Thursday, May 31, 2012

Snicky du Jour: TV Sampler Platter

Just minding my own business the other day, and DAMN LOOK AT THAT!

First Charleze Theron on the Today Show, then a dream pairing of Hannah Storm and Lindsay Czarniak on SportsCenter.

My... oh.. my. Easy on the eyes....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Deshawn Stevenson Ain't Payin' No "Out of Network" Fees

From the guy who brought you a tattoo of the Great Emancipator on his adams apple, Deshawn Stevenson has now brought you the concept of a working ATM, right in your kitchen.

Will the wonders of the modern, multi-millionaire athlete never cease? Stripper poles, barber shops, now ATM's inside their mansions!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Kyrie Irving is "Uncle Drew"

So many people email you so many clips and say: "You GOTTA see this!"

Well, look. You don't have to see this. But I think you'll end up liking it. Surely, it's worth 5 minutes of your employer's time, attention and bandwith.

In fact, it's so good, you might even overlook the fact he was a Dukie.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Ke$ha

Okay, so she's filthy, talentless dime-a-dozen-mall-rat. Do I care? Nah. Somebody out there think she's kinda hot.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Czabe's Annual Southern Pines Golf Trip Recap: Part 1: Dormie Club

Lots to share from our weekend down in Southern Pines, NC chasing that infernal little white golf ball. So let's get started.

For starters, I vow to stop saying "Pinehurst" when people ask "where do you go" because that's technically, and literally, not true. In the late 1990's, the Pinehurst Resort and the town itself, launched lawsuits at many local courses and resorts, aimed at stopping any use of the term "Pinehurst" in their marketing.

They won. Okay, bitches. Have it your way.

We go to "Southern Pines" which is right next door, and basically the same thing.

Southern Pines also has a tidy little old school downtown area next to the train tracks, which I only found out about this year, because a drunken "Cowboy Mike" blurted out a wrong turn to our designated driver and we detoured right through it. By accident. "Oh, there it is..."

Now back to Pinehurst Resort. Nothing against them, but I honestly don't think you get much value by staying at there. There are many other great options in the area, and the staggering cost of Pinehurst's elite courses (#2 is $410 for non-resort guests!) make it a place I've never felt the urge to stay at, or play.

We stay at The National, and they package up our 3-day, 5 round stay. If you want a first rate experience, I think the National is as good if not better than anywhere down there. We've stayed at Mid-Pines. Nice, but sorta old and creaky. We've stayed at Pine Needles. Nice, but more pricey than it should be, thanks to the fact they've held two women's majors.

Hole #3: The National GC - Par 4
The National is a Nicklaus designed course, with just enough "modern" design flashes to make it interesting without being cheesy. The conditions are always private club quality, and you stay right there on the premises which can't be beat.

You want to book a trip there for any size group, call the National and ask for either Ken Crow or Jeffrey Jones and TELL THEM you know The Czabe. (Pretend we're buddies. Shhh. I won't tell). After that, they should give you a rate that is 10% over retail, and make you put down a 50% security deposit.


They will HOOK YOU UP, if you drop my name. Swear.

Now, the other thing you need to know, is that Ken and Jeff can get you and your group on a brand new layout in the area, called "The Dormie Club." The club opened 3 years ago, and it's initial ambition was to be a $150,000 initiation ultra-private club.

The Dormie Club - Hole #1, Par 4.
Uh, yeah. Then the economy happened. So now they are allowing some limited "public" play through certain area packagers. Rumor has it they will go all private again in the fall. Others say if the economy doesn't turn around it will go "all bankrupt" before that.

Whatever the case, go play it. Now.

It's a Crenshaw & Coore collaboration, and it is flat out phenomenal.

When we teed it up on Friday morning on a cool spring day, with dappled sunshine and hardly a breeze filtering through the pines, it was nothing short of magical. The first hole presents itself so perfectly, it looks like a postcard.

The rest of the course is a strategic adventure, with plenty to think about along the way to trying to make par, but without anything that feels too penal or goofy.

Driving areas are wide, and while the scrapply sandhills terrain off the carpet is random full of bogey, you can usually find your ball and at least play it.

The third hole begins a series of tantalizing Crenshaw/Coore risk/reward holes that tempt and tease. A par four of only 312 yards from the back tee, it practically yanks the driver out of your bag and takes the head cover off for you.

Dormie Club: #15, Par 4
But the hole's nasty burrs reside in the green complex, which reads like Chinese trigonometry. A large, bulging "nose" of a false front deflects all shots that come up short, and makes a par-saving chip or pitch even more problematic.

This feature caught many of my guys flat footed, causing quite a few grumbles. But hey, in this one case, "long is right" so take enough club.

The 8th hole stretches you out, as a sweeping dogleg par 4 of 488 yards from the tips. That number is deceiving though, because a speed slot along the left hand side allows for massive drives as long as you carry the crest of a large swale in the fairway.

Bail out just slightly right, however, and you'll be in the fairway - safe - but a hefty 230 or so away from a narrow, tilted green.

And back and forth it goes, with tempting short holes, and burly long ones.

My favorite is the endless 653 yard par-5 10th. Yes, you read that yardage correctly.


After (hopefully) busting your drive, you then must cut across a yawning pond, while choosing a route around a cluster of bunkers that are stubbornly sitting right in the middle of the fairway. Two GOOD shots, will still leave you a likely 150 (or more) from home.

The green sits in a disturbingly tight sliver of pines, that narrows as you get closer to its backward sliding front-to-back tilt.

I didn't come close to parring it either round. And loved it.

It is so rare to find a genuine three-shot hole that come at you like an angry gorilla, and this sucker might be the hardest par-5 I've ever seen.

Dormie Club #6: Par 5.
The clubhouse is a tiny little cottage in the pines. Humble. Serviceable. They may have big plans for something more in the future, but I personally don't think anything more is needed.

The pulled chicken BBQ sandwich on a pretzel bun, was damn near sexual it was so good.

The only small complaints, are that the course has no yardages on sprinkler heads, and no rakes for any of the bunkers. In fact, all bunkers are considered waste bunkers on the course, so good luck with ruts and footprints.

Both of these quirks are meant to be an homage to "old school" golf, natural and un-affected by modern conveniences.

Nice try, but c'mon, really?

They want you to hire local caddies and forecaddies to give you yardages. And walk. Perhaps on a nice cool day that would be ideal. If you have a decent caddy.

But I could just as easily see a sweat soaked afternoon walking up and down the sandhills getting "about 160" kind of yardages from a guy who does loops on the side. Not my idea of fun.

With modern rangefinders and GPS devices, it makes much more sense to get your own exact yardages over every little swale and bunker.

Otherwise, the Dormie Club is an absolute treasure. Let's hope it survives and thrives. And hope that it doesn't become as exclusive as Pine Valley in the process.

Because it is, that good.

National GC #4: Par 5.
National GC #5: Par 4
Dormie Club #18: Par 4

Dormie Club #10: Par 5

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Elin Nordegren

Okay fellas, she's on the market again! Tiger's ex has just dumped billionaire boytoy Michael Dingman, and according to sources, is looking for somebody "more stable" for her two young children.

Does it look like she's devastated by the divorce, her recent boyfriend breakup, or the construction progress of her new $12M plus home on the site of her recently demolished $12M home?

Not exactly.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Steven A. Smith Gets Boom, Roasted!

The sad thing is, this will somehow only help his career. Amazing how a guy with such a transparent act, who delivers so little actual insight to sports - even the NBA, his purported wheelhouse sport - keeps getting job after job after job.

Volume and schtick wins again, I suppose.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Lindsay Soto

There are plenty of snickilicious babes on the NFL Network these days, but let's give it up to a very under-rated one in Lindsay Soto. Somehow, Lindsay has this "je-ne-sais-quoi" about her that is just fetching!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tear Down This Dump!

Having been to Wrigley Field myself, more than once, the thought of nuking it and starting over entirely elsewhere is downright mortifying.

But then again, I am not a Cub fan. I am a fan of nostalgia, and a fan of keeping perfectly usable old stadiums for as long as we can.

Rich Cohen of the Wall Street Journal makes a far more compelling case, that it is indeed the ball park which is holding back this baseball team from ever being good.
"It's a false heaven—the bases, trestles, ivy, wooden seats and bleachers, the towering center-field scoreboard—all of it must be ripped out and carried away like the holy artifacts were carried out of the temple in Jerusalem, heaped in a pile and burned. Then the ground itself must be salted, made barren, covered with a housing project, say, a Stalinist monolith, so never again will a shrine arise on that haunted block. As it was with Moses, the followers and fans, though they search, shall never find its bones."

Cubs fans are the Buddhists of the game, free from the wheel of profit and loss, happy to live in the now of Wrigley, to enjoy the sun as routine grounders are booted and bodies wither and die.

A bad century has made winning seem like a fairy tale. It doesn't matter what wizard managers the team hires, players, executives—once it was Lou Piniella; now it's Theo Epstein. People who have won everywhere lose in Chicago. The tradition is just too powerful to deny.
The more I let Cohen's argument soak in, the more I could actually see the day when there's some actual momentum to say: "Enough nostalgic bullshit. Let's bury this old dump, and start over, where the only that will matter for the NEXT 100 years, is not fielding a horseshit baseball team."

Hey, sounds nuts. But then again, so did installing lights in the place back in 1988.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Erin Andrews

Not that you haven't seen plenty of juicy fashion shoots of ESPN's "staff ace" before, but this lovely "set" from a recent Vanity Fair issue was certainly "new to me"..... enjoy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Onion: Goodell Tells Seau Family: 'Put His Brain In The Trunk With The Rest"

Damn you Onion writers! How come I can't be even 1/8th as funny or subversive as you are!

"Use that permanent marker to write his name on the jar or whatever, and then you can just go ahead and drop it in there," said Goodell, referring to the large plastic container of more than a dozen ex-player brains he keeps in his trunk. "Oh, and sorry for your loss."

* Not an actual Roger Goodell quote.

Snicky du Jour: Dina Meyer

CAUTION: Some nudity, so, NSFW, kids!

If you ever wanted to just boil away all of the awful parts of the movie "Starship Troopers" so the only thing left was scenes with "Dizzy" played by Dina Meyer, well, here you go.

And when I say "all of the awful parts" of this movie, I mean every part which doesn't include, Dina Meyer.

Talk About "Faux" Leather!

This is the Redskins 80th Anniversary throwback uniform helmet.

Yeah, they DID that. Fucking cool. That is all. As you were, people.

UPDATE: Because I know everybody is lazy and doesn't want to hunt down pictures or links on their own, here's a sampler platter of what the full uniform looks like in person, and in the Nike Mock Up.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Terrell Gets The Dr. Phil "Get Your Life Together" Speech

In case you didn't see the T.O. appearance on Dr. Phil, here's two clips which should get you up to speed. Where did T.O.'s money go? Don't know. How much did he make? Not sure. Is he a good dad to his illegitimate kids? Depends on who you ask. (PS: Don't ask the baby mommas).

Snicky du Jour: Kim Kardashian

Hard to find many good photos of Kimmy on the interweb, isn't it? I mean, such a shy, reclusive gal, it's nice to finally see her out and about in a swimsuit.

Oh yeah, that football player? She's not dating him anymore. Try to keep up, people.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Another Epic Caps Choke

Okay, do me a favor people. Watch these two short videos, and tell me which one is worse. I'll hang up and listen to your answer off the air.

The boys at Bleacher Report have an excellent (translation: horrifyingly detailed) recap of every springtime disaster in Caps history. 
While Cleveland fans who root for those frowny Brownies can perfectly empathize with heartache, there is NO NHL franchise that has been as consistently great for the last three decades with nothing to show for it as the Washington Capitals. They are easily the most snake-bitten (or, should I say frostbitten?) franchise in the National Hockey League.
If you are a Ranger, Penquin, Islander or Flyer fan it's high comedy.

For us Caps fans, torture.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Toughness, That's Amar'e!

I'm not much of an Amar'e Stoudamire fan. But I do respect his toughness. Here's a picture of his sliced hand, courtesy of the dumbest post-game moment of frustration ever.

Dude played 37 minutes of NBA playoff basketball, and scored 20 & 10 with it all wrapped up. Impressive.

Now, compare this to MY candy-ass, in which I get all mopey with the smallest of cuts incurred while doing yardwork or other manly activities around the house or garage.

See this cut here. Yeah, that's it. The little spec the size of a gnat?

Well, that sucker REALLY hurt about 5 days ago, when it was still raw. Thankfully, it's better now. Thanks for asking.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fan Friendly Tiger Falls Flat on His Face

Karma's a bitch, ain't she?

After Tiger Woods decided to go "viral" with his pre-tournament press availability, shutting out the grass stained scribes in favor of Tweeters, Facebookers, and fanboys.... he promptly missed the cut at Quail Hollow.


Personally, I don't have "a problem" with Tiger doing this. He's an independent contractor, the Tour has no firm "rule" that say she must do pre-tournament pressers, and truth be told, he's maybe the worst interview in all of sports right now.

But. But.... it's still idiotic. It created a no-win situation in which the BEST Tiger could come out looking is petty.

Red Smith, one of only four pure sportswriters to win the Pulitzer Prize, said of his profession: "Sportswriters are underpaid and overprivileged." What he meant is that in exchange for long hours and endless deadlines, we get a ringside seat to greatness, a front-row view of history. The trade is well worth it, or we wouldn't be doing what we do. 
The smart athletes understand this relationship. How they are portrayed in the media enhances their value. The better we understand them, the more accurately we can communicate to the fans their essence -- the more we can humanize them. This takes their value beyond the sporting world into the business world. They are a person and not merely a bunch of statistics.

We are trying to sort out what happened to that once marvelous game and we can't do that without Tiger's help. And what Tiger has to face is the fact that this is not the year 2000 anymore. He can no longer set the agenda for how he is covered. And unless he participates in the coverage of his game and, to a certain extent, his life, that coverage will be inaccurate, at best, and perhaps even mean spirited. 
When the slop hit the fan for Woods late in 2009, we realized how little we knew Tiger. Woods also had no one in the media through whom he could get his story out, through whom he could be humanized. And that is what this is all about -- humanizing athletes. This is the time for Woods to take a step toward the media, not away, and talk about the state of his game and the distractions of his life. 
When I am asked why I became a golf writer I answer by saying that I don't write about golf, I write about people who happen to play golf. One of the reasons we love sports is because it speeds up the human clock. We learn a lot about a person in a very short period of time -- how they handle success and failure, their ethics, their humor and anger and more. That magic is gone if we allow athletes to hide from us.
And Tiger can try to hide, but it's simply not going to work. Either he'll get his game "back" to some degree, or people will continue to cover his stunning decline.

He used to say his knee still wasn't quite right.
He used to say he just needed more reps.
He used to say he was "close."

Coming up on 3 years this fall after drilling that fateful fire hydrant at the end of his driveway, he's running out of things to say.

Snicky du Jour: Holly Sonders

You may know Holly from The Golf Channel's "Morning Drive". You may also be aware of her, how shall we say this, "lady bumps" as Michael Scott would say.

But did you know she was a studette golfer at Michigan State? Currently a legit-4 handicap? She turned heads at the Wells Fargo pro-am this week.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Snicky du Jour: Carrie Underwood

She looks fabulous just reading awards off a teleprompter, don't she?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yep, That's The Logo. That's... it... yep.

When I first laid eyes on Jay Z's homemade Black and White logo for the new "Brooklyn Nets", I chortled mightily.

That sucks.

Then, I saw some merchandise with the plain, old-school, look. And more merch. And the jerseys. And I sorta "get it" now. It's a Mad Men, retro-50's look, only dragged forward, kicking and screaming into our Gawd-Awful focus-group-tested-teal-and-whatever modern sports logo world.
Adam Silver, NBA deputy commissioner, said the league has been trying to steer teams toward emphasizing their traditional primary colors instead of black, which many teams use for an alternative jersey, to make them more easily identifiable on television. But it had no problem with the choice of black and white for the Nets. 
"We agreed with the Nets that this color scheme made sense for this market," Silver said.
The team's shield logo has Nets spelled out above a basketball with a block B on it. Below the shield, Brooklyn is printed. The Nets say the logo and color scheme were designed by minority owner Jay-Z and inspired by the New York City Transit Authority subway signs from 1957. 
I think I sorta like it now, and may only start to like it even more once I see it on the court next fall. In the meantime, my logo guru himself, Dave Mann chimes in with his thoughts.....



Gosh I LOVE it when the whole segment goes UNCLE.

Nice job boys.

Let's clear up just a few things and throw in some additional info for your benefit.

1) You guys are correct. Strictly speaking b/w aren't colors. The definitions get confusing and flipped depending on whether the palette is additive/subtractive...light versus paint/ink etc. Pure white light is all the colors of the spectrum. Black (like a dark room) is the absence of light obviously. With inks, paints is theoretically all of the pigments and white is none.

2) Your callers and texters are mistaken. The Spurs use grey/silver...the White Sox use grey/silver. The Sacramento Kings use purple still. The LA Kings use silver/grey. Yes, the Yankees where only midnight blue and HOME. But their roads are grey (as are virtually everyone's) and their logo features r/w/b. To my knowledge and recollection no professional team (in the 4 major leagues) uses just black and white. When I'm describing a palette for a project, I honestly don't even factor in white. Every team uses white. If you view it in those terms the Redwings and Maple Leafs could be considered "one color" teams. But again, to my knowledge nobody has (maybe EVER) tried letting that "one color" be black. Unless you allow for fictional teams like the Al Pacino lead Sharks in 'Any Given Sunday'. That's what these remind me of. =)

3) It has to be said. I don't think hardly any team in the NBA has a "good" logo. Not in the sense that we (you and I) are used to talking about. The Bulls is the only one that comes to mind as a mark that could function in another league. And this is for a lot of reasons. Firstly and most importantly...the NBA has the least amount of uniform realestate to adorn. In hockey it's the sweater crest. In the NFL, it's the helmet. In MLB, it's the cap. The NBA doesn't have that. There is nowhere for a logo to "go" other than maybe on the shorts hem. The result is that in basketball the two most important factors are the typeface (that appears on the chest) and the color scheme/uniform design in and of itself. I would argue that the NBA can and does have powerful and successful brands; but that those brands are more tied to the colors and uniforms than any other league. The Lakers and Celts.......premium brands. But the Lakers logo sucks. It's a goofy font in front of a ball. The Celtics typeface couldn't get any simpler. What carries it is the green with white piping or the athletic gold with purple trim.

In fact, speaking of the Lakers logo being some type with a ball behind it.........28 of the 30 NBA teams use a ball in their suite of registered marks. 28!!! I know someone is going to try and count to fact check me on that. Go ahead. I think something like 19-20 use a basketball in their primary mark. The rest use one in their alternate or secondary marks. One (the Bulls) only use it at center court. And of the two that use no basketball? One (the Rockets) have used a b-ball liberally in the past and their current mark calls to mind the visual of a rim. Only the Spurs use no basketball or basketball-specific equipment in their logos. So to me, NBA logos aren't logos as much as they are custom typefaces with basketballs behind them. Is that a relevant distinction? Maybe not. But my point is.......none of us have any idea how a basketball brand is going to function (thrive or fail even) until the unis are released. It's an unofficial stance by me, but I would ALMOST go so far as to say that NBA logos don't matter. Who wears NBA merch? Compared to NCAA, MLB or NFL? Compared to branded stuff like Nike or Under Armor? Once we see how they look on the hardwood we can evaluate fully.

For that reason, I'm inclined more toward the "meh" rather than the outrage. The only time you even see an NBA logo is if you see studio graphics on TV or catch a glimpse at center court. NETS is just a horrible name to work with from a design perspective. The word is too short to arch effectively and the negative space of the "T" leaves huge kerning holes on either side. THey should have gone with the KNIGHTS as rumored. Dont' forget, say the name quickly (now) and you've got Brooklynettes. Say it my way? Brooklynites.

4) JayZ likely had a lot of influence on the design, but from what I'm hearing and reading he didn't "do" this himself.

One of his boys at Roca did.

5) I almost can get behind this. The font seems to harken to vintage NYC subway signage which is coolio. And I can't get too worked up because they are the flipping Nets. If this was a classic identity biting the dust for b/w Old Navy clipart? That's one thing. It's not. It's the Nets who've never had a good logo anyway with a nickname that puts designers in a no-win box anyway. I'd give it a pass 51-49.

-David Mann

Bubba Watson's Sunday at the Masters: In 81 SECONDS!

In a word.... AWESOME... heheheheh....