Sunday, July 01, 2007

Catching up: Chris Benoit, the NBA draft and Entourage

Hey, remember me?

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but having a blog devoted to a baseball team really takes up a ton of time during the baseball season.

Who woulda thunk it?!

Since my return from New York there have been a few topics I've wanted to cover, and I know I might be coming late to these stories, but hey, it's my blog and I'll post what I want to.

Or something like that.

Just bear with me. I'll try not to slack off so much in the future.

Benoit tragedy highlights the real dangers of steroids
Everytime I hear another news item or police reveal another sick & twisted detail of the horrible crimes the former wrestling star committed, I start to tear up and feel mortified; yet, I cannot stop reading about it.

What took place a week ago in the Benoit home in suburban Georgia played like a ghastly storyline straight out of one of Vince McMurder's retarded WWE scripts.

The 40-year-old Benoit reportedly bound his wife Nancy's feet and hands on Friday and then suffocated her; he waited a day before strangling their seven-year-old son Daniel in his bed sometime Saturday night, perhaps after the pair viewed a Pay-Per view match Benoit was supposed to take part in, and then hung himself with a weight machine cord on Sunday.

To absolutely no one's surprise (except McMahon's & his WWE lackies), he investigators found anabolic steroids present in the Benoit household in the ensuing investigation.

Of that revelation I have just one thing to say to US legislators: forget about Barry friggin Bonds and his pursuit of a meaningless home run record and start focusing on the real dangers steroids present to the American population, namely how the side-effects of the muscle-enhancing hormones are killing men, women & children.

While Bud Selig and George Mitchell hunt Bonds for his obvious use of performance-enhancing drugs to reach Hank Aaron's sacred career homer record of #755, and pro football players, cyclists, tennis players, and even golfers are now being accused of rampant use of synthetic steroids in hopes of achieving maximum (earning) potential, that tells me it's time for Congress to start an all-out investigation as to how, why and where these drugs are making it into the marketplace, and start a crackdown akin to the "Say No to Drugs" or anti-Mafia campaigns of decades past in order to put a halt to all the death & destruction these drugs are causing.

After all, what's more important--finding out how a hulking home run hitter broke a significant sports record, or preventing another geeked-out musclehead from murdering his family for no damn reason?

Celtics blow another draft, yet Ainge & Rivers enjoy long-term security
How can a couple of men fuck up a historic franchise as badly as Celtics president Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers have? Yet, both men sit back secure in the knowledge that neither one of them is leaving the Causeway St. offices of the C's anytime soon?

The list of laughable draft picks (Marcus Banks & Kendrick Perkins instead of Boris Diaw & Josh Howard?), terrible trades (Antoine for Raef LaFrentz!) and silly signings (Brian Scalabrine!!) Ainge has made over the past few years is so lengthy and prolific that he has succedeed in turning the once-proud Green Machine into the laughingstock of the league in under four years.

Rivers, meanwhile, coaches like he's trying to lose his job, with a turnstile rotation, players playing out of position, and patchwork lineups right out of a bad Martin Lawrence movie, yet he just signed a one-year extension in May despite guiding the team to a 102-144 record in three seasons.

Did I mention he's led teams to not one but two 19-game losing streaks?

The latest magnificent maneuver by Ainge was to trade Boston's 2007 first round pick, slotted at #5 thanks to some unfortunate ping pong balls, to the Seattle Sonics for aging, ailing shooting guard Ray Allen.

Hmmmm. Trading a potential building block/solid complimentary starting player like Jeff Green, whom they selected for Seattle, or Brandon Wright for a guy who will turn 32 in three weeks and is coming off of double ankle surgeries that caused him to miss 27 games last season seems like a hair-trigger move at best and a recipe for disaster at worst.

I choose the latter.

Will Allen be able to give captain Paul Pierce relief from the innumerable double-teams he currently receives as the team's only All Star caliber player? Sure.

But a more likely scenario has an uncomfortable (he's a low-key guy who enjoyed playing in the cozy environs of the pacific Northwest) and recovering Allen struggling to adapt to his new surroundings and teammates. I guarantee that he and Pierce both suffer some nagging/ lengthy injury that will force them to miss considerable time during the season, thus ensuring another lottery-bound campaign for the former kings of the hill.

Maybe then these clowns will be ousted from office.

HB-No: Former Sunday Night kingpin rapidly spiraling into oblivion
It was bad enough when we bade farewell to our favorite family drama with a bad Journey song and a maddening, open-ended conclusion a few weeks ago, but ever since the Sopranos swan song, its seems as if the HBO network has made a decision to whack itself.

Once the perfect mood-lightening compliment to the morose and intense Mob drama, the buddy series Entourage has apparently gotten wind of how popular and important it is to the Sunday night lineup, because in its fourth season it has officially jumped the shark.

Premiering just two weeks after the third season concluded the same night as the Sopranos ended, the show's writers took a risk and did an on-location shoot of the boys filming their dream project, Medellin, somewhere in the jungles of South America.

As if taking the big fish out of their little Hollywood pool wasn't risky enough, the creators decided to mock/parody/impersonate another hit series, The Office, by having the main players talk directly to a documentary filmmaker who was supposed to be garnering clips for the DVD version of the movie.

Cute idea in theory, but my wife & I thought it went over like Vince's hideous, Ron Jeremy-like Pablo Escobar getup.

That is to say not well.

The next ep followed the exploits of neurotic but brilliant director Billy Walsh, whose crazy behavior and manic mood swings probably embody many of Tinseltown's directorial elite, but his schtick of tyrannical tics and tawdry tackiness is already wearing thin, and it's just the beginning of the season.

Throw in a new & improved (?) Johnny Drama and Turtle's going nowhere, doing nothing character (he doesn't even smoke a lot, crank rap music and play video games anymore for crissake!), plus the kinder, gentler Ari and not only has the show failed to get me excited for Sunday nights at 10:00, but I've actually started to look forward to the awesome Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel a bit more.

Now there's a bunch of ballsy, non-ironic dudes just being real and having a good time.

And don't even get me started on John From Cincinnati or Flight of the Conchords...

Put it this way, if things don't improve shortly it will be so long, HBO Sunday nights.

Better start opening up that checkbook for Chase & Gandolfini soon.