realize making thirty grand a year to throw knuckleballs in front of literally dozens of yawning fans might be the dream life for you, some of us like watching ESPN in the morning without hearing you bitch about the terrible truths of a company that paid you millions of dollars over the years. You may be an outfielder-turned-pitcher for some sub-minor league club with a name that sounds like it came from a street gang full of mongoloids, but for the love of christ please just shut the fuck up about the MLB.You are the most bitter man in baseball. And no, I’m not just talking about the lemon scent you spray on your crotch before you “accidentally” walk in on your daughter’s friends in the bathroom at slumber parties.
So congratulations, Jose. Instead of being a former all-star you’re a current crybaby with a salary most janitors would laugh at. Hopefully you can use the cash to get some of that water drawn out of your head, because Jesus does that thing look like a volleyball someone left sitting in a stagnant pond.
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The only thing better than sports is making fun of sports. Pregame Wrapup, the Internet's premiere biweekly sports humor column, is both educational and amusing... kind of like that birthday clown who took you on your journey to manhood! SPORTS!