The Big Fri

This is all you're getting out of me today. Enjoy.

God I'm lazy.

[have a great, daylight-saving weekend. don't forget to move those clocks forward]




Some random Monday last summer, as I was getting ready for a sand volleyball game, my teammate and fellow reformed-fake-hippie Dana was discussing the Trey Anastasio concert which she had recently attended. She mentioned that the best part of the show was the opening act: a white, bearded, rapping Orthodox-Jew.

"Silly oxy-cotin lovin' Trey," I thought to myself, "Up to his old tricks again." I'm not entirely sure why, but for the last nine months, I have retained the knowledge that Dana once saw a rapping Ortho-Jew, and he was, in fact, good. Some things stick with me, I guess.

Fast forward to this morning. I'm chilling with a cup of Joe, watching some CNN, trying to edu-ma-cate myself, and all of a sudden a big bearded jew was rappin' on CNN. And he was pretty freaking good. His name...Matisyahu.

(For the record, I know how lame it is that I am finding out about new music from CN-freaking-N. I refuse to watch either MTV or Vh1 and I don't listen to the radio in my car so I learn about new music from two sources: 1) Conan O'Brien and 2) People e-mailing me telling me to check out so-or-so. Somehow, he had slid past my radar.)

Anyway, I was grooving during his clips on CNN and his reggae hook was livid. His interview, however, sold me on him. He mentioned that Eve had asked to collaborate with him, but he had to turn her down because "there is a Jewish law stating that a man cannot hear the singing of any woman except his wife." Which I'm pretty sure was his way of saying "Yeah, I'd love to do a track with you, Eve... Psyche. You stink. Nice sitcom, too. Double psyche."

So this afternoon, I swung by the Best Buy and picked up a copy of his albulm Youth. I'm through it twice, and in my best Tony the Tiger, I'd like to declare Matisyahu "Grrrrrr-reat!"

As I sit here now, sipping on a Red Stripe, I realize that what our horrible music industry needs these days isn't just more reggae infused hip-hop (because when that's done poorly, it's vomit inducing. re: Shaggy) but more smart, talented individuals making music their way; and not just in the tired formula of loud, bad beats and lyrics about jewelry and bitches.

And if they happen to be Orthodox-Jew...well, that's just peachy.



Ah, Fuck It

Well, Bradley lost, which kind of sucks, but...whatever...

Opening Day, get here fast.

Have an elite weekend, everybody.



Quick Thoughts: I Have No Clever Title

After all of the controversy surrounding noted scientologist Isaac Hayes quitting South Park after South Park made fun of scientology in their episode "Trapped in the Closet" , last nights episode ("Chef Becomes a Pedophile")was absolutely unbelievable. Just outstanding. Even though the events surrounding Hayes' leaving of South Park while he was still recovering from a stroke remain cloudy, it was another great shot across the bow of scientology.

Remind me to never ever ever piss of Trey Parker or Matt Stone. Fabulous episode.
Just a reminder (in case you needed it) tonight starts the best weekend of basketball the calendar year will see.

As much as I love the first weekend of the NCAA tourney, the Sweet 16/Elite 8 weekend is much, much better. The quality of play is up, as is the drama (see this time last year, Illinois v. Arizona for more proof)

Get ready.
Because you needed one more article about Bradley to read this week, I wrote this one for The Phat Phree.

Hopefully, you enjoy and give it some kind marks. If that's your thing.
In addition to that article, I have also been working on the previously mentioned work on Deadspin, plus an NL Central preview for the 'Phree. I realize that this here blog has suffered on content over the last week or so, and that is why.

Also, I'm really fucking lazy.

So suck it.
More tomorrow, maybe.

Go Braves.



Quick Thoughts: The Madness

The main story of the week, of course, will be the Bradley Braves magical run into the Sweet Sixteen. I don't want to get too into it right now (I'll be providing three more tidbits on the Braves for Deadspin this week, as well as an article for The Phat Phree) but I do want to put this in print right now:

Bradley University will beat Memphis Thursday night.

Book it.
Big thanks to the only two organizations which acknowledged the beauty of me predicting both Braves victories over the weekend: Deadspin and Joe Sports Fan.

Those two sites remain two of the three places on the Internet where I go for my sports information (the other being the always steady Sports Frog.)

(Krmil also gave me some love on the call, but I don't consider that a sports site as much as I consider it a "most random shit ever" site.)

Also, it should be noted that ESPN's Sportscenter's "preview" of the Kansas-Bradley game on Friday morning featured three tidbits on the Jayhawks and they never once even said the word "Bradley." I am amazed that nobody at the worldwide leader saw this one coming (at least nobody except the dog food eating Woody Paige.) A young, sloppy, yet athletic team going up against an athletic, deep team who has had the same roster for the last two years? Come on...The Braves were THE hottest team coming into the tourney. Pay attention, people.

The lesson, as always: ESPN sucks.
Between the Bradley call, predicting Reggie Sanders would hit a home run in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the NLDS, and also calling Sanders breaking his body during the NLCS, I am slowly becoming a prognosticator of prognosticators (to quote "Groundhog Day.")

If only I wouldn't have wiffed on that Matt Morris throwing a no-hitter on his last start at Busch Stadium, I'd have quite the record.
One last note of significance concerning the Braves. I talked to Dan from The Kentucky Democrat earlier this evening and he mentioned that they would not be showing the Bradley game in his locale Thursday night. Apparently some mid-major named Duke (they're in the under-appreciated Atlantic Coast Conference and are a small, private school located somewhere in North Carolina) are playing at the same time, and their game takes precedent.

I'd just like to let everyone know that all Bradley games are streamed on the Braves local station, WMBD.

If you can't catch the game on CBS (or even if you can, but want to hit the mute button because the announcers are still mispronouncing the Bradley players names...it's O'Bryant, not "O'Rourke" and Somerville, not "Summers") do yourself a favor and check it out.

You won't be sorry when you hear the beauty which is Bradley color man Joe Stowell.

The man is tremendous.
See you all tomorrow...



I Told You

I told each and everyone of you.

Bradley wins.

Now, I hope all of you put some money down on that game, because I want a slice of that.

You're effing welcome.

Alex Fritz

PS. They'll win again.



I Want You All To Be Very Very Wealthy

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Bradley University is going to beat Kansas University in the first round of the NCAA Tourney on Friday night.

Go put some money down, because it's going to happen.

And I want you to become rich. Actually, richer than rich. Richer than that silver spoon sucking Rick Schroeder. So rich that you will have no option but to hire me to be your personal assistant. And by "personal assistant", I mean you pay me to get drunk and text message you jokes about how fat Sidney Ponson is and why I think James K. Polk is underrated while I sit and sun on your manor in Costa Rica.

"What?" You say, "Kansas won the Big-12. Bradley was 5th in the Missouri Valley. That doesn't make a lick of sense."

No, to the untrained eye it does not. But here's the reason: Bill Self and I do not get along. And whenever the two of us come to blows, it seems as if I come out victorious (and, by saying "I", I am assuming the role of Illini fans worldwide.) Since Self bolted Champaign for Kansas, Illini-nation has morphed into a Parker Lewis-type non-losing streak, while the Jayhawks continue to under-achieve come tourney time.

When the seedings came out on Sunday, and I saw that Kansas would be playing Bradley, I immediately did a Tiger Woods fist-pump and ran outside to make about 15 phone calls. Needless to say, I was ecstatic (and, a little gay. Fist pumps and phone calls? Yikes.) I've always been a Bradley Brave supporter. My grandpa went there. As did my dad. My aunt works there. My cousin is in grad school there. I'm contemplating taking some classes there this summer. Obviously, I have a few allegiances to the institution.

But, I hadn't been too into Bradley basketball in the last eight years or so. Until this year. Moving back to Peoria will do that to me. It's funny...when one reads the Peoria Journal Star , and especially the Sports section, it seems as if Peoria, Il is the center of the universe. It's easy to forget that Bradley University isn't a national powerhouse and that nobody on earth cares about who's winning the local bowling tourney.

Being back in P-Town, catching some games on the radio (their announcer, former BU Coach Joe Stowell, is not only awesome in a Mike Shannon way, he is also former roommate Injury McProne's uncle... Yeah, it's a small town), reading the local columnists reports the next day, catching the reports on the local news... I got caught up in it. I got caught up in Bradley Basketball.

While I was doing research for the Bradley preview I wrote for Deadspin ( here's the SIU one, too -- for all you Salukis), I stumbled across this old article from the Journal Star and it had me seriously cracking up with memories from the Braves teams of the '90's (especially remembering Deon Jackson's game winning, buzzer beating, 40-foot fall-away shot which beat Southwest Missouri State in the '96 Missouri Valley Semi-Final game and remains the greatest buzzer-beater I have ever seen.) And I am seriously excited for their game on Friday.

Now, we come back to Kansas. And my burning hatred of Bill Self and his toupee. And his constant choking come mid-March. Last year it was Bucknell. I remember it well -- It was the day after St. Patty's day, and I was on my way from St. Louis to Peoria. After having to leave one of my classes at 11:30 in the morning due to violent vomiting (15 Guinness's the night before will do that to me) I decided it was time to leave class and begin that drive north up I-55. I made it about an hour before I had to pull into a rest stop and have a puke and a three hour nap (man, I love rest stops, huh?) By the time I made it home, it was halftime of the Kansas-Bucknell match. By the end of the game, my hangover was a thing of the past and I was screaming my head off, not necessarily rooting for Bucknell, but rooting against Kansas. When the game ended, I shared a congratulatory phone call with fellow KU-Hater Roommate Matt (who had actually called in order to settle a bar bet about whether or not Kevin Mitchell was on the 1986 Mets. He was) and called it a night. I knew then, as long as I'm watching, Bill Self will not succeed.

Then, the Bradley draw on Sunday. It all came perfectly together. No way do the Braves lose. Not to a team that lost to Mizzou. Not on my watch.

Place your bets, people. If Kansas actually wins, I will eat my hat.



Weekend Debate: Barry's Come-up-in's

Last March, I hopefully did the Internets a favor and filed my review of the self-proclaimed anti-hangover miracle drug Chasers, in my Chasers Experiment. I was reminded of this article earlier this week (Tuesday to be exact) when Sports Illustrated previewed a segment from the soon to be released book, Game of Shadows, which highlights Barry Lamar Bonds extensive steroid use over these past eight or so years.

What does Barry's steroid use have to do with me getting ass-faced by myself off of Rum and Sprites (God, they're delicious), you ask?

Easy. Quote the drunken rambling which follows:

"11:15 - My roommate Matt has a theory which I am now ready to endorse. It will someday be made public that Barry Bonds was on steroids. Once that is revealed, Matt endorses having Barry's MVP trophies (from the steroid tinted seasons only) melted down into a hot, liquid, golden soup. Barry's punishment for being such a cheating asshole while he was playing? He must eat his golden MVP soup. After watching Barry's latest little press-conference, I agree. Someday, Barry, if I have anything to do with it, you will eat your trophies."

I stand firmly by Roommate Matt's theory to this day, and I sincerely hope that MLB commissioner Bud Selig hedes my advice and stages some sort of a Pay-Per-View this summer (maybe during the All-Star break?) where Barry is forced to drink his piping hot bowl of MVP Trophy Soup.

How much would I pay for this to happen? Well, considering I haven't worked a paying gig since October, and I have limited resources (to say the least), I would be willing to pay $150,000 to watch Bonds drink scalding hot metal. Good lord, he's an asshat.

That's what I think should be done to Mr. Bonds as a punishment for his rampant steroid abuse (actually, more for his denial of his rampant steroid abuse. I can understand doing it in the first place, since he wasn't being tested for it by MLB, but I can't forgive him being a total pussy and not owning up to it.)

What, dear connoisseur of these Internets, do you think Bonds punishment should be? Please, do not be afraid to think outside of the box. Honestly... Fuck that box.

Drop in a comment below. I'd really like to see what you come up with.

[Have a great, winstrol free weekend.]




The more and more I think about, the more I really really really want Scott Speizio on this year's Cardinals squad. Sure, he had a putrid year last year, but he's heating up down in Jupiter, Fl. and man, oh man, he seems like he'd be seriously entertaining to follow this year.

Also, he has this tattoo:

Which is just unbelievably awesome.

So, please, Walt Jocketty, Tony LaRussa, Tom Brunansky...somebody...please let this guy make the team.

[it should be noted that this post is only up because Julia (and I'm pretty sure she runs redbirdbrain, too, but i can't prove it) didn't know about SS's tattoo, and, well, I find it hilarious.]



Kirby Puckett, 1961-2006

He came out of the South Side of Chicago and played a year's worth of ball for Bradley down here in Peoria. He then went on to become, with the Minnesota Twins, not only a ten time All-Star, not only a two-time World Champ, not only a batting champ, and not only a Hall of Famer; but also (according to Chris Rock) one of only two black men who lived in Minnesota (the other, of course, Prince.)

Luckily, I remember 1991 better than I do 1987. In late October of '91, I was 11 years old and with my old man and grandpa, closing up our cabin in Indiana for the winter. I remember being thrilled by Kirby's performance in Game 6, not only because he completely changed the momentum of the World Series, but because I got to stay up until midnight to see it happen. The next night made it all too sweeter. His heroics in Game 6 of the '91 World Series, followed up by Jack Morris' performance in Game 7 were some of my favorite childhood sports memories. That 1991 Twins team was a thing of beauty.

Yeah, a bad side of his came to light later in his life, but much like Bill Cosby, people forgot that he was, in the words of Dave Chapelle, "a nigga from the hood." Some times, "real shit happens."

It did seem, however, that he had made peace with his family before passing, so I'm going to go ahead and forgive him.

I'd rather remember him jumping up against the plexi-glass.

So long, Kirby. We'll miss ya.

[Update- While it may not have the shock that DK57's death had, Kirby's death does seem like what would happen if all of a sudden Willie McGee turned up dead. The FYC's thoughts are with the Twins and their fans today. Godspeed]



So Long, Simo-Man

Via Viva El Birdos:

"Former Cardinal Jason Simontacchi had his recently signed contract with the Cubs voided by the team. The Cubs' team doctor, Dr. James Andrews, found no tears in the shoulder of Simontacchi last month. But the Cubs decided to delay the team physical until this past week. News that the contract was voided just surfaced this week so the reason may be unrelated to Simmontacchi's shoulder surgery that caused him to miss all of 2005. "

Looks like it will be one more year of futility on the North Side. No way do the Cubs reverse their curse without the Simo-Man.

What were Jim Hendry and the boys thinking this time?



Sad Weekend

With a heavy heart, The FYC wishes the very best to TLF's roommate Jack E, as she has lost a loved one. Jack E's goldfish, Blink E passed away during the night, after a long and fruitfull life of nearly dying every week and eating fishy flakes.

Blink E is survived by her (his?) bowl-mate, Little Dave Timpone.

Little Dave Timpone has seen a lot of death in his (again, her?) lifetime. During this year's Super Bowl, LDT and his school were dropped into his namesake's pirhanna tank. LDT was the last of a dozen to make it, and was rescued by the ladies in attendance. A bit of a rough life for a goldfish, no?

Poor some liquor out for Blink E this weekend, folks.

Good night, sweet prince.



Hey, Crabman!

After two long and humbling weeks, our national crisis is over. NBC is no longer hijacking our Thursday evenings with a slew 80-pound "women" twirling around on the ice or with fat-ass "athletes" playing what is essentially shuffleboard on ice (don't get me wrong - I think curling is awesome - but, I'm not sure if it really needs to be considered an Olympic sport. Why not darts? Maybe Golden Tee?)

No, were back to the good stuff on Thursday nights - My Name is Earl>The Office. It's been so long that I can't really remember what exactly happened last on The Office. Was it Michael in New York (Scranton on acid) for Valentines day? Me thinks so. Every episode of My Name is Earl is essentially a mini-movie, so even if you don't know what happened in the previous episode, it's still pretty easy to follow along.

(By the way, how did I go this long without realizing that Crabman is the same guy from those unbelievably racist "Rubberband Man" Office Max commercials?)

Happy Days are here again. (No, not those happy days, figurative ones. Although, I wouldn't mind Tom Bosley showing up somewhere.)


Lou Reed is Alive?

And turning 64 today? Well...I'll be a son of a baboon's ass.

Happy birthday, you big weird, cool, bi-sexual!

(Here's a nice pic of Reed and David Bowie having some sort of a pre coitus snuggle. Wild times, man... Wild times.)

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"I'll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize the state of Missouri."