Archive for February, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 26, 2012

The Photo Mitt Romney Wishes He Could Make Disappear

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking before a “crowd”

of 1200 people in 65,000 seat Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan

on Friday, February, 24, 2012.


“You people don’t have a clue as to how f**king crazy I really am.” 

WHAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEK

Arizona governor Jan Brewer is a unrepentant shrew of a human being, without a shred of decency and grace.

Barack Obama remains one of the best sitting presidents at fundraising in recent history.

Dysfunction rules in Lakerland these days.

Gasoline prices are changing the way many Americans are going about their daily lives.

Jeremy Lin can be contained.

Kobe Bryant remains one of the most controversial figures in recent NBA history.

Magic Johnson, Sean Combs and Robert Rodriguez have the opportunity to influence popular culture as never before with their new network alliances with Comcast.

Mitt Romney may be the worst “leading” GOP candidate since Bob Dole in 1996.

Newt Gingrich is getting increasingly desperate by the day, if not the minute.

Republican party leaders, both elected and unelected, are far less confident of their chances to defeat

President Obama in November than they were this same time last year.

Rick Santorum may and probably will say anything to get the Republican nomination, no matter how

outlandish and it may sound.

Tyler Perry remains “critic-proof” with his fan base, but is showing diminishing returns with any “non-Madea” films.

The Times’ NBA rankings

Heat moves into top spot after beating Jeremy Lin and Knicks.

LeBron James and the Miami Heat defeated Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks and moved into the top spot in The Times’ rankings in the process. (Robert Duyos / Sun Sentinel / MCT)

By Ben Bolch

February 25, 2012, 7:38 p.m.

LIVING AT THE FOUR SEASONS

1. MIAMI (27-7) Stop the Linsanity? The Heat at least put it on hiatus. (2) Nobody needed a break more than Jeremy Lin.
2. CHICAGO (27-8) Second City may be playing second fiddle again in Eastern Conference. (1) If there is a God in Heaven, and I firmly believe there is, a Chicago/Miami 7-game Eastern Conference finals series is already on order.
3. OKLAHOMA CITY (27-7) Kevin Durant only West All-Star starter who can laugh about L.A. traffic. (3) Still think Portland wouldn’t like a do-over of the 2007 draft?
4. SAN ANTONIO (24-10) Spurs‘ recent victory streak goes to 11 before stars get a breather. (4) Gregg Popovich is one sly old dog with many tricks up his sleeve.

PILING UP VICTORIES, MARRIOTT POINTS

5. CLIPPERS (20-11) Blake Griffin wants off Team Shaq after hearing DeMarcus Cousins slight. (5) DeMarcus who?
6. ORLANDO (22-13) Tax-free status, year-round sunshine may not be enough for Dwight Howard. (7) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Howard ain’t going anywhere.
7. INDIANA (21-12) Forget Orlando. Granger has right idea by heading to Turks and Caicos. (9) If the NBA really cared about its players, they would lock in the All-Star break for the President’s holiday long weekend, have no Thursday games before the break and not start up again until that Wednesday after the game.
8. PHILADELPHIA (20-14) Slide before break has fans wondering whether Philly’s best is good enough. (6) Doug Collins about to tear out what little hair remains on his head.
9. LAKERS (20-14) Fractured team needs everyone from Jim Buss to bus boys on same page. (10) Why do I get the feeling that GM Mitch Kupchak is quietly exploring his options?
10. DALLAS (21-13) Mavericks suddenly dreading potential playoff rematch against Lakers. (8) Been laying in the cut all season; about to turn it up a notch.
11. HOUSTON (20-14) Chase Budinger doesn’t stir reminders of Clyde Drexler in dunk contest. (12) Or even Rex Chapman.
12. ATLANTA (20-14) Whatizit? Hawks fans still unsure this up-and-down team is for real. (11) Sudden thought that has nothing to do with the Hawks: whatever happened to Jermaine Dupri?
13. MEMPHIS (19-15) FedExForum residents have delivered without Zach Randolph, going 18-12. (13) The West is r.o.u.g.h. from top to bottom. Well, except for the Kings, who may not be able to beat any of the upcoming #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament.
14. PORTLAND (18-16) Fans will turn it into a new kind of Rip City if Trail Blazers don’t win more. (15) Should be checking into if they can legally have Greg Oden “put down.” Metaphorically speaking, of course.
15. DENVER (18-17) It’s not exactly a Sweet 16 as Nuggets go 4-12 with three starters injured. (14) Look, you take away 3 of Jesus’ top players (disciples) and he wouldn’t have won either.

THE CARPET’S WET AND THE BATHROOM’S DIRTY

16. MINNESOTA (17-17) Irony alert: Timberwolves may make playoffs, Kevin Garnett may not. (19) So, maybe it was Kurt Rambis’ fault after all.
17. NEW YORK (17-18) Jeremy Lin couches uninspiring performance in Orlando as fatigue factor. (18) Say what you will, players know he’s for real, that’s why he’s a target now.
18. BOSTON (15-17) When Celtics play outside TD Garden, they are the Antiques Roadshow. (16) This team got older faster than Joan Rivers.
19. UTAH (15-17) Not much to get Jazzed about after team goes 6-13 before All-Star break. (17) Somewhere, Jerry Sloan is smirking without moving a face muscle.
20. GOLDEN ST. (13-17) Victory over Clippers was one to remember in a season to forget. (21) I bet dollars to donuts, “Reverend” Mark Jackson prays more as Warriors coach than he ever did leading his Los Angeles-area church.
21. PHOENIX (14-20) Suns suddenly surrounded by optimism with spring training in town. (22) Hookers for everyone!
22. MILWAUKEE (13-20) Stephen Jackson was supposed to solve problems, not compound them. (20) Counting on Stephen Jackson to “solve” anything is like counting on your dog to drive you to work tomorrow: it ain’t gonna happen.
23. CLEVELAND (13-18) Rising Stars Challenge? Looks as if Kyrie Irving is already here. (23) I wonder if Byron Scott has smiled this season other than on the 1st and 15th of the month.

MOTEL 6 WON’T EVEN LEAVE THE LIGHT ON FOR THEM

24. SACRAMENTO (11-22) UCLA getting almost as much out of Tyler Honeycutt as Kings are. (24) The Kings have been become the league’s “Witness Protection” program; not even their players’ families know where they are.
25. TORONTO (10-23) Only intrigue left this season is whether Jose Calderon heads stateside. (26) For his sanity, I hope so.
26. DETROIT (11-24) Michael Moore expose on Pistons to be called “Rodney & Me.” (25) Talk about needing a bailout…
27. NEW JERSEY (10-25) Tabloids call Knicks‘ debacle with Carmelo Anthony back “A Net loss.” (27) Yawn.
28. NEW ORLEANS (8-25) Green Mardi Gras jerseys are a fitting tribute to an ugly season. (28) Sacramento with good food and music.
29. WASHINGTON (7-26) John Wall experiences what it’s like to be surrounded by talent in Orlando. (29) Wall’s college team, Kentucky, may be better than his pro team.
30. CHARLOTTE (4-28) Bobcats would need MLB‘s all-inclusive policy to get an All-Star. (30) I’ve come to believe that owning the Bobcats is the price Michael Jordan must pay for being “Air Jordan” in a previous life.

NBA @ THE BREAK

The lockout and lack of a real preseason, along with a complete training camp, has affected the Lakers more than any other contending team in the league. Unlike Chicago, Dallas (which got off to a slow start for other reasons, including the loss of free agent center Tyson Chandler to the Knicks), Miami and Oklahoma City, the Lakers underwent an almost total overhaul of its organization from the head coach position on down and it shows. (By the way, would someone be so kind as to introduce Derek Fisher to the players he’s SUPPOSED to be guarding this season). Then, after the commissioner rescinded the trades that would have put point guard Chris Paul in purple and gold instead of Clippers red, white and blue a few days later, they dumped reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom and haven’t really recovered yet.

So far, the biggest story of the season, besides the ongoing excellence of the Heat and Thunder and LeBron James lifting his game to unprecedented levels, has been the one no one could have seen coming even if they possessed Superman’s vision – the emergence of Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.

Coming so soon after “Tim Tebow Mania”, “Linsanity” gave the NBA and the Knicks an uplifting and inspirational story that not only attracted national attention, but sped around the globe with the lightning speed of the digital social media world that we live in today. On so many levels, the Lin story reminds of the cultural differences that still plague our society even in something so trivial, on some levels, as sports. But, it also shows us that like music, sports can bridge those gaps that sometimes seem destined to keep us apart.

One thing’s for sure as we put All-Star Weekend behind us and look to the March 15 trade deadline that could and probably determine the future of both the Laker and Magic franchises in general, and Dwight Howard in particular, things are about to get very interesting for NBA fans both here and around the world.

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WHITNEY HOUSTON

February 12, 2012

The news today was shocking to say the least. I hope that her soul is at peace. May God bless her family, friends and fans all over the world.

 1963 – 2012

SUPER BOWL XLVI RECAP-2ND HALF

February 6, 2012

HALFTIME

And now we know why Al Michaels wasn’t excited about Madonna’s performance.

3RD QUARTER

That was as perfect a 2nd half opening drive as you’ll ever see.

Wow. I had absolutely no idea whatsoever that NBC has a new show called Smash debuting tomorrow night. They really should run some ads or something to let people know.

Good Lord, you can see Robert Kraft’s cufflinks from Sarah Palin’s back porch!

Sudden Thought – if aliens (from outer space, not Central and South America) invaded right now, would NBC break into the game or just run a crawl across the bottom of the screen?

A black man named Chung? What’s next, a white rapper named Jamal?

Sudden Thought Part Deux – does anyone ever ask Jay-Z, “And how do you spell that sir?”

Not as good as a TD, but nice first drive of 2nd half for the New York football Giants.

Fiat ad – I’d spend all my money learning Italian if she came with the car.

The Internet has taken some of the buzz off the ads.

Hmmm, I guess his getting nastier by the moment divorce hasn’t affected Deion Sanders’ commercial opportunities yet.

Nice FG to draw within 2 of the Patriots. 4th quarter should be a good one.

4TH QUARTER

Turns out that INT was the turning point of the game after all.

CareerBuilders.com – I’ve said it before and I’ll said again: there’s not a movie or TV show that a chimp can’t improve!

“Eli Manning, you’ve just won your second Super Bowl in the stadium your big brother helped build. What are you going to do next?” “I’m going to cash in like a pimp with the finest ho’s on the block! Ca-ching a-ling a-ding!”

I guess Raymond Berry gets his “hair” at the same place Donald Trump gets his.

Well that should put the “Let’s fire Tom Coughlin” rumors to rest for at least another year.

“Paging Rex Ryan. The clock is ticking on your job.”

Say good night Gracie.

NBA RANKINGS – Week of February 5, 2012

February 6, 2012

A ROSE BLOOMS IN CHICAGO

Derrick Rose and the Bulls are still on top of The Times’ NBA rankings. (Jeffrey Phelps) 

The Times’ NBA rankings

The Bulls, Thunder and Heat remain in the top three spots.

By Ben Bolch

February 4, 2012, 10:03 p.m.

BEN BOLCH’S RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY My comments in Italics

THE UNTOUCHABLES
1. CHICAGO (20-6) Derrick Rose prefers Chicago in June to Orlando in February, London in August. (1) Rose is one of the rare people that can go back home and be a success on and off the court.

2. OKLAHOMA CITY (18-5) Kevin Durant no longer invited to judge All-Star dunk contest. (2) A tad bitter, are we Mr. Durant?

3. MIAMI (17-6) Fortune 500 companies line up for LeBron James after way he ran offense. (3) Not to worry, this time next week, pundits will be calling “King” James a pretender to the NBA crown.

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES
4. INDIANA (16-7) More success in back-to-backs than “Star Wars” & “Empire Strikes Back.” (5) Name two starters. I dare you.

5. PHILADELPHIA (17-7) Surprising 76ers turn city of Type A personalities into a bunch of softies. (6) See above. I double dare you.

6. DENVER (15-9) Nuggets become Wal-Mart shoppers after Kenyon Martin joins Clippers. (4) Clippers’ ratio of tattoos per player just jumped 25%.

7. ATLANTA (16-8) Lucky stat: Hawks won first 13 games against teams .500 or better. (7) Which makes them the “Ron Pauls” of the NBA East; enticing on surface but still unlikely to go far in playoffs.

8. SAN ANT. (16-9) Spurs roster sponsored by Shady Pines retirement homes. (9) Turns out Eva Longoria was holding Tony Parker down the last few years.

9. CLIPPERS (14-7) Long after “All My Children,” GM Neil Olshey assembles bold, beautiful roster. (10) Let me put this in political context: if the Clippers make it to the Western Conference Finals this season, President Obama should immediately appoint Olshey to bring back the housing industry.

10. ORLANDO (15-9) At this rate, Dwight Howard will go anywhere except Washington, Charlotte. (8) Read my lips: the Magic are not going to trade Howard this season and will triple-dog dare him to sign elsewhere this summer unless it’s a “sign and trade” for maximum dollars.

11. LAKERS (14-10) A fan of the road, Willie Nelson won’t provide soundtrack for Grammy trip. (11) Team must have contracted “Saturday Night Fever” in SLC last night because they played like sick men in losing to the Jazz.

12. DALLAS (14-11) Fining Mark Cuban $75,000 is only likely to pump up the volume. (12) Yeah, like Bud Selig is going to ever allow Cuban to own a MLB team.

13. UTAH (13-9) Jazz sounding a more melancholy note after hot start. (13) Hey, they beat the Lakers Saturday night.

14. PORTLAND (14-10) Marcus Camby regretting Clippers trade more than ever. (14) Maybe so, but CLIPPER NATION isn’t!

15. HOUSTON (13-11) Reserves step into the limelight with 50-point effort against Phoenix. (16) Those lockout-inspired new workout and practice rules are working in H-Town.

16. BOSTON (12-10) Doc Rivers‘ next book entitled “.500 Basketball for Dummies.” (17) NBA Rule #1: Never, ever let your top 3 players, no matter if they’re all future Hall of Famers, get old at the same time.

17. MEMPHIS (12-11) Grizzlies‘ motto: No. 8 seeding or bust. (15) It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

BETTER OFF DEAD
18. MINNESOTA (12-12) Timberwolves more than halfway to securing NCAA tournament berth. (18) This would be funny if not 100% true.

19. MILWAUKEE (10-13) Even before he broke his ankle, Andrew Bogut was questionable. (19) “Bogut” is one letter from “Bogus.” I’m just saying.

20. CLEVELAND (9-13) Leaving Duke early for this mess makes Kyrie Irving “Cameron Crazy.” (20) And “Cleveland Cashed-In” on the 1st and 15th of each month.

21. GOLDEN STATE (8-13) Warriors don’t need a trip to Napa Valley to get sideways. (23) Even the “Logo” can’t turn this sorry-ass mess around in a shortened season.

22. PHOENIX (9-14) At least Grant Hill, Steve Nash enjoying AARP discounts. (21) Oh please, if either of them really wanted to win, they would be on other teams now.

23. NEW YORK (9-15) Even Billy Joel‘s no longer in a N.Y. state of mind after watching Knicks. (22) One question here is when A’mare gets traded. Oh that’s right, he has a contract that, because of his knee ISN’T insured! This just keeps getting better and better for non-Knicks fans.

24. NEW JERSEY (8-17) How do you say “natural disaster” in Russian? (24) Ooooh, ooooh, I know the answer to this one! Choosing Jason Kidd over Byron Scott years ago!

25. SACRAMENTO (8-15) Fans who waved “Stay” signs at end of last season are now saying “Go.” (25) Welcome your Anaheim Amigos!

26. TORONTO (8-16) When Bargnani doesn’t play, DeRozan feels like Frog without Toad. (26) Anybody know the Canadian version of “Eminent Domain?”

THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY

27. WASHINGTON (4-20) Throwback jerseys a fitting touch for a throwaway team. (29) Maybe they should ask President Obama for a bailout.

28. NEW ORL. (4-20) Wanting out is so easy, even a Kaman can do it. (27) And yet, they couldn’t trade him either.

29. DETROIT (6-20) Getting beaten like a drum may have upside: Andre Drummond. (28) Who?

30. CHARLOTTE (3-21) RPI falls below Binghamton’s. (30) How can the game’s greatest player ever (arguably) be the game’s worst owner in the same lifetime?

SUPER BOWL XLVI RECAP-1ST HALF

February 6, 2012

1ST QUARTER

It should be illegal to be as fine as Faith Hill is and sing that good too.

Intentional grounding penalty on Brady was like a NBA ref calling palming on Kobe Bryant during his cross-over; a rare but gutsy call.

Chevy Silverado commercial with Twinkies was subtle but funny.

Eli Manning looks more like a kid going Trick or Treating than an elite NFL quarterback.

Still laughing at the Bridgestone “Giddy-up now Deion” ad.

I wonder how loud Battleship is going to be in the theater.

2ND QUARTER

Oldest child with actress Bridget Moynihan; married to a supermodel who’s richer than him, movie star looks, 3 Super Bowl rings. If I’m Tom Brady, I never ask God for another thing in this life. 

Great Camaro commercial.

9-3 sounds more like a Sox/Yankees score than a football game.

You couldn’t pay me to go see John Carter if it was playing across the street from my house.

Al Michaels isn’t even trying to pretend to be excite by Madonna’s half-time performance. He’s just reading the copy because he has to.

VW doggy workout ad is great! James Brown’s music is timeless.

Patriots simply can’t cover Giants wide-outs consistently.

Chad Ochocinco is alive! But just barely.

Why is Tom Brady wearing eye black indoors?

Bill Belichick looks constipated.

Broncos are hoping Tim Tebow is taking notes with both hands on how to throw like a NFL quarterback.

Oh look, Samuel L. Jackson is in another movie. I’m stunned.

If a NBA owner was going to show up in a Super Bowl ad, it had to be Mark Cuban, right?

Great TD drive by New England.

 

WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK – February 3, 2012

February 4, 2012

We learned that:

A lot of people miss riding the Soul Train every Saturday morning.

American Idol judge Randy “Dawg” Jackson manages Mariah Cary and is comfortable with her joining The X Factor next season.

Barack Obama is going to be aggressive and positive in making his case to the American people for a second term and he’s a much better singer than Mitt Romney could ever hope to be.

Charles Barkley isn’t afraid of biting the hand that feeds him (and his family).

Colts owner Jim Irsay has no intention whatsoever of paying a $28 million bonus on March 8 to a 36 year-old quarterback coming off a season that was missed because of 3 neck surgeries, even if his name is Peyton Manning.

Compared to Mitt Romney’s attitude towards the “very poor”, Newt Gingrich’s “After-School Janitors Program” looks damn good.

Economic recovery is still a very fluid thing and will be the #1 factor in this fall’s elections.

Even now, Kobe Bryant just doesn’t have that gene that made Michael Jordan, even at his greatest, seem likable and somewhat accessible to his fans. When asked by a reporter on Wednesday what he would be packing for the Lakers upcoming 11 day, 6-game “Grammy Awards” trip that started in Denver on Friday, Bryant, without even a trace of humor in his voice (I heard the exchange on the radio) said, “You know I don’t do that. I’m Hollywood; I haven’t touched a suitcase in years. My stylist does it for me.”

For all his success both on and off the field, Peyton Manning is as self-centered, egotistical and emotionally needy as Bret Favre. For the life of me, I can’t understand why he couldn’t have issued a statement before the NFL world and media descended on Indianapolis that in essence said, “This week is about the two teams vying for the Lombardi Trophy. My role this week will be to represent the Colts and Indianapolis in the best possible way and sometime after the game and things have gotten back to normal, my representatives and I will sit down with Mr. Irsay and the new GM and decide what to do. This will be the only time I’ll address my personal situation.” How hard could that have been?

House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans have no intention whatsoever of giving President Obama even a modicum of credit for anything good that happens this year.

Like them or not, the Obama campaign isn’t going to ignore the impact that SuperPacs will have this year.

Mitt Romney doesn’t care about “the very poor” in America and apparently is comfortable with the idea of a “permanent underclass” in the nation.

Mitt Romney is a magician. With one careless remark, he managed to make Newt Gingrich look compassionate and caring.

Much like anyone battling substance abuse, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is still vulnerable to falling back into destructive behavior.  On a personal note, as a recovering alcoholic, I want to say that my prayers go out to Hamilton and his family who are also victims of his addiction. But, here’s the thing: one must work hard at sobriety and remaining sober. Alcohol is no joke and it doesn’t care about you or what it does to you. You have to know and respect that and you simply can’t hang out in places that promote the consumption of alcohol unless you are totally strong in and committed to your sobriety.

Newt “3 Wives So Far” Gingrich has no intention of going away quietly or anytime soon and isn’t conceding a damn thing, especially not to Mitt Romney.

Public derision and humiliation after an indefensible decision followed by the worst on-camera  interview since Sarah Palin sat down with Katie Couric in 2008, Nancy Brinker, the director of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, can make a U-turn.

Rumors about a feud between House Speaker John “Agent Orange” Boehner and his uber-ambitious deputy, House Majority Leader Eric “Eddie Haskell” Cantor were a 1,000% true.

Rush Limbaugh can actually find fault with a Republican candidate.

Sarah Palin is going to go full-out “Bat-Shit Crazy” when HBO airs Game Change, based on the definitive book about the 2008 presidential campaign, starting March 10 and her “influence” is waning by the minute.

Some folks in St. Louis are still very, very bitter about Albert Pujols’ departure for much greener – $254 million – pastures in Anaheim.

Steven Tyler meant to sing the national anthem that way.

The Pilar/Deion Sanders divorce is getting nastier by the day.

The world’s richest office painter is a very, very blessed/lucky man named David Choe.

The worst decision of his political career is something that Senator John McCain has no desire to relive. Sen. John McCain will not be among those tuning in to the HBO movie “Game Change” when it premieres on March 10. During an interview with CNBC Thursday morning, the Arizona senator was asked about his plans to view the flick, based on the Mark Halperin and John Heilemann book chronicling the 2008 presidential campaign. “It’ll be a cold day in Gila Bend, Arizona, when I watch that movie,” McCain replied.