10
Nov 09

MPD Book Club: The Book of Basketball

brooksteppeBill Simmons is a writer for ESPN that you probably have heard of. He's probably the biggest "celebrity" writer on the internet and is responsible for roughly 1/5 of the posts at Deadspin. Despite influencing roughly every sports blog on the internet and setting a gold standard that anyone who thinks that it's a good idea to write on the internet should try to attain, he is one of the most divisive figures in the sports blogging world. Often accused of being smug, a name dropper and overusing the same references time and time again (I once emailed him begging him to stop with the Battle of the Network Stars references) Simmons is generally un-apologetic over his style. His style is his style. He has his fans (which I count myself as one) and his detractors, but in the end there's not much you can say negatively about him. His "voice of the fan" perspective has become skewered a bit over the years, but it still is a "voice of the fan" because when it comes to baseball, the NFL or gambling on the NFL he doesn't know what he's talking about most of the time (just like a real fan.) However, when it comes to basketball Bill Simmons leaves the "voice of the fan" behind and becomes something wholly different, one of the greatest living basketball writers alive.

Now, I've never been the biggest basketball guy. I think it's a great sport to watch, but there have been one too many times in my lifetime when the officials have clearly affected the outcome of a game and you can't tell me any different that the league didn't influence these decisions. The most egregious example would of course be the Dallas/Miami Finals from a couple of years back. I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way and was completely turned off by this series, but somehow the NBA always finds ways to pull me back in. Whether it's Lebron James or Brandon Jennings, I always find a reason to end up watching some games and a lot of this can probably be attributed to the writing of Bill Simmons. His passion for the game in his columns is infectious and there have been more than a few times I have ended up watching a playoff series because he will not shut up about it (Bulls/Celtics from last season is a great example.) When I found out that Bill Simmons had written a 700 page book about basketball I pre-ordered it right away. I've always enjoyed him as a writer and he is far too serious about the sport of basketball to mess this up. When The Book of Basketball arrived eight days ago I dug right in and I wasn't disappointed. Continue reading →


27
Oct 09

Ryan Braun’s Tavern and Money Pit

moneypitI've heard so many rumors that Ryan Braun was opening a restaurant in Lake Geneva for so long that I just assumed that it was true. (Kind of like Rod Stewart having his stomach pumped.) I've know about this for awhile, but didn't want to post about it just in case it wasn't true. One day the sign out in front of the restaurant was changed to say "COMING SOON BRETT FAVRE'S STEAKHOUSE" which was funny, but also made me think that there was no way it was Braun's place because no way he'd think of something that funny. Well, it all turned out be true and yesterday news started to trickle out about it, topped off by the great Adam McCalvy doing a full write up. In the write up McCalvy says:

A group of investors led by Madison lawyer Patrick Sweeney finalized a licensing deal with Braun and Major League Baseball this month. The group is spending more than $1 million on upgrades to a former Mexican restaurant at 430 Broad St. in Lake Geneva, a resort community about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee's Miller Park, and the idea is to open for business within 6-8 weeks.

And then:

He got a first-hand look at the progress of the restaurant on Sept. 6, the same day Braun and his teammates executed their now-famous celebration of Prince Fielder's 12th-inning home run that beat the San Francisco Giants.

Now I've worked in and around restaurants for most of my life and if there is one thing that has been said at each and every establishment that I have been fired for drinking from it's this: "The most expensive seat in a restaurant is an empty seat." With the idea being that you can have the best service, best food, stiffest drinks, the sluttiest waitresses and everything else in the world, but if there is nobody there to eat it the restaurant will fail. By their own doing this restaurant has had it's door closed since September and all summer long before that. Why? To spend over $1 million on upgrades to a place that wasn't that messed up to begin with. Of course. Continue reading →


20
Oct 09

Witrado’s Quest: The Final Act

The slow news days have begun and due to MLB rules there is only a playoff game once every six days. What do we do? Inspired by our favorite site The Dugout, we've decided to follow our favorite JSOnline writer Anthony Witrado on a quest. A quest to find love, adulation and respect in a cruel world that doesn't understand him or particularly like him. Will he find what he's been seeking? Or will he fail at it, like he's failed at life so many times before? Find out in Witrado's Quest: A Miller Park Drunk Event.

In part one Anthony learned that his fellow writers at the Journal Sentinel were not fans of his. In part two convinced that they were the only ones, Anthony set off to find someone who liked him at Miller Park only to be met with more failure and a cross-dressing Doug Melvin. In part three Anthony blamed the state of Wisconsin instead of his own shortcomings and headed back to his home in California where his favorite team was playing a meaningful game, but he found that Hollywood celebrities and the Dodgers did not like him either. With nowhere to go he returned to Wisconsin looking for answers. Continue reading →


30
Sep 09

Who ya got? 2009 MLB Playoffs

Red Sox Yankees BaseballWell, you aren't going to believe this but after last night's loss to the Rockies the Brewers have been eliminated from playoff contention. Even if the planes carrying the Dodgers, Cardinals, Rockies and Phillies crash into eachother the Brewers still won't make the playoffs. Sad, I know.

Anyways I just found out that the playoffs still happen if the Brewers don't make it and despite the Brewers not being in contention they will still hold a "World Series". I am interested in this and plan to watch these "playoffs" until their logical conclusion which I assume is called the "championship", I don't know I'm new to this whole baseball thing. I only started watching the Brewers last year. Since the Brewers aren't involved I thought we should figure out who we all want to root for and pretend that we were fans of this team for the next six months until the playoffs end. So let's get down to it. Continue reading →


29
Sep 09

Beer didn’t kill Nick Adenhart

adenhartjerseyI rarely comment on the national baseball scene because I don't feel like I know enough about the entire league to have an ineresting perspective, but this story involving Nick Adenhart and the Angels clinching the division is right in my wheelhouse. The story goes like this: Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver. The Angels won the division and wanted to include the memory of Nick Adenhart in their celebration and in doing so doused his jersey in beer and champagne. Which led to someone commenting this:

Is it strange/ironic to be dousing Adenhart's jersey in a drunken, wanton manner given that it was that very substance that led to his untimely death? Just sayin'...

Here's the thing, have you ever seen that stupid t-shirt "Guns don't kill people, I do"? Well, this is the same thing. The guy who killed Nick Adenhart and his friends killed them, not beer. If you took Nick Adenhart's jersey and put it in the driver's seat of a car does that also disrespect his legacy? I mean, afterall a car was the very thing that led to his untimely death! I know that's ridiculous, but it's also basically saying the same thing. Continue reading →

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