Where "hundred bajillion" is an actual number, if we're talking about how hot it is in Texas.
- Mavs fans everywhere have been left wanting after 2K Sports announced that the cover of NBA 2K12 would be a choice between Bird, Johnson, or Jordan, and not Dirk Nowitzki. The logical step from simply having Jordan on the cover for 2K11, I'm kind of shocked that more people didn't see this as the logical succession. You can't backslide after having the greatest player ever on the cover of your game, so providing consumers with a choice between that player, and two others who could briefly enter that argument, seems to be the right thing to do. Having at least the option of Jordan on there makes it two years running which, if you exclude Shaq from the 2K6-7 entries, means that the product is once again tied to a singular star, a la Iverson, who starred on the cover from '99-'04. Those were the good ol days.
- On a side note, does anyone else remember when Ben Wallace was the cover athlete for the 2K5 iteration? That was kind of weird. It wasn't that Ben didn't deserve it, being the chief defensive anchor on the team that had just won the title that previous summer. It was just... something about having Ben Wallace and that weird face he was making on the cover, especially after Iverson's solemn and subtle G mug on the cover the year before.
- Over the weekend, I found an old Wilson football that had OJ Simpson's hancock on it. Obviously a licensed product from the days before he fell from grace, I was given enough pause by its odd power that I simply broke down and had to own it, if for nothing more than its inherent qualities as a conversation piece. As a bonus though, it's from the days when footballs and basketballs weren't made out of that weird composite leather that gets super slippery whenever it touches the ground and gets dust on it. Nope, this is real leather, so it's pretty much slippery ALL the time. I tested it by sending my brother deep and pretty much tearing my arm off with a mighty heave that traveled about a quarter of its intended distance, like those scenes in movies where the guy peels out in the car, only to crash into a streetlight about ten feet away.
- I've noticed a trend in a lot of younger NBA players that I can't claim to support. The world seems to advance at such a rapid pace to the point where, for all of my 27 years, I feel I can just as easily whine about the good old days as anyone legitimately from the old days, but I don't feel like this is something that stems only from that. I honestly feel like this current rash of NBA players who are unfamiliar with players who came before them is a large contributor to the sad state of affairs through which basketball is currently wading. Now, I'm not thinking of players like Michael Jordan or Larry Bird, because those players transcended the game to the point where you'd have heard of them even if polo was the only sport you followed. Players like Harold Miner, Robert Pack, and Detlef Schrempf though, seem to illicit the same type of responses from a lot of the newer guys as if they were just any random guy off the street. I'm not deluding myself and claiming that any of those guys contributed any more to the game than what they did, but they're from an era of basketball that was referred to as "the golden age" for a reason. To me, not knowing who came before you is a sign of disrespect for the game, something that 's been more than a minor contributor to getting basketball where it sits currently. Without expending too much more on the subject, let me just say that it shouldn't be that way.
- Baseball needs instant replay. That's all I'm saying about that.
- While we're on the subject of baseball, I think it needs to be said that Barry Zito needs to either learn how to throw a knuckle ball, or retire. In an era where base-hitters and power guys alike have no problem (most of the time) connecting on 100+ mph pitches, Zito's particular brand of sub 90 hurling tends to look more and more like what we all saw in little league where the coach just let everybody pitch, so nobody's feelings would get hurt. The guy still wins games now and again with his awesome, loopy curve that most of the league has been able to time, but you can't have repeated seasons in which you fail not only to win double digit games, but also fail to record double digit games. He's older sure, and the Giants have a fairly decent rotation and bullpen, but Zito (who inexplicably became one of my very favorite players a long time ago) isn't going to add any more power to his arm anytime soon. If he wants to hang around past the third or fourth inning of most games he actually plays in, maybe that knuckleball wouldn't be such a bad idea. To this day, it remains the only pitch that can travel at little league speeds and fool big league hitters. I can't throw one though, so maybe it's not for everybody.
- Last night, I watched NBATV compare Ersan Ilyasova and Kyrylo Fesenko to Kobe Bryant and Amare Stoudemire. While I could increase the word count of this article by saying exactly how they managed to fall down that flight of stairs, the important part is simply that they actually did it. It was interesting, to say the least.
- I finally saw a picture of Davis Bertans. He does need to bulk up. Yes, yes, he certainly does. A lot.