With the nation’s eyes on Stephen Curry’s next trick shot (this one, balancing the ball on his nose while coming off an Andrew Bogut pick, then flipping it behind him so he can hit a 3-pointer with his behind), the news from the Bay Area is all about the NFL Meetings at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, or as we will come to know them, The Last Knife In The Oakland Raiders.
Sure, the rest of the country wants to know more about Deflate-gate because this is a nation of sheep that can’t wait until Bobby Kraft and Roger The Red pull pistols in the conference room hallway, but this is one of those mildly massive local stories in which the operative phrase, the one we must all recognize for all it means, is the one given those noted snoops Matier y Ross Sunday:
“Gurgling blood,” as in “The deal to build the Raiders a new stadium in Oakland ‘is gurgling blood’ — the only question being when it’s going to be declared dead, according to one Coliseum official close to the talks.”
Now I don’t know how you travel, but when I read “gurgling blood,” I am either seeing another review of Game Of Thrones or being told that some proposal is about to expire. And the NFL is thoughtfully meeting in San Francisco to hear those words and a few others, all designed to help spirit the Raiders into the arms of Carson and the soon-to-be Los Angeles Chargers.
So yeah, take Tom Brady and stick him in your ear, because we’ve got bigger fish to fry. That is, unless you’ve got film of Li'l Bobby and the Ginger Beat Cop pulling pistols.
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Because everything’s a snub and all awards exist only to provide reasons to screw non-winners, the Warriors got no votes for the NBA All-Rookie Team. This outrage, in which 41 players got votes (out of 81 possible rookies), will be avenged by the angry Golden State marketing department with a new collection of T-shirts that reads simply, “#FreeJamesMichaelMcAdoo.”
Hey, laugh all you want, but those were 137 very important minutes. Besides, this is just more proof of West Coast/East Bay bias that started in early April when Portland’s Geoff Clark was named NBA athletic trainer of the year instead of Golden State’s Johan Wang, then Toronto won the media relations crew of the year and continued when Al Whitley of Dallas won NBA Equipment Manager of the Year instead of the Warriors’ Eric Housen.
Maybe if co-owner Joe Lacob spent a little less time worrying about little things like arenas and started working on changing the rotation of the planet, this sort of systematic injustice wouldn’t keep happening.
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And now, for your gambling, tinfoil hat and all-around degeneracy pleasures, here are the officials you don’t want to see for Games 1, 2, 5 or 7 of the Western Conference finals, based on home-road records:
Scott Foster, last among referees likely to work this round both in regular season (.462 home winning percentage) and postseason (.111).
Here’s who you don’t want to see on the road:
Danny Crawford, (.672/.625 home winning percentages).
And here’s the number for Gamblers Anonymous, in case these statistics matter to you as more than just a curiosity: 1-888-424-3577.
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Dan Jennings, the general manager of the Miami Marlins, named himself the logical replacement for manager Mike Redmond. This is already Marlins enough, but if Jeff Loria gets upset enough about attendance still being 28th in the majors and decides to ace marketing head Sean Flynn, Jennings might have to hire himself an intern to handle pitching changes.
You think we’re kidding? The Marlins just released catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whom they still owe $14 million in salary. That may explain why Loria, the owner, chose to explain his thinking to USA Today by saying, “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see the team wasn’t performing. “Everybody in baseball can see it. A lot of players lost accountability, and structure was lacking. We’re supposed to be the Fish. The Marlins. We shouldn’t be the Flounders.”
SHH. Smack his head.
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Fabio Cannavaro, the Italian soccer star, paid a tribute to the departing Steven Gerrard, who is going from Liverpool to the Los Angeles Galaxy, by posting a picture on Gerrard’s Facebook tribute page devoted to of Cannavaro fighting for a ball in the England-Italy World Cup match last year.
Cannavaro thought it was Gerrard. It was Frank Lampard, who other than being tan-resistant, in his 30s and heading for a new gig in America, isn’t really all that close in the separated-at-birth sweepstakes. It proves yet again, though, that all people look alike when you want them to.
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Todd McLellan’s expected new job coaching the Edmonton McDavids reunites him with Drew Remenda, who helped break him in in San Jose seven years ago and is now an analyst for Oilers TV games. If those pregame shows don’t fix the Oilers, then they may as well just give up, more than they already seem to have.
McLellan has declined the opportunity to shave his head, though, in case you're worried about him overplaying his hand.
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And finally, in case your day isn't full of things to complain about, there's this episode of Broadcaster Bias Goes Mad. Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson are working the ESPN broadcasts for the Western Conference Finals. Jackson was fired by the Warriors, and Van Gundy was fired by the Rockets, which means a fair amount of “My former team is stinking the joint out” analysis.
And Breen? The closest he got to getting canned was when the NBA Elite video game series ended, and nobody gets fired by an Xbox.
Yet. There may be an app in development, though.