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Monday, March 9, 2009

Suck it in Fatty!

Since my Suns are probably heading for the lottery and apparently have the worst luck ever, and not much is going on in my life beyond work, I've decided to blog about an atrocious discovery.

The mirdle: Since most men currently subsist on a diet composed entirely of gravy, frosting, and Twinkies covered in gravy and frosting, anti-flab fashion experts have have invented the mirdle, which is a cute name for "man girdle." Basically, it's a spandex tank top (or an overgrown diaper) that's two to three sizes too small for the disgusting, fleshy horror you call a body. It's purpose: To suck in your flopping beer belly as well as those unsightly man-boobs.

According to Gavin Jones, head of the Australian company Equmen, which launched the "mirdle" in London's Selfridges department store: "Men are under a lot of pressure right now to perform financially, socially and romantically. Why shouldn't we have the same products that women have had for years to make us feel better?" If that's the case, Gavin, what's next on your make-guys-feel-better-with-chick-stuff invention agenda? Manpons? Mangisil? Manscara? Daniel Craig?

The report justifies the invention of this abomination by stating the rising sales of male grooming products and clothing. Also: "And similarly men's underwear sales are growing faster than women's, with Selfridges recording a 21 per cent rise in sales of men's pants in 2008 while women's underwear grew by only ten percent." There's a very simple explanation for this: Men hate doing laundry. Hate it. So that makes underwear a disposable item. Personally, I used to know a guy who would buy a new six pack every week, which of course meant he'd have to go commando at least one day -- usually Sunday -- but that's probably TMI. And I'm not an underwear sales statistics expert, but I'd be willing to bet that 90 percent of that 21 percent increase is just the same perv buying underwear over and over to satisfy some horrific fetish. Not that I'm judging.

Men, take it from me. Instead of cramming yourself into a sausage wrapper, just stop being fat. And to help you out with this, here's a weight loss tip from me to you: Next time you notice your hands are stuffed full of something greasy or oozing with sugar, don't cram it into your mouth. It's that easy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Letter

You know it, you love it, you can't live without it: the revolutionary comedy bit has now hit the internet. Today's topic brought to you from Las Vegas, NV is the "Top 10 craziest things the Lippmann family has done in 2008".
    10. As the newly anointed Young Men's President, Rick is teaching his scouts that in order to become an Eagle Scout, you have to catch and eat a Bald Eagle.

    9. Meagan, as the sole front desk trainer at the MGM Grand Hotel, is experimenting with a new evaluation system. Simply put: grades are determined by how well they wash her car.

    8. Daniel and Rachael went to Bolivia and learned there are few times in life that you experience a completely different world, few times you see how fortunate you are to live in the United States, few times to see and really understand that the next vacation will be an all inclusive package.

    7. Meagan and Jenn are learning the joys of siblings living together again. We're putting the over/under of this lasting at 8 months.

    6. Daniel is one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming the "white Johnnie Cochran" © by taking his last finals in law school.

    5. Grandma Connie survived a bad spell and is now living with Rick and Gaynell, but at least while at the hospital she didn't have to take turns with her roommate on the I.V.

    4. Gaynell took advantage of Grandma's absence by scraping off and selling her home's wallpaper to the local history museum.

    3. Gaynell also learned that not having a fire at girl's camp lead to creative ideas like having to toast marshmallows by laying them on the exhaust pipe of the neighbor's Buick.

    2. As the new doctor on the SWAT team, Rick is testing out his radical medical theory that all emotional and psychological disorders can be cured with Vicks VapoRub.

    1. Jenn has a boyfriend!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What if...

I love the "What if" game. You know when you get a bunch of friends together and ask asinine questions like:
• If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
• If you could teleport, where would you go?
• If Elvis came back to life...

So I’m going to play a few rounds of “what if” and see what would-huv, could-huv, should-huv happened had ONE thing gone the other way specifically for the Suns. (Side note: At first I thought this was an original idea for a column then I checked…it wasn't: Bill Simmons beat me to it last year here; it’s probably where I subconsciously got the idea from anyway.)

1. What if “human-piece-of-trash” (a.k.a. Robert Horry) didn't hip-check Nash into the scorers table with eighteen seconds left in game 4 of the 2007 conference semifinals?

We all know what happened - A mini-brawl breaks out (of course, every brawl seems small to Pacers fans!); Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw walk out to half court before being stopped by coaches and get slapped with a game suspension. For game 5, the Suns lost 31 points per game by way of the suspension, compared to the 6 points per game the Spurs lost by having Horry out. Would the Suns have won the series? Even without Amare and Boris it took a 3 pointer in the corner from Bowen for the Spurs to put away the Suns during game 5. The series would have at least been closer, right?

Let’s say the Suns win the series. They then would have match up against a young Utah team that got lucky because Houston can’t ever win a playoff series and top-seeded Dallas got knocked off by the "we believe" Golden State team. During the regular season, Utah had won three of four against the Suns but experience tends to win playoffs games unless you’re Dallas. Again, let’s say the Suns win that series and move on against Cleveland. During two regular season games the Suns absolutely creamed the Cavs (both wins by 15+ points). We all saw how woefully under-matched Cleveland was during their first finals appearance and I can’t think of a reason it would have been different had the Suns been playing them and not the Spurs.

We would now live in a world where “defense doesn't necessarily win championships”, a world where Nash is viewed as one of the top five point guards of all-time and not just some system product, a world where every other team was scrambling to mirror what the Suns did to win it all only it wouldn't work because there is only one Nash in the world. Things would be great!

The Suns would never think of unloading any of their key guys (Kurt Thomas, Shawn Marion), Sarver opens up his wallet to keep the group intact because he learns that it pays to win championships, we never trade for Shaq, D’Antoni never leaves, and Phoenix fans would have finally win something after countless losses streaming back to losing the coin-toss that cost us Lew Alcindor (that's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for you novices, of course if you're a novice you've probably already stopped reading this).

2. What if the Suns had got Kevin Garnett in a trade at the beginning of the 2007-08 season?

This was pretty close to happening according to a few sources that were following the developments of a KG trade. One scenario had some players from the Celtics going to the Wolves, Garnett going to the Suns, and Marion going to the Celtics; rumor has it that this would have gone through had Marion given the go-ahead and not nixed signing an extension with Boston - Marion kiboshed it because he didn't want to play for a dramatically inferior team. Ironically, this doesn't make any sense since Marion became the first professional athlete in NBA history to seem happy going from a team with a .700 winning percentage to a team with a .200 winning percentage when he finally got traded to the Heat.

Another scenario had Stoudemire going to the Wolves straight up for KG. Although this scenario seemed to be higher on the risk scale – look at what the potential of the trade could have been: Nash – Bell – Hill – Marion – Garnett. That’s a starting five that could actually play defense (minus Nash of course, but 4 of 5 ain't bad). We could have hired a defensive-minded assistant, ala Thibodeau, and Garnett would have played with enough intensity to scare everyone else into playing tough on D.

Defense is a skill, but it can be acquired. I remember watching the 2008 NBA Finals and thinking, wow, I've never seen a team play so hard on defense - and that Celtics team was full of players not known for their defense. Ray Allen was notoriously bad throughout his career and Pierce was never known as a lock-down guy. Garnett changed the atmosphere, he gave that team the intensity needed to win and kept the “defense wins championships” mantra alive. I think he would have done the same for the Suns.

3. What if the Suns hadn't done the Matrix for the Diesel trade?

I have to admit, I bought into the media crap that I was force-fed for an entire year before the trade even went down. That the Suns style of play was great for television and lots of regular season wins, but come playoff time it was not a proven winner. That a change needed to happen because the way they were put together they didn't have a chance to compete against the better teams in the West.

Last year after the trade I wrote 1,500 words on why I got ill after hearing about the trade. The Suns had the best record in the West and everyone was pointing out that they weren't playing as good. They could have jelled and put together one of those long winning streaks like they had the year before (17 games – 6th longest in NBA history). They still only finished TWO games out of first. TWO games was the difference between and first round match-up with the Nuggets and the Spurs. TWO games between getting a free pass to the conference finals and meeting a championship caliber team in the first round. If the Suns had switched positions with the Lakers you can’t convince me that the Lakers would have easily dispatched the Spurs then the Hornets and then the Suns. The Lakers, with their seven-foot Spaniard gift from the Grizzlies, would have been hard to stop, but they would have been beat up by a healthy Spurs team and a young and hungry Hornets team. If the Suns got past the Lakers they still would have had their hands full with the Celtics, but at least there would have been the chance to win it all.

Integrating Shaq and basically throwing a wrench into the fine-tuned running machine cost the Suns at least TWO games. To top things off, besides Hill pulling a groin muscle, the Suns were actually healthy going into the playoffs. Something the Suns hadn't experienced in awhile and might not again with an aging roster.

4. What if Shaq would just shut up and play ball?

Personally, I've never had too many qualms with Shaq. He talked the talk but he certainly walked the walk to back it up. I thought it was a mistake for the Lakers to trade him and I preferred him to Kobe when the whole world was choosing sides. But Shaq has lost more than a few steps in these final years of his career. He can’t elevate to dunk around the rim, he can’t finish after getting hacked, thus making his free-throw shooting and even larger liability, and he’s still talking!

First with the Kobe “can't do it without me” rap, then the Spurs were cowards to play “hack-a-Shaq”, and now he's comparing himself to Japanese military commanders. It's one thing to get old and show deference to the new order and play your role, and quite the other to get older and ignore the signs that you are not what you once were.

To quote the Big Cactus himself, "I really didn't start winning until I started losing my lift. When I was doing all the spectacular (stuff), I was going home early, too. The day I got 30 and 31, started losing my lift and started getting smarter, that's when I started winning. Jumping high and being exciting is not going to get you a win. It may get you some press, but it's not going to get you where the Shōgun is at."

That's funny Mr. Shōgun, because it seems that Phil Jackson arrived at the exact time that you started getting smarter.

Listen, four championships in six trips to the finals earn respect, no question. Shaq will go down as one of the best ever, but he has to learn his place. He’s good for 25 minutes, 12 PTS, 10 REB, and 1.something BLK a game. Although it is true that he’s made Stoudemire into an unstoppable beast, and it's true the Suns have only had 28 games to figure out how to use Shaq in their system, now is the time for Shaq to stop talking and start walking, even if it is with a cane and slight limp.

I still have hope for the Suns to win, and win big - not just another playoff 1st or 2nd round exit - but this seems to be the last shot at it. Our last shot at the heights of NBA glory before Nash and Shaq ride out into the sunset.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Quotable Sir Charles

I recently found a couple of lists of Charles Barkley quotes and thought I'd pay homage to the Round Mound of Rebound by posting 50 of his most memorable quotes.

50. "I can be bought. If they paid me enough, I'd work for the Klan."

49. "You got to believe in yourself. Hell, I believe I'm the best-looking guy in the world and I might be right."

48. "I don't hate anyone, at least not for more than 48 minutes, barring overtime."

47. "We better not be doing the Bulls this year. Man, they suck! Bunch of high school kids with $70 million contracts. Damn! I hate my mother for having me too soon."

46. "You can talk without saying a thing. I don't ever want to be that type of person."

45. After retiring from basketball "I'm just what America needs - another unemployed black man."

44. Ernie: "Did they recognize you in South Dakota?"

Charles: "Yes, they did. It was easy because I was the only black person there. When they see me walking down the street they say 'There he goes again'. And when I come back the next year they say 'He's back yawl!'"

43. Right after Peja won the 3-point contest: "Kenny said it was going to be an all-international night. I want to know which international brother is going to win the slam dunk contest."

42. On one of Nate Robinson's dunks during All Star weekend: "Any time a little midget does something like this, you gotta give him a 10!"

41. "I had to explain to my daughter why that skank Monica Lewinski has an hour special on HBO this weekend."

40. Ernie: "Auburn is a pretty good school. To graduate from there I suppose you really need to work hard and put forth maximum effort."

Charles: "20 pts and 10 rebounds will get you through also!"

39. "Every time I think about changing a diaper, I run a little bit harder and a little bit faster to make sure I can afford a nanny until my daughter's old enough to take care of that herself."

38. EJ: "Did you graduate from Auburn?"

Charles: "No, but I have a couple people working for me who did."

37. "Bavetta and Moses parted the Red Sea together."

36. Ernie Johnson, on Reggie Evans being caught grabbing the rocks of Chris Kaman: "(Reggie Evans) got caught with his hand in the cookie jar."

Charles: "Ernie, I don't know where you get your cookies at but the rest of us don't get ours there."

35. On his 17-year old daughter not dating yet: "Thank goodness. I just hope she doesn't start before I go in the Hall of Fame. That way, I won't have to kill anybody before I get inducted."

34. Kenny: "There's guys who go over to Europe and play overseas from America, and they dominate!"

Charles: "Those are called 'brothers'

33. "Today is Jimmy Hatter's birthday -- he's the gay guy we got workin' behind the scenes, y'all. We hire them all at TNT. We do not discriminate. We hired the pimp last year, Craig Sager, and now we got Jimmy Hatter. We got all the ethnic groups covered."

32. Barkley on Turner Sports office having a betting pool on his weight: "That is starting to hurt my feelings. I don't mind skinny people making fun of me, we all do that, but I don't want fat people making fun of me."

31. "We are in the business of kicking butt and business is very, very good."

30. When the Dream Team was about to play the Angola national team, during pre-game interviews the other USA players provided diplomatic, face saving comments about how they would play hard and felt strongly they would win. When Chuck was asked about Angola and the game, he replied: "They're in a lot of trouble."

29. Charles Barkley on his thoughts about retiring before the season: "I remember sitting down with the Rockets and saying, 'Yeah. I'm going to retire.' They said, 'Well, we'll give you $9 million.' And I said, 'You got a pen on you?'"

28. Man, everything gets blamed on the Clintons, every single thing in this world. I think Bill Clinton shot JFK, too.

27. "I know why his name is DMX. Because his real name is Earl. Imagine if his name was Earl the rapper."

26. "If you go out with a girl and they say she has a great personality, she's ugly. If they tell you a guy works hard, he can't play a lick. Same thing."

25. After Kevin Garnett threw a ball into the crowd out of frustration and was ejected. They showed footage of the man that got hit by the ball being taken away in a stretcher and his daughter was crying. Charles commented that players take passes to the face all the time. He topped it off by saying: "You know why that little girl's crying? It's because she's thinking 'my daddy's a wussy'".

24. Barkley on Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith eating a box of hot Krispy Kreme donuts in front of him: "Both of y'all are going to hell for that. Y'all are going to hell with a first-class ticket. Is that how you treat your partner? Krispy Kreme might be the greatest invention in the history of civilization when they're hot. Y'all are cruel man."

23. "It's kinda great to see the Celtics doin well again cuz that was so much fun in my day to go to the Boston Garden and they spit at you and throw things at you and talk about your mom. It sounds like dinner at Kenny Smith's house."

22. "I think that the team that wins game five will win the series. Unless we lose game five."

21. Charles Barkley after seeing a picture of Sam Cassell on the screen: "Phone home." And later he remarks to Kenny, "Sam Cassell is a good guy, but he's not going to wind up on the cover of GQ anytime soon."

20. "On Stromile Swift and his yet unrealized potential: "Man, that boy can run and jump. So can a deer. But I'd never put a deer in a game."

19. Asked if he had ever been in the governor's office in Montgomery, Barkley said no. "They don't let many black people in the governor's mansion in Alabama," he said, "unless they're cleaning."

18. On the goal of the '92 Olympic Dream Team when playing Panama in the Tournament of the Americas: "To get the Canal back."

17. "The only thing Christian Laettner has in common with Larry Bird is they both pee standing up."

16. Barkley on Hanno Mottola, who, as EJ remarked "is the first NBA player from Finland". Charles replies: "Of course he is the first NBA player from Finland, he's the only person in Finland."

15. On super-sized Oliver Miller: "You can't even jump high enough to touch the rim, unless they put a Big Mac on it."

14. "All I know is, as long as I led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, my grades would be fine."

13. On North Carolina missing 22 of its last 23 shots in losing to Georgetown in the NCAA tournament last weekend: "Stevie Wonder could make one of 23 shots."

12. I'd never buy my girl a watch... she's already got a clock over the stove.

11. "I always laugh when people ask me about rebounding techniques. I've got a technique. It's called just go get the damn ball."

10. On the Portland Trail Blazers (back when they were known as the Jail Blazers) serving Thanksgiving meals: "In between arrests they do community service."

9. "Yeah Ernie, its called defense, I mean I wouldn't know anything about it personally but I've heard about it through the grapevine.

8. "Well, when I went off to college, the guys I used to hang with were pumping gas and voting Democrat. Today they're still pumping gas and voting Democrat. Guess the Democrats didn't do much for them."

7. On being misquoted in his autobiography: "That was my fault. I should have read it before it came out."

6. "Hey Stanley, you could be a great player if you learned just two words: I'm full."-- Barkley yelling to 300-plus-pound Houston Rockets teammate Stanley Roberts

5. "I heard Tonya Harding is calling herself the Charles Barkley of figure skating. I was going to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character."

4. On the All-Star Game: "Hell, there ain't but 15 black millionaires in the whole country & half of 'em are right here in this room."

3. On Jerry Krause still being able to keep his job as GM of the Chicago Bulls: "Jerry Krause must have pictures of his boss's wife having sex with a monkey."

2. After throwing a guy through a 1st floor window in a bar Charles was in front of the judge.
Judge: "Your sanctions are community service and a fine, do you have any regrets?"
Charles: "Yeah I regret we weren't on a higher floor"

1. After an Olympic Dream Team victory over Angola, in which they won 116-48, Charles got into a physical altercation with a member of Angola towards the end of the game, afterward he said: "Somebody hits me, I'm going to hit him back. Even if it does look like he hasn't eaten in a couple weeks. I thought he was going to pull a spear on me."