Monday, June 28, 2010

Bull Feathers

According to a report in the New York Times, LeBron James will be headed to the Chicago Bulls. An unidentified NBA executive

who did not want to be identified discussing a player who is not yet a free agent, said he had gathered from discussions with his fellow N.B.A. executives that James was strongly leaning toward joining the Bulls in tandem with another free agent, Chris Bosh

Aside from the obvious disappointment and unbridled hatred of the Bulls, I still don't like this idea. I just don't get it.

If you told me LeBron had decided to stay with the Cavs, OK. Disappointed, sure. But James decides to be the hometown hero and re-up with the only NBA team he's ever known. Plus, the Cavs are in a position to give him the most money, not that I really think James is in it for the money. Wherever he goes, he will be a rich man.

Then there's the Heat -- sure, you can make a case for that. A running buddy in Dwayne Wade, South Beach, and possibly Pat Riley as coach. Yep, I could see that, too. Even the Nets, if you buy that Jay-Z can get LeBron to put up with Newark for a few years before going to Brooklyn. And you're almost in New York.

But the Bulls? Really? Not to put too much pressure on a guy who seemed to be buckling under in Cleveland, but Chicago? They don't have much of a winning history there. Perhaps he misunderstood about being the next Jordan -- you don't actually have to follow in his footsteps. Why not ask for your #23 jersey while you're at it?

Like the song goes, "If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere". There's nothing like winning it all in New York. While no contemporary Knick can explain this phenomenon, the Knicks may want to bring Mark Messier along with them to Ohio. As with the push for James, Messier was brought to New York for one reason only -- to win a championship. "The Messiah" delivered and will be forever remembered as a conquering hero. Hey, LeBron -- that could be you, too.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thanks for coming -- See you in four years

In the nightmare scenario that ESPN laid out coming into the World Cup, the United States fails to get out of the Group round. This morning, ESPN faces its slightly lesser nightmare -- the U.S. team is eliminated on the first day of the second round. Ninety-eight percent of Americans forget that soccer exists until 2014.

Instead being inundated with stories of how the U.S. is finally ready to compete on the world stage, we are now faced with hearing about how the World Cup will finally make soccer relevant in America. At least, that's what Mike Freeman thinks:

Really, this time, the soccer flame might not be extinguished.

Really, Mike? For me, the World Cup is a lesser version of March Madness. Every year, millions of people with absolutely no interest in college basketball get all pumped up for the NCCA Tournament. Brackets are filled out. Bars are packed. Businesses suffer productivity loss as early round games are streamed live into cubicles across the country. And as soon as the Final Four comes to a close, most of those millions, who wouldn't know a Blue Devil from a Bulldog, go back to ignoring college hoops until St. Patty's rolls around again next year.

Cue "Soccer Madness". Brackets were filled out. Bars were packed. And now, millions of Americans who wouldn't know a volley from a vuvuzela can go back to ignoring "the beautiful game". Bet that seat in the bar won't be hard to find now.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Alton Brown Boils Eggs

Please note that this post has nothing to do with sports. It's just that every time I want to boil eggs properly, I try to remember Alton Brown's preferred method. Unfortunately, I always come up blank. Internet searches sometimes pay off, but I figured this time I'd make my own permanent record.

Here, culled from an internet chat session, is Alton's method for making the perfect hard-boiled eggs:

I put however many eggs I want to cook into a pot of cold water. I bring it to a boil, I cover the pan, I remove the pan from the heat, and I wait eight minutes. Peel immediately under cold running water. That will give you a slightly soft yolk. If you want a really hard yolk, go with twelve minutes.

Feel free to make yourself some eggs. I've got the pot on the stove, now...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Right Call

The headline blared, "Top Michigan recruit Dorsey denied admission to school". One of Rich Rodriguez's big signings, one of the guys who was going to help turn the tide for Michigan, had been suddenly barred at the door:

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says Florida prep football star Demar Dorsey has been informed he will not be admitted to the school.

And I say, good for you, Michigan. Good. For. You.

Demar Dorsey can't be the only talented defensive back in the country. And despite its recent woes, Dorsey can't be the only talented player willing to commit to Michigan. At a certain point, a university must hold itself to certain standards. Clearly the leadership at Michigan is willing to uphold those standards.

While I am disappointed that Michigan will now be without a potential star, Dorsey would only have been one of many missing pieces in the puzzle. Do Michigan's more stringent academic standards make it harder to compete against Ohio State, where you only need to be a resident to get in? Or Penn State, whose bar for admittance isn't much higher? Maybe. But when the program does turn around -- with Rodriguez, or perhaps, Jim Harbaugh, at the helm -- it will make it that much more impressive.