Monthly Archives: January 2009

Keith’s Super Bowl Pick + other sports Cokepourri

Big props to Hernandez for keeping this blog daily this week, and double-plus big props for inserting Our Leader Keith Hernandez into his post about Walt “Clyde” Frazier.

Super Bowl Pick:  What can I say that Hernandez hasn’t already said better?  The Super Bowls used to suck.  We had blowouts every year, but it was cool because the dotcoms were still flush with cash and put forth ridiculous advertisements that we could discuss with the hot flesh blondes that didn’t know anything about football but got goofy drunk after two beers.  Good times.

Don’t get me wrong: as a football fan, it’s exciting to see a close game before we go into that 7-month no-football funk.  And we’re coming off a year of possibly the best Super Bowl ever, and that’s not just because the Giants won.  The game was intense, back and forth, just like you hoped it would be.

When I saw the Colts play the Bears a few years ago, I  enjoyed the experience because Prince was playing at halftime, and he played Purple Rain.  The game sucked, but I enjoyed the experience.  I don’t remember who played last year.  I think it might be ZZ Top, but the point is no one will ever care, because it was such a landmark game.

Well this year, Bruce Springsteen is playing halftime; Hernandez’s favorite recording artist.  And that *guarantees* that this game is going to be a boring slog through commercials.  Unless Cardinals QB Kurt Warner gets off his god-horse and re-renounces Satan, this one won’t be a contest.

Honestly, my main concern for this game is that the Boss plays ‘Born in the U.S.A.’  Bruce got all serious when Reagan used that song in his re-election campaign, saying it wasn’t pro-America.  So if I hear “I’m a cool-rockin Daddy in the USA” during halftime, I’ll know two things:  the Steelers are guaranteed the victory, and Springsteen is a tool.

Final score:  Steelers 24, Springsteen 27

Super Bowl Pick – Hernandez

deadcardinal

What the Arizona Cardinals Will Look Like Sunday Night

Regular readers already know who I’m picking in the Super Bowl. A day after the conference championship games I wrote, “We’ve had an unprecedented string of good Super Bowls in the last decade, which means we’re due for an 80’s style curb stomping. My early prediction? 41-10 Steelers.” With almost two weeks to think about it, I’ve revised that prediction because the more I mull it over, I realize the Cardinals have some real strengths and they’re playing very well right now. So it’ll be more like 38-13 Steelers.

Regular readers might be thinking, “Why is Hernandez picking the Steelers to romp when he’s ragged on them all year for being an overrated, inconsistent, offensively challenged team that benefited from an inordinate amount of lucky breaks?” Regular readers could be wondering, “Why aren’t you making the case for the scrappy underdogs against the overwhelming favorites?” Regular readers should shut the fuck up.

I still DO think all of those things about the Steelers. In fact, I believe this Steelers team will be one of the worst to ever win a title. But I just can’t  get that 2000 Giants/Ravens Super Bowl out of my head. I don’t blame you for not remembering that game, so I’ll refresh your pot-addled memory. The Ravens used a dominating defense and an opportunistic (and by that I mean shitty) offense to crush a Cinderalla Giants squad with a so-so defense and a hellacious passing attack that got hot in the postseason after an up and down season. We’ve seen this film before, and it sucked.

So yeah, this year’s Steelers don’t really have a running game and their receivers are average (and in Hines Ward’s case, injured), but for some reason I see them hitting a couple of big, lucky plays on offense. Then their D will take over and scare the shit of Old Man Warner to the point where he will begin to question his unshakable faith in Jesus. My guess is Kurt will toss 2 INT’s and fumble at least once to give Pittsburgh easy points. I also see Troy Polamalu hitting Anquan Boldin so hard after a catch that Boldin’s surgically reconstructed face explodes into a million tiny shards. I got a broken face, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, oooo!

I really hope I’m wrong about all of this and we wind up getting a close game, because I just want to see some good football. And if the Cardinals manage to pull off the upset and prove me wrong I’d be thrilled because A) the outcome means nothing to me emotionally, and B) I already won the IKH picks contest for the year, so I don’t give a fuck. Deal with it Cate Blanchett!

Almost forgot… my other prediction for this game is that Bruce will play truncated versions of Born To Run (yes!), Badlands (double yes!), Glory Days (sucks), and a shitty new song, most likely My Lucky Day (awful.) But it’ll still be great just to see my favorite geriatric band of brothers up there on that stage. Tickets on sale Monday morning. Oh yeah.

Re-jected!

Keith’s hilarious new recurring segment imagining how Walt “Clyde” Frazier conducts himself in his everyday life brought to mind a commercial that used to run endlessly on local sports channels: “No Play For Mr. Gray.” It features Clyde and this site’s sacred and holy namesake, Keith Hernandez, doing play-by-play of a guy trying to pick up some skank in a bar. This is the greatest idea for a commercial ever.

Sorry for the quality – it’s the best one I could find. But isn’t it great! Somehow these two guys manage to make hair coloring for your beard seem smoove. Sure, it’s just one step short of hair coloring for your pubes (something that actually does exist), but when Keith and Clyde endorse it, it’s automatically cool. I’ve already decided that when I go fully gray I will grow a beard and color it just to be more like my heroes. I may look ridiculous, but it might get me laid. They wouldn’t lie about that shit.

BTW, did you notice the semi-subliminal message in the ad? Keith says Just For Men gel “penetrates coarse facial hair,” and then they punctuate that with a slow-mo shot of a black cock brush with the word “penetrates” superimposed on top. Hey now! Something’s getting penetrated, but I bet it ain’t coarse facial hair.

I hope when the commercial shoot wrapped for the day that these two guys hit the town together. They must’ve clocked some ho’s! Cocaine and champagne flowed freely, a fireplace was lit, a hot tub bath was drawn, erotic poetry was recited, panties were soiled, and Just For Men gel was used as lube. Home run, indeed.

And if you’re wondering if this Clyde as the Ladies Man reputation is true, try this on for size: There was an apartment building across the street from my high school in Manhattan that had three Rolls Royce’s on display in the huge, glassed-in lobby. One day I asked the doorman what was up with the cars and he said Clyde lived there and wanted to show them off. A few days later I saw the man himself out walking his dog, wearing a full-length mink coat. You can’t make this stuff up.

Clyde goes to the grocery store

Where would Knicks basketball be without the silky smooth Walt “Clyde” Frazier?  Both as a player and as an announcer, he has the skills and the trills to charm the pants off his listeners.  His penchant for 25-cent words and rhyming cadences is unprecedented.  He’s the original ladies’ man.

At IKH, we wonder how Clyde conducts himself in everyday life, and have enlisted our interns (we call them “herndies”) to follow the man, witness his Clydeness and capture his essence:

0_waltfrazierclr1

THIS WEEK:  Clyde goes to the grocery store

Continue reading

There Goes My Guido

Almost every guy I grew up with was exactly like this.

Sure, the video is funny. But more than that, it’s authentic. These are real, live guidos who don’t even know how foolish they are. They think they sound awesome! I know this because I know guidos. I’ve practically got a PhD in guidology from growing up on Staten Island, which allowed me to observe them in their natural habitat; The Staten Island Mall, Midland Beach, Bay Street. My next door neighbors growing up were the Spezio’s and the Mussarella’s, and halfway up the block were the Dondiego’s, who would host huge parties on Sundays where the entire family would bust out guitars, clarinets and accordians and play Italian folk music while they crushed grapes in the backyard. I wish I were kidding. My first “girlfriend” was Paul Castellano’s niece. I wish I were kidding about that too. My adolescence was exactly like “The Sopranos,” only with the world’s largest garbage dump and higher taxes.

I hopped around the more cultured parts of Brooklyn after college, but somehow as an adult I wound up settling in a guido infested neighborhood. I live in Bay Ridge, where most of “Saturday Night Fever” was filmed, where steroid abuse and spray tans for men are still in vogue, and where guidos continue to cruise 86th Street in IROC-Z’s on Saturday nights, stopping  by L&B Spumoni Gardens for a square slice. (I can’t say I blame them, cuz that shit is the bomb.) I guess I’ve never been able to escape my roots.

All of this navel gazing is the background to why I have a man crush on Knicks rookie Danilo Gallinari, aka “The Italian Stallion,” aka “The Rooster.”

act_danilo_gallinari

When you grow up surrounded by Italians, it’s easy to make fun of the stereotypes, but even easier to develop a strong bond with the culture. When the Knicks used the sixth pick to draft Gallinari, just 19 at the time, out of Italy, I knew I would love him because he’d remind me of the gindaloons I’ve always known. If he could play it would be a bonus. He offered one tantalizing glimpse in his first and only Summer League game when he recovered from an awful first half to put up 14 points and 6 boards in the second half. Then he hurt his back and missed the rest of the summer and the whole preseason.

Despite missing all that time, new Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni – who despite his Great Western looks and demeanor is actually a fellow paisan who played with Gallinari’s father in the Italian professional league – threw The Rooster into the first two games of the season. Bad idea. He wound up re-injuring that back and missed the next 36 games. But he finally made his full-fledged debut last week, and now I actually have something to hang my crush on (besides those full, pouty lips.) He can play!

The Knicks haven’t had a big guy with this skill set since… well, ever. He’s 6’10” and can shoot, pass and dribble with the best of them. On Friday night he set up Al Harrington under the rim with a gorgeous no-look pass, then followed it up with a behind-the-back dribble drive from the baseline for a layup. Swoon. That was the Knicks third win in a row, but they lost the next night in Philly in part because Gallinari isn’t allowed to play in back-to-back games because of his back problems. He’s been getting 10 points a game in 12-15 minutes, and you have to figure he would’ve made a difference if he played. And beyond what he brings to the court, from a fan perspective, let’s just say I wasn’t nearly as psyched to watch the game when I heard he wouldn’t be playing. Keith’s mileage may vary.

My forbidden love for Gallinari led me to do something I hadn’t previously mustered any enthusiasm for; I signed him to IKH’s Beef Wennington roster in my first ever fantasy basketball transaction. I was worried someone else would see his potential, and I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself if another team had him. I’m a diehard Knicks fan and an honest to goodness guidophile – those other losers would just be looking at his field goal percentage and upside. They don’t deserve him like I do. All that stats shit is a nice side benefit, but I actually want to root for the guys on my squad. It won’t look too shabby either when he starts putting up 16 ppg, 5 rbs, 3.5 assists, 2 steals and a block per game. Which he will. And when he puts on another 15 pounds of muscle and learns the league, watch out. LeBron and D-Wade are going to LOVE playing with this guy in 2010.

(Just to save you the time, please don’t start with that “he’s soft” bullshit. We all know from watching the Italian soccer team play that these guys aren’t soft. They lie, cheat, complain and flop, but it’s all an act. They’re actually tough as nails. I’ve already seen The Rooster get hammered and get right up with a big, dumb smile on his face, so I know this guy’s got that certain meathead quality inherent in all Italian athletes. And I mean “meathead” in the absolute best sense of the word, if there is such a thing.)

If all of this isn’t enough to convince Keith to keep Gallinari on our roster, he’s got personality too. He actually complained to the MSG suits last week because they were playing “That’s Amore” and “Volare” on the PA whenever he scored a hoop, and the announcer was using an exaggerated Italian accent to pronounce his name “Daneeeelo Gaallllllinaaaaari.” I think the PA guy might have punctuated his calls with “That’s-ah spicy meatball!” too, but I was so drunk on sambuca I may have imagined it. Either way, the kid’s got balls to point that out to management.

To sum it up, this is a guy all of New York City can get behind, especially the guinea part. So I’m firing up the red, white and green bandwagon for Danilo Gallinari, who from now on I will only refer to as My Guido. He will skyrocket to stardom. And if he doesn’t, at least I’ll be able to mine him for cheap Italian insults, which is almost as good.

Ciao!

Coming Next Week

It’s that dementia weekend; the first Sunday without football in months.  Hard, aching withdrawal, waiting for the Superbowl like a buxom sailor-lover on VD-Day, wondering where the methadone for football is.  Keith is settling down with a TV Dinner and a Dallas Cowboys Cheerfearer, and Hernandez is reading racing forms to his kids.

Scenes from next week:

Hernandez explains why he put New York Knick Italian mollycoddle Danilo Gallinari on our fantasy team and why anyone should bother with hockey.  Later, he drives to Washington, D.C. and challenges Barack Obama’s Secret Service men to a game of H-O-R-S-E.  Keith will present a video of Knickdwarf Nate Robinson getting elbowed in the balls, and launch a titillating new feature.

Peace.

Sports Quote of the Day

“There’s no link between diabetes and diet. That’s a white myth, like Larry Bird or Colorado.” – Tracy Jordan, co-star of “The Girlie Show”

tracy-jordan_230x250