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5 Ways to Fix the NBA All Star Game

January 24, 2010 2 comments

Let’s face it. The NBA All-Star game starters were announced last week and it was a huge let down. Allen Iverson made the team after despite forcing his way out of the Memphis Grizzlies. Kevin Garnett made the team despite missing games and being a shell of himself when he did play. Tracy McGrady almost made the team despite not even really playing at all. For what its worth, the only reason Yi Jianlian (the freaking role player on a three-win team) didn’t make it was because he was purposefully left off the ballot.

Basically, the casual NBA fan has for the most part no idea how to properly vote on those who deserve to be in the All-Star Game.  Here are five ways to fix the NBA All-Star Game voting process:

Allen Iverson

1. Set a Numbers Standard:

Players with good name recognition will always get more votes than lesser-known guys with better stats. The best way to change that would be to the make the greatest offenders ineligible by putting in rules that state that a certain player must play a certain amount of games and accumulate a certain amount of stats.

The stat limits don’t even have to be high. Just say that you have to meet the minimum standards of at least one of the following stats: 15 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and two blocks, or steals. Doesn’t sound like too much, but those limits would have kept McGrady from almost starting for the West this year and would have avoided the embarrassment that it caused when Grant Hill, who hadn’t played all year made the All- Star team a few years back. This is probably the easiest and least controversial change.

2. Change the Positions:

Let’s face it: Point guards are gaining importance as a position and the center spot is losing it. With all the new rules in place that favor guard play and hamper big men (hand checking and zone defenses for example), why is the East starting two shooting guards and why is the West pretending Amar’e Stoudemire is a center (especially considering the starting power forward on the West—Tim Duncan—is a better center than Stoudemire anyway?) Besides, All-Star games are much better when there is a true point guard on the floor.

So, why not just change the positions that fans can vote on in order to acknowledge that the game has changed? Let’s have fans vote on one point guard, two swingmen, and two big men. That way only good centers are rewarded rather than the current situation where someone like Chris Kaman may sneak on.  There will always be a true point guard voted in and the change isn’t so drastic that one team will be made up of completely different types of players than the other one.

3.  Have Fan Voting Count Only for Part of the Selection:

This is the way the NFL handles the Pro Bowl. All fan votes only count for one-third of the roster while player votes and coach votes account for the other two. This allows fans to still vote for starters while covering up for their mistakes as well.

4. Take Away the Fan Vote:

Let’s be honest here. Fan voting doesn’t really make that much sense anymore. They keep messing up. 40 percent of the Eastern conference All-Star starters have no business receiving that honor, and the fans are directly to blame for this.

Plus, these days the vote has become international, which sounds great in theory, but in reality has resulted in all sorts of votes coming in for a player simply because because he plays with someone from their home country. Clearly, fans are no longer voting for players who are most deserving and as a result should lose their right to vote for at all.

5. Let Fans Vote on Different Roster Spots:

Alright, the above was pretty harsh, and it has no chance of happening. Still, what about a compromise? Let the players pick the starters, let the coaches pick the first five reserves, and let the fans vote for the final two players.

This allows fans not only to still be involved in the process, but even makes it more okay for them to pick guys who are perhaps not as deserving because at the end of the day it is still only for the last two roster spots on the team anyway.

Any of these solutions would be a step in the right direction. Make it happen David Stern!

 –Guest Writer: Sid Singh

10 Annoying Things Not To Do At The Gym

October 2, 2009 Leave a comment
Gym Fashion Don'ts

Gym Fashion Don'ts

1) The gym is not a fashion show
-Ladies, don’t put on pounds of makeup, or tons of jewlery – you’re there to workout, not look like you’re ready to go out to the bars.  Besides when you sweat, if you manage to break a sweat, your makeup’s going to run. 
-You don’t need to wear your hooped earings, or dozens of jingling bracelets; you don’t need you’re hair in anything other than a pony-tail, refrain from styling your hair before hand, it doesn’t need to look perfect.
-Now if you’re coming straight from work or somewhere else, okay that’s understandable; but don’t glam-up just for the gym!

2) Don’t wear impractical clothing
-Jeans are usually not allowed at most gyms anyways, and they can’t be very comfortable to work out in to begin with.
-Ladies, you’re at the gym, please refrain from showing up with your sweat pants or shorts that have words written across your butt; see  10 Fashion Don’ts .  You also don’t need to wear the skimpiest clothes ever; some of you guys out might be say oh, please do, but a gym is a place of workout, not a hookup spot like a bar.
-Guys, don’t wear too loose of clothing that your junk is hanging out and exposed. 
-And what’s with ladies that wear thongs to the gym?

3) Loud noises
-Don’t talk on your phone while working out, or if you have to, don’t be so loud and giggly. No one cares about your conversation. 
-If others can hear the music from your headphones, it’s too loud. And please don’t start singing out loud either.
-Grunting really loud – usually guys. Does this really help, or are you trying to draw attention to yourself so people can see how much you are lifting?  It is supposed to give you 75% more effort or energy in what you’re doing, but ifyou’re doing it just to show off please don’t; or at least don’t over-do it.

Gym Don'ts

Leave the cell phones & pick up lines at home

4) Don’t go to a gym with the intention of picking up on someone. 
-Don’t stare at them while they are working out, it is annoying, they came to workout, not have to worry about someone stare at them while they do it.
-Men, they’re boobs, they’re going to move around no matter how many sports bras are or shirts are put on; DON’T STARE.
-Women, don’t ask a guy to spot you when you really don’t need them to; it’s pathethic.

5) Don’t use a machine and half ass it when someone else really wants to use it

6) Give people their space.  If there’s 9 of 10 ellipticals open, don’t take the one right next to someone, space yourself out, so they don’t get all self-conscious.

7) Don’t be a hog
-Don’t hog machines: if you only go to the gym to run the treadmill because “you’re a girl” and heaven forbid you could ever lift a weight, then save your money and go run around your block.  If there’s not many machines at the gym you’re at, be curtious and let someone else hop on for awhile.
-Don’t hog weights, and make sure to put them away when you are done.

8 ) Don’t stand in front of the mirror forever; you can only stare at yourself for so long.  You’re not going to see your muscles grow in front of you.

9) Bring a towel and wipe machines when you’re done with them (come on, ever see that episode of Seinfield?”

10) Make sure you wear deoderant.  You may be going to the gym and are going to sweat anyways, but you can still sweat without smelling so strongly of B.O.

The World Freerunning & Parkour Federation

September 25, 2009 1 comment
WFPF - Daniel Ilabaca

WFPF - Daniel Ilabaca

Perhaps you have seen videos of guys jumping around buildings with the craziest moves you would never think possible; leaping from building to building, window seel to pole, etc.   It’s called freerunning and parkour, and was first made popular throughout France.  Now internationally people have teamed up to enjoy and share this new sport with the world.  The WFPF (World Freerunning & Parkour Federtion), ” is NOT a team.   It’s an organization of individual Freerunners from around the world, some on teams, some not, who’ve come together to help bring the sport and philosophy of Parkour to mainstream audiences everywhere.” (From the official site itself).  Most of these individuals have a history of martial arts training, gymnastics, and breakdancing backgrounds.  Just check out some of what they can do here:

You can always check out more of what they do here as well:
http://www.wfpf.com/

Postseason Matchups — Likely Formats — Pitching Rotations

September 24, 2009 3 comments
AL vs. NL logo

AL vs. NL logo

I have been asked quite a bit in the last week how the AL Postseason is going to shape out. I have been asked what teams will play who, which rotation order managers will use, who is going to have home field advantage and which format (ALDS) will be used for the teams included in the playoffs. This entry can get a bit lengthy so try baring with me here…

In the NL everything is basically decided. Unless the Rockies get ice cold and the Giants/Marlins/Braves catch absolute fire and nearly run the table from this point forward – the NL is set.

NL West: Dodgers
NL Central: Cardinals
NL East: Phillies
NL Wild Card: Rockies

In the AL everything looks to be locked up as well — except for the AL Central. The Twins have a shot at catching the Tigers. Now whether or not this will happen is yet to be seen, personally I don’t see the Twins catching the Tigers but that is why they play the game…because you never know. So with that said the AL teams would be:

AL West: Angels
AL Central: Tigers
AL East: Yankees
AL Wild Card: Red Sox

ONLY in the ALDS (not the NLDS) the team with the best record (Yankees) gets to choose which format of the ALDS they would like to play. The two formats (A & B) are scheduled like this:

ALDS ‘A’

Game

Matchup

Day

Date

Time ET

TV

Gm 1 TBD @ TBD Wed Oct. 7 TBD TBS
Gm 2 TBD @ TBD Fri Oct. 9 TBD TBS
Gm 3 TBD @ TBD Sun Oct. 11 TBD TBS
Gm 4* TBD @ TBD Mon Oct. 12 TBD TBS
Gm 5* TBD @ TBD Wed Oct. 14 TBD TBS

 

 ALDS ‘B’

Game

Matchup

Day

Date

Time ET

TV

Gm 1 TBD @ TBD Thu Oct. 8 TBD TBS
Gm 2 TBD @ TBD Fri Oct. 9 TBD TBS
Gm 3 TBD @ TBD Sun Oct. 11 TBD TBS
Gm 4* TBD @ TBD Mon Oct. 12 TBD TBS
Gm 5* TBD @ TBD Wed Oct. 14 TBD TBS

As you can see format ‘B’ is a “quicker” schedule. This is where some strategy and confusion amongst the ‘average fan’ comes into play…

Well like I said earlier the AL team with the best record gets to choose their format. Thus, the Yankees will have to announce which format they are going to play in (whether it be A or B). This effects the Angels as well – because the Angels want the quicker schedule – and chances are the Yankees do too…here is why:

The Angels will have home field advantage since they are matching up against the Wild Card team. So the Angels rotations will LIKELY be (in order): Lackey, Weaver, Kazmir, Saunders. Lackey has pitched under pressure (winning game 7 of the World Series in 2002) and has pitched in several postseason games since, so Lackey looks like the obvious choice. Now how about second? Well if I were Scioscia I would go with Weaver for a couple reasons: 1. Weaver is effective at home and 2. Kazmir is nearly impossible to hit in Fenway Park. Since games 3 and 4 will be played in Boston, it makes sense to have Kazmir (who pitched there last season in the playoffs and was unhittable) and Saunders (great career numbers in Fenway as well) pitch those games.

Now why would the Yankees want the quick format ( Series B) as well? Well, I understand they have C.C. which means in a shortened series like format B, Sabathia would only get two starts if it went to a game 5. HOWEVER!!!…you need to look at who the Yankees are going to face. If they match up with Detroit (which is most likely the case) would you want a shortened series facing Verlander twice guaranteed and Jackson twice if it goes to a game 5? I sure wouldn’t.  Especially since my number two starter (A.J. Burnett) has been extremely inconsistent  over the last couple months.

In fact, the Yankees possible number two starter is Andy Pettitte! What?!?! No, seriously–there is a very good chance Joe Girardi elects to pitch Pettitte in game 2 and Burnett in game 3. What does this mean? This means if the Yankees choose the fast series (format B) they will only face Verlander twice IF the series makes it to a game 5. If they go with the more spread out format (series A) then they will face Verlander twice, and possibly a game 5 showdown between Jackson and Pettitte.

Now…If you were Giarardi and the Yanks wouldn’t you try avoiding this?

This means the Yankees will choose the quick format (which is what the Angels want as well) and the Angels will be forced to play in the more spread out format…

Thus, the Yankees are going to most likely choose the quick format which would leave the Angels v Red Sox format with spread out outings. I think the Angels would still elect to go with 4 starters (given Kazmir and Saunders success in Fenway) although Boston would only use three starters: Beckett, Lester, and Dice-K.

Postseason Fever is here people! Are you ready for it??

Football Surpasses Baseball, but Nascar takes the lead with BYOB to races?

September 15, 2009 1 comment
Tailgating

Tailgating

Sitting at a bar, watching the Chargers vs. Raiders game, I made a comment to my friend that it’s football season, and thus being so football has taken over the television.  You wouldn’t even know that it is still baseball season if you weren’t watching the news or Sports Center’s daily updates.  I am a huge baseball fan, but my friend had to make his own comment, saying that baseball is dying out.  I had to point out to him however that baseball is America’s original pass time sport.  Upon that came a discussion on how certain sports would be more popular, with a relation to alcohol.  Alcohol?  Let me explain…

NASCAR is the most popular sport in the nation to watch. (I emphasize watch, because as far as playing goes, not everyone can own a racecar).  Kind of hard to believe, right, if you’re not from the south (as the stereotype goes).  Well statistics show that it is (if you compare it to the NFL alone.  Of course if you calculated NFL, college football, and highschool football together, football would be number one; but that’s like pinning 3 teams against 1).  The reason behind this may be, not just that rednecks (no offense), love NASCAR and this country has a huge upbringing due to southerners in history.  But the more interesting reason would have to be the fact that at NASCAR races, you are allowed to bring your own alcohol into the stadiums.  Think about it, how often do you see a NASCAR race (well if you have ever brought yourself to watch a race), and seen the bleachers empty?  NASCAR races are almost always near sold out.  Baseball games however, it’s not uncommon to see a not sold out game.  The only time a baseball game usually ends up sold out is during the World Series, or if two huge rivalry teams are playing each other. 

Now baseball, perhaps it is dying out, and look at this…You used to be able to tailgate at any baseball park; that was half the fun of going to a game.  Then slowly they started implementing rules such as no glass bottles in the parking lot if you are going to tailgate – understandable.  Now however there are few  baseball stadiums where you can even tailgate anymore.  Living in California, I noticed that the Angels stadium was one of the last stadiums you could still tailgate at.  The Dodgers stadium doesn’t allow it anymore (unless you don’t get caught).  However, now more often people are getting tickets left and right for “drunk in public” offenses at even the Angels stadium.  It seems they’re not as friendly with the idea of people tailgating here anymore, and I don’t ever hear about riots at the Angels stadium, so it can’t be that.  It’s only a matter of time before they throw out allowing people to tailgate at this stadium too.   And I don’t think I need to mention the fact that NASCAR DOES allow tailgating? If you’ve even glimpsed the beginning of a NASCAR race as you’re flipping through the channels, you see even trailers and RV’s everywhere, and those pick up trucks with thousands of people tailgating way before the line  up of the race.

So what if baseball, football, or any other sport, started to allow you to bring your own alcohol into the stadiums?  Of course no one expects this because then the stadium would be losing all that money they make on selling you too highly priced beers. (ie: $12 for a 20 oz. bottle of Corona).  And perhaps football and baseball games tend to get a little more routy, but whether they’re spending money or not, the people are going to drink to the level of intoxication that they want to get to. 

Football is far surpassing baseball these days.   Attendance for college football is over 30 million fans per year, TV ratings for college and professional football, especially the Super Bowl (it is pretty much a holiday in this country), dwarf even the best baseball ratings, and football is the biggest sporting event at highschools. And, at football stadiums you are still allowed to tailgate, granted it’s a little more strict these days.  Allow the people to bring in their own alcohol and football would for sure over rank NASCAR in no time, in any sort of statistic.  Come on, I bet you can name more football teams than NASCAR racers.

So is being able to bring your own alcohol into a stadium the solution to sold out games?  Well it would be a very sticky solution.  Stadiums would be worried about how badly their alcohol sales would decrease, especially when major beer companies are usually main sponsors for a stadium.  But, perhaps upon bringing in your own alcohol, you would have to pay a little more for a ticket.  Now you’re probably thinking people are still not going to go games if tickets are more expensive; but if you look at it this way, pay $10 more for a ticket, bring in your own alcohol, well that $10 extra is the cost you would have paid for ONE beer at a game anyways.  Somehow, even with as expensive as NASCAR tickets are, probably due to the fact that you can B.Y.O.B., they still manage to fill the stadium.  Besides, people would probably be excited to hear of this new development and flood into the stadiums to experience this new revelation.

Ice-Pong

July 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Play beer pong? Play basketball? Well we have a new sport that is just for you.

ICE PONG.

One slow day at the Grape Garden Restaurant in…..well we will keep that location private, for sake of the evil district manager finding this and firing us all….a few hooligans started to throw ice in a glass.  It’s harder than it sounds….

How to play the game:

Version of Ice-Pong #1:

Ice-Pong Version 1

Ice-Pong Version 1

1) You set a glass atop a counter, or in this case, the soup bowl heater.
2)  Scoop up a plastic kids cup full of ice (as to not have to keep reaching in the ice bin and contaminating the ice. Health rule number 1: ice is food. Duh.)
3) Find your worthy competetors
4) Stand a good distance away from the glass
5) Start shooting.

You will find that it is harder to get the ice cubes in the glass than you think.  You have to have the rigth aerodynamics.  The right aim. The right angle.  The right toss.  The right amount of force.  And each ice cube is different, so each time your shot is changing. 

Who wins?  You can do whoever makes the most ice cubes in a certain amount of time wins.  But be weary it takes awhile for a good amount of ice cubes to make it into the glass between everyone.  You can keep playing until the glass is full too.  And if you want to be brutal, loser has to drink the glass at the end, because if you manage to fill up the glass, which takes awhile, the ice will have at least somewhat melted by then. 

 

Version of Ice-Pong #2:

Ice Pong Version 2 setup example

Ice Pong Version 2 setup example

1) Set up two jack stands, beer pong regulation distance away from each other.
2) Place big trays on top of the jack stands.
3) Set up glasses, however many you want to play with, on top of the trays, like you are setting up a beer pong table- pyramid style.
4) Fill the glasses a quarter or so full with your choice of beverage.  At Grape Garden, obviously there is no drinking on the job, so we used coke.
5) Get your plastic [kid’s] cup of ice, and set it to the side or hold it in your hand.
6) Start shooting as if this was beer pong.

If the shooter makes it in the glass, you have to drink that glass.  Obviously first person to make all the glasses, wins.

You can set up your own version of this game at home if you do not work at an Grape Garden, or a restaurant, or actually, any other Grape Garden other than the one where this originated from; because I doubt any other Grape Garden’s managers would be as linient.

But Ice-Pong….. it will catch on.  Practice your ice-pong skills today.  It gets more epic than you would imagine. (ie: shot from the stairs half way down the alley. sa-woosh!)