Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yeah, so about that Shane Battier Moneyball thing...

I'll be honest, I never did read the New York Times piece by Michael Lewis about how Shane Battier is the greatest basketball player ever despite his mediocre stats or whatever it was about. I saw everyone talking about it, but it looked kind of long. And frankly I just didn't care.

But I did read this article from Talking Point Free Sports that absolutely DESTROYS the Battier piece. I read every word, start to finish, while I ate my lunch just now. I really can't speak on the validity of the author's points since I never read the original article. But it was pretty deliciously written. Hate hate hate!!

Someone who has read both articles please tell me which one wins. I'll call the hot NBA tip into the Phoenix New Times.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu Watch: 10-Day Contract With the Spurs

I'm hearing from a very good source that Pops Mensah-Bonsu will be signing a 10-day contract with the Spurs. Rims around the league wait in fear.

UPDATE: Ridiculous Upside has heard the same info about the Spurs.
UPDATE2: RealGM is reporting it's a done deal! POPS IS BACK!!!
UPDATE3: He might even play tonight versus the Blazers!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Knicks Acquire Chris Wilcox, Larry Hughes, Awesome Blog

The Knicks added three key components today. In trades with the Thunder and Bulls they acquired Chris Wilcox and Larry Hughes. But most importantly, they acquired the best titled NBA blog ever:

Hey Larry Hughes, Please Stop Taking So Many Bad Shots

I can only hope that the blog knuckles up in its new location, since it didn't gain too much steam while Hughes was in Chicago. But please, please do not change the classic Cavaliers header graphic.

Classic header graphic brought to you by Malik Rose's quiet sobs on the OKC Trail.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hey Chicago! Brad Miller's Life Lessons Are Back in Town

At least some Chicago Bulls fans are excited to see Brad Miller returning home in the blockbuster trade of the day (in which the Kings and Bulls swap entire teams). I guess I would be excited too if this dude was coming to my team:



Also worth 42 seconds of your time is Life Lessons with Brad Miller Part 2.

Frank Shamrock's Strikeforce Contest

Check out the latest 60-Second Autograph contest from Yardbarker, now running on Frank Shamrock's blog. Frank may be the toughest, most focused guy come fight time, but when put to Yardbarker's 60-Second Autograph test, he gets a little flustered! Make sure to click over to his blog to enter the contest.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

YouTube Star in the Making: Lacrosse Enthusiast DavidCookIsKool

This video from DavidCookIsKool comes to me courtesy of YouTube's recommendations. I suppose the YouTube algorithm chose this gem for me because 1) I've favorited a few of Kyle Harrison's hilarious lacrosse videos, 2) I enjoy displays of unbridled enthusiasm, and 3) I too think David Cook is kool. Stay tuned for the best part at the very end!!

Yes, Brian Spaeth Is My Boyfriend

Well, we had been trying to keep it on the low-low, because it's kind of taboo for two sports bloggers to be dating each other. But it looks like the Phoenix New Times will probably be outing us in their next cover story, so I'd rather people hear it from me first. Yes, Alana G and Brian Spaeth are indeed a hot item! This has been going on for some time. It's the reason I had such a large acting role in Who Shot Mamba? and why I figure prominently in Brian's new book Prelude to a Super Airplane.

You can read all about us making out on Brian's blog.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wilt Chamberlain's Love Children Bump Their Heads on Doorframes

If there is one good thing that will come out of this Niki D'Andrea New Times fiasco, I somehow doubt it will be a change in policy at New Times (but I'm still waiting to hear back from editor Rick Barrs about that...).

So if nothing else, maybe the whole thing will at least result in satire artist Con Chapman getting the shine he deserves at Gerbil Sports Network. Make sure to go check out his latest, Experts Say Children of Chamberlain Will Force Changes to US Doorframes:
“If each one produces just 20,000 offspring before he or she dies, you’re talking 400 million seven-footers bumping their heads into lintels,” the horizontal load-bearing member spanning an opening such as a door.
Also worth your time is one of my personal favorites, Nothing But Neat:
"Cool Dockers!" said Paul Pierce of the Celtics with an admiring glance as he greeted Iverson.

"Thank you," said Iverson with a sheepish look on his face as he smoothed the pleats on his pants. "I was totally wrong about the dress code!"
Explain to me again how anything written by this hilarious dude was read seriously and then printed in a newspaper article as fact?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Allen Iverson Kills Cornrows, Alana G

[Click here for a picture of his new haircut]

A.I.!!! You're killing me here. You cut off the braids? The cornrows... gone? What! Is it no longer cool for ME to have cornrows now?

And oh my word you totally just ruined Halloween when I was going to do a repeat of last year's Slutty Allen Iverson costume. Sad face.

Thanks to my homie Nate Jones of FanHouse for keeping up the NBA Hair Watch in my absence. Cornrows image via Cool Mens' Hair, one of my favorite daily reads.

P.S. Is Iverson giving us the finger in this Getty picture?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Alana G Haters Part 2: Phoenix New Times Edition

Welcome to what will hopefully be an ongoing series, Alana G Haters. Anyone who knows me knows I loooove haters! Thanks for keeping me humble, guys!

In Part 1 we met a lovely lady named WifeMomBlogger who hated on a satirical post about my felonious voter fraud activities on election day. Girl, you had me LOLing, because I know your whole pro-McCain blog was just a big satire too! Go Obama!

In Part 2 we will meet some new Alana G Haters who have come out to hate-hate-hate because of my critical post about reporter Niki D'Andrea and the complete breakdown of journalistic integrity at the Phoenix New Times. Unfortunately, among the 15 or so blog posts and news articles that I've found on the subject, I have not yet come across a single one that has hated on me. So we'll have to settle for the hater commenters.

We'll start with a comment from the Alana G post reacting to a passage of mine:
"Jeff in Boston" says: 'As a female trying to earn my own credibility in the media world as an editor at Yardbarker.com.' Self promote much? Jesus Christ, who the fuck cares? It's sports writing, sweetie. Get upset about real things.
Thanks for the comment, honeybunch. You're totally right, my mention of my place of employment was totally over-the-top self-whoring. My B!!

Now on to the comments on Niki D'Andrea's hilarious retraction blog post.
"Billy Shields" says: I've never seen such self-righteous claptrap. This Alana G (whoever she is) is nothing but a celebrity (you know what), and she acts all holier-than-thou about a mistake in New Times. The paper fucked up, admitted it immediately online and in a blog... What does this schoolmarm think the reporter is going to do? Commit suicide over an error in an f'n tattoo story about basketball players? Please, Alana G! This has nothing to do with the economic collapse or world peace. Give it up and go back to servicing celebs...
Billy, you're so funny, acting like you don't know who I am! As everyone knows, I'm a famous "celebrity (you know what)"... (if you don't know what a "you know what" is, you better look it up on Urban Dictionary). As for being "holier-than-thou," what can I say, you've got me there -- guilty as Swiss cheese! Now the "schoolmarm" comment had me stumped for a second, I had to run to my small-town school dictionary to look it up. Apparently it refers to a person who exhibits a strict adherence to arbitrary rules. Got me there again! I totally harp on arbitrary rules like "basic journalistic integrity." My friends always get so annoyed with me like when we're hanging out at the mall and I'm just like, "Jennifer, oh my gawwwd you totally didn't fact check that article AT ALL." As for your assertion that "this has nothing to do with economic collapse or world peace," well, I'd say that's up for debate, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt since the rest of your comment was so on point. I could bask in the hate of this comment for ages, but I gotta run and service some celebs!
"Tanya Teal" says: Gotcha! Don't you just live it when Internet dweebs this game. They all think they would never make a mistake. Listen to them all scream behind their phony names/handles. Even Alana G doesn't use her real name.This was a story about NBA players and their tattoos; the tattoo cap was an aside. It was a stupid error; Niki should've dug deeper before going with it, but this outrage from the 'revenge of the nerds' bunch is hard to stomach. These idiots are just mad that they don't have real jobs.
Tanya! Girl you just came out swinging with your opening: "Don't you just live it when Internet dweebs this game." Your use of jibberish cuts right to the heart of the matter, but only for those intelligent enough to decode the clever wording. Clearly I'm too dumb for that... touche! You go on to hate on my last name "G" -- damn that always hurts, because I've been teased about it ever since I was a little girl... "Alana, your family is so poor they couldn't even afford a real last name" or "Hey Alana, the alphabet police just called, they're charging you with robbery." As for the "revenge of the nerds" comment, I think you've cleverly lobbed one over my head again, because I totally love that movie... and as I remember, all the nerds got free porn, impressed the ladies with their lovemaking abilities, kicked the jocks' asses in the carnival, garnered the support of the cool black frat brothers, and in the end got a nice house to happily live together in. As for being mad that I don't have a real job, oh that's a zinger! I see what you were doing there, using sarcasm to make fun of me like 'Jeff in Boston' for being such a blatant self-promoter about my full-time job at Yardbarker.com. Well done!
"terrytown" says: yeah, i'd check the ip addresses of these outraged commenters to see how many of them are alana g trying to drum up biz for her little inside edition-esque blog that nobody ever heard of before this.
You got me terrytown! I've been creating multiple identities to post comments on a New Times blog post. I guess I ought to also come clean about the multiple identities I maintain every day as authors of various blogs and news publications on the internet -- how do you think I got all those links to my little blog post in the first place?? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12...) As for my blog being like Inside Edition, OMG that's like my favorite show, thanks so much for the compliment!
"Tom Terrifi" says: Well, Alana G., when you live in a glass house.... All anybody has to do to see what kind of ditz you are is read your pathetic web site. And by the way, some of us can read more than 800 words at a time. Ever heard of a book, dummy?
Oh man, Tom, you really terrifi me with these hater words! First of all, I feel so exposed knowing that everyone might have clicked over to see my pathetic website... I'm so embarrassed! And you're probably right that some people can read more than 800 words at a time. Stupid me, I totally gave up after reading the first 800 words of Niki D'Andrea's article because it was reading like a rambling high school paper and I didn't think it was physically possible to go on. But you've obviously got stronger reading faculties than I do. As for this "book" thing of which you speak, no, I had never heard of it, but I asked my friend Andrew about it and he said this one could make a cool gift for the New Times folks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Phoenix New Times 'NBA Tattoo Cap' Debacle: What Had Happened Was...


UPDATE 11/3/10: Phoenix New Times fails again with a Steve Nash retirement hoax.

Earlier I mentioned a curious Phoenix New Times article about tattoos in the NBA that refers to a ludicrous NBA "tattoo cap" whereby teams would be limited to 61% arm and neck tattoo coverage as a team. David Stern is quoted as saying he does not want to "scare the bejesus out of affluent demographic groups." The New Times article claimed FoxSports.com as the source, but was in fact quoting a clearly satirical blog post by Con Chapman that appeared in Fox's community section. Fellow sports media professional Matt Watson originally alerted me to the article and we got a good laugh out of it. I then tried unsuccessfully a couple of times to get a response from the paper. In the meantime, I made contact with the hilarious Con Chapman, and we had a good laugh about the matter. Finally this morning I got a message through to the author of the article, Niki D'Andrea.

Ms. D'Andrea seems like a very nice woman, and I hate to be a hater here... after all, there are lots of very nice people who just aren't web savvy, aren't quick to understand things, and make terribly embarrassing errors... but those people should not be PAID STAFF WRITERS AT NEWSPAPERS. As a female trying to earn my own credibility in the media world as an editor at Yardbarker.com, I actually feel personally upset by incidents like this. Sh*t like this brings us all down. This woman was going around asking NBA players about this proposed tattoo cap. My mind implodes.

Niki replied to my email right away and asked if we could speak on the phone. She indicated in her email that she still wasn't sure if she had been duped or not. Couple of things: 1) How could you still not be sure you had been duped? Read the full hilariousness of the Con Chapman post, consider the sheer ridiculousness of David Stern's supposed quote, do a quick Google search to see if any news site talked about this "tattoo cap"... 2) If you are trying to get to the bottom of this matter, why do you want to waste time talking to me? You have no idea who I am. Spend your time talking to the NBA or a trusted source who reports on the NBA, right?

I found out later why she wanted to talk to me -- so she could quote me in her retraction blog post! Not that I mind being quoted, I think it's hilarious (although the last portion of the quote is not what I believe I said...). I guess I know that you are always on the record when talking to a reporter -- forgive me for forgetting that she's a reporter.

Anyway, in our phone call she told me that she had "heard" about the tattoo cap, couldn't get the NBA to return her calls about it, did a Google search and found the FoxSports "article" and... decided to go ahead and print it. Questions still unanswered include: 1) Since when does one Google search yielding one satirical blog post constitute adequate reporting? 2) Where was her editor? 3) Where was the fact-checker? 4) Where was the guy who takes out the trash who occasionally watches Sports Center who might have leaned over her desk and caught a glimpse of this story and realized right away that it was completely unbelievable?

I still have not gotten a reply from editor Rick Barrs about this story. Which, by the way, is the cover story... on stands now... in Phoenix... while the entire NBA world visits for All Star Weekend. OOPS!

Again, I'm not usually a hater. But incompetence like this (on the part of the author, the editor, the whole New Times organization) needs to be addressed, and not just with a cutesy "mea culpa" blog post. I know so many talented writers, editors, bloggers, and fact checkers who all struggle to find work. To see people like D'Andrea and Barrs holding staff positions at papers makes me angry. If you think I'm being overly harsh for one mistake, I challenge you to read the full 5,000 or so words of this article and tell me it doesn't have several other suspect items. For that matter, Google Niki D'Andrea and see what others have said about her previous work. (Now, if you want to see some quality investigative reporting, check out this incredible piece by Ed Kohler about how the New Times organization exploits the Digg system to get traffic. Somebody give THAT guy a promotion!)

One last thing, in her retraction blog post, Niki refers to me as "a sports blogger in Pennsylvania." Perhaps she deduced this by Googling the area code of the cell phone number I gave her. You know, instead of just asking me, the direct source. I'm actually a sports editor in California.

Note to journalists: the photo at the top of this post is SATIRE. Please do not reproduce as fact.

Thank you to those who have linked up this story, including ESPN's True Hoop, Poynter.org, Heat City, MediaBistro (x2), Sports by Brooks, The Big Lead, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (x2), The Two Man Game, Bootlegger Sports, Sporting Madness, Can't Stop the Bleeding, Arizona Sports Fans Network, DallasBasketball.com, Brian's Thoughts About Airplanes, Strangepup, Los Angeles Times Pressmen... It is also being talked about on Gawker, Matt Davis, Yardbarker, NYMag, Maynard Institute, The Kicker...

UPDATE: Just found a piece published yesterday at Truth Wins Out (via David's Open Forum) slamming Niki D'Andrea for another article she wrote. The error and consequences on this one seem even larger than this NBA tattoo cap story.

UPDATE 2: I received an email from Niki D'Andrea saying the claims made in the Truth Wins Out link immediately above are part of a "slanderous smear campaign." I don't pretend to know enough about the story to sort out the details, but I'll offer the links to D'Andrea's two stories published on the matter. Regarding the NBA story, D'Andrea did tell me, "If you want to drag me through the mud over the first mistake I've ever made in more than 15 years in journalism, that's fine. Go ahead and have your day in the sun." Glad she picked a whopper for her FIRST mistake! I have to wonder what kinds of things she's been reporting on to make it 15 years mistake-free with a research method that consists of searching Google, quoting blog posts, and then failing to research further even when her "knee-jerk reaction" is that the story "might be a joke."

UPDATE 3: Thank you to all of the comment haters for humbling me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Diddy Nickname Quiz: Adrian Peterson Chokes!

FAIL for Adrian Peterson. But all of the other stars we asked on the red carpet of Diddy's Good Life Experience party fared better. Watch the video to see Jordin Sparks, Deion and Pilar Sanders, Ryan Howard, Dwight Freeney, DJ Clue, Pepa, DeMarcus Ware, Devin Thomas, Andre Berto, Marcellus Wiley, Bernard Berrian, Winky Wright, DJ Orlando, and of course Yardbarker bloggers Calvin Pace, Ovie Mughelli, and D'Qwell Jackson and his wife. Love you much, Puffy!

NBA Tattoo Cap: It Was Supposed to Be Satire, Silly!

UPDATE: click through for a more detailed version of this story.

Thanks to my old friend Matt Watson for forwarding this curious Phoenix New Times article about tattoos and the NBA. The article is very long, and I'll be honest, I skimmed parts of it, so forgive me if I'm totally tripping here... but most of the article appears to be serious. There is a lot of information about the history of tattoos and about real tattoos that NBA players have -- and that stuff all appears to be factual.

But then there are a few obviously false items, and they seem to be presented as fact. For instance:
Anybody with tons of tattoos is subject to criticism, and NBA players are no exception. In February 2008, the NBA announced it would push for a "tattoo cap" on players when its collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the 2011 season. "We feel it is important that our players not scare the bejesus out of affluent demographic groups with gangsta-style tattoos," NBA Commissioner David Stern told Foxsports.com. The proposed cap, as strange as it sounds, would require teams to limit their roster as a whole to 61 percent tattoo coverage of the "upper arms and necks." So if a team has a couple of players covered in tats, conceivably two or three players with flesh as pure as a baby's butt would be needed to offset.
Besides the fact that a tattoo cap is (hilariously) ludicrous, there is the matter of David Stern using the word "bejesus"... The attribution of the quote is given to FoxSports, but the quote actually appears only in this clearly satirical blog post by GerbilSportsNetwork on Fox's community site. There are some other curious quotes in the article, like the "thug" comment from mild-mannered Alando Tucker (actually, I don't know anything about Alando Tucker, maybe he would say some ish like that)... and a quote from Amare Stoudemire attributed to the always-reliable Zimbio.com (??).

Am I tripping? Am I so dense that I don't see that this whole article is really clever satire? Or is Ian Thomsen ghostwriting at New Times? Or was this article really poorly reported, lazily fact-checked, and not edited at all? I'm honestly confused, please help.

UPDATE: Thanks for the links, Jason. Apparently author Niki D'Andrea is an old internet favorite (exhibits 1, 2, 3)...

Photo courtesy of Ian Thomsen and his BS correction at the bottom of his article, yes I'm still bitter about that!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Puffy for President!! Diddy Campaign Kicks Off at Super Bowl

Ok, so he's not really campaigning, but when I asked Diddy on the red carpet of his Saturday night Super Bowl party who his VP would be when he runs for president, he responded in stride like it was a totally fair question. His answer was a little politician-y, but we got some better suggestions from the other guests on the red carpet like Pepa, Deion & Pilar, Ryan Howard, and a slew of NFLers like Adrian Peterson and Dwight Freeney.



By the way, anyone who knows me knows how much I love Puffy. Talking to him for a few seconds was the highlight of my week/year/life. Big thanks to the folks behind "The Good Life Experience with Diddy and Deion" party for letting Yardbarker run our goofy operation on the red carpet. We were getting some weird looks from the "real" celebrity reporters (i.e. Extra and Access Hollywood) but it was all worth it in the end. Stay tuned to my CafePress store for the "Vote Diddy or Die" T-shirts. NO MORE BITCH ASSNESS!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Videos: Diddy, T.O., and Miss America

Still here in Tampa on the scene. You can catch all of our Yardbarker Super Bowl coverage on our Super Bowl page. But here are a few of my favorites from the past day or so...

Diddy waves the Terrible Towel on the red carpet of his party. Why is he a Steelers fan, anyone know? (And stay tuned for more video on Diddy.)



Star athletes make their Super Bowl predictions, including Yardbarker favorite Terrell Owens and a Steelers player who may or may not make a guarantee.



Joe Montana and Miss America share an awkward moment.