Friday, April 03, 2009

The Best, Worst and In Between of the Week

John Calipari leaves Memphis for Kentucky; mentions it was dangerous for Italians to live in Memphis. I covered the insanity that took place on Tuesday, but failed to mention Calipari’s farewell press conference of sorts that took place in the front yard of his house. The smooth-talking salesman rambled on about how everything in Memphis would be fine, that it was a great job to have and that he will miss it. And of course, while answering questions, he tried to paint himself as some kind of victim by his decision to leave. It was pretty amazing how he had actually convinced himself of this.

But the whole thing really jumped up a notch when he was talking about taking risks with all the jobs he’s had. When he mentioned taking the UMass job, he talked about it being a dead program and a dead end for coaches. He talked about his jump to the NBA being a giant career risk. But when he mentioned Memphis, he said something along the lines of “an Italian guy coming to the mid-South? Come on. That’s a huge risk.”

What an absolutely fantastic schmuck. It’s not that we here in the South don’t like Italians, it’s that we get annoyed with that tingly feeling when someone is blowing smoke up our asses.

On a slightly related note: Can we stop all these claims of people saying, “I’m Italian” or whatever nationality they think they are but aren’t. If you’re not originally from that country, nor are your parents, guess what, YOU’RE NOT FROM THERE. You’re just a plain, old American. To me, your parents are the cutoff for claiming another country. If they didn’t come through immigration, then you lose the right to say something stupid like, “I’m Italian.”

Yeah, this is splitting hairs to a degree, but it annoys the hell out of me. “I’m Irish, so you know I like to drink!” No, you like to drink because you like booze. I’ve never heard someone in a bar say, “I’m glad I’m Irish, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.” Idiots.

Jay Cutler traded to the Bears and continues his stranglehold on the 2009 Elian Gonzalez Award. Yes, this story will be in the news for the next week as “analysts” try to offer fresh takes on this trade (“Jay Cutler will love Chicago. The fans, the city. Just a great place to play football in the National Football League.”), but the trade signals the beginning of the end of Jay Cutler dominating NFL talk.

In a way, it will be sad to see the end of the junior high drama between Cutler and the Broncos (mainly because of all the material it provided), but I’m sure everyone could use a break from breaking ESPN stories that tell us Cutler did not respond to text messages from the Broncos when they asked him if he wanted to go to the mall.

Houston Nutt displays his raw athleticism. Go to the 2:05 mark.

The top Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguers have their confidence obliterated. By a junior college. Manatee Community College to be exact. The Lancers scored two runs in the sixth and held the Pirates off for three more innings before winning 6-4. Perhaps this might explain why the Major League Pirates are so awful.

Allen Iverson remains confused and frightened after removal from starting lineup. Since returning from a back injury, Iverson has yet to start a game and is spending most of the Pistons’ games sitting on the bench. Obviously this isn’t making The Answer very happy. He went as far to say that he would “rather retire” before doing bench duty again.

I’ve always been a fan of Iverson because I’m fascinated by someone who, in good conscience, can shoot 30 times a game and make only like seven shots. And not just a once or twice a month, but nearly every night. Granted, many of those nights came when his team’s second best offensive option was Aaron McKie, but you would think maybe once or twice he would feel guilty about shooting so much and making so few. But of course he never did, which is probably why I liked watching him so much. He ignored the rules most basketball players abided.

So enjoy the occasional 6 for 23 he might throw up because his shooting percentage nightmares will be few and far between from now on.

I went to the Ole Miss/Memphis game on Wednesday night at AutoZone Park here in Memphis. Ole Miss rallied to defeat the 10-15 Tigers in 10 innings in front of a majority Ole Miss crowd (but to be fair, this was just one day after the school lost its basketball coach and I assume most people were at home gently sobbing).

I can’t think of too many things more enjoyable at a baseball game that to yell “balk” when a pitcher clearly does not balk, and it’s dead quiet in the crowd. This immediately gets people energized and also causes some to believe that a balk has taken place and that every throw over to first after that is actually a balk. Soon there’s disorder and confusion in the stands because 20 or 30 people are now yelling balk (even though one isn’t happening), those who aren’t sure what a balk is are completely confused, and among those who know what a balk is, a debate breaks out whether or not a balk is really taking place. And all of this happens every time the pitcher throws over to first. Good times.

And congratulations to you, you’ve just read the most pointless paragraph of your week, perhaps month.

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