Kind of Reminds Me of…

Do you remember that time LeBron James rushed across the runway of a Bosnian airport, while taking sniper fire, so that he could meet up with an undercover police officer in the men’s room?  Tim Hardaway does and he hates it.

If that doesn’t sound familiar it’s probably because it didn’t happen.  The story is a compilation of three big public statements… followed by even bigger public backpedals.

The details…

– During her Presidential Campaign Hillary Clinton made the claim, on multiple occasions, that she had landed in Bosnia under sniper fire… this was proven false by CBS news.

The Spin: Good ole’ Bill chastised the media for taking advantage of an old woman and her feeble memory.

– On a radio show, in 2007, Tim Hardaway made the statement, “You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known.”

The Spin: Hardaway apologized, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said I hate gay people or anything like that.” but only after being told not to attend any of the NBA’s All Star Weekend events.

– That same year Idaho Senator, Larry Craig, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct after being snared in a men’s room sex sting.

The Spin: “I am not gay. I never have been gay… In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision.”  Craig later filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

So what does all this have to do with King James?

With LeBron’s recent Contraction Confusion, he’s now entered… once again… the swollen ranks of public figures that say one thing and then decide later that it’s vitally important for them to say another.

It is clear from what LeBron said, at first, that he thinks Contraction would be good for the NBA.  He thinks the league would be stronger without the Nets and Wolves… and to be fair, what NBA fan doesn’t?

But that’s something that LeBron isn’t supposed to think, much less say, and so he was forced into saying this…  “That’s crazy, because I had no idea what the word ‘contraction’ meant before I saw it on the Internet…”

It became important, in the eyes of some, that he express a view in complete contradiction to the view previously professed–even if his new stance made him look uninformed and foolish.

Larry Craig needed to get out of that airport.  He needed to make those charges go away… so he said he was guilty.  When it became more important that he not be gay, he said he wasn’t and that his guilty plea was a mistake.

Hillary Clinton needed to seem experienced. She needed to add some drama to her time as First Lady… so she said she’d been the target of a shooter.  When it became more important that she not be seen as a liar, she had Bill attack the media and attempt to shift the focus.

Tim Hardaway wanted to express his disdain for the homosexual lifestyle, so he said… rather emphatically…that he hated gay people.  When it became more important that he keep his position as an NBA ambassador, he apologized and said he was wrong.

It’s no surprise that public figures have to backpedal all the time.  The media, and the public being served by that media, are constantly on the lookout for another new scandal; for the next somebody to say something, so we can all disagree with them–For the next big flub up.

We’ve all done it, we’ve all put our foot in our mouth a time or two.  TheLongTalk certainly has, but that’s not what these examples are about.  This is not someone simply saying “Philadelphia,” when they mean Pittsburgh.  This is someone saying “Steak,” and then pretending they ordered Cheesecake.  These are examples of complete 180’s done by powerful people in full view of the public.  In each case, the person involved got his or her pant leg caught in their own backpedal.  What amazes TheLongTalk is that they even try.  Why not just stand by your story?  Why not just go down with your sinking ship of public opinion?  Or better yet, why not tell the truth the first time?

Hillary didn’t have to make that story up and she should have known she couldn’t prove it.  Larry Craig never should have entered a guilty plead to a crime he didn’t commit, and if he did commit it, he should have owned it.  Tim Hardaway shouldn’t have said he hates gay people, unless he really does hate gay people… and if he does, shouldn’t he stick to it and ask that we, as a people, show him the same level of tolerance and acceptance for his beliefs that we’re supposed to show members of the gay community?

If you believe one thing, and that thing is something that’s not supposed to be said, that’s so politically incorrect or factually inaccurate as to bring down doom on your head… DON’T SAY IT!!! If you do, at least have the spine to stick by it.

Already preparing my recant,
TheLongTalk

Why no love for Tebow?

The Denver Broncos were trailing the Houston Texans 17-0 at half-time and 23-10 with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter.  A come from behind fourth quarter win for a rookie quarterback making his second career start.  And yet Tebow gets no love.  ESPN and Foxsports both called Tebow a “raw rookie from Florida.” ESPN followed this by 3 paragraphs of how the Broncos will take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck if he is still available in next years’ draft.  Foxsports followed this description of Tebow by only 2 paragraphs of how the Broncos should and would take Luck if he was still available.  What?  Seriously?  Didn’t Tebow just earn at least a chance to be the starter in Denver?  Who cares if he just runs, oh wait, that’s right he threw for over 300 yards in the win Sunday.  And yet, no love on ESPN, both the website and Sports Center.

But ESPN and Foxsports are not the only ones showing no love to Tebow.  In their recap of the Broncos game Yahoo writes “And while he may need polish on his delivery and still has plenty of detractors, his awkward style didn’t matter as much as his gumption Sunday.”  Now that’s a backhanded compliment if I’ve ever heard one.  Actually is that even a compliment, probably not.  Again, no love for Tebow.

I don’t remember how many so called NFL “experts” of the aforementioned companies said that Tebow would never make it as a QB.  I suspect that is why there is no love for Tebow.  Every major sports network, website, etc. had at least one person on staff saying how terrible Tebow was going to be as a pro.  And now that he comes from behind to win in the fourth quarter it makes all the NFL “experts” look bad and so no love for Tebow, which is a shame.

I know there are millions of hardcore Tebow fans out there, and believe it or not, I’m not one of them.  Sure, I root for the guy but I haven’t bought his jersey or or became a Broncos fan because he went there.  But I believe that credit needs to be given where credit is due, and Tebow deserves a lot of credit for the Broncos win on Sunday.  Tebow might not be getting praised from anywhere else, but he is getting lots of it this week from #12.  Good job Tebow, I hope you prove all the “experts” wrong.

#12

Heat Take Down the Champs

What a difference a little over a month makes. At the end of November The Heat were 10-8, and they were, for all intents and purposes, struggling.

The media made it into a huge story. Were The Big Three a bust? Was Spoelstra going to be replaced by Riley? Were they players turning on their coach? And the list went on.

Fast forward to the end of December. The Heat are 13-1 this month, with 2 games left to play. Their most recent win comes at the expense of the reigning champs. Granted, the Lakers are struggling of late, but who would have predicted Miami thrashing LA a month ago?

The Bulls have no need to worry – their record of 72-10 is safe and probably will be for years to come, but it will be interesting to see just what the Heat can do with the remainder of the season.

Did you hear about the Sequel to that Reboot?

This is what the Hollywood landscape looks like right now…

At The Box Office
– TRON Legacy: A sequel to a 20 something year old movie that was never popular
– Yogi Bear: A live action outing for a cartoon bear that must be at least 40 years old and was never really popular
– The Chronicles of Narnia #3: The third installment of a franchise that is a distant 78th behind Harry Potter, Twilight, and the like… based on a book that’s probably over 50 and was at one time not all that popular
(Really other then The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, what regular person can name even two more Narnia books… the movie ones don’t count)
– The Fighter: The first non-sequel to make the list
– Tangled: The second non-sequal, sitting firmly at the bottom of IMDB’s listings

Opening This Weekend (The big Christmas weekend)
– Little Fockers: The third in a franchise that never should have happened.  One is enough
– True Grit: The modern remake of a Hollywood classic
– Somewhere: ?
– Gulliver’s Travels: A comedic remake
– The Illusionist: Foreign import
– Country Strong: Gwen’s attempt to launch a country singing career

That’s a grand total of 6 remakes or reboots out of 11 movies.  And the movies that are new are the lowest grossing and least known.  TLT hadn’t even heard of Somewhere until 40 seconds ago.

It’d be easy for TheLongTalk to blame Hollywood for this apparent lack of creativity.  To shout and whine about the death of originality.  To speculate about the intestinal fortitude of those that don’t dare walk even an inch away from the known and established, from the all powerful name recognition and try to create something new…

… but TLT saw TRON and still hasn’t seen The Fighter.  TheLongTalk went to Toy Story 3 but hasn’t bought a ticket for Tangled.  TheLongTalk even saw the A-Team and missed The Rock’s new movie FASTER.  This is really all TLT’s fault.  It’s all our faults.

If we want something new and different, we’ll need to start shelling out some ticket money for new and different… until then we’ll have to be OK with upcoming Highlander reboot, the Spiderman reboot, the Mission Impossible sequel, etc., and etc. 2 “etc. returns”

Coming Soon,
TheLongTalk

Jennings Heated Trade

- TheLongTalk predicted Brandon Jennings recent injury back on October 21st in the Preseason Precog post.  TLT said, “…Milwaukee – Centers getting healthy and PG is due for a sophomore injury.”

It seems as though second years players, especially those whose teams rely heavily on them to stay competitive, break down somewhat in year two.  It happened to MJ, it’s happened to others.

For Milwaukee’s sake lets hope Jennings gets going again, soon.

– The Mavericks stopped the Heats win streak at 12.  It’s interesting to see the way the Heat have started to rattle them off and how the Mavericks just keep themselves in there.  For at least 10 years now the Mavericks have been competitive.  Maybe not always top tier, but always at the edge of it.

– The Orlando Magic have just made the second largest in-season lineup change ever for a team that has hopes of winning this year… or at least as far as the TheLongTalk can remember.

Bring in Shaq Daddy to Phoenix was the biggest system change during the season for any team that hoped to win the Championship that year, which I think Phoenix would have liked to do.  But sending out 4 quality players and taking on 3 potential starters is a pretty close second.

What’s on your mind,
TheLongTalk

Cargument Argument of the Week

This weeks Cargument is a simple one…  Who wins in a battle between Leonardo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes?

#12 with the Right Answer:

TLT and RT90, Wow.  This is way before my time.  I have no idea…really I don’t.  I guess I am showing my youth and TLT’s age.  I’m going to say Leonardo, for no other reason than I remember him more, and I’m a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Possibly the best name ever for a group of superheros/crime fighters.

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help #12

TheRoadTo90’s Reply:

Boy, I must admit, I don’t even remember Snake Eyes. Let me Google him.

Well, it’s a good thing I did. According to Wikipedia (I know, I know) Snake Eyes defeated Cobra Commander single-handedly. I never remember any one of the Turtles defeating Shredder all by themselves.

I’m going to have to go with Snake Eyes on this one, for that reason alone.

TheLongTalk’s Take:

This one is a tough one… Snake Eyes is a lone wolf with mad ninja skills.  He’s tough and super serious. (forget about making him laugh, he doesn’t even talk)  On the other four fingered hand is Leonardo, the team leader and go-to turtle for a team of master’s… trained by a sewer rat.  He doesn’t fool around and don’t get between him and his pizza.

TheLongTalk would have to say this all depends on the situation.  Take the fight into the sewers and Leo wins, but put them on the surface or heaven forbid – in the Vietnamese jungle… Snake Eyes would wipe the floor with our half shelled hero.  In the end TLT suspects this would come down to age and experience… Snake Eyes is a battle hardened bad a$$ and Leonardo’s just a teenager.  GO JOE!!!

Heckling His Own

Apparently Donald Sterling has been overheard heckling his Clippers players, Baron Davis in particular.  What does this mean for a team that is currently rocking a 5-20 record, good for last place in the league? (on the morning of 12/14)

Where do they go from here?
No one, outside of the Clippers organization, expects anything from LA.  San Antonio isn’t circling their Staples Center visit on the calendar or looking at that date as a litmus test… while they are but mostly because of the other Staples Center team.

If the Clippers finished the season 5-77 the biggest story would be the 72-73 Sixers losing their only record.  No one would be particularly surprised.

With no expectations and no support from management the Clippers have nothing to fight for.

So do they come together or fall apart?
It would be interesting to see an NBA version of Major League happen here, complete with a naked cardboard cutout of Sterling in the LA locker room.

How heart warming would it be, and what a great story for ESPN, if this band of nobodies and washouts turned inward and found the strength needed to make the playoffs… and really that’s all they’d need to do to shock the NBA, just make the playoffs.

But it’s just as likely, and probably more so considering Baron Davis’s resume, that this team comes completely undone.  TheLongTalk doesn’t expect this team to actually take the title of Worst Team Ever from the 72-73 Sixers, but it might be a squeakier.  Can this team win more then 10 games?, probably.  More then 20?, that’s tougher to say.  Is Blake Griffin enough insurance against total disaster?

So worst case scenario, is it OK for Sterling to taunt his team?
If the worst were to happen, if Davis checks out even more then he already has, if he starts launching 3’s mindlessly?  If Blake’s knees give out and Kaman goes spaceman?  If Butler and Cook clock out?  What then?

If his team totally quits on him, if they decide their done and just lay down?  Would it be all right for Sterling to heckle them then?

He’s started to soon for sure, the season isn’t even half way over yet, but he’s got to pay them whether they win or not, shouldn’t he get some catharsis, shouldn’t he have some outlet for his anger?  Shouldn’t he be free to say what everyone else is thinking?

TheLongTalk’s take, when you’re the worst team in the league you deserve whatever scorn you get, when you’re out of shape and unconditioned as a player you should expect complaints from ownership… but it’s insane to heckle your own team on your own sidelines.

Keep the team management issues between the team and management and save your heckling for the other guys.  LeBron is just starting to get used to it and Kobe is an old hand, plus he’s right down the hall.

Contraction can’t come soon enough,
TheLongTalk

Ways to Make Baseball More Interesting

Thinking about baseball today, TheLongTalk realized that America’s Former Favorite Pastime doesn’t have to be so lame.  It could be exciting, it could be entertaining, it could be bigger then Football.  If only everyone would listen to TheLongTalk…

Here’s what’d make Baseball better…

- 7 Innings: Shorten the game and more people will watch.  3 plus hours is to long, especially when most of it is spent watching pitchers adjust their junk.

- Batter/Pitcher Play Clock: You got 15 seconds to swing or pitch.  Fail to pitch in 15 and it’s a ball.  Fail to swing, or at least finish banging the dirt out of your cleats, and it’s a strike.

- Peg the Runner: When TheLongTalk was a kid playing kickball the defense was allowed to peg the runner with the ball and it counted as an out.  It was risky, miss and your runner is almost assured another base if not a run… but connect and it’s super fun.  This would be way more thrilling at Baseball’s high speed.

- Get Rid of the Dead Weight: If you don’t take the field you can’t take the plate.

- Bonus Ring: Add a big Bonus Ring somewhere near center field, next to the wall.  Hit it through and your get two points instead of one.

- Contact at Each Plate: Instead of the runner and the catcher being the only people that get to play full contact Baseball, let each basemen into the action.

- 5th Inning Field Trip: Let fans in the front row come onto the field at the end of the 5th inning, just to walk around a little.  Ticket sales, and prices, would go through the roof.

- Toss It Back into Play: Allow fans to toss the ball back into play within 5 seconds and it’s still live… it doesn’t count as a catch, but you can still throw the runner out.  Think about this in the playoffs… hometown fans would be scrambling for loss balls in order to toss them back to their team and visiting fans would be trying to hide them.  It offers the potential for European Soccer Fan levels of hostility.

- Hat Catch: If an outfield can catch the ball in his hat, it counts as two outs.

That’s just a few ideas off the top of TheLongTalk’s head and it seems like anyone of them would make the MLB 500% cooler.  You’d have to change things for each one, but change can be good.  The minor leagues should at least give some of these a try.

Only half joking,
TheLongTalk

Cargument Argument of the Week

This weeks question will keep us in the Holiday spirit and looking at the floor of our local mall…   How much found money is to much to keep?

A few stipulations
– The money you find has been lost by someone, your profit will be their lose
– The money has no identifying markers, it can’t be tracked back to it’s owner
– The only person you can return the money to is a security guard, that will probably just keep it himself

TheRoadTo90’s Reply:
I would love to say that I’d return any amount of money found, but let’s be realistic here. There are two ways to look at the situation, in my opinion. It’s someone’s money – return it. Or, sometimes it seems like an extra blessing from God, like when you find a $20 floating around the WalMart parking lot.

I guess the location and size of the find also have to be factored in. $20 in a parking lot, with no one in clear view? I say take it. $100 in a store, like your local Zales, where it’s very clear who would have lost it, or due to the size of the find, return it.

There’s a wishy washy answer if I ever heard one.

TheLongTalk’s Take:
A found dollar, or maybe even five, is something TheLongTalk wouldn’t worry about hanging on to, but if it’s $10 or more TLT’s going to take it to the security guard.

If the guard takes it that’s his issue, if the person comes back looking for it… it’s their lucky day… but the money’s not in TheLongTalk’s hands anymore.

#12 with the Right Answer:
TLT, this answer is part of what’s wring with America.   And that problem is having the circumstance determine what the right thing to do is.   Why is it any more right for you to keep $5 than $10?   The circumstances, in this case how much money is found, should not determine what we do.   To truly be people of integrity we need to turn the penny we found on the floor into the security station just as much as we do the $1000 cash laying on the floor.   How much is too much to keep?   ANY AMOUNT!   The fact that we even have to ask this question is part of what is wrong in the world today.   I was at a music festival one time and found 2 one dollar bills on the ground, what did I do?   Marched across the campground and turned it in to the security station.   I must admit, I will probably keep a quarter I find on the ground, but and paper found goes straight to the security station.   And that my friends, is the right answer.

Contraction

The New Orleans Hornets will be owned by the NBA soon.  Next summer there’s a 50/50 chance the league will shut down.  David Stern has said the league stands to lose $400 million this year… he’s even mentioned the possibility of Contraction…

So if the league had to lose some teams who would they be?  Here’s what TheLongTalk thinks.

Teams that need to go…

LA Clippers
(West)
– California already has four teams and LA already has a pretty good one
– The owner is a racist jerk
– They’ve been the laughing stock of the league for more then 500 years

Toronto Raptors
(East)
– The National Basketball Association should be contained within this nation
– They lost Bosh, Vince, McGrady, etc. and it’s unlikely they can attract any quality Free Agents
– It’s very possible no one would miss them

New Orleans Hornets (West)
– Katrina left the city unable to properly support a big league basketball team
– They’ve already moved once, they might as well move away
– The NBA owns them so it’d be easy to shut them down

Atlanta Hawks (East)
– They’ve had lots of management problems
– The player laundering of Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, Rasheed Wallace, etc.
– They’ve had very low attendance for a number of years

Memphis Grizzlies (West)
– Small market
– The Pau Gasol trade and the AI signing
– Overall lack of talent

Charlotte Bobcats (East)
– Their one of the newest expansion teams so they should be one of the first to go.
– The East coast needs to lose another one to keep things balanced
– They robbed Larry Bird… he should have owned that team

On the bubble…
– Milwaukee Bucks
– Minnesota Timberwolvies
– Golden State Warriors

Teams that are safe forever…
– LA Lakers
– Boston Celtics
– New York Knickerbockers

Teams that are pretty close to solid…
– Chicago Bulls
– Utah Jazz
– Portland Trailblazers

So what do the rest of you think… RoadTo90 who would you lose?, #12 what team goes goodbye?

Give me your best,
TheLongTalk