Friday, March 31, 2006

An Evening With Stephen A. Smith...

Last October, Deadspin, who chose us numero uno super debonaire & incredible Houston sports blog in February (that's our interpretation), took a field trip to a taping of Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith and wrote some funny stuff on it. I don't know if Duke read that entry, but he and Train pulled me out of my cave to attend this past Wednesday's taping of Stephen A. for my birthday. I wasn't sure why. Stephen A. doesn't inspire particularly strong feelings either way for me as he does for most. So it heckle him. Then there was the guest: Jerry Rice, my favorite football player of all time... when I was 12 years old. But Duke didn't know that so it was just a coincidence. One thing's for sure... Stephen A.'s still standing. The questions are how and why.

The highlight of the night was Whopper Jr.'s, free sodas and cotton candy... and us getting the crowd to chant Jerry!Jerry!Jerry! like Springer. Then a weasely PA or "associate producer" named "Brian" had us change it to a paced, more traditional Jer-ry, Jer-ry, Jer-ry cadence. So, to spite his attempts to "warm up" the crowd, we tried the collective blank stare during applause... there's at least one guy every studio audience who just couldn't give a shit about being there. Take a look. We tried to get our whole row. I don't know if we got on tape.

Later we got to ask Stephen A. questions and hear his highly-biased and unsupported responses. I got Duke to ask him if he thought Yao Ming "had arrived." I figured the cheese factor of the Asian guy asking it would blow a fuse somewhere. Stephen A.'s answer was no, "not yet, but he's getting there." He said he's not a "dog" yet, but he's "learning to be a dog."

He said, "like it or not, champions are dogs." I said we eat dogs... but I don't think he heard me.

Then there was the interview... it was... boring. Jerry pretty much just talked about Dancing With the Stars and how much it had changed his life. But something interesting happened during a commercial break. Earlier, while the PAs were seating us before the show, I saw someone wearing Terrell Owens' 49ers jersey. I noted it to Duke and Train. I promised them that Jerry would notice it. Sure enough, during the first commercial break, Jerry shouts rather abruptly, "I see T.O's in the house!" and really, pretty awkwardly. The wearer of the jersey just pointed at the 81 and laughed. Jerry tried to let it pass... but then he brought T.O. up again, tried to joke about it... and then again. He even tried to praise him, but his face was strained, betraying his distress. T.O. was still on his mind... he couldn't let it go. It was a little sad. Again, that's our interpretation.

Duke, regale us with the story of how Jerry tried to teach Stephen A. the jive. Hilarious. So, after our two-hour experience in the land of ESPN2-land or 2nd Floor of the Pennsylvania Hotel, we know a few things for certain... most NBA players don't eat dogs and Jerry Rice is sensitive.

Oh, and Robert Wuhl was there. He likes baseball.

Hey Deadspin... how do we do screencaps?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Finding Theo: Rockets Go a Different Direction

Les Alexander is finally shelving GM Carroll Dawson. It's been a long, strange trip for The Man... Men. Alexander is apparently hoping what worked for the Red Sox with Theo Epstein will work for the Rockets--inasmuch as he's found some young dude in Boston to take over, Daryl Morey.

Morey has no real sports background to go with his new digs, but he's a geeky stat guy... so, is he winning his fantasy basketball league? What about his NBA 2K6 Franchise? What does his NCAA bracket look like? These are things we should ask and things that should help. He did go to MIT... so my mom will like him.

We'll miss CD somewhat... I guess... we'll miss how much he looks like a televangelist. In that way, he was kind of perfect for Schizopolis.

Houston's Clear Thinker is happy to hear about the change, though they aren't any less ashamed of the Rockets.

The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice knows Billy Beane, has studied Billy Beane, and says to Morey, "you sir, are no Billy Beane." Always hit the moneyball.

Bullets in the Head: Payback's a Bitch

Rockets win 115-87 over Seattle. In an obvious statement of retribution, the Houston Rockets avenged--and perhaps overcompensated in their swift justice--a dubious loss by the Rockets Power Dancers to Seattle's "Sonic Boom Boom" dance team in the Dance Team Tournament of Champions.

In a game which Seattle shoots 22.5% from the field in the first half and Jesus goes 1-for-13 for the game, there was nothing funnier than Johan Petro fouling Yao Ming... on the tip-off. This after Sonic wins against the Grizzlies and Spurs.

Szczerbiak Nano
, or Richie Frahm, drops 16 in his best game since becoming a Rocket.

Yao gets love, love, love, love... crazy love from Carmine Pirone at where he's compiled all the gushing praise and adulation he could find for Yao's recent awakening.

Our favorite is, of course, from Bill Walton--not as crazy as we would have liked, but nice all the same:

“I'm ecstatic for his success, 28 and 14 since the break, the most improbable story this year. Analyzing and watching Yao--all his progress has been in the development of a mental edge. He had to get the toe fixed, yes, but he's durable and doesn't have physical limitations that would keep him from achieving things. Players usually figure things out their third year in the league and Yao has figured out that he can't wait around for others to do the job, and also that he's so much bigger, stronger, smarter and better than a lot of players in this league.” Bill Walton-ESPN and ABC television analyst

Heather comes from a long line of 50-foot women... and she's Rockets Power Dancer of the Week.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

One With Being One

Back in February, our new favorite blog, Deadspin, named us numero uno Houston Rockets fanblog. Of course, we didn't know this until now because we're lazy and hadn't set up a blogroll or registered with Technorati... until now... okay, we still haven't gotten around to that blogroll.

We have to admit that upon seeing our designation among the apex of Houston sports blogs, we weren't initially sure how to feel... would there be hoards of Rockets fans suddenly bombarding our e-mail accounts with questions and comments seeking our advice and insights? Would the mainstream sports media start asking us for our in-depth analysis of Yao and his exploits? The answer... no.

There's still nobody reading this thing. But we'll come to terms with this number one, even if no one cares.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It's Still My Birthday ...and I Want More Clowns

Clowns need love, too.

Welcome to the Show: Big Top Knicks... Can't Stop, Won't Stop

For Ari... it's my birthday today... but my gift to you is... clowns!

The circus is in town! No, this one, but that one, too.

Now that all of Globetrotter has relocated to New York (Train made the move in Feb.), we've been considering adding the glorious circus that is the New York "Big Top" Knickerbockers to our repertoire in a segment called "Welcome to the Show" featuring Klowny...

But how do we approach it? Should we Flash-animate Nate Robinson shot from a cannon? Should we provide transcripts of confessionals from a made-up reality show a la The Surreal Life (and J. E. Skeets for that matter)? Or is there no need to clown the Knicks anymore than they already do it themselves. 'Cause it wouldn't be so much a fan blog as watching an anthropological experiment, or a psycho-social case study... or a trainwreck.

One thing's for sure, with Zeke in the center ring, The Show is all year 'round. So we'll have plenty of time to come up with something... if we so decide.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Globetrotter Presents... The Battle of Tokens

Before we close the book on this ridiculousness, we want to settle this Houston vs. Seattle business once-and-for-all in a dance off between each team's respective token Asian member. Globetrotter proudly presents...

Battle of Tokens! The Final Showdown: Maria vs. Asia!

Wait... Asia's not Asian. That's confusing... let's fix this... cut here, trim there... okay, now... a dance-off between Maria of the Houston Rockets Power Dancers vs. Carolyn of the Seattle Sonics Dance Team (whom we like to call Sonic Boom Boom)...

The Battle of Tokens! The Showdown of Asian American Professional Sports Dancers (a perfectly respectable way to make a living even though your parents--who'll let you do it as long as you don't quit your day job--don't think so):

It's like that one episode of Project Runway Season 2 when Zulema totally made the models do a walk-off... not that we watched that show or anything... but we should totally put up this ballot to see who would win. It's like, totally offensive, we know, but we can totally get away with this 'cause we're like, totally Asian and American... you see.

Vote in the sidebar!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cinderella No More: Rockets Power Dancers Fall Short of Final Four

Houston breathes a collective sigh of resignment. We are losers yet again...

But for a while there, we could sit back... amid the disappointment... amid T-Mac's mounting DNPs... even a six game losing streak... and say to ourselves... at least the Power Dancers are winning. Upset after upset they moved on. Deeper and deeper among the field of 64--er, 30--but then, last night, Cinderella died... is that how that cliche goes? Anyway, the RPD got trounced 59% to 41%.

It wasn't fair. Seattle had fucking boudoir photos. What the hell? Those bikinis look a lot like lingerie, and they look a lot like their about to spring right off. Damn you, Seattle Dancers publicist and marketing coordinator. Damn you for making us love you. Honestly though, Jillian (pictured, yea... that's right) is carrying the squad. The rest of you ladies need to step it up. You were lucky. I blame the timezones. Fucked up my bracket.

Actually, Sacto knocked out the Laker Girls in the first round so my bracket was busted from the giddyup. I had the Girls making the Final Four on tradition alone--like one of those college teams that gets to the Sweet Sixteen a lot... who's that one team... we don't really watch college... maybe if Houston had a team... but what's that good team... the Devils? No, that's hockey, but speaking of the Devils... we had Jersey making the Finals in a huge upset over Miami, but it looks like the Knicks Dancers are gonna win their matchup--bunch of snobs. Jersey girls are so much cooler. Trashy enough to smoke Parlliaments and chug with you and just hot enough to get you into clubs. Skankalicious!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Latrell Sprewell is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 124)

We had a fever... and the only cure was Latrell Sprewell. And then we picked this up offa Lil Dice at I Heart KG, who picked it up offa Marc Stein's Daily Dime:
Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy acknowledged Tuesday night that he has reached out to Latrell Sprewell to see if he could tempt his old Knicks favorite into a comeback with a team that has no salary-cap means to offer more than minimum wage.

It's an offensively-challenged team that could arguably have used Sprewell as a No. 3 option when Tracy McGrady was healthy . . . and thus a squad that, if it's still clinging to playoff fantasies, could certainly find some shots for him now with McGrady lost for the season and the No. 8 spot in the West 5 1/2 games out of reach.

"I did call," Van Gundy said.

Without getting a return call.

"Which means," Van Gundy quickly added, "that he's not interested."
Jeffy knew what was right all along. But he knew it was a delicate sitcho. He played it soft... laid back in the cut... until the shit was too thick. He always had Spree's number... it was on his speed dial... he dialed it. And Spree never dialed back. It was the kind of shunning Jeffy'd dealt with well. With the ladies... that's one thing. Skirts were always the wrong turn in the wrong alley on the wrong side of town to Jeffy. But this was too much. Shunned by a friend... and left to the lonely, smog-filled nights of Houston. Spree would not be.

Latrell Sprewell is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 48)
Latrell Sprewell is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 36)

Latrell Sprewell is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 10)
Latrell Sprewell Is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 2)
Latrell Sprewell is Still Not in a Rockets Uniform (Day 1)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bullets in the Head: Rockets Sign Szczerbiak Nano

Missed last night's game vs. the Clippers, but looking at the boxscore I noticed a new addition. The Rockets have picked up Wally Szczerbiak's lesser clone, Richie Frahm. The Timberwolves released Richie on March 16, no doubt in an effort to uniformly cross platforms to a newer, faster Ricky Davis 5.0. The sight of Richie only reminded them of Wally. It's like those women who cut their ex out of all their old photographs. Poor Richie just got caught in the crossfire.

Lexie is Rockets Power Dancer of the Week. We thought about discontinuing this, but Lexie wants to be an accountant. That sexy accountant we've been dreaming of.

Lexie also loves Battlestar Galactica. Holy shit, she's a geek's dream come true. She'll watch the Cyclons raid colonies with you and do your taxes.

Houston at Dallas tonight. Rockets have obviously been struggling (0-5) without Mac in their toughest stretch of schedule this season. Yao's kept up the numbers but we haven't been able to watch many of the games. We think Yao's gotta put up 40 or 50 points to beat the Mavs or the Spurs for that matter. Or the other Rockets gotta make some of those wide-open shots.

Rockets at Dallas 8:00p EST on TNT. We'll holler.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Yao Ming is The Searcher

Another casting call for the Yao Meets West spot... if you don't know what I'm talking about, click here. is seeking a little Chinese/Asian girl for the
UNICOM commercial featuring YAO MING.

The commercial will air in Hong Kong.

An audition will be required. Auditions will most likely be held Monday afternoon, March 20, but that is tentative.

If you are interested in being considered, please send a JPG photo of your child to
The imaginary continuation of a previous hypothetical pitch meeting:
Okay, here's a better idea... there's a little Chinese girl there, kidnapped years ago, and Yao has to rescue her... only when he finds her, you know after he beats the Indians--er, Native Americans--one-on-five, he discovers that she's become one of them. And it disgusts him... and he doesn't want her back. It's like Yao meets John Wayne. We'll even give him a hat.
The result:

Friday, March 17, 2006

Yao Dances With Whitey

While I was doing some freelance film work a few years back in Houston, I was somehow added to the mailing list of, an agency that sends out casting calls via e-mail to all those on the list. I received this one for a Yao Ming spot today: is seeking HISPANIC and NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN basketball players for a UNICOM INTERNET SERVICES commercial starring YAO MING of the Houston Rockets. The concept involves YAO MING trying to get past a basketball team of NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS.

Dark skinned Caucasians may also be considered.

Candidates must be in shape and have athletic skills – you must be able to handle a basketball convincingly. Obviously, the taller the better. Long hair is a plus. An audition will be required.

Men, ages 18-35. Hispanic, Native American Indian or dark-skinned Caucasian may submit. If you are 35+ and in shape, go ahead and submit as well just in case.

If you are interested in being considered, please send a JPG photo along with the following information to:

The commercial will air in Hong Kong.
If you've never seen casting calls, they aren't exactly what you would call... culturally sensitive, but this nugget of hilarity takes the red velvet cake. Who was the braintrust behind this great steaming load of progressive marketing genius? Just imagine the pitch meeting:
Yao's lost in the desert--it doesn't matter how he gets there, he's a foreigner in a foreign land, he gets lost, but he's in a uni because we need to know it's Yao, because non-basketball fans might not know the 7' 6" Chinese guy was Yao unless he's in the uni, and he needs to get back to the Toyota Center for a game, but Yao, he stumbles across this ancient Indian basketball ground. And these Indian--what? Oh, Native American's suddenly appear and challenge him to a game... no, it doesn't matter if they're actually Native American... I don't know if there's any around. We'll just dress some guys up in the feather thing, some really tan guys, just make sure they have a jumpshot.
Magical. We envision the result would be this:

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bullets in the Head: Can the Houston Rockets Make the Playoffs Without Tracy McGrady?

The answer so far... no. Maybe. Probably not. Maybe... yes, I believe they can--maybe not.

Rockets lose second straight and Van Gundy gives Nets credibility to feel better.

Maria is Rockets Power Dancer of the Week. Maria is a former Texas transplant to NYC... just like we are now! Maria was also a writer... just like we are now! We have so much in common with Maria, we feel like we already met her, and tried to ask her out, at a nightclub, after an awkwardly long stare, and too many drinks, and embarrassingly slurred our measly proposition of a movie, dutch, no dinner but popcorn, and got turned down, not so much with a no, but with a "I have to go to bathroom, stay here, I'll be right back," only she never came back, and then found out later she knows our ex-girlfriend and told her everything, and they laughed, and everybody knows that she totally stoned us.

Houston calls up this Fitch guy and then releases him. Awkwaaarrrd.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bullets in the Head: Yao Ming... Still Good

Yao's still doin' it. And he doesn't know why. Rockets rally from down 17 to beat the Indiana Pacers and recent additions Keith Bogans and Rick Brunson are key. Mac, though, goes down again... Can Houston make the playoffs without Mac now that Yao's stepped up?

Yao finally joins the 20-10 club and Van Gundy rants. Chronicle writers have apparently knighted Yao or something and are smothering him with the kind of love that scares you.

John P. Lopez, who used to call him the Above Average Wall, is now proud to call him The Great Wall.

Here's a quote from Peja Stojakavic from the Chronicle:
"He's unstoppable right now," Pacers forward Peja Stojakovic said after Yao's 38 points and 10 rebounds led the Rockets' come-from-behind 103-99 win. "He reminds me of when Shaquille O'Neal was in Los Angeles and winning championships."
Well, even we think Predrag might be overselling it a little, but we no longer question his mental toughness anymre or "clutchness" as Duke likes to call it.

Why isn't Yao's recent play a bigger story in the national sports media? Is it Kobe going nutter the last four games puttin' up 40+ or Paul Pierce goin' me Me Against the World on Washington and Philly? Or is it something else? Could it be because some of you already laced the hate too thick and a retraction would just make you look silly? Yao's killing it right now. Retract yo' self.

Nicole is Rockets Power Dancer of the Week. She'd rather be executing pirouettes but ballet dancers don't get a lot of autograph requests. She barely remembers when the Rockets last won the title... she's young.

Segue: is doing a Dance Team Tournament of Champions by fan voting. The RPD crew of Houston is already into the second round and on March 15th will be facing the Jazz Dancers who had a bye (because as Mormons who drop it like it's hot, their direct challenge to religious authority earns them this less than divine right). RPD move on after stomping the Denver Nuggets Dancers 78% to 28%. But that's nothing compared to the drubbing Miami's dance team gave Charlotte (91% to 9%). Come on, it's Miami. They don't get a bye?

Shortly after being waived by Houston, Jon Barry has decided to retire. We miss Jon-boy already.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Bullets in the Head: Rockets Win, And So Does Bullshit Movie

Rockets beatdown Blazers but T-Mac goes down in the third.

Yao makes another bid for Western Conference Player of the Week, dropping 32 pts, 13 rebs last night, 21 and 9 on Friday, 22 and 13 Wednesday and 27 pts, 18 rebs in a loss to Phoenix on Monday.

The 2-2 record though should give the award to the Matrix, whose already taken Western Conference Player of the Month for February.

Friday, March 03, 2006

NBA Rockets in the Head

Our Houston Rockets exchange "big offseason acquisition" Derek Anderson for another Kentuckian with less expectations--all part of easing the transition of Leslie Alexander's master plan to move the Rockets to Lexington.

Rockets win. Vintage T-Mac. Swift gets back into the rotation. Deke gives Denver the one-finger salute.

Rockets delete Jon Barry, paste Rick Brunson, the son Van Gundy always wanted. We're sorry to see Jon-boy go... just one Barry left.

Andrei Kirilenko is dubbed "luckiest man in the world" because his wife looks the other way. Really though, don't most NBA wives have to? It's what you give up to live the life. The Kirilenkos are just more up front about it.

AK-47's got a hot one, too... website, website... aside from the banner photo cheese, it's AK's whole life online. Where do you think we found this photo of the lucky sub of a machinegun and his lovely wife, Masha?

Tim Thomas is the luckiest man alive. Suns sign The Big Innocuous. What say you that Nash revitalizes his career too?

Duke says Dallas will never win it all with Dirk Nowitzki at the helm. Barkley is inclined to agree.