Friday, June 01, 2007

R.I.P Marquise Hill

R.I.P MARQUISE HILL (1982 - 2007)
Right off the bat I want to take some time and recognize the life, and death, of former New England Patriot, Marquise Hill. As most of you have already heard, Hill passed away Monday after a jet ski accident on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, Louisiana. As saddening as his passing is, I've been just as saddened to learn how many Patriot fans knew very little of Marquise. While never a true "key" player on the team, Hill provided valuable depth on the Pats defensive line, a unit that has been at or near the top of the league since he joined the squad as a 2nd round pick out of LSU in 2004. It wasn't that he had any real stats to speak of (3 tackles in 13 games over 3 seasons), it's just that he was a part of the "team" that defined the word "team" for his entire 3 year career. The success of the Patriots has always been based off of the "team first" mantra, and that's what makes losing a player so difficult, in my eyes. More important than his role on the field, however, was his rule in the community. Being from New Orleans, and having attended LSU, Hill was one of the first in line to help after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. And in a day where Pac Man Jones is busy making it rain, Mikey Vick is starving dogs, and Terrell Owens is shoving his face in every camera not currently involved in a reality TV series, Hill was a refreshing reminder that there were pros out there who weren't thugs, and who cared about others. Marquise Hill was a straight up guy, and a member of the team I love. I thank him for being such a great team member, and give my best to his family and friends in this time of grief. He'll be missed in the locker room, on the field, and in the community. Twenty four is way too early to die. And if we can take anything from his accident, it's that life is short. Live that shit up, or it might just get snatched from ya when you least expect it.

Red Sox Update

Overall: 36-16, 1st in AL East by 10.5 games

Status: A funny thing happened on Wednesday night. The Red Sox lost, the Yankees won, and for the first time in a long time, that didn't seem to matter at all! That, of course, is because the Bombers still sit 13.5 games back in the AL East. They'll get a chance at redemption this weekend in Boston, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Even with a 3 game sweep, the Yanks will still be 10 games out, they still won't have any decent pitching in their bull pen, and all their high priced bats will still be strugglin' like a recovering H addict at a medical supply convention. Start spreadin' the news. We're sweepin' the Yanks. They'll never be a part of it. This year's, play-offs!

Diamonds Are Forever

*If there was ever any doubt that Alex Rodriguez was a complete whiny fraud, it was destroyed on Wednesday night. While running the bases in the midst of a 2 out pop up in the top of the 9th against the Toronto Blue Jays, A-Fraud yelped "Mine!" in hopes of distracting the fielders. Well, it actually worked. Toronto 3rd baseman, Howie Clark, who had a good beat on the ball, stopped going for it. He figured it was Blue Jay SS, John MacDonald, calling him off. So the ball drops, a run scores, and Gay-Rod moves to 3rd base. Naturally, the Blue Jays were livid. After the game, A-Rod explained that he merely yelled "Ha!", and that guys do it to him all the time when he's going for pop ups near the opposing team's dugout. Really, Alex? Because your teammate Johnny Damon got quoted after the game saying "I've never seen that before". He's not alone, either. Joe Torre had no idea what to make of it. And journeyman Howie Clark, who muffed the pop up, said he hadn't ever seen that done in his 16 years in pro baseball. And you know why all these guys are confused? It's because nobody outside of little league tries to confuse a player by screaming for the damn ball! Rodriguez is just a pussy. He's sick of his team losing, so he's resulting to childish games to scrap out a win. It's nothing knew from the guy that slapped at Bronson Arroyo, he's just a dirty player. Maybe he was just pissed that he'd been caught cheating on his wife by the New York Post, but I could give a fuck about that. Just because he was photographed going to a strip club with Chesty Larue, doesn't give him the right to screw around with the integrity of the game. I get that he didn't break a written rule, but anyone that's ever played the game can tell you what he did was cheap, at best. It's acts like this why he'll never be as popular as he should be, he'll never be a "true Yankee", and why he'll always be remembered as a metro sexual hack that couldn't produce in the clutch, and couldn't stop tanning long enough to realize that he's the biggest fraud in the game. I can hear the Fenway faithful now. First pop up to third, and the entire park will be screaming "Mine! Mine! Mine!". Maybe that's how he got that hot chick to begin with. Walked into a respectable man's house, screamed "Mine!", the guy got distracted, and he took off to the strip club with his wife. Hey it could have happened. You gotta figure any guy married to that chick has always been easily distracted. Only difference this time is it was one boob fooling him, instead of two. Bam! Punchline!

News and Notes
*You know who would be the worst guy ever to be in charge of pressing that red button or twisting that key that launches all the nukes? If you guessed Osama Bin Laden, you're right, but you're mind really isn't on the right track here. In this case, I'm talking about embattled Los Angeles Lakers accused rapist, Kobe Bryant. First he goes on ESPN Radio and tells Stephen A. Smith that he wants to be traded. Then he turns right around in less than 24 hours, and says he doesn't want to leave "his team", and is just frustrated. Really Kobe? Had that quick of a change of heart did ya? Or was it that GM Mitch Kupchak and coach Phil Jackson called and assured you that a block buster deal for Jermaine O'Neal was in the works that changed your mind? Bryant is no different than any other whiny superstar. His team isn't winning, so he's desperate for someone to blame. It used to be Shaq, then it was Phil, and now it's Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak. Listen here exonerated rape suspect. If you hadn't run Shaq out of town (I don't care what people say, you know that's what happened), then you would be too busy polishing your rings to realize that Kupchak was a dunce, or that Buss was a booze hound. So play the hand you dealt yourself. I know you need help, but this is no way to go about getting it. Especially when you change your mind every 15 minutes. How are we supposed to believe anything he says anymore? I mean, not that I felt Kobe was all that credible to begin with, but this is just absurd.

*It's serious knock on wood time now for me kids. Not only have the Spurs clinched their place in the NBA Finals, but after an "instant classic" 48 point performance by LeBron James last night, the Cavs are only one home win away from clinching their own Finals berth. More importantly, they're one game away from vindicating my pre-season prediction in which I chose the Spurs in 6 games over the Cavs. I know I said last week I was already content with how far my two Finals teams had made it, but now I'm just determined to will my prediction to reality. Hell, I don't remember the last time I watched a whole NBA game, let alone enjoyed it. Yet last night, I was watching LeBron's every move as he willed the Cavs to the game 5 road win they desperately needed. Now, all they gotta do (easier said than done), is win at home on Saturday, and they can start packing their shit for San An Tone. It's gonna be a little tough for me to root against LeBron in the Finals, but there's nothing I like more than being right, so I guess I'll just have to suck it up.

*And one final NBA note. For years I've wondered what the hell was wrong with the top of Rasheed Wallace's head. Now I know. The hair that's missing on the top of Sheed's dome, ran away, and found a place to live, on Drew Gooden's neck. Gross, but true.

*If there is one thing I have respect for in this world, it's creativity. That's why, whenever I hear people bad mouthing Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, I make sure to stick up for him. Not only is that guy on of the league's most dominating players, but when it comes to promoting himself, the guy can just flat out make me laugh. From the end zone dance routines, to the checklist asking the question "Who Can Cover 85?", with all the names of the corner backs due to cover him that season. Well, he's gone and done it again. Johnson announced earlier this week that he will run a race for charity. No not a marathon, not a walk-a-thon, and not a triathlon. Nope, Johnson has instead decided that he will run against a horse. Amazing. The dude is going to race a freaking horse. And you just know he's gonna be trash talkin' with the horse the whole way too. "You call 'dem horse shoes?" I wudda had at least 22 inch platinum shoes if I was a horse". Ocho Cinco man. You really gotta love that guy. But my money is still on the horse. Unless it's one of those mini horses. Then I Ocho Cinco, by a mohawk!

*There's been a lot of news on the Michael Vick front this week, but I'd like to touch on the item that I find the most intriguing. No, it's not the fact that Vick allegedly bet as much as 50 K on multiple occasions on fights. Nor is it the fact that the house that hosted the fights was rank with evidence of extreme animal brutality. In fact, I don't even care that there are now multiple witnesses that can place Vick at the fights. Nope, what I want explained to me is why, all of a sudden, all the papers have stopped writing "dogfighting" as one word, and gone to writing it as "dog fighting"! I knew "dogfighting" wasn't the right term! You can't just combine words when you see fit! Maybe I'm missing the point here. Maybe I should be more concerned with the fact that one of the NFL's star players is blatantly involved in an illegal sport that benefits from the harming of animals. Oddly enough, that doesn't bother me at all. I like dogs and everything, but I guess I just like words more! Stop fuckin' with my vocabulary already! If I want to see invented words, I'll come up with them myself. That's like breathing for me anyway. Got malfers?

*So much for the 3 peat. I mean, I guess it was pretty unlikely to think the 2008 Florida Gators could turn the trick without Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Taurean Green and Corey Brewer, but now they will also have to do it without head coach Billy Donovan. If reports are true, Donovan is set to bolt Gainesville for Disney World, and sign a 5 year, $27.5 million deal with the Orlando Magic. It's a solid business decision for Donovan, financially, but will it work out for Pitino's protege in the pros? Lord knows it didn't turn out so hot for his mentor in Boston. Matter of fact, no college coaches lacking pro experience have excelled in recent years, or ever for that matter. And you know you don't want to land on a list that includes such college-to-pro flops as Leonard Hamilton, Mike Montgomery and Lon Kruger, just to name a few. Those guys were all up and coming, successful, college coaches, that just couldn't handle the NBA. It's a different game, and while Donovan might think he's ready for it, I just don't see it happening for him. While he'll be in a good situation in Orlando with the wide open Eastern Conference and a young stud center in Dwight Howard, he'll have to switch gears from being a teacher and a mentor, to a manager and a coach. These NBA guys are playing for their lives, literally, and if they don't buy into Billy the Kid's ra-ra style, he could be in for a short run. That's my thing with these guys. What usually makes a great college coach, is the ability to recruit, and the ability to serve as a father figure and motivator to all your players. In the NBA, what makes a great coach, is in game strategy, as well as roster management. They learn whose buttons to push, who to stay away from, and they flat out just get how the system works. I wish Donovan well, I really do, but there's a reason so many other successfull and qualified college coaches have failed miserably in the pros, and I don't expect those trends to change for Billy. Never fear though. Whenever these guys fall hard after they make the jump, there always seems to be some AD ready to hand them a huge check in hopes of bringing their program to prominence. And why not. He's one of the best college coaches around, and I have a sneaking suspicion we haven't seen the last of Billy Donovan on a college campus. Prediction: Donovan will be the head coach at Providence College (where he played) before we see the year 2011. Mark it down!

*And finally, let's end on a positive note for the Patriots in a week full of tragedy. The team held their first voluntary "passing mini camp" this weekend. And who was front and center? None other than legendary malcontent, Randy Moss. Moss worked out with fellow members of the soon to be juggernaut including All World QB, Tom Brady. Good. The only news I want to hear when it comes to Randy Moss and the Patriots this year, is when he catches touchdowns, braids and fro's out his hair, and when he's slangin' me some delicious fruit smoothies during commercial breaks. I said I didn't think Moss would be a wrench in the Patriot dynasty machine, and as early as it may be, so far, so freaking good. As long as he doesn't get ripped, stumble across Route 1, and slap Luciano in the mouth, then we should be all set. Check that. If he does it and nobody reports it, we're still straight. Brady to Moss. Brady to Moss. Brady to Moss. Super Bowl. Super Bowl. Super Bowl. Stick that in your smoothie, and suck it on down.


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