Posted by: sportsandbeans | March 28, 2007

Volcano?

by Milo

I’ve just heard that Ronato Alcano, the champion of the World Pool Championship 2006 is now nicknamed/monickered “the Volcano.”

So apparently, they just played on his surname and got Volcano.  You know, remove A from Alcano, and add Vo to the beginning.  I don’t think it’s derived from his personality, unless it is a “dormant” volcano.

Shucks, I believe he deserved a better monicker than that.  After all, he won the most coveted title of World Pool Champion.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but his monicker doesn’t have a history, heck, they don’t even rhyme for speaking ease.  I’m already imagining foreign announcers pronouncing one of the words wrong, a tongue-twister if you may.

“Hailing from Philippines…. Ronato, the vol-K-nohhh, Al-K-Nohhhh!” or “From the Philippines, Ronnie, the vol-KAH-nohhh, Al-KAH-nohhhh!”

Where’s the wit?  Where’s the magic?  The substance? Had they run out of monickers after good ones like “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee, “The Magician” or “Bata” Efren Reyes, “The Rocket” Rodney Morris, “The Scorpion” Johnny Archer, “The Kaiser” Ralf Souquet, Rodolfo “Boy Samson” Luat, Tony “The Tornado” Drago, “The Texas Tornado” Vivian Villareal, “Duchess of Doom” Allison Fisher, “Taisun (Little Genius) Wu Chia Ching, “The Irish Invader” Karen Corr or even Earl “the Pearl” Strickland?

I invite everyone to think of a better monicker for Ronnie Alcano than “the Volcano”.  Just post it in the comments page.

Posted by: sportsandbeans | March 27, 2007

Basketball, Meet the Wall

by Milo

Twin towers, a basketball term used often when you have two very tall athletes manning the middle on the court, usually the power forward and the center.  This height gives them the advantage to grab the balls as they bounce off the ring or board, or intimidate any opponent who approaches their protected zone.

Now just imagine if you have five towers on the court at the same time. Athletic and more mobile than the average beanpole at that.

The Maryland Nighthawks, a team in the American Basketball Association, achieved a Guinness Book world record by producing the tallest lineup in the history of basketball.

Their lineup?  Center Sun Ming Ming at 7’9″, Forwards Gheorghe Muresan at 7’7″ and Ayo Adigun at 7’1″ and guards Deng D’Awol at 7’0″, and Barry Mitchell at 6’8″.

Talk about a wall standing between you and the ring.  You know that there’s a problem if a seven-footer is only the second shortest guy in the line-up.

To put icing on the cake, they emerged victorious in that game as well, with a three-point half-court bomb in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter.

I wonder how they’ll match up against the NBA’s best?  If their 6’8″ guard can bring down the ball with Steve Nash-like ease, he’ll be racking up the assists as he passes the ball to the lumbering giants who only need to raise their arms to dunk the ball (Well, Sun Ming Ming certainly can do that).  They’ll probably have a hard time keeping up with the fast pace of the game, but if they can lock down teams Houston Rockets-like, swatting down shots left and right, then this team would certainly be scary.

Posted by: sportsandbeans | March 26, 2007

Prevent the Painful Bounce

by Milo

Ladies should give this a check to see how important a sports-bra is when doing high-impact activities.  After all, they are designed to give greater support for the chest to increase comfort and reduce the chance of damage to the ligaments of the chest.

Sports Bra - Shock Absorber

Yes, you read that right.  It’s a bouncing breast simulator made by a sports-bra company from United Kingdom.  This flash-based application lets you pick a cup-size and the level of activity that you usually do, and it produces a 3D simulation of one’s breasts when wearing a sports bra, wearing a regular one, and not wearing any at all.

It may look like a bit exaggerated, but I can only imagine.  After all, it’s one of those things that I cannot fully experience on the account of yours truly being a male.

But after viewing it, it looks pretty painful seeing a body part bounce wildly like that.  To think jumping up and down is a pretty tiring task itself that it can cause muscle aches the next day, this simulation really takes the cake in showing the positives of a sports bra.

Posted by: sportsandbeans | March 25, 2007

VKM Wants Out of TNA

by Milo

The TNA tag team Voodoo Kin Mafia (VKM) composed of Kip James and B.G. James actually asked for their releases on their TNA contract so that they could return to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Didn’t these two wrestlers actually challenge WWE’s Degeneration-X’s (DX) Triple H and Shawn Michaels a couple of months back?  Didn’t these two claim that TNA is way better than WWE?

Now it looks like that supposed one-million dollar challenge was just a gimmick to draw fans into watching TNA.  By continuously namedropping WWE and Degeneration-X, fans will flock to see if the match between VKM and DX would actually happen.

Kip James and B.G. James were once members of Degeneration-X, going under the names of “Mr. Ass.” Billy Gunn and Road Dogg Jesse James.  Remember them?  Yup, these were the same duo that help build the long-lasting legacy of Degeneration-X in the Attitude Era.  These were also the same team that was unceremoniously booted out of the company years back that caused the friction between the two parties.

Seeing the successful revival of Degeneration-X in WWE,  their continuous “de-push” in TNA accompanied by the continuous cost-cutting, no wonder they wanted to jump ship.  They must really be itching to relive their popularity back when they were the New Age Outlaws under the banner of Degeneration-X.

After all, Voodoo Kin Mafia’s gimmick is a throwback to the New Age Outlaws.  They make and break the rules, behaving as degenerately as possible. When they first started in TNA, Kip James was known as the Outlaw.  Of course, WWE sued TNA to death if they didn’t change the name since it was too close to the “New Age Outlaws” name.

The team is unhappy and going nowhere fast.  They barely appear on TNA television nowadays.  It was certainly good while their popularity lasted in TNA.

Though the challenge never happened in the ring, DX and WWE certainly won this ongoing tussle with VKM and TNA.  VKM knows it, and shifting to WWE is the only way to save their dying career.

Posted by: sportsandbeans | January 31, 2007

Chargers Behaving Badly

by Milo

To think these athletes supposedly serve as role models for the youth is simply unfathomable.

In the latest legal embarrassment slapped on the San Diego Chargers, safety Terrence Kiel was caught by the police for public urination outside the popular Jbar lounge last month.  He even has pending felony charges of theft and possession of a controlled substance dating back in September.

Chargers’ cornerback Cletis Gordon was arrested for drunken-driving near the area.  Luckily for him, charges were dropped since his blood alcohol was below the legal limit.

Ryan Krause, tight end of the team, was arrested in Pacific Beach while linebacker Steve Foley is facing two DUI counts slapped by an off-duty police officer who suspected him of driving drunk. Also, linebacker Shaun Phillips was arrested last April after a struggle with police.

Yes, they never once claimed that they are role models for the youth, but it does not mean that they have the right to run amuck the streets just because they are star athletes.  People watch their games with overwhelming support, yet this is how they repay the fans — by making fools out of themselves, a hard slap across their faces of their supporters, their management and their team.

It will be somewhat forgivable if their actions resulted from their overflowing emotion outburst inside the playing field.  However, criminal acts that could result in more than a game suspension and need legal action are simply unforgivable.  Such actions are an embarrassment to football and in the world of sports in general.

I hear the slogan, “Get your child into sports” every now and then.  This is certainly what sports does not need right now, another controversy to tarnish its name.  I just hope that it doesn’t reach the point that sports are said in the same sentence as drugs and law trouble.

Posted by: sportsandbeans | January 30, 2007

Goodbye Barbaro

by Milo

And now, a moment of silence for one truly fine thoroughbred who has passed away; a story of a 4-year-old bay colt’s fight for life ended in a death note.

Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner regarded as one of the best colts ever to race, was euthanized after going through an eight-month painful journey in hopes of recovering from a breakdown during the Preakness Stakes.  According to the co-owner Roy Jackson, “It was going to be difficult for him [Barbaro] to go on without pain.”

Barbaro won his first three races on turf, the Holy Bull Stakes, the Florida Derby and of course the Kentucky Derby convincingly.  No one had a chance when Barbaro was around.  He was well on his way towards claiming a Triple Crown as many believed could happen especially with his six wins in seven starts.

In Preakness, this prestigious Grade 1 stakes race last May 20, Barbaro’s right hind leg flared out and shattered prompting everyone to rush the valant colt 30 miles to the New Bolton Center where Barbaro underwent a five-hour operation to fuse two joints.

Eight months after, including several surgeries, braces, slings, casts and procedures to nurse him back to health, and several setbacks like a series of ailments including laminitis in the left rear hoof and an abscess in the right rear hoof in between, the owners together with the surgeon decided to give the colt its peace.

There was a glimpse of hope last December.  Barbaro’s broken bones were almost healed and the colt was doing daily walks outside his intensive care unit, a sort of rehabilition for the injured.  However, the laminitis, a disease that can cause damage to the lamellar tissues, continued to worsen.

Horse racing fans all over also did their part in helping the colt survive.  Gifts, religious medals, e-mails were given to Barbaro topped off with 1.2 million dollars coming from the “Barbaro Fund” in order to purchase the much needed equipment for the colt’s survival.

Sadly, Barbaro was struck down by a disease most fatal to horses that it was a miracle for him to survive for this long.  Many horses with this disease more often than not are killed to relieve them from the pain.  In human terms, it’s apparently as painful as having all of your fingernails and toenails peeled off simultaneously.

Once again, we bid you farewell as you run races through the Rainbow Bridge amongst the other champions there.

Posted by: sportsandbeans | January 29, 2007

C-Webb’s New Lease in Life, Kidd’s New Free Throw, AI Divorce?

by Milo

He’s still not the same Chris Webber, not even the same C-Webb of last NBA season, but at least, he’s back scoring double digits for his new team and making most of his 28-35 minutes on the court.  Detroit fans will be content with this veteran acquisition.

Detroit is still not in its rebuilding stages, so acquiring a veteran could be a wise choice.  They sorely needed another big man manning the paint with a keen court sense and the ability to pass the ball.  They certainly found it in Webber.

His 17-minute debut with the Pistons sucked and the Pistons came home with a loss.  He scored only 2 points in 1 of 5 shooting with 3 assists and 5 rebounds.  However, they managed to test the waters and see that the Piston fans accepted Chris Webber.

In four out of his next five outings, Webber scored in double digits, two of them with a double double, proving that the man can still play amongst the new breed of the NBA.  Though he can only come up with an occasional block, this man can swallow rebounds in the paint, thus freeing Rasheed Wallace to play around farther from the paint.  Sheed’ was never the greatest post player anyway.

In all of these four outings, Detroit came out with victories, something that they’ve been struggling to get since they got a new coach and threw away the heart and soul of the team in Ben Wallace.  Nazr Mohammed somehow couldn’t click with the team’s system thus leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the Pistons team.  This time, Webber filled that hole nicely.

Certainly a new lease in life for C-Webb.

However, I need to mention their sole loss among those five games.  They lost against Washington, in a tight contest which ended 96-99.  This game exposed C-Webb’s greatest weakness; he certainly cannot run anymore to match speed for speed.  He struggled, shooting only 3 of 7 for only six points, turned the ball over 4 times and missed all of his free throws.  He still did grab 7 rebounds though.

And this is against Washington, a purely offensive team with no defense.  He simply just couldn’t match-up with Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood.  I can understand crumbling against Jamison, but Haywood is another story as he is an underachieving center nowadays.

The Pistons team is certainly be better with Webber up in front, but in my view, he will not be enough to garner victories over tougher, faster teams.

Especially if Webber registers another DNP – injury again.

Kidd’s New Free Throw Routine 

Maybe another reason to watch a New Jersey Nets game?  Play spot the new routine!

One of the NBA’s well-known free throw routines just got a makeover.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BDI7uM1AxA]

In the video above, it showcases Jason Kidd’s famous free throw routine that consists of puckering his lips and blowing a kiss to his wife before shooting.  According to Kidd, this is to let his wife know that he’s thinking about her.

Now that Jason and his wife are having a highly-publicized marital combat, notice the subtle, if you can call it subtle, change in his routine.  Last January 11, 2007 in the game against the Chicago Bulls, he unveiled his new routine en route to having a triple-double (23 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists.)  He placed his hand on his mouth first, rubbed it on his backside, and shot the free throw.

I wonder what it means? *cheeky grin*

Lucky for all the J-Kidd fantasy owners and his team, this change hasn’t affected his superb free throw percentage since he has been doing this routine for the longest time.

You may still see glimpses of this new routine every now and then, so watch a Nets game now.

Iverson Divorce?

Speaking of marital combats, no one wants to speculate anything, but since the NBA fan is fresh off the Jason Kidd legal marriage battle, any little move by a NBA player’s wife that involves an attorney can be a sign of another divorce proceeding.

Tawanna Iverson, wife of Denver Nuggets Superstar, Allen Iverson was supposedly spotted by sources of the Philadelphia Daily News that she had met with at least one divorce attorney in Philadelphia. No divorce papers have been filed as of now.

It’s sad to see the celebrity divorce bug running rampant again.  Hopefully this one does not push through especially since they already have four children.

Long weeks & months of being away from the family certainly takes a toll on the relationship, hence the recent celebrity breakups.  Citing “irreconcilable differences”, whatever they may be, also helps.

Posted by: sportsandbeans | January 26, 2007

“Sox Appeal?” — What the?

Miloby Milo

One day, one producer thought, what if one found his soulmate in a ballpark?

Then, “Sox Appeal” was born.

Apparently, the same producers of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” are teaming up with New England Sports Network to create a reality dating TV show where a single person takes three prospects in the hopes of landing a sweetheart while watching a Boston Red Sox game.  The time “alone” per prospect is measured by two innings.  After two innings, the other one takes over to have a personal one-on-one.  Prospect better wish that innings would last long, wish for more home runs than outs.

When the seventh inning starts, the single person will now decide which among the three prospects he/she wants to watch the rest of the game with.

Geez, and you thought they could not possibly put another spin on the tired reality TV dating concept.  It’s also perfect for Red Sox fans who want to watch a baseball game with a little more “drama.”

Nahhh…

Plus, the producers is strongly holding to the idea that whatever happens in the ongoing baseball game will affect the mood of the dates.

Really crazy if you ask me.  It’s as though they are hoping that some people will get immersed so much in the game that they will forget that they are on a date.

It can happen — they must really ensure that whomever they pick to be in this show has to be a die-hard, “will travel heaven and earth” fan of the Boston Red Sox for it to actually work.  Otherwise, it just simply would not work thus placing “Sox Appeal” on the pile of “never was” television shows.

They surely must have better ideas for a TV show than this right?

<crickets chirping>

None?  Oh well…

To its credit, I really like the title of the show though.  Cheesy, but effective.

Posted by: sportsandbeans | January 25, 2007

Move AK-47 out of Salt Lake City – Part 2

Miloby Milo

Another reason to ship Andrei Kirilenko out of the Utah Jazz recently surfaced, and it came straight from the man they nicknamed AK-47.

He is unhappy, and he recently whined that reached the wide ears of the media. Kirilenko complained that he is not anymore involved in Utah’s offense that he just moves back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and I go to sleep.”

Say that again Andrei? This statement makes me wonder why he doesn’t realize why he isn’t involved in Utah’s offense. Once the ball gets to him, it never touches another teammate’s hands unless he shoots it. When he shoots it, it’s most likely a low-percentage three point shot. It’s ok if he had a dead aim from beyond the arc. However in reality, he doesn’t, as evidence by his atrocious twenty-two percent from the rainbow country.

Complaining won’t get you anywhere, Andrei. Your owner, Larry Miller, said in a radio interview that “you are putting yourself on thin ice” because of this whining. How about you produce again and start working off your large paycheck? Just because you are regarded as a star last year does not mean that it gives you the right to play atrociously and whine when your coach cuts back on your minutes.

In case you have not noticed, all your stats are down from last year. Your field goal percentage is severely on the downside, you foul a lot, and you do not do your share of the load in defense. The great Kirilenko cannot rebound, steal and defend as much as he was able to the last few NBA seasons. Yes, you are still an extreme blocker, but even your blocks are way down this year. Give the coach a reason to hand you minutes. The way that I see it, you are actually getting the minutes that you deserve.

In this offense-oriented style of the new NBA, there is still room for defense. In fact, believe it or not, Phoenix Suns’, regarded as one of the teams with a lackluster defense, has actually upped their defense a bit. Check the stats. Dallas is on top because they have defense. So is San Antonio.

“It’s not interesting to play only defense,” Kirilenko notably said. Wait, did somebody actually tell you to play only defense? Plus, if you would’ve tried to make moves in getting a higher percentage shot, then maybe they will run the offense through you more. Stop floating around the three-point area, and get back to your specialty in tip-ins and lay-ups, all with higher-percentages. You know that you are blessed with the athleticism to operate in the middle, and not with a sweet jumper release so use it. Don’t be something that you are not.

Suck up your ego, Andrei, and get back to work.

With this, I leave you with an Antonio Daniels clip, a man who has only one dunk in his repertoire.

Miloby Milo

With Carmelo Anthony back from suspension, the Denver Nuggets routed the Memphis Grizzlies 115-98. Anthony and Allen Iverson co-existed quite well. Anthony poured in 28 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds while Iverson chipped in 23, 7 dimes and 4 boards. Iverson also played “showtime” with his new partner by making fancy passes en route to Anthony dunks, seemingly to smite all detractors.

Marcus Camby was also superb by grabbing 17 boards while notching 17 markers as well. J.R. Smith and Nene provided the spark off the bench with 19 and 11 points respectively.

Yes, it may still be too early to tell if this bond will last. And yes, they only faced a “fierceless” Grizzlies team that looked like they are gunning for the lottery since the NBA season began.

However, I believe that Anthony and Iverson can work together, not because of these two, but due to the latest acquisition of the Denver Nuggets organization, their new and starting point guard, Steve Blake. He is filling in superbly for now-76er Andre Miller. Plus, Blake has a better shooting touch from midrange and behind the arc compared to Miller.

To keep two or more “superstars” happy, I always believed that a team will need an unselfish point guard, one that will ensure that there are plenty of balls to go around. He does not need to be a superstar who will score 25 points per game. He just needs to dictate the tempo and make smart decisions for the team.

This is exactly what Blake did as he handed out 12 assists in 36 minutes in this game. Kinda Steve Nash-like. A little more accuracy as he has already shown in his entire stay in the Nuggets team so far would’ve elevated him to that Nash level in this Grizzlies-Nuggets game.

With Blake at the rider’s seat of the Denver offense, Denver avoids having Iverson hog the ball too much and Anthony wanting the ball too much. The point guard dictates the tempo and the offensive play in each ball possession, thus deciding on who is in the best position to score the bucket.

Hey, they’ve been winning lately with Blake manning the ball.

It takes a load out of Anthony and Iverson’s minds too. Since Anthony and Iverson did not have the ball at the beginning of the Denver offense, they were able to use their athletic prowess and focus on penetrating the so-called defensive wall of the Grizzlies. In fact, Anthony made all his drives and jams, including an alley-oop from Iverson, but missed on all his jump shots.

I applaud their coach for realizing a real need for a pass-first point guard in their main five as he opted to stick with Blake as their starter even if Anthony, Smith and Iverson are around. The initial speculation was that Blake will lose his minutes in favor of Iverson being the point, Smith the 2 spot, and Anthony being the 3. So far, this was not the case at all.

Smith instead got the sixth man role, and indeed he made good use of it, knocking down 4 three-pointers in 24 minutes of play. He’s adjusting to his new role pretty well, as seen in his improving stats each game. A streaky shooter in his career, J.R. Smith is perfect for an instant offensive boost off the bench. He now realizes the value of the role, and he’s showing it.

Blake may not reach the same star level as that of Iverson and Anthony, but if the Nuggets remain successful with him at the point, the organization must thank and regard this soon-to-be 27-year-old guard in the same light as the team’s two superstars.

They have all the ingredients of a championship-caliber team, and they have a true pass-first point guard in Steve Blake to whip them all together into a scrumptious grade-A champion. Blake will be the vital gear in the Nuggets system who oversees the entire game in order to make all his teammates happy, keeping their egos and selfish superstar nature at bay.

Just like Steve Nash where he needed a new team to make it big (Nash originally played in Phoenix, then got traded to Dallas), Blake may be big for his new team in the Nuggets. In the previous four games he has played for Denver, he is shooting 54%, netting 3.3 three-pointers, 75% FT, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.3 blocks with an average of 14.0 points. We all have to start somewhere.

Just like Nash, Blake can run too, fitting perfectly in the fast offense Denver plays. Nash also started in the league and played four seasons with little impact in the league. It’s only in his fifth year that Nash started to make waves. Blake is currently in his fourth year in the NBA, and with the opportunity presented to him in Denver, he can only improve and start to make waves.

Blake also played extraordinary defense in any situation that game, and also handled and passed the ball with precision that resulted in points for his team. Plus, he only had one turnover! 12 assists with only one turnover! Take that Nash!

Denver is looking better by the minute, and to me, looks similar to the Phoenix’s current lineup. One pass-first point guard in Blake, one dominating middle man in Camby, two good wing men in Iverson and Anthony and a scrapper in Reggie Evans, or Kenyon Martin if he returns from his ever-injured state. They also have a sixth-man in JR Smith. I maybe going crazy here, but this is a really promising reality if they could continue working together.

In fact, head-to-head, it’s a pretty good match-up.

Phoenix Suns Denver Nuggets
Nash, Steve Blake, Steve
Bell, Raja Iverson, Allen
Marion, Shawn Anthony, Carmelo
Diaw, Boris Martin, Kenyon
Stoudemire, Amare Camby, Marcus
Barbosa, Leandro Smith, J.R.
Thomas, Kurt Evans, Reggie
Banks, Marcus Diawara, Yakhouba
Jones, James Johnson, DerMarr
Jones, Jumaine Hilario, Nene
Burke, Pat Kleiza, Linas
Marks, Sean Najera, Eduardo
Piatkowski, Eric Sampson, Jamal
Rose, Jalen

We may be actually seeing the birth of Steve Nash’s successor.

Maybe it’s not a coincidence they were both named Steve.

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